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Internet forum moderation, a webwide conspiracy of sorts?..

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posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:05 PM
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I've noticed on nearly every moderated discussion system online there is huge bias dished out by moderators. Just curious what others take is on this. How can discussion be open when TPTB moderating a specific forum fail to be unbiased? These individuals have the power to steer any discussion how they see fit. I am sure they claim to be and feel that they are neutral, but time and time again I see them operate in the subconscious realm and make snap decisions based on their own religious or political views. These decisions are almost always unilateral and not discussed by several moderators. You catch a moderator having a bad day you get nuked, you catch a moderator who doesn't agree with your forum signature or avatar then you are in the cross hairs.. The decorum offered by moderators seems valued at times but is it sacrificing too much? are we merely dancing among a moderators construct, failing to actually engage? Would it be better to go completely unmoderated and allow people to simply click a link and 'ignore' those who are trolling or causing trouble? Do I need someone to tell me I would not have liked a comment or post and therefore it was removed? I'm a big boy, I can handle it! In it's current form I believe moderation on internet forums is a conspiracy not so much encompassing an entire site itself but a conspiracy compartmentalized to individuals with an agenda who cannot serve a forum in an unbiased fashion thanks to human nature.

[edit on 4-10-2009 by reasonable]




posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by reasonable
 


I understand what you are saying and we can debate for sure, we both have warnings right now so, we both know it can feel unfair to be on the losing end off that, but I wonder, what would the alternative be?

And an heavy traffic / low moderation forum like Godlike Productions is a disaster area.

Anarchy is worse than what we got now.

So unless you have a better idea then moderators, what could be done to change it? All humans will be biased based on their own experiences and beliefs.

I have got into alot of trouble so far here but it's my own fault so far, I guess. I can't blame a moderator for my idiocy. But I do think all these damn rules are pretty oppressive sometimes.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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I think people need to understand that random chaotic conversation can be fun but often it can also be not fun at all, and very nonconstructive.

Moderation is a useful tool when used properly, you need to find a place which Moderates in a way which is acceptable to you, and sticks to their own guidelines.

Moderators are humans, they do have their own bias, they will fail sometimes, but a good site will have a team of moderators who will make sure that they all stay in line, and when an individual steps over the line (whether a mod or not) they get dealt with.

I've been a moderator on other forums, and its not fun, its a lot of work just to the keep the forum in a presentable state, I bet being an ATS moderator is an absolute nightmare.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:18 PM
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I've had the most experience on this forum, but I also participate in a couple of physics and astronomy forums.

My experience is that decisions regarding moderation are rarely unilateral. There are a lot of behind the scenes discussions about handling particular problems. Most unilateral decisions arrive when an emergency of sort occurs, such as a blatant spammer or some one creating a flame war.

Different boards also have different perspectives on discussion. For example, the Bad Astronomy forums have two sections called Against the Mainstream and Conspiracy Theories. Both these discuss similar topics that we do on ATS. However, the person purposing the non-mainstream theory is told very clearly by the owners and the moderators of the board that they should expect to fully defend and answer every criticism and question that comes there way from people who often have graduate degrees in physics and astronomy. The criticism can be ferocious, but that's how things are done there.

Lastly, I'd say it's very hard to imagine a conspiracy of mods between such disparate forums as a right wing political forum and a basket weaving forum, or any of the other myriad forums. In short, people are finite. We all have biases, but these don't typically hamper discussion, at least not in the most well run forums.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:36 PM
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The only bias that the mods of this site have is the T&C. That is what ATS is run by. We have mods of every range imaginable. Barely 20-60+. Conservatives, Liberals, Independents and others that aren't part of the American mainstream.

We have Christians, Atheists, Buddhists, Agnostics, Eastern faiths. ATS is guided by the above T&C and unless it's a blatant violation of the T&C, like spamming or pr0n, everything is discussed, by these people with different backgrounds. Seeing as ATS is reaching out to more and more people all the time, this is working. Stay inside the T&C and all will be well, for everyone.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
The only bias that the mods of this site have is the T&C. That is what ATS is run by. We have mods of every range imaginable. Barely 20-60+. Conservatives, Liberals, Independents and others that aren't part of the American mainstream.

We have Christians, Atheists, Buddhists, Agnostics, Eastern faiths. ATS is guided by the above T&C and unless it's a blatant violation of the T&C, like spamming or pr0n, everything is discussed, by these people with different backgrounds. Seeing as ATS is reaching out to more and more people all the time, this is working. Stay inside the T&C and all will be well, for everyone.


Yes Big Brother thank you for the advice. :p

I hope that doesn't mean you'll be closing this thread with a unilateral decision?


But I agree with you, there is likely no conspiracy whatsoever, why would there be? If anything TPTB would censor the entier internet as they are attempting to do now, rather than go infiltrate every website with their agenda. Easier to say it's a threat to security and shut er on down.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:53 PM
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i would like to see some examples of what OP is describing. as far as i can tell, all actions ive seen the mods make were all called for. ive gotten messages from mods telling me to watch what i say and ive had messages deleted for being off topic.

the mods here are strict, but youre told the rules when you sign up and theyre available 100% of the time.

if you feel a specific mod over stepped his or her boundaries, sent U2U messages to several others and ask them to discuss and possibly rethink any action taken against you.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:57 PM
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I can absolutely say this is not true here at ATS. I was a member way before I was a moderator. So, I know what it was like being a non-moderator member.

Every action taken by staff is thoroughly discussed before action taken. The ATS staff varies widely in backgrounds, beliefs, political opinions and every other topic that is posted here, staff can have different opinions on.

Your claim may be true for most forums out there, but ATS is not most forums.



If you have any complaints at all please use the COMPLAINT FORM and all staff will review and discuss!

*GEL*

[edit on October 4th 2009 by greeneyedleo]



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by Toromos
 





However, the person purposing the non-mainstream theory is told very clearly by the owners and the moderators of the board that they should expect to fully defend and answer every criticism and question that comes there way from people who often have graduate degrees in physics and astronomy. The criticism can be ferocious, but that's how things are done there.


I worked for a company who used a similar method as part of product development. Between pilot lab runs and building the actual production line, everyone connected to the project sat in a large auditorium and tore the proposed new product and it production line plans to shreds. Boy did Egos get flattened, mine included
however the company rarely had multi- million dollar flops either.

Forums such as this where people from all walks get to comment is great, however moderators are needed to keep the flaming to a minimum or it ends up as nothing but a P!$$ing Contest. I have seen to much of that at several other sites.








posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid
The only bias that the mods of this site have is the T&C. That is what ATS is run by. We have mods of every range imaginable. Barely 20-60+. Conservatives, Liberals, Independents and others that aren't part of the American mainstream.

We have Christians, Atheists, Buddhists, Agnostics, Eastern faiths. ATS is guided by the above T&C and unless it's a blatant violation of the T&C, like spamming or pr0n, everything is discussed, by these people with different backgrounds. Seeing as ATS is reaching out to more and more people all the time, this is working. Stay inside the T&C and all will be well, for everyone.


Well, the T&C are subjective as well.


1b.) Profanity: You will not use profanity in our forums, and will neither post with language or content that is obscene, sexually oriented, or sexually suggestive nor link to sites that contain such content. You will also not use common alternative spellings or net-speak alternative for profane words.


Who determines what is obscene? I've seen words allowed on here that could be considered obscene by some. A bit subjective?



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:05 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:08 PM
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The OP was careful not to mention any website specifically.

If you have a problem with the way ATS is moderated, then there are several venues available for you.

The topic, as I see it, is websites in general and the use of moderators in them.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by yadda333
Who determines what is obscene? I've seen words allowed on here that could be considered obscene by some. A bit subjective?


Subjective, yes. That's also why the staff comes from many different nationalities. We have people From Norway, Britain, America obviously. Also The Caribe, New Zealand, Germany, I could go on but the ones you really have to watch out for are the Canucks. If you look at the proportion of the membership/ staff, Canadians are taking over.


That said, we can't see everything. We try but we can't. That's what the Complaints/Suggestions button is for.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:11 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:14 PM
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ITS A MODERATOR CONSPIRACY!


All the mods on ATS are trying to manipulate our minds for the diabolical plot of buying more Girl Scout cookies!

Expect in Interpids case where has he wants more US citizens to buy more Maple syrup!

DENY EVERYTHING

and beware of the corrupt conspiracy of moderation on ATS OOOOOoooo

OK enough fun...

I do not always agree with the Mods and they know that.... But this is NOT GLP.

The mods here do not run any kind of scam....unlike the a fore mentioned website.

ATS is good people.... even when I think they are wrong.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by intrepid

Originally posted by yadda333
Who determines what is obscene? I've seen words allowed on here that could be considered obscene by some. A bit subjective?


Subjective, yes. That's also why the staff comes from many different nationalities. We have people From Norway, Britain, America obviously. Also The Caribe, New Zealand, Germany, I could go on but the ones you really have to watch out for are the Canucks. If you look at the proportion of the membership/ staff, Canadians are taking over.


That said, we can't see everything. We try but we can't. That's what the Complaints/Suggestions button is for.



So do you feel that there would be a conflict of interest if a moderator for a web site forum topic was a nationallity whose nationallity was against the topic they were moderating ...???



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:20 PM
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reply to post by intrepid
 


The Mod police might encompass people of all nationalities, but you're all still the overlords. You said yourself that you're biased in favor of the T&C. If your lawbook is subjective, then you will all be forced to make a decision based on your own opinions; thus, there is no way to take your personal feelings out of it, and in turn there will be a bias.

I enjoy ATS quite a bit, but the Mods are the enemy. You will always be the enemy because you are the police force. You have been given a certain amount of power that distinguishes you from the members.

It's like trying to hang out with your boss or supervisor. It's just not that much fun because you have to watch what you say and be on your toes. And they are always taking up for the company/entity because they are the boss and that is what is expected of them.





[edit on 10/4/2009 by yadda333]



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by KAKUSA
So do you feel that there would be a conflict of interest if a moderator for a web site forum topic was a nationallity whose nationallity was against the topic they were moderating ...???


Good question. We have had to remove staff in the past because of bias. That goes from Forum mods all the way up to Admin. I will not name names because they can't defend their poor actions. As I said previously, the T&C is the only rule by which we run the board. And it works.



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by yadda333
 


When you joined ATS, you agreed to the Terms and conditions that come with this website.

Now that you are a member, do you wish you had clicked on 'disagree' instead?



posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 07:27 PM
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reply to post by reasonable
 


I disagree with your point of view.

This thread is about as relevant as the one below.


Why is there so much Jew Hating on ATS

The Super-Moderators, Moderators and Administration are all very well balanced.

Is this just another hate the Mod's thread going on here?



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