Moderation Decisions


The Mod Team hasn’t yet had their committee meetings. Right now things are decided on an ad-hoc basis involving group DMs with @staff so we have a paper trail.


We def need a mod meeting sooner than later.

I’ve been in the thick of business stuff but if we want to set up a videoconference for next weekend, I can commit to that. Sunday is good for me (the 20th).


Delete my account, if you wish. I’m no longer interested in wasting my time here.



I don’t know if this has to do with the Just Asking thread, but I’ve been slowly digesting the fact that if we met in meatspace many of you would immediately peg me as a member of the alt-right based upon a number of arbitrary (and highly superficial) criteria of which I would have been totally oblivious, and that’s a real letdown.

What many urban, professional types fail to recognize is that we—those of us who grew up working class—don’t start off knowing the rules that you (those of you who fit that description) may take for granted. We learn the subtleties of interacting with you by falling afoul of them—often at great cost, and sometimes without recognizing that we’ve done so until years after the fact. You don’t need to make the class system harder to navigate by deciding that a certain trim of facial hair, or a specific type of hat, is intended as an affront to progressive values.


I totally understand what you’re saying, but it also sounds a little like flop city to me. I also grew up working class, and I also get the sinking feeling that if I met many of you in person, I’d be pegged as a Trump supporter on sight. Then again, maybe not, because I realize most people are more reasonable than that. Just because people’s appearance reflects their culture, which may tangentially be tied into their political beliefs, does not mean that literally every person with a vandyke is definitely for sure a neo Nazi. Is there a correlation there? I think that there is, but that’s not the same as saying every man, or even most men, with that specific facial hair style intends to consciously signal something. Just because I’m on the side that thinks there’s a correlation doesn’t mean I’m an urban, professional type. By upbringing, I’m the furthest thing from that, but you’re making us sound like the preppie bad guys from an early 80s National Lampoon movie.

I’m not sure why that thread turned out the way it did. This shouldn’t be an off limits topic, and there’s no reason for anyone to get offended.


That’s definitely a contentious thing to say. I am difficult to offend, but I like to give people some benefit of doubt to explain that/why something is problematic. Where that gets tricky is that many people respond by feeling personally hurt, even by comments which weren’t directed at them. That’s their right, I suppose, but I think it makes the process hard to learn from.

The worst of it I think is not being disliked or avoided for one’s actual words, but when people tell you that it is because of what those words - and extension, you - represent to them. Because I can take responsibility for what I say, but not how others may choose to interpret this. Sometimes I can guess, sometimes I cannot. There is no defense against “you might as well have said”. With many, maintaining their preferred ingroup/outgroup boundary is far more important than open discussion, because the former feels safely insular, and there are no guarantees that the latter won’t go in complicated or awkward directions. So the compromise many make is to have a sort of cultural/subcultural “script” of token positions, and anything outside of that is more likely to arouse suspicions about one’s character, rather than curiousity about the nuances of one’s views. There probably is no easy answer!


And I mean that in the best way.


I decided to shut the thread down to give everyone a time out. I had some private conversations with members participating in that thread. There were some people taking things very very literally and focusing on the rightness and wrongness of the minutiae of beard growing. There were people reading it at this very literal level and others reading at a more general conversational level and it wasn’t making for a good interaction. I think it was a good call to request everyone take a breather on the topic.

I want to address some of the issues of conversation that were happening on that thread in a more general way. I am seeking information to help me explain some of what was happening there and some ideas for helping people interact better.


Wait… what?


If you’d like to request that your account be suspended, banned, or deleted, please send a private message to @staff or @moderators.


We’re in contact.


It’s your site, so my thoughts are worth about what they should be, but… I disagree with this policy. There are circumstances under which public discussion of someone’s departure is appropriate, in my opinion, and this is one of them.


To clarify:

If you want to announce your intent to leave publicly, please feel free to do so.

If you want the moderators or administrators to do something, please contact them directly.

I’d much rather the discussion happen in public. I just don’t want the actual implementation of the request to be driven by a public comment.

As a side note: I noticed that the @staff and @moderators groups were not publicly addressable before I posted the earlier message. I’ve corrected that. Sorry if anyone tried to use them and were previously unable to.


Public declarations you’re leaving a message board are ego-driven weaksauce and should only be met with eye rolling.


They can be. Or they can be an attempt to start a dialogue about systemic issues.

Context is important.


Unlikely. But if they are they’re doing it in a self-defeating way and would be better served with a simple, “I think the mods are fucking up.” rather than using their lack of presence in an attempt to blackmail the powers that be into getting what they want.




I ain’t mad at ya.


It may seem trite, but flagging really is the best way to get a moderator’s attention. They can’t watch every thread, but flags are very prominently displayed to the moderators. If you want to have a conversation about moderation or lack thereof, this is a good place, or start a new topic if you’d prefer.

Protip: It takes only 3 flags for a post to be hidden without moderator intervention. If you see a post that you think deserves a flag, do it even if you can see that it’s already been flagged. It should go without saying, but don’t flag maliciously, and try not to overuse the off topic flag either.