Forum Moderation

May 2024 Forums Website / Technical Forum Moderation

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 119 total)
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  • #91627
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Some members of this forum insist that off topic as well as abuse is removed. But off topic is not easy to define in simple terms, as some seem to suggest. It can appear in a number of different variations. I will attempt to identify some here.1) Off course some off topic can be deliberate and obvious, soap operas on a physics forum for instance. But care should be taken to condemn even such an obvious example as sometimes light banter can be beneficial for the gelling of members and will likely revert back to the issue at hand.2) Sometimes in the unfolding complexity of debate, a person may inadvertently lose focus and introduce an out of place element.3) Topics can evolve, often from related side issues. On this forum the thread on religion evolved into a discussion on morality and then back again.4) Sometimes a person may feel something seemingly a little unrelated needs addressing, rather than set up a separate thread for something that could be clarified from several posts etc.There are probably more examples of off topic. But it is clear, or at least it should be, that off topic is not an open and shut issue.So what to do about it? Do we attempt to define every case of off topic?Perhaps define what off topic is acceptable and categorise every off topic post or section of a post, to see if it is acceptable or worthy of deletion?I think off topic can be left alone as part of the eb and flow of democratic, open discussion. After all off topic can be ignored.Or perhaps we are children who can not work around it?So and so is derailing the thread, tell them to stop it! Boo hoo!

    #91628
    Brian
    Participant

    This is certainly something to bear in mind in reference to the consistency of moderation.  To me off topic postings should only require the lightest of attention. For instance Matt the moderator on spintcom has indicated he does allow off topic comments through on a once only basis but where posters continue to be off topic he then draws attention to the breach and expects users to stay on topic.  However spintcom is usually low in the number of postings and requires relatively less moderation than this forum. So when you take the number of postings here and also the low number of moderators to deal with  incidents it could well have, albeit on occasion, an adverse impact on the overall consistency of moderation. I imagine that usually off topic postings are only looked at by the moderators once they are reported and how they react would depend how much off topic the particular posting is and the context e.g. is it encouraging other users to respond to the off topic comment, or on the other hand the poster acknowledging the comment is off topic and then reverting to topic. On the way off topics posts have been handled here there seems to be very little consistency in how they are dealt with.  Some have been totally ignored, others have been handled lightly and others handled heavily.  This uneven approach then has provided ammunition for them users who are in dispute with being under moderation and consequently placed moderation itself under scrutiny.  

    #91629
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Well said Brian, you have put it in a nutshell and backed up what a lot of comments on this thread have stated. Immoderation of posts, as well as inconsistency. This is the reason for my resignation. Be well comrade, keep up the good work on this thread, Steve, the mad northern numpty.

    #91630
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    I was wondering about whether or not it would be a good idea to have an open acknowledgement whenever a forum member has a moderation decision overturned?After all, it is very obvious to the whole forum whenever a member is warned, censored, suspended or put on probation in the form of a mod' queue. So if they are found "innocent" of any "wrongdoing" it would seem only fair that any retraction is done so openly.Doing so could avoid any ill feeling from developing, and help promote an atmosphere of open fairness, where mistakes are acknowledged and accepted by all.Who knows?

    #91631
    Anonymous
    Inactive

     Brian It has been suggested to me that a moderator is like the editor of the Socialist Standard and a chairperson at a public meeting.  I find such suggestions to be ludicrous and in need of logical discussion and dismissal.

    #91632
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Do we really believe that a party member should be suspended for 3 off topic comments? Or does the party need to make a direction to the ID via the EC?

    #91633
    Brian
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    I was wondering about whether or not it would be a good idea to have an open acknowledgement whenever a forum member has a moderation decision overturned?After all, it is very obvious to the whole forum whenever a member is warned, censored, suspended or put on probation in the form of a mod' queue. So if they are found "innocent" of any "wrongdoing" it would seem only fair that any retraction is done so openly.Doing so could avoid any ill feeling from developing, and help promote an atmosphere of open fairness, where mistakes are acknowledged and accepted by all.Who knows?

    This has actually occurred on the thread 'Moderation and Technical issues'.  See post 37 there from pbfcarlisle.  Unfortunately it failed to stop any ill feeling from developing.

    #91634
    Brian
    Participant
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
     Brian It has been suggested to me that a moderator is like the editor of the Socialist Standard and a chairperson at a public meeting.  I find such suggestions to be ludicrous and in need of logical discussion and dismissal.

    VinIf we were to follow your last sentence through to its logical conclusion there would be no further discussion on this very important subject!  Can we please stay focused on the subject of this thread and not throw the baby out with the bath water?Whilst the role of moderator will in the nature of best practice utilize some of the codes of conduct from the editorial of the Socialist Standard and chairperson the nature of this medium will eventually demand and determine its own particular code of conduct.  How that code of conduct is shaped depends on people like yourself creating a list of negatives and positives. If you were to trawl through this thread you will notice SP, SC and myself have created such lists it would be appreciated if you could do the same.  If for some reason you are unable to post here you can still PM it to me.

    #91635
    Brian
    Participant
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    Do we really believe that a party member should be suspended for 3 off topic comments? Or does the party need to make a direction to the ID via the EC?

    Presently its immaterial on whether or not a user is a party member or a non-party member if they post 3 off topic comments they are suspended.  However, like I have suggested previously in this thread (see post #51) any post which is off topic and *reported* to the moderators should not be automatically followed with a warning but rather by a friendly comment drawing *attention* to the breach.Obviously, if the off topic comments appear on any thread used by that particular user and they are *reported* to the moderator then a warning of possible moderation should then automatically follow.  If this behaviour still continues then the user should be placed under moderation.  If the user continues to post off topic whilst under moderation they should be suspended.  However, *all* suspensions need to be posted on the thread(s) concerned with the reasons given.

    #91636
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi BrianWith all due respect, your reference to #37 on "Moderation and Technical Issues" only came about  as a result of an enquiry from myself as to the confusion of the Int Dept's first two reports regarding OGW's case. If I had not brought the question to public attention, I am quite sure it would not have seen the light of day on this forumWhat I refer to would be a specific policy of acknowledging any overturning or retrospective rescindment of warnings, suspensions etc on the forum that the event took place.It is simply a matter of full openness and fairness for all.This could be implemented as part of what is known as diplomatic protocol. As the issue of moderating any forum is very much about diplomacy, I think such an open two way system of diplomacy, could go a long way as part of a comprehensive set of community guidelines that help forum users as well as moderators to avoid situations such as this from escalating in the future.

    #91637
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Brian wrote:
    If you were to trawl through this thread you will notice SP, SC and myself have created such lists it would be appreciated if you could do the same.  If for some reason you are unable to post here you can still PM it to me.

    Brian  Moderation is required for a number of reasons. For example to prevent abuse and deliberate disruption of the forumHowever, It doesn't matter how many positives and negatives we come up with, 1.      'moderation queue' means ONE member deciding what another member is allowed to say and what he is allowed not to say. I am not talking about abusive posts or deliberate and malicious disruption. What if a moderated member has  many on topic and non abusive posts rejected? How do we prevent moderators abusing their position in such a way?2.      As for off topic posts. What if some members are singled out for warnings and suspensions,  leading to bad feeling. How do you legistlate for that?

    #91638
    steve colborn
    Participant

    Brian, I totally agree with your comments above. The use of, "a friendly comment drawing *attention* to any breach", would be more appropriate to the term "moderation" than an instant warning. It would apply the precept of facilitator, rather than any perception of "contoller in chief". It would be more in line with the feelings of "comradeship" and comradely discourse that, in the case of this Forum, it should be all about.This thread that you started should be drawing on, "best practice" that have been garnered from the, "wider world" by comrades and contibutors. We should, as you have said, look to revise and then set up a set of principles and directives that would avoid the conflicts we have seen, by  guidelines which would avert ill feeling and circumvent, as far as is possible, any accusations of "bias".The use, as you have pointed out, of KLOE's to help us devise such a system, as I have found out in my role on a local ALMO, is pivotal in helping the conclusion we need.A collection of human beings who have come together to fight for an alternative to Capitalism, should find this simple by comparison. All it takes is reasoned, rational discussion.Hope you achieve it Brian. Hope it comes about before my form F goes through. Yours for an end to this insanity, Capitalism,Steve.

    #91639
    steve colborn
    Participant

    An addendum to my post above. Contributors to this thread may find it helpful to acquaint themselves with KLOE's, if they are not conversant with this term, possibly by googling it! It would give an insight into what it is that we are trying to achieve.Steve.

    #91640
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    I have notice on this thread,  that only a few members are now bothering to post ideas and discuss the problems and potential solutionsWhen Brian presents his points at some point, I can imagine a clamour of negative voices claiming the suggestions have come from a tiny disruptive minority with an agenda and not all being party members. It may lead to a call to reject any suggestions put forward from this thread. I hope not, but there have been a lot of negative contributions from people over the last few months, trying to place the lions share of blame on personalities.The silence of the forum was a partial contributing factor to this situation escalating in the first place.Am I to take the silence and lack of involvement as a sign most do not think there is a problem regarding moderation on the party sites?The only way to change anything for the better is by open, democratic discussion. Socialists from the WSM should be aware of this more than most. After all on another thread the idea of scoring points over the recent SWP mess is being discussed.We criticise others for their lack of involvement, are we not now starting to look like hypocrites?

    #91641
    Brian
    Participant
    SocialistPunk wrote:
    Hi BrianWith all due respect, your reference to #37 on "Moderation and Technical Issues" only came about  as a result of an enquiry from myself as to the confusion of the Int Dept's first two reports regarding OGW's case. If I had not brought the question to public attention, I am quite sure it would not have seen the light of day on this forumWhat I refer to would be a specific policy of acknowledging any overturning or retrospective rescindment of warnings, suspensions etc on the forum that the event took place.It is simply a matter of full openness and fairness for all.This could be implemented as part of what is known as diplomatic protocol. As the issue of moderating any forum is very much about diplomacy, I think such an open two way system of diplomacy, could go a long way as part of a comprehensive set of community guidelines that help forum users as well as moderators to avoid situations such as this from escalating in the future.

    I totally agree that all errors are acknowledged as part of policy and also those specific acknowledgements should be posted a.s.a.p. so the dispute in question does not escalate.

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