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What is a reasonable amount of moderation in a forum?

Discussion in 'About EntropiaPlanets' started by HardWrath, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. What is a reasonable amount of moderation in a forum?

    So despite being a simple question, I think it's not very easy to answer, and I ask it because Tass and I had a good discussion in another thread on this subject. I suspect a lot of people have various opinions.

    If anything, it might be interesting to see what others think.
  2. Here is what was said in the other thread:

    Tass, I agree with your post 100%

    I want the same thing and my belief is that can be achieved by ensuring that posts in threads be reasonably on topic. Like I said, I don't mind when someone makes me a lightning rod for their personal issues or conjures up a personal issue with me in a public forum. Pixelated people on the internet don't affect my day and the back and forth is boredom control for me while at work, and I suspect it's entertainment for them as well.

    What I'm saying is that the silent majority who reads the forum often hesitate to post when they are going to have to quibble with people who have nothing better to do then go on off topic frivolous rants.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. On a final note from me for tonight:

    Here is the EP Mission Statement: http://www.entropiaplanets.com/threads/entropiaplanets-mission-statement.10699/

    An excerpt:
    That's what I'm trying to do in this thread. I simply want to have the conversation.
  4. Tass

    Tass Administrator

    Some post of this thread have been moved to http://www.entropiaplanets.com/threads/personal-issues-off-topic-and-such.11630/ in an attempt of applying moderation.

    Please try to stay on topic in any thread, please take continuing potential personal issues to private conversations (these have most features also available in forum threads, for example multiple participants, feel free to invite a moderator).

    If content has been moved that is on topic and not related to potential personal issues please re-post it.
  5. Neuromancer

    Neuromancer Brainstormers Official Brain Glue

    My own opinion. Full disclosure - I work with the EP team on a daily basis.

    I only check pcf now because a long time game friend and I have a pretty cool pm thread running over the past 7 years or so.

    I think the EP protocol of naming names, other games discussion, etc is the right way to go.

    Having said that - and as a kindergarten teacher - everyone needs a time out. We all have different gaming modes and budgets. Sometimes a very serious topic like kill stealing evolves into a one on one in your face car crash.

    In that case I feel it is in the best interest of the forum mods to defuse the situation.

    Two things - never post when angry - and never post when drunk

    And never ever, in a millions years, accept the unpaid job of forum admin
  6. RAZER

    RAZER Custom title ... uh ...

    Crap, now he tells me !
  7. I agree.

    I think that the ability to name names about scamming, exploiting, abuse and other related topics is critically important to the EU community and should be allowed on the forums.

    MindArk gives zero recourse to victims and all too often does nothing to punish or ban offenders, except in the most egregious cases. I know that it can in some cases become a sticky situation for MA if they take action, I get it. And so the ability to name names and put the spotlight on someone becomes a valuable tool for the community because it warns others and then also significantly discourages people from continuing with unscrupulous behavior thereafter.

    Obviously it's common sense that if you call someone out for such behavior on a public forum, they or their friends often will try to throw stones back at you, or at least try to deflect the ones you have thrown. Inherently those types of threads will get heated and it's good to allow them to run their course.

    Just like how any Zoo has a responsibility to make sure that their caged monkeys can't throw feces at people walking through, I believe that forum moderators also have a responsibility to keep threads reasonably on topic. And 99% of the time that doesn't mean deleting posts and banning people... Since this forum has the Black Hole section, simply moving the shit flinging contest to its own thread is ideal because eventually one or both people will stop and then it's usually done. I think that over moderation can perpetuate and even cause drama on the forum simply due to the frustration and angst that it creates.

    Seeing as how this forum was founded on the fundamental principle of Free Speech, it's important to realize how excessive off topic trolling actually prevents a person from speaking freely.
  8. NotAdmin

    NotAdmin Administrator

    While I'm far from as active as I used to be, I do think that with the "right" of free speech, comes the "obligation" to use it responsibly.

    I'd prefer us not having to moderate at all, to be quite honest, though I'm well aware of how that can turn out as well (ER, and I was probably more guilty there of letting slip the above-mentioned responsibility).

    We're all supposed to be adults. If there's excessive trolling going on, please do not hesitate to use the "report" button. It ensures all mods will be notified, and XenForo offers us some nice capabilities to handle those reports, while discussing things with one another.

    I still disagree with deleting content forever, so the usual approach (as also shown by Tass) would simply be to move the offending posts to the Black Hole. It should be possible to completely ignore posts in there, so if you do not want to engage in any flame wars, the forum should totally allow that, and even prevent you from having to see the posts in there.
  9. Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  10. RAZER

    RAZER Custom title ... uh ...

    And in the post you tell us you will let stuff like that just go by and won't react to them you attack HW again. So the post is moved the the one Tass created and the part of the post which had the attack has been removed from this threat
    • Like Like x 2
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  11. EwoK

    EwoK Southern Fortress Engineering

    Now before I put forward my 2pec on the matter, I want to state for the record that I do not know what has transpired to result in such a thread, nor do I want to, nor do I particularly care. Most of you know I'm a mod/admin over at PAF and so I hold a particular view when it comes to rules and forum moderation. What follows is purely and simply my opinion and in no way is intended to favour one person or party over another.

    So, what is a reasonable amount of moderation? Simply put, moderation that falls within the rules stated and established on said forum to begin with. I'm all for freedom of speech, but the rules exist for a reason and if you cannot post and remain within the rules then I'm sorry but you do not have the right to claim foul if your posts are moderated. The company, group or organisation that founds the forum, has the right (by ownership) to establish and enforce whatever rules they so wish.

    When you register on a forum you are acknowledging that you are aware of the rules, have read them and intend to abide by them. If you then go and break them and have your posts moderated than you only have yourself to blame.

    Gaming forum Mods/Admins aren't paid and generally volunteer their time to do a thankless job that caters for the majority of a member base. The majority of people in any group are generally great people but like any group throughout history, there will always be a rotten apple or two in the barrel that upsets the cart for everyone else and requires the mod/admin to step in. That said, the mods themselves are not perfect either and sometimes they can let the power and position go to their head.

    In the end, it is all a big juggling act as to keeping it civil whilst maintaining as free flowing and constructive a discussion as possible.

    However, the simple truth at the end of the day is, if you don't want to or can't be bothered to abide by the rules of a given forum then simply don't post there and you won't get moderated.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  12. My addition to this topic as a serious contributor is that enough of this part remains in tact (Highlighted in green below); It is the law that governs all of society's ego driven interaction. After all it is the ego that makes each human an individual within the spectrum of common forms of communication and interaction with one another within society.

    Full rules listing for EP.

    That which governs all interaction as part of human nature in society;

    I would also point out that some (most in respect to Entropia's negativity geared climate) thread topics/subject contents is mostly but not always what one would call fluff of which has a underlaying theme, issue or behavioural aspect associated with it.

    So where a moderator may come in and simply read the fluff and place judgement on that alone (Which is most commonly the case), may not even realise that some posters see through this fluff and look more at addressing the core underlaying itheme, issue(s) and behavioural aspects of the OP and discussion that follows.

    In saying this, no-one expects a moderator to be psychologist or a behavioural scientist or a social scientist for that matter, however with that being said, bringing up the point that these people do exist and do post on forums like this one in response to others may not be trolling at all but indeed tackling thread at its core roots.

    Referring to this rule with regards to what I have outlined above, where moderators often do not put in the genuine effort into this part of the moderating equation, or simply are unaware/educated with doing the such;

    This causes a lot of frustration for those who do approach a topic in this fashion where it may be seen as trolling, but instead is moreso ontopic than the fluff surrounding it, in dealing with the core underlaying theme, issue(s) and behavioural aspects as to why the thread was created by the OP in the first place.

    Not that I expect all to understand this point, but it is worth mentioning to bring about awareness as it is a challenge I often find myself facing on a few gaming forums (Entropia by far the smallest community but most interesting in terms of social interaction between the customers using the game/service and the company behind the game/service and then between themselves and other customers using the game/service) as part of one of the research teams contributing to the 3D3C book.


    My involvement with this over the years has been no secret to many, even here on EP for those who take the time to read the forums properly > http://www.entropiaplanets.com/thre...l-psychological-perspective.11375/#post-69072
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  13. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Hmm well its a tricky one to be sure, After all how many forum's had had issues with over zealous moderation or going totally off the road like ER? Pretty much all of them!

    I think I go with Tass. I'm generally ok with most things people write. I'd get rid of "2 minute trolls" ie someone who just posts a quick "you all suck" and runs away so to speak. Someone who posts a detailed explanation of said suckage can stay though ;)

    Tass's "soft moderation" is a good point though. Sometimes an argument can break out between 2 people alone and after a while it comes down to nothing more than differences of opinion and no amount of further debate will bring any more worthwhile content to the table or sway either party to the others' side. At this point I'd be in favour of someone saying "hey look can you two just agree to disagree now?" so we can get back on topic or alternatively moving that content to another thread so they can battle it out on their own.

    Something I wouldn't want to see is the sort of moderation we used to get on EF/PCF. That bollocks about not being able to discuss other games was the real contention for me.

  14. Wistrel

    Wistrel Kick Ass Elf

    Actually how about this for an idea.... give any OP admin rights over their own thread, not to edit/delete posts that is but simply to allow them to de-voice anyone they perceive to be causing trouble.

    I've noticed in the past certainly that some people will just try and twist each and every forum thread to their own personal agenda even if it has nothing or little to do with the topic up for discussion. It sorta seems fair therefore that if people take the time to start a forum thread maybe they should be allowed to have control over who posts in it?

    Implementing such a system would mean that no one would ever need to get banned from a forum too! However if they piss off enough people they will eventually find that it gets very hard for them to comment on stuff.


    PS such a system would probably need to have de-voiced participants listed under the title. If I join a discussion, I like to think I know who is in it. So yes I would wan't to see if there was anyone I want to hear from being excluded.... actually... thinking about it, might be an idea to make it so you are only allowed to de-voice people after they have posted. This way people can't simply go about blanket excluding people from discussions. The excludee has to be actively detrimental to the discussion before they can be removed from it. Hmm.... thinking about it, this is probably all too complex to work. Worth the thought experiment though
  15. This has never worked on any forum I have experienced in over 20 years of forum activity. Even for those forums that do allow the OP to close/lock/unlock their own thread, it basically gives the OP the ability to say what they have to say and why it has to be their viewpoint over anothers viewpoint/opinion.

    Locking leads only to, stating their viewpoint, rubbishing others with a differring viewpoint then locking it.

    Same things as what you see on other Nazi ruleset based censored forums where rules are very heavy and even more heavily applied due to net nanny style moderators with their iown interpretation of the rules and then the application of these rules based on this interpretation amongst other human traits.

    This can be seen PCF at present with the latest moderator addition who way over-moderated PCF for months when they started causing quite a large exodus yet has relaxed a little more recently however still moderatorates much like how a lead foot driver drives.

    The other one who was similar on PCF left the moderation role to persue other things in life.

    Though neither has experienced a person like SFF to moderate (Ask Peter/Admin & Lykke, re AWF), in terms of moderation, that was a real challenge for all that were involved. SFF is special, I have not encounted a person like SFF prior or since. *knock on wood*

    The suggestion you have made is censorship and the allowing for dictatorship over ones own thread's content/responses, in no way allowing for open discussion, debate or diverse perspectives from the many walks of life around the world unless it suits the OPs own agenda or challenges the OP in any way, ie. Their other levels of understanding/experiences in living life interacting with others. (Social science)

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  16. Some forums used to have that level or almost that level of control...but only way for that is to basically give admin level control to all - insecure... That sort of stuff is why I think blogs fill a niche for that sorta thing. Simply blog on your own blog where you moderate, and post links to it from communities forums, etc. Kinda like how some on ep used to post links to ep on EF or pcf...
  17. Aye agree, blogs are more of a journaling style system for an individual who can then allows others to comment or not comment upon where the owner can moderate/censor comments to their hearts content. Forums are different in that they can do what a blog does though are generally for the purpose of encouraging diverse open discussion/debate through social interaction.

    Blogs have their niche and purpose as do forums as you outlined :)
  18. At what point is a ban appropriate? ...Either temporary or permanent.
  19. How does that meme go?
    I don't usually act like an asshole, but when i do i make sure it's on the internets. :wink:
    The nature of any forum is opinion, and as in real life opinions are like assholes...everyone has one. The difference is how we express them.
    I admit I can be very agressive sometimes...although I normally only engage negatively with others I find equally agressive.
    I've often said things i regret...not because of content or intent, but because I simply get into a personal war. Personally I think that's is always bound to happen when you get people that don't gel...
    I'm actually for modding personal attacks...i've leveled them and been at the other end...just lately actually...lol
    I support a mod dealing with it...even though in a perfect world they shouldn't have to.
    I do however believe we should be able to voice our opinions positive or negative about the game. The problem is when you voice a negative opinion on the forums it's normally followed by attacks from the other side.
    Apparently when you voice disapproval by the current state of the game. that voids all the years you played and deposited and you no longer should be able to speak.
    Difference of opinion.
    Personally I find PCF sliding down a slippery slope every day...that's what I had myself removed.
    I find the modding here to be very fair.
    Although I have to say to Tass, with all due respect, I would have rather all those posts been deleted rather than merged to a single thread where they are now out of context. But you guys have the final say, so whatever...for the future though...lol
    Having modded a few forums before, a temp ban by a regular user is appropriate when a user is contacted and informed that his/her behaviour is unacceptable and they continue. It's also known as a "cooling off period." Of course If that user were to contine to be in violation of the rules perhaps a perm ban is in order.- of course i do believe there are exceptions...like people posting serious rl threats or posting people rl info on the forum...that's a perm ban imo.

    Personally i'd rather be a member of a forum where members are free to say what they want, within acceptable limits
    If I have a post deleted, with an explanation, i've always found i could live with it...
  20. Steve, I agree with the bulk of what you said. Regarding your attacks, the difference between you and some others is that you make your point and move on instead of endlessly going on and on.

    My posts at times are negative or I'm on the attack, but that's also when I believe that I have a good reason to do so, and I fully understand that in most cases those reasons are less than obvious to people reading the thread. As a result, I expect there to always be some form of pushback in threads like that and I often count on that happening because it creates the opportunity to elaborate further and more clearly make my case.

    What I don't like is attacks that are unfounded and for pure sport where dialog is impossible since one person thinks the thread is a place for making a speech.

    I also agree with the Cooling Off period concept behind a temp ban and also believe a perm ban should be used sparingly, or only with the most egregious violations.

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