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feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 10:17am
by mjr
Continued from viewtopic.php?f=15&t=108977&start=7635#p1282994

661-Pete wrote:Speaking personally, I would welcome more regular and proactive feedback about moderation decisions. Perhaps in the form of a separate, locked thread in the About These Boards section? I would not, on the other hand, want to see moderated posts replaced by 'placeholders' like they do in the Guardian. We don't need finger-pointing! Just my opinion...

I'm not sure. At the moment, those whose posts are removed get no feedback on what was wrong, others get no practical examples of what to avoid doing, while reporters get little feedback on whether they're reporting the right things, so nothing improves.

I feel I'm still seeing far too much hate speech and too many personal attacks on here, so I'm reducing how many non-cycling topics I read, like others on here that I see in real life tell me they have, even though that does make the forum look more like it's full of political extremists than it really is.

Moderation summary reports in a sticky may help, but only those who want to improve would look at it, while the extremists won't.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 10:26am
by brynpoeth
I would like to know more too, sometimes I look for a post but it has disappeared for no apparent reason

Do the moderators have guidelines apart from libel law?

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 10:28am
by mjr
brynpoeth wrote:Do the moderators have guidelines apart from libel law?

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3661 presumably.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 11:45am
by Psamathe
Without quoting all sorts of bits (as it would get too complex to get right without taking an age)

1. I would vote against "placeholders" as e.g. often, where people have responded to an inappropriate post, those responses are reasonable and fair but are rightly removed then the inappropriate post is deleted (because they are no longer relevant and make no sense without the removed post) - and a "placeholder" might suggest the responder has been posting "inappropriately".

2. I agree with mjr about the "far too much hate speech and too many personal attacks". I've only noticed personal attacks and not really the hate speech (but that just says what I've noticed and I don't read everything!). I think quite reasonable, even beneficial for differing opinions and experiences to be presented. But some seem to turn this into an attack on others and this is what I find badly taints the forum.

3. I have no idea how much time the moderators have to spend undertaking the moderation so would be reserver about calling for that workload to be increased through additional feedback on each moderation decision (e.g. telling the poster why their post was removed). But a sticky even with some anonymised examples from real posts (added to creating an anonymous "Hall of Shame") might help some (but might not be read by many?

Ian

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 11:47am
by brynpoeth
Maybe notifications about editing or removal could be sent automatically

How might one apply to be a moderator?

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 12:07pm
by Richard Fairhurst
Psamathe wrote:2. I agree with mjr about the "far too much hate speech and too many personal attacks". I've only noticed personal attacks and not really the hate speech (but that just says what I've noticed and I don't read everything!). I think quite reasonable, even beneficial for differing opinions and experiences to be presented. But some seem to turn this into an attack on others and this is what I find badly taints the forum.


Generally I find this forum very well-tempered and friendly - much more so than many others.* But I think that's partly because I don't read the Tea Shop or the helmet board. On the rare occasions I venture over to a thread in either of those I usually retreat pretty sharpish!

Some forums allow users to exclude particular boards from the 'View active topics' (and similar) display. CycleChat allows you to turn boards on and off with tick-boxes, for example, while SABRE (which runs on the same phpBB code as this) implements it via a Usergroup which you can join ("Unleashed opt-out: Members do not have visibility of the Unleashed section of the forums"). I wonder if it might be worth doing something similar here.


* that recent bad-tempered thread about Wahoos was an exception, of course, and I'm not sure why that guy took against your views quite so virulently; but then there's always going to be occasions like that now and then.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 12:38pm
by 661-Pete
Psamathe wrote:1. I would vote against "placeholders" as e.g. often, where people have responded to an inappropriate post, those responses are reasonable and fair but are rightly removed then the inappropriate post is deleted (because they are no longer relevant and make no sense without the removed post) - and a "placeholder" might suggest the responder has been posting "inappropriately".
For those who are not familiar with the Guardian's policy:

Comments in that newspaper are threaded, unlike this forum: i.e. a reply to a post appears directly under that post and indented. So it is easy to see at once who has replied to whom. Where a post has to be moderated because of unacceptable content (the mods don't do any editing, only deletion - presumably they don't have time for more than that), it is replaced with the standard placeholder "This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs.". Replies to the offending post, however, are generally deleted without a placeholder. That seems fair to me: the reply is often an honest complaint about the earlier post - but its presence is no longer relevant.

That system wouldn't work on this forum. For one thing, one can never be sure whether a post is intended as a reply to another post - especially if it doesn't contain a quote from that post.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 1:47pm
by thirdcrank
During my time as a forum member, I can only remember being on the wrong end of moderation twice. Once, when late a night and in a friendly exchange with a foreign member who included a query about my username ie whether it was a double entendre I replied referring to a word which fell outside the family-friendly rules. On another occasion, in a long thread about a police crackdown, I made what I thought was a neutral observation but somebody complained that it was critical of another poster on the thread. I tried to explain my thinking and having been alerted to the issue, edited the thread to make my meaning more clear / less open to a different interpretation.

I've complained to the moderators a few times but I hope I don't count as a regular. I don't remember complaining about anything addressed to me but that's not definitive. I have alerted the moderators several times as a "third party" when I've noticed things were on the point of getting heated or when personal attacks on someone who wasn't involved in a thread were thrown in as comment.

It seems to me that if forum members see inappropriate posts then they are helping the limited number of volunteer moderators. Expecting the moderators to explain everything in similar detail to a court judgment risks prolonging disputes.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 3:31pm
by mjr
Psamathe wrote:I've only noticed personal attacks and not really the hate speech (but that just says what I've noticed and I don't read everything!).

I think it gets removed pretty promptly. I've noticed it more when I've been ill and on here more than usual.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 4:12pm
by thirdcrank
I've no idea how many reports the moderators receive, but in proportion to the number of threads which seem to attract no action, the number that do seem tiny, but are obviously more conspicuous. The number of people who seem to be concerned about the moderation policies does seem small. Again, and only going from memory, the only moderation thread which attracted a lot of interest was the discussion about swearing and family-friendly language. Whether that's through satisfaction or indifference I don't know.

It's perhaps a sign of things that I hasten to add that this isn't intended as a criticism of the people who do want to discuss moderation.

Finally, I think it's unrealistic to expect the few moderators we have to devote more time and effort to it.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 5:09pm
by mjr
thirdcrank wrote:Finally, I think it's unrealistic to expect the few moderators we have to devote more time and effort to it.

I think the hope is that by spending a little more time now, it will stopnthe willing people making the same mistakes over and over and over again, so it reduces the time needed for moderating in the long run.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 5:37pm
by thirdcrank
mjr wrote: ... I think the hope is that by spending a little more time now, it will stopnthe willing people making the same mistakes over and over and over again, so it reduces the time needed for moderating in the long run.


That's a very fair point, although I'd be interested to hear - from anybody - some examples of issues where there is any lack of clarity, rather than disagreement with what's already published.

My reasons for asking are that I'm probably missing the point, but also I can't see how the moderators posting case studies wouldn't risk provoking people who recognise their own interaction with the moderators to look for a replay. If they were sufficiently generalised to avoid that, then they might be too vague to have any value. I would presume that if the moderators saw a way of reducing the time needed, they wouldn't need telling.

I don't use many other forums, but I'm impressed by the number of posters on this one who comment favourably on the generally friendly and helpful tone.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 6:03pm
by mjr
thirdcrank wrote:That's a very fair point, although I'd be interested to hear - from anybody - some examples of issues where there is any lack of clarity, rather than disagreement with what's already published.

There's a total lack of clarity because unless you reread posts you already marked as read AND have a good memory or are saving copies of posts, it's currently nearly impossible to figure out most of what the moderators have done, except for a few instances on short firey topics like the Wahoo review where both their actions and inaction became pretty conspicuous at times.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 6:33pm
by thirdcrank
mjr wrote: ... There's a total lack of clarity because unless you reread posts you already marked as read AND have a good memory or are saving copies of posts, it's currently nearly impossible to figure out most of what the moderators have done, except for a few instances on short firey topics like the Wahoo review where both their actions and inaction became pretty conspicuous at times.


Fair enough. I must have missed some excitement because I never saw the thread at all. That means I don't know what you regard as inaction. Unless somebody is monitoring 24/7 there must be delays between stuff being posted and moderators picking it up. This is part of the reason I mentioned third party reports ie from "bystanders."

We've had posts from time-to-time about the possibility of people being deterred from posting or even quitting the forum. Were I a moderator, I might be looking for the exit. Volunteers seem to be fewer than the critics, although the latter are not numerous.

Re: feedback about moderation

Posted: 14 Oct 2018, 7:10pm
by PH
All the members of this forum have signed up to the terms before posting, they're not hard to follow by most reasonable people. IMO it's the posters as well as the offending posts that should be removed, at least those who are serial offenders. Some of them seem to take delight in being offensive and it shouldn't be acceptable.
I've been on this forum since it started and except where a post has been caught up in a purge of replies I've been moderated once. Rightly so, I called some one an idiot rather than explain why what they were saying was idiotic.