Moderators Are People Too. (and they have opinions)

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posted on Oct, 31 2005 @ 04:43 PM
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Well. I for one love mods and have little voodoo altars in my basement where I worship.

HOWEVER. It is a very real occurrance that mods sometimes edit too freely with apparent impunity in the more subjective of guideline areas. A fine for a one line post is indisputable I guess at all times. But what about a partial edit because something "wasn't funny"? That's OPINION the last time that I checked. Can't the mod just say that he/she didn't find it funny in a POST? Yeah mods, god bless 'em have opinions. And they can edit accordingly.

It puzzles me how a post can be edited within minutes of going live yet a plea for an unbiased opinion regarding the matter goes unanswered indefinitely.

Such is life and such is ATS.

I fully expect someone to perform a "cute" edit within this post. It's sad that I EXPECT it. Where is the mutual respect? I'm a people too people. Besides, just look at my picture. I'm HUu-uuuuGEEEEEEE. I am well versed in pressure points and can also teleport freely during a brawl. In addition my Uncle Herman works parking surveillance at a secret government agency's home office. He has the hook-ups.

Disclaimer: GO MODS!!!


[edit on 31-10-2005 by 2nd Hand Thoughts]




posted on Dec, 24 2005 @ 08:44 PM
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Or maybe not so long-- I don't know yet. Knowing myself as I do though, I expect it'll be long.

First-- insulting though at least one member of admin has claimed the assertion to be, mods ARE authority figures. That's the specific thing that separates mods from regular members-- they have some measure of authority here. Yes, they may want to continue to participate in the forums and treat others and be treated by others as regular contributing members, but in the end, they do have authority.

With authority comes at least the possibility of abusing that authority. While I have yet to see any truly egregious abuses of that authority, it must not be forgotten that the possibility exists. For mods and admin to state, categorically, that mods do NOT abuse their authority is an open invitation for those who are so inclined to do so, and for those who see abuse everywhere to see it here.

Of course it's possible that the fact that they can abuse their authority is something of which they are aware and even something that they discuss and even, potentially, something about which they occasionally take action, and the intent of the statements defending mods here on the public boards is but an attempt to avoid discrediting all of them over the actions of a few. From a strategic viewpoint, I can see some advantage to this, but I can't help but think that ONLY discussing potential mod abuse ("spite-modding," as I've seen it referred to elsewhere) in private has the same effect as not discussing it at all-- it leads the members to believe that the actions of mods are never questioned, and that there are no cases in which their actions are perceived, by the admin and the other mods, to be anything other than entirely acceptable. I personally think that the occasional public flogging of a mod who has abused his/her authority would do wonders to limit the suspicions levelled against them by the anti-authoritarians amongst us.


Additionally-- with authority comes responsibility. The mods have an ongoing responsibility to conduct themselves in the manner that is expected of the members here. Of course they're human, and of course they'll fail to do so, at least from time to time. However, mods MUST, specifically because of the authority that they have been granted, make a deliberate effort to abide by at least the basic rules of this forum and to ensure that the other mods are doing the same. While mods might resent being held to a higher standard, their authority means that they must be. At the very least, in order to maintain their credibility, they must freely admit their errors.

Yes, they're certainly human, just as all of us are, and yes, they'll certainly sometimes fail to live up to their responsibilities, just as all of us do. But the rest of us aren't entrusted with authority-- the rest of us have no practical reason to maintain the respect of the community. Many among us hold the respect of others in high regard, and do whatever we can to maintain it, but that's our choice-- we don't HAVE to do that in order to continue being members. However, mods, in order to continue functioning as mods, HAVE to keep the respect of others. That means, like it or not, that they're held to a standard that only some of the members maintain, and that none of the members have to maintain.

And honestly, I would have to think that among the fundamental prerequisites for anyone even being considered for a mod position would be the fact that they already hold themselves to such a standard, and already earn the respect of the other members.


Diverging slightly...

Personally, I find the sheer number of moderators here, and the powers that they have been granted, to be sort of odd and unsettling. This is, after all, a conspiracy oriented website. Conspiracies are carried out by people who have entirely too much power, so it seems odd that a site devoted to the study of the subject would have so many people with so much power. And honestly, the mods are going to be criticized here, even more than they might be elsewhere, simply because the kind of people who frequent this site are already, for the most part, deeply suspicious of those who wield power. It actually could be said that the mods here have an even greater responsibility to explicitly follow the rules, to not abuse their power and to not tolerate others among the mods who fail to follow the rules and/or who abuse their power simply because the particular people who frequent this site are already inclined to suspect such abuses. And that's another reason why actions taken against mods should be public rather than private. While that might lead to some animosity and drama on the boards, it's not as if there isn't already animosity and drama, and there are already rules in place to deal with excesses of either one, and, at the very least, such public floggings would forestall the suspicion, evident among many of the members here, that such floggings don't happen at all, and that the mods are above the rules.


But yes, mods are only human, and it's really not fair to demand that they be held to a higher standard than everyone else.

But they do have authority that others don't have, and with that authority comes responsibility.

But they really do seem to be, almost without exception, fine human beings.

But if there's even the possibility that any among them might abuse their positions of authority, that is something of which all of the admin and mods must be aware, and regarding which they must be ready and willing to take action if necessary.

But I'm certain it's frustrating to be held to a higher standard when one simply wants to express an opinion.

But... well... them's the breaks.


I'll tell ya one thing-- they definitely don't get paid enough.




Edited postscript-- this is not, nor was it ever intended to be, anything other than a general response to this thread. It has nothing to do with any particular mods, but was rather meant solely to be a general statement regarding the overall management of this site, the authority and responsibilities of moderators, and the relationship between the moderators and the members. Honestly.

[edit on 25-12-2005 by Bob LaoTse]



posted on Dec, 24 2005 @ 08:52 PM
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Bob, damn man, sorry but you should see the difference between ATS and PTS. PTS is wide open with the limitation of attacking members. You know what I mean?



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 12:10 AM
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I myself don't have any current or outstanding issues with any mods but here is how I saw/experienced two instances:

1. A thread closed down by a mod or mods because it ticked them off personally even thought the questions and comments were not aimed at any specific mod (just topics dealing with policy). Mod got in the last word and promptly closed the thread (U2Us unanswered).

FYI: The thread was then opened by a higher-level mod and then again promptly closed.

2. Mod upset when solicitations for U2Us go unanswered by members; yet this same mod didn't answer previous U2Us regarding a separate poster.

Mods do get paid Bob---they're paid in power/access. And also with bags of high quality salt.

[edit on 26-12-2005 by 2nd Hand Thoughts]



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 12:39 AM
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2nd Hand Thoughts, just my honest opinion: I find alot of what you have asserted to be incorrect concerning the staff. You have posted twice and of the two posts, it appears apparent that there remains an unresolved issue(s).

Again, in my honest opinion, instead of airing this as 'dirty laundry' type material, which rarely does any good even if you are correct, why not use the gripe/idea feature to file a complaint in the hopes of having this seemingly unresolved issue resolved? There is no reason that you should not receive a reply from a moderator, if applicable and valid.






seekerof

[edit on 26-12-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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seekerof -

The issues are "resolved" - a relative term open to interpretation and often closer in meaning to "case closed".

I'm just relating observations. Part of the problem is the assumption that following all correct channels available to members results in a "hunky dory" ending.

My only point at this point is that yes, mods and members have feelings and neither group is infallible when it comes to dealing with them perfectly and fairly. If I had a huge problem with the message board climate, I would leave. I accept inherent imperfections where us humans congregate and overall enjoy ATS.



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by 2nd Hand Thoughts
I'm just relating observations.

Understood.




Part of the problem is the assumption that following all correct channels available to members results in a "hunky dory" ending.

As a past moderator, I doubt there has ever been the indication or insinuation or assumption that following the correct channels available to ATS members will totally result in everything working out to a hunky dory ending. Far from it. Not all matters/issues can or will be resolved to the acceptance of both parties. The key here is reaching an agreeable middle ground, if applicable--which will not be the case with each and every matter/issue, and then moving on.




My only point at this point is that yes, mods and members have feelings and neither group is infallible when it comes to dealing with them perfectly and fairly. If I had a huge problem with the message board climate, I would leave. I accept inherent imperfections where us humans congregate and overall enjoy ATS.

Again, understood.








seekerof



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 10:12 AM
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The Pragmatic Hunky Dory


Originally posted by 2nd Hand Thoughts
I'm just relating observations. Part of the problem is the assumption that following all correct channels available to members results in a "hunky dory" ending.

Just to chime in with Seekerof on this, if "hunky dory" means the complaining member gets the staff to make an exception or change to site policy, then the overwhelming majority of complaints do not lead to this outcome.

Also, reinforcing what Seekerof pointed out, I am unaware of any member of the staff at any time ever even remotely suggesting that all member complaints will result in members getting what they want, so I have no idea where that assumption comes from.

Rather, the complaint process allows members to present their grievances for a staff review that includes the oversight of member-elected Councilors.

If a complaint is considered reasonable by the senior staff, who are informed and advised by the moderator staff and Member Council, then they may, at their sole discretion, take action to make things right.

Having monitored the Complaints forum for about five months as a Councilor, I saw this happen now and then.

However, it was the rare exception, because the overwhelming majority of complaints I saw weren't even close to being reasonable.


Still, the staff looks at every single one of them and discusses many of them at length as they consider their merits.

They do listen, and if members have a reasonable complaint, the staff will try to straighten things out.

That's about as hunky dory as it gets.



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 10:16 AM
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everytime I see this thread title only one things comes to mind and thats depeche mode...

*casts a 1984 spell*

People are people
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
People are people
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully

So we’re different colours
And we’re different creeds
And different people
Have different needs
It’s obvious you hate me
Though I’ve done nothing wrong
I’ve never even met you
So what could I have done
I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand
People are people
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
People are people
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
Help me understand
Help me understand

Now you’re punching
And you’re kicking
And you’re shouting at me
And I’m relying on your common decency
So far it hasn’t surfaced
But I’m sure it exists
It just takes a while to travel
From your head to your fist (head to your fists)
I can’t understand what makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand
People are people
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully
People are people
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully

I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand
I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand
I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
I can’t understand (people are people)
What makes a man (why should it be)
Hate another man
Help me understand...



bleh i gotta go pay for class now



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 10:53 AM
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I've been sort of following this thread as time permits and I want to point out a couple factoids...


EVERY gripe/idea is reviewed by the staff. As Majic points out MANY of them are simply unreasonable or one-sided.

Does the staff at ATS screw up? HELL YES! We are Human Beings and screw up all the time. Do we dicuss it and do our level best to correct a screw up? HELL YES!

The gripes that get handled FIRST are breaches of the T&C or reports of bad behavior toward another member. This INCLUDES members complaining about Staff.

We act on issues that we deem critical to the welfare of the site. This community is the prime objective and it MUST be protected from the typical riff raff that scours the net. It will always be protected from spammers, flamers, marketers, etc...

When you submit a Gripe/Idea rest assured it will be seen and, if it has any merit, will be discussed and decided upon in short order. We may not reply to you directly but you will see the effects if you look for them and there was reason for change.


We, in no way, desire to indicate that we will act on all gripes/ideas, that will never happen.

Springer...



[edit on 12-27-2005 by Springer]



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by Springer
EVERY gripe/idea is reviewed by the staff. As Majic points out MANY of them are simply unreasonable or one-sided.


In fact, every member of the Staff. Even the Council members have access and are involved, with new ideas for the improvment being taken into the Council forum.

No matter your problem, it is important that you post them but you have to remember that many of them are personal issues that you yourself have. If they are not violations of the T&C, or any of the other rules it is doubtful that anything will be done or can be done - it would be wrong to introduce laws retroactively to "ban" or "warn" members.

Just be assured, if you post a gripe/idea, the Staff and Council will do their best to review it and to make your stay on the site enjoyable - which is why you are treated the same.



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by twitchy
Mod's sometimes need to learn to sit back and relax,

You've missed the whole point.

The point is that the staff of this board also get heated on some of our topics, and desire to engage in debate just as much (or more so) than our members.

Members sometimes need to learn to sit back and relax when moderators have opinions too.


Of course mods have opinions. My only beef with that is when a mod makes decisions about moving threads and deducting points, etc. based on their opinions. For those kinds of actions, IMHO they need to remain neutral.



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
My only beef with that is when a mod makes decisions about moving threads and deducting points, etc. based on their opinions. For those kinds of actions, IMHO they need to remain neutral.


If you suspect that a moderator is moderating the board based on personal beliefs rather than the T&C's of use you should file a complaint. The owners and administrators of this site would not allow this type of attitude in one of their moderators.

I'm sure the owners and admin would find what you describe even more offensive than you.



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 02:07 PM
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Originally posted by kinglizard
If you suspect that a moderator is moderating the board based on personal beliefs rather than the T&C's of use you should file a complaint. The owners and administrators of this site would not allow this type of attitude in one of their moderators.

I'm sure the owners and admin would find what you describe even more offensive than you.



On the positive side, I consider Amuk as a good example of a mod with sometimes strong opinions that is also able to keep that separate from his 'administrative' duties.



posted on Dec, 27 2005 @ 09:54 PM
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you cannot have your motto as deny ignorance if you deny the mosttrusted people the chance to voice their oppinions.

however...

mods should give a disclaimer indicating that they are not posting as a mod but as a fellow member and that they are not using their privelages as a moderater to influence others. By the way how would someone become a mod I am moderately(no pun intended) interested.



posted on Dec, 29 2005 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by TristanBW9456
By the way how would someone become a mod I am moderately(no pun intended) interested.


NEVER asking to become one is the first step. We find the best Mods are people who don't want to be Moderators. Seriously.

We base our decisions on history. If someone has been here a long time, has never caused any drama, is a SMART, KIND and HELPFUL person we consider them.

A "disclaimer" from Mods posting is totally unnecessary. Our staff NEVER use their "powers" (Mods have virtually ZERO permanent power over Members anyway, they like it that way since NOBODY likes a "power tripper") to influence a discussion. It's ludicrous to even consider, our Members are WAY too shrewd for that ignorance.


Springer...



posted on Dec, 29 2005 @ 02:03 PM
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well I stopped quallifieing on my first few posts then



posted on Dec, 29 2005 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by Bob LaoTse
Personally, I find the sheer number of moderators here, and the powers that they have been granted, to be sort of odd and unsettling.


I can answer that one easily. (Despite what many think) Moderators can't and don't look at every single post that's made. There are days when you can't check your assigned forum and it's nice to know that someone else most likely will check up on it if you don't.

Instead of unsettling I find it refreshing to browse through a forum that doesn't have spam or links to porn in every other post. It's nice to see a forum where cursing and swearing are very limited, insults are saved for the true idiots and not just anyone you disagree with, and people don't copy-past 10,000 line web pages into the discussion. Recently I was looking through a Google maps discussion and was completely frustrated by all of the above problems. Thankfully here these things are limited to the exception.



posted on Jan, 4 2006 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by Springer
A "disclaimer" from Mods posting is totally unnecessary. Our staff NEVER use their "powers" (Mods have virtually ZERO permanent power over Members anyway, they like it that way since NOBODY likes a "power tripper") to influence a discussion. It's ludicrous to even consider, our Members are WAY too shrewd for that ignorance.


pringer...


Well. Getting in the last word in a thread and then shutting it down amid cries of "drama" is sort of frustrating to those of us who are "dramatic" members (aka vocal). Just a thought. I've gotten replies containing "drama" (the word) from the top of ATS down. It's a bad buzzword in my opinion and belongs over in Double Speak. It might not be double speak per say but it is a loaded term.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:02 PM
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This thread was in dire need of a reply, so that ot may be drawn to certain members attention. *cough* My new friend, uptight,*cough* I mean, Unright.

Along with any and all others who have thus far not read and considered what is contained within.





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