(alpha) Reinventing Sciforums -1- Choosing New Mods

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Avatar, Oct 18, 2008.

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

    Transparency? What transparency? This is a forum, not a representative democracy. In sciforums, at least we discuss whether to ban potential and persistent troublemakers. In most other forums, that option is not even considered.
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  3. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    There is no reason why Sciforums shouldn't become an example to all other forums.
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  5. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    We do have guidelines....which are simply ignored.
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  7. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Then I stand corrected and won't address this.
    I was under the impression that the last time we tried to make them, it failed miserably.
  8. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    I agree with your ideas Avatar. If someone deserves to be a mod they'll be re-elected anyway. Hell I'd be the first to vote for Asguard if he was standing for re-election.
  9. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

    Have you lost your mind?
  10. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Surely she meant to say avatar?
  11. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

    I think she has overdosed on her Red Bulls!
  12. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    A "sense" is subjective.

    Is that the goal of the site?

    I've never experienced either of those fears, but I'll tell you what I have observed. The vast majority of bans I have witnessed were against destructive behavior. As far as thread deletions are concerned, I have made no observations about it other than I've never had a thread deleted.

    I've noted that if someone has some particular grievance with a moderator then they can contact Plazma directly and work out the issue.

    All human beings have self interest. That will never change... ever. If, however, those self interests cause particular problems for a member then Plazma can be contacted.

    Don't get me wrong, I am all for positive change; however, I really don't see any real objective problem being presented... let alone one that would require a drastic measure such as replacing the moderation team.
  13. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Preface: this started as a three line reply, but quickly grew into something Tiassa-esque, sans the references and bullet points

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    What happens when someone is obviously qualified to be a moderator, but not popular enough to be elected?

    That is, what happens in the event that there is not a qualified person to moderate a specific subforum?

    So, let's propose an hypothetical. Obviously there are people here who hate SAM for whatever reason. Her qualifications to moderate the Biology forum, in my mind, are not in question whatsoever. (And, to be clear, I think that the people complaining about her mod-hood are all full of shit.) So, let's assume that SAM is up for "election". She would have no problems with the moderators (at least, insomuch as I understand), however, let's assume that shorty is able to convince enough of the people on her buddy list to vote against SAM for whatever reason.

    Now SAM, who is very qualified to BE a moderator of Biology and Genetics, is no longer the moderator, based solely on the opinions of some members who don't agree with her politics, or her religion, or her opinions, or her whatever.

    How is this a better way to pick mods?

    Further, I will offer another hypothetical. Let's suppose that I am voted off the island, and the modship of Physics and Math is up for grabs. For the most part, a lot of people here DON'T post in that subforum, and they don't have an idea about qualifications or claims. For example, there is currently a (regular) poster (Member X) in that sub-forum who claims to be an expert (i.e. a professional physicist). It is clear to many of the other regular posters in P&M that Member X is full of shit. However, how can we be confident that the membership at SciForums can make a good judgment as to Member X's qualifications? Simply saying "Hi, you can trust me, I'm a physicist" is no way to build credibility.

    Further, I don't know about other people here, but I don't particularly want people to associate my screen name (BenTheMan) with the real Ben, for whatever reason. (Although, with a bit of detective work it's no so hard.) So while I have no real problems using my real name in the mod lounge, I wouldn't particularly care to post a CV describing my qualifications to be a mod publicly.

    Finally, it is hard to imagine that some people who regularly post here have a long term, vested interest in the site. I am certainly not claiming such myself (although I don't want to deny it, either), but it seems that some of the more senior admins are actively involved in trying to make Sci something truly different. In this vein, it is in their interest to pick qualified moderators who are interested in making their own sub-fora places that other qualified people WANT to post in. I have worked to this end in the physics forum, and I think it is working as there are several very good posters who have arrived, of late. This is not an interest shared by members in general---while there are surely a few members who DO have a long-term investment in this place, it is likely the new members, or some of the...ahem...more vocal but less valued members who will swing votes.

    So while your democratic approach is very good, in principle, I see a problem with the application in general. At the end of the day, Stryder and Plasma pay the bills (or, speak for those who do), and if they don't want me around deleting Pseudo-science, then they'll make that clear.

    Anyway, I will be interested to see how this whole situation resolves itself. Whether we see a new "Mod Code of Conduct", or we see a massive house cleaning, it will be interesting nonetheless. I am glad to see that there are people who are truly interested in actively working to make SciForums become a better place. I think, at the end of the day, no matter HOW goofy the disagreements are, or how many people hate SAM or Asguard or Tiassa or James, it is a good thing to see people like inzomnia and Avatar working to improve the culture here, even though I may not always agree with their methods.

    I certainly don't want to see Sci turn into the type of place where PC bullshit turns the discussion into some sterile and formal discourse (this was, I think, the idea behind "Formal Debates"), but I also don't want this to turn into a madhouse, as I've seen from other internet discussion fora.
  14. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

    You guys have lost it you know....

    Do you really think that the members here don't have a brain in their heads?
    Do you really think that I have CONTROL over them? You are basically saying they are all IDIOTS that can't think for themselves and I am controlling who they like or dislike here. Don't tell me you are as paranoid as SAM and think there is a big conspiracy going on and I am the LEADER of it all.


    Most of these members who can't stand SAM were here long before I ever got here. Just because some of the ppl I talk to (my buddies as you say) don't like SAM, you don't think it could be possible that they don't like her for their own reasons? :bugeye:

    Believe it not we talk about a lot of things other then your bullshit rules and conspiracy theories. OMG wait.....Me and Baron were just PMing but then again SAM knows that because she just made an obvious comment about it in a thread.
    I find it pretty creepy that whenever I am PMing with someone and they happen to post in between they are or I am accused of some conspiracy. :crazy:
  15. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Thats because the mods allow them to remain here...even inviting them back when theyve been permabanned.
  16. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member


    Calm down and realize that grown ups are talking here, ok?

    I think that some members here may have their own interests at heart, rather than those of the community. You can take from that what you will.

    Possibly, but I don't see them bitching as much as you.

    I never mentioned any "conspiracy theories", but it is quite clear that many people here have their own clicks. It works both ways, of course. If I am up to be elected, I will PM all of the people here who know me and tell them to vote. In this sense, Avatar's idea turns into somewhat of a popularity contest.

    As I said, ideally his idea is a good one. But many members who might vote in such an election have no vested interest in the outcome. Another example, suppose I am up for election for Physics Mod. If most of the membership never even post in that forum, why should they be voting as to whether or not I'm qualified to be a moderator there?
  17. lepustimidus Banned Banned

    Then the administration should stop claiming that the moderation process at sciforums is fair and genuinely takes the input of regular members into consideration. Because it's not. Sciforums is run like a facist state where particular posters are given special treatment, criticism of moderators is stifled and ignored, and moderators discuss in secret which posters suck ass and need to be banned (often with an ulterior motive, such as to eliminate beliefs and/or posters that they personally find abhorrent), without asking for input from regular members.

    And don't ever expect a feeling of trust and sincerity to exist between moderators and regular members. Because it's human nature to not trust anyone who operates in secrecy, or feels the desire to. It gives the impression that they have something to hide. I can understand wishing to conceal personal information to remain anonymous on the net, but why the hell is the moderator subforum hidden from the view of regular posters? What's so damning in their that you don't want us to read?

    I was a moderator at the Internet Infidels Discussion Forum, a forum far more professional than this one, and I know exactly what goes on in those hidden subforums. I know how moderators take advantage of their very cozy relation with the administrator to further their political/religious agenda and take out posters that they have a grudge against.

    Posters (including myself) have aired our suspicions. In response to this suspicion we've been accused of 'playing the victim'. But after this debacle with Tiassa, it's become clear that these suspicious posters aren't paranoid crackpots, but that they are on to something.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  18. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I don't think your proposal addresses this problem:

    After all, it really IS just an election process you are putting forth.
  19. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    I think most people don't realize how hard a balance of "free thoughts" and "order" is hard to maintain.
  20. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps the opposite approach.

    Plazma and the Mod team put forth a recommendation for a new mod and open a public discourse on it.
    After a week of the members discussing it, open a poll and allow people to vote AGAINST the proposition.
    If enough people deny the proposition, the person does not get the assignment.
  21. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    How about if we elect new mods like they do in Venice?

    Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine.
    The nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, who chose twenty-five.
    The twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five. Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, and the eleven finally chose the forty-one who actually elected the doge.
  22. Bells Staff Member

    And it would still end up being a popularity contest.
  23. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Is that how board members are elected in your company?

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