Moderation Discussion

I’m posting my view on this here after seeing comments from some people about threads not being locked vs. being locked.

In real life, what you say cannot be unsaid: you say it, and it’s out there forever. You can apologize for it and make amends, but what you said will always be out there. My view is that the Internet is much the same. When you make a post, that post is forever. You should not be allowed to go back and remove it or edit it (barring adding information, slight clarifications, and fixing language errors). Nor should moderators go and delete a post simply because it is too “flamy” or too “off topic”.

In the COBBS days, there were flamewars that would continue on for 15 pages of highly personal attacks before the administrator would even offer a warning to the people involved. Yet now, people are sending angry messages to moderators because of a single inflammatory post?

Arguments happen, both in real-life and online. Often it is by looking back at those arguments that we are able to make better judgements in the future. By removing those arguments, you are effectively rewriting history. I’m fairly sure we would all agree that is a very bad idea!

I do understand situations such as the MOUL Forums, where Cyan must maintain a policy in order to keep their future ventures open. While I find the moderation there oppressive and inconsistent, I am able to at least understand what rules the moderators were trying to follow.

People have probably noticed that one of my preferred method of presenting argument is with raw chatlogs. This gives people the chance to make their own decisions and make up their own minds about what happened. By keeping the flamewar threads, we allow people to do the same thing, and form their own opinions about the issues.

Opinions? Please discuss…

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One thought on “Moderation Discussion

  1. The idea of inconsistent moderation is a trait for “AOL forums”. You know what I mean… Forums where people talk with numbers and hurl insults at each other. Think Garry’s Mod forums or the like. To see that happen in the Myst community is saddening, although not very surprising these days.

    I don’t know what prompted this post, but I completely agree. I’m a stickler for the idea that if someone makes a fool of themselves on a forum, warn them. Don’t remove the post. In fact, if given the choice, I would prevent people from editing posts. Too many times I’ve seen people make posts, have people respond, then later go back and completely change the post… Then you have a million disjointed replies.

    If someone’s an idiot, warn them. Ban them. Do something. Don’t let it get by. Not the newbie and not your best friend. Don’t play favorites and don’t remove the post in question. If someone responds to the post with an equal tone, do the same thing to them, but leave the posts there so at least if people go back, they see the entire conversation and see why the fellows got scolded. If the entire thread has gone off the deep end. LOCK IT. Don’t hide it. If people don’t see why a thread was locked, I guarantee you it will happen over and over again.

    I don’t agree with letting a thread continue if it’s nothing but insults. The example of the 15 page flame fest on COBBS? That just reeks of “AOL forum”. There’s no excuse for that kind of action, and the thread should have been locked after having given warnings to the ones flaming. There’s argument, and then there’s fighting. Allowing all out fights to continue for that long is just asking for trouble.

    I apply the same reasoning to my own blog. I may prevent comments and posts from being posted in the first place, but I have NEVER removed comments or posts once I approve them or write them, even if they’re not something I’d like to have sitting there. Even if it’s me making a fool of myself, I leave it. In fact, I have many older posts that I would prefer to remove but won’t because I want them there as a lesson. Too many times I’ve seen (and even been a victim of) writing a comment, having someone reply to it, and then having some irate administrator come along and remove the/my opening post because it was too “flamy”. But there are the other comments, all listed beneath my now removed comment, all calling me out for what I said. Yeah, thanks for not letting anyone see what I’d said! I do, however, lock comments if enough people don’t act appropriately. I give them the benefit of the doubt, but if they consistently act like morons, then I’m locking the thread. (But NOT removing the comments.)

    Whatever is decided, though, STICK TO IT. Don’t lock some threads and mysteriously remove others. On the simple side, that’s just inconsistent and confuses everyone. On the extreme side, it gives an aura of favoritism and lack of conviction. Don’t the moderators understand the rules? Then how are the users expected to?

    Anyway… I had a lot of time on my hands and thought this would be neat to reply to. :D

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