Moderation. What's okay and what's not?

To a large extent, moderation is the great unknown. Recently, we received resolution regarding the use of profanities, which is much appreciated!

Do moderators use discretion, receive direction, or is the decision to moderate a subjective one? As an example, not meant to single out any member, but should this be allowed "Illegal, lazy or illiterate requester". "Perhaps if he/she learned our language it wouldn't present such a problem with interpretation". The posts have been reported. Last I looked, they hadn't been moderated, which doesn't tell us anything; maybe the mods are busy, or maybe they're okay with the reported posts. Another school of thought was expressed by a member who posted that letting the post stand, with replies from other members against the negative posts, carries more weight. My concern there is that objectionable posts may fall through the cracks, as we may not read every post.

What if moderation lets an objectionable post stand, but adds mod comments/direction? Or, removes the objectionable post, and adds mod comments as to why. What if there's a three-strike rule in place (or one, two or ten) . After that number of strikes, the member is placed on pre-moderation status, having been cautioned prior. And, this would include MSC posts, one in particular comes to mind.

Could moderation guidelines be added to the FAQs? If members have access, we have understanding. Similar to referencing forum guidelines re ICA violations, we could quote or refer inappropriate posts to the FAQs.

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I think it is a good idea to have a FAQ somewhere on the site that goes into more details about the rules. In general, the mods are not given very much discretion at all. This is for a number of reasons, including allowing a more open forum, and making sure mods are able to stay objective.

That being said, it is certainly possible that the rules governing moderator actions could be revised. I'm definitely open to suggestions. Any rules for mods should be very clear and specific, avoiding an ambiguity.
Although the posts that Mert cited have not been altered, what we do not know, of course, is what, if any, moderator warning may have been privately sent to the member who posted them. (I am not proposing that we should know; just pointing this out.)

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
I don't see how we can take issue with one abusive post if we don't take issue with all abusive posts. The real problem is, who decides what is abusive? If the initial abusive post is allowed to stand and is answered by another abusive post, I think they should both stand. One party is no more wrong than the other. Once the discussion gets going I think it's best not to take anything out unless the entire thread is deleted. I believe it's wrong to close such a thread and leave it visible, because it does not allow the posters to take the thread to conclusion and solve their issues. A closed thread not taken to conclusion leaves an issue open as though it were not solved, when in fact it may have been solved had enough time been allowed. If a decision to delete the thread isn't made on the first day it seems closing it down several days later is a little late to supper.

As far as abuse on the forum, we have two kinds that I can see. The first is random and consists of abuse posted by a random poster on a random subject and directed at a random target not previously selected or abused. The second is habitual and consists of abuse posted against the same target by the same posters, over and over. I see habitual abuse as more serious than random abuse as it is a reflection on the integrity of the forum. I see no reason for habitual abuse to be tolerated at all as we know the source and the abusers.

Whether or not the forum will continue to prosper and grow depends in part on the atmosphere nurtured.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
I am personally not liking the extensive moderation of profanities. I understand there are many in favor of it and if you're in favor of that censorship then you should be happy because we have it. I sent a personal message to a friend today and it was censored. That seems excessive. Okay, not my monkey.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Mary, are you saying that your PM was censored? That indicates that there is no such thing as a private message.

I agree, that is excessive.
Yes, my PM was censored. Yes, there is no such thing as a private message. Good to know.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Was it censored by the filter that does not allow for words like sex or @#$%&, or moderated. If it was censored that is probably just a site wide filter so not observed by human eyes. If actual content was changed then we have something different.
Content was not changed. It would not let me use my favorite words @#$%& and @#$%&.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Okay. False alarm. PMs are still private and the PM was not censored by an individual. The software of the forum simply blocked the use of certain words. I was envisioning a moderator going through PMs and censoring out some of the communication.
I agree that I believe no one looked at it, but I don't consider it private if language is censored.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
TBH, I don't consider anything on someone else's forum or site to be private, and technically nothing on the Internet should be considered completely private.

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
Your PM was kept completely private. Nobody looked at it. However, it seems as though the automatic profanity filter also works on private messages. I hope this clears things up. Only the recipient and the sender have access to PMs.
Huh? Jacob, you truly haven't been reading all of those wonderful things I've bored my forum friends with about you??? @#$%&


I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
I ran an online forum for a few years and the filter would filter out any word I told it to.

I didn't need to read any posts and certainly, the private message was something I could not access.

smiling smiley
I run a private forum and instead of using the profanity filter to edit out bad words, I change them around completely with word replacement.

Racial slurs and other such words are turned into antonyms of what they post and then the post is locked and they cannot edit it. People are careful to not use such language.
How fun and how creative and how so like you. smiling smiley


I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
I saw a thread closed today in a very timely manner. That's the first time I ever saw that happen and it was perfect. Someone had a complaint, the problem was addressed and fixed and there was nothing left to say.

Well done to whomever closed the thread. I think that's what we were talking about earlier - somewhere in the meta forum.

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
I had something else to say. The scheduling company stated that a scheduler was out sick Oct. 31, and replied to emails Nov. 4. Really?! Not acceptable to me. I wanted to discuss that, but the door was shut in my face.

In my control center, or somewhere else, I would like a copy of my "reports" for the record.
Mert, I can understand the frustration you must have felt when you couldn't say what was on your mind, but I think under the circumstances it was best. If you look again, you'll see that the company owner had said that the scheduler was out sick from Friday through Monday, and was back to work today and answered the email. The original complaint was answered. Now, if someone had the idea that perhaps schedulers should have someone doing their work in their absence, I think that would be best in its own thread. That might be a good thing for general discussion as opposed to calling out one individual who got sick for a few days.

Of course, that's just MHO.

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
LJ, I am frustrated. I saw no reason to close the thread. Saying that there was nothing more to say doesn't make it so.

I recall the owner posting a couple of times that the scheduler was out sick one day, Friday. You say the owner said the scheduler was out sick Friday-Monday. Either I missed that, or we may be talking about different closed threads? Regardless, I don't want to argue, and there was more to it than that. I'm certainly not the only shopper who can produce email threads showing lack of, or untimely, response to repeated requests. I could dredge up prior discussion on the forum, or start a general discussion, but I would prefer to post to a relevant, timely thread. Also, the owner was present in the closed thread. There was opportunity there, though obviously not everyone agreed.
I hear you Mert. This is first time I've ever seen a thread closed like that so quickly. I think it was a result of discussions here about closing threads. There's bound to be a few disagreements, bugs and glitches to work out as changes are implemented. Eventually, I'm sure it will all work out for the best. Hang in there, Mert. This one was a dud for you. May the next one be better.

There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
The thread involving the scheduler who said they were sick does not seem to be closed; I think I just posted to it. Or were there two threads on the same topic?

Time to build a bigger bridge.
It was indeed closed but has now been opened again. I also was troubled by the closing of the thread because it seemed totally inconsistent with how threads were closed in the past.
I think threads have been closed temporarily when they were moving them. Maybe they were thinking of moving it to another part of the forum?

Time to build a bigger bridge.
That would be a possibility, but I don't think that particular thread was moved. Another KSS thread was opened in the wrong area and was moved, but that particular thread appears to be in the correct place. I'm guessing perhaps it was closed by mistake.
Or perhaps the mods changed their minds, and reopened it after seeing the discussion about it being closed.

Happiness is merely life's way of keeping you off-balance.
Somewhere, on the Meta forum I think, it was stated that the forum tone was improving. I might suggest that such words not be spoken aloud again for fear of backfire :} The KSSRyan thread disintegrated to a poster child for bad behavior. Insults and name-calling were posted from page one forward.

I don't know the answer. I'm not a fan of heavy moderation. I'm also not a fan of threads being highjacked due to personal attacks. Remember the moderator who posted italicized gentle comments, direction, chides? That stopped, so this may not be an option. Published mod comments such as "No name calling, please", "Take this tete a tete private via PM", could send a message.

Personally, I recently emailed KSSRyan for assistance. Not our first dance. Unfortunately, if the response is not timely, posting my woes here is not an option.
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