* Forum Moderation Strategy *

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jacob
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* Forum Moderation Strategy *

Post by jacob » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:26 pm

I just learned that a certain forum member has been backstabbing me in public by making up lies about me on another blog claiming that I banned him from this forum because I disagreed with some statements he made on this forum. He/she is lying. He/she is not banned. I would never ban anyone due to simple disagreement!! While this person is now on my personal (and very short) shit list(*) for being a libellous a*-hole, he/she is still free to post here just as he/she's always been.---Although I do admit hoping that he/she never comes back! :x

(*) That list is still less than 5 people long despite me being over 40 years old. I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to "stupid" but I do have a very long memory.

So just to clarify (once again), here's how moderation works around here ...

* I want public discourse to follow these sentiments at almost(**) all times: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html I've posted this link several times so if you haven't read them already, please do so. The rules of decent online behaviour should be obvious to most people, and they are to most people, but a few always seem fall through the cracks, and so these are my common sense guidelines for civilized online behaviour.

* During the 6 years of the forum's existence, only ONE person has ever been banned for consistently violating netiquette and that ban was temporary. That ONE person received a 30 day ban/timeout and could have come back by now but hasn't done so, so far. Indeed, this 30-day ban only happened after several people had already PM'ed me to complain about the behaviour of that person and only after I've tried first to subtly warn him/her and then PM'ed him/her with direct consequences if he/she kept it up. Which he/she then proceeded to do two weeks later. That one person is not the backstabbing person above. In fact, the above person has never violated netiquette although I have disagreed with him/her on these forums twice IIRC.

(**) Well, actually at all times, but I do recognize that we all lose our heads from time to time, therefore ...

* I will very occasionally delete specific posts if I think they just serve to piss people off. Think hot-headed "personal attack"-one liners. Here I usually rely on other forumites to turn the other cheek the first time around. Mostly people are tempered and smart enough to do just that. Something which I think makes this forum quite unique. It's my hope that the antagonist will have cooled off again in the mean time and won't do it again. If it does happen again, I will kill that particular "second-strike" post. In short, I'll let people fire one round, and then let the other person fire one round back. Much like a duel. However, I don't want a flame-war or a thread-annihilation on my hands, therefore my idea is to put out fires before they develop into something bigger once I detect any escalations. In particular, if you ever found that your post somehow "disappeared", figure either: 1) most likely: software/cache error; 2) you said something you probably would have regretted a couple of weeks from now---should be obvious when consulting netiquette; 3) you said something you probably should have regretted a couple of weeks from now---ditto netiquette. I'm not gonna "X" your post if I think there's anything to be learned from it ... The recent Brexit thread was a good example of me temporarily interfering by deleting a couple of remarks, in case anyone noticed. I also locked it for 1+ days to allow people to cool off.

* I will never ban anyone from the forum for simple disagreement... especially not a simple disagreement with me alone!

* Except! If a thread goes on long enough to become clear that what's presented is 100% pure agnotology where provable falsehood's are repeatedly presented in a way that hurts the uninformed public. In this case, rather that deleting factually wrong posts, I will let them speak for themselves for the record and rather close/lock the thread either temporarily or permanently and tell people to start a new one should they wish to continue. This usually cools the heads enough. IIRC, this has happened at least once (the climate change thread) but this action is still extremely rare. My point, in terms of locking, is, I will not let these forums be a platform for consistent misinformation. However, I have never banned anyone for this.

* I delete user accounts for spam all the time. You might have seen posts with strange and poorly spelled statements that always come from a user with only 1-2 posts with a link that leads to some spam site. These accounts get killed off within hours in 99% of the cases. I do have some questions that require human interaction to create a new account but apparently some do get through. Maybe they're all the same person?! This is trivial stuff. I figure pretty much every forum manager has to deal with spam. Only reason this still happens is that spam filtering isn't 100% accurate yet. As such I would strongly urge new posters not to introduce weird links before they have at least 10+ posts under their belt, just in case they might suffer a false positive. However, given that the person who inspired this thread has written more than 100 posts on this forum, this is not the case here.

Dealing with occasional shite-behavior like this is one of the main arguments against maintaining the forum and being a public figure in general. I try to let it slide every time it happens and I'm getting better and better at it realizing that some humans are just that scummy, but still ...

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jennypenny
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by jennypenny » Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:09 pm

You're too nice about this stuff. Just once, I'd like to see you get medieval on someone's ass. ;)

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GandK
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by GandK » Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:52 pm

:lol: +1, and me too.

I hereby issue you one (1) virtual flail and three (3) bottles of Woody. Laissez les bon temps rouler.

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Dragline
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Dragline » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:03 pm

Sorry to hear about that. It never ceases to amaze me how people will say and do things on the internet that they would never dare do IRL.

So, can we ban him now? :twisted:

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Dragline
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Dragline » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:04 pm

jennypenny wrote:You're too nice about this stuff. Just once, I'd like to see you get medieval on someone's ass. ;)
Is that why your avatar is holding a blow torch? :D

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bryan
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by bryan » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:22 pm

Dragline wrote:Sorry to hear about that. It never ceases to amaze me how people will say and do things on the internet that they would never dare do IRL.
pretty sure people will do crazy things IRL too ;)

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Ego
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Ego » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:34 pm

Is that one of the threaded comment plugins that automatically deletes a comment with a lot of down votes? It would be a shame if, say, an unreasonable comment on banning was automatically deleted like that, wouldn't it?

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jennypenny
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by jennypenny » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:40 pm

Ego wrote:Is that one of the threaded comment plugins that automatically deletes a comment with a lot of down votes? It would be a shame if, say, an unreasonable comment on banning was automatically deleted like that, wouldn't it?
You can do that?

I'm glad we don't have that here. My post count would plummet.

Scott 2
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:17 pm

Thanks for continuing to post and run the forum despite crap like this. I certainly appreciate it.

Moderation is a thankless task.

jacob
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by jacob » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:36 pm

@Ego - AFAIK this forum has no plugins whatsoever. We run a really lean operation for stability/easy reasons. Notice the resistance everytime anyone suggests installing "features".

Besides, I really dislike karma-voting procedures, ala reddit or amazon as it turns posting into a subjective opinion/Matthew-effect popularity contest. IMHO one of the worst social media inventions ever, other than instant "sharing".

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Tyler9000
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Tyler9000 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:41 pm

Sorry you have to deal with that kinda crap, Jacob. I can certainly vouch for you. This is one of the rare forums where reasonable people can completely disagree and remain civil in the process. It's always a shame when people can't understand or handle that.

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Ego
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Ego » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:42 pm

I was talking about the site where the original comment appeared. They've got a thumbs-up/down feature.

What I should have said was what scott2 said above.

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BRUTE
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:39 pm

brute apologizes to jacob

Did
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Did » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:41 pm

Thanks for your efforts. I would say ban people all you like. Prioritise making your life easier. If people don't like it, well...

saving-10-years
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by saving-10-years » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:18 am

This forum is a refreshing and invigorating (possible unparalleled) place to visit and spend time in, day after day, month after month and that is down to @Jacob's unceasing work, his wisdom, politeness and tolerance. Thanks and thanks and thanks. (Also to the other moderators).

I don't take this work and the tolerant regime for granted and if any change in practice or a tad less tolerance would make life easier and more pleasant for you guys then go for it.

Agree about dislike for instant voting/agree-disagree features - it feels good that here you need to make an effort to post here and be prepared to explain why you posted and what you posted or what you don't agree with.

I don't have any concrete suggestions about how you can improve/change things because you are doing it (my opinion) perfectly now.

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cmonkey
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by cmonkey » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:50 pm

Scott 2 wrote:Thanks for continuing to post and run the forum despite crap like this. I certainly appreciate it.

Moderation is a thankless task.
+1. I definitely appreciate it as well. I hope the negative few are far outweighed by all the positive that this forum brings into our lives. Don't ever shut down!

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Eureka
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Eureka » Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:33 pm

+1

tommytebco
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by tommytebco » Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:42 pm

This place is a bunch of unusual people who are very interesting. Where else can you find dumpster divers, millionaires and Polyamorists all cavorting in a big puppy pile???I'm a lurker and have been here since before Jacob moved into the RV.

All I can suggest is adopt the slogan "Illigitimati non carborundum" which someone once told me meant "Don't let the bastards wear you down".

One of these days I'll post my story. I jumped off the rat race, became self employed at 38 YO, and became semiretired while I eked out my share of putting three kids through college. Actual retirement at 65.

Quadalupe
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by Quadalupe » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:10 pm

Jacob, this topic pulled me out of lurking mode. As far as I can tell, you run a tight, but fair operation. I see you as Vetinari from the Discworld novels: sometimes you have to make decisions some people don't like, but you do it for the forum community.

Furthermore, I'm very happy the way you manage the forums. I really don't know any other place where such an eclectic mix of people and topics come together. I read most of the posts daily on my RSS feed every day, and I have learned a lot from them.

So carry on and ignore the haters!

pukingRainbows
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by pukingRainbows » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:41 pm

This forum is a gem. I haven't found any other forum where people with differing opinions can discuss contentious matters so openly and intelligently.
Huzzah to the shopkeep! Huzzah!

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fiby41
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by fiby41 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:18 am

This is the only forum I frequent presently and I'm trying to cut down on that too.

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fiby41
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by fiby41 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:20 am

Hey pukingRainbows, I remember you from reddit.com/r/financialindependence , if you're the same person behind the username.

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fiby41
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Re: Forum moderation strategy

Post by fiby41 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:40 pm

jacob wrote:IMHO one of the worst social media inventions ever, other than instant "sharing".
Is there a reason for the disdain of the share function?

As I see it, it's no different than posting a link to a forum or embedding an image.

LiberateMind
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Re: * Forum Moderation Strategy *

Post by LiberateMind » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:10 am

Jacob, Thanks for running such a wonderful forum. Sorry you have to put up with such nonsense.

pukingRainbows
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Re: * Forum Moderation Strategy *

Post by pukingRainbows » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:00 am

@fiby41 Hello! But no, that's not me. I'm surprised there are two of us.

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