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The moderators "personal opinion" disclaimer

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posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:19 AM
Hello ATS!

While reading through some threads I noticed that some of the moderators contributions to a thread (not mod-actions, but participation in the debate) are made within a "this is the personal opinion of the moderator, not an official ATS view" frame.

I noticed that some of the moderators contributions are framed this way and some are not. I just wondered how this system works...

- Does any contribution of a mod to a thread automatically entail this disclaimer? (Obviously not, since that is why I am asking).

- Or is there like a special button mods have to hit in order to make the disclaimer appear?

-Or is the disclaimer an old thing that is no longer in use?

I wonder about this because sometimes it doesn't seem clear if one is dealing with an "official" reaction or just with someones personal opinion. In most cases, I can't see a substantial difference between posts made with the disclaimer and posts made without it.

Not that I suspect anything nefarious - not that I want to complain... I was just wondering...
Is this a technical issue or is it just that some mods forget to add the disclaimer when posting? Or has the whole disclaimer thing been discarded?

Thanks for answering .... And sorry if I may have overlooked an easy source providing the answer. I did search and didn't find anything - but you know how it is.. Sometimes you're just blind and stupid.

Thanks again.

[edit on 23-8-2010 by NichirasuKenshin]

[edit on 23-8-2010 by NichirasuKenshin]

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:34 AM
My guess is they just get too lazy to take whatever step it is they have to do to make the frame appear or they forget. On the other hand maybe they use it only when commenting in a thread they are also moderating. If they are commenting in a thread someone else is moderating; then maybe they don't have to use the frame??
Someone will straighten us out, but I bet I am right about the lazy part
. It is just human nature.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:43 AM
reply to post by wayno

That makes sense. I didn't think of that.

Of course, the explanation might be exactly that: The frame only appears when a mod. comments on a thread in a board the he personally moderates!

Thanks for the idea I think that is it!

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:45 AM
reply to post by NichirasuKenshin

I always thought it was up to the Mods themselves if they use the 'personal opinion' disclaimer. Some do, some don't.

Personally, I don't see the point in it, but each to their own.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:45 AM
There is no automated feature for this, it's what we type. I can only speak for myself, in that I add the disclaimer only when I feel my post may have the potential for being taken out of context, and seem that I am speaking for the site, when I am only offering an opinion. Unless the moderator is specifically responding to a request for input by staff, commenting on the behavior of the posters, etc., or stating he/she is speaking as staff, it should likely be assumed that we are just speaking as any other member in thread posts, by default.


posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:46 AM
Staff don't moderate a thread they are participating but, if I recall correctly, the feature was created because there appeared to be some confusion when those members, who happen to be on the staff, wanted to contribute to a discussion.

Staff are not obliged to make use of it (it's not a feature I use) but it's intented use is just to help clarify matters.

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Ok, so I'm using it this once. :p

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:46 AM
reply to post by Gazrok

Thank you very much for the answer. That was what I was wondering about - if it is an automatic feature or if you have to activate it manually. Thanks for clearing that up!

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:47 AM
reply to post by wayno

Regardless of the frame, if a mod posts in a thread, giving their personal input, they cannot moderate the thread.

As for the frames, I assume a button must be pressed to bring it up.

Any other forum, such a thing isn't needed, it's just because we're a conspiracy forum that it's needed, gotta keep the tin hatters happy!

Edit: thanks to mobile phone my reply took forever.

Thanks gazrok

[edit on 23/8/10 by Chadwickus]

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:47 AM
In case you are referring to our recent encounter in a thread of yours I'd like to assure you that NONE of what I post I am posting as a Moderator or on behalf of the site unless explicitly indicated.

The Tags are normally used in especially sensitive cases.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:50 AM
reply to post by Skyfloating

Hey Skyfloating. Yes, it was your contribution to the post that brought the question to my head. But that's not because I suspect anything, lol.

It's just because you're the first mod I noticed that didn't have the frame; so I wondered if the frame was discarded or how it acutally worked..!

I got the answers I searched for .. Thanks :-)

I tried to make it as clear as possible that it was not a paranoid gut feeling that led me to ask this but simple curiosity....

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:52 AM
I usually only use the mod tags if I am commenting in a thread which is in a forum I moderate. At that point, I will no longer moderate in that thread, having contributed in it as a member.

Occasionally, I'll use the tags if I think my opinion post might be construed as a moderator action. It's a personal choice to use them or not.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 10:18 AM
Sounds like the correct answer is "all of the above ... and then some!"

I think I am more confused that ever -- good thing it is only a curiosity and not something critical.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 10:30 AM
It's an option we have so as not to, on a sensitive topic, confuse members into thinking our opinions as members, might somehow be an attempt at moderating.

I seldom use it, but occasionally I'll break it out when I feel especially strongly about some issue or other.

The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

Like now

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 10:35 AM
I hardly ever use it (but have on occasion) since we do not moderate threads we post in with our thoughts and opinions.

I figured that the members are smart enough to know and understand that moderators are people too and have opinions and the right to still voice it. And if this is not known (to new people) then Please read: Moderators Are People Too.

Its just a code we use. Sort of like using the coding for EX tags or the coding for hyperlinking or bolding text, etc.

[edit on August 23rd 2010 by greeneyedleo]

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 04:48 PM
I have never used it.

Not because I'm in any way forgetful or too lazy to type in the required coding-tags to get any input 'Mod-Framed'...rather its just a personal thing.

I kinda feel I should hold myself accountable - and also be held accountable - for anything I post. Be it in Mod capacity or contributing Member capacity.

I'm me.
The SuperMod title under my name doesn't make me any more or any less. So I stand by whatever it is I say...and if I'm wrong I fall by whatever I say.

Just as I'll view you or any other Member or Staff Member as an individual first and foremost, with individual opinions, then so too thats how I'd like to be viewed.

IF however I'm posting in 'Mod Mode' I indicate that very clearly with something like: Cue Standard Mod Speech or Polite Mod Request...and generally bold the content of those Mod In-thread Requests.

[edit on 23-8-2010 by alien]

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 05:06 PM
I have used it only a couple of times but have decided that I would rather unnecessarily adds more 'clutter' to the post in my opinion.

That said, it is a preference thing and can be a useful reminder if there is a contentious topic that a Staff Member would like to weigh in on...

posted on Aug, 27 2010 @ 01:44 PM
As a Super, don't have "assigned" forums any longer, so guess that's why I never saw the tag, hehe...

As Alien said though, I too just prefer to be accountable for anything I post in whatever capacity.

posted on Aug, 27 2010 @ 06:05 PM
And it should also be pointed out that just because a Moderator is not directly assigned to a particular forum (as indicated in the list at the bottom), that does not automatically mean that a mod will not moderate that forum. For example, I have Skunk Works as one of my assigned forums. That doesn't mean that I cannot or will not mark an Off Topic post in the 9/11 forum (which is not an assigned forum) as Off Topic if the post needs to be marked as Off Topic.

As for the Mod As Member Text box, I tend to use it more often than others do when I post. Especially if I did not start the topic or feel that the subject matter is controversial or not something that I would want anyone to read as a "staff" opinion.

A good example would be if I were to say something along the lines of 9/11 has been exploited among many lines and were to detail them. Clearly that would be a stated opinion, but as a moderator, I wouldn't want it to be misunderstood that I was speaking for the rest of staff while making such a comment.

Another example would be if I were to make a thread titled "How to Make the Perfect Thread In Order To Receive the Most Replies". Anyone familiar with my thread history would know that I was talking out butt, as I do not receive many replies as rule, however the casual reader may think that it is an Official How To by a member of the staff, and become rather upset when they average the same 7-11 replies I tend to average. For those that like statistics, the average for the site as a whole is roughly 16 repliers per thread.

The finally consideration is this, was the above posted information "official" or personal opinion? Was I speaking from a knowledge or personal observation? It is rather ambiguous and could be either way. 16:1 posts to threads may seem like a made up ratio. It is actually found on the site statistics, which makes it as official as it gets. Hence the above was not in a Mod as Member box and since I was speaking mainly as a staff member (with some personal observation thrown in), no box needed.

Ultimately the use or lack thereof is indeed a personal choice, because nothing says that we ever have to use them. Although there are some suggested guidelines for their use somewhere.

And to clear up another question, you see a post from staff in a thread to stay on topic (or some various other public service announcement). That participation is indeed as a moderator. And it becomes likely that they will moderate that thread if it is needed.

posted on Aug, 27 2010 @ 06:10 PM
I think all moderators should be added to my foe list,as they all keep us on our toes!

Outside of being regular members, they have to monitor the rest of us, when we, miss behave.

If they were anything less than people who point out, when we behave in a bad way, as members themselves, I would have been done with this site a long time ago!

posted on Aug, 27 2010 @ 06:33 PM
Just like Alien, I specifically do not use it.

I like to credit ATS members with being astute enough to distinguish when I am posting as a member and when I am posting as a moderator.

As moderators we are ethically required to refrain from moderating threads in which we are participating so I don't see the reason to add the box to my opinion posts on a specific topic.

It's not complicated.

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