Grand Poobah and Site Admin
Join Date: 08-11-03
Location: Long Island, NY
Moderating ** A perspective **
Lets discuss: Those dreadful words.
“YOU HAVE BEEN MODERATED”.
Let me start out with an excerpt from “our rules”, which BTW, I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen or read them, to do so.
In our Welcome Forum, we have posted our rules document. They are our guidelines and our moderators are here to enforce our guidelines. Some people have made a lame ass accusation that moderators are performing “censorship”. All I can say is, get over yourself. This is a privately owned/operated board. A favorite description of mine that was used by one of our members is that we are a ‘quasi-dictatorship”. We wrote the rules, we enforce the rules. The first amendment applies here only within OUR RULES as we(the management) sees them.
Our administrative/governing members have worked on that document and decided that those ARE the rules of our forum. If you consider enforcement of those rules, “censorship”, well, there are plenty of URLS out there.
What is a Moderators job?
- A MODERATORS DECISION IS FINAL. If you are moderated, live with it and move on. Challenging a moderator in public for their action will lock you down, all abilities to post and edit will be removed. Whining to the admin will get you no where, so don’t bother. When you are moderated for an infraction or infringement, you may receive a PM as to why. If it was a blatant infringement, it will be deleted with no notice. If not, it is acceptable to send a civil note to the moderators requesting the reason. We don’t sent messages for general scrubbing or cleanup of banter or chatter.
I stress to our moderators that moderating takes completely unemotional and objective viewpoints. To the best of our ability, but we are human. We must moderate based on our rules, and not a threads content. That is why there are so many moderators. I HOPE to have at least one moderator to represent any specific demographic you can think of out there. What 5 mods may find acceptable, that one other moderator may find something objectionable in it. He will act on it and represent the percentage of people that agree. Heres a concept to consider. What is easier?
A- Keeping everyone happy
B- NOT pissing off a small group leaving the rest unaffected.
Statistically, B is attainable. That’s how we moderate. Moderate a post, one person gets pissed, don’t moderate it and a whole demographic can be affected.
We have to look at the big picture. I personally have moderated many posts that I agreed with, liked, laughed at or enjoyed, but just it did not fall within our guidelines, or crossed the line. We have to follow our own rules even if we agree with or like the post.
Lets break that action down into 3 categories/viewpoints the way it happens in this forum.
3-Me. The Owner/Admin, and in some cases. The Blame-ee, The Mommy, and in others viewpoint, “The farkin a-hole”.
Now, lets break them down.
Moderate-ee’s. They come in 2 forms.
Type 1 Moderate-ee. Those who recognize a post for what it is. A post, a single solitary post in an internet forum, which has absolutely no bearing or effect on your health, mental well being, family, income, taxes, home, the war in Iraq, or world hunger. Most moderate-ees recognize the moderation of a post has absolutely zero effect on anything. This moderate-ee still has all his or her limbs, he did not loose and eye, and there is no blood loss. It was a POST. ONE POST. Without it, there is no fallout, except the post that was once there, is gone, for whatever reason.
Type 2 Moderate-ee. This type is the moderate-ee who sees his post as precious. It is all worldly. Without that beloved post, life as he knows it will no longer exist, he treats it as a loss of a limb, a major organ, or loved one. When the precious post is deleted, the world stops. He fires off a PM to the moderator. WHERE IS MY POST!. Why did u delete it!!?? ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! You are a __________ <- fill in derogatory name.
This is sometimes followed by:
From Wikipedia. :
A forum moderator is someone granted special powers to enforce the rules (or, as the case may be, their personal whim; the title refers to the powers more than the intent) of an Internet forum, (Message board or Electronic mailing list). Almost all moderators on all forums can move discussions to different sections of the forum, "close" or "lock" discussions to prevent users from continuing to discuss them, edit the content of individual postings, answer questions (or help people with problems), and "pin" or "stick" discussions so they remain visible in their forum section even if no new postings are made to them; different forums may give their moderators further powers.
These type 2 moderate-ees, are rare, but always vocal. They are like a child that just won’t stop whining. Eventually, they just become background noise, and have always, albeit quietly, loose the respect of the other members.
What I will say, is in a war between a type 2 and a moderator(or me), the moderator will always win.
There are the moderators. Those are the guys willing to help to keep this place running smooth. They are in charge of enforcing the rules as written, day to day operations and helping members out wherever they can. They don’t get paid, they don’t get vacation, sick time or paid time off. They do it because they want to help this place run smooth. What do they get in return? Their name in green, the thanks of 99% of those members who recognize the thankless job they do and appreciate it, and then the bullchit, headaches and crap by the remaining 1% that trash talk them, challenge them and “just don’t get it”. They eventually grow a thick skin. They realize that when 200-300 members say “thank you”, and one calls them a censor, a nazi, or an a-hole, that that one is really irrelevant and most likely the moderated posts are also.
Let it be known than moderating does not only involve deleting curse words or porno pictures. It involves, splitting threads, moving threads, keeping stuff on topic, helping new members, guiding people around the forum and keeping things civil. Flames and flame wars need to be shut down immediately in order to keep peace. The ramifications of a mishandled or neglected war can quickly involve a dozen or more members slinging chit which leads to an all out chitstorm. These flame wars ALWAYS results in a flood of PM’s to my inbox. Hundreds of posts a day, and thousands of views. The moderators are in the middle of all of that. Anyone who thinks its easy, moderate for a week and see what its like to be abused.
Then there’s the Admin or Group Owner: Me and Badger. .
An inordinate amount of resources are put into the place. I average 40-50 PMs a day, and when there’s a chit storm brewing, that doubles or more. I run the forum, do the nightly maintenance, the upgrades, scrub the posts, pay the bills. For that, what I have learned is, the buck stops here.
We have thousands of members. Think of the demographics. Think of how many walks of life are here. How many levels of moral values, work ethics, different upbringings, different beliefs and most common, different opinions. There is no way every one of you, will ever agree with every other one of you, at any one time, and no way for me to keep everyone happy. Each individual reads posts and see pictures through their own eyes. Their views may be 180 degrees off of the next guys, and not even in the same book as the person who wrote it. One guys PG is another guys X, one guys stick burner is replacing someone elses Pellet Pooper, I hate pork, and someone else loves chicken. We will never agree on everything. On some days, we agree on nothing.
Here’s an example of what happens each day: Remember, the internet text offers no inflection, no body language, no facial expressions.
So, someone reads a post and freaks. A moderator gets the “report bad post” message. Here is what happens…. this is the rock, and the hard place.
If we delete it, sometimes, the poster appreciates, or at least understands. But other times we get the “where is my post” complaint. The Moderatee has now lost the precious post, and reacts as if he lost his limb,or we removed and organ.
If we don’t delete it, we get the “I find it offensive” and “I thought we were better than that”, “Its against the rules”, “how come you left that one and deleted mine?” We have been accused of under moderating, over moderating, being a church and being on the verge of smutty. A lot of times, WE CANNOT WIN. There are too many people here to make everyone happy.
Then comes my least favorite complaint. The real wedgie.
The “I’m gonna quit” in its various forms. Whether it be from being moderated, having a tiff with another member, or not liking changes made as we evolve. I have heard this lame threat SO many times its pathetic. Why tell us this?? What this tells me is that the person believes that the friendships established are not worth the loss of a post, or that the quitter is unwilling to compromise, it’s his way or the highway. C'mon, grow some balls and thicken your skin. IMO, its just a ploy to get attention, and have friends all run to your side.. please don't leave us.. wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... do u really need confirmation? Is your hissy fit just a ploy to get people to look at you and give you validation to your existence here. To us(the mods), its just more work for us to run damage control.
We don’t intentionally try to piss people off, we try to find a middle ground. There is no other option for us, yet some people choose to leave because they don’t like the middle ground we choose. Some dont like that we have to adapt and change as time goes by. Sometimes we choose the path of least resistance, or the path that’s most conservative or socially safe. Other times, we have to make a best guess what will work. But we cannot always make everyone happy, and they feel the need to ‘quit”… what-everrr.. Well, the doors right where it was when they arrived. It’s unfortunate, I hate to see someone leave over disagreements, but we will have one less member today, and 25 more tomorrow. We will be here in a week or a month and they are welcome to return, and usually do.
So where did this come from? Years of hearing the same old stuff. Its drafted, and has been added to over several weeks. It spawned from hundreds and hundreds of posts which were complaints either to, or from the moderators. I have a feeling that a lot of people just don’t see, or maybe just don’t realize what it takes to run a forum. How difficult the job is to keep peace and running smooth. We are here to try to organize, and keep civil rest. Keep things within our established guidelines and keep people from becoming upset at others. The moderators are the traffic cops, the referees, and the cleanup crew. So next time someone is moderated, try to look at it from the moderators viewpoint, overseeing a crowd of hundreds. He may enjoy your post, but knows from experience that it is crossing the line somewhere. Step back and look past your ONE individual post…is it more important to have that post up, or to avoid conflict and avoid insulting someone? Is it so important that you to tick off a friend, whether u agree or not. We want to just keep and all around pleasant environment that not only keeps our members here, but attracts new members when they peek in to visit.
- Obnoxious remarks where the post once was or follow-up posts.
- Snide, back handed comments directed at the moderator.
- Flaming emails to the moderators.
- Complaining whining emails to me.
- “FYI” PMs to friends, and/or me, complaining(ok, “just pointing out”) about being moderated. And sometimes I then hear again from “the friend” who thinks he’s telling me a secret. That’s even funnier.
- Rally cries, or thinly veiled posts(complaints)about the various reasons as to why a post may be moderated.
- Accusations of Censorship, denial of your first amendment rights, etc… Remember what your mom said, live under her roof, live by her rules. Theres is no first amendment here.
- A threat to quit the group. [sidebar: A real sore spot to me. I liken that as childish bullchit where if they don’t get their way, they will take their toys and go home and never talk to us again. Sniff sniff. If the friendships established here are so precariously balanced, that someone is willing to give them up over a “precious post”, then there was no substance and value to that friendship. So be it, move on and bite me on your way out the door.
Site Administrator and
CBJ with a Fuzzy Blue Hat, 18 Foot Competition Trailer, Customized Klose BYC, Custom Klose built MoAB (M
anderas) passed on to Big Dog, 1 Double Barreled Lang 84, 1 Heavily Modified Bionic Bandera, 1 Custom Super Medium Stickburning
Spicewine w/stoker, 1 XL BGE, 1 Mini BGE,
1 Pit Barrel Cooker
, 3 WSMs, 3 Weber Kettles, an NB Hondo, A Modified Brinkman Horizontal, DCS 48" Grill, a Broilmaster P3, a covered, pellet pooping FEC100, and our duck died. :(
"A mans worth is judged by the weight of his integrity "
You know your getting older when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy
Smoke on KC.
Last edited by BBQchef33; 01-18-2009 at 10:45 AM..