# Inquiry: Should Moderators Just Shut the Hell Up?

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Tiassa, Oct 6, 2011.

1. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

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15,058
One quick and easy to implement solution is to limit the time terms of moderators.

Ie. a poster should be appointed as a moderator for a specific amount of time, preferrably so that everyone can see the dates (such as in a thread in SFOG).

After that date, the poster should be assessed whether their moderator term be prolonged or not.

As it is, when people are appointed to be moderators for indefinitely, being a moderator seems to become a part of their online person - both for themselves and for others.
Limitation of the moderator term would reduce this bias.

My suggestion is 2 months at most for a singular term,
and 6 months at most altogether (ie. 3 consecutive singular terms).

(And 6 months before a person can again be appointed as a moderator.)

3. ### wlminexBannedBanned

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1,587
A few historical artifacts may be applicable here:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." . . a quotation by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902).

William Pitt, the Elder, The Earl of Chatham and British Prime Minister from 1766 to 1778 said something similar, in a speech to the UK House of Lords in 1770:
"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it"

One of Alexander Pope’s epigrams. . . “Those best can bear reproof who merit praise”

5. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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Flying Colors

If I recall, the flags were visible to the general population once upon a time. We got rid of the infraction system for a time after a public vote. It was reinstalled as a tracking system for moderators, and the implications of yellow and red cards was redefined.

I would note, though, that I don't think having the flags visible will make much of a difference. People still found it necessary, in their perspectives, to respond to flagged posts and have their say about the offense.

In the end, either way works for me. Making the flags visible will only increase the number I hand out insofar as that will be the most direct way to communicate to the members that, yes, we have seen the post in question.

7. ### StryderKeeper of "good" ideas.Valued Senior Member

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13,101

This is the original quote prior to Lombardi's malformation of the quote. I don't think Lombardi really looked at the quote in-depth as it's not to suggest that a person born to a family that is already empowered with some hierarchal position is going to make a great leader, in fact the First World War disproved this by Officers achieving their ranks initially due to their sociostatus, which in turn meant that some of the worst catastrophic cockups in the history of the military were made by men that didn't know how to lead.

A born leader is actually the suggest that an individual would have the myriad of qualities of leadership imparted upon them prior to even attempting to lead. Obviously Lombardi's malformity still has it's place, as with any great leader comes the perseverance and hard work, which isn't necessarily realised by themselves but by those they lead.

Incidentally there is a complex involving the Envisionment of Grandeur that is often purported to be historically documented with Alexander the Great, since during his leadership, decisions were often made on the reflection of how the act would historical alter the land and people of that time and be reflected on throughout history.

In fact a rather interesting reflection on decision making in regards to hierarchy positioning is the Fable of "Damocles Sword", where an impertinent Damocles questions the position of power of his king suggesting that lavish orgies, fine foods, clothing and other luxuries imparted that the position was rife with corruption.

To which his king allowed him to take the seat of the thrown and indulge on one condition, that his sword would be suspended from the ceiling by one single thread above the throne, to represent all the troubles and tribulations of leadership and how at any time that thread might not bear the weight.

Another great quote that is often used in certain circles is "Knowledge is Power". Now you have attributed that "Power Corrupts", so we can imply that "Knowledge Corrupts", there is no wonder as to why moderator duties on this site are so bountiful, considering some probably choose not to be knowledgeable so as not to be corrupt. (Or at least appear to be less knowledgeable so detecting how corrupt they are is difficult)

In essence, I would really lay off the quotes, you don't know what waters you might stir.

8. ### KittamaruNever cruel nor cowardly...Staff Member

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Honestly, I think there are those among us who can resist the temptation of power overall. My take on it is simple - what would I want to have done. I follow this rule at work and in everyday life - for example, I work in IT and my rule of thumb before I decide if I should charge someone for services is "what will it REALLY take to fix this". Our business only really offers a single fee for services - 1 year, unlimited use support contract for $200. Not a bad deal for someone who would make use of it for sure... but for those who know enough about computers not to royally screw them up that just needs a helping hand with a new situation, it doesn't warrant the price. As such, even though I've gotten in trouble for it before, I'm willing to "work for free" on a problem that I don't feel I can morally justify charging someone for, even though I technically could. Interestingly enough, as a result of that line of thought, we now have the option to charge a "1/2 hour labor fee" of only$30 for anything we feel we can classify a "quick fix" instead of charging for technical support... it makes me happy to see that being stubborn and sticking to your guns can, in fact, make a difference in the world.

9. ### Anti-FlagPun intendedRegistered Senior Member

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3,714
It was actually posted in another thread by a mod that they couldn't. :shrug:
Regardless, if they were to be handed out punishments along the same basis as posters receive, we would see them banned a lot more frequently, and I have to question why they aren't.

It would be interesting to see proof of them receiving infractions, as I say, if mods and posters were treated the same I have no doubt we would see more mod bans - I wonder if often some discretion is used to hand out "warnings" instead of official infractions when a mod has played a part. IE the rules are applied differently.
I would say it's like a 'boys club', but there are female mods - I just can't think of a better description for it.

Can't argue with the banning, though I seem to recall there was far more going on at the time and much of it was ignored.
Hard to say without more mod openness. I can only go by what I've seen, and
I have no doubt there are hundreds of things I haven't, which does beg the question of what goes on behind the scenes.
If it creates a better and more equal environment then I'm all for it. As it stands mods can troll, lie and insult rather freely when it seems similar behaviour results in bans for others, either outright or via build up of infractions. :shrug:

10. ### GeoffPCaput gerat lupinumValued Senior Member

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True.

True in some cases, yes. There's innocuous trolling also, of course. I mean, it's not as though one would ban banter; only the utterly mad would pontificate about that.

11. ### BellsStaff Member

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22,712
I got one from Madanthony once, but for us, it implies something different in that while we can't ban each other (yes, we did try..

) or issue actual true infractions, the warnings and what would be infraction points come down from on-high.. So when we do get them, it carries that little bit of extra weight and a hell of a lot more consequence and very angry site owners.

But yes, that dressing down is usually private in 'the back room' when it does happen.

I haven't seen evidence of different treatment for moderators in regards to infractions and the like. At times I would say the standards are sometimes applied a bit tougher and yes, we do fight. I make no bones about that, we do disagree about many things and yes, sometimes it gets ugly and sometimes some of those differences about how the rules are applied spill out into the open (refer back to my last resignation.. yes, I'm like a revolving door).. In such instances, I would say that the admin would probably prefer a bit more discretion..

I'll put it this way, I am not innocent, nor do I hold myself as being innocent when some of the ermmm knock down fights have happened between myself and Geoff (it was just an example.. no harm meant..). But I also don't "get away with it" either. If he gets into trouble, I also get into trouble for it. In that sense, I'd say it was fairly even.

Picture the fight scene in The Anchorman..

As for the rest of it.. It's not this.. Except for their fashion sense..

I don't think I'd go that far.

As for making it all public.. As Tiassa pointed out, there was a time when infractions were public and the vote was to not make it public. So the tags were gotten rid of and for moderators now, it is just a way of keeping track.

If that makes sense.

Look, I am all for openness, as you well know. But I cannot apply that to everyone else and not everyone will agree or want that level of openness. So we have to find some sort of balance.

My advice.. if you see a moderator lying, trolling and insulting or abusing their mod status, then hit the report button. Be very clear in what you type in that report. It goes straight to the administrators and site owners. If you wish further clarification, then you can PM the admin's and senior mods (Tiassa and Stryder). You also have the option of PM'ing other moderators with your complaint and it does get taken up.

12. ### Hercules RockefellerBeatings will continue until morale improves.Moderator

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Point of order – Tiassa and Stryder are not senior mods in the sense that they have executive powers. They have moderation access across all the subforums, but their moderation decisions do not override those of the dedicated mods for a given subforum.

13. ### BellsStaff Member

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Yes. But they can still contact them with any concerns.

14. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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For the record

I'm probably causing a shitload of problems by saying this, but if Stryder and I chose to declare and exercise our authority as such, it would most likely stand.

15. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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Not by other moderators they can't. If it's a power that exists, it only exists above our level.
This:

Is what happened when I tried infracting you for this post (that I'm replying to).

Same thing that's happened every other time I've tried.

16. ### Me-Ki-GalBannedBanned

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maybe they figured out they could make more money on your give away if they created an avenue to satisfy your conscious. Makes you a better salesman if you believe . People will be humane if you give em a chance most the time . Me love potion number nine works great for this . People want to help people they like . That is just a fact of life . That is why stars get everything for free. Lots of people like them and want to give back because of the joy the star ( Artists ) has given them . People want to help people they like . You are a testament to that . If you like people you want to help them.

17. ### BellsStaff Member

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You missed this bit:

And every other time you've tried? Geez.. It's on kiwi boy!

18. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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Of course I did.

Yeah? You and what army?

Aussie hag

19. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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Testes, testes ....

Testes. Testes. One, two ... three?

Update: I just red-flagged you, Bells. Disregard. I now hold my own question answered. The flag has been removed.

Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
20. ### BellsStaff Member

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More like reversed..

*shakes fist*

You do realise I am now going to be tempted to hit that red card.. *Looks at Trippy*..

:m:

21. ### GustavBannedBanned

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so you are a mod again, eh bells?

22. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

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There is that ....

Oh, yeah ....

Er ... um ... right.

23. ### BellsStaff Member

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To quote Tiassa..

"Oh, yeah ....

Er ... um ... right."

The offer/suggestion was made and I accepted it, yes.