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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 2:51 pm UTC
by Lounge
I'm starting to think the forum he was originally banned from was for starting a post similar to this one, baiting someone into flaming, and then mods taking action. Now he just wants to do it again so he can have further proof of how all mods everywhere are assholes.

Basically: If you want us to agree with you, or if you came here to complain about one specific action, show us. Or show us all these examples you say you have and we must all be wrong. If you want to complain about stuff in general without being specific, do it in the rant thread.

I've experienced bad mods, I've experienced good mods. Overwhelming mods around the whole internet are generally good, or at least "not evil."

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:06 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
It's increasingly apparent that I'm not getting that image of me and Idi* spending a lazy Sunday together.

:(



*The horrible comical grammar is for effect here. I'm not stupid. I know that properly it should be "I and Idi"

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 4:24 pm UTC
by smw543
King Author wrote:
Spoiler:
smw543 wrote:
King Author wrote:Well duh. I can't complain about a board's moderators on that board -- that'd be suicide! I have to go to another board to complain about the moderators of a given board, which is why I'm here where I felt I'd have, at most, a 15% chance of the topic getting locked out of nervousness. However, I see almost as much agreement as criticism, so...
Bullshit. Right now, I could start a thread about how much I fucking hate the mods here, outlining in precise detail why I think they should all go eat a bag of dicks, and it wouldn't get locked. I could even go over to the Art & Links forum and post a drawing of SexyTalon giving a reach-around to Adolf Hitler and it wouldn't get locked (as long as I censored out the naughty bits).
I'm more cautious than you; 15% is my default expectation of banning. In other words, I didn't add any extra chance for the mods specific to Echochamber, because I agree that they're among the better mods on the intertubes.
See, here is where you start sounding like you've experienced some sort of terrible forum-related trauma (and are thus thinking irrationally). You actually have a "default" percentage chance of this sort of thread being locked, when 1) you know that the only reason this thread would have been locked is if it had broken a major rule (because if it was a minor one, such as being posted on the wrong board, one of our nice mods would've have taken the time out of his or her day to fix your mistake) or devolved into a flame war, and 2) assigning a percentage chance is patent bullshit. Either you honestly believe this (which I doubt, seeing as I know cynophobes who are more trusting of dogs than you are of the mods), or you added that in as a "subtle" jab (and I could on like a conspiracy theorist about your interactions with the xkcd mods...).

Spoiler:
smw543 wrote:
King Author wrote:
DSenette wrote:i've kind of stayed out of this one because it seems like everyone is saying things that i agree with. but i'm bored, so i'll chime in.

i've been active on the intertubes for quite a while now, and i've been a member (and am currently a member) of quite a few forums over the years. (bbs anyone?). and i've RARELY seen the abuses you're talking about (in reality). i've seen quite a few instances where someone get's moderated, and a clamoring mass of idiots all post at the same time to say how unfair that moderation was, when in fact there was nothing wrong with the action. it's just a bunch of douche kids who didn't get their way, so they got all their douche friends to "join up in revolt" against the "oppressive hand of authority".
Surely, the only explanation is that I'm wrong or lying. You certainly can't be wrong, ne?
Well, quite a few people have already described similar experiences, and I don't really see what motivation they have to lie. Conversely, I can think of a reason for you to lie: You made a stupid thread that, at best, could've been tolerated as a post in the rant thread, and were thoroughly rebuked, so now you have to insist on a fictional version of the internet where you're a victim and everyone else is the idiot.
I don't think anyone's an idiot. I don't see why you're taking this so personally. Can't you engage in a debate without resorting to personal attacks? Also, you and I clearly have wildly different criteria for what constitutes a "thorough" rebuking. All I see here is people (myself included) sharing their experiences. A few their bad experiences (me and a couple others), most good experiences, but this isn't a thing of ultimate conclusions or of proof -- this isn't about "winning."
Yes, several others have also experienced bad mods, but you're deluding yourself if you think they were agreeing with your stance that mods are, by and large, dicks—they were saying it in the context of "There's a reason they're dicks (in the cases that they're dicks)". And no, it isn't about winning, but that particular post was about your stance being wrong. You accused DSenette of lying, and I countered that you have more reason to lie than s/he does.

I'd recommend taking a chill pill before you burst a blood valve. And let me just offer a small gem of advice; dividing up an argument into "me and the idiots who disagree with me," even in paradigm, is dangerous business. You're only hurting yourself, in the big picture.
Seriously? My post started with plans for ST/Hitler slash fanart, and ended with me inquiring as to your affinity for dicks and balls. I assure you I am far from aneurysms right now. As for the you/idiots dichotomy, don't twist my words. Despite repeated arguments to the contrary, you've refused to budge significantly from your original post, instead reframing it and even redefining terms. When everyone tells you the answer is X, and you go on saying that it's Y, you are saying something about their intelligence. It doesn't help that you changed the original question to make Y a more reasonable answer.

smw543 wrote:It was already said, but it bears repeating: The only constant in all your bad forum experiences is you.
You can't really know that, can you? There could be several dozen constants.
From my perspective, that's the only apparent one, and the only one that reconciles your fantastical horror stories with the experiences that others have presented in this thread. Mind you, I'm not saying you're making up those stories (though I'd venture to accuse you of being rather liberal with the adjectives), just that they are not as typical as you claim them to be. Then again, this may be a moot point, seeing as you've reframed the discussion to be about why mods sometimes exhibit dickish behavior (or did you simply forget to delineate at what point a mod stops acting like a dick, and actually becomes one (perhaps an average of three dickish actions per day)?), and also defined dick in an overly specific way that many would at least partially disagree with.

Spoiler:
smw543 wrote:
King Author wrote:But that's actually part of the problem; a good user base means there's gonna be good mods, and good mods are light-handed, tactful and subtle, which means they largely go by unnoticed. This also means that the few out-of-control douchebag mods are allowed to run freely, because all the good mods are too polite to say anything bad against them, and the admin won't de-mod a moderator if it's only the users saying there's a problem; he's gonna ask the other mods what they think. They're all, "ho-hum, if you can't say anything nice," so the maniac is allow to run free.

Balls. Users have 'em. Moderators need 'em.
So now you like dicks? Or you like balls? Or are a moderator's actions only dickish when targeted at you, but ballsy when you agree?
I've...never seen words minced quite like that. I...don't know how to react. I honestly can't tell if you're being facetious, or if you don't understand that "being a dick" and "having balls" are two different things.
I was saying that you were accusing ineffectual mods of lacking balls, but the solution would be for them to act in ways that would earn the label of "dick" from you. And I was also making a funny.

Balls.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:35 pm UTC
by Hammer
Folks, not that the irony of this is lost on me, but if this thread continues the trend from being about the issues of how people in general react to having power (and I use the term loosely in this case) and having said power applied to them, to being about what is or is not wrong with King Author specifically, then I will go ahead and lock it. I don't really care if he wants to call me and my ilk names as long as he doesn't derail other topics to do it or make a career out of starting threads about it (Hint: We have a Rant thread). I do care about devolving into personal attacks on each other. If you really absolutely must do that, please take it to FaiD. Thanks.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:57 pm UTC
by Cloud Walker
SecondTalon wrote:It's increasingly apparent that I'm not getting that image of me and Idi* spending a lazy Sunday together.

:(



*The horrible comical grammar is for effect here. I'm not stupid. I know that properly it should be "I and Idi"


I'm pretty sure "me" is correct.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:06 pm UTC
by Weeks
If mods weren't dicks I wouldn't be able to suck them off.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 8:54 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Cloud Walker wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:It's increasingly apparent that I'm not getting that image of me and Idi* spending a lazy Sunday together.:(
*The horrible comical grammar is for effect here. I'm not stupid. I know that properly it should be "I and Idi"
I'm pretty sure "me" is correct.
Don't mind the wooshing sound.


(I mean, last I knew, Me and X was only appropriate when you were talking about people with the surname of McGee.)

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:02 pm UTC
by Aaeriele
SecondTalon wrote:
Cloud Walker wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:It's increasingly apparent that I'm not getting that image of me and Idi* spending a lazy Sunday together.:(
*The horrible comical grammar is for effect here. I'm not stupid. I know that properly it should be "I and Idi"
I'm pretty sure "me" is correct.
Don't mind the wooshing sound.


(I mean, last I knew, Me and X was only appropriate when you were talking about people with the surname of McGee.)


"I and X" is appropriate when it's the subject; "me and X" is appropriate when it's an object. In your original sentence, it's being used as the object of the preposition "of" - "image of me and Idi" and thus "me" is correct (because you'd also say "of me" and not "of I").

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:04 pm UTC
by Felstaff
Hey, your postcount's on 15,000 exactly. If the forum was a Steam game, you'd get some kind of achievement.

So here, have an image of Big Bird fucking a #1

Image

Edit: GREAT. Now you've posted again and it's the distinctly unpleasant number of 15,002. I'll be taking back that #1 then.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:14 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Aaeriele wrote:"I and X" is appropriate when it's the subject; "me and X" is appropriate when it's an object. In your original sentence, it's being used as the object of the preposition "of" - "image of me and Idi" and thus "me" is correct (because you'd also say "of me" and not "of I").

Yet another reason to be pissed at my 3rd grade teacher.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:13 pm UTC
by squareroot1
SecondTalon wrote:
Aaeriele wrote:"I and X" is appropriate when it's the subject; "me and X" is appropriate when it's an object. In your original sentence, it's being used as the object of the preposition "of" - "image of me and Idi" and thus "me" is correct (because you'd also say "of me" and not "of I").

Yet another reason to be pissed at my 3rd grade teacher.

Or not, look again.
"[M]e and Idi" is the subject of the clause "$subject$ spending a lazy Sunday together," so "I and Idi" would be correct (as Sexy stated.) The entire clause is the object of the preposition. It isn't an image of the two of them standing there smiling; it's an image of the two of them spending the Sunday together.


Oh, and to be on topic, I find the xkcd moderators to be perfectly reasonable and rather nice-smelling people.

Edit: God, I was the person who was wrong on the internet. Thanks smarter than me people.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:39 pm UTC
by Aaeriele
squareroot1 wrote:Or not, look again.
SexyTalon wrote:It's increasingly apparent that I'm not getting that image of me and Idi* spending a lazy Sunday together.

"[M]e and Idi" is the subject of the clause "$subject$ spending a lazy Sunday together," so "I and Idi" would be correct (as Sexy stated.) The entire clause is the object of the preposition. It isn't an image of the two of them standing there smiling; it's an image of the two of them spending the Sunday together.


It's arguable, actually - it could be an image of the action of "spending time together", or it could be an image of ST and Idi, who just happen to be spending time together - thus, the "spending time together" could simply be a modifier (participial phrase), or it could be part of a larger clause.

So both might actually be correct, depending on how you parse it.

Edit: Upon further reflection, however, consider: "ST and Idi spending time together" cannot stand alone as a sentence. Thus, it stands to reason that the "participial phrase" interpretation makes much more sense.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:04 pm UTC
by gmalivuk
No one would ever say "This is an image of I doing blahblahblah", so why would they say "This is an image of I and [name] doing blahblahblah"?

The only possible issue one might have is that it's considered polite to put the other person's name before yourself in constructions like this, so it'd be "Idi and me" instead. But even then I tend to just put names in the left-to-right order they are in the picture.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Mon May 17, 2010 11:09 pm UTC
by Aaeriele
gmalivuk wrote:But even then I tend to just put names in the left-to-right order they are in the picture.


Interesting... in that case, one could theoretically read your mind, so to speak, in regards to the order of people in your mental images. ;)

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:30 am UTC
by SecondTalon
gmalivuk wrote:No one would ever say "This is an image of I doing blahblahblah", so why would they say "This is an image of I and [name] doing blahblahblah"?

The only possible issue one might have is that it's considered polite to put the other person's name before yourself in constructions like this, so it'd be "Idi and me" instead. But even then I tend to just put names in the left-to-right order they are in the picture.

That's really the reason I'm angry at my 3rd grade teacher - informing us that in listing groups of people by name and so forth, you always list yourself last and that it's incorrect to do anything otherwise.

...

Then again, she also taught me that sentences were Subject Verb, so... perhaps I should have also forgotten the X and I/Me rule too.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:19 am UTC
by TheGrammarBolshevik
squareroot1 wrote:"[M]e and Idi" is the subject of the clause "$subject$ spending a lazy Sunday together," so "I and Idi" would be correct (as Sexy stated.)

It doesn't have a predicate, so it's not a clause and "me and Idi" isn't the subject of anything. Aaeriele's only mistake is in leaving your wording as a possibility; for standard English, it isn't.

Edit: Actually, that's not even true, since she discarded that possibility on edit. Pedantry: Ur doin' it rong.

Further edit:

squareroot1 wrote:It isn't an image of the two of them standing there smiling; it's an image of the two of them spending the Sunday together.

Why would different rules apply to the verbs "standing" and "spending"?

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:44 am UTC
by kaimason1
ITT: Mods go off topic.

On topic, the conditions for dickishness are very open for interpretation: the moderated will often feel violated, when really the mod was just doing a good job.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 9:34 am UTC
by RebeccaRGB
King Author wrote:Call the user out in the topic or on the forum (i.e. an ATTN: topic), rather than using PM.
Interpret the rules so broadly or myopically as to circumvent the spirit of the rules.
Enforce rules for the sake of enforcement while ignoring the spirit of the rules.


The only experience I've really had with mods being jerks was on a few LiveJournal communities I once participated in, and it was for these three particular reasons. It seemed like every post had something wrong with it that the mods had to call out the poster on, and they did it right in the comments, every single time. So I stopped reading those communities, because it would do nothing but piss me off.

On the other hand, I was a mod for the iPodLinux forums back when that project was at the height of its popularity, and the mods there became so lenient that the forum degraded into a junk heap of off-topic, random crap. (The forums there have since been closed down and started over again two or three times now. It's nice and pleasant now, only because development has basically stopped and there are so few people still there.)

So it varies quite widely among fora.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:11 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
kaimason1 wrote:ITT: Mods go off topic.

On topic, the conditions for dickishness are very open for interpretation: the moderated will often feel violated, when really the mod was just doing a good job.
Grammar is always on topic. Especially Kelsey.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:03 pm UTC
by King Author
@DSenette: Nobody's self-perception is immaculate. Self-perception is, by its very nature, biased. Furthermore, since I'm sort of aiming my slings and arrows at moderators in general and you are a moderator somewhere (it doesn't matter where), you have a personal, vested interest in denying that mods are typically dicks. You say you've never done any of those things that I suggested makes for a dickish moderator, and I have no reason to doubt you, but I suspect fellow mods and the users of the boards you moderator might have a different opinion, if only very slightly. Not the least reason of which is because human actions are interpreted, not implicitly understood. You could've been behaving in a way you think is polite and discrete, and whoever you modded interpreted it as rude and unnecessarily ostentatious. You can jump to the immediate conclusion that he was wrong because he's sour about being modded, but you'd only be hurting yourself.

For clarification, I'm not accusing you of anything, I just find your rock-solid absolutism to be unnerving.

And refer to my three-times ago post (or was it two) for my response to the whole "mods are just normal people, too" card. tl;dr - they're not.

@smw543: 15% is my default expectation of being undeservingly banned for lack of knowledge. I don't know any of the mods around here personally, I've never really dealt with them, so for self-preservational purposes on these or any boards, I have to be wary and assume there's at least a dash of a chance I could get myself banned for a minor misstep. This is because I've been banned from three forums in the past for exactly that; breaking no rules, just not being super-deferential to the mods. To be fair, one of those forums was a forum for a Ragnarok Online server, but still, I was banned because I complained that the in-game moderators weren't doing their job.

Also, I did not, in fact, accuse anyone of lying. Again, you're taking this too hostilely and personally. I was questioning her automatic assumption that I must by necessity be wrong since what I'm saying doesn't fall in line with her viewpoint. She was being a bit presumptuous and absolutist, and I was bringing this to attention. And before you try to flip that, I am constantly considering that my view is skewed and X other person's is right-on. Unfortunately, because I'm really only debating with moderators right now (read: vested interest), I have no reason to believe that.

smw543 wrote:Seriously? My post started with plans for ST/Hitler slash fanart, and ended with me inquiring as to your affinity for dicks and balls. I assure you I am far from aneurysms right now. As for the you/idiots dichotomy, don't twist my words. Despite repeated arguments to the contrary, you've refused to budge significantly from your original post, instead reframing it and even redefining terms. When everyone tells you the answer is X, and you go on saying that it's Y, you are saying something about their intelligence. It doesn't help that you changed the original question to make Y a more reasonable answer.

I have to admit I'm losing my patience. I am absolutely not saying something about their intelligence. Disagreeing with someone is saying something about their intelligence? Refusing to accept someone else's opinion is saying something about their intelligence? Refusing to accept "everyone else's answer" is saying something about their intelligence? That's your paradigm, not mine.

smw543 wrote:From my perspective, that's the only apparent one, and the only one that reconciles your fantastical horror stories with the experiences that others have presented in this thread. Mind you, I'm not saying you're making up those stories (though I'd venture to accuse you of being rather liberal with the adjectives), just that they are not as typical as you claim them to be. Then again, this may be a moot point, seeing as you've reframed the discussion to be about why mods sometimes exhibit dickish behavior (or did you simply forget to delineate at what point a mod stops acting like a dick, and actually becomes one (perhaps an average of three dickish actions per day)?), and also defined dick in an overly specific way that many would at least partially disagree with.

Well you can't possibly think your perspective is wide enough to actually know for a fact, correct? So, rather than ask for further clarification, you assumed, and then ran away with your assumption.

smw543 wrote:I was saying that you were accusing ineffectual mods of lacking balls, but the solution would be for them to act in ways that would earn the label of "dick" from you. And I was also making a funny.

Again, you're being presumptuous. And perhaps simply confused? Up until my last post, I hadn't laid out what precisely constituted "being a dick" to me, so you really couldn't have possibly known what actions would earn them a label of dick from me, could you?

Do I know you from somewhere? Another forum perhaps? Another board on these forums? Because you sure seem comfortable assuming you know for a fact what I think, but your username doesn't seem familiar.

Edit: I'm dumb. Sorry. Misread the whole thing.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:14 pm UTC
by Cane
King Author wrote:
Hammer wrote:Folks, not that the irony of this is lost on me, but if this thread continues the trend from being about the issues of how people in general react to having power (and I use the term loosely in this case) and having said power applied to them, to being about what is or is not wrong with King Author specifically, then I will go ahead and lock it. I don't really care if he wants to call me and my ilk names as long as he doesn't derail other topics to do it or make a career out of starting threads about it (Hint: We have a Rant thread). I do care about devolving into personal attacks on each other. If you really absolutely must do that, please take it to FaiD. Thanks.

Huzzawha? Derailing other threads? This is my thread, and is specifically about what I've been talking about this entire time! Admittedly, I should've started out in the rant thread (you have my thumbs-up to merge if you like), but can you spell out exactly how I'm derailing my own thread by talking about the subject it was expressly made to talk about?

Ummm . . . she was actually defending your right to call her a dick, saying that you can complain about moderation as much as you want as long as it's in an appropriate space. Like this thread. Or the rant thread.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:24 pm UTC
by Moo
E gads, the quote sniping walls of text are tedious to say the least.
Ahem. This ^^^ would be exactly the sort of thing we don't really need in this thread. C'mon now, Moo, I know you know better than this. :) - Hammer

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 1:28 pm UTC
by DSenette
@DSenette: Nobody's self-perception is immaculate. Self-perception is, by its very nature, biased. Furthermore, since I'm sort of aiming my slings and arrows at moderators in general and you are a moderator somewhere (it doesn't matter where), you have a personal, vested interest in denying that mods are typically dicks. You say you've never done any of those things that I suggested makes for a dickish moderator, and I have no reason to doubt you, but I suspect fellow mods and the users of the boards you moderator might have a different opinion, if only very slightly. Not the least reason of which is because human actions are interpreted, not implicitly understood. You could've been behaving in a way you think is polite and discrete, and whoever you modded interpreted it as rude and unnecessarily ostentatious. You can jump to the immediate conclusion that he was wrong because he's sour about being modded, but you'd only be hurting yourself.
i have a vested interest in combating a wide sweeping generalization, that in my experience (and many other people's experience) is completely false. Your statement "mods are typically dicks" (bolded for emphasis) is tantamount to saying that politicians are typically corrupt, or cops are typically overly aggressive, or male nurses are typically homosexual. they're all complete fabrications and not based on fact or real life observation of the total group you're discussing.

Now, if you had said, "Why is it that all the Mods on <insert lame ragnorak game forum> are dicks?" or "Why are all the mods/admins on <insert SPECIFIC FORUM AT WHICH YOU EXPERIENCED DICKISH BEHAVIOR> assmunchers?" then no one would be arguing anything here. the people who had been to these forums and experienced the dickishness you're talking about would agree with you (yar, they iz totally dicks), the people who have been to these forums and NOT experienced what you're talking about would disagree (dude i've been a member there for like, a year, and i've never seen anyone be a dick), and the rest of us who have never been to those forums you're talking about would just pass by this thread and leave you alone

For clarification, I'm not accusing you of anything, I just find your rock-solid absolutism to be unnerving.
riiiiight...i'm the one who's completely unwilling to perceive any other side of the argument other than my own. i'm the one that continually reframes the question so as to fit my current point.

And refer to my three-times ago post (or was it two) for my response to the whole "mods are just normal people, too" card. tl;dr - they're not.
they are, just like cops are normal people. while a cop is on duty, they're a cop and they walk around looking for people breaking rules. when they're off duty, they're not walking around looking for people breaking rules. if they see someone breaking the rules while they're off duty, guess what, they're now back on duty and they take action. it's the same with moderators on forums, except that as long as they're logged on to the forum, they're in constant flux of being on/off duty. if i'm having a discussion about a particular topic on a forum that i moderate, i'm allowed to have a discussion with someone, heated or otherwise, and if the person i'm having the discussion with breaks a rule of the forum (say, being verbally abusive) then i've got to go back on duty and moderate that activity. NOW, if i were to moderate everything the guy said in the post because i didn't agree with it (but it didn't break rules), that's an abuse of power. as long as that doesn't happen then there's no reason to preclude forum staff from participating in discussions.

also, if you erroneously refer to me as a she again i may get angry, the "ette" at the end of my username is connected to the sen in the middle...it's a last name, and it's of french origin. it's not like "smurfette"

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 2:16 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
DSenette wrote:
And refer to my three-times ago post (or was it two) for my response to the whole "mods are just normal people, too" card. tl;dr - they're not.
they are, just like cops are normal people. while a cop is on duty, they're a cop and they walk around looking for people breaking rules. when they're off duty, they're not walking around looking for people breaking rules. if they see someone breaking the rules while they're off duty, guess what, they're now back on duty and they take action. it's the same with moderators on forums, except that as long as they're logged on to the forum, they're in constant flux of being on/off duty. if i'm having a discussion about a particular topic on a forum that i moderate, i'm allowed to have a discussion with someone, heated or otherwise, and if the person i'm having the discussion with breaks a rule of the forum (say, being verbally abusive) then i've got to go back on duty and moderate that activity. NOW, if i were to moderate everything the guy said in the post because i didn't agree with it (but it didn't break rules), that's an abuse of power. as long as that doesn't happen then there's no reason to preclude forum staff from participating in discussions.
Hence the Redtext here. Though some prefer purple and there may be a green user here which makes it just wacky. Basically funny colors, really.

DSenette wrote:also, if you erroneously refer to me as a she again i may get angry, the "ette" at the end of my username is connected to the sen in the middle...it's a last name, and it's of french origin. it's not like "smurfette"
*makes note*
French.... people....are...not...Smurfs.

Had that one wrong all these years.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 2:30 pm UTC
by Felstaff
Moo wrote:E gads
Minced blasphemy, my dear? You might as well say 'odds bodkins' now, it's that strong a religious profanity.
Moo wrote:the quote sniping
accusations of quote-sniping can get you in trouble
Moo wrote:walls of text
appropriate metaphor
Moo wrote:are
what?
Moo wrote:tedious
Oh.
Moo wrote:to say the least.

I just realised Hammer moderated your post. Great. Now I'm going to get in trouble. Better say something relevant and on-topic enough...

It is my personal belief that mods, across the whole internetiuniverse are mainly Great People Who I Get On Well With. Then again I don't frequent other foreums enough to get on their bad side, and I'm a civil enough person to not really get on people's bad sides in the first place. People can, and unsurprisingly are, idiotholes on the internet: why single out moderators?

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 2:33 pm UTC
by King Author
@DSenette: *belly laugh*
I just referred to Hammer as male and you as female XD
Sorry! It wasn't intentional, it's just that all I have to go by are usernames, and they can be ambiguous (Hammer) or falsely suggestive (DSenette). FYI I have avatars and signitures off, because I find the vast majority of them obnoxious and stupid. Not here specifically -- everywhere. I thank my lucky stars when forum software has the option to turn them off.

I'm an avowed Steinemite, I'd never call someone by the wrong gender pronoun as an insult. It kinda disturbs me that you took being referred to as female as such a grave insult, though.

Anyway, I've maintained from the beginning that most mods are dicks. I don't see where I reframed any of that. I completely admit to fault for not specifying exactly what dickishness was to me originally, and that's my mistake, but making assumptions when lacking information instead of asking for clarification before jumping to conclusions was your mistake.

Also, I'm saying you're being absolute because you say you're 100% certain you're unbiased, and as such, your opinion is more valuable than mine. I'm openly biased (it's the human condition, baby) and nowhere have I said I'm certain there's no possibility that I'm wrong, because I like to assume the best and give the benefit of the doubt and assumed that went without saying. Clearly I was wrong, so -- I'm certainly open to the possibility of being wrong. It's just, again, everyone who's debating me has a personal, vested interest in my being wrong, so I can't take "I'm a mod and I don't think mods are generally bad" very seriously. Sorry.

I already posted a lengthy bit about my "mods aren't just like you and me" thing, and I won't repost it. Suffice to say that my belief is that if you accept power over a given group, you - necessarily and rightly - have fewer rights than them. So no, I don't believe mods do have the right to get into heated debates and moderate the topics they post in.

And again I feel compelled to reiterate -- there's no "solution" to this topic, there's no endgame or "winning." Everyone's just posting according to their personal experiences, and none are more valid than any others. And to be honest, all of what's being said in here is just reinforcing my beliefs. "Mods aren't the problem, users are just whiny little ingrates. I'm a mod by the way, but that has nothing to do with anything -- my opinion is untainted." Certainly, I'd hate to be on the business end of moderator action if you were the moderator; you're taking this way too seriously.

@Felstaff: My problem is that I'm deferential and polite, too, but I still run into dickish mods more often than not. Maybe it's just that good mods don't see any reason to moderate any of my posts, only the bad ones do, and they're gonna be dicks no matter how I act.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:09 pm UTC
by DSenette
I'm an avowed Steinemite, I'd never call someone by the wrong gender pronoun as an insult. It kinda disturbs me that you took being referred to as female as such a grave insult, though.
i don't know why it would disturb you that i (being a male) prefer to not be continuously referred to as female simply because of my name, which is NOT in anyway inherently female. a simple reading of my username should make it relatively clear that it's an actual name and not some made up interwebs user name (first initial last name. pretty common username), and the specific capitalization (which is intentional) of my name DSenette should go even further towards that point.

Also, I'm saying you're being absolute because you say you're 100% certain you're unbiased, and as such, your opinion is more valuable than mine. I'm openly biased (it's the human condition, baby) and nowhere have I said I'm certain there's no possibility that I'm wrong, because I like to assume the best and give the benefit of the doubt and assumed that went without saying. Clearly I was wrong, so -- I'm certainly open to the possibility of being wrong. It's just, again, everyone who's debating me has a personal, vested interest in my being wrong, so I can't take "I'm a mod and I don't think mods are generally bad" very seriously. Sorry.
i am 100% certain that my being a moderator isn't shaping my opinion that states that i disagree with your opinion that the MAJORITY of mods on the internet are dicks. you are stating quite clearly that MOST (i.e. the majority) of all people in some form of "authoritative" position on any web based forum are dicks or in some way abuse their power. i have absolutely no vested interest in you "being wrong". as you're stating an opinion, i do have a vested interest in countering that opinion which you continually seem to be asserting as fact. based on my experience, and the experience of others here, your statistics are incorrect. the reality is that MOST moderators on the internet are, in fact, NOT dicks. i'm not here combating your specific opinions about your specific experiences. what i'm combating is your continued false generalizations.

I already posted a lengthy bit about my "mods aren't just like you and me" thing, and I won't repost it. Suffice to say that my belief is that if you accept power over a given group, you - necessarily and rightly - have fewer rights than them. So no, I don't believe mods do have the right to get into heated debates and moderate the topics they post in.
and i posted a not so lengthy post about this being incorrect. you're suggesting that moderators (who in almost all cases began as regular members, and were drawn to the site that they work with because they enjoy the discussions on that site) are no longer members of the site, and no longer have any right to contribute to the discussion while still doing their job. i'm assuming that you believe this because you feel that moderators are equal to judges, or lawyers, who must recuse themselves from a case when they have a personal interest in the outcome with regards to interpretation of the rules. moderators aren't judges or lawyers, they're cops. in any forum situation there's a finite set of rules placed on the interactions on the forum, it's the moderator's job to enforce those rules regardless of personal opinion (i'm talking about effective moderators, i've not once claimed that there aren't non-effective moderators) and all of their moderating activities should fall within those guidelines. i.e. if your board has a rule that prohibits name calling/flame wars/etc... and a moderator is participating in a discussion that regresses into name calling/flame war/etc... then it's that moderator's duty to moderate that. simple. now, ineffective, dickish moderators, yes they should not be allowed to participate in heated discussions because they're going to end up acting like a dick. but the act of participating in a civil (even if it's heated) and fair discussion does not constitute, in and of itself, dickish behavior (which you state in your manifesto des dick as dickish behavior)

And again I feel compelled to reiterate -- there's no "solution" to this topic, there's no endgame or "winning." Everyone's just posting according to their personal experiences, and none are more valid than any others. And to be honest, all of what's being said in here is just reinforcing my beliefs. "Mods aren't the problem, users are just whiny little ingrates. I'm a mod by the way, but that has nothing to do with anything -- my opinion is untainted." Certainly, I'd hate to be on the business end of moderator action if you were the moderator; you're taking this way too seriously.
i don't think anyone is trying to win the argument that dicks exist on the internet, that argument has been won a long time ago. yes dicks exist on the internet, yes a certain percentage of those dicks are moderators, but that percentage does not constitute "most"

you actually have no basis for constructing an opinion about my moderating style. it's extremely presumptuous of you to assume that you do.

assuming that someone in a place of power has no ability to be impartial and unbiased with regards to their actions is ridiculously cynical on your part. impartiality is in fact achievable. and my opinion on this particular subject is unbiased. YOUR opinion on the subject, on the other hand, is heavily biased. you got dicked by a dick mod somewhere, at some point in your internet trolling and now you've formed the opinion that all mods are dicks and refuse to accept any evidence or suggestion that this isn't the case. again no one is suggesting that NO moderators are dicks and all moderators are good at what they do, we are all stating that the statement YOU have made (MOST moderators are dicks) is incorrect. your main defense of suggesting that since i have stated that i'm a moderator somewhere else, automatically means that i'm incapable of being impartial/unbiased in the way that i approach this topic is simply ludicrous.

i take a lot of things serious, it's my nature. does this argument/discussion have a chance of ruining my day or making me pissed? no, do i give a crap what you think or how this ends? no. i'm stating my opinions/observations that are in direct conflict with yours. if you choose to assume that it means i'm taking this too serious, then that's up to you

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Tue May 18, 2010 3:15 pm UTC
by Moo
Moo wrote:Ahem. This ^^^ would be exactly the sort of thing we don't really need in this thread. C'mon now, Moo, I know you know better than this. :) - Hammer
*hangs head in shame* Mental note, don't post when feeling pissed off with the world. Sorry Hammer, King Author, and thread.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Sat May 22, 2010 8:40 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
I will say that that the worst that has happened to me, personally, here at xkcd, is having a thread chopped off short because, as far as I could tell, the mod thought it would be boring.
It's not like it would take up "space", and no-one is forced to look at stuff here anyway, so who cares if only a few persons are interested?
I have been insulted on other fora-mostly when contradicting the current mood with facts. Not even opinions, not being snarky, just posting actual numbers where assumptions had been presented as correct.
But most of my experiences have been very nice.
Taking the phrase "the whole internet" to be the equivalent of "around the whole world, people are.....", not that every moderator is a dick, but that there seems to be a prevalence of them. It may be the same phenomenon of buying a new car and suddenly seeing thousands on the roads, where previously there had been very few.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dicks?

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:28 pm UTC
by shentino
King Author wrote:So I was on an RPG forum and got into a bit of a row with someone. I'll admit, I was out of line, I broke the rules (no more than anyone else, but that's an aside). The moderator who said something, though, decided that rather than simply say something like "break it up" or "dudes, check yourselves before you wreck yourselves," she'd spend seven paragraphs making a bitter tirade against me.

Now, I don't have a very big ego, so I laughed it off. But then I had the audacity to ask, "Why only me, though? We were both getting fiery, why didn't you tell us both off?" I was then informed that the other guy got a PM.

So, two people on an internet forum get a bit flamey with each other. One gets a demure PM warning, the other gets publically shat upon. Still, it's no big deal. I've got finals coming up, what do I care what some ego trip moderator says or does?

But then I had the audacity to note that it seems tactless to chew someone out publically on the forum if you're a moderator, that moderators ought to use as much discretion as possible. I say as much as possible because, like, if someone starts posting kiddie porn, they deserve to get shouted out. But in this case, the infraction was mild, and there was more than one guilty party, but the reprimands were handed out unevenly, and tactlessly.

Banned.

Yep. She banned me. But what gets my goat is what I got banned for. It wasn't the fireball me and that other guy were tossing back and forth -- I got banned because I dared question the authority of a Moderator.

This is not an isolated incident. I've dealt with mods like this since I first started using the internet. In fact, I'd say my dealings with moderators in general are marked more often than not by extreme egotism, tactlessness, pettiness and abuse of power. And site admins never seem to give a damn, never seem to be unable to recognize out-of-control mods (which seems like most of them). Even when they do recognize them, they seem completely unwilling to do anything about it.

Another for-instance; another forum I used to visit had a really vicious moderator. She was notorious, everyone hated her, she openly closed topics just because she didn't like them or thought the topic post wasn't up to her standards (the same standards the Pulitzer group uses, apparently), and drove off forum-goers in droves. This was brought to the attention of the admin, who admitted that she was abusing her power and not doing the job a moderator should ideally do, but he said he wasn't going to de-mod her anyway, because, essentially, he didn't want to rock the boat.

So...why are moderators such dicks? And why are admins so dearly afraid of de-modding the criminally insane? It seems to me like a microcosm of politics; 99% of those in power are self-serving, and the higher-ups who put them in power don't like dethroning the clearly-corrupt because they think the public will see it as weakness, as going back on one's word. Those with some power abuse their power, and those with power over them are lazy.

*heavy sigh*

Any thoughts?

tl;dr. As a result, user was banned for this post. ~~Fatstaff


I don't think it's specific to moderators.

Most authority structures in general have this issue if they're not supervised.

Politics and social dynamics always prevail, and the rules themselves are only upheld if the guy with the most power says so. This is the owner of the business, the site owner of a forum (and even then their hosting may well pull rank if they have reason to), or a king, or any other top authority.

When the top brass hire lieutenants, they often go with who they like and/or trust, so it's often the case that an administrator will be biased in favor of their own moderators.

On another front, people in positions of authority generally do not like to have their authority questioned or challenged in any way. Being criticized for how they did their job (or sometimes even for an action they did purely as a user), being second guessed, being argued with, in short, any infringement of their desire to be high and mighty and get their way.

Consequently, they often have an incentive to shut down any such affronts to their power. And if they have the ability to ban you, they have the power to force you to either respect them or leave.

It's all about power.

The software managing the bans really doesn't know (and wouldn't care even if it did) if the moderators are jerks. The mods generally do as they damn please, and if what pleases them is unfair, then it sucks to be you.

Finally, it's useful to remember that forums are private communities under the sovereignty (delegated or otherwise) of whoever owns or leases the hardware the forum runs on, and as such it is within the sole and final discretion of the administration to run the place as fairly, or unfairly, as they darn please. Because it's their house and therefore their rules, that they get to enforce (or not enforce) their way.

It is not about what is right or fair.

Whatever the guy with the biggest ban hammer says, GOES!

As far as politics goes, the moderators may have reputations in the community the forum is a part of, and if they have leverage they can sometimes politically coerce the administration supervising them to yielding to their will.

The fact that forums are lawless pockets of cyberspace where the will of an admin is absolute, as opposed to real life, makes the hubris all the more pronounced.

Having said all that, people who foolishly or naively expect the internet to be fair are the ones who are going to be the most sorely disappointed. If they're outspoken about it and preachy, they're also the ones most likely to draw adverse attention from said moderators, who may see it as an uprising and a challenge to their authority. People who make a habit of sticking their necks out tend to be the fastest to get beheaded. Because at that point, it isn't about the original situation anymore. The fact that you questioned their ruling escalates it into a personal challenge and they'll be tempted to ban you just to vindicate their authority. And you'll be banned for the contempt, and whatever it was you were trying to argue about to begin with will have been completely forgotten.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dicks?

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:43 pm UTC
by Kewangji
I think necroing this thread should be grounds for bannination.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:57 am UTC
by TaintedDeity
SecondTalon, over 8 years ago wrote:the rules here clearly state "Necro the thread."


Seems legit. A moderator would have to be a real dick to say this and then, 8 years later, ban you for doing it.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dicks?

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:10 am UTC
by poxic
Ah, a challenge!

Hey ST...

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dicks?

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:07 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Ban the poster I had an extensive conversation with to verify humanity and all that, before then approving the post?

Look, I may be a rage-filled hate goblin, but I’m a consistent rage-filled hate goblin. And right now the only people runnin’ afoul of the rules are people complaining about the poster who followed the rules.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dicks?

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:21 pm UTC
by poxic
Fine, go ahead and be reasonable. We'll just complain about that instead.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dicks?

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:58 pm UTC
by shentino
Kewangji wrote:I think necroing this thread should be grounds for bannination.


If that's the case then Talon's approval of the post would have made him an accomplice ;).

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:13 pm UTC
by teelo
Oh cool, I can get away with replying to an 8 year old post here.

SecondTalon wrote:See - the number of posts started in which someone says in the post "I found an old thread, but didn't want to necro it" even thought the rules here clearly state "Necro the thread."

This is one of the few places around the internet where this is encouraged. Almost everywhere else either gets really really mad when a thread is necroed, or they're automatically locked after a couple months so they can't be bumped. And some of them leave them unlocked just so they can get mad at people who bump them and lock them (Blizzard does this).

I prefer it this way. "We already have a thread about this" > "That conversation is 8 years forgotten".

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dicks?

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:03 pm UTC
by Thesh
I pop in to read some of the leftist subreddits, and when you go to subreddits like anarchy101 there is a new thread on a topic such as "how would an anarchist society deal with crime" every week. They even have a faq.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:54 am UTC
by SecondTalon
teelo wrote:Oh cool, I can get away with replying to an 8 year old post here.


Within reason.

Like, imagine a thread started in the last week and you reply "Oh, cool, thanks for the information!"

It's pretty much against the rules (See #6 - the one about posting "This!" or "Quoted for Truth!" and other such meaningless statements that basically translate to "I have literally nothing to add but have a compulsion to speak") but it'll probably be completely ignored too.

But do that to a thread from 2006? Yeah, no, you''re going to be asked to cut that shit out and if you show you're incapable, you're going to lose the ability to do so. Or to post anything at all.

That said - if someone had a lengthy conversation about an interpretation of a book or whatever, and the last post was 2009 and you're just now showing up with a "Oh man, I read that book a month ago and I completely disagree. The color of the wall was entirely about..." and have a paragraph or seven following it, essentially continuing the conversation with a decade pause? Post that shit, completely relevant.

aka - shentino's post.

Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:45 pm UTC
by somitomi
I already posted the only "dick mod" experience I had somewhere in the forum, so you're safe.
teelo wrote:This is one of the few places around the internet where this is encouraged. Almost everywhere else either gets really really mad when a thread is necroed, or they're automatically locked after a couple months so they can't be bumped. And some of them leave them unlocked just so they can get mad at people who bump them and lock them (Blizzard does this).

I prefer it this way. "We already have a thread about this" > "That conversation is 8 years forgotten".

I find it strange how differently "threads" are used across various forums I frequent. On one of them there would be a small number of them with a broad topic in the title. Say, the "Audio" subforum would have threads titled "Amplifiers", "Tape decks", "Speakers" and so on, and each would contain all discussions on that particular topic from the very beginning of the forum two decades ago (with post counts sometimes well into the hundred thousands). There'd be some more specific threads centered on a particular brand or something (which can lay dormant for years) or the occasional newcomer starting a thread for their one specific problem, but the "main" (or general) threads rarely die down and necroing is strongly encouraged if a thread about vaguely the same topic already exists (without even the "QFT" caveat). Way on the other end of the spectrum lies another forum, where a new thread is started for almost every discussion, so that the "tape deck" subforum consists entirely of several thousand threads titled "<particular tape deck> has <particular problem>", "should I buy <particular tape deck> for <price>?" and "just bought <particular tape deck>", each a couple pages at most. There are only a small number of sticky threads about less specific topics, but that's not where most of the conversation is. Yet another forum locks every thread after 300 posts and a sequel is started if necessary, splitting long running threads into numbered chunks (the reason for this is a mystery to me).