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Moderation policy

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GuyBarry
1245187.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:05 pm Reply with quote

Could I please have some clarification about who's moderating this forum? On the "What Fresh Hell is This?" sub-forum, the moderators are listed as:

Flash, Jenny, QI Moderator

Now I'm reading that private messages to the moderators are being circulated to people who aren't on that list. Also, the contents of those private messages are being discussed openly on the forum, which I regard as a gross breach of netiquette.

I'm not party to this particular dispute but it's starting to worry me. I'd be worried about sending a private message to the moderators if I thought it was going to be forwarded to all and sundry.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1245188.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:24 pm Reply with quote

These forums are not run in a particularly conventional manner. It comes up from time to time, but don't expect things to change. You'll eventually get used to it.

To the best of my knowledge, the moderators are Jenny, Suze, dr.bob, swot and 'yorz. Flash is, as far as I know, pretty much the owner of the forums, but he doesn't spend much time in the public section where we post. QI Moderator is an account that some of the mods log into to do more complicated stuff.

I'm sure if I've got any of that wrong, or left anyone out, someone will mention it in subsequent posts.

 
'yorz
1245192.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:38 pm Reply with quote

That pretty much explains it. When someone post a SPAM-alert, I will have to log back in under the QIMod umbrella in order to deal with those spammers. That is my main job. Anything more complicated will be dealt with by the more senior Mods with more extensive powers.
If anybody PMs a Mod, the other mods will mostly remain oblivious to that PM - it's personal. It is only when certain situations arise that certain PMs will get discussed among the Mods.

 
GuyBarry
1245193.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:48 pm Reply with quote

Alfred E Neuman wrote:
These forums are not run in a particularly conventional manner. It comes up from time to time, but don't expect things to change. You'll eventually get used to it.


I've been here for several years and the issue hasn't come up so far. Maybe because I've stayed out of the more "controversial" parts of the forum until now.

Quote:
To the best of my knowledge, the moderators are Jenny, Suze, dr.bob, swot and 'yorz.


And how am I supposed to guess that? On other forums I take part in, it's clearly stated who the moderators are - their names usually come up with "moderator" beneath them, or they're shown in a different colour, or something like that. Here, there's no indication. Had I known that some of those other people were moderators I might have behaved a little differently. No one from that list is mentioned apart from Jenny.

Quote:
Flash is, as far as I know, pretty much the owner of the forums, but he doesn't spend much time in the public section where we post. QI Moderator is an account that some of the mods log into to do more complicated stuff.

I'm sure if I've got any of that wrong, or left anyone out, someone will mention it in subsequent posts.


Hmm. Why is this forum trying to mislead its members? Why not just tell them who the moderators are?

 
Alfred E Neuman
1245195.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:58 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
I've been here for several years and the issue hasn't come up so far. Maybe because I've stayed out of the more "controversial" parts of the forum until now.


You've been a member for several years, but haven't been particularly active for many of them.

GuyBarry wrote:
Hmm. Why is this forum trying to mislead its members? Why not just tell them who the moderators are?


I'm pretty sure it's just an oversight, and not a delberate attempt to mislead anyone. I've personally never cared who is a moderator and who isn't. I'm certainly not going to behave any differently just because someone is or isn't a moderator, so to me, it doesn't matter in the slightest whose name is on the list.

If you wish to draw a moderators attention to something that bothers you, Jenny is still the person to start with. Just don't expect her to behave in a way in which you're accustomed to moderators behaving, she's unique :-)

 
GuyBarry
1245200.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:18 pm Reply with quote

Alfred E Neuman wrote:
GuyBarry wrote:
I've been here for several years and the issue hasn't come up so far. Maybe because I've stayed out of the more "controversial" parts of the forum until now.


You've been a member for several years, but haven't been particularly active for many of them.


I've been here for just over four years and made 1775 posts - that's 1.21 posts a day, according to the forum software. I don't know how that compares with others but I'd say it's reasonably "active".

Quote:
GuyBarry wrote:
Hmm. Why is this forum trying to mislead its members? Why not just tell them who the moderators are?


I'm pretty sure it's just an oversight, and not a delberate attempt to mislead anyone. I've personally never cared who is a moderator and who isn't. I'm certainly not going to behave any differently just because someone is or isn't a moderator, so to me, it doesn't matter in the slightest whose name is on the list.


It didn't to me until recently, because I was mainly involved in game threads and other light-hearted stuff. However, now that I've got involved in some of the more serious discussions, it makes a lot of difference.

A little while ago, I made some offensive comments as you know, and Jenny asked me to withdraw them, so I did. I did so because I knew she was a moderator. If the request had come from one of those other "secret" moderators, I might not have behaved in the same way.

Quote:
If you wish to draw a moderators attention to something that bothers you, Jenny is still the person to start with. Just don't expect her to behave in a way in which you're accustomed to moderators behaving, she's unique :-)


Well thanks for the info, but shouldn't this information be made generally available to the members? Or are we all supposed to guess?

Like I said elsewhere - it's a public forum, not a private one. If you're going to allow anyone to join, you should let them know how the forum's run.

 
swot
1245202.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:37 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
That pretty much explains it. When someone post a SPAM-alert, I will have to log back in under the QIMod umbrella in order to deal with those spammers. That is my main job. Anything more complicated will be dealt with by the more senior Mods with more extensive powers.
If anybody PMs a Mod, the other mods will mostly remain oblivious to that PM - it's personal. It is only when certain situations arise that certain PMs will get discussed among the Mods.


Same with me. I don't do any serious moderating, like Jenny and suze do. I just delete the spam.

 
suze
1245212.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:32 pm Reply with quote

I don't especially want to wade into the particular debate, but I'll correct a couple of misunderstandings.


The owner of these forums is John Lloyd CBE. He hasn't posted on the public forums for some considerable time, but he still pays the (fairly small) costs of running them. He was never an active moderator, because he had people for that.

Flash runs the TV show these days, but as suggested he rarely involves himself with the public forums. At one time he did which is why he has moderatorial powers, but I can only recall him actually using those powers once in the last five years.

Jenny is the primary moderator. A handful of other people do have the power to delete posts, primarily in order to get rid of spam. (We used to get a lot more of that than we do now. Long may the relatively low spam volume of recent time continue, but at one time it was hundreds per day and could not realistically be dealt with by just one person.)

Those people are dr.bob (whom we style as the IT Elf, because he does the technical website stuff that the rest of us don't understand), me, swot, and 'yorz. A couple of other people have / have had the keys to the moderation tools but are no longer involved here.

From here on I speak only for myself. In practice, I don't do any moderating beyond deleting spam unless it's particularly urgent and Jenny is not immediately available. For instance, if a clear libel is posted, which has happened once or twice.

In any post that I make, you may take it that I speak for myself unless I make it plain that I speak ex cathedra. That has only ever happened a single digit number of times, and is not happening at this moment.

If you ever get the impression that I'm looking at you over the top of my glasses when I post, well maybe I am. But that's because I'm a bossy cow, not because I'm acting as a moderator.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1245213.  Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:37 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
I've been here for just over four years and made 1775 posts - that's 1.21 posts a day, according to the forum software. I don't know how that compares with others but I'd say it's reasonably "active".


GuyBarry wrote:
...because I was mainly involved in game threads and other light-hearted stuff.


You joined and posted for a while in the games threads. Then you didn't post for quite a while, and then came back and tried to get us to race another forum in a game. You didn't post much for a while after that. Lately you've been back and posting quite a few posts a day, starting in the game threads and most recently moving out into the less light-hearted threads. I don't consider ten posts a day in the games thread to be active. That's just killing time.

So it's not surprising if you're not particularly familiar with the workings of and personalities on the forum.

GuyBarry wrote:
Like I said elsewhere - it's a public forum, not a private one. If you're going to allow anyone to join, you should let them know how the forum's run.


Like I said above, it's not a conspiracy, it's an oversight, try not to take it personally. If It bothers you, why not just ask one of the moderators directly if it can be changed? Your approach of complaining and implying that the moderators have deliberately mislead you is not the best way to get it changed.



The following is not a direct reply to you, just my thoughts on moderation policy.

I don't agree that there need to be hard and fast rules that are published and then enforced with no latitude. I prefer a forum where you can do whatever you feel is appropriate, and if you do cross a line, you are politely told, and asked to withdraw the remark. Even then, you're well within your rights to refuse, and if the moderators feel strongly enough they will remove or edit your post. I typically adopt the approach that if I bothered to post it In the first place, and I haven't been shown to be wrong, I'll not recant, but then, I'm a stubborn old fart.

It's almost impossible to get banned from here, a point which has both its upsides and downsides, depending on whether you're then one offending people or the one being offended.

If this were a more conventional forum, with published rules (which almost always involve a ban on insulting other members), I suspect that both PDR and I would have been banned a while back. But we haven't. We're still both here, and even though we still annoy the crap out of each other from time to time, we are also still able to co-exist without every single post ending in a flame war. From time to time we'll even agree on something, which would not be the case if we'd been banned.

There are plenty of forums with rigid rules and armies of moderators enforcing them. While I see here as a refreshing change from those forums, it doesn't stop me from being an active and happy member of some of those forums, and it doesn't stop the members of those forums complaining about the moderation either.

I can't think of a situation where the members have had a significant influence on the moderation of a forum. I'm sure there are some, just that I haven't witnessed one yet. It's almost always a case of fit in or leave.

 
dr.bob
1245242.  Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:03 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
A little while ago, I made some offensive comments as you know, and Jenny asked me to withdraw them, so I did. I did so because I knew she was a moderator. If the request had come from one of those other "secret" moderators, I might not have behaved in the same way.


Which is, of course, absolutely fine. The QI talk forums pride themselves on their extremely light touch when it comes to moderation. This can be either a good or a bad thing, as others have pointed out, but it's how we've chosen to run things and it seems to work pretty well.

In practise, we assume that everyone is a grown-up and that they will listen to reasoned argument. If a moderator asks someone to remove a post, they will explain why and hope that the poster agrees. The poster, of course, has the option to ignore the request if they wish.

The only special power that moderators have is the power to delete other people's posts. Usually it's only Jenny who wields this power, and then only in extremis.

GuyBarry wrote:
Like I said elsewhere - it's a public forum, not a private one. If you're going to allow anyone to join, you should let them know how the forum's run.


For the most part, the forum isn't "run." We generally just leave people to get on with it.

I think the main reason the moderators aren't formally identified is partly because they're volunteers, so they tend to come and go. Mostly, however, it's because we believe everyone has an equal right to be heard and they should change their behaviour because they have been convinced that they've done something wrong, rather than just because a moderator told them that what they did breached some arbitrary rule that was written down by some arbitrary person at some point in the past.

 
'yorz
1245245.  Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:19 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
I think the main reason the moderators aren't formally identified is partly because they're volunteers

To explain even more - at a time when the influx of daily spam-attacks was particularly dire, and Jenny/suze couldn't cope because they got a life apart of the forum and therefore couldn't be online and shovel shit all of the time, they asked for volunteers to help out. Only swot and I replied. As I have stated before - I do not see myself as a 'proper' Mod - just an inhouse shit-shoveler. I would never ban/delete just for the fun of it or just because I can.

For the fact that I got exasperated by PDR's puerile behaviour once again, and that I referred to his PM'ed announcement that he would cease contributing to that particular thread and then didn't even last 24 hours (a recurring theme), I did apologise to Jenny. Not because barbados thought that would be the done thing, but because after reflection I thought myself that it had not been ethical.

 
barbados
1245247.  Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:45 am Reply with quote

Apologising because "it's the done thing" is an empty gesture. But you did use a private message to add fuel to a flaming situation that was going on. You might have thought it was acceptable at the time, personally I didn't. And for me to come to PDRs defence it should give you some idea as to how much I think you (and dr.bob) was wrong in your action.

Perhaps, in future, you might want to hold back with the submit button when you are posting your judgemental stuff - you're fast enough to jump on people when they are fat finger typing on their phone to make yourself feel better - maybe it's time to start considering others?

 
'yorz
1245260.  Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:54 am Reply with quote

barbados - you didn't properly read my previous post.
And as for me making myself feel better - you are completely wrong.
I have explained umpteen times why I value people (including myself) taking the time to write clear messages with as few errors as possible.
Now stop going on about it. You have made your point - whether I agree or not is another thing.

 
barbados
1245266.  Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:54 am Reply with quote

The trouble with that attitude - is it prompts comments like
Quote:
At least I can spell "Spielberg"!

Again, it's needlessly aggressive, and the person that made that post knows very little of the circumstances of the person that made the original post.
Hoever when you made the post
[quote='yorz"]Speilberg?[/quote]
You knew exactly what the person that made the error has been dealing with.
That means one of two things - either you thought it would be funny to point out someone else error, or you were thoughtless in your comments. And in your thoughtlessness, you open up the doors for others to be equally rude.

So no I will not "stop going on about it" until you learn some manners

 
Jenny
1245280.  Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:23 am Reply with quote

The explanations by suze, 'yorz and dr.bob above are accurate. The non-named mods use the QIModerator login to delete spam, as their own logins don't give them the ability to delete posts, any more than any other poster can delete somebody else's post. I have never known any of them to delete posts other than spam, and if they did I would change the login details for QIModerator immediately so they would be unable to do it again.

However, because (as pointed out above) moderating these forums is not a full-time occupation, it is necessary for those with moderating ability to occasionally share information if a scenario is blowing up that I simply can't sit on the whole time. This is the only situation in which I ever share a PM in part or in full, and in fact I shared my own PM response as well so we could have a common understanding of the approach. Other than that, PMs are confidential.

I do this partly because occasionally we have had posts that expose this forum to legal liabilities, and we need the ability to respond quickly to those, and partly because occasionally we have disputes between forum members that are ruining the experience of the forums for everybody else. As not everybody reads all threads all the time those with moderating abilities need to be able to jump in and try and deal with it if I'm not there.

Mostly I prefer not to have rigid rules or to moderate very visibly, because I like to think that members of this forum are adults and can sort things out between themselves. I prefer not to be nanny. I tend to hope that when issues are pointed out, reasonable people will act reasonably. I have very rarely had to ban anybody from this forum simply for being obnoxious. In my experience, people who are occasionally acting obnoxiously still have valuable things to contribute and it's better to simply warn and discuss it with them.

 

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