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> What if I have an issue with a moderator?, What's the best way to deal with it?
Dog
post Dec 15 2006, 05:23 AM
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I'm finding one of the moderators is, shall we say... becoming unjust and subjective in his moderating. I've PM'd him and another moderator with my concern. Is there another way I should be dealing with it?
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Adam
post Dec 15 2006, 06:06 AM
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If you don't believe that they're giving you a fair shake, you can PM me.
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fistandantilus4....
post Dec 16 2006, 12:38 PM
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In my case I usually prefer folks to PM me if they have an issue w/ something that I do so that we can work whatever it is out. Other than that, we often check with each other on anything important anyways, so we're all usually available for a second opinion. So yeah, PM the mod, and go from there.
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eidolon
post Dec 16 2006, 05:30 PM
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I'm the moderator Dog has an issue with.

Dog, I've PM'd you explaining both the shake you feel that you've been given and the post you took umbrage with.

To the comunity:

If you ever have an issue with how I handle a situation, you can always get in contact with me through PM, or if I'm on, via AIM by sending to Eid0lon.

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tisoz
post Jan 2 2007, 08:10 AM
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I've thought you were a bit over zealous a few times concerning flames and mature content, or even links to mature content. However, others made the same point I would have, only sooner.

Do we all need to post objections to over zealous moderating until the point is beaten to death? Or is this going to be a case where they came for this one guy and I kept quiet, it kept happening, and when they came for me there was no one left to complain? (I will hardly be the last one to go.)
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eidolon
post Jan 2 2007, 02:55 PM
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You're certainly entitled to your opinion. Other members have thanked us for stepping in, or for removing content.

Not everyone is going to see all situations the same way. If you find yourself at odds with a decision that the moderators make, then please, get in touch with us.
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knasser
post Jan 3 2007, 04:36 AM
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QUOTE (eidolon)
You're certainly entitled to your opinion. Other members have thanked us for stepping in, or for removing content..


No, not everyone will see things the same way. However, some people have the ability to enforce their way on others. It's a little disingenuous to use an argument of "everyone has their own opinion" in supporting forbidding those you dislike.

I'm presuming that you (eidolon) shut down the two interesting threads [RL] Chaos in the streets and [RL] the decay of modern morality. There was no comment from a moderator in there. Just a sudden locking of the thread.

At a rough count, I make it 12 posters in one and 15 posters participating in the other, and about 40-50 posts in each with not a single cross word that I recall. Most, if not all, of the posters are frequent posters who contribute a lot to this forum. And I would think that merits some respect. A number of people here have recently been declaring their intent to leave due to the increased moderation (which is primarily yours). I reject the notion that these are people who are abusive to other posters as well. If anything it seems to be some of the more thoughtful members.

So we had two very civilised threads containing a lot of interesting points of view, participated in by a significant number of people, probably read by a significant number more, suddenly locked and the discussion silenced. Why?

Certainly not because they were upsetting anyone, from my reading of those threads. Which presumably leaves the heresy of it being off-topic. That will inevitably happen in any community that is healthy. And we are a community. I haven't been here that long, but there are people that I enjoy talking to here and who interest me on a range of subjects. I've said this before. Primarily we all have an essential enjoyment of the Shadowrun game and setting, that is our common bond. It cuts nicely across nationality and sometimes religion and culture. But because we come to know each other, and partly perhaps because of our one definite shared interest, we want to talk amongst ourselves about other matters too. It would be a pretty soulless place if we're just faceless proponents of SR4 vs. SR3 or spent our time answering questions about healing drain and nothing more.

Active discussion is the lifeblood of a community and it's what most of us want at some point. If nothing else, the latter should count for a lot. Whether a moderator likes it or not, it is one of the things that draws people to this community and stamping it out removes part of the interest in the forum.

If the forum was drowning in random, inane babel, if newcomers couldn't find their Shadowrun related material, then we could see negative effects of threads like these two. I think you must allow that this is very far from the case.

So what we are left with is resentment amongst a lot of people that a minority has gagged them. As Tisoz posted elsewhere, there has been a furious amount of PM'ing about moderation going on recently, and a number of people are quite upset.

There are two responses I recieved before to this point of view, neither of which I feel is helpful so I'll address them in advance. The first is an appeal to Guidelines. This I find unhelpful because it presupposes some moral authority that they do not have. The guidelines could say that everyone who posts here must be a Christian, and that wouldn't suddenly make the requirement a good one for the community. The second response I have received before is that this is a privately owned forum and the owners (and their proxies the moderators), have the right to determine content. The falseness of this can be seen by anyone who's looked at the ownership of media in the United States, but regardless of the right or not to determine content, the response says nothing about whether a particular content decision is good for the community or not.

I have previously made several of these points via PM as requested, mainly to eidolon. I've yet to shake his conviction that he is in the right. I felt it appropriate, reading this topic, to put my point of view across more generally. I know it is shared by a number of other people here. Frequently some of the communities most prolific contributors who I personally would not like to see become disaffected and spend less time here.

It is not my intent to cause offense or to suggest that some moderators don't have the best interests of the community at heart as I know that they do. But I think moderation should only be used as a last resort and never without explanation, in order to counter something that is very clearly damaging the community. Creating resentment for anything less seems grossly counterproductive.

EDIT: Some half an hour later, I just want to emphasize that I don't want to come across as head-hunting. I like Dumpshock very much and I like the people here. Sometimes they even laugh at my jokes. And thats, you know, a rare quality in a person. ;) I haven't slept for over 24 hours now. I had a long reply written to some questions that had been asked in those previous threads where I felt that I'd been able to provide some useful information to people. And I'd learnt some things too. And then I clicked back to the threads and found that they were suddenly closed. I hope you can appreciate that when you've invested a considerable amount of your time in something (and there were some very long and considered posts from people in there), it puts you out a bit to find someone has just rendered it a waste. I'm going to stop posting here now. No particular offense was meant, but this is how I was feeling when I posted.
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Bull
post Jan 3 2007, 07:17 AM
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I'd just like to add a couple things real quick.

1) I've been mostly quiet, letting the new mods handle the bulk of the mod chores, mostly due to real life. However, both Adam and I are keeping an eye on things. I won't speak for Adam, but thus far I'm satisfied with the job they are doing. They're following guidelines set down by us.

2) Rememebr that we've been mostly mod-less for quite some time. There were a lot of factors involved, and it couldn't really be helped. But just because something has been handled (or not handled) a certain way for the last year or two does not mean it's going to remain that way. Right now, we're like an Old West Town that's been without a real sherriff. The roughecks have been mostly running the joint, and while things weren't that bad, they weren't that good either. We have guildelines and Terms of Service you all agreed to when you joined up to Dumpshock, and we expect those to be followed.

3) Threads that do not serve the function of the forum they were in will be moved to the appropriate forum. If there is no appropriate forum, they will be closed and/or removed from a publically accessible board. This is regardless of whether the posts have been civil or not. Our boards serve certain functions and are here for certain topics of conversation, and as has been beaten to death, we do not have an off topic board anymore for good reason.

*Edited to Add*

4) If you have a problem with one of the moderator staff, please bring it to Adam or I. You may not get a reply back right away (My schedule sucks right now), but it will be discussed and action taken if we feel it's necessary.

Bull
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James McMurray
post Jan 3 2007, 02:42 PM
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One thing I would suggest is always giving a reason when a thread is locked. It takes less than a minute more to add a post of "This thread was locked due to being off topic and not having a proper forum to move it to." That way people know what happened and why, and it lets them know what not to do later.

Sure, there are Terms of Use. But how many people do you think actually read those when they signed up? Complete explanations for why moderator actions were taken reinforces those ToUs in peoples' minds. Unexplained lockings just make people go "What the hell was that all about? Freakin' mods!"
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nezumi
post Jan 3 2007, 03:21 PM
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Not to be rude, but I would have to say, I haven't seen the forums being run by "roughnecks" and I'm curious what the end-goal of the forum is. I would assume that the end-goal would be to have a place where new people can come, ask questions and learn, and where old people are encouraged to stay, discuss and answer questions. This would mean we have two primary groups we're catering to and ultimately, I would think the latter group is more important than the former (if there are no old players to answer questions, no one will bother coming here to ask).

I personally have not had any problems with the moderation here, and I certainly appreciate it. I access this forum from work and don't want non-work safe stuff here, and we all know the lounge was basically a powder keg. I don't care about things like the RL threads one way or another because, while they do add extra threads I have to ignore, there are already so many SR4 threads I'm ignoring they're a drop in the bucket (and I will admit, I actually read the RL threads). However it would appear a number of posters, who I assume are the 'roughnecks' referred to before, do have a problem with it.

So the moderators are left to determine if their increased moderation will lose old members, the real driving force of the forums, and if so, how many. They have to ask themselves what content isn't newbie friendly but keeps oldbies around. Certainly a lot of the content will be in that category, especially now that SR3 is out of print (and many oldbies are not upgrading to SR4). There are only a few threads and users the mods would have to ban to get me to greatly decrease my time here (drop bear thread, SR3R, wounded ronin and kage leap instantly to mind as sources of great interest to me). The RL threads are also a draw. I actually enjoy the tangentally shadowrun related. I enjoy reading about firearms, survivalism, lockpicking etc. in their real life as well as SR manifestations, and that keeps me here to answer newbie questions.

So ultimately this is up to the mods. If you want us old question-answering people around, how much leeway are we allowed to make this forum open to our new interests? Unless, of course, they can get Fan Pro to publish some more SR3 materials :) How many knowledgable resources should be driven away to make the site "newbie friendly"? And are any being driven away given the current moderation, or are we only losing members who don't contribute anyway?
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Adam
post Jan 3 2007, 04:22 PM
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Admin post: Quickly, so it doesn't keep getting mentioned over and over again: the threads being closed without the moderator leaving a reason for the closing was a mistake.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jan 3 2007, 06:44 PM
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First of all, I'm definitely for getting a reason when a thread is locked, but I can see the mods agree so there's nothing to argue.

But a suggestion: In the past, I've seen moderator posts in off-topic threads that were to the effect of "Guys, find a way to make this SR-related or it's getting closed" And then they did, and a great conversation was saved and some cool new SR-related ideas came up. That, or everyone went "Hey, this doesn't have anything to do with anything" and let it die. Either way, it ends up with more people being happier.

Just a thought. I, personally, haven't had any problems.
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knasser
post Jan 3 2007, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE (Bull)

3)  Threads that do not serve the function of the forum they were in will be moved to the appropriate forum.  If there is no appropriate forum, they will be closed and/or removed from a publically accessible board.  This is regardless of whether the posts have been civil or not.  Our boards serve certain functions and are here for certain topics of conversation.


And they could serve additional functions if you wished. The guidelines are whatever you have written them to be. And enforcement of them by the moderators is as rigid as they chose to be. A statement of what the guidelines are, in no way mitigates a criticism of how the board operates.

I have to say that nezumi has provided some interesting insights into the dynamics of Dumpshock. I haven't been here that long but I have a reasonably solid grasp of both the setting and the rules and I have played since 1st edition. I think I would usually fall into the oldies category. I certainly seem to recall that I have answered quite a lot of questions and offered many suggestions. However, like many people with a good level of intelligence and broad interests, I don't like being told what I can and cannot talk about. So I can at least partly answer nezumi's question about how many "oldie" posters the heavier moderation will drive away by saying that at least I will be spending less time here. I'm not going to extremes and will still come in to have a browse and make the odd joke. Because after all, I still play Shadowrun, think it's a great game and want to keep in touch with what's going on. But I don't really regard this place as a social place anymore. I'm soured to that aspect, from several incidents recently.

In case it's considered that I'm simply giving up on this, I would like to emphasize that I have made my arguments rationally and calmly very extensively via PM, in the past.

I'll be around on and off, but I invite anyone who wants to get in touch / stay in touch, to drop me an email. It has been a great pleasure talking to you all on a range of (mostly SR related) topics.

Thanks and peace be upon you, :)

-Khadim Nasser.
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Fortune
post Jan 3 2007, 07:38 PM
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I hate seeing good people go for no good reason. :(
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James McMurray
post Jan 3 2007, 07:53 PM
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The idea that a forum is not at its core a dictatorship has always confused me. Somebody somewhere is paying the bill, putting in the hours, and generally doing all the fiddly bits that go on behind the scenes to make sure a board runs smoothly. That person can and should exercise their right to have a forum that is shaped as they want it to be.

Granted, it's a balancing act. If you're too tight you lose people. If you're too loose you lose people as well. But from everything I've seen from in front of and behind the scenes at various boards, tight boards (as in politeness and topical threads are enforced) tend to last a lot longer and be more active than loose boards where flame wars reign and topical content is ignored.

I personally have chaffed a bit at the new moderation, mostly because I got used to having a DS where I could let go of some steam. But I don't blaim them in the slightest. I've mentioned on other boards that I visit here and gotten responses expressing sheer incredulity that anyone would want to purposefully subject themselves to the sorts of crap that goes on here. If I were a forum leader looking to be the "Not quite but almost" Official Shadowrun Forum I'd want to clean that image up too.
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tisoz
post Jan 4 2007, 02:41 AM
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QUOTE (knasser)
I haven't been here that long but I have a reasonably solid grasp of both the setting and the rules and I have played since 1st edition. I think I would usually fall into the oldies category. I certainly seem to recall that I have answered quite a lot of questions and offered many suggestions.

Your comment reminds me of my ignorance. I followed/played SR for about a decade before getting online and discovering Dumpshock. I was surprised how many rules I was ignoring or playing wrongly.

I am sad to hear you are distancing yourself from Dumpshock. Your contributions have been a welcome shot in the arm. I thought you were one of the 'better' new members, someone who posted frequently and usually had something to contribute to the discussion.

Gotta agree with Fortune's sentiment.

As far as people running roughshod the last couple of years, I remember far worse flame wars and uncivil behavior when I first joined. Then, it almost seemed like you had to have an attitude to post. Aside from the SR3 vs. SR4 wars, I think the place has become almost sedate. That is why the recent moderating activity seems out of place.

As far as the terms of service, when I joined, I read them and lol when I saw how they were pretty much totally ignored.
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Sphynx
post Jan 4 2007, 08:55 AM
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I just want to say I have no objections to the moderations that have gone on. I'm actually glad the moderators go locking and moving threads, because most of you guys can't seem to stop posting. :P

My very first 'I'm back' post got completely de-railed, though in a nice way with lots of welcoming. However, its theme was a question on how many people were sticking to 3rd with how fragged up 4th is. Somehow turning into a discussion on Warhammer. Interesting discussion, but surely not worth reading if you're a new user looking for opinions of others on 3rd vs 4th. Moderators job is to make the forums maintain a level of information useful for searchers (primarily people who just-found the place).

I do think more leniency should be placed in the actual 'rules' though, cursing shouldn't be censored anymore, we're out of the 60's. Admittedly, some words and any name-calling should be censored, but Frag, I should have to write Frag everytime I wanna express myself. :P

Overall though, the loudest voices are rarely the majority, they're just the most visible. ;)
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eidolon
post Jan 4 2007, 02:36 PM
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Cursing really isn't out-and-out censored as it is. We prefer people to refrain from making posts in which every other word would be beeped on TV, and cursing isn't allowed in topic titles (or subtitles). But as far as regular ol' spicy language? No big deal.

(Just to clarify.)
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Adam
post Jan 4 2007, 05:22 PM
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Also with regard to cursing, there's a big difference between: "Hey Bob, fuck you, you are a fucking ass." and "Hey Bob, that is a fucking awesome idea."

But as long as people don't make personal attacks, there's no personal attacks to slip the cursing into ... ;-)
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Konsaki
post Jan 4 2007, 05:32 PM
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So calling someone a newblet (personal attack) is not the same as calling them a fucking ass (not a personal attack)? Good to know, thanks.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jan 4 2007, 05:37 PM
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I think there's a slight misunderstanding here. Adam is saying that calling someone a fucking ass is a personal attack, but saying "that is a fucking awesome idea" is okay, because even though it's swearing, it's not done in a personal attack so it's okay.
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Konsaki
post Jan 4 2007, 05:43 PM
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Ok, I re-read it and I must have missread it the first time.
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RunnerPaul
post Jan 4 2007, 06:16 PM
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Ok, we've established that you don't use profanity in thread titles, and you don't direct it at fellow Dumpshockers in a negative manner. Isn't font size an issue as well?

I know at least a few Dumpshockers visit the forums from work, and if there's something that's readable from over their shoulder across the room, I imagine it should be safe for work, right? You can tell someone that their idea is fucking awesome, but don't do it
in the largest text possible.
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Moon-Hawk
post Jan 4 2007, 07:38 PM
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Are you, sir, implying that some people would waste their employers' precious time by screwing around on some internet forum while they're supposed to be...hang on my boss is coming
..................
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, the nerve that you would dare insinuate such a thing!
:-)
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Dog
post Jan 9 2007, 03:55 PM
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I'm with Knasser.

I didn't deserve to be singled out.

Whether or not the moderators intend to be making positive changes, it still leaves me in a situation where I have to second guess every post I make. The choices by moderators on how and when they intercede --as well as how to interpret the guidelines and to what degree to enforce them-- are currently all over the map. Hell, even the posts in this thread demonstrate that.

So in the meantime, I too will be forum-ing elsewhere, and hopefully I can check in sometime in the future and things will be consistent.
Good luck with that.
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