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View Poll Results: Have you been censored by MacRumors?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 11:32 AM   #226
Peace
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Some of you saw a post I made a few days ago that was deleted. In it I said mods made bets on who would get a TO next. I want to apologize for that statement. I did not intend it to imply there was any actual betting going on behind the curtains. There are not and never has been any actual betting going on. I was trying to say that mods sometimes say things like " I bet he gets a TO in ___ days in a joking way.

As far as the rest of that post I stand by it.


I was not forced in any way,shape or form to make this post. I felt it was necessary to set the record straight.

My apologies to the mods.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 02:40 PM   #227
Doctor Q
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Thanks, Peace. We took your previous comment at face value and considered it serious enough to do a thorough review of our habits and make sure moderators weren't betting or being otherwise unfair to the users they moderate. We didn't find any smoking guns and are glad you posted a clarification.

We also looked at the question of whether moderator humor was beneficial or a sign of a problem. I'm as guilty as anyone of joking about my work in all aspects of life (real job and volunteer work), but not in a mean way, and we don't mind if the moderators tease each other. The mods take their volunteer jobs seriously but we all use humor to reduce stress.

The mods also give each other heads-up predictions about users who are seem likely to continue to break rules. Their guesses are pretty accurate. However, it wouldn't be proper for that kind of prediction to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so we make sure we don't give anyone a time-out based on expected behavior.

The suggestions you've made for better moderator-user communication are worthwhile. You don't want moderators to seem like "overlords" to users and we agree. We try to keep an even tone and never take moderation personally. It takes very good intuition and communication skills (something we look for) to talk to users and figure out if they accidentally broke rules they didn't know about, insulted somebody else in the heat of an argument but didn't mean to go over the line, or are purposely trolling to provoke other users. And it's especially tough when you don't know if you are talking to a 14-year-old student, a 30-year-old professional, or a retiree, and you don't know whether they understand how forums work or whether English is their first language.

Regarding users not knowing the rules: Moderators are selected from the general forum community but since they tend to be the most active users, they represent the "forum regulars" more than the casual poster who may not visit often and may never have even glanced at the forum rules. You've noticed that and we try to keep that in mind. That's why we almost always issue "reminders" when people first trip over the rules, so they don't get the feeling that moderation is punitive or unnecessarily harsh. We've ended up with a lot of rules in order to strike the right balance between permitting all opinions to be voiced while keeping discussions from degenerating into free-for-all name-calling, while handling a wide variety of situations, even though "rule bloat" is a valid concern. I think common sense is the key for keeping a proper perspective.

Feedback threads like this one, where people gripe about their personal moderation experiences, can be awkward because we can't publicly explain the justification for mod actions without permission, but overall it's helpful as a review of how things are going, and they can help us clear the air. Thank you to those who work with us to better this site.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 03:02 PM   #228
alphaod
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Thought I should add something:

Just like you guys have your good and bad days, as users we have our good and bad days.

I see the same members being rude, and sometimes they just need someone to tell them to shut up. Or I see a marketplace thread pop up and the seller is being very unreasonable. It's not really my job, but like in society, sometimes a citizen needs to step in and tell them to stop. Can't always report people; it's often up to common folk to deter people from being scammed (you know those phishing emails? Most people are still uneducated about them, and need regular folks to let them know) or from bullies.

So I called someone names; and I know I'm not suppose to, but it happens from time to time, especially on my bad days and I forget for that second that I shouldn't say something. Then I don't look at the thread again and I forget the thing. Next thing I know, I get a warning, an infraction, or even a timeout.

This sort of moderation is not always necessary. If I didn't know the rules, I'd be breaking them a lot more often. I don't mouth off everyone. If you must know, I've read the forum rules, FAQs, many times. No need to tell me I shouldn't have done it. Just deleting what I wrote would have been fine.

I've seen many users and even [from time to time] moderators break a rule or two, but I don't see them getting the boot nor would I expect it. There should be a reasonable level of tolerance, especially for seasoned members.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 08:42 AM   #229
annk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaod View Post
...

So I called someone names; and I know I'm not suppose to, but it happens from time to time, especially on my bad days and I forget for that second that I shouldn't say something. Then I don't look at the thread again and I forget the thing. Next thing I know, I get a warning, an infraction, or even a timeout.

This sort of moderation is not always necessary. If I didn't know the rules, I'd be breaking them a lot more often. I don't mouth off everyone. If you must know, I've read the forum rules, FAQs, many times. No need to tell me I shouldn't have done it. Just deleting what I wrote would have been fine.
I think it's important that we do moderate as consistently as possible. We can't read members' minds, so I think it's reasonable to expect member to understand why they've been moderated when they break the rules. It doesn't have to be a huge deal; if you break the rules and are moderated, just learn from it and move on. If however you don't understand why you've been moderated, then contact us and we'll explain.

Any other way of doing it would raise accusations of being biased, and no one wins in that case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pknz View Post
Has there been more than one?
Sorry, I've been away sick for a few days.

You can either PM me for details, or you can waive your right to privacy here (I suggest the former, simply because I don't think members' moderation is the business of anyone other than the members involved).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitalclips View Post
I was banned for several days because tried to discuss a warning with a mod, in private I should add.

I had replied to several separate posters as separate posts rather than using a multiple reply. I got a warning that this was not allowed.

I had done this as there was very little in common between the three posts and felt this was far better for clarity than mushing them together. I asked the mod who had warned me privately why on earth it mattered given 'I wasn't exactly wasting paper!' and I was banned immediately without a reply to my question. No doubt he/she was totally within his/her rights and I was wrong.
There is no record of your account having been suspended for this for any length of time, and unless a message from a member is extreme (calling us expletives, insulting us etc) we would certainly not suspend or ban a member for trying to discuss with us.

You can contact me by PM if you would like me to refer the details I have, or you can waive your right to privacy and I'll do it here.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:37 AM   #230
Psychj0e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace View Post
Some of you saw a post I made a few days ago that was deleted. In it I said mods made bets on who would get a TO next. I want to apologize for that statement. I did not intend it to imply there was any actual betting going on behind the curtains. There are not and never has been any actual betting going on. I was trying to say that mods sometimes say things like " I bet he gets a TO in ___ days in a joking way.

As far as the rest of that post I stand by it.


I was not forced in any way,shape or form to make this post. I felt it was necessary to set the record straight.

My apologies to the mods.
even joking about how long it takes for someone to get a ban will inevitable affect how a mod views things that the individual posts & make him more likely to get a ban. completely unprofessional, and omnipotent.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:46 PM   #231
annk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychj0e View Post
even joking about how long it takes for someone to get a ban will inevitable affect how a mod views things that the individual posts & make him more likely to get a ban. completely unprofessional, and omnipotent.
Take another look at Doctor Q's post. That gives a good picture of the actual situation. The moderators and admins take their duties seriously, and there's nothing the least bit unprofessional going on.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 06:40 AM   #232
Psychj0e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annk View Post
Take another look at Doctor Q's post. That gives a good picture of the actual situation. The moderators and admins take their duties seriously, and there's nothing the least bit unprofessional going on.
doesn't matter what he writes, it's human nature.

"The mods also give each other heads-up predictions about users who are seem likely to continue to break rules. Their guesses are pretty accurate. However, it wouldn't be proper for that kind of prediction to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so we make sure we don't give anyone a time-out based on expected behavior."

their guesses are pretty accurate, but they self-police themselves to make sure they're not making decisions to show that they're right... yeah, i'm convinced.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 07:33 AM   #233
annk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychj0e View Post
doesn't matter what he writes, it's human nature.

"The mods also give each other heads-up predictions about users who are seem likely to continue to break rules. Their guesses are pretty accurate. However, it wouldn't be proper for that kind of prediction to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so we make sure we don't give anyone a time-out based on expected behavior."

their guesses are pretty accurate, but they self-police themselves to make sure they're not making decisions to show that they're right... yeah, i'm convinced.
You're misunderstanding here. Moderation is documented, which allows us to:
  • See a member's history of rules violations (or no violations), and
  • See what the other moderators have done.

The first is important in relation to being fair. A member who breaks rules despite having been warned will have moderation escalated (from reminders to warnings to temporary suspensions etc). It also means that a first offense usually results in nothing more than a reminder.

The second lets us self-police (because it's transparent, all the mods and admins can see what any one of us has done) and discuss moderation policy (were we too strict here? Have we been too lax with a member? is there something we should change about the way we moderate this rule? the member has complained, what was actually done and why?). This one is combined with a fair amount of discussion, which is also necessary to self-police. TBH it's also what makes moderating the most interesting - working on a team where you have to reach a consensus and work across time zones and different opinions/beliefs.

What it boils down to is you either believe the mods are as fair as humanly possible and are interested in doing the best possible job, or you don't. Those who believe will stick around and contribute to discussions.
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