May 2023 › Forums › Website / Technical › Forum Moderation
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January 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm #81768
Previous discussions on this and other party forums have raised doubts and criticisms in respect of the lack of accountability, transparency and inequality of treatment under the present code of conduct. If this is indeed the case (and I shall let the facts speak for themselves in this regard) I suggest that ALL USERS use this thread to: 1. List what exactly they see has the problems and issues with the code of conduct. 2. What is needed to ensure the moderators are moderated? 3. Suggest another tier of enforcement is necessary, albeit with examples and purpose. 4. Should the choice of moderator be down to the party or the users of the forum? 5. Provide examples or even partial examples of what type of code of conduct is appropriate and acceptable to this type of medium?
Obviously, all of the above is not cast in stone and should be viewed has only suggestions on kickstarting this thread of so that in the very least a Key Line Of Enquiry (KLOE) is developed to a satisfactory conclusion. Because I can assure you if the party members and non-party members alike fail to tackle these problems and issues nobody will.January 7, 2013 at 8:40 pm #91578AnonymousInactive
Legislating for other people is never a particularly pleasant thing for socialists to do, but we do need to face up to it from time to time. It would be nice if people were capable of moderating their own behaviour all of the time but it ain't always the case. The puerile and obnoxious behaviour that's been displayed on this forum lately shames not just the perpetrators and their defenders but the movement as a whole. The situation was allowed to get out of hand by reluctant moderators, and their understandable reticence with regard to acting swiftly in fact caused the escalation of hostility to get out of hand. Never should have been allowed to get to the point where angry, emotional people who are all fired up are calling their fellow socialists a 'fucking prick' or an 'arsehole'. Outrageous. Like the drunken uncle at a wedding who has to be made to leave in order that other people's sensibilities are protected… The notion that some people won't need others to moderate their behaviour in a socialist society is a utopian pipe-dream, and the argument that we won't have censorship in socialism and therefore can't have it in the struggle for socialism simply doesn't stand up. So, how do we manage the situation? More moderation, but better moderation, I say. Let's establish precise ground rules for the forums and make clear what is acceptable and what is not. And let's have very specific sanctions for contraventions. It's not difficult. No more difficult than that uncle at the wedding. Patient understanding to begin with, backed up with a gentle explanation of what's not accepted. Firm condemnation of unacceptable behaviour if it continues. And an insistence on continuing unacceptable crap gets you kicked out. Of course, there'll need to be an appeals process, but that's not difficult. And yeah, I think that moderators need to be trained to do the job and I also think that they should be elected. In any event, the sorry state of affairs that we've arrived at here needs urgently to be sorted out. I usually suggest to people that I'm talking to about socialism that they should have a look at our forum. At the moment it's a pretty lousy advertisement for the movement.January 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm #91579DJPParticipant
Hi Jonathan,Thoughtful considerations, I appreciate them.There has been a lot going on behind the scenes which people are not aware of. The internet department checks that moderation is fair and unbiased. Most of the other members (6 in total) of the department do not post on the forum.The trouble is that the forum runs 24/7 and a single person cannot be expected to keep an eye on it at all times.With regards to training, it turns out that one of the members of the department is trained in conflict resolution – perhaps this could be of use to us.With regards to electing moderators, volunteers are not very forthcoming – for reasons that I am sure you can appreciate! It's with reluctance that I am having to fill this role presently. Such a change would also have to go through conference.We can discuss ideas here but ultimately any major changes will have to come through branches and conference.Though I feel the real problem lies in people not being able to moderate themselves.January 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm #91580AnonymousInactive
Hi Darren, I agree that what underpins this fiasco is – largely – a failure on the part of some people to control their baser natures, but hey! That's what humans are. Why should socialists be any different? An understanding of what capitalism is and a grasp of how it needs to be changed doesn't, in and of itself, make us better or even nicer people necessarily. And yes, my suggestions would need to be dealt with through branches and conference. That's what branches and conference are for! There can clearly be no short-term solution here that can realistically be enforced, so yeah, it's time to legislate. Volunteers are always in short supply when so many folk are struggling to keep their heads above water. For what it's worth, I have more spare time than most and would be happy to help out if people wanted me to. I do think that the moderation thing has to be based on consent, however.January 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm #91581DJPParticipant
Thanks Jonathan, check your private messages if you have not already.January 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm #91582steve colbornParticipant
What is needed on the forum and from it's moderators is consistency. Some are called to account, for concrete and sometimes spurious reasons, while others are given carte blanche in their posts.Moderation rules would be a start, as would moderation training, conflict resolution, as mentioned, would be a good idea.As JC has mentioned above, we are human beings, individuals who have sensibilities and emotions. Who can blame another for blowing up, in the case of percieved, persistent unfairness and bias.If we had hard and fast rules on moderation the chances of the above happening would be minimal. steve.January 7, 2013 at 11:45 pm #91584
I agree that consistency, standards and training are required but this only partially addresses the problem of having a code of conduct which is applicable to this medium of communication. There is also the problem of having sufficient moderators 24/7 to keep an eye on things before they get out of hand.What I've suggested in my initial post is that a further tier of enforcement be brought into operation rather than the present 'cool it' approach which is informal. Also whenever enforcement is used this automatically sets of an accountable and recorded process specific to that particular enforcement.January 8, 2013 at 11:53 am #91585
I think consistency is a relatively low priority. Each case will be unique in any case (and if the mods fail to act in one case it has no bearing over their actions in another).More important, than any rules, is to remember the difference between democracy among friends and democracy among enemies. Democracy among friends is the tacit agreement that we want to be together, on this forum, discussing socialism.This is another way of affirming the basic rule of wikipedia: ASSUME GOOD FAITHhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Assume_good_faithThis cuts between members as well as between members and moderators. Assume the moderator is acting in good faith first and foremost, and remember why we're here. The moderator is trying to help discussion. It doesn't matter if you think the moderator is wrong, or has warned you unfairly, it doesn't matter. In the grand scheme of things a warning from the moderator is supremely unimportant, and the response is the exactly same as if it was a fair warning: you back away from any arguments, and get back to discussing the topics in hand.The chair will get it wrong: that doesn't matter, you are bigger than that. Just keep on discussing.If we police ourselves, the moderators don't need to do anything: stay on topic and don't abuse other members. It's that simple, those are the rules. The easy way to abide by them is just never directly address a forum member nor refer to them by name, just like at a physical meeting, you're addressing the chair.And just remember, an argument that lasts a week online would be over in five minutes in the pub.January 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm #91583EdParticipant
What's wrong with the forum and internet department?It seems to me that if you make enough noise you can get away with anything and if you stay silent and respect the moderators decisions you are discredited and the EC and internet department takes a giant shit all over you.January 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm #91586Young Master Smeet wrote:I think consistency is a relatively low priority. Each case will be unique in any case (and if the mods fail to act in one case it has no bearing over their actions in another).
You seem to have shot yourself in the foot with that opening sentence because its directly implying that the opposite is the norm i.e. Inconsistency is a relatively high priority. Which is just asking for trouble for without standards there's lack of consistency, and without consistency its really difficult to conduct a review which can be quantified against performance and to also assess what requires improvements in reference to equality of treatment.Nevertheless, its noticable that none of the postings so far on this thread have attempted to make a list on what is wrong with the present code of conduct. Plenty of comments and judgements but alas no list!I'm beginning to wonder why not? Comrades, if we are serious about developing possible solutions on this issue we need to ensure we are all on the same page. And we can only do that by drawing up our own personal lists on how and why the code of conduct is in our view failing and proving to be detrimental to the decision making process of the party.So please stop beating about the bush with the 'shoulds' and 'oughts' and get on with it by walking the talk! Once we have assembled all the negatives and positives in list form then we are in a position to come up with possible solution. Until then we'll remain in the present dysfunctional position.January 8, 2013 at 11:08 pm #91587steve colbornParticipant
Brian, What I have said is highly applicable in my considered judgement. Consistency of moderation and moreover, well trained moderators to implement the "rules". No ad hoc judgements, no individual preferences as to the merits or, demerits of indivual posts or, in fact the individuals that post. This would give a "baseline" within which all decisions could be judged. If a post is outside of these, "rules", then in should be moderated in the way "moderation rules" are laid down. No room for prevarication or whatever! Steve.January 8, 2013 at 11:52 pm #91588steve colborn wrote:Brian, What I have said is highly applicable in my considered judgement. Consistency of moderation and moreover, well trained moderators to implement the "rules". No ad hoc judgements, no individual preferences as to the merits or, demerits of indivual posts or, in fact the individuals that post. This would give a "baseline" within which all decisions could be judged. If a post is outside of these, "rules", then in should be moderated in the way "moderation rules" are laid down. No room for prevarication or whatever! Steve.
I take it then Steve that the above is what you consider to be your 'list'? This being the case I'm sure you will allow me to lay it out in listed form:1. Consistency of moderation. [Which means there is a set standard and procedure to follow.]2. The training of moderators in understanding on how the rules are implemented. [This implies that suitable protocols, procedures and processes are in place.]3.No ad hoc judgements . [This would reinforce 1. besides ensuring a common enforcement policy is followed]4. No individual preferences to the merits or demerits of individual posts. [To ensure there's equality of treatment (all enforcement must have the approval of least 2 moderators?)]5. No preferences to individuals that post. [This would bolster 1. and 3.]6. When a post is [clearly?] outside of these "rules", then [they] should be moderated in the way "moderation rules" are laid down. [Obviously, my editing suggests i'm not happy with this, simply because "should" is exactly an invite and a reason for prevacation. Imo.]January 9, 2013 at 9:39 am #91589Brian wrote:Young Master Smeet wrote:I think consistency is a relatively low priority. Each case will be unique in any case (and if the mods fail to act in one case it has no bearing over their actions in another).
You seem to have shot yourself in the foot with that opening sentence because its directly implying that the opposite is the norm i.e. Inconsistency is a relatively high priority. Which is just asking for trouble for without standards there's lack of consistency, and without consistency its really difficult to conduct a review which can be quantified against performance and to also assess what requires improvements in reference to equality of treatment.
Well, no, because my point is that we shouldn't be treating the moderator as if they are the law, or a forum cop. The priority is people agreeing that they want to be on the forum to discuss socialism, and that comes first and foremost, not letting other things get in the way.Rules, and the muliplicity is troll fodder, because they will come, and they will game them, expertly, a general "be excellent to each other" is all that is required.If there is a fight, it doesn't matter who started it, who was insulted by whom and how, what matter is the fight stops, and if that takes banning both parties utterly unfairly, that's what it takes. We need a tartar in the chair.I'll reiterate my central point, if members don't spat and stand on their hindlegs demanding fairness, but instead just get on with debating the points at hand, the problem disappears for everyone.January 9, 2013 at 10:07 am #91590
The problem is YMS is that this post is seeking an ideal situation and it's not going to happen is it? Can we please deal with the reality that users and moderators are – like JC pointed out in a previous post – only humans. This circular argument is not going to get us anywhere.Could you please put your nose to the grindstone by posting your list. We need to 'list the arguments' and then proceed from there. I'm sure you are aware of the implications of KLOE and how necessary it is to ensure pro-effeciency prevails?January 9, 2013 at 10:28 am #91591
I'm not assuming any ideal world: Assume good faith resolves the fallibility issue nicely.I support the status quo.
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