But that’s the problem for me and people like me who have a hard time confronting authority. (This is a part of my core development which I am slowly getting over. My children challenge me all the time and I welcome it but the relationship is well established and they trust that there will not be a backlash to non submission /compliance )
Maidsafe welcomes whistle blowers by giving them anonymity. I hope this forum can reflect some of that by developing a process / procedure to keep people who flag moderators anonymous. Until then, I do not think much will change.
I’m not sure how we can address them, except as we do now in doing our best to respond to feedback and criticism. It is hard for us when people attack or criticise us (especially knowing the dedication, hard work and integrity we see from each other behind the scenes), but as mods we have accepted that and can - like you - use it to grow.
I’m sure there will be alternative models of forum enabled by decentralised and democratising technology, including in SAFEnetwork. But primarily I think for most cases, quality moderation will win out. I’m also too used up by the work here to think much about that, so maybe when one day I step down I’ll have more to say about other ways of doing this. I’m sure it is possible, but I don’t see or have any ideas that I think would help at this point. I’m all ears though - and very keen to see what @Seneca can create. He’s a great thinker so I’m hoping his project Decorum will be a great success
Woow, that’s quite amazing. Glad you started posting and glad this is your first Forum . I was active on others years ago, but not that much as I’m here. We indeed have ups and downs here, it keeps surprising me.
My authority is that I’m allowed to move a topic to a different category all by myself. Same for removing spam . But for all the other actions like deleting a topic I should always discuss it with other mods who are online. I see myself more like a volunteer that does this instead of working for a local sports club.
Would be ok if we had a mechanism like that, but I don’t think it’s possible with a plug in here on the forum or so. And on the other hand, it’s good to have some PM back and forth people to get all points clear. So again, feel free to do it, you’ll become part of a discussion over PM and can make your points clear. You’ll always get a reply. We do make mistakes and it’s great when someone flags a reply and says: “I don’t agree with this decision” or “I have a question about this or that”. It makes us look at it again.
I witnessed this happen and while I understood why you did it I still did not agree with that approach.
Especially if you are volunteering which I think you did for a long time and I have a lot of respect for you because of that. Our natural response is to defend ourselves when being attacked. When the moderators were addressing Al_Kafir a while back, I did not agree with his view or his approach. But the moderator that responded to Al_Kafir the best IMO was @frabrnelle.[quote=“frabrunelle, post:10, topic:6691”]
I think you raise a lot of good points and I agree that the current moderation system is not as open, transparent, democratic and decentralized as it could be.
I am certain that there will be major improvements to the moderation system in the upcoming months and years.
On the other hand, I strongly believe that it’s currently not the right timing to make major changes to the moderation system.
Then he goes on to list his reasons. I appreciated his response and so did Al_Kafir
What I appreciated about Team_2E16 is that he did not go on a personal attach like Al_Kafir did.He even said[quote=“Team_2E16, post:1, topic:7361”]
Let me finally say this: I, personally, have not actually fallen ‘victim’ to any of what I call this ‘activist moderation’. I am not here saying this because I have been personally offended or snubbed. But I don’t need to be a direct victim of these policies in order to feel suppressed by them. Which is the real damage that the ‘chilling effect’ inflicts.
I stand in the same position and have had a great experience with the moderators so far.
May I recommend a video that was recently shared with me by a wonderful forum member (@Jabba) that is rocking my world. It is possible to not here criticism my friends.
I too look forward to what @Seneca can do. Until then, I guess PMs will have to do.
That video is life-changing isn’t it?! Once you’ve ploughed through the first 30 mins you get completely hooked and start to see communication in a completely different way.
I just wish I could live up to the ideas in it… goingdeep found out the other day that I’m still capable of being acerbic, aggressive and fighting my corner to be ‘right’ instead of just listening to what feelings and needs are being expressed by others.
/sigh, life is a learning circle, not a learning curve.
Thanks @Safety1st I’m familiar with NVC so won’t watch the video. I agree it is powerful and we can all learn from it, though it isn’t easy to practice of course - hence my points about accepting the challenges here and using them (as you mentioned) to grow.
Now I’m off to write some code! Well, at least think about it, I’m so rusty (no pun intended ) I’m constantly having to scale back my ambitions until I find something I have the time to try… once there was SAFEpress, now there is The First SAFE Web and SAFE Webring, and who knows, maybe a little web app!
Thank you everyone who has answered the topic so far; it’s heartening to see the subject being taken seriously, and in the spirit in which I intended it to be received
Absolutely. I managed to read it before it was taken down. I think it was a very edgy post, and see the mod’s point on extortion etc, and the fact that it may be airing grievances of legal nature, and this is not the place to do so. It was rather the ensuing conversation that spurred this post; it brought up some issues that I believe have been relevant for me over my time here. I also think the replies on the replacement thread show a simmering in some members (not naming any names), that may indicate how they feel. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re right, but I’ll note that in many arguments, nobody is really ‘wrong’ per se, at least when it comes to qualitative/opinion-based/emotional arguments, rather than logical ones.
No, that’s a great point. I think, though, that my level of interest increases where I see disagreement, and so I tend to be reading more contentious topics, and probably more likely come across the active moderation that I describe in my OP. I certainly am not claiming that this attitude is widespread, either among mods or in how they/you apply policies across the forum. But I’ve seen some pretty stunning attitudes/actions as well.
I never thought of flagging a mod, to be honest lol
It sounds like reporting the police to the police haha. But ok, if the occasion presents itself. After all, you all can’t arrest anyone for real.
The problem with this is that much of what I refer to in the OP are not really individual instances, but rather a pattern of behaviour over time. I would think that if one of these posts was being flagged, people wouldn’t see much of an issue with it. But over a period of days or weeks, the pattern (I believe a harassing pattern, at least in the ‘correct speech’ example) emerges. Also note that this activity was always worded in careful language, and on it’s face, could sound reasonable. It is only when you place all elements together (moderator authority dynamic, posts taken as a sum total, passive-aggressiveness, and certain mods’ eternal opposition to the political viewpoints expressed) that it becomes something of a problem. Just consider that most people, perhaps mods included, would not be able to decipher all of this particular issue easily, had they not been following it closely for a period of time, or had they not been the user, or the moderator, involved.
And you certainly shouldn’t! The issue isn’t whether mods should or shouldn’t be allowed to express themselves. You have just as much a right as anyone else to do so, and if my post here was to result in mods having to limit their speech, I would be saddened, and consider that I have failed. The real issue, for me, is in how moderation decisions intermingle with political positions. It’s obvious that many people’s morals are the foundation for their political positions; some use principle, but it’s often not the case. And so people feel a need to counter other’s ‘errors’ because they consider it a ‘moral duty’, or at least it seems that way.
I’ve been dealing with individuals for about a decade in daily forum use. It may be annoying when a user decides to morally patrol your speech, or make it their mission to ‘correct’ you on your ‘errors’. But this is expected, and tolerable. Consider, though, that when a mod does it, it carries far more weight, and always involves an element of risk (of banning and other forms of disciplinary action).
Imagine you are a protester. If an individual citizen who disagrees with you follows you around, giving you a menacing, steely glare, you would probably feel as if you are intimidated, or that they were trying to intimidate you. Imagine now that that person is not a citizen, but a member of the police. There’s a reason for the difference; you know that this particular individual not only is intimidating you, but that you have much less of an ability to defend yourselves against accusations and infringements upon your freedom, should they decide to abuse their power. So it is this dynamic that I am calling attention to. But of course, it’s not as black and white, or as clear-cut as my example, on this forum. Even so, the dynamic exists, and it affects the users actions and the conversation (or lack thereof) that persists.
That’s a good policy, and speaks to your integrity in your role.
Yes, I think that the off-topic topic is a positive one, and does indeed allow for non-Safe-related talk. The problem, IMO, is the shifting of conversations to Off-topic is, or at least has been, performed at a lower threshold than I think appropriate. It’s a difficult choice. But Safe is inherently political. It takes a stand against censorship, spying, breaches of ownership of private data etc. So it is inevitable that political principles are brought up. I understand that there is a subtle difference between two people simply doggedly arguing about, well, often dogma, compared to trying to make their case about an important principle which relates to the topic at hand. I’ve seen and taken part in both here, so I understand the problem.
Some poor soul starts a topic about data types, and minutes later, a socialist and a free-marketer are arguing about philosophical underpinnings of liberty, monetary policy, and inflation. I’ve been guilty of this in the past.
That’s clearly dragging the conversation too far off-topic. But what about cases where decisions are to be made in the thread; cases that concern an important feature, or where community members are pushing projects, or even MaidSafe, to consider their opinion? Sometimes, the philosophical position applies and is very important to the outcome. And when the moderator on duty is sympathetic to one side of the argument, I’ve seen everything progress nicely until their political opponents start to question the principles employed by others. BAM! Off-topic! I think this detracts from the idea’s development, and perhaps even detracts from peoples’ opportunities to learn more and consider other arguments.
Solution? Heck, that’s a tough one. I fully understand that all moderators, biased or no, have to make a subjective decision at the time, in consultation with other mods. One’s political positions or emotional inclinations are somewhat inseparable from their logic. And so we get what we have. I would say we could have some sort of mini-vote (in-thread vote) at the time, but then we would simply see the minority political view silenced (shifted to OT), and I actually think that it’s the minority view that matters, simply because in the worst case, these views can sharpen your skills and improve one’s arguments, and in the best case, unearth one’s own errors in one’s own logic.
Again, it’s more a pattern of behaviour than direct, easily-understood examples I could point to. There are some examples, but I didn’t want to make this about individuals or take a ‘name-and-shame’ approach; there’s not much to be gained there. Also, when I see other users treated this way, I’m always careful to allow them the freedom to take their own exception to what’s going on.
No, it’s another attitude I’ve seen expressed over time in response to questions about the ‘roadmap’. Personally, I don’t feel a need for a roadmap (outside the fact that I’d love to dev something, but without knowing what’s coming and when, it makes it harder), but was simply bringing up a point I’ve seen raised. It’s been dismissed a little quickly IMO, as people out there obviously think it’s something important. But I will note that context matters, in this case successive dev updates, and I am probably unaware to what extent these members raising the issue are engaged in FUD-mongering. That said, as I put forward above, I just think that in the interests of the project, we should all try to ease the doubts of the user concerned, but more importantly in the case of FUD, ease the doubts of those others that they have injected with worry…
I do broadly agree with this.
This is true, and when it comes to info on the project, you guys and long-standing members have put a great deal of effort into providing a ‘welcoming front door’. I appreciate that.
I won’t repeat what I wrote above, but I will reference it. Sometimes there is a clear case for OT, sometimes it is important for the technical topic at hand, IMO. I’ve seen very important discussions of a political nature shifted to Off-topic from inside threads that (IMO) benefited greatly from their inclusion.
I appreciate your view here. These are the reasons I don’t frequent those types of forums very often at all (if at all). It’s certainly why I never post there. I do agree that a forum about c++ shouldn’t have to tolerate people arguing communism vs capitalism, for example. But do you see my point about this? Safe is inherently political, though the stance of the organisation is apolitical, as it should be. Safe even existing raises political issues. C++ obviously does not, and many other projects do not. Further, it’s up to the mods at those sites, in consideration of the community’s views, to decide whether they will allow/tolerate/encourage/ban these types of conversations. Without seeming rude, I think your point amounts to comparing this forum to the worst kind of examples. I don’t think that’s entirely relevant, save a pointing-out of terrible examples that hopefully we don’t wish to experience here. (On the other hand, it’s important for me to acknowledge what we do right here. And so I do broadly agree)
To counter your examples, I have spent time on around six or seven different forums over the past decade whose policies were less restrictive than here. No off-topic comment-shifting. Certainly no ‘correction of speech’, save abusive/threatening people. They lacked certain activist moderators who were willing to act in a way that I believe is inappropriate. I guess they were less, shall we say, ‘paternalistic’.
Again, consider my position. I come from a minority political viewpoint. If you do not share that political viewpoint, you may not be sensitive to, and so you may not notice, marginalisation when it occurs. What I’m talking about is somewhat subtle, rather than necessarily always direct.
And I don’t really blame you for that! I’ve seen you personally in endlessly circular arguments with people who seem stuck on details, rather than the important points. At some point, you have to disengage and say these things. I often see this retort given out too quickly, though (not by the mods), and it can quickly silence opposition in some.
Thank you for your reply on this; frankly your response has helped already.
@BIGbtc I agree with all of your points here. Thanks for your comment!
Well, how could I refuse such a request
I’m certainly willing to try to do that; the mod response so far has been very positive, and it’s good to know that others who take a positive stance here also see some truth in what I pointed out. Thanks for your comment
I think the perception has varied on this. To be clear, I know the policy has never varied. But I think the danger lies in when we see certain characters who clash with the mods, and the user doesn’t go and read everything relevant to the discussion. Having clashed with some of these characters myself, I never really let this affect my opinion of the mods, but have preferred to stay agnostic on the issues. Having gone and read some more of the context, I often find myself swinging over to the mod’s side of the argument anyway.
Agreed, and also the fact that people have in fact been banned for simply (stubbornly) standing by their points of view. I think if we look carefully into context, we do indeed find that they just won’t stop haranguing the mods about their position, but still. It puts everybody on notice, and we often don’t get to see a clear timeline of what took place to get that user to that point. I would say that the best thing to do would be to have a timeline (IE a sequence of back and forth posts that show what lead to the banning), like a justification thread. Kind of like public court documents, something to help the users and the mods get on the same page.
Agreed on both counts.
Thanks, I’m glad this came across clearly to people. There’s been enough animosity going on without adding to it
Everyone brings value in one way or another IMO. I don’t normally check the Meta category and was lead here when viewing @Piddlestrom who is new to the forum and I find to be hilarious.
The nice thing about the forum setting is that I never have to worry about having to restrain someone from physically harming me. What I appreciate about the mods here is that they help filter the verbal assaults that can sometimes be more damaging. For example, I don’t mind cursing every once in a while especially when it is meant for humor. However, I do not want to participate in a forum of sailors even though I am not a ‘child’.
You cannot directly do it with this forum software. But of course as a community you can get a forum friend to flag for you and not mention your forum name.
But really don’t be afraid to do so, because as you say this forum is a bit like a family and as mods we have to “live” here too. Consideration of others is a very important aspect of a family and if we looked down on a genuine complaint of our actions as mods then we fail being family members.
You can PM that mod as well. Even without a Flag or a message to moderators or whatever. Just PM and say: “Hi, I’ve seen some mod actions done by you over the last few months and I want to talk about it”. This happened before and I can’t imagine we have mods that have a problem with that. Actually I think it’s the opposite.
Well, that’s not the case. If someone shows up making all these claims about how we as moderators suck we don’t ban someone. It happened in a topic over the last days and we took quite some heat. And that’s ok. There was some very strong debate here in META over the last few months as well but we never banned someone for just having an opinion and stick by it.
Yes, we started this in a kind of way. There are 2 points to that, 1) When someone is mad about something and goes over the line a bit, why would we share that with the whole forum? We had a ban for 24H for a person that got really mad and gave us a really hard time by stepping over the line. One day later everything was fine and I really don’t feel the need to post anything about that here in META. We all get mad sometimes and a cool-off is just fine. No need to put someone’s name out here. 2) That’s my second point as well, when people get listed as being banned, and we tell why, it’s open for the whole forum to see. We have to think about that. My opinion is, that when the ban is over we start again from 0. That means that member has no tag to it’s name saying: “This one was banned for this reason”. Stuff to think about.
I would like to say that the number of bans is extremely low and when we do there have been hours of time in it trying to fix it a different way. From just one mod that tries it through PM to a warning on forehand that things are getting close to a ban. If I remember well, we’ve had 4 bans in total now. Except from spam-accounts. We had a lot of these.
First, I apologise for writing ‘have in fact’, rather than ‘seem to have’ in that quote. That’s closer to my opinion, as I cannot see inside your heads to determine exactly what reasons you all have for deciding on a ban. However, the full quote reads (important points highlighted and edit made to 'have in fact’):
I think if you read the revised quote and take into account my next sentence, you will see what I actually meant. I’ve carefully read some of the @Al_Kafir exchanges and I’ve got to say:
He has some important points
He goes about it the wrong way sometimes, perhaps often
Give people enough rope and they’ll hang themselves
I’m only pointing out here that you are kind of falling into a public-perception trap when you ban someone for doggedly pushing an opinion. (I believe you guys call this ‘opinion spamming’) Again, I’m not sure I entirely disagree with you here anyway, because in a general conversation in real-life, I would walk away from them at this point. A ban, I’m not so sure is the right path, though. Conversations need to go both ways in order to even be regarded as a conversation, and parties sometimes have to ‘agree to disagree’. But he was indeed making some important points, also.
What I see when I read these exchanges between the mods and @Al_Kafir is a breakdown in communication, despite attempts by some to bridge the gap. What I see is that he feels slighted, disenfranchised and has lost respect for your opinions, for whatever reason. What I see from the mods is frustration and dismay and some measure of defensiveness. I wonder whether things could be handled differently.
I also see that perhaps other people (non-mods) need to be approaching him and trying to help him learn to communicate in other ways that are more conducive to getting him to where he wants to go. He would have to be open to hearing this, but I think the fact is that he has a problem with authority being unaccountable.
His argument amounts to: “Unaccountable authority is unacceptable”.
Your argument amounts to: “We make ourselves accountable”. I don’t think this is a satisfactory counter-argument, however true it actually is. It’s basically saying “Just trust us”.
I think he is undoubtedly at times disruptive. But in this argument, IMO, he is bang on the money. I believe you when you say or imply that the mods are good-hearted, responsible, approachable people that will ‘self-moderate’. But your methods are not transparent (what moderators anywhere are?) and so his accusations, in the public eye, can carry some weight. Not many people are happy when the police decide whether or not to charge themselves with breaking the law.
Yes, this conversation is proof of that (though I’m far from claiming that you suck), and I respect you and @neo personally for turning up to give your opinion and tell your side of the story.
I read through that, and it kind of comes across as, well, your side only. Yes, you are trying to justify your position, which is the correct thing to do. Yes, you were probably right on that. But the fact is that when a person justifies their actions, they necessarily give only their point of view. Given, @Al_Kafir had given his point of view above, so it’s not all one way. I think in that particular case, heck, it might have looked better if you had simply listed the reasons he was banned and then had a sequential list of links to the full threads these issues occurred in, so people can make up their own mind. I only say this because I’m trying to look at it both ways, and (even though I think you weren’t at all trying to do this) it is possible that some people can read what you posted there, and see it as cherry-picking. Again, I don’t think you were doing this, but it could (and clearly sometimes does, that’s partly why we’re here right now) come across that way.
I agree. Without their permission, and if nobody finds it controversial, I see no need to do it. I get your point about people needing to cool off, and I agree that listing ‘offenses’ could be taken as ‘naming and shaming’, too.
No need to think about it; I agree. I would only advocate a timeline if the member continued to contest the ban (publicly, after the ban is lifted), and/or if the ban was controversial among other members of the forum.
Agreed, my original post was very little about banning and very much about ‘conversation-shaping’ by mods.
OK, so I feel the need to make a few simple points, as I feel the conversation has kind of side-tracked to issues that I wasn’t overly concerned about in the first place.
Being asked to confront/converse with an authority figure about their decision-making processes is something that may work for some, but not others. The intimidation factor is very relevant, and the dynamics of the individuals involved may make any conversation/criticism seem risky (mainly for the member, and in perception or fact).
I think the core of my original post was asking this question: To what extent do mods have a mandate to tell people how to speak? It is my opinion that (some) mod actions have gone too far in the past on this, and I think it has a subtle effect on the conversation here.
I don’t think adding another layer of bureaucracy is either practical, or helpful (like an ‘Internal Affairs’ department for the forum). Anyway, who watches the watchers? So perhaps we could have representatives drawn from among the membership, who could mediate between members with grievances and the moderators. They would have to be respected, trusted, and commit to taking an impartial stance at the outset. They would review the threads, claims and decisions made, and offer an opinion. They would have no other powers or privileges, other than, with all parties permission, the ability to request to view the PM backchat that has gone on. They would also have to have avoided taking a position publicly on the topic prior to the mediation. It would be voluntary on all counts, and other interested members would be able to offer their opinion on whether the mediator was making a fair appraisal of the situation.
a) help the member to feel listened to, outside the so-called ‘inner clique’ of the moderators,
b) hopefully provide a fair-minded non-mod view of the moderators’ decisions and so take some of the strain out of the moderator/member relationship,
c) provide a non-situationally-entangled viewpoint of the incidents that had occurred, and
d) provide for the general membership to feel as if they have an impartial place to go if they clash with mods,
e) provide a ‘blow-off’ valve outlet for members to release some of the energy they have pent up, and mods to do the same.
And finally, and importantly,
f) this person’s job would be to raise their hand privately to the mods when they noticed anything they were uncomfortable with, and would, after attempting to deal with it in private with the mod/s concerned, bring it to the members’ attention if necessary.
I think this achieves what you were suggesting in the way of PM’ing the mods when concerned, but the person doing it would then have a little license in being able to feel like they had a ‘right’ to question the mods in this way. It would still allow people who feel comfortable PM’ing the mods to do so, while it provides a mechanism for those who find it difficult to speak up, to anonymously do so if they wished (as there would be no way to tell if the mediator had been approached by the member or had noticed the mod action by themselves).
Think of a student council member in a university. The mediator’s mission would not be to simply advocate for the members, however. It would be to try to bridge the gap, and, in a friendly way, try to help obstinate members see better pathways for getting what they want, try to help misunderstood members get their point across healthily, while also helping mods to achieve what they want, to minimise time spent on minor disputes and bent noses.
This could be done via PM, or, since I am aware that mods potentially have the ability to read PMs (not saying or implying this would ever happen), members and the mediator could converse via email or something else private. Mediation between mods and members could occur on Slack on a special ‘mediation’ channel, or it could be done in public here, depending on what the parties preferred.
Understanding is always the key, so if the ‘people’ had someone who understood both sides, perhaps there is a way to bridge the gap. The advantage of this idea is that it is voluntary only, there are no extra powers that need to be granted, it would hopefully actually reduce the moderators’ workload in endless arguments, while attempting to help both sides reach a closer understanding of what’s really going on, in the text and the subtext.
Hell, no! I’m genetically and psychologically programmed to have a distaste for exercising authority over others myself, and besides, who would want the stress?
I appreciate this very much (and your vote, too, @polpolrene). It’s an honour to be considered in that way. As I say above, I have a certain distaste for exercising authority myself, and frankly, I think the mods have a tough job. I think the balance between fair and unfair is often very fine, and then there is the concept of ‘doing things for the greater good’ which allows some to make decisions which infringe upon the few, to improve the lot of the many (not saying it happens here. Necessarily).
As a final comment, I feel that many of the problems here could eventually be boiled down to misunderstandings and misperception, even the ones I have raised. We have a lack of information (as not everybody who judges a situation has time to, or the desire to, read all of the context), we have the perception of authority, we have trollish or troll behaviour twisting the narrative, we have noses out of joint, we have (at least the perception of) crusades by both members and mods etc etc etc.
In my mind, the source of the problem really lies in individual ego and willingness to understand each other; to speak, but also to listen. We are indeed all human here, and I have seen both mods and members fall prey to ‘bee-under-their-bonnet-syndrome’, IMO.
NOTE: I am not suggesting myself for the ‘mediator’ role above. If that was to be the case, I would need to see enough of the members (who are concerned about these issues. People who never clash with mods don’t have a problem, and so don’t have a position, really) actually nominating me for the role. I would never deign to nominate myself. And I also feel that I am perhaps not well-known enough, and thus not well-trusted enough, for members (I’m talking about those with grievances) to see me as anything other than another extension of the mod ‘group’ anyway.
Yes I agree. Here’s a topic where me and another mod agreed on several points with his ideas. Again, it’s not black or white. Even with certain people. I agreed with several things open and public. I even had some nice PM’s with AK before this story started.
Making a topic about moderation in META and update it on a daily basis with the same and/or new points and insights is really not a problem. The problem lies when people (talking general here) use a topic about self_encryption to criticize moderation while these same points were made in different topics by that same person already. I think you indeed would agree if you could see some “incidents” come by on our Slack channel. As a user of this forum you miss like 75% of that. And that’s ok. But a lot of people their opinion would change if they would know all the details I think. Although we have a lot of easy time as well. Weeks go by without big interventions.
I agree, and we never banned someone for just spamming opinion, a little trolling, cursing in a topic, or just starting a personal fight here on the forum. There need to be a lot of incidents like that. Not just 1.
I don’t know. That’s like pointing a finger saying, you are not good at something and we can help you to learn. Even if it was someone from the community I would be surprised if he would listen. I think I wouldn’t!
Yes, this is what happend in a sentence. I see us (mods) just like the volunteers at your local tennis club. 1 is behind the bar, another is cleaning up some terrain, another one takes care of accounting. There’s no democracy at these places, no voting for new members, no clear protocols for everything they do. It’s more like; this is one of my friends and he would like to be a volunteer as well. The others talk to him, take him/her in and he/she becomes part of the team. If you really want things to be accountable with all protocols for all possible situations, we as a team would have to spend hours a day on this forum. So I was asked to join, I did and saw we didn’t had Forum Guidelines or anything. So I made a draft, others joined in a Google Drive document and after a few days we put it on the forum and finalized it. Was that democratic? No, but we made it public, wrote about it in the Forum Updates and we also talked about new mods being added. We didn’t have any objection (not a single PM to moderators or a reply in these topics) to these at all. That’s why I always make the point that we indeed represent the community and that we have their support. But I can really understand when people want to see things different. I really do. But we really need to see a proposal or anything, otherwise what should we do?
The links were there, but maybe we indeed should just point to the FG and say, wasn’t in line because of this and that. But I think we actually did it almost in that way. And when we just made the points, then we might have questions about what exact part of the post was not in line with the FG. We made that quite clear in this way I think. And cherry picking, I don’t know. I can’t image if people look at the discussions and think woow, that’s 1 side just bashing the others. 2 parties clearly involved here. But as I said earlier, I think after a certain amount of time, just start at 0 and maybe remove posts like that. But that’s just my opinion so far and before we know it there’s a storm about why we are removing topics and replies out of META .
Ohw you just made my day. Ross from Maidsafe joined the mods on Slack today as he’s trying to have one feet in the community and one at Troon. we talked about creating new topics for bug-report etc. I was thinking the same thing after the discussion we had. I would personally love to have one member added to mods on the forum and Slack without being a mod. Just to watch what we do, what issues we have to solve and whether or not we are modding the right way. It would also satisfy the needs of a number of folks that want more transparency and insight in our little club. I’ll write a proposal for that and sent it to moderators. I will copy you in if you like. Same for having a mediator as you say, this person could do both. Would probably fill the request from @Safety1st as well. One could just PM the intermediate instead of flagging a mod directly. Although Flagging is still possible as well.
Thanks for the reply again. I’ll give it a thought and maybe put it out here without asking other mods as well. If I leave my color away I’m just a community member isn’t it ;-)?
Edit: I send you a PM. Maybe we can come up with something together and see if people like it.
Absolutely part of my point here. That’s why I think that sort of stuff is a ‘perception problem’. And not every (or even many) forum users have the want or need to go read everything in order to understand the whole picture. Which I think adds weight to a ‘mediator’-type role, where both sides can be aired to this person, and they could take the time to do so.
I think it could be done in a right way, or a wrong way. If somebody approaches someone else and says “Your communication is wrong. This is what you should do”, then no, I wouldn’t react well either. But if somebody approaches them and says “It seems to me like you think they aren’t understanding where you’re coming from? Can I help?”, then I think the response might be a little different.
The fact is that you aren’t in these roles, though, in your capacity as moderators (though you do analogous things as well). You’re more like the bouncers at the door of the bar, or security for the club, at least from the view of the members. And I’m not a fan of ‘democratising’ this forum, or any forum. As I stated in my OP, I believe you have the right to run it the way you wish. My goal was more to facilitate a greater understanding on both sides and reduce any underlying tensions, that people may not even realise exists.
In a sense, this is true. But as you pointed out, as a user, I miss 75% of the big picture. I didn’t see the FG proposal myself. I did see the original ‘election’ of moderators, which I was fine with. To claim a mandate based upon lack of opposition in this case is shaky, as most people may not have even been fully aware of the issues. Kind of like voter apathy, I guess. Even so, this is kind of besides the point anyway because again, the point is not to make the ‘government’ here more responsive to the members by requiring voting or any such thing; it’s to alert you guys to my, and possibly others’ concerns, and allow you to do with that what you will. McDonalds has every right to keep selling burgers people don’t like, but when people stop buying them, they would be wise to figure out why (an imperfect analogy, as the mods aren’t paid, and the forum isn’t a money-making venture, so some fundamentals change. But you get the point. I am concerned with, as you are, the forum’s, community’s and project’s success).
Very important point, and true.
Yeah, I really don’t think you were. But I worry about certain people’s perceptions, or ability to point at things like that and twist them. I’ve seen it happen on healthy forums before, and just think that people need to be deprived of as many opportunities to do this as possible.
I’ve only read about 1% of the conversation here (It’s a lot, really a lot ). Just want to say thanks to @Team_2E16 for starting the topic and the discussion about moderation. I’ll read more about this tomorrow and will give my opinion as well.