Some new approaches to moderating

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The Landlord
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Some new approaches to moderating

Post by Dale »

Dear Chiffers,

Frequent visitors to this board will be aware that we've had a weird couple of weeks. There have been more personality conflicts and certainly more exchanges that, at best, strain the limits of the Reasonable-Person principle and the Rule of Chiff Civility.

After checking and learning that it isn't a full moon, I have to assume that part of the problem is the continuing growth of the board. But, really, I think that most of the problems have been related to the on-line personalities and behavior of a handful of members and the less-than-patient responses of other members. I do not want to see faithful, constructive, and helpful veterans of this board get run-off by those who causing some trouble. Some have left already, and I think that diminishes the board.

I am told by people who frequent other boards that we've generally been successful in keeping a balanced and rather light approach to moderation. I hope we can continue to do that. However, I do see the need to make a couple of changes in moderation practices--and you need to know what these are.

Although this gets mentioned a LOT on the boards, we all do need to recall that this board is privately owned, noncommercial, and is analogous to a private party. We post here because the owners allow us to post here. Now, who are the owners? Without getting into the technicalities, the owners are Rich and myself.

The moderators are going to be working something like this:

1. We will continue to lock and delete threads, and delete individual posts, in keeping with our best judgment.

2. We’re going to delete threads that refer to other threads that have been deleted or locked. So, let x = a deleted or locked thread. Let y= a “what happened to x?” thread. We’ll delete y.

3. We are going to occasionally make a decision that a given member of the board contributes too much trouble and not enough positive and helpful content. When we decide that’s the case, we’re going to disable or delete that person’s account (and, insofar as we can detect them, disable or delete any subsequent accounts that person opens.) That will almost always involve consultation among moderators and consultation among senior members of the board. (We’ve identified some of those senior members and have a mechanism in place for consulting with them.) However, people who post here have no right to due process or for explanation. Again, it’s a private party. We reserve the right to uninvite.

I can’t imagine we would ban someone without privately conveying suggestions and warnings to the person before we put the hurt on them.

4. This is a music forum with a lot of leeway for people with musical interests to engage in nonmusical conversation. We do not intend for this to be a board for people who rarely or never post about music. We reserve the right to uninvite people who don’t contribute to the content about music.

5. We’re not going to be explaining our actions. It takes more time to answer “why did you do that?” questions than to actually, uh, do that.

I genuinely believe that these changes in moderation will be largely invisible to most everyone. But, I think we do have to kick it up a notch in the interest of serving the whole board membership.

Thanks for your attention and cooperation.

Best regards,