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On moderation skills and unwanted discussions

Lisa

Well-known member
#2
I personally feel that thread drift is a part of topics, so unless the OP specifically requests that the thread stay dead on topic, I allow it - proviso being that people play nice.
 

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
#4
Don't blame Jake.
He's between a rock and a hard place.
He knows no new news is coming any time soon.
Endless speculation and whining is tiresome.

What is fair ? Hard to say.

Xenforo 1.1.3 is working fine.
I still like it.
I think support is still working.
Jake is working for free.
Development obviously stopped some time ago and isn't going to restart any time soon. 6 months ? a year ? never ?
No idea.
 

Shelley

Well-known member
#6
In your own community, if a discussion goes in the "wrong" direction, where people are starting to lose respect for each other, what would you consider the appropriate measure?

Close the discussion?

Delete the discussion?

Moderate the discussion to bring it back on its right path?

Asked differently, if you have a meaningful discussion, ruined by a handful of users, how do you proceed? Collectively punish the entire community by deleting everything that has been said (no matter how useful it might have been) and disallow any further discussion in the future? Or work on your moderation skills to make sure it doesn't have to come that far?
Avatar removal is my preferred course of action, if that fails then I may greyscale the thread by using the thread ID class and conduct a mass avatar removal which relates to that quote from the movie spiderman "with great power comes great responsibility" . It's now everyone's cup of tea but it's my cup of tea.
 

Shelley

Well-known member
#7
Digital Doctor, where do you see Jake or XF?

It's a question that probably concerns many forum administrators and I am interested in hearing how others handle difficult situations.
Jake has been flawless just Like brogan was. End of subject they both contribute/contributed to this community for the better.
 

Lisa

Well-known member
#9
That's an interesting approach. We've been adopting it too, especially in cases where a thread is of importance with the OP being a main participant in the discussion.
In my experience, threads generally drift back to the topic at hand most times - a gentle nudge here and there helps. It depends on the forum niche really.
 

Lisa

Well-known member
#10
Wow, I have heard of someone taken this measure! Very interesting. So how does it "perform"? Do people care if their avatar is removed?
No, it gives everyone else something to snigger about. She didn't mention what happens to the iPad.
 

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
#11
Digital Doctor, where do you see Jake or XF?
It's a question that probably concerns many forum administrators and I am interested in hearing how others handle difficult situations.
OK. Sorry. I misread your post.
Close the discussion?
Delete the discussion?
I assumed you were somewhat referring to the plethora of closed threads that were closed minutes before you posted your topic.
 

craigiri

Well-known member
#13
We do one of three things.....

1. Delete or close
2. Move to an off-topic forum (we have one just for that)
3. Move to an even worse off-topic forum (we have one just for political stuff and erase it every month or so).
 

DaKat

Well-known member
#15
I guess I've been doing this so long my patience runs a little thin sometimes.:( If a thread degrades to the point where I step in as the Admin, I remind the thread participants of who has the ban hammer and ask them to resume playing nicely so I don't have to use it.
 

dutchbb

Well-known member
#16
Here's my take on it after ten years of running a big board: I like to keep censoring to an absolute minimum, with a few exceptions (regarding very sensitive things). We allow members to have conversations about basically everything, of course without breaking any law.

So moderation is mild and only used when really required. However some moderation is absolutely required, because there will always be some members that are simply unreasonable or forget about the forum rules.

Although we allow almost all topics, we do not allow public discussions about our forum policy or decisions. Any complaints or problems members have can be send to me personally. If they feel they have been treated unfairly by a moderator, they know I will listen and see if the issue can be resolved. I may even discuss the issue with a moderator, not necessarily siding with the moderator. This has worked much better for our community than public discussions, which in the past often have lead to more problems. Our members have accepted this and none of them have any issue with this.

What works for me in thread moderation (unwanted posts):

  1. Strong public warning (in bold), this works better coming from a moderator that has already gained a lot of respect from members, it works even better coming from an administrator. The message has to be clear, make sense, and respectful to everyone. It should be general not aimed at one member or a group of members. This works very well, especially after cleaning up unwanted posts.
  2. If some member ignores this a first time, we will send a friendly private message, explaining the policy and the rule that has been broken.
  3. If that member keeps ignoring this, he or she will get the yellow card warning, a second time may either lead to the red card or a thread ban. Their post will be removed or edited.
  4. Threads are rarely locked. We prefer to clean up and save/restore the discussion rather than killing it completely. Locks are only used in case of double threads / reposts, or threads so worthless that their only purpose ends up being off-topic slow chat.
Basically it all comes down to how you communicate with members. The better the communication, the better the atmosphere, and the lower the probability for problems. Also clarity about the rules and what people can expect is essential. Hope this helps.
 

MagnusB

Well-known member
#17
  1. Threads are rarely locked. We prefer to clean up and save/restore the discussion rather than killing it completely. Locks are only used in case of double threads / reposts, or threads so worthless that their only purpose ends up being off-topic slow chat.

Why do you lock double posts? I either delete them or merge the topics, to keep it clean. In some categories a double post even leads to warnings, though those are special cases.

As for the topic at hand, I am generally very relaxed with moderation. I only moderate when it is required, for example obvious copy paste content (had to do that once, though after a PM to the user it never happened again), porn, illegal stuff or personal attacks. In terms of offensive material, I only moderate what my members report. I have been a part of communities where moderators are very eager to moderate, and that usually killed many discussions, cause people were afraid of posting. IMO, moderation is a last resort option, though also a necessary tool.

I also let my moderators more or less have free reign on what to moderate or not, I rarely overturn any of their decisions.
 

dutchbb

Well-known member
#18
Why do you lock double posts? I either delete them or merge the topics, to keep it clean. In some categories a double post even leads to warnings, though those are special cases.
Usually what happens is a moderator locks and leaves a link to the other thread, then later on I merge the threads and remove the double post.
 

Adam Howard

Well-known member
#19
Our rules (on my site) are simple

No spam
No illegal content

Everything else is allowed.

Spam is automatically deleted and the user, banned. Illegal content is given a warning (but removed) and if someone doesn't listen, banned.

It's very easy to manage our community.
 

User

Well-known member
#20
In my experience moderators need clear rules to go by so that their own emotional response to something that is posted doesn't leech over into their moderator duties. Good mods are able to emotionally distance themselves from the work they do and are thus able to perform the task at hand in an unbiased fashion. Good mods are also hard to come. Moderators can easily completely destroy your community by power tripping and/or applying their own standards how things should be run. A mod handbook goes a long way there.

At the end it doesn't really matter what the standards are and they will likely be different for each community. What matters is that the standards are known to the community and that they are consistently applied.

Once forum owners and/or mods try to obfuscate things, deleting threads or posts especially without to notify the poster about which of the stated rules he or she violated that lead to the action that was taking against the user things go downhill fast.

In an enthusiasts community users may move on to a competing forum that covers the same topic if they feel more comfortable there. In a professional community where the forum is used to sell or support a product mods who are unhinged can easily seriously harm the brand name and make a large negative impact on the reputation and future sales of a product or service. That then goes back to that you need to pick your mods carefully and not just select people who are willing and able but also people whom you can trust to keep their cool and remain objective even if things don't go their way.