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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Currently in Switzerland
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.


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