Moderation Criticisms

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Raleel

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It seems like the sort of statement that a meme would be the appropriate response, but I don't have one that fits, and I'm scared to google for one...
let me assist (I also am finding memes to be superior to text, picture is worth a thousand words and all). Strangely, it also sort of fits some of the original conflict, being long and thin

giphy.gif
 

TristramEvans

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Not a meme, but for some reason my brain just jumped to this animation based on a Persona 3 radio drama bit where the main character was dating everyone and they all found out at once.


Well it turned out better for him than the fellow in School Days...
 

Tommy Brownell

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I might start modding entirely in Latin and Greek. If I'm going to play into the stereotype implied by my avatar I might as well commit.
Holy shit, I just leaned into the screen to see your avatar for the first time. I legit thought it was Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon, which wouldn't even be the 100th weirdest thing I've seen on an RPG message board, so I never questioned it.
 

EmperorNorton

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Another thing with a modbot is that you can prewrite a lot of common stuff to be used over and over.

Like a general "Everyone chill" post doesn't need to be custom written every time.

On a forum I run, we don't have a mod bot but we do use mod macros for a lot of the common issues (like moving posts, telling people to tone things down, enforcing the no politics rule, etc.)
 

Raleel

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If optional I think it's a good idea, but honestly I've found that just asking people to chill a bit works fine in any threads that aren't already full on punch-ups.
take a walk, go get a cup of tea, hit the bag for a while, etc. a lot of variations of this.
 

EmperorNorton

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Also funny story from the place where I run. We always used a specific color text to indicate when a mod was taking action as a mod versus just talking as a general user on the forum.

Originally, we used red. So any time a mod was talking as a mod, we would bold and use red text to do it.

As dumb as this sounds though, we found that lots of people took it as very aggressive, even when it wasn't meant to. For instance, just moving a thread that was posted in the wrong place, people would start getting offended.

Eventually after a lot of "wow this is dumb, why are people like this" we changed the standard mod text to blue. Suddenly less complaints.

I think it is silly but it worked.

(We still use red in addition to the general blue, but now red mod text means "you are on thin ice and we are about to take serious action" so if it is interpreted as aggressive... good).
 

Black Leaf

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Also funny story from the place where I run. We always used a specific color text to indicate when a mod was taking action as a mod versus just talking as a general user on the forum.

Originally, we used red. So any time a mod was talking as a mod, we would bold and use red text to do it.

As dumb as this sounds though, we found that lots of people took it as very aggressive, even when it wasn't meant to. For instance, just moving a thread that was posted in the wrong place, people would start getting offended.

Eventually after a lot of "wow this is dumb, why are people like this" we changed the standard mod text to blue. Suddenly less complaints.

I think it is silly but it worked.

(We still use red in addition to the general blue, but now red mod text means "you are on thin ice and we are about to take serious action" so if it is interpreted as aggressive... good).

I'll sometimes use the "mod hat on" line I got from Pagga (old LARP forum from back in the day). If you want to lighten it you can even use variations like "mod hat angled jauntily to one side".

Although my friend got told off by admin for claiming he was modding "wearing the mod hat but NOTHING else".
 

EmperorNorton

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Red text reminds me of RPGnet. No thanks.
Eh, while I wasn't suggesting the use here, and was more just talking about how "perception of mods is often just as important as being right as mods", just cause RPGnet moderation sucks doesn't mean they are wrong about everything.

Being able to tell the difference between when a mod is talking as a user and talking as a mod in a very clear, unambiguous way can fix some problems. There are many times where people talk about their problems with Tristram as a mod, when they are really talking about him as a user, and when there is no unambiguous delineation it does make it harder to tell the difference between the two.
 

Endless Flight

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Some of us use blue text from time to time, including Tristram. I actually just think it makes it easier to spot when you are skimming posts. I don’t think that using text is going to stop people from separating their problems with folks who are mods. The reason this doesn’t get traction, let’s say at RPGnet, is that any feedback is unwanted. You are likely to get banned for speaking up. Here, we let people criticize us.
 

Stumpydave

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From my own modding experience, some people just don't like being modded.

Any challenge to their posting or posting style is met by way more challenge and vitriol than the original "offence" merited.
 

EmperorNorton

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Some of us use blue text from time to time, including Tristram. I actually just think it makes it easier to spot when you are skimming posts. I don’t think that using text is going to stop people from separating their problems with folks who are mods. The reason this doesn’t get traction, let’s say at RPGnet, is that any feedback is unwanted. You are likely to get banned for speaking up. Here, we let people criticize us.
Except I'm not talking about how TBP moderates. I'm talking about it from the perspective of someone who has been the head admin of a forum that regularly has like 1k people on it at any time that has used the method for nearly a decade.

It didn't cut the complaints out completely but even though the forum is larger (like significantly larger) than it was before we started using it, we still have less complaints that were attributed to "criticizing a mod for how they act as a normal user interpreting that as them acting as a mod" than before we implemented using a separate color for mod actions.

Just because something doesn't eliminate 100% of a problem doesn't mean it can't reduce it. You'll never eliminate all of a problem.

And again: I wasn't even suggesting it for use here, it was just an anecdote about the perception of moderation can make a difference to how smooth a forum runs, even when the perception isn't exactly "fair" or "logical". I just think the immediate reaction of "ew that is what tbp does" is not a great reason to not do something on its own.
 

Endless Flight

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Yeah, well, since a lot of people here are crossovers from there and the Site, anything they do over there can trigger people. I have to sort of be mindful of how similar sites do things.
 

David Johansen

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You'll be able to hear the shrieking as if a billion banned users suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
 

EmperorNorton

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From my own modding experience, some people just don't like being modded.

Any challenge to their posting or posting style is met by way more challenge and vitriol than the original "offence" merited.
I mean, no one likes being modded.

I'd also point out that I think that while the mods here are pretty open to criticism, I do think that there are times where the criticism of the moderation also has tinges of your latter point. Maybe not vitriol, but it always seems to be met with challenge and "proof that we were right".

I'm going to be honest here: I can't remember a single time any of the criticism of moderation has had the moderators here go "huh, you know what, one of us did misstep here". Like what are the chances that EVERY single time there was a complaint, the moderator was always right and no mistakes were ever made?

EDIT: I take that back, Baulderstone has made it pretty clear that he thinks that how CRK has been handled has been a mistake, though from my perspective he seems like the only one who feels that way.
 

TristramEvans

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There ARE examples of me stating I made a mis-step as a mod. But they don't involve threadbans, which is what seems to really anger some folks. We moderate so lightly here that I don't think anyone's copped a threadban that was unwarranted.

I think most of our mistakes are actually from not stepping in as mods in certain circumstances, or waiting longer than we need to.
 

CRKrueger

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I don’t see anything bad about a well-researched takedown of anyone. I wouldn’t do it because I’m too lazy to look through a bunch of posts, but if Tristram or anyone else has that memory and talent and time, great. People usually don’t like those because they aren’t going to look good on the other end.
Yep, exactly. Sometimes the shit someone is saying is so objectively, provably false that “But This Is What Really Happened” followed by the actual quotes, in order and not edited is the only recourse.
 

CRKrueger

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For myself, it's not "don't do this ever" and more "do this when there's actually important stuff to refute". It feels a bit first response at times and at worst feels too close to "we must factcheck internet posts".
So you’d prefer the liars put forth their version unanswered? What is the point of even being on a forum then?
 

EmperorNorton

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There ARE examples of me stating I made a mis-step as a mod. But they don't involve threadbans, which is what seems to really anger some folks. We moderate so lightly here that I don't think anyone's copped a threadban that was unwarranted.

I think most of our mistakes are actually from not stepping in as mods in certain circumstances, or waiting longer than we need to.

I think that my point was missed a bit. Cause it actually wasn't about who was right or wrong, it was about the thing that NO ONE likes how they post being criticized, and that the "oh the only reason people complain is cause they got criticized" is really dismissive. While yes, I don't think the mod team is "always" right (I think you are right here, in that sometimes I think that mods should have stepped in sooner, and also sometimes I find that the person who "shot last" gets threadbanned and the person who starts things gets no criticism at all), my point was more that I think everyone is at least somewhat resistant to being criticized.
 

EmperorNorton

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So you’d prefer the liars put forth their version unanswered? What is the point of even being on a forum then?
In this case, everyone already agreed Lessa was in the wrong.

Though to be honest, I don't think he is "lying". I think that he is wrong, but I think he believes what he says.
 

CRKrueger

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In this case, everyone already agreed Lessa was in the wrong.

Though to be honest, I don't think he is "lying". I think that he is wrong, but I think he believes what he says.
Eh, fair point. But, when you’re getting the timeline of your version of events off by months, it’s hard not to think it’s simply a case of “I’m never wrong on the Internet”.

To be honest, a lot of these radically different versions of what happened start with someone not being able to admit fault or backing down, so their version gets so convoluted over time, it becomes a Bizarro version of what happened.

It doesn’t really matter whether they are lying intentionally, or their cognitive dissonance is so great that their mind is inventing things to protect itself. It’s not always a “They said They said” situation. The truth matters.
 

EmperorNorton

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The truth matters but like, we already kind of came to a conclusion on it. Like I said, I think it makes more sense to do those kind of posts when a significant number of people are supporting both sides, or the majority is supporting the side that is factual incorrect. At that point there is a purpose to the post. It is there to inform people.

When everyone already agreed that Lessa was just throwing a fit for no reason, it just serves no constructive purpose to post it.
 

CRKrueger

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The truth matters but like, we already kind of came to a conclusion on it. Like I said, I think it makes more sense to do those kind of posts when a significant number of people are supporting both sides, or the majority is supporting the side that is factual incorrect. At that point there is a purpose to the post. It is there to inform people.

When everyone already agreed that Lessa was just throwing a fit for no reason, it just serves no constructive purpose to post it.
It matters when people, frankly like yourself, jump in and “Me Too” the conflict because they don’t like the person who is right, or think they have their own beef.

If Tristram doesn’t “But This Is What Really Happened” and prove it, anyone he’s had a beef with (which usually becomes personal because he proves them wrong) jumps in and now it’s a “pattern of behavior”.

Tristram shouldn’t care how the fuck you, or anyone else feels. He’s a mod, not your mother. He should care about the truth of the matter. He’s got the rest of the world and the rest of his life to make everyone like him and feel all fuzzy as they wallow in their bullshit. He doesn’t need to do it here.
 

Black Leaf

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So you’d prefer the liars put forth their version unanswered?

As Norton points out, very few people in this situation think they're actively lying. So I'm generally inclined to put it down to the subjectivity of the human perspective and move on. Honestly, if it matters to you enough at all, PMs are always an option. (Although I accept relations are too bad for that to have worked here).

But if you feel the need to respond to it, two paragraphs is plenty. There are very very few situations that need that kind of repeated hammering. Especially, having actually read Tristram's post, it's not merely an list of facts mercifully free of subjectivity. It's full of editorialising. (I can go through highlighting every bit of that if people would really find that helpful, although I don't personally see the point for very similar reasons).

What is the point of even being on a forum then?

Talk about games rather than each other? That would be the Platonic ideal.

But "the point" is what I'm questioning here. Tristram can obviously judge for himself what's worthwhile. I'm just not personally seeing what the actual goal of that kind of post is or what it's supposed to have achieved after it's made.

(And I get this may be as much about me. I really don't care what other people say about me in most cases. And if people are stupid enough to believe outright lies about me what significance does that have other than to my opinion of them? So I don't really grok needing to do an essay to refute shit someone says about you.)
 
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Endless Flight

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I’ve made mistakes as a mod and I’ve apologized to people when I felt it was necessary. Krueger comes to mind as one example a few months back.
 

CRKrueger

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As Norton points out, very few people in this situation think they're actively lying. So I'm generally inclined to put it down to the subjectivity of the human perspective and move on. Honestly, if it matters to you enough at all, PMs are always an option. (Although I accept relations are too bad for that to have worked here).

But if you feel the need to respond to it, two paragraphs is plenty. There are very very few situations that need that kind of repeated hammering. Especially, having actually read Tristram's post, it's not merely an list of facts mercifully free of subjectivity. It's full of editorialising. (I can go through highlighting every bit of that if people would really find that helpful, although I don't personally see the point for very similar reasons).



Talk about games rather than each other? That would be the Platonic idea.

But "the point" is what I'm questioning here. Tristram can obviously judge for himself what's worthwhile. I'm just not personally seeing what the actual goal of that kind of post is or what it's supposed to have achieved after it's made.

(And I get this may be as much about me. I really don't care what other people say about me in most cases. And if people are stupid enough to believe outright lies about me what significance does that have other than to my opinion of them? So I don't really grok needing to do an essay to refute shit someone says about you.)
If Silva comes back whenever and starts babbling about this time Tristram persecuted him, Tristram can point to that post and say “Anyone interested can see what happened here, laid all out.” Does it make a difference? Not to you, but it would to me.

To be honest, I think chalking it up to “interpersonal conflict” and ignoring the laying out of evidence only makes things worse. Sure, sometimes you read a dust up and it’s obvious that they’re both full of shit, spinning what the other said, neither one will ever back down, etc. But sometimes it’s not. People not reading those posts and agreeing it’s not let’s the wrong person off the hook and free to start the bullshit circus the next time around.
 

CRKrueger

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I’ve made mistakes as a mod and I’ve apologized to people when I felt it was necessary. Krueger comes to mind as one example a few months back.
Heh, don’t think anyone has a problem with you.
 

Black Leaf

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I’ve made mistakes as a mod and I’ve apologized to people when I felt it was necessary. Krueger comes to mind as one example a few months back.
Ironically, that's also an example of disagreement, which Norton was asking about.

I've been very open that I think that mandated ignore lists are reasonable, I've just been overruled. :p

There's also the fact that I'm of the view that mods should avoid modding threads they're posting heavily in unless they absolutely have to.

So it's not that there's not different views among the mods/admin, including openly. It's just that people seem not to notice it because we're not shouting at each other about it.
 

Tommy Brownell

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So it's not that there's not different views among the mods/admin, including openly. It's just that people seem not to notice it because we're not shouting at each other about it.
Because the internet is no place for reasonable discourse.

Now, it's been a while since I've been in the middle of any drama. Who do I fight?
 
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