Clearer moderation rules?


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Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 24th June 2015, 20:14

Clearer moderation rules?

I've heard several people express that it would be nice to have more clear Tavern rules. Posters end up getting moderated and then feel frustrated that they feel that they didn't know what they were doing was against the rules. Two similar posts seem to get moderated differently. Etc.

As a newish moderator, I'm not always sure what the correct course of action is, and I do my best to do what I think is the right option even if it's not what I would prefer to do. I probably make mistakes, and I try to learn from them to the best I can. It would help me to have clearer rules too. That said, it's really hard to make the rules clear without making them overly strict or useless at stopping bad behavior.

Given that, I'd like to hear what you all would like to see happen in regard to Tavern rules. As a reference, here are the two rules documents I've seen, aside from the much longer list of posting-in-GDD requirements.

Short Rules Post wrote:The Tavern is an easygoing and friendly forum for Dungeon Crawl players. We want to maintain that atmosphere. That is why we only have a few rules:

* Do not harass or insult other users. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.
* Do not post illegal or offensive material.
* No spamming.

If you violate our rules you will receive a warning. Repeated warnings may result in a ban. Nonconstructive and hostile comments may be deleted at the discretion of a moderator or administrator. Relax and have fun!


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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 24th June 2015, 20:16

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

I suggest to make it clear that a post was edited by mod. One of my posts was edited without having "Last edited by" label so some players thought that it was me who wrote "Mod note...".

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Post Wednesday, 24th June 2015, 20:46

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Sandman25 wrote:I suggest to make it clear that a post was edited by mod. One of my posts was edited without having "Last edited by" label so some players thought that it was me who wrote "Mod note...".

That one was my fault. Sorry about that. I've amended that post to make it more clear.

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Sandman25

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Post Thursday, 25th June 2015, 10:39

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

A simple suggestion is to use different colored text for mod actions. Like this:

This is a mod trying to moderate.
This is a comment by the mod as normal user.


Also a rule specifically against "record sniping" seems to be in order. I can see why you're disallowing it - but it's not obvious and not in the rules.

Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 25th June 2015, 11:51

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Zwobot: That's a good idea. The colour for mod comments should be the forum mod colour (so some kind of green).

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Post Thursday, 25th June 2015, 14:52

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

That would also help make it clearer when someone has the 'mod hat' on, so to speak. So if a mod says "Don't do this thing" you know if they're speaking as a fellow user of the forum expressing their opinion, or as a moderator telling you that you're breaking the rules.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 25th June 2015, 16:30

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

GDD has a separate rules document that provides additional GDD-specific rules. Perhaps CYC should also have a separate rules document at the top of the page to make it clear that CYC also has different rules? The intentionally lenient moderation isn't really made clear at the top of that forum.

dpeg wrote:Zwobot: That's a good idea. The colour for mod comments should be the forum mod colour (so some kind of green).


Red is probably better. It might not match the forum, but most of our posters come from cultures that associate the color with STOP or WARNING, which is a useful association when you want people to stop what they're doing so they can be given a warning by a moderator. Bright red draws the eyes, while greens or blues tend to be a bit more passive.

Whatever the mod color is, that color should probably be reserved only for moderator use.
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Post Thursday, 25th June 2015, 19:19

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Why not just have the moderators like, use the imperative when speaking? The problem isn't that their posts on the rules are vague or difficult to find, it's that their posts on the rules are nonexistant and inconsistent. I don't see how adding some special colour-coding will help with this shit.
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Post Thursday, 25th June 2015, 19:22

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Edit. The post was showing why it's important to see how mod edited a post.
Last edited by Sandman25 on Thursday, 25th June 2015, 23:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Thursday, 25th June 2015, 23:44

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Arrhythmia wrote:Why not just have the moderators like, use the imperative when speaking? The problem isn't that their posts on the rules are vague or difficult to find, it's that their posts on the rules are nonexistant and inconsistent. I don't see how adding some special colour-coding will help with this shit.


"Thou shalt not derail every GDD thread into a discussion about Chei."

It sounds like people want better feedback about how the mods interpret the rules, in practice. Using moderator notes more consistently might help, but I think there might be unfortunate limits to that. When you've deleted a post, you can't exactly use it as an example of improper behavior, and even mentioning that you have deleted a post tends to make people curious about what was in the deleted post and can derail the thread further. Also I'm not entirely comfortable with posting about bans/probations in the thread. It gives feedback about what isn't acceptable, but it also feels rather Scarlet Letter-ish.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 00:23

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

and into wrote:Also I'm not entirely comfortable with posting about bans/probations in the thread. It gives feedback about what isn't acceptable, but it also feels rather Scarlet Letter-ish.


How often do you go back to old threads to review who got scolded by moderators weeks or months ago, in discussions that have since ended? Probably most posters don't do that very often, so it isn't like the offender would be carrying that Scarlet Letter with them for particularly long. Certainly it's important to be fair in moderation, but it's also important to have the appearance of being fair, and if consequences are always swept under the rug where nobody can see them we can't really be surprised if there's a general perception that those consequences don't actually exist.

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Arrhythmia, Lasty

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 13:02

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

I tend to agree with KoboldLord on this -- I think that making it clear when moderation is involved helps posters to have a better sense of what sorts of things will get moderated and by whom, which in turn lets them question the moderation if it seems unreasonable.

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Post Monday, 6th July 2015, 21:00

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

I agree with whatever amusingly glib or sarcastic thing duvessa posts in this topic.
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Post Tuesday, 7th July 2015, 15:21

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Lasty wrote:I tend to agree with KoboldLord on this -- I think that making it clear when moderation is involved helps posters to have a better sense of what sorts of things will get moderated and by whom, which in turn lets them question the moderation if it seems unreasonable.

I'm in agreement here.

Part of the reason things work the way they do, by the way, is because it's what the forum software allows in a reasonably straightforward way. I would really like it if deleted posts weren't just bitbucketed, and if edits were reversible -- it would allow for better accountability and make mistakes in using the esoteric phpbb mod tools less damaging.

But they aren't, and we have the forum we have. To an extent, though, mods are going to be limited by the tool.
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Post Wednesday, 8th July 2015, 17:25

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

  Code:
s - the ring of Moderation {+/*Tele +Blink +Fly rPois Int-5}

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Post Thursday, 23rd July 2015, 13:07

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

I think a cool moderation rule/guideline would be if you want to lock a thread, post a non-argumentative, neutrally worded message about the direction of the conversation. Sort of the opposite of this kind of thing would be "I'm a good person with savvy opinions, whereas other people ITT -- not as much. Also, I have sarcastic and dismissive things to say about your bad opinions/experiences that you aren't allowed to respond to."
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Post Thursday, 23rd July 2015, 14:39

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

An already-existing rule is "don't moderate threads you've been involved in" which should help with mods getting the last word on an argument and shutting it down.
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Post Thursday, 23rd July 2015, 15:41

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Interesting. I would never have guessed such a rule exists.
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Post Thursday, 23rd July 2015, 19:51

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

njvack wrote:An already-existing rule is "don't moderate threads you've been involved in" which should help with mods getting the last word on an argument and shutting it down.


This rule is blatantly not followed or enforced currently. You greenies do a fine job, but some of those orange folks could use a stern talking to about it.

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Post Thursday, 23rd July 2015, 19:56

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

By the way, while we're talking about moderation and bias, I want to point this out again (I did already report it):

berder, you are sincerely [MOD EDIT: removed insult], my man
Last edited by Lasty on Tuesday, 21st July 2015, 15:11, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed "retarded"

Come on. You might as well have posted "Calling this poster retarded has been approved by Lasty"

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Post Friday, 24th July 2015, 15:31

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

We don't need a hard-and-fast rule that if someone has commented in a thread, they can't moderate it. It's certainly important as a mod to objectively consider whether your moderation actions are more due to your disagreements with certain posters, and then make a report or directly ask another mod if you think it's necessary to have an outside opinion on the posts in question. But people are given moderation rights because they have good judgement that they're expected to use, and timely moderation in the more tightly moderated forums (GDD, DCA, YAVP) is important.

I don't think a special color is necessary for describing moderation actions, but you should definitely make it clear that you're performing a moderation action in some way. Making a note about deleted posts is probably a good way to avoid confusion, for instance.

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Post Friday, 24th July 2015, 16:00

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Well, is that really true? Aren't all devs given moderation rights? The ability to code well for crawl doesn't necessarily translate to good judgement on moderation matters.

That's beside the point anyway, you don't need perfect people if you've got good rules for them.

What are your thoughts on a mod removing an insult from a post (the entire post was just an insult), but putting the exact insult in their moderation note? (As shown in my last post on this thread, taken directly from the execution/chicken chopping thread). I am not assuming bad faith here, but isn't it obvious in hindsight that if you're going to moderate a word, you probably shouldn't use that very word in the notes you attach to the post? Of course, more broadly if you're going to moderate a post that contains nothing but an insult, you might as well just delete the post.

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Post Friday, 24th July 2015, 18:53

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

gammafunk wrote:We don't need a hard-and-fast rule that if someone has commented in a thread, they can't moderate it. ... But people are given moderation rights because they have good judgement ... timely moderation in the more tightly moderated forums (GDD, DCA, YAVP) is important.


I don't know that you NEED such a rule... but it would certainly eliminate some of the hard feelings people had toward the mod team. It's one of those rules which is inconvenient, but benefits both the mods and the taverners by maintaining both objectivity and the appearance of objectivity. "Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done." --Gordon Hewart It's pretty clear that justice isn't always evident to several tavern regulars.

Such a rule would inevitably impose a greater average moderation delay, and it might not be worth that. But it certainly has advantages which should be considered, regardless of how laudable our mod team is.
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Post Friday, 24th July 2015, 18:59

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

dowan wrote:Well, is that really true? Aren't all devs given moderation rights?


No.
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Post Monday, 27th July 2015, 18:12

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

you are sincerely [REDACTED], pal

Last edited on Tuesday
Reason: called this retard "incorrigible"

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Post Tuesday, 28th July 2015, 16:56

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

gammafunk wrote:We don't need a hard-and-fast rule that if someone has commented in a thread, they can't moderate it.

Well, we do have one; it's what we invoked on Grimm. If we don't want that rule anymore (or want different rules in GDD), let's talk about it.

For now, do not moderate threads you've been involved in; once you've peed in the pool, use the report button or PM folks like anyone else.
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Post Tuesday, 28th July 2015, 20:20

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

njvack wrote:
gammafunk wrote:We don't need a hard-and-fast rule that if someone has commented in a thread, they can't moderate it.

Well, we do have one; it's what we invoked on Grimm. If we don't want that rule anymore (or want different rules in GDD), let's talk about it.

For now, do not moderate threads you've been involved in; once you've peed in the pool, use the report button or PM folks like anyone else.

OK, since this is apparently a rule, what are we supposed to do the 2-3 times a week it's broken? Should we file a report to be ignored, or post about it here in the complaints section to be locked?

Sorry to be so sarcastic about it, but I've personally complained about this happening multiple times and nothing has been done about it any of those times. And it keeps happening.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 03:14

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

dowan wrote:OK, since this is apparently a rule, what are we supposed to do the 2-3 times a week it's broken? Should we file a report to be ignored, or post about it here in the complaints section to be locked?

Sorry to be so sarcastic about it, but I've personally complained about this happening multiple times and nothing has been done about it any of those times. And it keeps happening.

The people creating issues in threads "2-3 times a week"? Oh, those guys are probably fine, let's not worry about them. Focusing on the moderators' actions is definitely the right approach.

Maybe instead of criticizing decisions that people make when they're consistently placed in difficult diplomatic situations, it would be better to try to minimize the amount of said situations. My personal recommendation is just to ban the tiny minority of people who cause the vast majority of issues...

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 05:00

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

I agree that moderation rules/behaviour shouldn't cater to or favor tavern users who have a habit of trying to derail threads with personal attacks on devs or other tavern users, and not surprisingly some of said tavern users who do this are active in this thread. I think a large amount of the backlash about moderation actions has been directed in particular at Lasty by this vocal minority, but he and the rest of us have already agreed in good faith to follow guidelines about indicating moderation actions more carefully to help avoid confusion/bad feelings. Also, that "reason" in Lasty's edit of the insult post might have displayed because he filled out the reason field and didn't realize it would be posted in the edit text.

I think the "don't moderate if you've posted" rule is not particularly helpful and will just delay moderation more than anything, and appeasing a small set of users that complain loudly about what are otherwise reasonable mod actions is not something we should aim for. On the other hand, if a majority of mods feel the rule is useful and we don't see any significant delays under it, then that's what we should follow.

After people got upset about a couple locked threads in CYC, I've mostly been hands-off for moderation in that forum except in the more extreme instances. It's probably best it remains lightly moderated, and can be a place where ranting is allowed if it's not a nasty personal attack.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 12:09

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

The important part of the rule is not about whether you've posted incidentally in a thread. The important part is discouraging the "thread closed, but the distribution requirements at my second tier liberal arts school had me read something that invalidates your lived experience and fuck you, you don't get to respond because I'm a mod here" posts. While some may feel singled-out by a rule like this, it's really better for both the target of those posts and the posters themselves for those posts not to exist.
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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 12:48

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

gammafunk is correct: I entered an edit reason because I assumed it was there just for moderator record-keeping. I believe that providing clarity into moderator actions is important for accountability and consistency. There's no weird ulterior motive here. It strikes me as odd that mps and dowan would prefer less clarity and accountability in moderation actions, so I'm assuming that their posts above are continuation of their long-running vendettas against me rather than content.

Which brings me to the point: posters like mps and dowan who nurse personal grievances and conspiracy theories eat up a lot of time for both forum visitors and moderators and derail a lot of threads while generating very little content of value. I've heard from many former-taverngoers that the high prevalence of posts by posters like these two have caused them to stop reading or posting here. Is there a point to keeping these posters around and trying to make them happy, when their happiness seems to be entirely contingent on winning personal struggles with other taverngoers and jealously guarding their reputation?

In my view the goal of moderation is to make tavern a lively, fun, welcoming, and informational place. I don't really see that having these two around is doing anything to further that. mps will be complaining about moderation until we stop enforcing rules about insulting and demeaning broad categories of people casually, and dowan will be complaining about moderation until we start only moderating the posts he dislikes.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 13:12

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

I also thought it was strange that the post said "removed insult" while putting the insult just below. Since the post just contained one line, I would have thought the sensible thing to do would be to delete it. But apparently it was just a mix-up about the moderator function, so no big deal. Perhaps one could invoke Wikipedia here and remind people to [[WP:AGF]].

I have not found mps or dowan's posts to be content-free or other description alleged to above. They have their pet peeves, just as others do (I can remember people making snarky comments about removing food in a tangentially related thread, for example). As to this thread, this board is supposed to be for suggestions and criticism, isn't it? And the criticism seems to be on point: if such a rule exists, it should be enforced, or if not, clarified.

Anyway, I have never had trouble with the mod team here, because I am a good boy and don't get into trouble. Others may have different experiences.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 15:05

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Lasty wrote:gammafunk is correct: I entered an edit reason because I assumed it was there just for moderator record-keeping. I believe that providing clarity into moderator actions is important for accountability and consistency. There's no weird ulterior motive here. It strikes me as odd that mps and dowan would prefer less clarity and accountability in moderation actions, so I'm assuming that their posts above are continuation of their long-running vendettas against me rather than content.

Which brings me to the point: posters like mps and dowan who nurse personal grievances and conspiracy theories eat up a lot of time for both forum visitors and moderators and derail a lot of threads while generating very little content of value. I've heard from many former-taverngoers that the high prevalence of posts by posters like these two have caused them to stop reading or posting here. Is there a point to keeping these posters around and trying to make them happy, when their happiness seems to be entirely contingent on winning personal struggles with other taverngoers and jealously guarding their reputation?

In my view the goal of moderation is to make tavern a lively, fun, welcoming, and informational place. I don't really see that having these two around is doing anything to further that. mps will be complaining about moderation until we stop enforcing rules about insulting and demeaning broad categories of people casually, and dowan will be complaining about moderation until we start only moderating the posts he dislikes.


Whoa, that's completely unfair. I first reported that edit reason using the report post button, and said in that very report something along the lines of: "I assume this was entered for record keeping purposes, and while I applaud the effort to maintain transparency, I think listing the specific insult makes the moderation pointless". If that report got lost in the shuffle or whatever, fine, but it's pretty unfair to attack my character over it. I think you guys agree you didn't mean to have the post still have the word "Retard" in it after you moderated it... I'm sorry if you took that as an attack on you, I honestly hadn't assumed any bad will on your part.

I understand we've had some rocky instances here and there (although we haven't had any communications in over a month), but I think you're the one bringing personal grievances into something where they don't belong. The moderation I've complained about has usually been the thread locking and parting comment type, or in cases where the moderation has been lopsided against the person the mod disagreed with in the thread. Both situations, according to NJVack, are actually against the moderator rules.

njvack wrote:
gammafunk wrote:We don't need a hard-and-fast rule that if someone has commented in a thread, they can't moderate it.

Well, we do have one; it's what we invoked on Grimm. If we don't want that rule anymore (or want different rules in GDD), let's talk about it.

For now, do not moderate threads you've been involved in; once you've peed in the pool, use the report button or PM folks like anyone else.


You can make your ad-hominems about me all you want, but all I've asked is for the rules to be followed. I'm not clear on what you're talking about where I complained about you moderating posts I like. I think you have certain opinions, like everyone else, and I think you let your biases influence your moderation at times, especially within threads you've participated in. That's the whole reason for a rule saying not to moderate threads you're involved in.

I'm honestly shocked at you calling me out here, I thought we had smoothed all this over in our PMs. This is the first I've heard that I'm driving people away, and that's quite an accusation to make out of the blue. I'd think after the first couple of former tavern goers told you about how Dowan drove them away you'd have PMed me about it, rather than wait for an opportunity to spring it on me. I'm not sure what personal struggles you're talking about, you seem to be projecting a lot of intent on me.

It's too bad you feel I've generated little content of value, I suppose that's all subjective, but it's not as if I just go around trolling, I actually engage in discussions. If you feel that an opinion that differs from your own is valueless perhaps you don't understand the purpose of a forum. It's not to all agree with each other, it's to have lively debates and get to a better understanding.

Since we're calling people out and all that, I've only ever complained about the moderation actions of two people. Gammafunk and Lasty. Gammafunk for making nasty parting comments and locking threads(supposedly against the rules), and Lasty for what seemed like very uneven moderation of topics he was involved in (Hey, against the rules again). In all, I've complained like 4 times over the course of over a year or longer.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 15:17

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Lasty wrote: Is there a point to keeping these posters around and trying to make them happy, when their happiness seems to be entirely contingent on winning personal struggles with other taverngoers and jealously guarding their reputation?

I'm going to explicitly not comment on the two users mentioned here - I don't think it's worthwhile to name specific names and I don't know if I agree with your assessment, but the answer to this question should be "no" in the general case. The staff's judgement being the deciding factor in who it applies to.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 15:33

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

dowan wrote:Whoa, that's completely unfair. I first reported that edit reason using the report post button, and said in that very report something along the lines of: "I assume this was entered for record keeping purposes, and while I applaud the effort to maintain transparency, I think listing the specific insult makes the moderation pointless". If that report got lost in the shuffle or whatever, fine, but it's pretty unfair to attack my character over it. I think you guys agree you didn't mean to have the post still have the word "Retard" in it after you moderated it... I'm sorry if you took that as an attack on you, I honestly hadn't assumed any bad will on your part.

To clarify further on this, I closed the report thinking that the problem had been dealt with - the report said that the offending word was still in the post, which appeared to no longer be the case to me, but apparently the moderator control panel doesn't display the "Last edited/edit reason" bit that was actually the problem, I guess it just turns out nobody knows how to use phpBB mod tools.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 15:43

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Lasty wrote:posters like mps and dowan who nurse personal grievances and conspiracy theories eat up a lot of time for both forum visitors and moderators and derail a lot of threads while generating very little content of value.


Well, I'll grant you there's some negativity, especially from mps. But 'little content of value' really doesn't describe either of them. Offhand, dowan has contributed helpfully to the shrikes, demon axe, the nethack discussion, my chei help thread... and he's one of the most consistently non-condescending tavern regulars. Mps contributed heavily to the discussion of Darkness, and the discussion of non-stabber utility of hexes. He also did a nice Nem guidelines in the Nem thread.

I understand there may be some paranoia about the mods. But I wouldn't want to kick someone who produces that much content and helpful advice, provided they keep their paranoia civil.

Besides, watching dowan and duvessa bicker is way too much fun. :)
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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 15:55

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Eh, we don't bicker as much as we used to. That's part of why being called out here was so shocking to me, I think I've made a conscious effort to be more civil, and to stop with some of the 'paranoia/conspiracy' stuff.

But as much as I enjoy the compliments and random attacks on my character, this thread has gotten way, way off track. Since there is apparently a rule, as quoted by NJVack, could the administration team please agree whether or not such a rule should continue to exist(I obviously think it should, but I have no authority). And then please let us boring non-bold blue names know what decision has been made. And then, should the rule continue to exist, could it please be actually enforced (meaning, moderation actions reversed if they were done in violation of that rule).

That's all. Maybe I'll win Lasty over one day with my charms :P , but that's quite beside the point.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 16:58

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

The important part is discouraging the "thread closed, but the distribution requirements at my second tier liberal arts school had me read something that invalidates your lived experience and fuck you, you don't get to respond because I'm a mod here" posts

I don't think taking a relatively minor issue (mods closing threads with snarky messages that allow no witty ripost) that has already been addressed and inexplicably restating it in much more offensive terms is in any way helping to identify the "important part". Relatively neutral wording is a good thing to use, since it helps people not feel singled out when their posts lead to a locked thread and discourages a lot of pointless back-and-forth. It's good policy to use reasonably impartial wording, but it won't matter to someone determined to pick a fight.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 17:54

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

gammafunk wrote:
The important part is discouraging the "thread closed, but the distribution requirements at my second tier liberal arts school had me read something that invalidates your lived experience and fuck you, you don't get to respond because I'm a mod here" posts

I don't think taking a relatively minor issue (mods closing threads with snarky messages that allow no witty ripost) that has already been addressed and inexplicably restating it in much more offensive terms is in any way helping to identify the "important part". Relatively neutral wording is a good thing to use, since it helps people not feel singled out when their posts lead to a locked thread and discourages a lot of pointless back-and-forth. It's good policy to use reasonably impartial wording, but it won't matter to someone determined to pick a fight.


Has it been addressed? The rule that existed back when you broke it twice in a row still exists, and you've stated that you think the rule is bad. Is the rule now actually in play? And what exactly is supposed to happen in the case that the rule is broken? Answering that would address the latest chapter of this epic S&C thread, I think.

I agree that inexplicably restating things in more offensive terms isn't helpful to furthering the conversation, although perhaps I can sympathize with his frustration.

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 18:51

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

mps wrote:distribution requirements at my second tier liberal arts school had me read something that invalidates your lived experience
prior to reading this sentence I never realized it was possible to smell a fedora

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Post Wednesday, 29th July 2015, 22:00

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Lasty, bud, let me lay it out for you. People hold grudges about your moderation because a) you're aggressive in a way people who have experience moderating on the internet know is a bad idea and b) you're very political and therefore personal about it. When I look around today, I see about the same group of people posting regularly I did when I showed up, minus one who I can only surmise was run off in a pretty ugly moderation conflict in which you took what appeared to be an expression of gender confusion (I unironically apologize in advance if I'm not using currently accepted language there) as some kind of ignorant sexism. Fine, if that's a learning experience for you, but I sense that it isn't.

gammafunk wrote:Relatively neutral wording is a good thing to use, since it helps people not feel singled out when their posts lead to a locked thread and discourages a lot of pointless back-and-forth. It's good policy to use reasonably impartial wording, but it won't matter to someone determined to pick a fight.


Yes, it is a good policy and it won't and hasn't mattered to someone determined to pick a fight. Look, if you take an instance in which someone without meaning to start a confrontation or be mean-spirited in any way says something problematic from the perspective of intersectional politics etc. and make it a confrontation, you're the aggressor, not the guy who probably doesn't know better for reasons that would make sense if you actually knew anything about him (which you don't, by the way).

You might reflect on whether the aggressiveness comes from a place of zeal for a set of principles or whether the principles are a conduit for a more basic urge to attack.

edit: to clarify, I didn't notice and don't give a damn about the post dowan's talking about. I'm talking about the thread where that File200 dude was talking about his disabled brother and Lasty jumped all over his ass, insulted him, and closed the thread all in the same post. I'm totally okay with stopping that line of discussion, as I'm generally okay with Lasty's political positions. Contrary to the way he presents the issue, to me it's only a matter of being reasonable when dealing with strangers and keeping moderation dry, as opposed to self-indulgent. Moderating the way Lasty does makes the forum unfriendly to everyone -- even members of the broad classes of people Lasty claims he's defending can run afoul of the type of overeager policing Lasty does and, indeed, when this happens as it often does, it's even more outrageous than when it's just a clueless suburbanite under the gun.
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Post Thursday, 30th July 2015, 13:07

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

It sounds like others in this thread either see some value in the posts from dowan/mps or don't feel that action is warranted in any case, so I'll assume that I'm probably biased on this point by virtue of the repeated, intensely-negative interactions I've had with them. As such, I'm going to leave all moderation of their posts to other mods. If I have anything further to say to these posters about their comments in this thread, I'll take it to PM, since this isn't the place to carry out what apparently is just a personal conflict.

As far as moderation itself goes, I think clear rules are a great start, which is why I started this thread. I don't get the sense that much has been done about helping set up a useful and clear set of rules. In any case, rules can only take you so far: some humanity and judgment is required to interpret the rules, and there will always be cases where someone is dissatisfied with the results. Having a clear set of rules won't end bickering over moderator actions or prevent anyone who feels personally persecuted from continuing to feel that way.

As for my moderation style, if you aren't mps and feel that there's an issue with it, please PM me about it. I'm willing to make changes, but I believe that mps's critique of my actions are purely about his distaste for me and "social justice warriors".

Edit: or, if you don't want to deal with me directly, please PM another mod, and ask them to bring it up with me.

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Post Thursday, 30th July 2015, 15:32

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Just to back Lasty up a little bit, he's not without reason to assume bad intent with me, as most of our interactions up until fairly recently have been... more antagonistic than necessary. In this particular case, I think he made an incorrect assumption about my intentions, but I can't blame him too much for doing so. But that's enough about that I think.

Can we just settle the issue at hand, which is:

njvack wrote:For now, do not moderate threads you've been involved in; once you've peed in the pool, use the report button or PM folks like anyone else.


Is this rule in effect? If so, what should a normal tavern goer do if he sees this rule get broken? And in that case, can we agree that any "unlawful" moderations should then be immediately reversed, although obviously a different mod (even the same one who would have reversed it) can choose to make the same moderation themselves?

I think such a statement would satisfy the people who keep asking about this rule, myself included. Even a statement to the contrary would at least close out the thread, but right now we seem to have only conflicting statements, and no enforcement of this supposed rule.

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Post Thursday, 30th July 2015, 16:42

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

At this point, I think this thread has accomplished a couple things:
  • It raised awareness of everyone's perspective on moderation conflict. It's really easy to not see the reasons mods do things in general, and while they are inherently fallible, I think this thread has clearly shown their positive intent and motives. Similarly, the critics largely seem to be at least sincere about their complaints, and not just rabblerousing.
  • It brought up disagreement about a de jure rule about moderating threads you post in. It seems to be disagreed about, and de facto ignored by some people, so a discussion is in order (at least among the mods.)
Perhaps that conversation should be taken to a different, specific thread?
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Post Friday, 31st July 2015, 01:57

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

mps wrote:edit: to clarify, I didn't notice and don't give a damn about the post dowan's talking about. I'm talking about the thread where that File200 dude was talking about his disabled brother and Lasty jumped all over his ass, insulted him, and closed the thread all in the same post. I'm totally okay with stopping that line of discussion, as I'm generally okay with Lasty's political positions. Contrary to the way he presents the issue, to me it's only a matter of being reasonable when dealing with strangers and keeping moderation dry, as opposed to self-indulgent. Moderating the way Lasty does makes the forum unfriendly to everyone -- even members of the broad classes of people Lasty claims he's defending can run afoul of the type of overeager policing Lasty does and, indeed, when this happens as it often does, it's even more outrageous than when it's just a clueless suburbanite under the gun.


If you're talking about the post I think you are, Lasty's admonishment of File200 was completely justified and I would have been disappointed in the moderation had it not been called out.

If you're trying to convince others that there is a problem with Lasty's moderation, you picked a remarkably bad example.

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Post Friday, 31st July 2015, 14:37

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Quick, use the suggestions board as another front in the sports-team politics flag-waving war.

Perfect.
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Post Friday, 31st July 2015, 14:39

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

dowan wrote:
njvack wrote:For now, do not moderate threads you've been involved in; once you've peed in the pool, use the report button or PM folks like anyone else.


Is this rule in effect? If so, what should a normal tavern goer do if he sees this rule get broken? And in that case, can we agree that any "unlawful" moderations should then be immediately reversed, although obviously a different mod (even the same one who would have reversed it) can choose to make the same moderation themselves?

After some discussion with other mods, it is not. Hard-and-fast rules about something like this are tricky; conversations can get extremely toxic very fast, and it's not like there's an on-call mod pool or anything. And banning spammers is absolutely in-bounds wherever and whenever it needs to happen -- even if it's in a thread where the mod has been involved.

So. This has not resulted in formal clarification of moderation rules. What I propose is:

* Moderators should remain cool-headed and impartial.
* It's better to call in other mods if you're dealing with someone with whom you have a history of conflict.
* If you, as a tavern-goer, feel you've been treated unfairly by a moderator, PM another one. We have a special moderator place where we can talk about this stuff out of the public eye.
* Know that mods are not always going to side with other mods. Know that they won't always side with you.
* Remember that mods are just people. Just like you. They will make mistakes. Just like you.

WRT the current mods: while I've seen some of them get more heated in discussion than was maybe helpful, I have seen very few actual moderation actions I disagree with. If you have examples, PM them to me. The examples I've been drawn to (mainly on CYC) have generally made me think "god, what a shitshow, thanks for dealing with that."

We don't have a formal rule about this (maybe we should), but I think I speak for the mod team in general when I say: Content that alienates people because of who they are is not welcome here. This includes misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, and racist content. If that's too SJW for you, and you can't discuss a roguelike without that stuff, that's fine. Take it to reddit.
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Post Friday, 31st July 2015, 14:42

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

johlstei wrote:Quick, use the suggestions board as another front in the sports-team politics flag-waving war.

We don't get to decide if we're a front on the sports-team politics flag-waving war. By nature of existing, we're on one.

I want us to decide which front we're on. As my previous message suggests, I have a very strong feeling about which front I want to be on.
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Post Friday, 31st July 2015, 14:53

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

Well, to be honest that's mildly disappointing, but at least now we're all clear, and can stop pretending there is a rule that says no moderating if you're participated in a thread.

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Post Friday, 31st July 2015, 17:53

Re: Clearer moderation rules?

I might suggest "no moderating actions should be taken regarding an argument that the moderator has been personally involved in" as distinct from "thread" and "participated"

Which is both more limited and much harder to single out, and of course will be subject to interpretation, but I think, if followed, would result in less of the kind of actions that have caused complaints.

I would prefer if a moderator is feeling personally attacked or like an argument they are participating in is getting too heated, they should get another mod to handle it.

If they said something somewhere else in a topic and two people start going at it or spam unrelated to the mod's own discussion erupts, I don't think restricting them from moderating responsibly is useful.
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