Uneven moderation in the Wal-Mart discussion

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by inkswamp, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. inkswamp macrumors 68030

    inkswamp

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    #1
    A complaint for anyone who cares. The moderating in the Wal-mart discussion from the front page story is really uneven and should be considered by the MR mods as a "how not to moderate" example. It looks to me like a lot of pro-Wal-Mart comments, including some that are condescending in tone or borderline inflammatory, are being left up and a lot of anti-Wal-Mart comments are disappearing. I posted something that wasn't even remotely insulting to anyone and it's gone now. I was responding to a non-inflammatory comment that is still there, but mine is gone. I don't understand. Seems we're seeing some of the MR mods' bias here which should not enter into the moderation.

    It's a bad idea to moderate the expression of opinions, better idea to remove comments that are expressed in an inappropriate manner (i.e., swearing, name-calling, troll-like tone, etc.)

    And if you're going to insist on moderating these forums (which IMO is a little anachronistic in this day an age), how about instead of taking a battering ram approach and removing entire comments or responses to those comments, why not be a little more focused and simply replace segments of a person's post with something like...

    What's with chopping out entire chunks of the discussion anyway? It makes me not want to participate here anymore.
     
  2. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    Political discussions aren't permitted outside of the designated PSRI forum, which incurs far less moderating.
     
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #3
    Without moderation this forum would decent into a horrible place to be and I for one wouldn't have stayed around here for as long as I have if the forum was more hostile. We try to keep the forum a family friendly and indeed just a general friendly atmosphere.

    There are strict rules regarding PRSI style conversations limiting members to only those who have proven themselves in the forums. Without such limits you get conversations such as the one that took place in that thread, i.e. insults and trolling.

    The thread was dealt with and reviewed by a lot of moderators.

    In regards to deleting the posts vs. editing them it is a matter of time and effort. The moderators are a team of volunteers who donate their time in keeping these forums running. With big threads with lots of comments (and posts that are large) the time it takes to go in and edit out the comment from that post x 112 is far too much.

    Of course most of these points are covered in the FAQ / Rules

    http://guides.macrumors.com/Help:MacRumors_FAQ
    http://guides.macrumors.com/Help:Forum_Rules



    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=588412
     
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    I'll add a few comments too.

    MacRumors has no official opinion on the controversies regarding Wal-Mart, and our moderators have not taken sides in the discussion either. We've been very careful to stick to forum rules, which regulate how to express an opinion, not what opinion it is. Fairness and consistency are our #1 goals for moderation.

    Only the moderators saw all of the posts that had to be removed or edited, and they work as a team, consulting each other for cases like this where there are judgment calls to make about what's permissible and what's over the line. We received a higher-than-average number of post reports about that thread (on a day we expected would be quieter) and moderation there has had to continue today as well.

    We can't discuss specific disciplinary actions except with the members involved, but you can still submit post reports after the fact for remaining posts, and contact us privately if you have questions/comments you don't want to discuss in public.
     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #5
    If the drift to a Social issue occurs early enough in the thread, the Mods can move it to PRSI, thus eliminating those posters without "credentials".
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    Guess Wal-Mart is still a topic that'll devolve into chaos, as quickly as a "It's George Bush's Birthday" thread.
     
  7. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #7
    Yep, 'fraid so.

    It is the nature of the beast. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Dejavu macrumors regular

    Dejavu

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    #8
    Moderator bias on MacRumors? :eek: That's shocking.
     
  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    Please explain why it's anachronistic and how removing all moderating will improve these forums.


    If you've got something to say, then please use the Contact Us form. Unsubstantiated accusations of bias are worthless without some evidence, thanks.
     
  10. mac 2005 macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #10
    That link takes us to the login for the Mods. Is there a "Contact Us" link, or should we approach Mods individually?
     
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
  12. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #12
    You must be kidding.
     
  13. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #13
    hehehe this is kind of funny.

    Macrumors has the best mederation of every forum I have ever been on.

    If O.P. doesn't like it and wants to stop having discussions here, whats stopping them. Its a shame to loose a member, but coooome on

    [edit] i admit however, that the members here can often gang up on the minority.I found this with my ideas on making MR more social networking style :p
     
  14. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    fight fight fight

    AppleMatt (sorry, couldn't help it)
     
  15. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #15
    Possible conflict of interest?

    Perhaps there is a Walmart owned advertiser on MR that users are unaware of. That would explain a lot.

    I dislike advertising revenue related bias with a passion. That is why I don't visit Cnet, PC World and others.

    IMO, it's sometimes difficult but it's a much better scenario if advertising revenue can be generated from companies who do not pose a conflict of interest.
     
  16. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #16
    :confused:

    We aren't aware of the advertisers and thus it is not even possible for us to be biased by the advertising (not that this would happen away). We don't even see adverts when browsing the forums.
     
  17. AppleMatt macrumors 68000

    AppleMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    The adverts on the forums are generated by what people are talking about (which sometimes leads to odd adverts).

    Even still, moderators aren't exactly beneficiaries of MacRumors, so it wouldn't matter even if this was the case. I don't visit CNet just because it's rubbish ;).

    AppleMatt
     
  18. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #18
    The Wal-Mart thread descended very quickly into bigoted comments and personal attacks at a time we had very few moderators around. By the time we responded to it there were 5 pages of mostly inappropriate posts. New posts were coming fast and furious and we needed to quickly get the discussion back on track. The easiest way to do that is to remove the posts that broke the rules and ban the people who posted the truly egregious things.

    In doing so we also needed to remove posts that were responding to deleted posts (since they make no sense out of context) as well as posts that quoted deleted posts. In my post asking people to please keep things polite I also asked that people who had their posted deleted because they were in response to a deleted post not to take the deletion personally. It is unfortunate that you chose to ignore this request.

    Your post that was deleted was a quote of a deleted post and a response to a deleted post.

    And if anyone cares I have not ever and will never shop at a Wal-Mart and I did the majority of the moderating in that thread.
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
  20. inkswamp thread starter macrumors 68030

    inkswamp

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    #20
    Then shouldn't all comments about Wal-Mart be removed? It just looks to me that most of the pro-Wal-Mart comments are being left alone while most anti-WM comments are being stripped from the discussion.

    From my point of view, no moderation at all is better than biased moderation.

    Sorry for my mistaken assumption that the forum called "site and forum feedback" was intended for site and forum feedback. :rolleyes:

    I didn't take it personally at all and I didn't ignore your request. I'm just puzzled by what appears to be uneven moderation, especially when it looks like it's introducing a pro-Wal-Mart bias. I've worked in newsrooms before and that kind of thing jumps out at me quickly.
     
  21. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

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    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #21
    It appears you took it personally since no such bias exists.
     
  22. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #22
    Not that it really matters what my opinion is on the Walmart thread, but I'm enjoying MacRumors Forums as they are currently run.

    It's refreshing to see after the venomous lines that are posted in Usenet, where I've seen conflicts break into the realm of RL.
    If I feel like battling I can do it back there.
     
  23. inkswamp thread starter macrumors 68030

    inkswamp

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    #23
    It seems my gripe is what's been taken personally. It was meant constructively but is being countered with some refusal to entertain the notion.

    Okay. I'm completely wrong and imagining things. Got it.

    Still, I'm curious about those posts in that thread referring to anti-WM posters as "elitist" which IMO has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Why are those posts left in place when it's more about criticizing other people instead of discussing the topic. IIRC, my post and the one I responded to didn't even talk about other people per se but rather the advantage of Apple products being sold at WM.

    So, I guess calling other people "elitist" is okay but discussing the advantages/ and disadvantages of Apple products being sold at WM without name-calling is not okay. :confused:
     
  24. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #24
    There is no biased moderation. You're picking up on one thread that was growing out of control over a holiday season when few moderators were around, and you had a post deleted because it referenced other deleted posts that broke the forum rules. These things happen; it's not some form of conspiracy... and there is no smoking gun.


    No need to roll your eyes. That remark was not addressed at you. I'm not going to waste further time on this. AmbitiousLemon has given a full explanation of what happened.
     
  25. inkswamp thread starter macrumors 68030

    inkswamp

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    #25
    Perfectly understandable. Still, I suggested in my first post on this that you take less of a battering ram approach to moderating these things (i.e., removing entire discussion threads) and delete just those parts of the posts that are objectionable. The problem is, when you remove entire exchanges, it can (and did in this case) introduce what appears to be a bias.

    No surprise. The responses to this so far have been dismissive. I was asked for evidence and I provided it (search that thread for "elitist" to find the pro-WM name-calling that was oddly enough deemed appropriate.) And still the responses are dismissive.

    I guess I shouldn't have brought this up. I've been participating on MR for many years now and have had few complaints. I didn't expect a constructive criticism of what appeared to be biased moderation to be met with such resistance. I won't bother next time.

    Remember, bias doesn't imply that it was intentional and at no point did I say it was intentional. All I know is that the moderation in that thread gives the appearance of bias. There are easy ways to avoid that. I suggested one such approach to alleviate that. Instead of considering it, you have countered with demands for evidence and have been very quick to dismiss this.

    I'm sorry it upset you. That wasn't my intent.
     

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