Moderation discussion

Discuss the policies of ePlaya here.

Moderation discussion

Postby III » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:20 pm

i think moderation is a more critical part of the rollout than is the categorization. we've been through oodles of category changes, and they never really changed the pugilistic behavior much. since that was the primary concern, i think moderation needs to be brought up sooner than later.
User avatar
III
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:14 pm

Postby actiongrl » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:54 pm

I plan to drive the moderation effort myself, to get the team together etc. I've been out of the office since Wednesday but expect to see me start to shake the tree on this one this week. I agree it's a critical factor in our success and I wouldn't want to open up the whole board until a few moderators are in place, myself...
actiongrl
 
Posts: 635
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:22 pm

Postby geekster » Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:55 pm

Okay, fine. What's the current state of the moderation debate? I would suspect it should be something like:

I would expect it to be something like ...

Designated moderators can delete posts.

Certain topics can be made pre-moderated where postings are sent to a moderator and selected for posting. I would expect this to be used for only one or two topics on the whole board if at all.

Individuals can edit their own posts for some short period after original posting and then they "set" and are no longer changeable.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby III » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:00 pm

my take would be that moderators could:

- delete posts.
- block users from posting in particular areas (rather than the whole board).
- move threads to appropriate areas.
- post to the restricted moderator thread that provides feedback to the rest of the eplaya of what they're doing in a particular section.

individual moderators might only have responsibilities for a subsection of the eplaya - i can completely see a different set of moderators for the general community area than for the q&a area. it might also be useful to have a hidden moderator section on the board where they could discuss actions with each other before implementing them.

and, as always, i think it important to have one unmoderated area where people who need to have it out with each other can go ahead and do that.
User avatar
III
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:14 pm

Postby geekster » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:05 pm

Wow, yeah, I can see all those points as being useful too. Especially the moving of things. Not sure how easy/hard blocking a user from a particular thread/area might be.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby spectabillis » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:12 pm

Here were my notes on the roles and responsibilities:

<Community>
- help resolve conflicts
- guide individual topic policies
- raise attention of issues as they develop to team
- mediator between knowledgeable org people and forum questions
- feedback on general state of eplaya

<Technical>
- provide feedback on implementations and issues to tech team
- propose enhancements inline with community needs
spectabillis
 
Posts: 3530
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2004 12:07 am
Location: parallel cortex sensory stream interface

Postby actiongrl » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:16 pm

I am with you on all those points. I'd like mods to be able to split topics, move posts to appropriate fora, and delete posts in extreme circumstances. Also, yes, I think they should have their own hidden thread to discuss and share ideas so nobody's operating in a vacuum and people can help each other decide how to perform the role.

I too don't know when I as a moderator would block a user from posting in a thread entirely - hmmm...thoughts?
actiongrl
 
Posts: 635
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:22 pm

Postby actiongrl » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:17 pm

Also my thinking is that the moderators be encouraged to use their words to try to keep things on track and reserve actions for when words don't do the trick.
actiongrl
 
Posts: 635
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:22 pm

Postby III » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:22 pm

agreed that moderators should achieve as much as possible by way of persuasion and finagling, and should probably be chosen for their ability to do so and reluctance to resort to other measures.

however, i think that other measures are required, at least as a possibility, in order for them to be able to do their job.

as an example - most rangers on the playa don't have 007 abilities. those that threaten to use them are often the least effectual, yet 007 is a vital part of the arsenal of the rangers, and allows them to be more effective, even if it's not ever explicitly mentioned.
User avatar
III
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:14 pm

Postby actiongrl » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:25 pm

absolutely.
actiongrl
 
Posts: 635
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:22 pm

Postby III » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:30 pm

in fact, i think the most contentious part of the whole moderator debate will not be what powers they have, but how they are chosen and managed.
User avatar
III
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:14 pm

Postby geekster » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:39 pm

If one can block a user from posting, it would probably be useful for that user not to be able to see the blocked thread at all. In other words, it becomes hidden to the user. No sense in tormenting someone with discussion they can't participate in. Having said that, I fear that it is impossible in practice because you end up spiralling into a game of "wack-a-sock". There is the potential for a game of cat and mouse with a virtually unlimited supply of mice.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby Tiara » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:49 pm

If a moderator deletes the post, should it just disappear?

Or should it be replaced by a brief, factual message?

potential examples:
post removed by moderator: personal attack
post moved to _________ thread
thread moved to __________ folder
post removed by moderator: violation of TOS
etc etc etc
User avatar
Tiara
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 2:07 pm
Location: Richmond CA

Postby III » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:53 pm

i'd presume that to be documented in a "moderator actions" sticky thread.

however, i'm realizing that i've already developed a fairly explicit process in my head, that reflects (almost) no input from anyone else. time to shut up and listen, for a while, i think.`
User avatar
III
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:14 pm

Postby geekster » Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:59 pm

Tiara wrote:If a moderator deletes the post, should it just disappear?

Or should it be replaced by a brief, factual message?

potential examples:
post removed by moderator: personal attack
post moved to _________ thread
thread moved to __________ folder
post removed by moderator: violation of TOS
etc etc etc


I don't think "removed by moderator" requires a reason in the thread, simlpy "removed by moderator" would be good enough. Otherwise you can end up with a pissing contest about some half of a hair in the TOS or what one might have taken as a personal attack, etc.

Personally, I would expect the poster to be warned in public before posts are taken down unless they are real stinkers.

But I do like you idea of at least putting a "Removed by moderator" or the other reasons you mentioned thingy there just so people who might try to catch up on the thread know that there was a post there in case a later post mentions it.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby Tiara » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:03 pm

I totally agree with the concept that the first tool a moderator should use is persuasion.

But *if* a post is clearly egregious, or *if* a poster has ignored repeated requests, and the moderators as a group discuss it in their private "conference room" and agree to act, how will the action be reflected on the board?

Does the post just disappear, potentially leaving a disjointed gap? Or does a very brief/factual placeholder message get put in its place? (which, of course, might also create a bit of disjointedness).

My opinion is that a placeholder should be left. To me, posts just disappearing seems arbitrary and capricious. And I assume others might get the same impression.

Any further discussion about why the decision was made, or disagreement about the decision should hopefully occur in a feedback or case studies thread.
User avatar
Tiara
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 2:07 pm
Location: Richmond CA

Postby Tancorix » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:03 pm

I like Tiara's approach in replacing the message with a short post clearly explaining why the post was altered / removed, and tie that in with Trey's suggestion by adding a general link to the case studies thread for additonal followup. You really need both ideas, IMHO.
User avatar
Tancorix
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Not here, not there. I'm somewhere though.

Postby ThePikey » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:03 pm

Some of the more effective moderator actions are done off-line in PMs. If someone gets called to the carpet over their behavior, it can be less embarrassing and involve less drama if those actions are taken away from public view.

Falls in with Trey's comment "agreed that moderators should achieve as much as possible by way of persuasion and finagling, and should probably be chosen for their ability to do so and reluctance to resort to other measures"

My $.02
ThePikey
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:41 pm

Postby geekster » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:41 pm

I agree that there should be a placeholder that says "Posting removed by moderator"

I don't agree (and this is just my opinion and I am not saying anyone else's is wrong or that I will get pissed if mine isn't accepted, I just want to be sure I am clear in what I am saying and everyone understands it before they decide it isn't a good idea) that there should be a reason. This is why:

Deleted because of TOS violation.

Starts a side discussion in the thread... what part of the TOS did it violate? Moderator replies. Someone else says they don't read the TOS to mean that, says the moderator is misinterpreting the TOS, moderator is evil, must be killed, etc. So now there is a big pissing contest about the TOS. Moderator tries to delete the discussion as off-topic now looks like moderator is quashing opposing views, etc.

If you just say "Posting deleted by moderator" or "Posting deleted by moderator consensus" they can take their pissing contest to the eplaya feedback thread where the reason for the deletion would be posted.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby geekster » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:43 pm

I am not saying a reason shouldnt be posted, I am saying that the reason shouldn't be posted in the topic where it was deleted because it in itself can become the topic. The reason should be posted in a topic reserved for that purpose.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby actiongrl » Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:51 pm

Opinion time: I'm not sure I think volunteer moderators should be burdened with arguing their actions at every turn. I'd rather see the due process in action - fair warning/opportunity to change one's offending behavior is given, but if there's no compliance, the posts would simply be replaced with "Post removed by moderator" and tracking back in the thread would document the "why".
actiongrl
 
Posts: 635
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:22 pm

Postby Badger » Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:33 pm

I'd rather see the due process in action - fair warning/opportunity to change one's offending behavior is given, but if there's no compliance, the posts would simply be replaced with "Post removed by moderator" and tracking back in the thread would document the "why".


Exceptions being duplicate posts to different threads, overt pitches for commerce and services and slanderous out the gate attacks such as WillRogersSma....is.
.
Desert dogs drink deep.

Image
.
User avatar
Badger
 
Posts: 3322
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:43 pm
Location: San Francisco

Postby spanky » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:23 pm

Just to throw in another related topic here:

We are narrowing down the Cats&Fora in the other thread, so as we approach final version, we can look at which fora moderation might be appropriate for and which are open, but silently moderated.

There are moderation options:

1. PostPost Moderation: go back after the fact and edit/remove.
2. PrePost Moderation: moderator gets an email and has to approve.
3. ModPost Only: only moderators can post. This is useful for FAQ-type areas.
4. ModTopicOnly: only moderators can start a topic, but anyone can reply.

We have to install a MOD for #2 but Emily knows of one.

Chew on that for a bit...

~Spanky
User avatar
spanky
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon May 26, 2003 10:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Postby spanky » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:28 pm

actiongrl wrote:...delete posts in extreme circumstances.


Extreme. And extreme will need to be defined. You know my feelings on removing content.

actiongrl wrote:Also, yes, I think they should have their own hidden thread to discuss and share ideas so nobody's operating in a vacuum and people can help each other decide how to perform the role.


We already have hidden Administrata category w/4 forums. :) I don't think they are often used, but could be. There are 10 topics and 219 posts total for the whole category.

~Spanky
User avatar
spanky
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon May 26, 2003 10:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

Postby Tancorix » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:38 pm

spanky wrote:
1. PostPost Moderation: go back after the fact and edit/remove.
2. PrePost Moderation: moderator gets an email and has to approve.
3. ModPost Only: only moderators can post. This is useful for FAQ-type areas.
4. ModTopicOnly: only moderators can start a topic, but anyone can reply.

We have to install a MOD for #2 but Emily knows of one.

Chew on that for a bit...

~Spanky


The board seems to lean towards self-regulation as much as possible so options 1 & 3 seem to fit best. Options 2 & 4 would put extra work on a volunteer group that already has a lot going on. Option 2 could be helpful if a user was given a "probationary status" or something.
User avatar
Tancorix
 
Posts: 957
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:56 pm
Location: Not here, not there. I'm somewhere though.

Postby III » Tue Mar 22, 2005 10:11 pm

inclined to agree - 1 & 3 are appropriate for different situations, and 1 is suitable for most situations. moderators won't want to supervise everything, but only lend a guiding hand when it becomes necessary. this implies that the default state should allow as much user freedom as possible.

i think the appropriateness of deleting content depends entirely on the content. deleting contentless posts should have a null effect, no?
User avatar
III
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:14 pm

Postby GuinivereElise » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:50 am

I also agree.

I also think that it's important for moderators to be able to, in extenuating circumstances, delete posts. One that specifically comes to mind is the blatant commerce posting. However, I think that (sorry--this is going to bleed a BIT into editing--not much though, i promise) deletion should be reserved as a LAST OPTION wrt flame wars and the like, for reasons discussed in the edit conversation (learning from them, having a history, etc).

If a post IS deleted, I am of the opinion that there should be some sort of tag: "Deleted By Moderator", but (and I forget who said it--sorry!) I think that a REASON needn't be discussed IN the thread. Any discussion on the reasons for deletion could take place in a case studies thread.

And I DEFINITELY see the value in a moderator area of the board, to that no one is an island...

my $.02.
GuinivereElise
 
Posts: 3965
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:20 am

Moderation does not equal censorhip,Moderation is censorship

Postby Captain Fuckwit » Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:54 am

This is a paradox: Moderation does not equal censorship; however, Moderation is censorship. The real heart of the matter is-- What is it that is wanting of censorship? In the wanting of censorship, the Eplaya has to serve two masters- The E-playa community and the BMORG.


Actiongrl, you looked great in that rag.
Karen Walker is my favorite fag-hag.
What do you have there in your black rubber bag?!

Larry's bags were beginning to sag, but lately he looks less staggerly.
It's just my opinion, am I the only one aware?
Might he have had plastic surgery?
Paid for with Burning Man money?!
Don't you think it funny nig, that we even care?

[looking in a mirror] You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who do you think you're talking to? Oh yeah? Huh? Ok. -De Niro, Taxi Driver
Captain Fuckwit
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:28 pm

Postby III » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:07 pm

i think it's also critical that the moderators come from the community, rather than the tech team. there needs to be an understanding of the the flow of the community, and how the individuals behave and what their quirks are. but the moderators also need to be able to consciously divest themselves of some of the emotional contact. not all the time, but at those times when they decide that moderating action is necessary.

it's probably worth suggesting community members that might be appropriate.

my nominees (not exclusive, but seem to be best bets) to start would be:

spectabillis, geekster, and sensei.
User avatar
III
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:14 pm

Postby III » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:10 pm

i realize, btw, that this could be a popularity contest. it's certainly not intended as such. i'm very fond of badger as a personal friend, but don't think the history of his actions on this board make him suitable to be moderator.

instead, i chose those people i thought were involved enough to have a good overview of the social nature of the board, but who had also displayed levelheadedness and common sense during the previous shitstorms. i hope that further suggestions follow the same ideals, even if the people proposed are different.
User avatar
III
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:14 pm

Next

Return to Policy Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests