Can we have a serious discussion about qualms with moderation?

Dangit2019

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I'm not here to insult the mods or tell them that they're doing bad at their job. That doesn't get anything accomplished. Instead, I want to devote this thread to community problems and suggestions concerning the site rules. I would like to hope such a thread could be not only tolerated by the administration, but also be carried out in a calm and respecting manner.

[sub][sub]Here's hoping.[/sub][/sub]

I feel like there's been too many a time where an interesting discussion gets the hammer simply because a few ignorant people post without reading the forum code.

These discussions don't have the intent to flame, nor are they directly against Escapist policy. Instead, they're "risky" subjects that receive a lot of civilized answers, but get shut down because more than 3 people didn't stay within the guidelines of the forum.

My problem personally is that by banning these threads, you really limit the number of topics that can be posted in fear of having to actively monitor them and keep the replies within the site rules.

I'm not asking for any rules to be changed, I would just really wish that threads that have potential don't get banned just because a few posters (very few in the linked example) can't keep their input civilized.
 

madwarper

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Dangit2019 said:
I would like to hope such a thread could be not only tolerated by the administration, but also be carried out in a calm and respecting manner.
It could be. In fact, there are 2 Stickied threads on this very forum.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.309173-Moderation-FAQ
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.112832-The-Banhammer-and-You-A-Users-Guide-to-the-Forums
 

sky14kemea

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Oh boy! Another Moderation thread!


Dangit2019 said:
I'm not asking for any rules to be changed, I would just really wish that threads that have potential don't get banned just because a few posters (very few in the linked example) can't keep their input civilized.
For that thread in particular, it was a flame war waiting to happen anyway.

The reason (That I personally) lock threads like that is to try and prevent handing out punishments if possible. Contrary to what some people assume, we don't like giving out bans and would rather avoid them where we can.

I understand that it makes people nervous about posting a thread. People are always welcome to PM a Mod or post in the Moderation User Group to make sure the subject is fine first.

As for them getting closed when a few people cross the line. Yes it's not fair to the rest, but that's just how things work sometimes. Again, you can always PM a Mod to ask if a thread can be re-opened. If users bring up something like this, we're more than happy to have a discussion with them and each other in order to try and find a solution.
 

Esotera

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I don't really have a problem with moderation here apart from the rare times when a thread that should have been addressed isn't. It's strict but that's the price we pay for a good place for discussion, and moderation is way more transparent than any site I know.
 

MeChaNiZ3D

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The mods aren't bad at their jobs, they do well in fact, but sometimes low quantity is not low content (and adversely I could kill with my bare hands everyone whose post amounts to, regardless of length, there be a shitstorm a-brewin'), piracy should be a discussion that can be had on a gaming website as long as people are sensible enough not to admit to it (and if not, I don't see why the site has to enforce that) and sometimes people are big enough and ugly enough to tolerate a bit of namecalling without other people flagging their opponent down for it.

EDIT: And saying "you're trolling" can be no different to "you've got to be kidding me", and I have no idea why saying that someone's opinions are such that you have difficulty believing they mean it, especially where that's an intended exaggeration, is banned in the same way actual accusations of trolling or not taking a discussion seriously because you think it's a 'troll thread' is.
 

Norithics

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All I know is that I've been to a ton of forums, and they were virtually all complete dives. Whatever voodoo keeps this one afloat is working fine, as far as I'm concerned. If there's room for improvement, I'm all for it, but don't fix what isn't broken.
 

IceForce

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What's up with all the threads [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.821323-I-like-the-rules-here] complaining [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.821692-So-this-is-whats-wrong-with-this-community] about moderation recently? Is it really that much of a problem here?

It sure seems to get a lot of attention, which I find rather odd since I've personally never had any problems with it.
 

Thaluikhain

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IceForce said:
What's up with all the threads [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.821323-I-like-the-rules-here] complaining [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.821692-So-this-is-whats-wrong-with-this-community] about moderation recently? Is it really that much of a problem here?

It sure seems to get a lot of attention, which I find rather odd since I've personally never had any problems with it.
Threads in Off-topic seem to cluster like that.

You'll recall that we hadn't have any threads about trans issue for a while, and now suddenly we have three, though one got locked.
 

Tom_green_day

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Maybe I just miss these as I tend not to post in threads with a large number of views, but I find it quite rare to see a thread go so off-the rails like the example. However, I think it would have been easier for another forum person just to tell them to can it, or just stop those people arguing from posting in the thread instead of all of them.
Still, I've seen more threads complaining about mods... than actual mods doing disagreeable stuff. Actually, I can't think of any times I think a mod's cut off a genuine debate (not argument)
 

tippy2k2

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sky14kemea said:
The reason (That I personally) lock threads like that is to try and prevent handing out punishments if possible. Contrary to what some people assume, we don't like giving out bans and would rather avoid them where we can.
I can't imagine I'm the only one who thought this up but if I am, I demand royalties for it! Or can we call it the "Tippy2k2 rules" rule? That would also be acceptable...

Anyway, why not have a way to ban members from posting in certain threads? It seems like a lot of those threads get into trouble when User A and User B decide that arguing about something in a thread when that is not the time or the place is what causes the unhappiness. This causes great de-railment as others see the argument and, instead of doing the sensible thing like NOT join the argument, decide to join the fight.

As you stated, Mods would prefer to not have to ban them forever but for whatever reason, User A and User B just can't help themselves and jump right back in. Basically, you would be the nice friend who handcuffs their crack-head buddy to the radiator while they sweat out the demons!

BTW: I'd prefer the millions I'll be making in royalties in gold bars and chocolate.
 

sky14kemea

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tippy2k2 said:
Anyway, why not have a way to ban members from posting in certain threads? It seems like a lot of those threads get into trouble when User A and User B decide that arguing about something in a thread when that is not the time or the place is what causes the unhappiness. This causes great de-railment as others see the argument and, instead of doing the sensible thing like NOT join the argument, decide to join the fight.
That'd be a lot of complicated coding that even the Tech Team would have a hard time with. =P I like the idea though.
 

repeating integers

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I think the low content rules are a bit stupid. Sometimes, a picture really does paint a thousand words - I've seen some posts consisting entirely of images that contributed more to the discussion than many full, multi-paragraph posts get warned.
 

OtherSideofSky

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I just want them to fix these fucking ads that are hiding half my text box. There's a clearly visible blank space that the ad is supposed to occupy below the text box, but it never loads into that. It just stays hovering over the text box and making it impossible to see what I'm typing. This has become a serious usability issue.
 

Aedes

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sky14kemea said:
Oh boy! Another Moderation thread!

I only want to state that your picture totally made my day. Thank you so much!

Back on topic, I have little problems with how moderation is handed here, if any, at all.
There was a time ago where you could get a warning just for looking funny at someone but those days are in the past.

By the way:
sky14kemea said:
tippy2k2 said:
Anyway, why not have a way to ban members from posting in certain threads? It seems like a lot of those threads get into trouble when User A and User B decide that arguing about something in a thread when that is not the time or the place is what causes the unhappiness. This causes great de-railment as others see the argument and, instead of doing the sensible thing like NOT join the argument, decide to join the fight.
That'd be a lot of complicated coding that even the Tech Team would have a hard time with. =P I like the idea though.
Doesn't Suspension kinda works like that already? It's not thread specific but you do block a user for posting for a given time as far as I know.
 

EeveeElectro

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The unpopular opinions thread was disgusting. A LOT of users went straight down in my estimations after that and it was just everyone arguing with everyone else, should have been locked sooner IMO but I understand them keeping an eye on it and hoping it wouldn't turn into what it did. If people read the OP and maybe kept their more psychotic opinions to themselves, it might have turned out okay.

I sometimes wonder why threads get locked when it hasn't been too obvious what rule they broke but I usually PM one of them which anyone is free to do. Apart from that, I have no problem with the moderation here.
 

sky14kemea

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Aedes said:
Doesn't Suspension kinda works like that already? It's not thread specific but you do block a user for posting for a given time as far as I know.
It's true that suspension does stop someone posting for the allotted time. However, because of the health meters, each infraction we give is based on the users health level. If they have a low level they'll be automatically set for a warning. If they have a high level, they'll be automatically set for a suspension.

That's also why you sometimes see someone being suspended for something, while someone only gets a warning for the same thing.

We can jump up the levels for special cases (like spambots), but in the interest of fairness we generally don't jump levels with actual users.

[sub][sub]Also, glad I could make you smile today! :D[/sub][/sub]
 

sky14kemea

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OtherSideofSky said:
I just want them to fix these fucking ads that are hiding half my text box. There's a clearly visible blank space that the ad is supposed to occupy below the text box, but it never loads into that. It just stays hovering over the text box and making it impossible to see what I'm typing. This has become a serious usability issue.
That's not a moderation issue, that's a tech issue. You should contact the Tech Team [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/groups/view/Tech-Team] about that!
Twenty Ninjas said:
Honest suggestion: stop closing threads and start handing out warnings. You don't have to use the forum mechanics for sanctioning, a simple personal message will be enough. Closing threads punishes everyone who wants to contribute, whether or not they broke the rules. Back in my day, I closed threads that were unfit for discussion and cleaned up those that were (not implying I was a mod on this site).
Which site were you a moderator on? Just out of curiosity.

I do sometimes PM a user who's higher up on the health bar, if I feel the post doesn't quite warrant action but it's stepping over the line.

The problem with that is, since there are multiple Moderators, even if you've sent them a PM about it already, another Mod could still hand them a sanction because they won't know someone else has handled it already via other means.

Sadly there isn't an instant way to contact the other Moderators to inform them of these things, since quite a few of us are from different time zones.
 

PoolCleaningRobot

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sky14kemea said:
For that thread in particular, it was a flame war waiting to happen anyway
Mostly this^. Was a discussion on unpopular opinions possible? Sure and maybe it would have been interesting and horizon expanding but this is the Internet, not a group of close friends talking so it would have dissolved into name calling sub-debates about people's unpopular opinions. I was actually tempted to join the thread and vent but steadied my hand and stopped myself from clicking on it cause I knew what would happen.

I would rather the moderation be strict than lenient even if it means we can't do certain discussions and I occasionally get warned for making immature comments

OtherSideofSky said:
I just want them to fix these fucking ads that are hiding half my text box. There's a clearly visible blank space that the ad is supposed to occupy below the text box, but it never loads into that. It just stays hovering over the text box and making it impossible to see what I'm typing. This has become a serious usability issue.
I bet there's a chrome plug-in that can disable animations a java scripts by right clicking on them