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Gobligok
2010-Mar-31, 03:28 AM
I reported a batch of "friendly advice" from Swift in this thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/102218-Fresh-meat) because I found it petty, negligent of surrounding issues and frankly misdirected (if even necessary), but he either deleted it before any other moderator noticed or the moderator team as a whole didn't think my complaint warranted further attention. So now I'm complaining here, for better or for worse. Maybe an admin will notice and rein in the mod(s), or maybe nobody cares, but I don't involve myself in scientific Internet communities with the expectation that I will be required to tolerate fallacies and bullying, from moderators or anyone else. That's more what I would expect on a pseudoscience/conspiracy/crackpot board.

The thread in question involves a user who supplemented claims about alien life with insults (calling those who disagreed with him "closed-minded" and "naive") and misrepresentations of my statements. Things came to a head when he (spawn2031) said this:


Gobligok, I just gotta say wow man. Chill out and understand what the word "possibility" means.

To which I responded directly:


Kindly don't patronize me. This is a science forum. If you come on here and make claims that are unscientific and tantamount to wishes and wild speculation, you can expect to be challenged on it. This isn't ATM/CT, so my understanding is that you're under no obligation to defend your claims or even respond, but I don't think that means ideas are allowed to be posted completely free of scrutiny. If you think I'm out of line in rebutting your ideas, then you can contact a moderator.

Bear in mind that this exchange occurred on the heels (and in the midst) of me informing spawn2031 several times that he was misrepresenting me and not addressing my actual statements. Lo and behold, rather than reprimand the user who was issuing insults and attacking straw-men, Swift stepped in on his own, quoted the above portion of my previous post and responded as follows:


Or, a moderator can just step in on his own accord.

Gobligok, you haven't broken any rules per se, but I think it would be good if you turn down the grilling one notch. spawn2031 is doing his part to follow the rules of Life in Space and is not advocating anything extraordinary. I think it would be good to meet him halfway and keep this semi-casual.

This isn't a warning, just some friendly advice.


As noted above, I reported Swift's "advice" as soon as I saw it and included the following note (in the report, not in the thread, per rules 16 and 17):


Is it "grilling" to expect my statements to be accurately reflected in spawn2031's replies? I can't carry on a discourse, semi-casual or otherwise, if everything I say is distorted or outright ignored in lieu of my counterpart addressing completely made-up arguments that I never offered. I used the "head banging into brick wall" icon for a reason.

If you are going to call me out in public for wanting my statements accurately represented, then I think it's fair that you should also call out spawn2031 for attacking straw-men. He/she has also placed all who disagree with him--implicitly if not directly--under the umbrella of "naive" and "closed-minded" in posts #1 and #14. Yet somehow *I* am the one who gets "friendly advice" for simply expecting him to honestly and accurately deal with what I have said, as opposed to attacking statements I never made.

I suppose this is a request to either remove Swift's what I consider unwarranted "friendly advice," or equally "advise" my counterpart regarding his/her misrepresentations and insults.

Swift said:
>> "spawn2031 is doing his part to follow the rules of Life in Space"

Are straw-man fallacies and calling those who disagree "naive" and "closed-minded" in accordance with those rules?


Emphasis added.

I have no interest in passively entertaining straw-man attacks on my positions or in tolerating double standards by moderators. If tolerating misrepresentations, insults and double standards is the expected norm here, someone please let me know. I'd rather focus my time and effort somewhere else. I've enjoyed my brief ~70 posts here, but not enough to abide being chided in public like an unruly child, then ignored after objecting.

I repeat that last part: "...ignored after objecting." I tried to use the report mechanism, as outlined in the rules, and I was ignored.

Spoons
2010-Mar-31, 04:31 AM
Could it be that you appeared to be getting a little aggrevated by spawn's posts, rather than adopting a "water off a ducks back" stance?

I agree with what you were saying in that thread, at least for the most part (I'd have to review the whole thing to be sure of all points), but it did seem like you were getting rather agitated. I could be wrong, that's just how I read it. Maybe Swift was just trying to guide you away from getting too fired up and possibly stepping where you shouldn't.

I know I find you generally have quite good posts, so I wouldn't want to see you suspended. I'm guessing maybe that was a factor.

I do agree though, that there were probably some comments of spawn's that deserved a subtle warning too. Saying than many or most posters in the forum are close-minded is a wide-sweeping swipe at the community that shouldn't be readily accepted unless evidence can be provided to support the statement.

ETA: Also, how long ago did you make that report? Is it possible the mods had a number of other items to deal with, or were waiting for an opportunity to discuss among a majority group of them? Just a thought.

TrAI
2010-Mar-31, 05:07 AM
Well, it looks to me like Swift cautioned you due to your somewhat aggressive style of discussion, there is really nothing wrong in that...

I know, it is tempting to jump on someone like spawn2031 with a sizable LART, but it is rather obvious that spawn2031 does not have a very good understanding of science and skeptics, so the style you employed is more likely to confirm skeptics as unreasonable people in his mind then to lead to understanding.

This is a scientific forum, that is true, but one should try to be constructive initaly, and attempt to establish an understanding in the new member about the concepts involved in science and sceptisism, before that, you are not really on the same plane of discussion. If the new member turns out to be a CT/ATM/Woo or what ever, that will emerge in time, but if the new one is not, ie a fence sitter or only a bit confused about what science it, it is better for everyone if they are given a chance to understand.

Yes, I understand that you are annoyed about the warning, but I expect that Swift was only trying to do what was felt to be most constructive. The moderators do the best they can, it is hard to balance the rules so that the outcome becomes most favorable. In this case Swift made a judgment call, if your complaints did nothing, it is probably because the moderator(s) that handled the report didn't think any real problem existed, it was just a warning, you were not suspended, and Swift's post did not violate the rules, and that is what the report function is primarily used for. If you still felt there was a problem, contacting a moderator or admin by PM might be better than posting an open complaint.

Luckmeister
2010-Mar-31, 08:07 AM
There's a built-in problem with internet forum moderation. Because of poster anonymity, the only recourse when one is subjected to rude, insulting behavior is to bite one's lip and report said behavior to moderators, as they are the only one's who can dish out real punishment. But that doesn't sit well with mature adults who were taught when young to fight their own battles and not go crying to parents or teachers. I was taught that the best thing was to get out of earshot of spectators and to talk (or yell, or fight) privately with my adversary. That took the public ego-defense need out of the mix, helping to resolve the problem.

The equivalent of that here is to PM the person one is having the problem with. I haven't had to do that yet on BAUT, but I think that would be my first step.

Mike

HenrikOlsen
2010-Mar-31, 12:41 PM
I reported a batch of "friendly advice" from Swift in [], but he either deleted it before any other moderator noticed or the moderator team as a whole didn't think my complaint warranted further attention. So now I'm complaining here, for better or for worse. Maybe an admin will notice and rein in the mod(s), or maybe nobody cares...
If you report a post all mods and admins receive the message, plus it starts a thread in a special mod-only sub-forum.
There are many actions that can be taken by moderators, including infractions and PM'ed warnings, that are not visible to you so you have no way of knowing that nothing was done.

Incidentally, you're making a rather serious accusation against Swift, it might be a good idea to keep those to private communication with the admins.

Gillianren
2010-Mar-31, 07:32 PM
But that doesn't sit well with mature adults who were taught when young to fight their own battles and not go crying to parents or teachers.

Personally, I was taught that there are times and places to call in the proper authorities. No, being insulted isn't one of them, but it is the mods' job and it's easier for them if we let them do it.

Gobligok
2010-Mar-31, 10:10 PM
Could it be that you appeared to be getting a little aggrevated by spawn's posts, rather than adopting a "water off a ducks back" stance?
...
...but it did seem like you were getting rather agitated.
...
ETA: Also, how long ago did you make that report?


I am unyielding any time someone straw-man's my position. I see ostensibly "aggravated" people here all the time, including moderators and popular users like JayUtah. I've never before seen anyone called out in public for wanting his or her position accurately represented by a counterpart.

I was not agitated with spawn2031. I have my own website and blog for when I get agitated.

The report was issued on March 23, as soon as I saw Swift's highly selective intervention.


I know I find you generally have quite good posts, so I wouldn't want to see you suspended.

Thank you. I certainly considered a hostile response of that nature from mods before starting this thread. If it comes about, that's their prerogative. I won't be back, sad to say, even if it isn't permanent.


Well, it looks to me like Swift cautioned you due to your somewhat aggressive style of discussion, there is really nothing wrong in that...
...
The moderators do the best they can, it is hard to balance the rules so that the outcome becomes most favorable.
...
...the moderator(s) that handled the report didn't think any real problem existed, it was just a warning


There is something extremely wrong with it if, by his own admission, I broke no rules, but the person I was arguing with was insulting the entire board and received not a peep from any mod. In fact, Swift himself claimed that spawn2031 was "doing his part to follow the rules...." :confused:

Swift himself also denied that there was any warning, because no rule violation occurred. It was "friendly advice." If it was a warning, that makes the lack of spontaneous moderation on spawn2031 all the more interesting, since I'm pretty sure insulting other users is against the rules here.


The equivalent of that here is to PM the person one is having the problem with.

Honestly, I had nothing to say to spawn2031 that a PM would have solved. I was not fighting with him. I was not being rude. I was not insulting him in return. I simply wanted him to address my arguments, not whatever made-up version of them he was focusing on instead. I also think "Kindly don't patronize me," is a perfectly civil and warranted response to being patronized, especially taking the whole exchange in context.


There are many actions that can be taken by moderators, including infractions and PM'ed warnings, that are not visible to you so you have no way of knowing that nothing was done.
...
Incidentally, you're making a rather serious accusation against Swift, it might be a good idea to keep those to private communication with the admins.

I think we both know that the mods here routinely make a public spectacle of their actions. There's even a thread here dedicated to showcasing banned and suspended users. If a mod took any action against spawn2031, it would have been broadcast, in all likelihood.

I didn't make a single accusation against Swift, aside from stating that his moderation was "petty, negligent of surrounding issues and frankly misdirected (if even necessary)," and I have accused the mods in general of ignoring my complaint. The possibility of Swift deleting my report was mentioned as just that: a possibility, because I made the report soon after he posted, and he would have likely still been online at the time. If what you say about the system is true, then that obviously isn't the case. This was clearly mentioned in an either/or context. Barring a very slow response time from the mods (now over a week), surely you can understand that it was one or the other from my perspective.

Gillianren
2010-Mar-31, 11:21 PM
I think we both know that the mods here routinely make a public spectacle of their actions. There's even a thread here dedicated to showcasing banned and suspended users. If a mod took any action against spawn2031, it would have been broadcast, in all likelihood.

I perceive that entirely differently. There is a lot of mod action that takes place behind the scenes. My own infraction was issued by PM with nothing said in-thread. What's more, "showcasing" is not at all the word I would choose. "Explaining," for example. It's not as though the mods are proud of those bans. We'd all be happier if people followed the rules and no one (except spammers, who we wish wouldn't exist) got banned. However, openness entails keeping a complete record, which is why few posts actually get deleted.

slang
2010-Mar-31, 11:39 PM
[...] but he either deleted it before any other moderator noticed [...]

If you would ever throw such an accusation at me (with or without the "either"), on any of the forums I admin, I would ban you on the spot.

Do you see the irony here? OP in your thread dishing out unsupportable claims on alien life, and you dishing out unsupportable claims about moderation, both without any shred of evidence? First try to find out if such an action is possible.. (hint: it isn't. Email alerts get sent as soon as someone reports a post).


I have no interest in passively entertaining straw-man attacks on my positions or in tolerating double standards by moderators. If tolerating misrepresentations, insults and double standards is the expected norm here, someone please let me know.

Attacks!? Insults!? All I see is someone (apparently) unable to carry a conversation in the careful manner you expect. Did you really think the guy intended to insult you? Honestly? Or was this an issue of someone not understanding the scientific method and/or way of thinking, and thus thinking in ways that are unlogical and unscientific to us? If someone doesn't realize that he thinks in such a (in our eyes) wrong manner, handling it as you would handle a science paper just won't work. It is almost a different language, to such people. A logical response will just be taken as an insult, or won't be understood. And I think that this particular difficulty in conversations between people with a different background is what Swift was aiming at, with his advice.


I'd rather focus my time and effort somewhere else. I've enjoyed my brief ~70 posts here, but not enough to abide being chided in public like an unruly child, then ignored after objecting.

Threatening to leave isn't a very powerful discussion tactic.


I repeat that last part: "...ignored after objecting." I tried to use the report mechanism, as outlined in the rules, and I was ignored.

Correction: you don't know that it was ignored. For a science forum, that's quite an unsupported claim right there. All you know is that you didn't see any response. That's not the same as being ignored. You do not have a right to be informed about any moderator action against any other poster, when such an action is taken through PM. Yet you might ask, and even get a response.


I am unyielding any time someone straw-man's my position. I see ostensibly "aggravated" people here all the time, including moderators and popular users like JayUtah. I've never before seen anyone called out in public for wanting his or her position accurately represented by a counterpart.

Straw man. You haven't made a case yet that you were "called out [..] for wanting [your] position accurately represented by a counterpart.". Swift's remark may have had quite different intentions, and being here for a while, I think they had.


I certainly considered a hostile response of that nature from mods before starting this thread.

And why did you consider that? Was it based on any factual consideration of earlier threads of this nature? Or was it just a gut feeling?


There is something extremely wrong with it if, by his own admission, I broke no rules, but the person I was arguing with was insulting the entire board and received not a peep from any mod. In fact, Swift himself claimed that spawn2031 was "doing his part to follow the rules...." :confused:


You broke no rules, and did nothing wrong, and received no warning, nor any infraction points, nor anything else. You did, however, expect someone fantasizing about alien life to be able to carry on a scientifically based discussion. What is that expectation based on? The underlying scientific nature of this forum? New posters often don't have any understanding of that, all they want is to share their ideas and talk about them. That won't fly in the ATM forum, but in LiS or OTB of F&G it's perfectly acceptable (within limits).


Swift himself also denied that there was any warning, because no rule violation occurred. It was "friendly advice."

IMHO it was simply a remark suggesting that rigorous scientific grilling of UFO fans generally does not work.


If it was a warning, that makes the lack of spontaneous moderation on spawn2031 all the more interesting, since I'm pretty sure insulting other users is against the rules here.

It wasn't a warning. If it was, Swift would have said so. Sure, insults are not allowed here. But while I don't like being accused of having a "closed mind", I also understand where such an idea comes from. Which kind of turns the accusation into a joke, to me.


I think we both know that the mods here routinely make a public spectacle of their actions.

Do we? I'm not even sure what you mean here.


There's even a thread here dedicated to showcasing banned and suspended users.

So what? You think that thread is there for the pride of the mods? It is not. It is there for other forum members to find out why someone they might be talking to is suddenly absent for a while, or forever.


If a mod took any action against spawn2031, it would have been broadcast, in all likelihood.

Gee, we're really being scientific again here, aren't we? "In all likelihood" is based on what? How familiar are you with moderator actions taken "behind the scenes"?


The possibility of Swift deleting my report was mentioned as just that: a possibility, because I made the report soon after he posted, and he would have likely still been online at the time.

Darn.. the things I could type here now, as just a possibility .. You really don't see that even considering such deceit as "a possibility" is at least as insulting to Swift as you being accused of having a "closed mind"?

TrAI
2010-Mar-31, 11:51 PM
There is something extremely wrong with it if, by his own admission, I broke no rules, but the person I was arguing with was insulting the entire board and received not a peep from any mod. In fact, Swift himself claimed that spawn2031 was "doing his part to follow the rules...." :confused:

Swift himself also denied that there was any warning, because no rule violation occurred. It was "friendly advice." If it was a warning, that makes the lack of spontaneous moderation on spawn2031 all the more interesting, since I'm pretty sure insulting other users is against the rules here.

Basically, an insult can be a deliberate intension of offending someone, or it can result from a difference in believes or views. The difference is that one is the intent of the poster, the other exist in the mind of the reader. The first would probably be a violation, the latter probably not, though it depends on the offensiveness of the words used, of course.

I used the word warning, that is true, but words do not have universal treshhold levels for their use, usualy, and with people of all types of backgrounds, ways of thinking, from different parts of the world, and many using a second language, you really must expect that people may use words differently. But if the mods call it "advice" then that is what it officialy is.

Arguments of semantics are not very constructive anyway, are they?

Swift
2010-Apr-01, 01:53 AM
<snip>
I think we both know that the mods here routinely make a public spectacle of their actions. There's even a thread here dedicated to showcasing banned and suspended users. If a mod took any action against spawn2031, it would have been broadcast, in all likelihood.

Just so you and others who are not familiar with this will be clear, the Banned/Suspended Posters Log to which you are referring is only used to list those members who have actually been temporarily suspended or permanently banned from BAUT. There are other actions that we may take publicly, such as posting in threads. And there are many other actions that we may take privately, that other users will never see, such as PMs and infractions. The fact that you may or may not see obvious signs of moderation, does not mean it is not going on.

I know of no instance, in the ~15 months that I have been a moderator, that a Reported Post was ever deleted from the part of the forum where moderators view them, and virtually all of them are discussed among at least a few of the moderators. And before someone asks, things like the banning of spammers requires no discussion.

I am not going to debate particular actions in this thread, but please feel free to express your concerns. You may also wish to contact our two Administrators, ToSeek or Antoniseb by PM if you have concerns.

Spoons
2010-Apr-01, 02:01 AM
I have received a friendly warning in the past, and it was an official one. There is no doubt about it when you get one - it is clearly labelled as such. If it is relevant to the thread it stems from, or the lesson would be of value to others then it will probably get a light mention in thread (which I had no problem with) otherwise I'd expect it is generally just sent privately and left at that.

In the case of the thread mentioned in the OP it was a relevant point that Swift was broadcasting for everyone's benefit. At least, that's how I took it. I don't think you should take it too personally, I don't think it was a slight on you, just some helpful guidance.

From what I know of Swift and my experiences with him I don't think he would have intended anything unpleasant - that would seem out of character, to me anyway.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Apr-01, 02:19 AM
I think we both know that the mods here routinely make a public spectacle of their actions. There's even a thread here dedicated to showcasing banned and suspended users. If a mod took any action against spawn2031, it would have been broadcast, in all likelihood.
I think that as a former moderator I have rather more knowledge about the amount of actions taken without being visible to the reporter that your have.

Moose
2010-Apr-01, 08:56 AM
I'm not interested in debating this in-thread either, but Gobligok, the mod team is aware of your complaints. Both this one and the one you've reported.

Gobligok
2010-Apr-08, 10:46 PM
I perceive that entirely differently. There is a lot of mod action that takes place behind the scenes. My own infraction was issued by PM with nothing said in-thread. What's more, "showcasing" is not at all the word I would choose. "Explaining," for example. It's not as though the mods are proud of those bans. We'd all be happier if people followed the rules and no one (except spammers, who we wish wouldn't exist) got banned. However, openness entails keeping a complete record, which is why few posts actually get deleted.

I think it's quite obvious that moderators gladly wield their power here, sometimes with no ostensible forethought (as with Swift's "advice"), which is more or less universal on large forums. I've even been on libertarian boards where mods are little dictators, often worse than any of the users they [ironically] seek to control. "Showcasing" is the perfect term. Some mods are less overt about it than others, but few I've encountered (which is a lot) are immune to this phenomenon. Maybe it is a cyber-manifestation of the Milgram effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment). To what extent that applies here, if any, I can't say.

_____


If you would ever throw such an accusation at me (with or without the "either"), on any of the forums I admin, I would ban you on the spot.

Good for you. For what's it worth, if I were the admin of a board with you as a moderator, and you copped that attitude toward anyone, even the worst of trolls, you wouldn't remain a moderator.


and you dishing out unsupportable claims about moderation, both without any shred of evidence?

I do have evidence: my report was ignored. I posited an either/or based on the information I had at the time. See my previous response to HenrikOlsen.


Did you really think the guy intended to insult you? Honestly?

When someone calls you "closed-minded" and "naive" for not agreeing with him when he can't even be bothered to accurately reflect your position, it's rather difficult to take that as anything but an insult. I even told him it was an insult, and he didn't retract or even object, but rather continued down the same path.


And I think that this particular difficulty in conversations between people with a different background is what Swift was aiming at, with his advice.

Regardless of the background of the person you are communicating with, do you think it is reasonable (even necessary) on this board to want your statements accurately reflected in responses to those statements? Swift wanted "semi-casual" discussion, yet no level of discussion is possible when one party refuses to correctly represent or even acknowledge his counterpart's position.


Threatening to leave isn't a very powerful discussion tactic.

It isn't intended to be powerful or even a tactic. It's simply a statement of fact, given the associated conditions.


All you know is that you didn't see any response. That's not the same as being ignored.

Responding to my actual complaint requires responding to me. So yes, it is the same.


You do not have a right to be informed about any moderator action against any other poster

I never asked to be "informed about any moderator action against any other poster." In case you didn't notice, my complaint was about petty, unwarranted moderator action taken against me.


Straw man. You haven't made a case yet that you were "called out [..] for wanting [your] position accurately represented by a counterpart.". Swift's remark may have had quite different intentions, and being here for a while, I think they had.

Let me break this down for you very simply. I wanted my position reflected accurately by the user. The user was patronizing me. I asked the user to accurately reflect my position and to stop patronizing me. I was called out by a moderator. The user insulting, patronizing and straw-manning me was not.


And why did you consider that?

Because I know how to read and am not new to large Internet forums, despite being relatively new here.


You did, however, expect someone fantasizing about alien life to be able to carry on a scientifically based discussion.

I expect someone to accurately represent what I say, regardless of his own position(s).

I'm not even going to address the rest of your response. You're strike me as some sort of apologist with no understanding of or apparent interest in my point of view.

_____


The difference is that one is the intent of the poster, the other exist in the mind of the reader.

Calling someone "closed-minded" and "naive" for not agreeing with your position is insulting. Someone who does so without realizing this simply lacks communication skills, but this doesn't fundamentally change anything. I even told spawn2031 that his "closed-minded" characterization was insulting, to no avail.

_____


I am not going to debate particular actions in this thread, but please feel free to express your concerns. You may also wish to contact our two Administrators, ToSeek or Antoniseb by PM if you have concerns.

I think those concerns have been made rather clear.

_____


I don't think you should take it too personally, I don't think it was a slight on you, just some helpful guidance.

It was directed at me personally and was neither helpful nor guiding, nor did I need help or guidance. It was insulting in its own right, actually, even more so since I started this thread.


From what I know of Swift and my experiences with him I don't think he would have intended anything unpleasant - that would seem out of character, to me anyway.

I don't think he "intended anything unpleasant," but I still think his actions were petty and unwarranted.

This has really gotten stupid. I guess I'm pushing this just on principle now. I'm not going to participate on a forum where moderators are allowed to bully other users and apply double standards. I want an admin or a mod to either admit that Swift screwed up, or to inform me that users on this board are not allowed to object to misrepresentations of their statements, and moderators are free to apply double standards as they see fit.

_____


I think that as a former moderator I have rather more knowledge about the amount of actions taken without being visible to the reporter that your have.

I think anyone with an ability to read this forum can see the routine showcasing of moderator authority here. Maybe your former status has left you, perhaps with more knowledge of behind-the-scenes workings, but also somewhat biased.

_____


I'm not interested in debating this in-thread either, but Gobligok, the mod team is aware of your complaints. Both this one and the one you've reported.

I was convinced from HenrikOlsen's first post that you are aware. What that means precisely remains an outstanding issue. I seek either an admission that Swift was out of line (and preferably the removal or his "advice"), or a clear statement that users may not criticize fallacies employed by other users and that moderators are allowed to apply double standards. Either response will resolve this complaint to my satisfaction.

Spoons
2010-Apr-08, 11:59 PM
I think you're maybe being a little over-sensitive and reading too much into things here.

You maintain that your complaint was ignored, but you cannot back that up. It actually looks like several mods are aware of it too, so really, whether or not Swift might owe you an apology is a matter of opinion, but you surely owe him an apology for claiming he may have deleted your complaint before the other mods got to it. That's quite a serious allegation, and since we're basing things on opinion, I'd say it's a worse charge than that you placed on Swift in the first place.

And now you're pushing on and suggesting Henrik is biased, which seems rather dismissive of his opinion. You're also making judgements of Slang which I don't thing you're really in a position to make. Statements like "Let me break this down for you very simply" come across rather condescending too.

ETA: Please be aware, I'm not trying to attack you, I'm just saying that standards that you might wish to hold one poster, mod or otherwise, should be applied consistently. At a certain point it seems easier to just let it go and not try to infer too much meaning in someones post. Maybe request that the poster clarify their meaning for you rather than attempt to judge it yourself.

Gillianren
2010-Apr-09, 02:16 AM
I think it's quite obvious that moderators gladly wield their power here, sometimes with no ostensible forethought (as with Swift's "advice"), which is more or less universal on large forums. I've even been on libertarian boards where mods are little dictators, often worse than any of the users they [ironically] seek to control. "Showcasing" is the perfect term. Some mods are less overt about it than others, but few I've encountered (which is a lot) are immune to this phenomenon. Maybe it is a cyber-manifestation of the Milgram effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment). To what extent that applies here, if any, I can't say.

Okay, let me ask you this, then. How would you provide transparency about who gets banned and why? Or would you just not mention it and let everyone just guess?


Let me break this down for you very simply. I wanted my position reflected accurately by the user. The user was patronizing me. I asked the user to accurately reflect my position and to stop patronizing me. I was called out by a moderator. The user insulting, patronizing and straw-manning me was not.

Some people just don't understand anyone else's position outside of how they perceive it. You can't force them to.


I'm not even going to address the rest of your response. You're strike me as some sort of apologist with no understanding of or apparent interest in my point of view.

Is that an insult? Because it reads like one. Just as "closed-minded" struck you as one.


I think anyone with an ability to read this forum can see the routine showcasing of moderator authority here. Maybe your former status has left you, perhaps with more knowledge of behind-the-scenes workings, but also somewhat biased.

I was never a mod, but I can actually read the forum, too, and I specifically disagreed with your term. So maybe it's a matter of interpretation.

Swift
2010-Apr-09, 02:19 AM
I seek either an admission that Swift was out of line (and preferably the removal or his "advice"), or a clear statement that users may not criticize fallacies employed by other users and that moderators are allowed to apply double standards. Either response will resolve this complaint to my satisfaction.
Well then, I'm sorry, but if those are the only choices, you'll have to be dissatisfied.

You want a public response, well then, here it is.

You were out of line in that thread, you were being too harsh on a newbie who didn't deserve the third degree from you, and I was trying to be nice to you and ask you nicely to ease up. I feel you were wrong in that thread, I still feel that way, and you will not get a retraction from me.

There are forums where you are allowed, even encouraged to demand answers from advocates of certain positions. Those forums are CT and ATM. This thread was in neither. Frankly, you were just plain rude. Maybe you should review the rules of this board, particularly rules # 0 and # 2.

I 100% expect you won't like this post from me either. As I said, I answer to the two Administrators of this board and the two owners. If you have any further concerns, please take it up with them.

korjik
2010-Apr-09, 02:24 AM
Wow.

Mountain out of a mole-hill much?

The moderators here pour water on anything that even looks like it might be turning into a flame war. Most of us like that. Most of us also realize that that is what the moderators are doing when they make comments like the one that started this thread.

As someone who has gotten a couple warnings over the years, I would say that the moderators are nowhere near to being in the wrong here.

I would also say that someone who feels the need to make a public complaing thread should take a break also.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Apr-09, 08:14 PM
I think it's quite obvious that moderators gladly wield their power here, sometimes with no ostensible forethought (as with Swift's "advice"), which is more or less universal on large forums.
Your continued ability to post here is evidence against that allegation.
It continues to amaze me that people who have gotten a slap on the wrist for being rude start spouting off about excessive moderation and police states without realizing that the very fact that they're allowed to do so (as long as they remain civil about it) and that they know they can do so is proof that moderation is actually rather moderate.

I've seen boards where the first post in this thread would have gotten Gobligok banned, this thread deleted and likely the thread he complained about deleted too. And where flame wars were allowed to reign unquenched for weeks.

captain swoop
2010-Apr-09, 09:51 PM
In case you didn't notice, my complaint was about petty, unwarranted moderator action taken against me.

No Moderator Action was taken against you.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-10, 04:33 AM
Gobligok I looked up the discussion that you are concerned about here and I have to admit that I see nothing more than a casual suggestion that you take it down a bit when talking to a newbie. I don't really understand the cause of your strong indignation. Contrary to your complaint, no moderator action was taken against you; no infraction was assessed, no suspension was handed out, and, as far as I can tell, no official warning was given.

Personally, I agree with the suggestion that you came down a little too hard on someone who was new to the forums here and I think the moderator handled the situation very well. It's unfortunate that you feel mistreated by this incident, however, you should consider that no official action was taken in the matter. In fact, given the informal nature of the exchange I would think it best to leave it in the past and let those involved take breath and give each other a second chance.

TJMac
2010-Apr-10, 07:04 PM
In case you didn't notice, my complaint was about petty, unwarranted moderator action taken against me.

What again was the unwarranted moderator action?


Why does this remind me of my kids when they were little? "Dad! He keeps looking at me!" :rolleyes:

TJ

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-10, 10:48 PM
What again was the unwarranted moderator action?


Why does this remind me of my kids when they were little? "Dad! He keeps looking at me!" :rolleyes:

TJ
In such situations my bad use to say, "I don't know who started it, but by golly* I'm going to end it."

* His expression was a bit more colorful but I don't think I can post it here.

Swift
2010-Apr-10, 11:27 PM
Since we all love moderator advice ;), I'll give a little more. It is fine to discuss the pros or cons of Gobligok's concerns, but this can not turn into a bashing of Gobligok personally. I'm not saying anyone has done this yet, but be careful of the comparisons, for example.

Thanks,

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Apr-11, 01:46 AM
Since we all love moderator advice ;), I'll give a little more. It is fine to discuss the pros or cons of Gobligok's concerns, but this can not turn into a bashing of Gobligok personally. I'm not saying anyone has done this yet, but be careful of the comparisons, for example.

Thanks,
um, love is going a bit far. I don't mind them as long as they don't try to marry into my family or something. :p

It's certainly not my intention to bash Gobligok. I think this place tends to have a bit too much of that sort of thing when someone's position is considered fringe enough. However, I do admit to being truly mystified as to exactly what has got Gobligok's fur flying. I think <he?> was treated pretty gently. [I guess mods can actually do that sometimes, who woulda thought?* :think:]




* OK, a bit of sarcasm added to keep moderators from thinking that that we might be loving pals or something... {{shudder}} :rolleyes:

Oh my husband wants to add a cryptic comment for the moderators: "oh come on Fred, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it" what ever that means!!

Jim
2010-Apr-11, 10:31 PM
... I think <he?> was treated pretty gently. [I guess mods can actually do that sometimes, who woulda thought?

We all have our off days.


Oh my husband husband wants to add a cryptic comment for the moderators: "oh come on Fred, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it" what ever that means!!

A Super Chicken (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Chicken) reference.

"Husband husband?"

pzkpfw
2010-Apr-12, 12:10 AM
This makes me think to add (in a possibly slightly off-topic but I hope still relevant way): when a mod post is made, sometimes the advice is generic to the thread. It does not always mean the immediately previous post (or the poster of that post) is the "target" of the mod comment.

(Further, sometimes when the immediately prior post is quoted, it may still only be an example of what's been going on in the thread - it doesn't mean that poster is being "singled out".)

Spoons
2010-Apr-12, 12:10 AM
"Husband husband?"
There's already a thread elsewhere for bragging.

slang
2010-Apr-12, 12:46 AM
There's already a thread elsewhere for bragging.

Hush, banned! (Oh, there's already a thread elsewhere for banning.)