Clarifying when mods are entitled to delete posts

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by scott3x, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    Lucy I agree with all of the above. But when a person keeps harping on andon and on and on about the crimes of theists and Abrahamists and Indians and Muslims and Christians and the evils of all religion, its odd when they post in threads where Jews are committing crimes and post nothing relating to religion. Thats all.

    Again, I don't expect that anyone would comment on everything but when one comments on everything but the one, thats a glaring ommission.

    I don't consider circumcision as abusive, although I do think you should wait for consent.
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  3. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Yeah but Sam he thinks all religious adherence is absurd. Abrahamists includes Jews and I think he would even admit this.

    Sam: I don't consider circumcision as abusive, although I do think you should wait for consent.

    Well I doubt there are any grown men who are hyped about having their willies sliced. Its like piercing the ears, if my mother didn't have them done when I was five I probably would have become all queasy about having them done later. I'm weird about needles.
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  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

    circumcision has its pros and cons.
    on the pro side it helps alleviate dry vagina syndrome.
    on the con side it's really hard to get rid of the fungus that develops from poor hygiene.
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  7. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    It's not our apology to make. At that point in time it was the Aristocracy that took command positions, most "Commoners" would have been too busy in the mills to be off gallivanting around the world conquering places in the name of the empire. For the most part it was men born into aristocracy positions that were following their fathers footsteps or pushing their namesake further due to a pedigree.

    Most of those atrocities were committed by people that cared very little about ethics because of their upbringing. One of the points that tends to be neglected is that the armies in various parts of the world were not filled with Englishmen, for the most part they were actually made up for locals or people that were attempting to claim land for themselves in that part of the world. (Again most Englishmen would of been too busy at home to be doing all of that, so it's poor show on those that want to tar an entire Civilization with the wrong doing of a few).

    But again, as it is with S.A.M. The thread was on one topic and somehow it digresses to some other topic, it's surprising that.

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  8. John99 Banned Banned

    ohh... you've got to be joking.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Notes of some kind

    I think it would also be worth pointing out that the moderators fight furiously on a regular basis about rules, interpretations, and even each other's work.

    To the other—

    —the general nature of complaint threads about moderation is so simplistic that many of our complainers would be utterly lost if the moderators had it out in public.

    Some things I don't see in the discussion about how bad the moderators are: People don't give coherent examples. We've had to coax, cajole, and cater to members in order to get them from, "Moderator is being unfair" to "Moderator deleted my post" to "Moderator deleted my post because" to ... well, the trail eventually dies off because it's an ongoing process, and we haven't reached the end yet.

    So, a few examples.

    Let us consider a few hypotheticals:

    • A moderator consistently intervenes on behalf of a personal friend, to the point that, faced with a post the moderator does not want to answer as a common member, the moderator does not delete the post, but vandalize it by stripping over ninety percent of the content. Deleted posts are recoverable. Vandalized content is not.

    • A moderator intervening on behalf of a personal friend rejects a complaint as being without merit, and then crows publicly that he never read the complaint.

    • A moderator vandalizes a post, calling it the worst insult he's ever seen. In order to justify this, however, the moderator has to tell the member what said member wrote, meant, and believed. Convenient, since the record of what the post actually said has been destroyed.

    • Thread A is opened in one subforum to discuss a general issue. Thread B is opened in another subforum to discuss a specific political aspect within a given general issue. A moderator combines the two threads by merging the second (specific and political) into the first (general consideration), and then strikes a post that criticizes what is coincidentally the moderator's preferred political outlook as off-topic. What a convenient way to get rid of a post that criticizes your preferred politics, eh? Just alter the topic of the discussion, then delete the post as off-topic.​

    Oh, I'm sorry, did I say hypotheticals? My bad. Those are all real. That is, they've all happened.

    See ....

    Once upon a time, members complained about a specific political bias among the moderators at Sciforums. The site had an obvious liberal bias, claimed the complainers. Moderators were deleting posts and antagonizing members according to their political persuasions, said the members. The closest we could get to working examples were occasions on which religious people were told that, "Because God says so" isn't a proper logical argument (especially as part of the classic circular argument that the Bible is true because God says so is true because the Bible says so), or that general statements like all Mexicans are criminals should be backed up objectively. Indeed, in the latter case, demanding that evidence instead of simply deleting the post, locking the thread, or banning the member was decried as "baiting". Over time, despite a lack of coherent complaint, site administration attempted to provide at least one part of a solution: We would elevate moderators on a quota basis in order to present the appearance of political balance.

    This is what happens when we respond to vague assertions of wrongdoing. The alleged problem? Too liberal! Too liberal! Too liberal! The solution? Make political persuasion a prerequisite of elevation to moderator status. The outcome? Well, a bunch of those accusations of moderator bias finally came true.

    Moral of the story? Depends on who you are, I suppose. Some might say, "Conservatives shouldn't be trusted with authority," but that's rather narrow. Some might say, "Don't make political outlook a prerequisite for moderators," and that's a lesson learned too late. And some might suggest, "Don't attempt solutions until you have identified the problem," and I would agree wholeheartedly.

    So if people want things to get better around here, give us something to work with. Don't poison your own case with an ego overdose.

    And giving us something to work with doesn't stop at making complaints coherent. If a member doesn't like our ruling on an issue, there are ways to go about pursuing the case. However, at Sciforums we have long expected people to have about them certain minimum faculties. Functional literacy, for instance. And beyond that a minimum degree of subtlety sufficient enough to distinguish between the mere presence of words and their applications in a given context. If one continues to assert confusion over very basic differences in how a word, phrase, or idea is applied, there's not a whole lot we can do to help.

    It was long ago established that it is possible to insult someone by presuming that they are intelligent. I know, sounds like the damnedest thing, but I've run into it over the years more than a few times. Indeed, this idea popped up over the weekend, accusing that we are giving an advantage to "educated snobs".

    In the meantime, what are we dealing with? There's actually a considerable amount of debate taking place regarding whether or not something that is either observably true or argumentatively demonstrable is an insult. Look, I realize that people don't like being called liars, but if they're caught in a demonstrable lie?

    And there are people around here who play this game commonly mistaken for "Devil's Advocate". This game is called, "I'm A Fucking Idiot!" and involves repeatedly missing the most obvious cues, clues, and points in a discussion. If they had their way, you'd have to scientifically tie your opinion to the goddamn Big Bang and everything else 'twixt then and now before they would condescend to understand. And, frankly, most of them wouldn't stop there. You could finally see an atheist question the validity of the Big Bang if it meant they could continue playing the dolt. In other words, people don't like to be told they're acting stupid, childishly, or otherwise. But when they are?

    So here's a question that would help the moderators greatly: When someone is peddling obvious bullshit, is it an insult to point out that they're peddling obvious bullshit?

    After all, it's not fair to call a liar a liar, especially when he's lying.

    Really, you'd be amazed at how much of that we get; people behaving badly who complain when someone makes a point about their bad behavior. Indeed, one of our worst offenders apparently likes to complain whenever someone lashes back, and he's got a sympathetic ear in a politically-predisposed moderator to make sure he can go on attacking people's families and denigrating entire cultures while anyone who is offended by such behavior has to suck up and realize how wrong they really are to be offended.

    In the meantime, the number of people who will throw their self-respect to the wind and follow the latest troll or sock-puppet into yet another round of futile, juvenile temper tantrums don't especially endear us to the most common forms of complaint.

    And when the most common forms of complaint are pointed, accurate, and decently respectful and respectable, we will will be more kindly disposed toward them.

    To the other, if people really want us to start being more simple-minded about things, I suppose we could just change our criteria so that people are banned simply for being "dicks" or "cunts" if they're too aggressive, "faggots" and "bitches" if they're too petulant, "assholes" if they're Republicans or conservatives, "prigs" if they're Democrats or liberals, "deluded" or "insane" if they are religious, or "zombies" if they're atheists.

    That would solve the problem, leaving the forum to be populated by my cat, Asguard's fish, and someone ... I'm sure someone around here has a box turtle.

    Easy enough.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  10. scott3x Banned Banned

    A good point and it's actually something I was thinking of as I did something in the 'real world' just now.
  11. copernicus66 Banned Banned


    Another wall of text. Can you please have the decency to condense this into a paragraph of two? I mean, if you have the spare time to type the above, it wouldn't be too much of an inconvenience for you to accompany it with a concise summary.​
  12. scott3x Banned Banned

    copernicus, I can understand that you don't want to read through it all; I may have skipped a bit myself, atleast for now. However, I have never found that Tiassa is overlong in saying what he'd like to say. He just has to say a fair amount. Granted, sometimes he says things that he's said before; but as many points are just as relevant now as they were before, I see nothing wrong with this; I've done it myself, in fact.
  13. copernicus66 Banned Banned

    What Tiassa says in a page, I could say in a paragraph or two. There is no excuse for flagrantly wasting the time of others.
  14. scott3x Banned Banned

    Your examples sound interesting, to be sure, and I believe I've heard them mentioned before. Bells has backed you up, which I think is certainly important as well. I wasn't there, however, so I am hesitant to say that you were 100% in the right.

    I think that the examples I gave in Skinwalker's case were also fairly concise; in one, I actually reposted the allegedly off topic post; something that James apparently really didn't like, but I contend that it was only off topic in the forum it was posted; I would think that, as it was a deleted post, it should have been considered quite on topic here.
  15. scott3x Banned Banned

    Boldly said, but I remain unconvinced

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    Seriously, it's easy to -say- you could say what he did in a paragraph or two, but it's another thing to actually do it.
  16. copernicus66 Banned Banned

    :shrug: Whatever. Your lack of faith won't keep me awake at night.
  17. scott3x Banned Banned

    Perhaps you'll never see this, but I thought I'd say it for anyone else who might venture by atleast. Your disinterest in the views of others may have been a large part of your downfall copernicus. I may disagree with others, but that doesn't mean I don't care about the views of others; which is why I don't only spend time trying to persuade others to see things the way I do but also to try to understand why they see things differently from me.
  18. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

    He cared about opinions and views of people who put together some thought and logic behind their posts and weren't just repeating the same things over and over again. I never ever had a problem with him even when we disagreed, but at least he read my posts and interacted with me views. I guess that perception has a lot to do with what you just said.

    Would you read a book that had 26 of the exact same chapter, wasn't written well, didn't have a coherent plotline, or any base in reality at all to begin with? Probably not, since it's still screwed up and has nothing new to add. But again, just perception.
  19. scott3x Banned Banned

    I have certainly repeated some points, but it's only because people didn't actually address the points I said the first time; or the people responding were not the same who responded the first time and I had to make the point(s) again for that reason. I admit that I don't know all the details of Tiassa's actions, but I personally have always found him to be a pretty fair moderator.

    You seem to be implying that I don't. I may have missed a few (there have been a lot of posts addressed to me) and once codanblad even PMed me and pointed out one that I had missed. I thanked him for pointing it out and then responded to it.
  20. Gustav Banned Banned


    if mad and string are............
    why i'll .......................

    back in the day rightwingers were tolerated for their entertainment value
    these jokers now mod? here?
  21. John99 Banned Banned

    some people like to hear themselves talk.
  22. Gustav Banned Banned


    see here..........

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    institute if code allows it and make that specific log viewable to the public

    i mean
    tiassa is doing that shit manually
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Lemons and shit sandwiches

    One thing to be said for them is that they've inspired me to further complicate the process of moderating the forum. Just to reiterate an earlier point: Deleted posts are recoverable. Vandalized content is not.

    Vandalized? Well, yes. If we strike an entire post, it simply goes into a status known as "soft delete"; it remains in the database and can be restored very easily if a moderator's decision is deemed incorrect. Post edits, however, are permanent insofar as we haven't a wiki-type record in which one can access prior versions of the post.

    Intuitively, I would think, one can see potential conflicts.

    But we experienced very few of those over the years. Undoubtedly, certain outcomes must occur. But even now with moderators willing to be proud of such behavior, it doesn't come up a whole lot.

    Still, though, my annoyance at a couple of my fellows has led me to revise my post edit actions in recent months. Now, instead of simply deleting the offending text in the post, adding that action to the Action Notes, and maybe writing a public or private warning, I now also make a copy of the original post, soft delete the original, and modify the copy.

    Sure, over time moderating a single insult in a post has gone from a twenty-second deal to something that takes several minutes, and indeed moderators and administrators have long made the point that mods are volunteers with varying restricted time allotments to give to the site, so yes fewer posts are getting moderated in any given period. But, of course, people complain about that, too.

    Still, though, I think it's a positive development. I have, on occasion, encountered someone who claims to never have said something, even though they did. Many, for some reason, think that if the post has been edited, nobody ever saw the missing content.

    As a result, I now have an original record of what was said, and that's just one more tool against the liars.

    However, that came about only because it had to. Our attempt to assuage unsubstantiated accusations of moderator bias was a cosmetic fix that led to even more problems. And among those problems are the factors that have led to an ever more laborious process for moderating posts.

    We should thank them. Without the problems they created, I probably wouldn't have opened an Action Notes thread or begun editing copies of offensive posts.

    Sure, it's an increased workload, but it's also the only fair way to treat the members. After all, we only exist for them. That's why the rules should be applied to everyone else except any given member.

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