feedback about moderation

Anything about use of this forum : NOT about cycling
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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby admin » 1 Jan 2021, 12:17pm

Here's how I see it, having been involved (but not as a day-to-day moderator) with this Forum for many years now. These are "big-picture", "long-term view" comments.

The Moderators of this Forum have done an excellent job, completely voluntarily, for many years. As a result the original CTC Forum, that had to be shut down through lack of moderation, has been revitalised and grown massively. To the benefit of many people.

Internet Forums are dynamic things. Good ones attract new members, expand, and provide opportunities for chat and useful information to many people. Unpleasant ones, or ones dominated by spam, slowly wither and die. This Forum has managed to survive and prosper over many years, thanks to the moderators. They're not perfect, but they keep the atmosphere pleasant so many people like coming to chat here.

Moderating decisions might annoy individuals about individual issues. That can't be avoided. What matters, to the health of the Forum, is the long-term balance of moderation: when moderators intervene, and when they let conversations take their natural course without moderation action.

The bottom lines are:

1) If moderators get too much abuse and complaints, they will stop moderating. If too many moderators stop, the Forum dies. :(

2) If the moderators are too harsh, or too lenient, or too biased, people will stop coming to use this Forum. If too many users go elsewhere, the Forum dies. :(

3) If moderators are fair and proportionate overall, and feel respected and valued for their unseen work, the Forum thrives. :)

As I see it, we're in situation (3), but edging towards (1). We don't seem to be in situation (2).

Happy New Year to everyone reading this!

Carlton green
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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby Carlton green » 1 Jan 2021, 12:24pm

I wish all a Happy New Year including those who for what ever reason are unhappy about my appointment as a Moderator.

thirdcrank wrote:I will point out, however, that there's a difference between things like clearing out spam - which is purely administrative - and dealing with bitter political exchanges. While the former is unseen so unappreciated work on everyone's behalf there's nothing remotely contentious about it. ie IMO it's irrelevant to the issues raised by those who are unhappy.


The comments of those who are unhappy about my appointment me have been well aired and noted, and I have looked at those comments too. As to whether my views are suitable for a Moderator to have I have four comments:
1) They were expressed as part of on-line discussion by me in my role of an Ordinary Member. Ordinary Members are accountable to the Moderators.
2) To the best of my knowledge my posts have never appeared so extreme or contentious as to attract moderation, what I’ve said as an Ordinary Member did not noticeably lie outside the range of views considered tolerable here (as otherwise they would have attracted moderation).
3) Moderation of bitter political exchanges, as done by my fellow Moderators, is an art which I anticipate learning more about over the coming months. My fellow Moderators make that task look easy but I see how hard it is and how careful one needs to be. I think it will be some time before I’m ready to help the Moderation Team with that particular work but I expect to help the Team with any task that I can do.
4) My expectation of myself is to Moderate with complete neutrality and no doubt my fellow Moderators will keep a watchful eye on me to ensure that I do.

I hope that the above is of some reassurance to those who are concerned about my appointment. I have listened to their concerns and expect to Moderate without any bias. As for my own future personal posts (ie. those outside of my role of a Moderator), I’m expecting to not post in Tea Room and to rarely post elsewhere on the forum - I would wish to be, and to be seem to be, completely impartial.

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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Jan 2021, 1:12pm

Carlton green

I'm at a loss to understand why you have quoted my post which seems to have no real relevance to your subsequent post.

The following from slowster is the post you should be answering directly - including the supporting quotes which I've omitted only for reasons of space.

Carlton green, your history of making racist, bigoted and prejudiced statements show that you are completely unfitted to be a moderator. You have refused to acknowledge the racism in your posts when challenged. You consider people with opposing views to yours to be deluded and prejudiced. You combine that with a very high-handed, autocratic attitude to others which you have already shown would be likely to influence your actions as a moderator.

You need to step down from the position of moderator. If you refuse to do so, Graham must take the decision out of your hands.

So that other members can see for themselves, I have quoted below some of the statements you have made about black people and other minorities, and what you think about people who do not share your views.



viewtopic.php?p=1563963#p1563963

Tangled Metal
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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 Jan 2021, 1:28pm

If CG stops posting about motons and pressing crossing buttons now he's a moderator then I'm willing to take him at his word about neutrality. The one thing I notice about good moderators is how their posts after becoming a moderator are very moderate and non-confrontational. Whilst they might be posting personal views they cannot and mostly do not leave behind the moderator role with all its baggage of neutrality.

The test in whether CG is suitable for a moderation role is time. As far as I'm concerned we could even have a founder of EDL performing as a moderator if he takes on the responsibilities of moderation without his views coming out. Not that CG is that bad it was just my point making. In some ways a moderator needs to leave his old self behind on the forum and draw a line. Become a new kind of contributor. That's neutrality comes from IMHO.

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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby PDQ Mobile » 1 Jan 2021, 1:47pm

Tangled Metal wrote: That's neutrality comes from IMHO.


But the reason this thread resurfaced was that there was a well documented suspicion that in regard to the the Brexit thread "neutrality" was not practiced.

And that the thread was summarily locked for no good reason of excess or rudeness whatsoever, certainly none that I saw.

And that this has nothing to do with Vorpal (or moderation) but to do with the beliefs of the Administrator himself.

CarltonG may make a good Moderator.
Time will tell.
For he has a wide knowledge plus a good command of English.

But he also has strong pro Brexit views.
And one cannot help but wonder if that was a factor in his appointment over other volunteers?

reohn2
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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby reohn2 » 1 Jan 2021, 2:02pm

The Brexit thread was locked AFAICS was locked because it took up so much of the moderators time,time which is precious to moderators more than other forum members because they also want to enjoy the forum as well as having to constantly be moderating immoderate posts
Last edited by reohn2 on 1 Jan 2021, 2:03pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 Jan 2021, 2:03pm

So someone, other than CG, made a decision about the Brexit thread that you disagree with and, with others no doubt, feel wasn't neutral, right?

First off I'm biased because I think there's too much political discussion on this cycling forum anyway so personally I am glad the Brexit thread was shut down. With that declaration up front I would ask you what makes you think there's bias in the decision to lock the thread? I've not time to read this whole thread to find out. Could you bias be part of your opinion? Are you neutral in coming to your opinion?

I've dropped in and out of Brexit threads on several forums and I almost universally have the opinion that their only use now is to argue among a small group of hard core and totally partisan participants without much real benefit or outcomes worth viewing. I've stopped visiting them. Occasionally I'll drop in if something actually happens but always disappointed across all the forums I visit. What is the point of serving without the chance of changing others views? It seems to me more a form of bloodsport where it you can't get the stronger, regular ones you'll pick off the weaker, visitors to the thread instead. It's the internet warrior thread full of men trying to assert themselves over others. I'm very cynical about it and see those polarised, political threads as evidence to why political threads shouldn't be in a cycling forum.

thirdcrank
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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Jan 2021, 2:56pm

admin wrote: ... The bottom lines are: (etc) ....


I think it's worth remembering that this forum was launched and re-launched in it's present form in an entirely different age ie pre charity conversion. IIRC, the big stipulation by the then Director of the CTC was that it should be family-friendly; a condition imposed because of the language routinely used on other cycling forums.

Thanks to assiduous moderation, family-friendliness was achieved in many more aspects than just banning bad language.

The charitable aims of the parent organisation prioritise inclusivity. I've no idea of the views of the trustees about the forum but if somebody takes exception to some of the stuff bandied about on race etc., and notes that it seems to have official approval, they may go direct to the charity. I fancy that might highlight a bottom line.

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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby Bonefishblues » 1 Jan 2021, 3:04pm

Tangled Metal wrote:If CG stops posting about motons and pressing crossing buttons now he's a moderator then I'm willing to take him at his word about neutrality. The one thing I notice about good moderators is how their posts after becoming a moderator are very moderate and non-confrontational. Whilst they might be posting personal views they cannot and mostly do not leave behind the moderator role with all its baggage of neutrality.

The test in whether CG is suitable for a moderation role is time. As far as I'm concerned we could even have a founder of EDL performing as a moderator if he takes on the responsibilities of moderation without his views coming out. Not that CG is that bad it was just my point making. In some ways a moderator needs to leave his old self behind on the forum and draw a line. Become a new kind of contributor. That's neutrality comes from IMHO.

You are confusing CG with another member in that first sentence.

slowster
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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby slowster » 1 Jan 2021, 3:49pm

Carlton green, you have not addressed the substantive issues. That the moderators apparently took no action when you posted is not a defence.

Carlton green wrote:I wish all a Happy New Year including those who for what ever reason are unhappy about my appointment as a Moderator.

I saw your post before you edited it. If I recall correctly it said:
I wish all a Happy New Year including those who for what ever reason do not like me.

I may be wrong but I think you also similarly edited the second sentence.

I have no personal animus towards you. My concern is solely with the statements that you have posted and their potential impact, and how they show that it would be inappropriate for you to be a moderator on this forum.

With regard to the editing of your post, I am puzzled that there is no statement that it has been edited at the foot of the post. I only read your post after thirdcrank had responded to it. I thought it was only possible to edit a post without a visible record of that having been done if at the time of doing so it was the last post on the thread.

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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Jan 2021, 4:03pm

slowster wrote: .... With regard to the editing of your post, I am puzzled that there is no statement that it has been edited at the foot of the post. I only read your post after thirdcrank had responded to it. I thought it was only possible to edit a post without a visible record of that having been done if at the time of doing so it was the last post on the thread.


If a mod edits a post, no automatic trace is left. This was raised quite a long while ago. You may have noted that eg when Graham edits a post, he gives a reason but that's all done manually.

============================================================================

PS An earlier thread about posts edited by mods

viewtopic.php?p=176417#p176417

slowster
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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby slowster » 1 Jan 2021, 5:18pm

thirdcrank wrote:If a mod edits a post, no automatic trace is left.

Thank you for the explanation.

Carlton green, there was a gap of at least an hour or two between your last post and your subsequent edit of it. Did someone suggest that you change what you had written? If so, who was that person?

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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby mjr » 1 Jan 2021, 6:12pm

reohn2 wrote:The Brexit thread was locked AFAICS was locked because it took up so much of the moderators time,time which is precious to moderators more than other forum members because they also want to enjoy the forum as well as having to constantly be moderating immoderate posts

If the mods would tell offenders they have offended (as stated in the rules reminder) and ban the repeat offenders from topic or board for a while, they might learn and it would not take up so much mod time in the long run. Giving the Tea Room a less partisan name would also probably help stop one group seeing it as "their" space and taking up a lot of mod time with their defences.

There are also more volunteers offering to mod, so I don't accept that lack of mod time was a reasonable justification for the action, especially with it being accompanied by a "please find another forum" door slam message from a mod of the same wing as those that repeatedly call for discussion of the topic to be stopped.

Tangled Metal wrote:evidence to why political threads shouldn't be in a cycling forum.

As well as all the other things it is, cycling is a political act. Cycle touring even more so. Cycle touring internationally yet more so. It is impossible to have a non-political cycling forum, and it is not great to force the politics underground. Better to have it out in the open IMO.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 Jan 2021, 7:17pm

We obviously differ in that opinion. You could argue politics is in everything or every hobby but other hobbyist forums have no politics and it works well. After a short time of instigating it becomes self regulating by forum members. That's very positive because IMHO part of the issues with political threads is that posters can't self moderate or regulate their posts. If they could the site would become more friendly and inclusive IMHO of course.

PS I do think people need to state that what they type is in their opinion more often. You state cycling is political like it's a fact, it's not it's the political topics that are political IMHO. Where's the politics in gear ratios or thread count on tyre choices? The politics are in Brexit thread, in campaigning threads which admittedly the latter is the one area of cycling that has political component. However even that could leave partisanship attitudes behind.

I wonder what proportion of forum members come here for apolitical cycling reasons and what proportion for politics? Perhaps admin could comment on traffic between day teashop and other subforums that are more about apolitical cycling topics.

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Re: feedback about moderation

Postby Bonefishblues » 1 Jan 2021, 7:26pm

Tangled Metal wrote:We obviously differ in that opinion. You could argue politics is in everything or every hobby but other hobbyist forums have no politics and it works well. After a short time of instigating it becomes self regulating by forum members. That's very positive because IMHO part of the issues with political threads is that posters can't self moderate or regulate their posts. If they could the site would become more friendly and inclusive IMHO of course.

The overwhelming majority of posters are absolutely capable of self-moderation. A small percentage are unable or unwilling to, unfortunately.

Just as a side observation, this thread is becoming rather interrogatory, which is unhelpful, I think. I share some of the sentiments expressed, but all parties have now stated their pov, so I wonder if it's time to move on now.