Respectful moderation

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by cluelusshusbund, Mar 1, 2014.


All moderation... an mods discussin moderation issues... shoud be done respectfully

  1. yes

  2. no

  3. maybe

  1. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    This is a public poll... especially for mods an administraters but all are welcome to partisipate.!!!
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I had to vote no on this one, but perhaps that's because of the precise way it was worded.

    There are certainly cases where we need to moderate people who actually don't deserve respect. Consider your average spammer, for example. Or the 20th sock puppet of a permanently-banned member.

    What is more important is that you shouldn't let personal factors interfere with your objectivity.
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  5. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    What is the pont of a mod bein disrespectful to a spamer or a sock puppet.???
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  7. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    And it makes the moderators look peevish.
  8. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    Yes, that's the thing which got me about the recent controversy. I think some of the moderators had very good reasons to feel aggrieved, but it seemed like there were a lot of over the top insults coming back the other way too. Moderators should try their best to maintain certain standards of conduct to enhance the professionalism of the site, otherwise it makes their moderation appear arbitary and somewhat hypocritical rather than conducive to a positive rational discussion. I love seeing mods tearing flawed reasoning to shreds and showing little respect or tolerance for trolls, but only when they attack the logic, rather than the person presenting it.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I've said it before and I've said it again: respect must be earned.

    Don't confuse being given respect with being treated with decency and good manners. Lack of respect for somebody is no excuse for rudeness towards them.
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

    I'm not a believer in respect being a default position. I don't owe you my respect just because you happen to be a person.

    You're getting off-track, clueless. What should be at issue here is whether moderators should provoke members when they moderate them. Like being snide in their mod notes, or insulting them.
  11. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Good pont... so how about the way Balerion put it... Jame R... shoud moderators "provoke members when they moderate them. Like being snide in their mod notes, or insulting them."
  12. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps not... but you should so moderators respect for their position much the same as you would show a police officer or paramedic respect; not because they have "earned it", but because it is an implied position of authority and that authority commands respect. You don't have to respect them as a person until such respect is earned, but generally telling a police officer to "fuck off" and taking a swing at em won't end well.
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    So this is not a democracy.

    But moderators appointed for life, and inactive, seems illogical. If that's the way things work.
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Not comparable.

    Authorities like police officers and doctors are appointed legally and there is a legal recourse for addressing their transgressions.
    With forum moderators, neither is the case.

    Moreover, one doesn't discuss philosophy or moral topics with police officers or doctors etc. (at least not when they are on the job). But one does precisely that at forums.

    If the work of moderators would be limited to dealing with commercial spam, there wouldn't be a problem. But they instead propose themselves to be moral and cognitive authorities. In some cases, this means that someone on the moral and cognitive level of a teenager gets to make moral judgments about someone on the moral and cognitive level of an adult, and the adult has to comply with the judgment of the teenager, simply because that's how the forum works.

    What we have here is Kohlberg's theory of moral development turned on its head: people in a lesser stage effectively hold authority over those in a higher stage.

    We get a moderator that is in stage 3, but because he or she is a moderator, his or her word prevails even over that of a poster in stage 5 or 6, and so the moral reasoning of stage 3 is effectively held in higher esteem than moral reasoning of stage 5 or 6.
  15. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I wouldn't necessarily say that is true though Wynn... yes, our "word" prevails, but our word can be swayed given evidence and respectful debate. However, I would say that Kohlberg's theory has one significant flaw; no individual IS a separate entity from society; this is because a society is made up of individuals, and should (in theory) change, adapt, and grow with them. I do agree however that rules are meant to be, again, adaptable and flexible. After all, as we have seen, as populations increase, incarceration simply does not "fix" the issue of crime. As such, punitive punishment is getting us nowhere... we need to work on rectifying the SOURCE of the issue (povery, desire for power/wealth, poor upbringing, etc) before we can expect the SYMPTOMS (crime, drugs, gangs, etc) to get better.

    I would, though, state that the comparison is apt, though on a differing scale. This forum is a place where you come by choice; nobody is making you come here. Much the same, the rules herein are something you agree to by choice, with the understanding that failure to comply with said rules will result in punishment and/or expulsion. Moderators and Admins are the ones responsible for enforcing these rules.

    In much the same way, where you live and the laws you must abide by are your choice (though limited by the financial and physical prospect of relocating, of course). The laws are enforced by officers and judges, who divvy out punishment as seen fit.

    in both cases, one major problem tends to occur - those enforcing the law start to feel "above" the law, or they interpret it in such a way as to provide themselves the advantage.

    Is this the case here? That could be argued... and I would probably be inclined to say, as much as I abhor the thought, that it does occur. The issue now... is how do we fix it. Simply removing and electing new moderators will not change that... it will fix it for the short term, but in a few years we will be right back where we started, though with new faces, new rules, and potentially new issues.

    So... let us, as a community, find ways to fix the ISSUE, instead of treating the SYMPTOM.
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Ideally, no, but moderators are only human. I know that I've been known to make snide remarks myself from time to time. It can be hard to resist when you're confronted with blatant stupidity, intentional disruptiveness, and offensive interpersonal conduct.

    In that case, we wouldn't have moderators. We'd just install a better automatic spam filter and be done with it.

    Let me guess. You put yourself at stage 6, and most or all of the moderators at a "lower" level. Therefore, you argue, you ought to be given free reign, because you're on a higher moral plane than the rest of us.
  17. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    And, we're quite sure you give yourself the appropriate infractions and ban when you do, right?

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  18. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Ok... hard to resist... but im quite confident :thumbsup: that its not beyond you... an after a week or 2 of always usin good maners in you'r mod duties it will becom automatic/prefered behavior... an a good example for other mods to foller... an in the end woud earn you ALL more respect... an thats easily a win win win situation.!!!

    I want Sciforms to be even mor fun... an like most people... i dont want "snide" remarks moderated from general posts... "we" just dont want mods usin snide remarks while preforim ther mod duties.!!!

    It woud be a small step for Mods an a giant leap for Sciforums.!!!

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    Are you on board wit that.???

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    No. One of the implications of Kohlberg's theory is that people on one stage of moral development are unable to understand reasoning from a higher stage, and mere evidence and debate usually cannot change this.

    On the other hand, better informed agents suffer from the cognitive bias of the curse of knowledge.

    Kohlberg's theory has no such flaw, since it is a theory of the development of moral reasoning, and a factor for this development is precisely interactions with others. But according to this theory, the development of moral reasoning is actually much slower and requires much more than many people think.

    Like you here, many people think that for a person to change their reasoning, some conversation with others should suffice. But in practice, this is rarely the case. People do change, but generally very slowly, over the course of many years, and such change requires a lot of interaction with others, experiencing a wide range of life events, and self-reflection.

    Whom are you agreeing with?


    If Kohlberg's theory is anything to go by, then such change is not possible within the foreseeable time.

    Technologically, is that possible?


    Power is one of the most fascinating topics.
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Sometimes, effort to solve a problem is what exacerbates the problem.

    In this particular case, some posters and moderators seem to be of the opinion that conflict and competition are bad things, and must be gotten rid of.

    But conflict and competition are facts of this world. It's naive and madly idealistic to try to get rid of them. The historic record shows that whenever people try to eliminate conflict and competition, they just create more of them, or of different kinds.

    Not trying to get rid of conflict and competition might in fact lead to less conflict and competition, or limit them to important and decidable situations.

    What do you think is the source of the discord at Sciforums?
  21. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Conflict and competition are fine; conflict for the sake of conflict is not. It reminds me of a battlebot: Subject to Change Without Reason. Without a reason, grounded in fact, conflict alone accomplishes nothing positive.

    What we really need is to learn to have conflicting opinions/thoughts without resorting to insults and petty squabbles; the ability to understand and acknowledge a point without necessarily having to agree with it.
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Agreed. However if a cop gets in your face and says "fuck you! fuck you! fuck everyone you know!" and you reply "you too" that's pretty defensible. It may not end well for you but it won't end well for the cop, either. Here it would get you banned and get you a lecture on how to respect the mods.
  23. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Then that is something that needs to change

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