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Moderation of boards as a whole.

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  • https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=110598157&postcount=940

    I was surprised to see this post was infracted. Any clarification available?

    The OP has DRP available if they wish to appeal. Otherwise, I suggest you cont at the forum mods for clarification.

    As this is an individual issue, please do not bring up here any more




  • dudara wrote: »
    The OP has DRP available if they wish to appeal. Otherwise, I suggest you cont at the forum mods for clarification.

    As this is an individual issue, please do not bring up here any more

    OK.




  • I've just had an idea, related to the topic at hand. More of a suggestion, so not sure if this is the right place.

    But it seems that there is a problem for boards admins/mods when they receive so many complaints/reports they feel they must do something.

    However 'the other side' argues that they are using this as a tactic to shut down debate.

    Resolution:

    For people that abuse the report button, lower their reporting privileges, or remove them altogether.
    Moderators/admins can judge who abuses the button, based on reports given by that user, and rate them on a scale or something. This affects the person who reports in the future. Someone who rarely makes a report would have their opinion hold extra weight.

    There used to be a concept that if you falsely accused someone of something there were repercussions.
    Does anyone think this to be a good idea?




  • If someone is abusing the Report Post function, the moderators will often have a quiet word with them, or we will card/ban them if they don’t cop on.

    Fundamentally, I believe everyone has the right to report posts, even if they are reporting for spurious reasons some of the time. If they are becoming a time sink, we will deal with them as above.




  • If you were better able to rely on reports as genuine; moderation would become a whole easier. According to twitter; I'd assume the same for boards, they are inundated with 'fake' reports all the time.

    I would venture to guess <1% of reports get acted upon. If this is so, why not introduce measures to make people think before they report?(whatever they may be)

    Or, without going into too much detail, would you argue you act on >1% of reports?


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  • Contentious forums, eg where emotions run high, are the ones with the greatest report rates. Examples would be Soccer and CA. This because posters get caught up in the debate and report other posters with whom they don’t agree. For the most part, posters don’t step back and apply the charter rules logically and impartially.

    Since I’ve started to moderate CA, I do find that the majority of the Reported Posts are not actionable. I estimate that it’s probably in the 80-90% range. However, in the other forums I moderate, I would say that the level of non-actionable posts is much lower. It’s probably the flip opposite, 80-90% are actioned, and 10-20% not actioned.

    So IMO this is not a consistent problem across Boards. It is IMO only in certain forums where posters do not understand the charter or do not apply the charter. Our mod tools do not allow us to link reported posts to actions taken, so I can’t pull statistics to substantiate what my gut instinct is telling me.




  • dudara wrote: »
    Contentious forums, eg where emotions run high, are the ones with the greatest report rates. Examples would be Soccer and CA. This because posters get caught up in the debate and report other posters with whom they don’t agree.

    These are the posters I'm suggesting to warn in some way about reporting because they disagree with opinion. I suggest they come mostly from one ideological bent. At least that's what twitter suggests.

    Forums like AH/Politics have excluded a lot of dissenting opinion at this stage, I'm sure levels of reports are lower.

    I understand if you don't have the tools to do this. Was just a suggestion if this could work in some way. Especially for new forums like CA where opinions will be emotionally charged, and the football.




  • Kimsang wrote: »
    These are the posters I'm suggesting to warn in some way about reporting because they disagree with opinion. I suggest they come mostly from one ideological bent. At least that's what twitter suggests.

    To be honest, there’s an even mix. I haven’t really seen a clear bent or bias to reported posts. It varies all the time depending on the topic.
    Forums like AH/Politics have excluded a lot of dissenting opinion at this stage, I'm sure levels of reports are lower.

    AH has calmed down a lot since the creation of CA. Prior to that aH would have generated a fair few reported posts. Politics, I’m not so sure on. It is again a forum with entrenched views, but a strong charter and well established ways of working.
    I understand if you don't have the tools to do this. Was just a suggestion if this could work in some way. Especially for new forums like CA where opinions will be emotionally charged, and the football.

    See, it’s not even not having the tools. I don’t want to censor any one’s right to report a post. Let them report away, as long as they’re not abusing the functionality. As a mod, it is my responsibility to filter through them and take action, in conjunction with my fellow mods.

    If we implemented what you are suggesting, we would be pre-judging and I just don’t think that’s right or fair.




    • If you apply for a loan you are prejudged on whether you have previous credit history.
    • When you testify as a witness, you are prejudged on whether you have lied before.
    • If you report to the guards or emergency services unnecessarily, they will penalize you.


    I get that you don't want to remove people's right to report and I agree with the sentiment. But there should be a penalty for people that abuse the system, and it certainly would also help moderation in the process, and it would also allow for better debate in contentious forums.




  • It could be better tbh that's not to bait the plenty of decent mods out there. I have a question though can mods be stripped easily enough due to lack of activity and without going into too much detail what are the main reasons mods do get stripped. There are certain that come in to hand out sanctions or close threads despite the fact I rarely see them posting in a particular thread.

    There are also some mods out there that I've rarely seen carry out actions of being a mod. Also plenty of good posters on here that I think would make brilliant mods better than some of the current mods I hope these posters aren't mods purely out of choice and not because they haven't been asked.


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  • oholly121 wrote: »
    Thinking that the possibility of saying anything negative about mods on this forum could have one ended up banned

    Might explain the lack of input and replies !!

    That's one of the big problem I have with boards' moderation. Several forums I frequent actively state that you cannot reply or comment on any on-thread mod actions or you yourself will be punished. Seems incredibly hypocritical.

    Not to mention the times I've reported posts and basically gotten replies back laughing at me asking what the hell I was even reporting that for.

    In some ways, it makes the reddit moderation system far better.




  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    That's one of the big problem I have with boards' moderation. Several forums I frequent actively state that you cannot reply or comment on any on-thread mod actions or you yourself will be punished. Seems incredibly hypocritical.

    At the risk of being perceived as combative or defensive, let me try to respond to that statement. Replying back to, or debating a mod instruction on thread has been a Boards no-no for a long time. This is to prevent threads getting de-railed with discussion on moderation. Threads should be focused on the topic at hand after all.

    But, and this important, we don’t ban or forbid discussion of mod actions at all. Posters can contact mods m, CMods or Admins directly, or they can open a discussion thread in the Help desk. We are simply asking that they don’t do it in the original thread.




  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    That's one of the big problem I have with boards' moderation. Several forums I frequent actively state that you cannot reply or comment on any on-thread mod actions or you yourself will be punished. Seems incredibly hypocritical.

    Not to mention the times I've reported posts and basically gotten replies back laughing at me asking what the hell I was even reporting that for.

    In some ways, it makes the reddit moderation system far better.

    You have plenty of other avenues to raise issues or make complaints. Why turn a discussion on a relevant topic into a debate about moderation?


  • Boards.ie Community Manager


    Stephen15 wrote: »
    It could be better tbh that's not to bait the plenty of decent mods out there. I have a question though can mods be stripped easily enough due to lack of activity and without going into too much detail what are the main reasons mods do get stripped. There are certain that come in to hand out sanctions or close threads despite the fact I rarely see them posting in a particular thread.

    The majority of the time a mod is de-modded when they decide to step down themselves. They may no longer have the time to invest, particularly if they are modding a busy forum. Real life events will always take precedence over modding and that's exactly how it should be. They may have lost interest in the topic of the forum or in Boards in general. They may have agreed to mod but then found it was not something they enjoyed. It's rare that a mod is de-modded for anything else but on rare occasions can be that their viewpoint of how modding should be done does not correlate with the rest of the team. By team I mean other mods, Cmods, Admins and ourselves.

    Also on a rare occasion, a mod might not be online for a significant period of time. We'll try to contact them to see if everything is ok and if we get no response or a response to tell us they haven't the time at the moment then a replacement mod will be sought.
    Stephen15 wrote: »
    There are also some mods out there that I've rarely seen carry out actions of being a mod. Also plenty of good posters on here that I think would make brilliant mods better than some of the current mods I hope these posters aren't mods purely out of choice and not because they haven't been asked.
    We approach users to become mods based on their posting in the forums, usually they are suggested by other Mods/Cmods who know the forum and it's posters well. They do not volunteer to be a mod.




  • dudara wrote: »
    But, and this important, we don’t ban or forbid discussion of mod actions at all. Posters can contact mods m, CMods or Admins directly, or they can open a discussion thread in the Help desk. We are simply asking that they don’t do it in the original thread.

    its true that this type of discussion isnt banned, ive actually found some of the admins and mods really open and interested in what must be fairly boring or repetitive discussions on topics recently.

    its also true to say that ive started to feel the heat in other various ways from mods that may or may not be loving my input into feedback discussions.

    could that be what the poster refers to?





  • We approach users to become mods based on their posting in the forums, usually they are suggested by other Mods/Cmods who know the forum and it's posters well. They do not volunteer to be a mod.


    are there any other avenues that could or should be considered? could/should the community itself not have an input into nominating mods?

    it might help prevent any feeling that theres a bit of a closed shop or a groupthink vibe if the self-selecting were to be looked at?




  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    are there any other avenues that could or should be considered? could/should the community itself not have an input into nominating mods?

    it might help prevent any feeling that theres a bit of a closed shop or a groupthink vibe if the self-selecting were to be looked at?

    In effect the community *does* in fact cause potential mods to surface.

    Good, level headed posters are proposed by the sitting mods to the cmods who have a look at their posting history and / or any trouble they have caused recently and then send (or not ) them forward to admins for closer scrutiny.

    As you go up the mod chain, there is more information available. e.g. a popular poster now may have a bad history as a previous account. Equally they may not. None of that should be discussed in public as part of a popularity poll.

    We have a system that works well, there is oversight on many levels and is something I would not wish to change.




  • ^^^^^^But every now and again one chancer slips through the cracks. :D




  • Nosnon wrote: »
    ^^^^^^But every now and again one chancer slips through the cracks. :D

    :D

    Careful now, my banhammer is bigger than yores... :D




  • Steve wrote: »
    In effect the community *does* in fact cause potential mods to surface.

    Good, level headed posters are proposed by the sitting mods to the cmods who have a look at their posting history and / or any trouble they have caused recently and then send (or not ) them forward to admins for closer scrutiny.

    As you go up the mod chain, there is more information available. e.g. a popular poster now may have a bad history as a previous account. Equally they may not. None of that should be discussed in public as part of a popularity poll.

    We have a system that works well, there is oversight on many levels and is something I would not wish to change.

    in fairness

    the above is a mod saying that he agrees with mods picking mods based on the history of their passing muster according to mod application of mod-applied rules!

    i dont think the whole system is rotten or anything but while the interpretation of mod/admin is such an integral part of the policing of the site, the practice of coming up through the ranks by invite-only will never lead to much self-reflection or changes (which may or may not be necessary, but which is hardly ever prompted from internal motivators)


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  • dudara wrote: »
    But, and this important, we don’t ban or forbid discussion of mod actions at all. Posters can contact mods m, CMods or Admins directly, or they can open a discussion thread in the Help desk. We are simply asking that they don’t do it in the original thread.

    That rarely works though. Especially since it's hidden in the doldrums of private messages. Heck, last time I tried to comment privately about what I considered an overreactive mod action, they threatened to ban me too.

    Maybe it's just that I'm a lot more used and appreciative of most subreddits where comments on visible mod actions are not only visible, but encouraged to gauge community feedback. Because as it is here, it feels like no-one dares to speak out, least they get silenced too.
    Beasty wrote: »
    You have plenty of other avenues to raise issues or make complaints. Why turn a discussion on a relevant topic into a debate about moderation?

    The title and some of the more recent posts made this out to be a discussion about moderation on boards in general. This is the feedback forum after all, is feedback related to the thread title suddenly not allowed? Or are we not allowed to attempt to have a reasonable discussion regarding our views on moderation because that breaks a hidden "no discussing mod actions" rule?
    snoopsheep wrote: »
    the practice of coming up through the ranks by invite-only will never lead to much self-reflection or changes (which may or may not be necessary, but which is hardly ever prompted from internal motivators)

    That's pretty much the exact reason why r/ireland makes a complete meme out of boards moderation - the mindset that it's a bit of a circlejerk club that you can only get in by nepotism, and exuding the aura that they are infallible because no-one is allowed to publicly comment on their actions.




  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    in fairness

    the above is a mod saying that he agrees with mods picking mods based on the history of their passing muster according to mod application of mod-applied rules!

    i dont think the whole system is rotten or anything but while the interpretation of mod/admin is such an integral part of the policing of the site, the practice of coming up through the ranks by invite-only will never lead to much self-reflection or changes (which may or may not be necessary, but which is hardly ever prompted from internal motivators)

    What are you proposing as an alternative?

    Democratically elected mods?

    If you got elected thus and one of your voters goes on a rant and posts stuff that may harm the site or cause it to be shut down, where would your allegiance lie?




  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    Heck, last time I tried to comment privately about what I considered an overreactive mod action, they threatened to ban me too.

    I call bullshit on that remark.

    Please post a screenshot of where this happened or else phuq off.




  • Steve wrote: »
    What are you proposing as an alternative?

    Democratically elected mods?

    If you got elected thus and one of your voters goes on a rant and posts stuff that may harm the site or cause it to be shut down, where would your allegiance lie?

    I don't think somewhat democratically elected mods would be a bad idea if the voters had to meet certain criteria such as a good track record and minimum amount of time spent on the site with a minimum amount of posts.




  • Stephen15 wrote: »
    I don't think somewhat democratically elected mods would be a bad idea if the voters had to meet certain criteria such as a good track record and minimum amount of time spent on the site with a minimum amount of posts.
    So, pretty much how we do it now... except we check for previous bans / infractions and re-reg accounts? :)




  • Steve wrote: »
    I call bullshit on that remark.

    Please post a screenshot of where this happened or else phuq off.

    This is exactly the sort of reaction I got last time I tried to report something. Responses like that from a CMod of all things are exactly why many people don't have much faith in moderation here. Plus the fact you're never going to get told off for it doesn't help either.
    Steve wrote: »
    So, pretty much how we do it now... except we check for previous bans / infractions and re-reg accounts? :)

    Democratically elected by the Admins/CMods is not the same as democratically elected by the community.

    Although mod elections are probably complicated enough as it is. Open applications are probably a potentially worthwhile option in some forums - generally, at least from my experience on reddit, only people who actually care about it tend to apply, and mods can also weed out applicants that don't fit their criteria.

    The more I write this though, the more it starts sounding in my head like the process to elect a new Catholic cardinal as narrated by CGP Grey.




  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    This is exactly the sort of reaction I got last time I tried to report something.

    Care to elaborate on that?

    Really.

    You reported something and the boards mods / cmods / admins colluded to silence you?

    What was it that you reported?




  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    Although mod elections are probably complicated enough as it is. Open applications are probably a potentially worthwhile option in some forums - generally, at least from my experience on reddit, only people who actually care about it tend to apply, and mods can also weed out applicants that don't fit their criteria.
    So, say you were elected mod by popular vote, what's the first thing you would change?




  • Steve wrote: »
    What are you proposing as an alternative?

    Democratically elected mods?

    If you got elected thus and one of your voters goes on a rant and posts stuff that may harm the site or cause it to be shut down, where would your allegiance lie?


    fair questions

    im not sure how a vote would even work without being a total mess, I'll admit. proposals/nominations thread then a straight vote thread, maybe.

    and im not sayin to replace all current mods or even any of them. im not saying moderation of the site is a shambles or any such thing.

    im pointing out the the current selection works to only serve the preferences of mods, and youd want to be very sure that the system was perfect to consistently tell users that theres no way their input into mod selection could work.

    the second question is a straight "allegiance to the good of the site" answer, same as if a poster you got on with before you became mod under the current system behaved in a similar fashion.

    but i think a more varied range of voices on what "the good of the site" is might be worth a thought.


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  • Boards.ie Employee


    Unfortunately, the popular vote or nominations doesn't always work. That's how we get Boaty McBoatface (although I'm alright with that one). If people want to be moderators, be good posters. Add value to a forum, create resources and insightful discussion, and don't flaunt the rules of a forum. That shows that you care about the forum/site in itself. It's not necessarily a system to serve the preferences of Mods as such, but the team is going to have to work together and need to be able to show that they can abide by rules of forums too.

    While mod actions can be highlighted on subreddits, the flow of conversation and discussion is very different thanks to the nested responses. If you don't want to follow the discussion on moderation, you minimise that line and move on. Here, it can draw the conversation off on a completely different tangent. That's why we ask users to PM Mods or to open a Help Desk thread rather than discuss it on-thread. Like in threads, private messages can also be reported, which provides Admins with a heads-up of a situation that may require investigation.


This discussion has been closed.
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