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Moderation of boards as a whole.

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  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    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.



    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?



    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.
    Well that's completely incorrect for a start.

    As mods, we have to be able to stand over any card or ban that we make and provide a reason for why we took the action that we did. This is shown to all posters in the Prison and DR forums.

    And in the backround, which isn't visible to the general poster, we also have to justify those actions to our fellow mods in the forums we mod in, the Cmods of those forums and Admins.

    If we make mistakes, and we do, we reverse those decisions at the earliest opportunity. If we make too many mistakes or moderate poorly on an issue, our fellow mods in those forums will let us know fairly quickly where we are failing. And if they don't, Cmods or Admins will point it out.

    Just because you can't see a discussion on a mods handling of an issue doesn't mean that it isn't happening.




  • Elections can be rigged. Especially when its anonymous profiles on an internet discussion board.

    I dont know how the Ireland sub reddit do things, but thats not my concern; as i think the moderation system here (seen as a mod in the last 2 years and seen as a normal user for the previous 11.5 years works fine. If ye want to post there more power to you. If you want to post here you can. If you dont want to post here you can. Lots of options.

    There is accountability in the system here and users get a fair shake on multiple levels as long as they remain civil and engage with the system.

    There are mods i disagree with and mods i agree with; just like there are posters i agree with and disagree with when im in a discussion. Mods openly discuss decisions with each other before during and after their implementation; i dont see how democratically electing mods will improve this; and i think any kind of election could potentially select a mod who wouldnt be suitable for the position (which is less likely to happen with the current vetting process).




  • Baggly wrote: »
    There is accountability in the system here and users get a fair shake on multiple levels as long as they remain civil and engage with the system.

    how is this measured and confirmed?

    id raise a current dispute but im sure id be told that the processes dont allow me to do so here!




  • What do you mean by measured and confirmed?




  • 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.

    I get that, in particular for times when a thread need to be trained back on the original topic it was started for. However, when a mod decides to take it upon themselves to bring the thread off-topic by publicly posting a mod punishment action against a user, then said action should be open for public comment and/or criticism.

    It's very much a "completely different ruleset for us" sort of deal; with the gagging of responses to publicly posted mod actions, all that leaves are the white-knighting yes-men who use the post thanks system to... in the nicest words possible, pat the mod's back while sucking up to them. At least if the system had the option to respectfully disagree with a post in the same one-click manner (whether suck a hack exists or has ever existed for vB, I don't know), or if post thanks were disabled on mod-highlighted posts that issue would be reduced.
    As mods, we have to be able to stand over any card or ban that we make and provide a reason for why we took the action that we did. This is shown to all posters in the Prison and DR forums.

    I'm not calling for fully public moderation logs - as a reddit mod, I know that most of the moderation work is generally more of a case of janitorial cleanup, rather than punitive actions - but maybe those reasons shouldn't have to be surfaced only if the victim decides to go ahead with the dispute process (which in and of itself seems like a massive uphill battle when the first step is "talk with your punisher").
    If we make mistakes, and we do, we reverse those decisions at the earliest opportunity. If we make too many mistakes or moderate poorly on an issue, our fellow mods in those forums will let us know fairly quickly where we are failing. And if they don't, Cmods or Admins will point it out.

    Just because you can't see a discussion on a mods handling of an issue doesn't mean that it isn't happening.

    I don't doubt there's things happening in the backend, but still though, from a regular user's point of view, it feels like there's little if any way to actually provide feedback on mod actions against other people. PMs are worthless (almost like pissing in the wind), on-thread responses are outlawed, and posting new threads in Feedback are either removed for targeting specific users, or are too generic and almost rely on sheer dumb luck for the intended people to actually read it.


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  • i suppose i mean that youve made a value statement there. the mods agree that everything works well, the processes are in place and the processes are followed.

    behind the scenes there is very thorough discussion of the actions taken, mods are doing their best and consult inter alia etc etc.

    all the same you get a lot of posters making the same complaints again and again about the DRP being a closed shop.

    about the engagement with the poster actioned and the attention paid to their version of events or their disagreeing with the mods interpretation of same.

    of reasons for mod action changing throughout the DRP

    and of appellants unhappy with the processes, or not bothering with them once they see the overwhelming outcome is that "the system works. the system always works. the system worked here".

    its i guess a feeling, to go back to the original point, that the public face of moderation really does come across as a monolith that defends the monolith as opposed to being willing to question whether or not the moderation is often personalised or politicised, whether at times mods are actioning certain users and not certain behaviours.

    that "behind closed doors" is not a good way to reassure those being modded

    and that "we pick those that are like us" is pretty much an assertion that things couldnt be any better.

    question: do you think a poster that has actions against them can be nevertheless a good poster? a valuable member of the site? could under no circumstances bring something to the mix as a moderator that would help the site? because under the current circumstances the answer to that is a huge no, and i dont think thats a great reflection on the openness of the system to question itself.


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    TheChrisD wrote: »
    I get that, in particular for times when a thread need to be trained back on the original topic it was started for. However, when a mod decides to take it upon themselves to bring the thread off-topic by publicly posting a mod punishment action against a user, then said action should be open for public comment and/or criticism.

    It's very much a "completely different ruleset for us" sort of deal; with the gagging of responses to publicly posted mod actions, all that leaves are the white-knighting yes-men who use the post thanks system to... in the nicest words possible, pat the mod's back while sucking up to them. At least if the system had the option to respectfully disagree with a post in the same one-click manner (whether suck a hack exists or has ever existed for vB, I don't know), or if post thanks were disabled on mod-highlighted posts that issue would be reduced.

    Mods comment publicly in some cases because it has been asked for previously in Feedback threads. Thread bans do not showcase a card beside a post, for example. Sometimes people asked for more context surrounding action taken.

    One post doesn't drag a thread off-topic, but if discussed on thread the conversation becomes at least one post to ask about it, one post to respond and then x posts discussing the action taken. This is on top of the discussion dedicated to the thread topic which clutters up the thread and makes things harder to follow.

    As said, there are avenues to discuss action taken that won't distract from the topic at hand in any given thread.

    Unfortunately, thanks cannot be disabled on a post-by-post or even thread-by-thread basis. It's all or nothing in a given forum.




  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    i suppose i mean that youve made a value statement there. the mods agree that everything works well, the processes are in place and the processes are followed.

    behind the scenes there is very thorough discussion of the actions taken, mods are doing their best and consult inter alia etc etc.

    all the same you get a lot of posters making the same complaints again and again about the DRP being a closed shop.

    about the engagement with the poster actioned and the attention paid to their version of events or their disagreeing with the mods interpretation of same.

    of reasons for mod action changing throughout the DRP

    and of appellants unhappy with the processes, or not bothering with them once they see the overwhelming outcome is that "the system works. the system always works. the system worked here".

    its i guess a feeling, to go back to the original point, that the public face of moderation really does come across as a monolith that defends the monolith as opposed to being willing to question whether or not the moderation is often personalised or politicised, whether at times mods are actioning certain users and not certain behaviours.

    that "behind closed doors" is not a good way to reassure those being modded

    and that "we pick those that are like us" is pretty much an assertion that things couldnt be any better.

    question: do you think a poster that has actions against them can be nevertheless a good poster? a valuable member of the site? could under no circumstances bring something to the mix as a moderator that would help the site? because under the current circumstances the answer to that is a huge no, and i dont think thats a great reflection on the openness of the system to question itself.

    I wouldnt judge the moderation of boards.ie off DRP though. The majority of issues in my experienced are resolved before they ever get to DRP, through reasoned and civil discussion between mod and poster (which, tbh, im glad is private - if i was sanctioned, id want to discuss it privately with the mod, rather than have everyone starting at it in DRP).

    I think the closed shop thing comes down to the fact that usually, if a mod makes an error (and it happens, and would with mods whether elected, chosen or plucked randomly from the site), the user points it out in a PM and the mod agrees and overturns it.

    I can personally vouch for the fact this has happened to me. I have misread a post and actioned it, and then a user gave their take and i overturned the action.

    If its getting to DRP, in my experience, its usually not because a mod is being unreasonable, its because a poster isnt happy with the mod decision or rationale. Now if that is the case (and again, this is only my experience) then of course DRP is going to seem like a closed shop. Because all that will happen is the same rationale the mod tried to explain will be examined by cmods or admins and (if we mods are doing their job) stand up to scrutiny and be reinforced.

    If the posters point is a slam dunk, then the mod wont agree to bring it to DRP, cause they will look like an eejit when the poster puts their point across. If it happens enough times, mod probably gets a talking to and / or demodding.

    If there is a desire for the whole process to be public, i can understand that; but i don't agree with it. Some conversations stay private to respect peoples privacy. And some conversations stay private because to be honest, i wouldn't like to be a mod if i knew the wider user base was watching any questions, queries or requests for second opinions i make, and could use those questions as ammunition against me the next time they disagree with a mod decision i make.

    All of the above is, of course, just my opinion.




  • i appreciate the take, and i think its fair to note that a post going to DRP is going to be contentious alright.

    i think that mods maybe dont appreciate the process from the poster's point of view these days.

    your post is publicly actioned

    you dont have right of reply in thread

    the onus is on you to PM the person you obviously disagree with, with whom there is a power imbalance

    if its going to DRP then de facto that PM hasnt worked.

    Off you go to make your case. Your loss over PM is to be made public

    It is heard by a CMOD, with whom you have a greater power imbalance.

    Often you find yourself pleading a different case to the original. Often the review seems to be little more than a harsher look at the infraction for daring to bother anyone.

    Your loss over the appeal is obviously public. you can appeal to an admin, with whom you have an even greater power imbalance.

    Often you find yourself pleading a different case again. Often the review seems to be an appeal against the process of boards rather than an examination of your case or countercase. Often your history is brought into it, while context is expressly out of bounds.

    Your loss over the admin appeal is public and final. you may find yourself, after all this, being told that you are lucky to have avoided further sanction for abusing the process.

    time and again elements of the above come up as poster complaints.

    time and again mods will remind us that behind the scenes there is a scrupulous process and mods are watching each other like hawks back there, but i hope ye can see that there are real issues here that cannot be beaten through repetition of the mantra.

    alternatively, everyone ever sanctioned who has gone through the above and has the above complaints is a dickhead who has been or is in the process of being managed off the site, and rightly so.

    whats the trend over twenty years (if that is to be the defence against "this might need looking at folks"?)




  • You have to consider the evolution of Boards. The processes that we have now were not in place 20 or so years ago, so it’s a little unfair to paint the entire history of Boards like that.

    In the glory days :) you could have been banned instantaneously, and subjected to a load of LOLCAT memes to boot. And possibly rightfully deserved too, although I’m sure there were cases that were not deserved too.

    As Boards changed, so did the processes. The DRP was introduced, the concept of thread bans were introduced, Prison changed in reaction to feedback and so forth. It will continue to change.


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  • I think you have couched the process in negative terms there, to be fair.

    And while i can respect this might be your earnest experience of the process, i dont believe its everyones.

    I also think you will find there are ex-mods who no longer have any skin in the game per se that corroborate some of what is being said here from a mod POV.

    However ill do my best to address your points, since you put the time in to make them.
    snoopsheep wrote: »
    i appreciate the take, and i think its fair to note that a post going to DRP is going to be contentious alright.

    i think that mods maybe dont appreciate the process from the poster's point of view these days. I can only say this isnt true in my case. I was a poster for a long time before being a mod. I have considered and seen it from the posters POV.

    your post is publicly actioned Well its our primary job to moderate discussion, so if a post is actioned, it has to be public. Otherwise the discussion goes unmoderated. But yes, agreed.

    you dont have right of reply in thread Well slight correction; in the thread in question. You have options to open a dedicated thread on the site relating to the specific issue (be it help desk or DRP). It would defeat the purpose of trying to keep the thread on track if the right of reply was on thread

    the onus is on you to PM the person you obviously disagree with, with whom there is a power imbalance Onus is always on the person wishing to appeal a decision to appeal it. Not just on boards - everywhere in life. I dont see how it could work the other way around.

    if its going to DRP then de facto that PM hasnt worked. Well you would be surprised, maybe. A large number of DRP threads i see are opened without consulting the mod first.

    Off you go to make your case. Your loss over PM is to be made public Not sure i understand you here. The PMs are made public? Not necessarily. The poster actually has the option to forward on PMs instead of posting them, if i understand correctly.

    It is heard by a CMOD, with whom you have a greater power imbalance. I dont understand what you mean by power imbalance?

    Often you find yourself pleading a different case to the original. Often the review seems to be little more than a harsher look at the infraction for daring to bother anyone. Id query this. I think other issues around behaviour may be pointed out for the poster to possibly address, but i think the sanction in question is the one that gets addressed, more often than not. So id dispute your use of 'often' here. Id think its more 'unusually....'

    Your loss over the appeal is obviously public. you can appeal to an admin, with whom you have an even greater power imbalance. Again power imbalance....not sure what this means in your context.

    Often you find yourself pleading a different case again. Often the review seems to be an appeal against the process of boards rather than an examination of your case or countercase. Often your history is brought into it, while context is expressly out of bounds. Id query your use of often here again.

    Your loss over the admin appeal is public and final. you may find yourself, after all this, being told that you are lucky to have avoided further sanction for abusing the process. That could be the case. Some moderators are more lenient than others. Thats the same in all walks of life tbh. Some people judge more or less harshly than others. I think there are cases where it goes the other way and admins or cmods reduce the ban too, in fairness.

    time and again elements of the above come up as poster complaints. I think its logical people who have had issues with DRP can complain about it. They are allowed to. Its my opinion these complaint issues are a minority and not the majority however. Ive nothing to back that up with - its just my gut feeling on the matter and based on my experience that people with issues complain, while people with no issues are a silent majority.

    time and again mods will remind us that behind the scenes there is a scrupulous process and mods are watching each other like hawks back there, but i hope ye can see that there are real issues here that cannot be beaten through repetition of the mantra. Im not trying to beat anything with a mantra. I think that characterisation is unfair to me, tbh. Im trying to engage and respond to you in earnest. Im not reminding you of anything - im telling you my experiences. If you doubt or choose not to believe me because im a mod, there isnt anything i can do about that. But neither is that a reason to change the entire system; a system that seems to be working for the majority of site users.

    alternatively, everyone ever sanctioned who has gone through the above and has the above complaints is a dickhead who has been or is in the process of being managed off the site, and rightly so.

    I dont think the above 3 comments are fair at all tbf. Especially that last one about people raising complaints being a dickhead.

    whats the trend over twenty years (if that is to be the defence against "this might need looking at folks"?)

    Could tell you (because i dont know). I also couldnt tell you if moderation is at the root of any trend on boards. I doubt it is however; since the site is largely guided by user content (with mods reacting to that), imo.




  • The true delusion is assuming the DRP process is in anyway fair. The point has been made, you have a much better chance of dealing with the mod first instead of going to DRP. The funny thing is, in the DRP, how many messages from mods are shown as "Take it to the DRP". There clearly want to action/sanction a poster and not deal with the fallout. Would this behaviour be acceptable anywhere else?

    There is a clear ideological bent to how moderation is actioned/sanctioned, as there is a clear ideological bent with this forum in general. The work of some good mods is hugely overshadowed by the reckless and lazy actions of others. Personally, I had one word deliberately mis-interpreted to justify mod actions.

    How one side is allowed to ideologically dominate? Aren't these people in the DRP genuinely making these egregious errors?
    Probably, they probably make the slightest error; but what shows the ideological bent is the enforcement of rules.
    Thousands of unactioned examples could be pointed to where the other side acted the same if not worse and had nothing actioned against them.

    Everyone sees this double standard and this is the elephant in the room. Its easy to point to sanctioned posters and say they're evil, they're just trolls; but you completely avoid the thousands and thousands of posts that literally go unsanctioned, because they are one side of a political/contentious debate.




  • ive made points there that arent in any way related to your response baggly, (more bringing in other responses and also my recent experiences with DRP which are negative) so to be fair i should note that anything you feel isnt fair characterisation of your points is probably arising from that

    will read through your response again, thanks for responding anyway, but i think its at impasse stage in terms of "this is what problem posters always say" and "this is what mods always say", even if both sides accept as genuine the other in the issues discussed.




  • Who is saying sanctioned posters are evil?

    Who is saying they are just trolls?

    These points are hyperbolic and i dont understand how you can say that the work of a few mods is being overshadowed by others, and then tar us all with the same brush by making such hyperbolic statements?

    I dont agree on your point about ideological modding. I dont know what else to say; you seem to have your mind made up on the topic. Happy to answer any questions you have pertaining to my experience, though, if you do want to discuss it.




  • snoopsheep wrote: »
    ive made points there that arent in any way related to your response baggly, (more bringing in other responses and also my recent experiences with DRP which are negative) so to be fair i should note that anything you feel isnt fair characterisation of your points is probably arising from that

    will read through your response again, thanks for responding anyway, but i think its at impasse stage in terms of "this is what problem posters always say" and "this is what mods always say", even if both sides accept as genuine the other in the issues discussed.

    Thank you - appreciate the clarification.




  • well tbf I do appreciate the mods/admins that come in and discuss (for them, probably for the umpteenth time) these issues.

    not that i dont have the hump about it meself a lot of the time!




  • Baggly wrote: »
    Who is saying sanctioned posters are evil?
    Who is saying they are just trolls?
    Your previous record in the Politics forum was 1 warning, 1 infraction and 1 one day ban. As it didn’t appear that you were amending your posting in any way, the mods applied the next action available to them.

    Mod decision upheld.

    This is just one example from the DRP of how mod actions consider a posters previous history.


    Your point about ideological bent, I have sent you a private message, please let me know what you think if you have time to read it.




  • Baggly wrote: »
    Onus is always on the person wishing to appeal a decision to appeal it. Not just on boards - everywhere in life. I dont see how it could work the other way around.

    In real life though, when you appeal you tend to appeal up a level. The fact that DRP here starts with "did you talk to the punishing mod first" can definitely sometimes feel like a bit of a backwards or side step. Since there's no unmessy way to escalate from punishing mod to all mods of the forum via the PM system, it really should go straight up to CMod.




  • Kimsang wrote: »
    This is just one example from the DRP of how mod actions consider a posters previous history.


    Your point about ideological bent, I have sent you a private message, please let me know what you think if you have time to read it.

    I sent you a response there.

    I dont think the quoted text there demonstrates anyone saying sanctioned people are evil or just trolls. I think the process takes continued bad behaviour into account, yes; but noone is inherently labelling people. Mods have to make decisions around whether posts are trolling or ill intentioned; yes; and cumulative instances will be punished yes; but you have said mods are making people out to be evil and trolls - im not seeing where that is the case (in your quote or in general).




  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    In real life though, when you appeal you tend to appeal up a level. The fact that DRP here starts with "did you talk to the punishing mod first" can definitely sometimes feel like a bit of a backwards or side step.

    If a Guard catches me for speeding (not that i would obvs) the first thing i would do is apologise and promise not to do it again. This is the equivalent of PMing a mod, in my mind.


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  • The irony of me posting this thread, forgetting, not getting any notification of it and now I'm so far behind I feel like I need about 6 weeks to revise the thread to catch up. Well.... feck




  • Baggly wrote: »
    im not seeing where that is the case (in your quote or in general).

    I've sent you more pms, let me know. I agree that evil and such were just hyperbolic, but you get my point I think.




  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    In real life though, when you appeal you tend to appeal up a level. The fact that DRP here starts with "did you talk to the punishing mod first" can definitely sometimes feel like a bit of a backwards or side step. Since there's no unmessy way to escalate from punishing mod to all mods of the forum via the PM system, it really should go straight up to CMod.

    I personally was/am happy to have someone open a dialogue with me about a card or action that I have taken. Firstly, I could have misinterpreted what was actioned, or secondly, I may want a second opinion on the matter.
    Someone could come in with a genuine apology and admit to a brain fart or being over emotionally in a topic and taken it out on someone rather than the topic.
    It can also lead to opening a dialogue with co-mods and CMods on something and lead to a change in policy in modding.....there could be any number of outcomes from this.
    I've overturned a bunch of stuff from this type of discussion and openly admit that I was wrong in some cases and happy that I learned something from the exchange.




  • I have recently noticed moderation that left me scratching my head. And something else which I will get to in a minute.

    There's a great thread at the minute in AH where we all have a go at posting pics of who/what we think each of us resembles. Its great fun and in a way brings us together. Unfortunately one person was given a yellow card for a pic that was completely in keeping with the spirit of the thread.

    I just don't understand how that can be? We had pictures of posters who weren't at all active in the thread, even references to re-regs. Why was a card given for a funny and harmless picture?

    Now the 'something else'. I was going to open a discussion specifically on this in Feedback but I felt it would draw undue attention to the thread. That the mods would say "oh it's too much trouble close it down". Maybe that's my own paranoia. I don't know. The second thing is I'm hesitant putting it here because its discussing moderator action in a specific instance. If seems that isn't always ok to do.

    Basically more and more I'm finding it difficult to understand what is and isn't allowed. We should be open and ask questions and have our issues discussed and addressed in a meaningful way.




  • Persepoly wrote: »
    I have recently noticed moderation that left me scratching my head. And something else which I will get to in a minute.

    There's a great thread at the minute in AH where we all have a go at posting pics of who/what we think each of us resembles. Its great fun and in a way brings us together. Unfortunately one person was given a yellow card for a pic that was completely in keeping with the spirit of the thread.

    I just don't understand how that can be? We had pictures of posters who weren't at all active in the thread, even references to re-regs. Why was a card given for a funny and harmless picture?

    It was probably me that gave the card. All I will say on the matter is just because 99 out of 100 laugh at something doesn't mean that the 1 might not be offended.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.




  • Did somebody complain about that picture though? That’s all the mods can act on.




  • Nosnon wrote: »
    It was probably me that gave the card. All I will say on the matter is just because 99 out of 100 laugh at something doesn't mean that the 1 might not be offended.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

    Even though similar posts were not carded? So if I am offended by a post you will give the poster a card? Surely there needs to be a bit of reasonableness.




  • Did somebody complain about that picture though? That’s all the mods can act on.


    What do you mean?




  • TheChrisD wrote: »
    In real life though, when you appeal you tend to appeal up a level. The fact that DRP here starts with "did you talk to the punishing mod first" can definitely sometimes feel like a bit of a backwards or side step. Since there's no unmessy way to escalate from punishing mod to all mods of the forum via the PM system, it really should go straight up to CMod.
    More disputes are resolved and cards/bans rescinded through discussion with the relevant mod than go to the DRP


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  • Persepoly wrote: »
    Even though similar posts were not carded? So if I am offended by a post you will give the poster a card? Surely there needs to be a bit of reasonableness.

    By the logic expounded it would appear that it's perfectly ok for 1% to impose a sanction on something 99% thought inoffensive at worst, and amusing at best.

    A more appropriate action in this particular instance would have been removal of the "offensive" post with perhaps a word to the offended party to steer clear of those rude degenerates on that awful awful thread....


This discussion has been closed.
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