Regarding "THR forum and sensoring"...


.38 Special
January 22, 2009, 01:33 AM
I don't have an issue with the moderation. That is to say, I don't always agree with it, but it's your world and I'm just living in it.

Having said that, when one moderator participates in a thread and then a different moderator closes it a short time later, it looks kind of bad to us hoi poloi, as though you each have your own set of rules. And that, of course, leaves you folks open to all sorts of accusations, at least if my experiences with other websites has any validity.


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evan price
January 22, 2009, 03:35 AM
.38, the post was pretty silly, to be honest, and NO, that's not flaming.

You are free to participate or not in THR as you see fit. If you no longer value your experience at THR you are free to visit other fora to find one more pleasing to your eyes. But let me say, as a veteran of many forums, this one is actually fairly pleasant to visit thanks to the moderators and the fact that so few threads are allowed to descend into random violent feces-flinging and urination contests like happens on other forums.

The act of "Sensorship <sic>" is what happens when you have a privately-owned and -operated place that has its own rules. It's up to the owner to set what rules he chooses and his moderators to enforce his wishes, and if you don't like it, nobody is twisting your computer mouse to visit.

Personally, I learn a lot here and enjoy participating, and if you think THIS board is bad for "Sensorship<sic" or for flaming/trolling, you haven't visited a lot of other forums. Hang on Glocktalk or ARFCOM for uncontrolled exuberance, or SIGforums or S&Wforums for overmoderation.

I moderate a fairly busy regional forum, and let me say that a Moderators work is never done...and never makes everyone happy.

January 22, 2009, 04:00 AM
I don't think its silly at all, EP, and your post makes it sound like you didn't read what he wrote. Clearly, .38's complaint wasn't about "censorship" in general, but rather a continuity in the moderating practices. I think its a fair statement to say that unevenness in rules between the moderators doesn't make for the best environment. Your response "like it or leave it" is a bit snarky, actually, and doesn't do justice to the point.

That being said, I know the moderators work very hard here to keep a balanced community, and I think they do an excellent job. However, its not silly to remind them that consistency in their actions and their internal communication is key to the health of the site. I think communicative, non-combative observations like those in the OP can only help.

January 22, 2009, 05:25 AM
Evan got it right
There are no bad mods, only mods that are acting within the spirit of THR.

To tell the truth if I were a mod I would not be as tolerant as some of these guys.
And I know of at least 3 members I would ban on day one for consistantly baiting and being arumentative just to stir stuff up. just my dollars worth, now valued at .84 cents

January 22, 2009, 09:15 AM
Having said that, when one moderator participates in a thread and then a different moderator closes it a short time later, it looks kind of bad to us hoi poloi, as though you each have your own set of rulesActually, even in the face of a standard set of rules, what appears to be somewhat uneven moderation is not to be entirely unexpected. Maybe Mod #2 had a bad day while maybe Mod #1 is feeling frisky.

It happens.

I think that mods are human. I suspect that it's impossible to achieve a completely mechanical level of moderation.

So - while I agree with the premise (moderation can be a bit uneven at time) I disagree with the conclusion (that this looks bad). I think that it looks exactly like what it is - the board is made up of lots of people, and these people each have a personality all their own. The fun part is sticking around long enough to learn these personalities.

January 22, 2009, 10:01 AM

Even staff are individuals, and not the hive mind you'd expect. And the first adminstrator in question just made a crack/pun about the homonetical mistake of the OP. Call it a mercy killing on my part, and as always, feel free to send a PM to the mod(s) in question.

Oh, wait- it's Thursday. Carry on. :cool:


Art Eatman
January 22, 2009, 03:11 PM
Moderators ain't clones. Not stomped out by The Great Cookie-Cutter In The Sky.

Going back to the early TFL daze, these ten years have shown me that the moderators generally do a pretty doggoned good job.

But we're all different, and have different styles. Some folks are just plain lucky that I'm pretty much laid back. :D:D:D

January 22, 2009, 03:45 PM
I can understand different moderators having different opinions. That's fine. The thing that gets me is when a moderator jumps into a thread, makes a bunch of replies to posts in the thread, and closes it. If they want to close it, fine. If they want to participate in it, fine. But using their position to lock in the last word just isn't right.

Mal H
January 22, 2009, 05:44 PM
So much controversy over such inconsequential things!

I was the one who "participated" in the subject thread. I would appreciate someone pointing out where my participation was either explicit or implied approval of the thread. It wasn't. I questioned the validity of the thread from the start. I could just as easily have closed it at that point without comment, but to be honest, I was trying, in a fairly gentle manner, to educate a member both on placement of threads and selecting the correct wording for the thread.

If I had simply closed it, then we would have had a completely different set of complaints, I'm certain of that it being Thursday and all. ;)

Gryffydd - most of us on Staff actually agree with you on your point. There have been numerous times when a thread has been closed with commentary, not just a simple closing post. In private, we have discussed that practice with the closer and why it isn't a good practice. Is it going to happen from time to time anyway? Guaranteed! But rest assured we try to guard against it. Do you have a specific example that has occurred recently?

January 22, 2009, 07:13 PM
Really!?!?!?!?!?!? my post along the same title line as to the censoring! so there is your EXAMPLE if ya want one.

January 22, 2009, 07:19 PM
well here is a fine example of sensoring; 38 special got the moved to here, surprised not a locked thread. but if the mods want an example, just look at the thread below that got locked. Same title. Oh well, another socialist sensoring!

.38 Special
January 22, 2009, 08:01 PM
Just to clarify...

A) I know how to spell "censoring", though I always appreciate a kind note when I've screwed up my spelling. I just copied the thread title from the original thread which had been closed.

B) I'm not complaining about the moderation, though I'll certainly bear in mind the kind advice to go to hell. (Paraphrased, of course :p). It's just that, as I pointed out, it has been my experience from other sites that having a mod close a thread in which a fellow mod is participating looks bad, and very much of that sort of thing can result in rebellion. I probably should have made a PM instead of a post. Mea culpa.

C) I am a bit surprised at Mal H's posting of "I would appreciate someone pointing out where my participation was either explicit or implied approval of the thread". While moderator participation in a thread does not necessarily connote approval of the thread, it would certainly seem to imply at least toleration of it.

Essentially, a thread is either within the rules or it is not. I personally have no opinion as to which threads are and are not and do not consider it my business, but I assume that a thread which is against the rules is to be closed by the first moderator who happens upon it. If that moderator participates in the thread, and another moderator then closes it, the appearance is of inconsistent moderation. And as I'm sure all the moderators here know, that can have messy results. As Gaiudo pointed out, a bit of back-channel communication between the mods can avoid the situation entirely. "The other mod and I talked it over and decided to pull the plug on this one" looks thoughtful rather than inconsistent.

That is all I meant to convey, and I want to make it clear that I am not complaining about the moderation here. However misguided, I was hoping to share my experience with other sites both as member and moderator, with the goal of helping the fine moderators here to avoid potential pitfalls. I apologize for apparently not having been clear on these points, and I apologize for making it a public matter rather than a private one. Any of you are welcome to close this thread whenever you like.

Even though Mal has already participated. :evil:

Mal H
January 22, 2009, 09:17 PM
... as did John and Art. But, I think it's my turn to close one. So ...

January 22, 2009, 09:17 PM
Heh. Well, kudos for your exquisite courtesy. :D

The thing is, there is much more lattitude for OT than for more stringent violations such as personal attack. It's not uncommon to tolerate a bit of OT until one or more mods decide, okay: that's enough.

Clear as mud?

Anyway, it IS Thursday. Y'all have another 3 hrs and 42 min, Eastern, to carp. ;)


Mal H
January 22, 2009, 09:20 PM
No they don't, John. (We were simulposting!)

Let's see what comes of this.

"Well, one moderator said we could keep playing, but another one closed up the toy box!"

(Yes! I'm kidding! I hope we can still do that without complaint or ridicule.)

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