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Old 04-23-2007, 09:22 AM   #1
igyman
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When you hear ''Moderator'', or ''Administrator'', you're thinking...

Back in February a friend of mine decided to start a serbian forum dedicated to Superman and the TV series SmallVille. He showed me what he'd done back then and it wasn't much - divided it into categories, made some forums for certain topics, but not all. The forum has been in a standstill until a few days ago when I volunteered to help him out. He made me a moderator and two days later, after he'd seen the amount of work I performed in such a short time, I became an admin. Since then I have managed to make a new banner for the forums, finish the making of forums for different topics, making up a name for each of the subforums (just like we have Ahto, CEC, etc. here), posting the SmallVille cast bios in serbian and writing a short description for each of the subforums that's shown right below the name (like most forums show it).
Today we went through the forum rules. After all, it's not my forum and I can't make them up myself. Anyway, we wrote the rules and the penalty system, which may still be edited, updated, or whatever.

Now, a note to the mods: I am not trying to advertise the forum with this thread and here are three simple reasons:
1) It's against the rules
2) The forum is only for people who live in Serbia, meaning that serbian language will be the official forum language
3) The forum is still in the works.

So, why did I start this thread? Well, I thought it would be interesting to hear what other members expect to be the duties of a moderator, or an administrator, which is why I've told you that story above, so you could get an idea of the responsibilities.
The other reason is to hear some helpful tips from the local more experienced staff, possibly regarding the editing of the forum rules and tips on enforcing them when the forum eventually starts working.
Reason number three is connected to reason number one - even though people here (to my knowledge) don't bug the mods to give them the mod status, I have seen a few cases of a newbie with less than ten posts asking other members how he could become a mod. I think this thread could clarify a few things to them and anyone else who thinks being a mod is all about your username written in fancy bold letters and having the power over other members.

I didn't put this in Kavar's Corner though, because I don't think it's that serious a topic. If the mods disagree, or think that this topic shouldn't have been started, they can move it, lock it, or delete it and I won't say a word.

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Old 04-23-2007, 09:58 AM   #2
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For me, mods and admins must keep the order on the forums and keep it civil. It's not "cool" for me having some more buttons on your interface, the ability of editing others post and so on. It's like a job, and since I don't apreciate heavy(?) works at all, I try to not press them much, nor disrespect them. But if I feel like they've made a mistake, oh, you well damn bet they're gonna hear my camplaints.
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:27 PM   #3
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When I think of mods and admins the first thing that came to mind is Holy Crap, because of the fact that they can pretty much do anything that they wanted to me (including banning me). Now though I see them as a sense of authority and as pretty fair down to earth people. So all-in-all I feel safe and confident about having them here.

Also, not to mention I admin my own forums and am the Co. Manager at Kotor2Files.com. So that definitely gives me a sense of knowing how hard thier positions are.


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Old 04-23-2007, 01:37 PM   #4
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When I think of the mods and Admns, I think of them patroling in their little cyber cars that turn on the sirens when they see a member abusing privileges. I understand being a mod is difficult since I was made one on two different sites. I personally dislike having to play good cop/bad cop but I put stock in rules. Law and order is essential in order to have fun.

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Old 04-23-2007, 02:00 PM   #5
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Well, when I first registered here, I thought, "Holy crap! Those people are a bunch of power-hungry dictators who want to control everything!" But then once I stuck around for a while, I realized they just have to do their job of keeping everything in order, and sometimes add a little fun into it to keep the mood light.


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Old 04-23-2007, 02:51 PM   #6
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:58 PM   #7
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When you hear ''Moderator'', or ''Administrator'', you're thinking...

When you hear ''Moderator'', or ''Administrator'', you're thinking... Personally, I don't think anything when I hear thoses titles. Since I am a long term website owner, I believe the real power is with the owner.

When it comes to designations:

"Moderator" - is someone who monitors the forum traffic, and keeps everyone in check. Some moderators are just plain anoying, so I think this is the tittle for people who want to abuse and create their own laws. When a person becomes a moderator, they become very snubish to the general public and they act biased. They forget their own roots, and they forget that they can be asked to leave. When they hold sessions behind the scenes, they have to confirm what they are doing in right. For some reason they cannot function responsibily without being in a collective. I call it 'cult' syndrom. They choose to up hold the rules when they beleive it is convenient.

J/K

"Administrators" - are individuals who have been entrusted to maintain the functionality of the forums. These people do not want to be moderators, for they have a higher level of intelectual skills. When something goes wrong with the site, the Administrators are allways there to save the dave. They act responsible, and they have the highest level of respect from the forumites.

Just my twisted version of things. :

After I was here for a year, I wanted to join in the responsibilities. I thought it would be cool to become a moderator. Once I realized what I was looking for, I started to think that the real power is in World Domination.



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Old 04-23-2007, 04:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCorp
people who want to abuse and create their own laws
Yeah, I imagine there are quite a few of those roaming the internet forums, but I guess that's one extra duty for the admins - to keep the moderators in check and, if necessary, make some changes in the list of ''employees''.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCorp
"Administrators" - are individuals who have been entrusted to maintain the functionality of the forums.
Indeed they are. And one other duty of theirs is to design the forums, which is what I'm currently doing - making sure every piece of information that's supposed to be there before the forums become open to the public is there, deciding on the physical appearance (read: color scheme) of the forums, etc. There's a lot of work ahead of me and my friend. For instance, we have to establish a ranking system, since for now we only have the ''member'', ''moderator'' and ''administrator'' ranks.

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Old 04-23-2007, 04:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igyman
Yeah, I imagine there are quite a few of those roaming the internet forums, but I guess that's one extra duty for the admins - to keep the moderators in check and, if necessary, make some changes in the list of ''employees''.


Indeed they are. And one other duty of theirs is to design the forums, which is what I'm currently doing - making sure every piece of information that's supposed to be there before the forums become open to the public is there, deciding on the physical appearance (read: color scheme) of the forums, etc. There's a lot of work ahead of me and my friend. For instance, we have to establish a ranking system, since for now we only have the ''member'', ''moderator'' and ''administrator'' ranks.
Sounds like fun man. Good luck.



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Old 04-23-2007, 04:54 PM   #10
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Moderators are meant to be servants to the community they moderate, pure and simple. As a past supermod of FileFront's forums (about as big as LF here) I understand fully what the job should be and what it often becomes, which are two entirely different things. Any staff member of any forum needs to keep a healthy respect for the community they serve. When they don't you start to see the abusive, unfriendly mods you encounter on a lot of forums.

I'm not going to go over specific duties because that's pretty well covered. Just worry about attitude, and how to keep it positive and friendly.
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Old 04-24-2007, 06:38 AM   #11
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Admins and Moderators are just people doing a service to a forum that has a topic which they all have a common interest in.


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Old 04-24-2007, 10:27 AM   #12
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:19 AM   #13
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'Fancy bold letters'=more work for me.
In fact, one of the first questions I had when I was asked to become one was "what would my responsibilities be, and do I have the time to commit to those responsibilities in order to do them appropriately?"

If you want to be a good mod/admin you have to have the following characteristics, not in any particular order.

a. be familiar with the forum and its people (i.e. you have to be a participant and have been there long enough to know who's who and what's what).

b. Some knowledge of human nature and some 'llfe experience' is very helpful.

c. Mods/admins have to be very familiar with the rules.

d. Mods/admins have to actually follow the rules themselves, at least most of the time.

e. They have to know (or know how to figure out) if something is done accidentally or on purpose

f. they have to know when a post or person is out of compliance with the rules.

g. they have to understand that being a mod/admin is a privilege, not a right

h. they have to understand that being a member of the forum is a privilege, not a right

i. they have to be able to discern spam from fun, the difference between a true insult and kidding around, and the difference between someone truly flaming or just having a really bad day (sometimes this is really hard). Most posts that I delete or edit are in obvious need of a deletion or edit. For the ones that are borderline, I ask myself how it's going to affect the overall community and go from there.

j. they have to weigh the needs of a single member against the needs of the community. I hate warning/banning someone. It is not fun. I put a lot of work into the emails and PMs that I send to someone that is getting a warning or temp-ban, maybe more than I need to, but I think it's important someone fully understands why a penalty is being imposed on them and how they can prevent the problem in the future if they aren't permanently banned. However, I understand that some people simply choose not to follow the rules. If they don't want to follow the rules, they don't need to be here.

k. by the same token, I try not to be overzealous in banning/warning. If someone visits and sees a lot of banned people and heavy amounts of moderating in sections that don't need it, they're going to wonder about it. If the site has advertising, the owner counts on a certain number of people visiting, and if we ban everyone, that's going to affect the owner.

l. I try to be fair in enforcing the rules (but I'm not perfect, and I have bad days like everyone else), and when I screw up I have to be mature/honorable enough to apologize (which is never easy for anyone, including me)

m. I try to follow the rules myself (since I'm theoretically supposed to be a good example)

n. I try to protect the community from complete jerks

o. I have to know how most of the 'buttons' work

p. I have to know how to work and play well with other mods/admins

q. Admins need to know how all the relevant buttons work

r. Admins need to know how to supervise and motivate volunteer staff (this is very different from motivating and supervising paid staff, since there is no incentive for volunteers to stay and do work in an unpleasant environment)

s. Admins need to be able to deal with staff conflicts (which I think happens very rarely)

t. Admins have to be able to remediate or remove a problem staff member so that their actions don't have a negative impact on the forum

u. Admins have to be able to recognize those who'd be good moderators and develop/train appropriately (since moderators aren't going to stay around forever--many will move on to other repsonsibilities or activities)


There's a list for you, igy. It's probably way more than you wanted.


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Old 04-24-2007, 11:34 AM   #14
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When I hear the word moderator, super-moderator or administrator, my mind instantly generates a picture in my head, displaying a bunch of people with bold and italic written names, running around nervously, mumbling something among the lines "Please, please, gawd please, never, ever Ray Jones!!1"

All I have to say to that is: please, calm down and but aside your fear. Being administrator is my job. Yes, that's right, I earn money with having my name written in bold italics.



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Old 04-24-2007, 11:47 AM   #15
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lol i think of the days when i was in the private forum arguing with rogue nine over post counts in the role playing forum. the next day i got locked out of that forum. good times.


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Old 04-24-2007, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
There's a list for you, igy. It's probably way more than you wanted.
Actually, the list is great and very helpful. It confirmed my suspicions and now I am positive about what I have to work on to be a good administrator on the forum my friend and I are making. I also have a good source of info to call upon when I suggest some of the stuff to him. He may be lazy at occasions when it comes to making his own forum, but he never refuses a good advice.

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Old 04-24-2007, 12:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igyman
When you hear ''Moderator'', or ''Administrator'', you're thinking...

I thought it would be interesting to hear what other members expect to be the duties of a moderator, or an administrator, which is why I've told you that story above, so you could get an idea of the responsibilities.
Titles that can mean different things depending on the need, form and norms of the forum where they are used, not "ranks" whose meaning are set in stone. Since it's a hobby forum and not a paramilitary organization I don't think there usually is much of a need for a strict "chain of command" or a jackbooted enforcement of rules. It's usually more productive to discuss things that need to be done as equals than to boss people around.

I tend to see people with those titles as community members who are tasked with some extra responsibilities to help keep the community alive, friendly and running smoothly. Not as a VIP team that's more important than everyone else.

In a perfect world rules and moderators wouldn't be needed, everyone would use common sense, respect others and just get along (or leave if they didn't like the community). But I've seen a fair number of forum communities where the staff had gone inactive that were destroyed by spammers, advertisers, griefers and internet vandals to the point where the regular members just gave up and left.

When you have to wade through 10 pages of viagra advertisments, flame wars, cussing spam and smiley war contests to find a single thread that has anything to do with the purpose of the community, then having some (hopefully) trusted community members able to police the forum does not seem like such a bad idea.

I can of course only speak for myself, but I didn't accept this responsibility here for "power" or perceived "respect". There is precious little of that to be had at any rate, and loads of less glorious work to take care of. Most of which the rest of you won't see much of if the staff do the job well. I accepted the offer since I like this community a lot, how it's kept relatively friendly compared to many other forums on the net, and felt I would like to help preserve it that way.

I don't think a fancy title under your portrait automatically grants you any more respect anyway, or makes your word carry more weight than that of anyone else (unless we're talking about moderation issues of course). It's just a convenient way of informing people who they can contact if they need help with anything forum related.

I haven't noticed people treating me any different during normal discussions since I was made a moderator here, and I hope I haven't started treating people any different either. You should respect other community members whether they have a special rank or not (unless they prove themselves unworthy of it).

(Which is why I post in a different blue color when I'm speaking "officially" as a moderator on moderation issues and not as my normal community member self. Makes it easier to tell when I'm worth paying any attention to. )

* * *

As for actual duties, in this section moderators keep the forums organized and tidy and take care of people who are here with the intent to disrupt the community rather than be a member of it. The administrator does the same, in addition to technically appointing moderators the rest of the staff has agreed on, as needed, handling problems related to people's user accounts, and creating new forums when that is needed. At least as far as I know.

Think of moderators more as combination janitors/security guards rather than "rulers" and it pretty much sums up my personal view of it. Someone whose work you shouldn't really notice when everything seem to flow smoothly, but is there to call for if something needs to be fixed.

Just my somewhat disorganized personal thoughts on the matter. Hopefully I answered some of your questions in all that.

Last edited by stoffe; 04-24-2007 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Doh...
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:02 PM   #18
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@ Jae Onasi - I don't think rules are as important as common sense. Yeah, the rules are a foundation of structure, which brings a sense of civility in the forums. Several moderators have an inability to be laxed, and they shroud themselves deeply into rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoffe
I haven't noticed people treating me any different during normal discussions since I was made a moderator here, and I hope I haven't started treating people any different either. You should respect other community members whether they have a special rank or not (unless they prove themselves unworthy of it).
Personally, when someone I know becomes a moderator, I tend to give them more space. After Jae and ChAinZ became moderators, I started to distance myself from their presence. I do respect both individuals and their abilities, but I don't like anyone who I have been friends with gain power. Nothing can kill a friendship more than getting heat from someone you built a relationship with. After they became moderators, I stopped sending them private messages. Once a friend becomes a moderator, I believe it is only a matter of time when they turn on you.

On the flip side of topic one.::
I have seen several moments in which a moderator would leave a topic open, which is very contriversial in nature. When something goes wrong in the thread, the moderator gives the offender a warning. The only problem is that the moderator knew the subject was sensitive, and they didn't use foresight (or logic) to prevent chaos from happening. When everything is said and done, the person who suffers in the one who gets the warning. Even though the moderator was responsible for inaction, they walk away without receiving any marks. Who is to blame? The offender who responded with an enevidible reaction, or the moderator who didn't use common sense to stop things before anything happens.

I kind of wish that the moderators could stand up and say, "Yeah, the offender did react harshly, but it was my fault for not acting responsibly." I don't think moderators have that level of humility, which allows them to say, "Yeah, I am only a human. Eventhough my pride is hurt, I do have to admit fault." We don't have any moderators in these forums that will do that.

I would rather higher someone who has fallen than one who has not. A fallen humanbeing is a humble humanbeing.



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Last edited by MacCorp; 04-24-2007 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCorp
"Moderator" -...Some moderators are just plain anoying, so I think this is the tittle for people who want to abuse and create their own laws. ...
A Moderator is someone who has proven they can spell "annoying" and "title."

The stipend isn't bad either.

Edit: Oops, just noticed this.

Quote:
Who is to blame? The offender who responded with an enevidible reaction, or the moderator who didn't use common sense to stop things before anything happens.
A lot of times when that warning is given that Mod then brings it to the attention of other Mods and sees how everyone feels about it. There is no telling where a topic will go, even controversial ones, so there's no reason to pre-emptively close a topic. Sometimes there may be a history with the poster though and you know where they are trying to take it. Every case can differ.

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Old 04-24-2007, 01:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannibal
A Moderator is someone who has proven they can spell "annoying" and "title."

The stipend isn't bad either.
Hehehe... Normally I would go through and check spelling. I must have been tired. Lol...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannibal
A lot of times when that warning is given that Mod then brings it to the attention of other Mods and sees how everyone feels about it. There is no telling where a topic will go, even controversial ones, so there's no reason to pre-emptively close a topic. Sometimes there may be a history with the poster though and you know where they are trying to take it. Every case can differ.
I still think it is a bad sense of judgement. If I were in a moderator position, I would close the thread regardless about the poster's civility. Closing a thread of a questionable nature does not offend anyone. Leaving the thread open and crossing your fingers doesn't keep things civil. No offence man.



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Old 04-24-2007, 02:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCorp
I don't like anyone who I have been friends with gain power...
It can be disruptive that is true. But if your friendship was worth its salt to begin with, both of you should be able to adjust to new conditions amiably.
Quote:
Once a friend becomes a moderator, I believe it is only a matter of time when they turn on you.
Well, if you have that predisposition, you will automatically look for ways that your friend has turned on you and set the relationship up for failure while blaming the promotion or your friend. If you instead try to foster a positive attitude towards your friend's promotion, your relationship will remain strong through the transition.

Quote:
I still think it is a bad sense of judgement. If I were in a moderator position, I would close the thread regardless about the poster's civility. Closing a thread of a questionable nature does not offend anyone. Leaving the thread open and crossing your fingers doesn't keep things civil. No offence man.
Since we're speaking in generalities, we can't really describe "it" as a bad sense of judgement. Each thread is different. Some are more controversial or spammy than others. Spammy threads are often closed immediately. Controversial threads, on the other hand, don't get closed simply because they are controversial. That is akin to censorship. As Hannibal said, you don't know what direction a thread will take, so we presume innocence until someone violates a rule.

Yes, we do "shroud ourselves in the rules" when we need to make a difficult decision. The rules provide a consistency for moderation. If one of us is having a bad day, we don't go around banning people for minor infractions. Plus the rules provide members with the knowledge of the expected behavior on the forums. Really, I think the merits of having posted forum rules is obvious and doesn't require further defending.
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Old 04-24-2007, 02:29 PM   #22
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Imagine if your offline friendships had a series of rules to follow. Lol... "Before we become good friends, please read the following disclosure." Lol...

There are things you say or omit from offline conversations, for they would seem disrespectful and illogical. I would not hire any of my relatives or friends, and I would not work for any relatives or freinds. If I want to keep these people feeling confrotable and close, you don't mix pleasure with power with buisness.

When a friend becomes a moderator in a forums, you do treat them differently from all perspectives. You change the way you talk to them, so you do not put them into a position to act. I personally do not want to worry about the comments I want to make. When you deal with offline friendships, the two individuals carry on casual. Slang and all. There are no rules to offline friendships. You may do things for the sense of respect, but you do not have a set of guidelines to follow. Offline conversations are drawn by pure instinct, respect, and kindness.



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Old 04-24-2007, 02:57 PM   #23
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Imagine if your offline friendships had a series of rules to follow. Lol... "Before we become good friends, please read the following disclosure." Lol...
There are also laws, customs, manners, and other "rules" that you follow offline. Some are written down, some are not. Online, all we have is the written word and emoticons for communication. Offline you don't throw your garbage on the ground and expect to get away with it. Offline you don't harass or assault others. Offline you don't try wear a disguise and try get false driver's license. We have similar rules here. If the world was perfect everyone would use common sense as stoffe suggested, but oh well I guess we just have to have rules posted and moderators appointed.


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When a friend becomes a moderator in a forums, you do treat them differently from all perspectives. You change the way you talk to them, so you do not put them into a position to act. I personally do not want to worry about the comments I want to make.
If you are not worried that the comments you make are offensive to a normal member, why would you be more worried that your comments are offensive to a moderator? If you're friends with your neighbor who's a policeman, would you feel uncomfortable discussing automotive repair with him for fear that he'd arrest you for something you said? Not at all. If you both share that as a common interest, there's no reason why you couldn't just think of him as a friendly neighbor (until you see a burglar breaking into someone's house).

Quote:
When you deal with offline friendships, the two individuals carry on casual. Slang and all. There are no rules to offline friendships. You may do things for the sense of respect, but you do not have a set of guidelines to follow. Offline conversations are drawn by pure instinct, respect, and kindness.
You must also remember that online, you are speaking in front of a huge crowd every time you post, hence the need for moderation and generally accepted rules of behavior. It's not the same as two individuals talking casually -- that's more analogous to the PM system.
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:02 PM   #24
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MacCorp--common sense is not always common and it varies widely in an international community. What's common sense to a 25 year old is not always obvious to a 13 year old just because the young teen doesn't have the same life experience. What's common sense for an American is sometimes different from what's common sense to someone from Brazil or Fiji or any of the other places where one can access the forums. So, we do have to have some rules to keep the place functioning smoothly, to teach people what's appropriate/not appropriate for this particular community, and what the penalties are if they don't comply with the rules. This way there is a clear standard of expected behavior. We really don't have that many rules, to be honest.

Some moderators may apply the rules slightly differently, which is why we have a separate mod forum to discuss that kind of thing. For instance, I'm very conservative on the use of expletives, some of the other moderators are more liberal. It's generated some interesting discussion, and I've learned some cool things about how other people from around the country and world view language.

I know which threads you're talking about, Mac, and I wasn't a moderator (except in CEC) at the time when all the excitement erupted. However, I disagree with your assessment that the moderators were guilty of inaction. I would have been upset if a moderator had closed those threads just because flaming _might_ occur. As long as people can discuss controversial or sensitive topics politely, there's absolutely no reason why a thread has to be closed just because the topic _could_ result in some flaming. I would like a thread to stay open for discussion, which can be very interesting, until it's shown that people are flaming so much that it can't be controlled by dealing with the offensive individuals themselves.

The truth is, it's the poster that's solely responsible for the content of his/her posts. The member decides to write the post and to hit the reply button, not the moderator. The member who writes the offensive post is indeed the one who should receive the warning. They could have walked away from that thread instead of submitting an offensive reply. I refuse to take responsibility for someone else's submissions, since I can't predict what they're going to say. Now if they flame, and I don't deal with that post as a moderator, then it becomes my problem _also_, and it should be dealt with by the admins if I"m not handling it appropriately. It does not mean the entire thread should be closed and all the other members who were capable of civil discussion should lose out on an interesting discussion. That unfairly punishes many members who _are_ capable of conducting themselves courteously because some jerk _might_ cause problems.

I'm not going to close a thread because it has the _potential_ to create trouble. As long as everyone behaves, there's nothing wrong with discussing controversial topics. We have an entire forum for that now, so we obviously have a number of people who are interested in discussing challenging topics and appear to be enjoying it very much. I think only 1 or 2 threads have been closed, and that was right after the forum was created and people were still getting used to how Kavar's Corner was going to function.

Sigh, this may be viewed by you as my promotion ruining our friendship, but I'd like to think that friends would be honest with each other about difficult things as well as the fun things, so I'm going to say this anyway. Just because you disagreed with that moderator decision doesn't mean the moderator did something wrong--it just means they had a different philosophy on how to handle it. There were a couple choices of dealing with those threads--closing them pre-emptively and cutting off all discussion, or allowing the discussion and dealing with flamers if/when it occurred, and both could have been appropriate in certain circumstances. The moderators chose the latter. Chastising the moderators for not handling the thread the way you wanted it, when so many others wanted to keep that thread open and continue discussion, I don't think is really fair. Furthermore, chastising them publicly now for something they did months ago isn't fair, either. If you didn't complain to the moderators and administrators privately at that time to try to handle the issue, then I think your comments above are not just. I don't think you should be complaining publicly if you've never taken steps to work it out with that moderator and/or that moderator's supervisor(s)--i.e. the administrators.

Since I'm in Kavar's a lot and so do a lot of the moderating there, I can tell you that my philosophy is to avoid closing threads as much as possible. We've made the expectations clear and have tweaked the rules a couple times to make the forum work well and to work with the members. When we have a problem in the thread, the first thing we do is edit or delete an offensive post. If it's bad enough to require a warning, we'll do that in a public warning and/or PM. However, we deal with it on an individual level, rather than taking the drastic step of closing a thread, whenever possible.

If there's so much flaming or spamming going on that it can't be controlled on an individual level, then we'll consider closing the thread, but not before we've tried other methods first. I think it's perfectly acceptable to discuss controversial topics as long as everyone stays civil. If a thread or person gets out of control and the staff doesn't fix the problem, then, yes, it is a moderating problem, but not before then.

If someone has an issue with a moderator decision, the best person to discuss that with initially is the moderator himself/herself. I don't object if someone asks me why I made a particular decision on an edit/warning/comment/whatever. If someone can't work it out with that moderator, then the member should address it with one of the administrators (since they're in charge of moderator issues as well as forum issues) to try to resolve it. If it involves an administrator, then that person should go to another administrator or the site owners to discuss it.


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Old 04-24-2007, 03:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I do respect both individuals and their abilities, but I don't like anyone who I have been friends with gain power. Nothing can kill a friendship more than getting heat from someone you built a relationship with. After they became moderators, I stopped sending them private messages. Once a friend becomes a moderator, I believe it is only a matter of time when they turn on you.
I'd think it would be a better idea not to do anything that would give them a reason to "give you heat" to begin with? Your way of thinking is completely alien to me. I see no reason at all why someone should distance themselves from their friends just because they accept a volunteer position in a community. Why would someone change as a person just because they help maintain a forum as a hobby? Why would a friend suddenly be "out to get you" for such a reason? Could you even call such a person a friend to begin with? I have a hard time understanding that kind of reasoning.

If your best friend became a police officer, would you sever that friendship just because he/she might be required to take action against you if you break the law? Just because that person might have some small measure of power over you? Are all your friends physically weak, so they can't punch you in the face if you say/do something really nasty to them?

Quote:
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I have seen several moments in which a moderator would leave a topic open, which is very contriversial in nature.
As long as the topic conforms to the norms and rules of the forum, and is on-topic, there is no reason to close it just because people may strongly feel different about it. That's what a discussion forum is for: discussion. If people don't like partaking in discussion of controversial it's quite easy just to skip those threads. The thread title usually gives you idea what the topic is. Nobody is forcing anyone to read it. Going around and arbitrarily closing threads just because you think they potentially might cause conflict sounds like a pretty sure way to kill a community to me.

You can't please everyone. No matter what you do there will always be someone who disagrees with your decision.

Quote:
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Imagine if your offline friendships had a series of rules to follow. Lol... "Before we become good friends, please read the following disclosure."
They do exist... they're called laws, and governs what is acceptable behavior in society as a whole, and social norms that act as unwritten rules for what is acceptable and "normal" behavior within a group or culture. Violate those, and you'll see that friendship hardly is something set in stone. Humans are social beings, and societies are held together by rules and norms. Like it or not, all groups/communities have rules, whether in "real life" or on the Internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCorp
When a friend becomes a moderator in a forums, you do treat them differently from all perspectives. You change the way you talk to them, so you do not put them into a position to act.
As mentioned I have not noticed anything like this. I don't feel anyone treats me any different now than a year ago on these forums. And there really wouldn't be any reason to do so either. I have not been changed fundamentally how I am as a person just because I got an extra line of text under my avatar. You have apparently had different experiences. Thus this kind of thing is something that might happen in certain cases, not a cause and effect set in stone that applies to every person.

This is probably starting to drift away from the original topic though, so I will say no more on the matter.
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Old 04-24-2007, 03:10 PM   #26
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@ Jae - I was not referencing what happened to the religious threads. I had forgotten all about them. Making an assumption like that is nieve. I forgive to forget. I drew my conclusion based upon a vast experience with moderators. I didn't just choose one specific event.

After looking at the names in this thread, I am going to wait until a non-moderator expresses their views. I respect what the moderators have said, but I would like to hear what outsiders think.

We live in a world as of lately where no one questions authority. I think this can become an opportunity, which the moderators and forumites can converse about possible misconceptions or set precognitions.



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Old 04-24-2007, 04:12 PM   #27
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I have been following this discussion and I have to say that I agree with the mods in this case. Yes, there are mods out there who don't do their job properly, mods who abuse their position, but that's why the admins exist. They take care of the troublemaking moderators.

Rules are necessary. They shouldn't be strict, but they should exist. Penalties should be formed based on the severity of the problem. You shouldn't ban someone because he posts one spam, you should warn him about it. If it happens again, warn and/or delete the post, but if it turns out to be a pattern, then that person shouldn't be in that community (I'm mentioning spamming, because my friend and I are currently in a small disagreement on how it should be handled. Basically, his position is: one warning and after that a ban, mine is two warnings and after that we'll see, possibly a ban).
The mods are right in that you can't please everyone and that you should try to focus on the majority.

Personally, I wouldn't have stuck around in these forums for more than a year, if I thought this community was a bad one and part of why things are like that is because the mods here know how to do their jobs, which is yet another reason why I decided to start this topic on this forum - I knew we could talk about it reasonably and I knew I could learn something useful through that discussion.

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Old 04-24-2007, 04:17 PM   #28
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Quote:
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If I were in a moderator position, I would close the thread regardless about the poster's civility. Closing a thread of a questionable nature does not offend anyone.
If a post is civil and doesn't break any forum rules there is no reason to close it.
Non offensive threads can get closed because of flaming.

Closing any thread often offends at least one person. People often complain "Why was my <blank> thread close and so and so's <blank> thread is still open. Then you have to explain the diffrence.

Nobody is ever happy getting their post closed. I wouldn't be. But no mods can see the future there is no telling where a thread can go. Threads can start out talking about KOTOR and end up a flame battle about democrats and republicans. You never know.

Quote:
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Making an assumption like that is nieve
So making an assumption about what someone is talking about or is going to talk about is naive()? Isn't that what you said you would do if a thread opened that you deemed questionable and you were a mod?

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Old 04-24-2007, 04:19 PM   #29
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Tyranny.



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Old 04-24-2007, 05:08 PM   #30
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Old 04-24-2007, 07:36 PM   #31
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(I'm mentioning spamming, because my friend and I are currently in a small disagreement on how it should be handled. Basically, his position is: one warning and after that a ban, mine is two warnings and after that we'll see, possibly a ban).
We do 1 public warning, 1 final warning by PM, and then a ban. I wouldn't do it after 1 single spam post, though--we've all posted the occasional off-topic or spammy post.

You have to give someone the opportunity to learn from a mistake and get accustomed to the conventions of your forum, and it may take once or twice for someone to adjust. Most people breaking the rules do a fine job of it and it's so obvious what needs to be done that you can't miss it.


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Old 04-24-2007, 07:57 PM   #32
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Usually I think "That's my nemesis!" And marvel at the fact that I've not been banned.

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I do respect both individuals and their abilities, but I don't like anyone who I have been friends with gain power. Nothing can kill a friendship more than getting heat from someone you built a relationship with. After they became moderators, I stopped sending them private messages. Once a friend becomes a moderator, I believe it is only a matter of time when they turn on you.
I disagree completely. Most everyone else has already gone on about this, so I'll just speak from personal experience.

Being a moderator in no way warps the personality of the person promoted into a soulless, backstabbing misanthrope concerned only with upholding the rules (usually they're like that to begin with anyway ). Most mods I know I can act completely casually with - regardless of their stations, I still can (and still do) get into length religious debates with, swap dirty jokes, ask how life is going, babble with about webcomics and D&D, express my rivalry towards in a custom title...

If it makes a difference with how someone acts, I have yet to see any - tk's gone from mod to member and back to mod again, and acts the same as ever. Jae's been one for several months now, and hasn't seemed any different. Unless you act like an ass to people or break the rules, you don't have anything to fret over. Pretty much all that changes is a bolded username and occasional "this thread is closed because so-and-so" posts. Most of the mod business is handled where we can't see it.


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Old 04-24-2007, 08:08 PM   #33
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When I think of mods I think of old vampires eating babies and microwaving cats.


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Old 04-24-2007, 09:55 PM   #34
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Unless you act like an ass to people or break the rules, you don't have anything to fret over. Pretty much all that changes is a bolded username and occasional "this thread is closed because so-and-so" posts. Most of the mod business is handled where we can't see it.
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When I think of mods I think of old vampires eating babies and microwaving cats.
But don't vampires drink blood?


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Old 04-24-2007, 11:21 PM   #35
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Heh, moderators are different from forum to forum. Some are lenient, some are tough. The trick is to settle into a forum just right, so that you don't get left out. I recall a clan forum I joined and I entered a discussion with the line "Let me introduce myself" and then went on with my post. The moderator read that first line and deleted that post, because there was another forum dedicated to new members. See, so it's just how you fit in that matters.

As for my views on them, I believe they are fairly strict, like cops. They know when things go awry and know how to keep the fun, and throw the spam. I like the mods of LF. They're the sort of people who are absolutely neutral, but you know are human beings inside. (I hope.)


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Old 04-24-2007, 11:47 PM   #36
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The word moderator reminds me of what I do on two different sites and I tell you sometimes it can be draining dealing with trolls. Coming here is nice because I don't have to worry about extra duties and I can just be a citizen.


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Old 04-25-2007, 12:06 AM   #37
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But don't vampires drink blood?
Babies are a crunchy way to get blood (even vampires need variety in their diet), and if you make fresh lime/lemon juice you may know that microwaving the fruit before cutting it makes it easier to juice, so vampires do it when they juice cats for blood.


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Old 04-25-2007, 12:50 PM   #38
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@ Jae - I was not referencing what happened to the religious threads. I had forgotten all about them. Making an assumption like that is nieve. I forgive to forget. I drew my conclusion based upon a vast experience with moderators. I didn't just choose one specific event.
You'll have to forgive my moment(s) of naivete then. If you could direct us to the threads that disturb you so that we may fix the problem, that would be most appreciated.

I also have to say that I'm a bit hurt that you think that now that I have a title that is entirely meaningless outside of this tiny spot on the internet, I'd 'turn on you.' I honor our friendship much more than that.


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Old 04-25-2007, 01:15 PM   #39
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Quote:
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You have to give someone the opportunity to learn from a mistake and get accustomed to the conventions of your forum, and it may take once or twice for someone to adjust.
Precisely. That's why, back when we wrote the rules, I suggested penalties similar to the ones on this forum - I consider this place a good example of what forums should be like.
Now, when discussing penalties, I have two questions:
1) When someone repeatedly double posts (not counting CEC, where fic authors are allowed to do it), do you take any action more severe than warning the offender and merging his posts?
2) Is there an offense here, not specified in the rules, that will earn the offender an automatic ban (I'm asking because my friend and I agreed that when someone insults another member on a racial, or religious basis, he gets banned with no warning)?

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Old 04-25-2007, 01:26 PM   #40
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Links to porn or obvious illegal activities, and extreme flaming will earn an automatic ban.

Flaming earns a warning and/or a temp-ban depending on how bad it is. That's one of those things that will end up being a judgment call on your part.

I usually pm someone who repeatedly double-posts to tell them exactly how to edit their post. Most everyone quits double-posting after that. Those that continue double-posting and disregarding the instructions usually are also spammers and the double-posting is the least of their problems.


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