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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:41 PM   #1
50548
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Moderation standards and excesses

Dear Moderators,

Obviously this message may come across as blunt, or perhaps even infringe some implied "do not talk publicly about moderation actions" policy here.

In any case, I am posting this thread after some 10 days of "suspension" from these forums, as if I were some sort of naughty kid breaking school desks or the like.

I have owned Apple devices since 1989, and actively participate in this forum since 2005, not only contributing to discussions but also providing advice (whenever I can) to younger and/or newer users. I may also be known for my sometimes caustic or provoking remarks, which are in no way intended to offend individual members (with the only obvious exception being offensive remarks against me, which are promptly responded in kind even if this entails some sort of "double standard" measure by some moderators).

As written to a member of the moderation team a few days ago, I can only regret the decision to deem my use of the admittedly-derogatory term "droidtards" as extremely "offensive" to a member or members, even though no one was targeted in particular. On the contrary, the term "droidtards" was simply a general comment directed at those who thought Apple was "doomed" in the smartphone arena.

To draw a parallel, this was just as "offensive" as on the countless occasions where MR members critical of Apple and its customers have employed the term "iLemmings", "iSheep" or similar provocative expressions. Did I feel personally offended? Of course not, because I do not consider myself "wearing that hat" anyway, nor would I worry about such nonsensical remarks. The same applies for any sensible Android user, who will not feel offended by my generic remark unless he deems, himself, as a less-than-enlightened individual in an Apple-centric forum.

So although I was not surprised by your decision to apply that suspension, I can only regret the increasingly-worrying pattern of double standards and arbitrary decisions concerning longtime members of the community, who end up constituting the very pattern of success for this forum and are always willing to provide assistance to those who need it.

Moreover, my criticism goes to the manner used for implementing such suspensions, where no legitimate means for counter-arguing are put at the disposal of members (not to mention the fact that one never knows which specific moderator has single-handedly decided against a certain post).

Instead, a longtime MR member and enthusiastic contributor to this forum receives a 10-day suspension without any prior warning, means of redress or even discussion before such an extreme measure was adopted.

Once more: NO SINGLE individual has been attacked by the generic comment; a 10-day suspension was absolutely disproportional to the alleged "harm" caused (none, in fact); and such arbitrary decision goes against the very core of a functioning community, which is to allow for candid exchanges (however controversial) and to enable members to help others whenever necessary (something that I have done countless times on MR without receiving a single penny in return).

As for the threat of "future escalation" expressed by someone from the moderation team, I can only reject to be treated as a "rebel infant", especially when the first suspension was caused by a legitimate reaction to a direct offense that was NOT dealt with accordingly, at least as transparency in terms of the measures taken is concerned.

My final recommendations: (1) enable users (especially longtime ones/those who are clearly NOT stupid kids/trolls/one-time posters) to counter-argue before an excessive measure is taken; (2) make sure that you COMMUNICATE what measures have been taken to protect a member when others are also involved in a certain situation (otherwise, how is one supposed to know whether his own suspension is fair?); and (3) ensure proportionality to the measures taken.

Best,

BRLawyer
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:46 PM   #2
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BRLawyer,
since you're raising specific moderation actions, do you wish to waive your privacy rights so the admins can address complaints and issues?
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Or.....steer your language from not able to be considered offensive by anyone.

What point or reaction were you trying to achieve by using the term which you used? In no way, can "droidtards" be viewed as a positive contribution towards a thread. Just my opinion

Also, to my understanding, the punishments take into account prior history. If it was your first offense (no idea if it was) then the penalty is usually light or a warning. If you have had repeated cases of this behavior, then the penalty may be more severe for the same offense.

If you see the usage of isheep or other terms like that, it doesn't excuse the use of that style of insults in my opinion. I would just report and move on. The mods don't monitor every post of every thread.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:57 PM   #4
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Anything can be twisted to be offensive to just about anyone.

There are a number of supposed offenses I have encountered that would not be concerned offensive to a normal, mature adult.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace View Post
Good grief. Get rid of the legalese and just friggin talk .

I've been on both sides good and bad.

This form letter crap has got to stop and everybody needs to become a human again.
Who is the audience for your post? Mods or members?
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica. View Post
Anything can be twisted to be offensive to just about anyone.

There are a number of supposed offenses I have encountered that would not be concerned offensive to a normal, mature adult.

----------



Who is the audience for your post? Mods or members?
Whoever will listen. The form letter was directed at Q to be honest.



And as far as insults ?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...8&postcount=11

One can go to almost any long thread and find tons of insults and infractions but we are asked to report them.

Well kids if moderators need regular members help in moderating I'd say MR needs either more cops or fewer laws.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:04 PM   #6
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I've been suggesting democracy on the web for years. People usually just laugh at me. This is a good example of why it's needed though. We don't really have any say in anything you mods do at all. I understand it would slow everything down tremendously, but that's kinda the point of democracy when all's said and done. Slow things down so each part can be analyzed fairly.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConCat View Post
I've been suggesting democracy on the web for years. People usually just laugh at me. This is a good example of why it's needed though. We don't really have any say in anything you mods do at all. I understand it would slow everything down tremendously, but that's kinda the point of democracy when all's said and done. Slow things down so each part can be analyzed fairly.
Except you donít live in MacRumors
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
BRLawyer,
since you're raising specific moderation actions, do you wish to waive your privacy rights so the admins can address complaints and issues?
I'll repeat this question. If you give us a waiver, I can post a review of your moderation history and correct the inaccurate information you've given in your post.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Hell. I'll get the ball rolling. hehe

BRLawyer you often go to an extreme when making comments about Apple,Microsoft,Samsung et.al.

People know it. You know it and more importantly the mods know it. You probably even have your own little thread in the moderator forum. As do I I'm sure.

That's probably why the hammer fell on you.

I've gotten mine. A couple of times. Deal with it. These people here are never going to change their minds. Too much pride at stake.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConCat View Post
This is why democracies are truly remarkable things. The leaders never have any incentive to start one, in fact, quite the opposite. Dictatorships and monarchies are what you get normally. If you want to do things the way you do them, you have the right, this is Arn and co's site and yours to do with as you please, but don't pretend that not giving the users a say is somehow the best way to do things, otherwise you can go move to North Korea.
This site is amongst the more lenient ones I know of and participate in.

Some sites ban you for the most frivolous things. At least here, the mod team is somewhat responsible and fair with dealings of how they act.

And this is a forum. Not a country. I support Arn to do whatever he wants with this site. If I don't like it or get fed up with how it is being handled, I'll leave. Until then, I won't.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:31 PM   #11
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tl;dr

re moderation excess, after one timeout expired, a moderator was kind enough to actively go through my post history looking for other deemed infractions and then gave me another one.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:54 PM   #12
Peace
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Good grief. Get rid of the legalese and just friggin talk .

I've been on both sides good and bad.

This form letter crap has got to stop and everybody needs to become a human again.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRLawyer View Post
Dear Moderators,

Obviously this message may come across as blunt, or perhaps even infringe some implied "do not talk publicly about moderation actions" policy here.

In any case, I am posting this thread after some 10 days of "suspension" from these forums, as if I were some sort of naughty kid breaking school desks or the like.

I have owned Apple devices since 1989, and actively participate in this forum since 2005, not only contributing to discussions but also providing advice (whenever I can) to younger and/or newer users. I may also be known for my sometimes caustic
not caustic bro god damb
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 05:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRLawyer View Post
In summary, I'd rather hear from active moderators instead of those purporting to have a role that is no longer there.
Just to let you know, we aren't ignoring you and a response will be given by an Admin in due course.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 06:05 AM   #15
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Throw a supposed lawyer in the mix and it all goes to hell. Sounds right. Lots of hot air without much substance from both sides.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 06:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRLawyer View Post
Dear Moderators,

the sandpit you gave me free entry to isn't to my liking. i don't believe the custodians of the sandpit should be permitted to rule their sandpit as they see fit


dude, it's a forum. people get banned for doing stuff, sometimes you get banned/moderated, sometimes you don't.

cop it on the chin, go outside, read a book - whatever - move on. if it repeatedly happens to you and you find the atmosphere too restrictive - find somewhere else more suited to your taste.

moderation of forums (i have done it before) is a thankless task - you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

the absolute WORST thing you could do for all parties involved is what you have done - attempt to turn the user base against the staff in a free public forum.

nobody will win that, but you will lose worse; nothing pi**es an admin off more than having some user start a discussion about how hard done by they are by staff in a public forum, when said staff donate their time and energy to running the place for you for nothing.


put it another way in language you may understand as a lawyer.

i chat with you in a casual non-official capacity, don't officially pay for "legal advice". i act on said casual conversation, things go bad, and i badmouth you for giving me bad advice. how would you feel as a lawyer? ripped off? unfairly slandered?
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Last edited by throAU; Jan 30, 2013 at 06:58 AM. Reason: no TLDR... got carried away :D
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 07:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
the sandpit you gave me free entry to isn't to my liking. i don't believe the custodians of the sandpit should be permitted to rule their sandpit as they see fit


dude, it's a forum. people get banned for doing stuff, sometimes you get banned/moderated, sometimes you don't.

cop it on the chin, go outside, read a book - whatever - move on. if it repeatedly happens to you and you find the atmosphere too restrictive - find somewhere else more suited to your taste.

moderation of forums (i have done it before) is a thankless task - you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

the absolute WORST thing you could do for all parties involved is what you have done - attempt to turn the user base against the staff in a free public forum.

nobody will win that, but you will lose worse; nothing pi**es an admin off more than having some user start a discussion about how hard done by they are by staff in a public forum, when said staff donate their time and energy to running the place for you for nothing.


put it another way in language you may understand as a lawyer.

i chat with you in a casual non-official capacity, don't officially pay for "legal advice". i act on said casual conversation, things go bad, and i badmouth you for giving me bad advice. how would you feel as a lawyer? ripped off? unfairly slandered?
" Sandpit"

Forgive me, but maybe this place isn't for you...
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Last edited by Macman45; Jan 30, 2013 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 06:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
TLDR:
Pro tip: may want to skip pointing out the length of a post if you're going to post just as much, if not more, in response.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 06:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica. View Post
Pro tip: may want to skip pointing out the length of a post if you're going to post just as much, if not more, in response.
But..BUT BUT...what part of the RULES does the OP fail to understand...

If he would like to contact me ( PM) I will happily explain..


NOW do you see why the only folks who get rich in cases are lawyers?
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 07:36 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macman45 View Post
But..BUT BUT...what part of the RULES does the OP fail to understand...

If he would like to contact me ( PM) I will happily explain..


NOW do you see why the only folks who get rich in cases are lawyers?
I wasn't quoting the OP though. I was being somewhat funny about the "TLDR" then following it with a wall of text. The OP should not e-mail you and discuss rules because, with due respect, you're not a mod and should not task yourself with mod-like duties. I realize your desire to help, but the OP needs the information to come from the sources who enforce the existing rules on the site. Not for nothing, your willingness to help is probably noted by the people who can put you in a position to moderate, but for now, I personally would leave it to them. It is merely an opinion so YMMV.

In the end the OP will likely take his toys and go home. We'll weep the weep of sadness and loss for another long-standing member and 5 minutes later we'll move on in the same direction, wayward or otherwise, that we always do. There will be no financial strain on the site if he leaves, there seems to be little love-loss if any long-standing member who has contributed to the site leaves, and most of all, if he ever returns then some will think "I remember that guy" and that will be that. This thread, and all others like it, all seem to have the same results; positive and/or negative.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 09:51 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica. View Post
This thread, and all others like it, all seem to have the same results; positive and/or negative.

This thread is interesting because itís one of the few where the OP boldly goes and grants the privacy waiver to have their record discussed in public. Most back down at this point, wisely in my opinion, and to BRLawyer Iíd urge that itís not too late to reconsider and request that this thread be closed so that your dirty laundry is not aired in public.

For those who have never moderated any forum, a large part of moderating at MacRumors involves group discussion and copious record-taking. If anyone wishes to make a public issue of how you think youíve been treated and if you grant the administrators the right to discuss these matters in public, in most cases youíre opening a huge can of worms, because your memory of events is not as detailed, time-stamped, easily-linked and retrievable. I suspect that weíre going to see a formidable demonstration of this within the next 12 hours.

Once an administrator gets involved in the thread, moderators usually give way, but those of us who are retired are like retired athletes in the commentary box, bloviating about what they think is going onÖ and from experience, I expect annk to be thorough. Her and I may not see eye to eye on many things, and I suspect we'd like each other more in person rather than the stilted form of message boards and their artificial constraints of hierarchy and procedure, but I would never underestimate her attention to detail, especially since the gauntlet has been thrown down:


Quote:
Originally Posted by annk View Post
Your moderation history is fairly extensive

Six simple words that say so much.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Velvet View Post
This thread is interesting because itís one of the few where the OP boldly goes and grants the privacy waiver to have their record discussed in public. Most back down at this point, wisely in my opinion, and to BRLawyer Iíd urge that itís not too late to reconsider and request that this thread be closed so that your dirty laundry is not aired in public.

For those who have never moderated any forum, a large part of moderating at MacRumors involves group discussion and copious record-taking. If anyone wishes to make a public issue of how you think youíve been treated and if you grant the administrators the right to discuss these matters in public, in most cases youíre opening a huge can of worms, because your memory of events is not as detailed, time-stamped, easily-linked and retrievable. I suspect that weíre going to see a formidable demonstration of this within the next 12 hours.

Once an administrator gets involved in the thread, moderators usually give way, but those of us who are retired are like retired athletes in the commentary box, bloviating about what they think is going onÖ and from experience, I expect annk to be thorough. Her and I may not see eye to eye on many things, and I suspect we'd like each other more in person rather than the stilted form of message boards and their artificial constraints of hierarchy and procedure, but I would never underestimate her attention to detail, especially since the gauntlet has been thrown down:
.
This thread had me curious.
I find these words by Blue to be very kind in gesture; they should be read carefully by OP.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 01:57 PM   #23
50548
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Velvet View Post
This thread is interesting because itís one of the few where the OP boldly goes and grants the privacy waiver to have their record discussed in public. Most back down at this point, wisely in my opinion, and to BRLawyer Iíd urge that itís not too late to reconsider and request that this thread be closed so that your dirty laundry is not aired in public.
Honestly, your arrogance and condescending attitude continue to amaze me, especially as a "retired" moderator participating in this thread. I have already waived such "privacy" rights exactly in order to obtain the clarification I seek, as long as no private email addresses or contact details are shared in public (why should they anyway?).

"Dirty laundry"? You mean my post history over almost eight years? Or perhaps the few warnings I've received over double posting (when I didn't remember to click on the multiquote button) or for bumping a thread?

Perhaps they may wish to check also how many times I, as a longtime member, have constructively responded and provided advice to countless requests for assistance from other members - do you qualify that as "dirty laundry" as well?

Quote:
For those who have never moderated any forum, a large part of moderating at MacRumors involves group discussion and copious record-taking. If anyone wishes to make a public issue of how you think youíve been treated and if you grant the administrators the right to discuss these matters in public, in most cases youíre opening a huge can of worms, because your memory of events is not as detailed, time-stamped, easily-linked and retrievable. I suspect that weíre going to see a formidable demonstration of this within the next 12 hours.
I have been a moderator for a good amount of time in a different Mac-related forum - no need to lecture us on how things work or whether "Brlawyer" is going to feel shocked by such a "formidable demonstration" of timestamping. This is the kind of fearmongering we don't need to hear about now.

Quote:
Six simple words that say so much.
Speak for yourself, please. My request is already expressed above, and admins are free to respond in private or public, in the same way as I've expressed my issues privately and publicly (now).

I have respectfully submitted my considerations, and await their respectful response - once more, in response to your personally and directly offensive question that implied exactly what you ironically meant to imply ("Are you eight?"): you do NOT need to contribute to this discussion on possible double standards and moderation excesses by resorting to ad personam attacks...at least try to use your moderation "experience" for something more constructive in this policy debate, instead of expressing such a constant admiration for yourself.

And I am glad you have work to do; I have similar time constraints here.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 02:04 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by jessica. View Post
In the end the OP will likely take his toys and go home. We'll weep the weep of sadness and loss for another long-standing member and 5 minutes later we'll move on in the same direction, wayward or otherwise, that we always do. There will be no financial strain on the site if he leaves, there seems to be little love-loss if any long-standing member who has contributed to the site leaves, and most of all, if he ever returns then some will think "I remember that guy" and that will be that. This thread, and all others like it, all seem to have the same results; positive and/or negative.
I have always enjoyed participating in this community; so unless my thread is considered so annoying that the powers-that-be decide for my banning, I don't think it's necessary to "take my toys and go home".

But if the site really thinks that "losing one long-standing member is irrelevant since we are so big now", then perhaps I've got all the clarification I need in a very simple statement.

Again: all I seek is more clarity on proportionality grounds, and whether admins feel like a more sensible approach is warranted in terms of how mods do their work.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 02:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRLawyer View Post
But if the site really thinks that "losing one long-standing member is irrelevant since we are so big now", then perhaps I've got all the clarification I need in a very simple statement.
Just to be clear: jessica. is not a member of MR staff and she does not represent the site. She is simply a long-standing member offering advice to another long-standing member.
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