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  1. #201
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    Is it possible to just moderate a sub-forum? If so I'll volunteer to do the Frozen Synapse one - it's mostly going to be me starting the threads in there anyway (to begin with at least), and it would be handy to be able to sticky or lock threads without having to bother someone.

    I'd be willing to mod more generally if that was a requirement of managing the sub-forum, but I'd rather not. I fear such unbridled power would have a terrible effect on me.
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  2. #202
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    You're making the very big assumption that Jim is asking for mods to do work in addition to what he does here, rather than a mod to take on some/all of the work he does here because it's taking him far too long as is. You could well be right, but so could I.
    Even replacing Jim with 2 to 3 mods is a pretty big boost. While I don't doubt Jim has to deal with quite a bit on the forums, his attention is also drawn to other things as well. A few people dedicated to just moderating the forum will cope easily. Again, look at this place, it's no Something Awful. Generally the people who are posting are regulars known to everyone else, with occasional appearances by new faces who almost universally are amicable and don't cause problems. Again - there's not really all that moderation to be done save for fighting spam, and we don't really see much of it.

    Also isn't Alec a mod too? At least that's what I thought the Disintegration node title always meant...
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  3. #203
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    You're making the very big assumption that Jim is asking for mods to do work in addition to what he does here, rather than a mod to take on some/all of the work he does here because it's taking him far too long as is. You could well be right, but so could I.
    Roles I accept for a mod:

    - Deleting spam threads
    - Moving threads to appropriate subfora
    - Censoring obvious hate speech (ie: the "what's so wrong with the word 'nigger'" guy)

    Roles I do not accept for a mod:

    - Stepping into discussions
    - Stepping into discussions the mod has participated in
    - Locking non-spam threads
    - Censoring anything short of obvious hate speech
    - Banthammering anything

    I do not trust anybody to set aside their own points of view to play the role of internet policeman, least of all the people who vie for that role, no matter their stated rationalizations.

    As a number of the people proposed for mod have gleefully volunteered for the latter on a number of occasions prior to this thread, I can't hardly veto their nominations strenuously enough, and as I myself, as Soldant, enjoy arguing, I do not want any part of the moderation business and cast aspersions to anybody who would look in my direction for such.
    Last edited by Nalano; 15-05-2013 at 05:10 AM.
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  4. #204
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Do you dislike it when anyone objects to the tone of a discussion or just when an appointed official does it because position of authority, etc?

    If the latter, I get where you're coming from ... I don't think a moderator around these parts would have enough power that I'd consider it substantially different from a normal member doing the same unless they said things like "cut it out or I'll make you regret it" or otherwise make it clear that they aren't part of the community at large, but I get where you're coming from and it's certainly a fair concern.

    If the former ... I think "policing" discussions within reasonable constraints is part of everyone's role in a functioning community. There's a large, fuzzy region between that and censorship but I don't think censorship in the general sense deserves the same bad rap as censorship The Issue; deciding that certain things really shouldn't be said is OK as you point our yourself. For anything that isn't clear, it's preferable to have a community where expressing concern with the tone of a discussion, or with certain things said is acceptable. If this sort of critical meta-discussion isn't really acceptable and people get strung up as overly-sensitive, Internet Policeman Wannabes or otherwise problem community members whenever issues of personal comfort come up ... that's not good.

    I don't think this is as big a problem here as it is in other communities I'm part of. In any case, what do you consider stepping in? Suppose a mod is in a discussion and someone says something personally injurious to another member or to the mod? Is it ok for the mod to invoke mod status? Is it ok for the mod to make a point of it if they don't invoke mod status? Are only other people allowed to touch the issue at this point?
    Last edited by gwathdring; 15-05-2013 at 06:38 AM.
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  5. #205
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    In any case, what do you consider stepping in? Suppose a mod is in a discussion and someone says something personally injurious to another member or to the mod? Is it ok for the mod to invoke mod status? Is it ok for the mod to make a point of it if they don't invoke mod status? Are only other people allowed to touch the issue at this point?
    The problem is that if the mod is personally involved in a discussion, any mod activity will be scrutinised. It's a bit like arguing with your boss over current affairs only to have her turn around and say "I'll fire you if you keep arguing!"

    While a mod might have just cause to take action against members who are crossing the line, there's always going to be the question of whether it was justified or an abuse of power, whether they should have never entered into the discussion, whether they let it go on too long before acting or acted too quickly... it's the downside to having a community mod. While the community mod knows the users and knows when people are going too far or just screwing around without malice, this might affect their judgement and call into question their motivation behind their actions.

    Getting involved in a heated discussion then invoking mod status, whether it was justified or not, is going to attract negative attention. Hence why I sort of agree with those suggesting that a mod can't really get involved in arguments.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  6. #206
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    The problem is that if the mod is personally involved in a discussion, any mod activity will be scrutinised. It's a bit like arguing with your boss over current affairs only to have her turn around and say "I'll fire you if you keep arguing!"

    While a mod might have just cause to take action against members who are crossing the line, there's always going to be the question of whether it was justified or an abuse of power, whether they should have never entered into the discussion, whether they let it go on too long before acting or acted too quickly... it's the downside to having a community mod. While the community mod knows the users and knows when people are going too far or just screwing around without malice, this might affect their judgement and call into question their motivation behind their actions.

    Getting involved in a heated discussion then invoking mod status, whether it was justified or not, is going to attract negative attention. Hence why I sort of agree with those suggesting that a mod can't really get involved in arguments.
    That's why it's best to keep moderators anonymous. It's good for a mod to be a member of a community so they understand what is and isn't accepted by said community as good posting or "on topic" so they should be able to post as a community member. The fact that they are also a mod should never be disclosed and any public comments they might have to make at some point should come from a separate mod account.

    Having a known mod in a thread changes things, people act different, post different, it changes a community. We aren't used to having mods around here, yeah the forums are moderated, but we don't have real mods.

  7. #207
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    That's why it's best to keep moderators anonymous.
    But then they're entirely ineffectual or they lack accountability from the community. I don't like the idea of a mod locking threads and removing posts without any sort of identification or justification. Also, having them anonymous doesn't change the fact that it's ethically questionable to have people moderating discussions in which they have taken a side.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  8. #208
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    Alms - He's done great work in the March of the indie bundles thread.

  9. #209
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Getting involved in a heated discussion then invoking mod status, whether it was justified or not, is going to attract negative attention. Hence why I sort of agree with those suggesting that a mod can't really get involved in arguments.
    It also opens up the ability to be judge, jury and executioner as a troll: Make a controversial statement, get somebody riled up, warn them for being riled up. All you have to do to win arguments is to needle the opponent until they misstep, then out comes the banthammer.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  10. #210
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    That's why it's best to keep moderators anonymous.
    No. Just no.

    Look at how often people get called "shills" around here. Do we really want to add in a witch hunt where anyone who feels they are unfairly moderated (so everyone who has a post deleted or a temp ban :p) will start accusing the people they were most recently "not attacking"?

    Anonymity takes the sense of biased moderation and spreads it to everyone.


    Nah, handling the issue of bias is simple. Either have two user moderators (preferably who don't tend to line up on the same sides in the arguments but who are still capable of rational thought during them) so that the one can handle the threads the other is very active in, or just rely on Jim for those.


    And the thing is, as long as the moderator isn't getting super aggressive in the thread, it isn't a problem. It is VERY easy to just have something like this


    Switching to my moderator hat for a moment: Guys, this is a good discussion, don't ruin it by getting this thread locked. I won't name any names, but if you have recently called someone a "stupid asshole", you should consider yourself warned.

    Back to the thread:
    That is a good point, but I think the merits of modeling the surgeon's entire body are more than worth any limited motion. Besides, imagine the horrifying achievements that can be added when you have your entire body to screw with
    Because the thing that is being forgotten: Regardless of how much power someone has, if they tell you to "stop being a dick", at least stop and consider (and I mean REALLY consider) "am I being a dick?". And if you are, stop it.
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  11. #211
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    (you should be considering "am I being a dick" whenever you're about to post a reply)

  12. #212
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Any suggestions, or just musing? In the latter case, I approve of this chain of musing and agree.
    Musing mostly. I think it's just something people should have in mind before proposing something or volunteering themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Roles I accept for a mod:

    - Deleting spam threads
    - Moving threads to appropriate subfora
    - Censoring obvious hate speech (ie: the "what's so wrong with the word 'nigger'" guy)

    Roles I do not accept for a mod:

    - Stepping into discussions
    - Stepping into discussions the mod has participated in
    - Locking non-spam threads
    - Censoring anything short of obvious hate speech
    - Banthammering anything
    Totally this. A mod should be a janitor, not a policeman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    (you should be considering "am I being a dick" whenever you're about to post a reply)
    I remember a forum that had a disclaimer like that in the reply box.
    Actually, wasn't it the old RPS forum?

  13. #213
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    I disagree. Mods should be willing and able to step into discussions, shoot people down, and ban them if necessary. They shouldn't be a Janitor, they should be a Sheriff, and they should probably get some kinda little star or something next to their Avatars. I don't think Jim is asking for your acceptance, and your 'veto' is likely worth less than half a turd here... The forums need more active moderation, they need a Policeman/men. Need a Regulator.

    I don't know why a lot of people are getting scared about more active moderation (actually, I can probably tell) and the inevitable "tyranny of mods". It won't happen. If the right people are chosen, and I'm fairly confident Jom will do the choosing right, and some checks and balances will be there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    I just have an opinion different to your own. Circle jerking is good for no one, be glad somebody isn't afraid to disagree with women on the internet.
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    No, you are literally the cancer that is killing gaming.
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  14. #214
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaco View Post
    The forums need more active moderation, they need a Policeman/men. Need a Regulator.
    I don't think anybody really disagrees with that. We're discussing the ethics of getting involved in arguments, because when I was a mod on a forum that had a community dynamic not too dissimilar to RPS right now, we had a mod that undertook exactly this kind of behaviour - getting involved in discussions and then waving the banstick/threadlock around. I don't see why we can't express these (entirely valid) concerns without being branded as anarchists or something.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  15. #215
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    I think it's funny looking at people thinking that if someone becomes a mod, they'll have unlimited and endless power for all time and that they'll be allowed run around like a mad man banhammering and locking threads left and right.

    As if complaining about his actions to Jim wouldn't get his mod rights revoked and maybe a time out sitting on the bold step.
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  16. #216
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I don't think anybody really disagrees with that.
    Except Nalano and Tikey, to whom I was replying. These 'roles', specifically, seem to imply they do not wish for active moderation on the forums.

    Roles I accept for a mod:

    - Deleting spam threads
    - Moving threads to appropriate subfora
    - Censoring obvious hate speech (ie: the "what's so wrong with the word 'nigger'" guy)

    Roles I do not accept for a mod:

    - Stepping into discussions
    - Stepping into discussions the mod has participated in
    - Locking non-spam threads
    - Censoring anything short of obvious hate speech
    - Banthammering anything
    I disagree. Getting actively involved in discussions, policing threads, banning people is what the forums need.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I don't see why we can't express these (entirely valid) concerns without being branded as anarchists or something.
    Who is branding anyone 'anarchists' or 'somethings'? And I'm not stopping anyone expressing anything. Where did I try to prevent anyone expressing their concerns? And where have I branded them 'anarchists' for expressing those concerns? Whether the concerns are valid or not is up for debate I'd say, but knock yourself out with expressing them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    I just have an opinion different to your own. Circle jerking is good for no one, be glad somebody isn't afraid to disagree with women on the internet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    No, you are literally the cancer that is killing gaming.
    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Nobody's ever lost sleep over being called a cracker.

  17. #217
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    I support a permanent ban against anyone who's ever used the phrase "banhammer" in earnest.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  18. #218
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I don't think anybody really disagrees with that. We're discussing the ethics of getting involved in arguments, because when I was a mod on a forum that had a community dynamic not too dissimilar to RPS right now, we had a mod that undertook exactly this kind of behaviour - getting involved in discussions and then waving the banstick/threadlock around. I don't see why we can't express these (entirely valid) concerns without being branded as anarchists or something.
    I've seen a great number of "community" mods like this, where they honestly and truly believed that they were serving the community, or at least their interpretation of the community.

    The most recent case was a lovely clusterfuck on a privately-run "community" forum for my server on Guild Wars 2, as ArenaNet was not in the business of creating server forums, nor were there semi-official realm forums like in Warhammer Online. The owner of the forum was simply the guy who registered <servername.com> first, and even before the game came out there was a three week argument about if and how the forum should be moderated.

    The owner himself was a hands-off kind of guy - a position that lasted close to a month - but eventually caved into the clamoring from self-professed carebears (as opposed to self-professed PvPers who were used to trash-talking one another in Rift, WAR, etc) that moderators should be appointed to help do various administrative work on the site and clean up the forums, and that they should be appointed from those within the community with the time and will to volunteer for the position. Two were chosen, and it took less than a week before things went to shit.

    The mods immediately set upon enforcing the rather nebulous rules (of the vaguely defined "don't be a dick" variety) unevenly: Carebears (and fellow guildies of the mods) could rant and rave and make any sorts of comments they wanted, but enemies of carebears had to watch their Ps and Qs or suffer tempbans and post deletions. This resulted in two important reactions:

    1) Friends and guildies of the mods viewed their position as proof that their points of views were more "representative" of the community, because they had tacit mod support, and acted on that advantage. Guilds without their own personal mod immediately started nominating folks from their flock in order to even up the balance of power, leading to an arms race on the forum.

    2) Posters who had no intention of participating in the arms race - the unguilded, the PvPers who all came from the same PvP servers from previous games - started railing against the overzealous moderation and called on the site owner to collar them and/or demod them, and for their efforts were the most popular targets for tempbans and locked threads.

    Eventually, one of the mods was warned and the other demodded, with a more... moderate mod commissioned as replacement. However, by that time, the damage had been done and a good half of the population jumped ship to an alternate forum or a different server.

    The populations who stayed in the original forum or who went to the alternate forum both created what can best be described as "hugboxes," where opposing points of view were summarily mocked and removed. Ultimately, the carebears were far more destructive to the community than the PvPers they professed were the cancer of the forum, because their intolerance was far more heartfelt than anything the PvPers could muster.

    The population who went to a different server soon found themselves in the exact same fight within a month between an "open" forum that didn't have <servername.com> as its URL and an "official" forum that did have <servername.com> as its URL but was run according to the rules of a single guild - complete with wanton thread deletions and tempbans.

    And that's just one game. I have more.
    Last edited by Nalano; 15-05-2013 at 04:48 PM.
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  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post

    And that's just one game. I have more.
    Didn't something happen right here? Someone was a mod (but not one of the site writers) and there was some sort of public breakdown? I can't remember much but fairly sure something happened.

  20. #220
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaco View Post
    Except Nalano and Tikey, to whom I was replying. These 'roles', specifically, seem to imply they do not wish for active moderation on the forums.

    I disagree. Getting actively involved in discussions, policing threads, banning people is what the forums need.
    And as I've said earlier I do not think we need moderation. As I see it the community is regulating itself quite well, and we've need only jim's intervention in the most extreme cases that happen quite rarely.

    We all have our experiences, and mine tell me that police moderation rarely helps the forum and it's mostly likely to hurt it.
    Yours might be different, that's great. I think I've said it every time I post but I do not want to challenge RPS decision regarding mods nor I want to change it. It's not my place to decide or anything, I'm just expressing my opinions and reservations about it. That's it, it's wot I think nothing more, nothing less. And one of the things I'm worried about is exactly what you say about choosing "the right people", which I think is quite hard (see the disaster of quanta's self appointed moderation a while ago). Specially when choosing amongst the community as there are a lot of personal vendettas and rivalries. I wouldn't trust half the forum to treat Kadayi or Nalano fairly.
    I'm sure Jim will choose as best as he can but you don't know how someone will react later. I left a forum I was admin of because I got the nicest person in the forum (always willing to help, organized, kind and all that) appointed as mod who later got into a personal vendetta against several members of the forum for disagreeing with him. Wanting to ban them for the silliest excuses, editing their posts as he pleased and all kind of nasty stuff. And mind you, this was (prior to that) the nicest member of the community. No one would've thought he'd get to that point. I don't want that happening to anyone here.

    I'd like to read why you think more active moderation is needed.

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