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Old 08-29-2007, 06:18 PM   #41
scandum
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
TMS is a private entity and is thus not subject to the protections of the 1st amendment. I know. Shocking. But the Bill of Rights was specifically directed at preventing GOVERNMENT from engaging in censorship and other such nasty business.
Well, as a starter, lets not get a moderator's panties in a bunch by calling censorship nasty shall we?

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Originally Posted by Samson View Post
A private entity, like TMS, or say... your employer, can restrict what you say, when you say it, who you say it to, and take action to punish you if you violate the rules.
I guess I'm one of the few that find it strange that US citizens, perhaps the only nation that allows unrestricted free speech, are so eager to censor whenever a teensy little bit of power comes within their grasp.

Then again, I guess it's much like the situation in Turkey, where separation between state and church is more of a cultural grown tradition long ago installed by a great man, rather than the actual desire of the population at large.

TMS is a community, and being overwhelming American, would supposedly reflect US culture. But instead of copying the freedoms offered by their nation's constitution Americans copy the policies of the mass media they've been indoctrinated by since their childhood.

Despite what your subconscious might believe, words do not cause harm, cannot give you HIV, nor cause testicular cancer. Fortunately that goes both ways, and as I already, more or less, pointed out the actions of the moderators do not cause harm either.
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:35 PM   #42
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by scandum View Post
Despite what your subconscious might believe, words do not cause harm, cannot give you HIV, nor cause testicular cancer. Fortunately that goes both ways, and as I already, more or less, pointed out the actions of the moderators do not cause harm either.
Unmoderated discussion, however, can be less useful than moderated discussion, assuming competent moderation. It's why business meetings, court proceedings, formal academic debates, and the like adopt sets of rules that the members agree to abide by as part of the agreement to participate in that format.

As a trivial example, if someone was spamming the threads with hundreds of Viagra ads per hour, it would be beneficial to the conversation to remove that person. That decision has nothing to do with 'free speech', or fear that the ads will harm viewers. It's merely a method to elevate signal-to-noise, and give the site better utility to its readers.
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:36 PM   #43
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by Valg View Post
As a trivial example, if someone was spamming the threads with hundreds of Viagra ads per hour, it would be beneficial to the conversation to remove that person. That decision has nothing to do with 'free speech', or fear that the ads will harm viewers. It's merely a method to elevate signal-to-noise, and give the site better utility to its readers.
As a trivial example a moderator might delete all messages as well, which wouldn't be very constructive either.

As a more practical example I could point out that some of the most knowledgeable users aren't the most well behaved users either.

The idea seems to be that by pruning the rude, impolite, inconsiderate, and otherwise obstructive users, some kind of Utopian community can be created. While I don't disagree that this is in theory possible, I doubt the selection criteria that are being used. Not to mention that both the argumentation and scientific proof for the claims are lacking. The entire thing is very pseudo-scientific and borderline psychotic.

Looking at it from a historical perspective dictatorships rarely work, especially when the big dictators assigns little dictator to share the load of oppressing the masses.

I must add that having grown up in a relatively free and democratic society it remains extremely exciting and refreshing to experience primitive human behavior carried out with great dedication and vigor in the virtual flesh.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:09 PM   #44
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by scandum View Post
Looking at it from a historical perspective dictatorships rarely work, especially when the big dictators assigns little dictator to share the load of oppressing the masses.

I must add that having grown up in a relatively free and democratic society it remains extremely exciting and refreshing to experience primitive human behavior carried out with great dedication and vigor in the virtual flesh.
You are again trying to equate forum moderation on a privately held site with public censorship conducted by an oppressive government. It just doesn't track. It's not at all the same thing. Apparently the free and democratic society you grew up in failed to make that distinction for you, which is a shame, because the difference is just as important as the distinction between private property and the public domain.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:29 PM   #45
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Re: Moderation

You guys calm down, and Crat, please respect the moderators, they are just trying to do their job. As flor Lasher posting we all suck and can't touch this, well, he's already said he wants to be subjected to moderators as well if needed.

I think that we miss the point again and everyone is getting angry about unfair or seemingly unfair deletions of posts. Forums have to be moderated and be done so without much arbitration or it becomes chaos and petty.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:41 PM   #46
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Cool Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
or it becomes chaos
And we certainly wouldn't want that.
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:13 PM   #47
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by scandum View Post
Looking at it from a historical perspective dictatorships rarely work, especially when the big dictators assigns little dictator to share the load of oppressing the masses.
Since comparing apples and armadillos is a waste of everyone's time, let's compare apples to apples.

Go find me a popular internet forum (say, one that averages over 200 simultaneous users) that isn't moderated. I bet you can't do it. Even if you happened to find the one odd example of a popular forum that isn't moderated, I will find 10 that are for everyone you find that isn't.

Are they "not working?" If not, whatever standard you are employing for "not working" is about as relevant as using the number of sheep-shearing tools a gas station has as the metric for deciding that a convenience store "works."

From a historical perspective, in other words, the idea that these "dictatorships" (as you call them) rarely work is simply insupportable when it comes to internet forums, which is what we're talking about.

--matt
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:29 PM   #48
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Question Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
Go find me a popular internet forum (say, one that averages over 200 simultaneous users) that isn't moderated.
The obvious ex-example would be Usenet. Did Usenet fail as a forum because of the inability to moderate conflict, language, and topicality, or was it more just the inability to moderate spam? (In the case of actual moderated newsgroups, I'd blame the inability to do post-hoc moderation; having to have a human in the loop before a post can appear is ridiculous.)
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:40 PM   #49
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Re: Moderation

Quote:
You guys calm down, and Crat, please respect the moderators, they are just trying to do their job.
I believe I have not been especially disrespectful to them. I
have treated them with the same regard as I would treat any
other experienced poster.

I'm not pretending I have to wear kid gloves with them, and
I'm not pretending they require special reverence. They are
people, just like you and me, who've volunteered for a
job they feel is important.

I salute them for that, and I support their desire to help
manage this site in a way that is constructive for everyone.

I also want this site to succeed and provide great value
to its visitors and participants.

I simply differ in opinion with the moderators on occasion.
I am not against moderation. I do, however, think it's been
done to excess to the point of vice, and I feel that saying
so is the right thing to do, and saying it publicly the
right way to do it.

It hasn't occurred to me til now that folks might think I'm
disrespecting the site, or the mods, or Lasher. To me
this is clearly not what I'm doing, but presumably it
looks that way to some people. In my opinion is not
disrespect. It is healthy, part of normal discourse, and
indeed part of what the society I grew up in thrives on.
It's silent acceptance of authority that I would consider
suspect, not vigorous questioning of it. Perhaps this
is what Scandum's semi-coherent posts are trying to get at.

I guess to some people it's looked like I was an anarchist,
to others it looked like I was attacking people, to
others it looked like I'm trying to subvert commercial
mudding, even.

I don't know why this all is. I mean what I say. I am saying
I disagree with the way some things were done, but
I support moderation when it is necessary. Evidently there
is room for discussion on the "necessary" part.

But I have been operating under the assumption that
there *is* room for discussion on such things.

If there is not, then that is my fatal error and it is the
thing I will pay for, I suppose.

But I'm trusting that despite being painted as some sort
of ill-justified agitator, folks can see my motivation for
insisting on airing my grievances is not a play for
attention, not an attempt to usurp power, and not a
vulgar display of petulance. I hope people see that I
wish to express my heartfelt dissent, and that I believe
it is ok to do that until I am no longer capable, because
I truly believe in what I'm saying.

If that registers as disrespect, I guess there's not much
I can do about that. All I can do is point to my history
as not-that-bad-a-guy and hope that folks make the
connection that maybe, just maybe, I actually mean what I
say, and I mean well by it.

-Crat
htt[://lpmuds.net
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:09 AM   #50
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Re: Moderation

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaosprime View Post
The obvious ex-example would be Usenet. Did Usenet fail as a forum because of the inability to moderate conflict, language, and topicality, or was it more just the inability to moderate spam? (In the case of actual moderated newsgroups, I'd blame the inability to do post-hoc moderation; having to have a human in the loop before a post can appear is ridiculous.)
I don't know why Usenet failed (though I can speculate as well) but it failed so I wouldn't say it's a great example.
--matt
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:41 AM   #51
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Re: Moderation

How about just a modern Forum, but Logos your point is well taken. Any forum that isn't moderated is really just a shout house with alot of the s and the h missing.
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Old 08-30-2007, 12:54 AM   #52
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
How about just a modern Forum, but Logos your point is well taken. Any forum that isn't moderated is really just a shout house with alot of the s and the h missing.
Yeah. Arguing about whether moderation is a good thing is an inherent waste of time. Discussing how much moderation to have, on the other hand, seems very valid to me.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:03 AM   #53
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by cratylus View Post
But I'm trusting that despite being painted as some sort
of ill-justified agitator, folks can see my motivation for
insisting on airing my grievances is not a play for
attention, not an attempt to usurp power, and not a
vulgar display of petulance. I hope people see that I
wish to express my heartfelt dissent, and that I believe
it is ok to do that until I am no longer capable, because
I truly believe in what I'm saying.
I do, Crat.

And yes, I agree with you Logos, the "amount" of moderation and the reasons for it is a worthy topic to discuss.
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:20 AM   #54
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by Newworlds View Post
You guys calm down
I'm perfectly calm, and so is everyone else as far as I can see. Do you have a phobia for conflicting opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_logos View Post
From a historical perspective, in other words, the idea that these "dictatorships" (as you call them) rarely work is simply insupportable when it comes to internet forums, which is what we're talking about.
What I meant is that it would help if Lasher is more clearly in charge and doesn't allow each moderator the freedom to turn their sub forum into their own little dictatorship with its own set of laws. One dictator either works or doesn't work.

With each dictator added, however, the chance of things not working increases. I think having 1 to 3 moderators tops (one of them being Lasher) works best, especially given there is probably an option to report posts which reduces the need for pro-active moderation.
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:38 AM   #55
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by scandum View Post
What I meant is that it would help if Lasher is more clearly in charge and doesn't allow each moderator the freedom to turn their sub forum into their own little dictatorship with its own set of laws. One dictator either works or doesn't work.
If it helps, we're in communication with one another, and all forums have multiple moderators. That kind of cross-checking largely removes the "dictator" accusation. (As an aside, it's hard to take your posts seriously when this kind of hyperbole keeps surfacing.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by scandum View Post
With each dictator added, however, the chance of things not working increases. I think having 1 to 3 moderators tops (one of them being Lasher) works best, especially given there is probably an option to report posts which reduces the need for pro-active moderation.
You're being rather generous with Lasher's time there, asking him to cover everything. You would also see an increase in response time-- Lasher isn't always going to be near a computer.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:24 AM   #56
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Re: Moderation

From the dictionary:

Dictator: a person exercising absolute power.
Dictator: a person who authoritatively prescribes conduct.

I'm just trying to use the proper word for the proper thing here. I'm aware the word is loaded, but that's only because the media only highlights bad dictators, while neglecting to praise dictators that are doing an excellent job.

The reason why I proposed 3 moderators is so that 2 active moderators can keep things under control while Lasher still has the final say in crucial matters such as banning annoying newbies.

Right now some forums have 6 moderators, and if one of them decides a message is offensive and deletes it there's little the other moderators can do about it. That is, without stirring the pot, which means a lot of trouble that can easily be avoided by turning your head the other way.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:29 AM   #57
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Re: Moderation

Ultimately, moderation and moderators need to simply have rules for the forums, and I'm sure they so here. It is a judgement call, always, when you moderate, but it's the site owner's decision on who he/she wants moderating. It's not up to the users to dictate how things are moderated.

The rules are set up to shape the community and try to encourage a certain type of behavior. Some communities encourage flame wars and allow for people to disrespect each other. Others don't. It really all depends on what the site admin wants in the community.

In my opinion, Lasher is attempting to make TMS a more friendly place, and if it's not more friendly, at least it's more civil. I, for one, an glad of this, and it's making me give TMS another chance.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:35 AM   #58
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by scandum View Post
I guess I'm one of the few that find it strange that US citizens, perhaps the only nation that allows unrestricted free speech, are so eager to censor whenever a teensy little bit of power comes within their grasp.
Most of the really visible moderation has been done by me, and I'm a UK citizen You may now proceed to decry me as a yank-hater!
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:44 AM   #59
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Re: Moderation

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Originally Posted by Xerihae View Post
Most of the really visible moderation has been done by me, and I'm a UK citizen You may now proceed to decry me as a yank-hater!
You know, I've actually noticed that some of the most hardcore moderators from various forums in which I participate are from the UK. They usually are willing to take the heat and do the difficult work.

I wonder if it's something in the water over there.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:49 AM   #60
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Re: Moderation

Maybe it's all the tea and crumpets

I'd just like to say that I know some people are unhappy with the recent changes regarding the moderation team on TMS, but please bear with us! I think we have a good team in place now and the teething troubles should start dying down now the rules are visible and in place. We're doing our best to make TMS a relevant place for discussion about MUDs that people can feel happy posting to without worrying about being brought down by the trolls.

Now, where did I put my Internet Button of Troll Slaying +5... If anyone finds it please let me know!
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