Moderation Decisions


Consider it done. Stay safe.

Edit: minimum suspension time in admin CP is 1 day. Appears to be hardcoded by Discourse.


On that topic. Something that started to bother me more and more as the final days over yonder drew near was the mantra: every mod and staff member is different. I get that and agree there should be some flexibility in how one reacts to a problem situation. But when you have situations where one mod would give a warning or time out and another gives out a decade long bans for the same thing then some calibration is needed. There should be some consistency in how situations are handled. Users shouldn’t be surprised when they get what they deserve for being bad citizens.

All of that probably means the mods should probably have some set of guidelines they come up with and follow. It’s up for discussion if that set of heuristics is made public. If it’s public there will those trolls that will work every accidental loophole. But if it’s private there will always be those that say they were treated differently.


I agree. I think that consistency or at least discussion among mods is a good plan. I, too, found the outrageous 10 year bans absurd and absolutely out of what codinghorror had set up with the software to create graduated ban levels appropriate to the user. For example, he had set up an absolute ban to be used against a new poster who was clearly just a total jackass/troll; whereas he had set it up for “timeouts” for people who were long time participants who just needed a cooling off period as a slap on the hand to tell them that their behavior was out of line.


Ah so there was some standard over there and some just chose to ignore them. I see. I just kept seeing Orenwolf post that some action was taken by another mod and that he would have had a different reaction level but each mod does whatever they want (shrug).

Note: Just to be clear, I mean nothing negative towards Orenwolf. Poor guy was always doing damage control for other people.


It sounds like maybe what’s needed is a mechanism for flagging a decision for review by a quorum of the mods, a bit like second marking essays. This allows for feedback on modding decisions for anything questionable whilst leaving alone the stuff that isn’t.


I hope I didn’t overstep on the modding decision there. I thought I’d just try moderating but maybe should have checked with the gang here first?


You are doing great IMO. My comment about creating some guidelines is really meant to take some of the guess work out and make your job easier. But as @strokeybeard mentioned it might be nice for mods to have a private or public means to flag a post when it falls outside of the guidelines and they would like some help discussing an incident before acting.


While I agree with the idea of constancy of in moderation decisions 1000%, and that consensus between a quorum of mods is a good way to help achieve that, I…

…kinda feel obliged to point out that this still isn’t the locked thread. :innocent: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :slight_smile:


One thing that occurred to me: some authors/OP’s have a greater tolerance than others for things that run on a tangent.

As someone accused of having “odd logic” I lean to the tolerant side, but I recognise that others don’t feel the same way. Are we planning to build in any provision for authors other than either them seeing a diversion they’re ok with vanishing due to being off topic (and who decides how “off topic” it really is?) or muting their own thread? I recognise that these would be extreme cases, but I am a fan of disaster plans that never actually get used, versus waiting for disaster and then saying “What now? We never planned for this!”


Indeed - I absolutely have nothing but time for, and a lot of respect for Mr. Wolf.

On his own, he’s absolutely the moderator that’s needed, takes time to discuss things both privately and publicly, without talking-down, otherwise belittling, being confrontational-without-reason, or indulging in general dick-wavery.
(At least from my own experience)

Even if one disagrees with the reasons, he’s shown that he has thought about what he’s trying to achieve and has reasons and moderating positions that are thought through. (Even if one disagrees with them, they’re there, and not just ad-hoc’d)

The issue, as you point out, wasn’t (and isn’t) with him. Which is where the point about consistency comes in.

Apologies for the mini-essay - your point was a good one, and I thought it worth expanding on.


Another thing to consider on that subject is that Discourse, because of its flat design, encourages discussion down a single line of discussion. Tangents are supposed to be separated out via the “reply as new topic” function, or linked in from existing threads, but i feel the tools still don’t reflect the stated design goals. That’s why side conversations develop so regularly back at the other place, and why they can overwhelm the intended line of discussion so quickly.


I really liked what you did with the Ancient History thread. It was transparent and prudent.


This could actually be my life philosophy. Are we somehow related? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


The mod and admin tools make it pretty easy to select multiple posts and move them to either a new topic or an existing one. It can get a little messy with the time stamps in some situations, but it works in most.


To fold this back in to the comment by @garymon, I’m not even sure I agree with the concept of self-banning. If someone doesn’t want to comment, step away. But don’t ask someone else to be the axeman. The whole thing just seems too open to abuse and misinterpretation, as happened at the other place. “Go ahead and ban me if you think I’m wrong” or “if you think that guy deserves to be banned, then ban me too” ends up being an invitation to a massacre.

Which is not to say @tinoesroho did wrong here - again, you could not have a clearer request for banning. I’m just not sure we should be in the business of granting them.


I agree. However, part of being an administrator is also participating in the party. Self-control is a limited resource, sometimes you need that friend at your side to hold you back from saying something you’ll regret later.

@enceladus recognized that somebody needed to step in. I wish I’d gotten involved earlier so it didn’t come to the point of admin-enforced timeouts. What’s done is done. While I’m in the business of timing people out, I’ll do it in a transparent manner.


I’d say that’s a good reason for a mod checking-in carefully and civilly with the user, and more generally the team making a point of being reasonable, consistent and not prone to, er, rash judgements, with moderation. (so the people who do moderate aren’t seen as being arseholes, even if someone does disagree with the decision.) :slight_smile:

I can see the value of being ‘helped’ to walk away from the discussion by own request, if it’s something that you’ve worked-out is pushing your buttons, what with both hot-buttons and ludic loops being what they are. Whether a self-ban is the fix, or not?

Alternative: a button to push to let an unhappy neo-mutant self-ban for 24 or 48 hours. No chance of either mod misinterpretation of user, or userbase misinterpretation of mod actions then.


I can see your point, but I can also see someone wanting to request to have the temptation to post removed for a set period. (Especially for those of us who have the board on a pinned tab!)

However this …

Oh no, no, just no. I know we’re still in the process of hashing out the moderation policies, but I’d like to state right off that I’d be against banning someone making either of those statements. My assumption, of course, is that the person making these statements hasn’t engaged in other behavior to warrant a ban. I might consider it a bit of posturing and PM the person, but would be very much against a ban simply over that.

I view these statements as nuanced differently from a limited self-ban, if only due to circumstances.

Ah! Now that might be a very viable alternative. Does Discourse offer such a possibility?


Not that I’m aware of. I’m not sure if it’s even possible as a plugin.


OK, so if we accept self-bans, then moderators would have to close the gate for the person requesting it; fair enough.