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Should Moderators be allowed to also be contributors? [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2007-3-29 14:08:00 |Display all floors
On professional international forums, moderators have as their mandate the requirement to police a forum ONLY!

They are supposed to be there to: answer direct questions by contributing forumites, read all posts so as to eliminate those that violate any of the rules that ALL forums have as far as language, intent, and violation of any relevant laws or forum policy.

They are not supposed to be regular contributors as that obviously reduces the amount of time they spend actually doing their job.

The danger of moderators wanting to promote themselves by committing such acts as deleting a forum member's posts simply because it may be on a topic similar to a moderators topic - even if written far better than the moderators offering; engaging in personality clashes with real forum members; banning members because the moderator writes something that a forum member disagrees with - and says they disagree with - and then the moderator simply wielding the right given to them by the organization for which they are supposed to be working deletes the comments of anyone that disagrees with the moderator and/or threatens the contributing poster with retribution if the contributing poster dares to disagree again with the moderator; is also a problem that professional forums eliminate by denying moderators the right to be contributors.

Forums are supposed to be a level playing field, if you will, for people who register to be members to write, argue, debate, flame...whatever...as long as it is within the rules established by the forum. Forum members disagreeing with what another member writes have the right to counter what is said - also within the rules established by the forum. Forum members do not have the right to delete the posts of another contributor because they do not agree with what another contributor wrote or because another member has a more popular thread that any other member.

This forum needs to be a level playing field.

However, when moderators, with the power to ban, delete or threaten, are also contributing to the forum topics, the chance of less-than-scrupulous activities is exacerbated by emotional or puerile pouting that results in other forum members being dealt with unfairly for purely personal reasons.

Moderators that contribute rather than moderate also tend to ignore any complaints passed to them and so do not pass those complaints further up the management chain and the forum member making a complaint is simply ignored because a moderator may not want higher levels of management to be informed that the moderator is not doing the job for which they were hired.

So, for these problems: no real policing and cleaning the forum; no answering of direct questions; allowing personal grudges rather than any violation of forum rules to be used to delete posts or threads any certain moderator may not personally like or to use personal views rather than any actual violation of forum policy to ban or damage any contributing forum member, I feel there needs to be a poll asking the forum members their opinion.

It should also be noted, THIS IS NOT A POLL IN WHICH ANY MODERATOR SHOULD PARTICIPATE! This poll is for forum members only.
Single choice vote, There are a total of 0 people participating in the poll
19.23% (10)
63.46% (33)
17.31% (9)
Your current user group has no poll permission

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2007-3-29 18:07:27 |Display all floors

I agree

(but don't tell anyone)

I voted green by the way

:)
"We know it's weakness, but the weakness is so strong!"

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Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2007-3-29 22:10:01 |Display all floors
Originally posted by pandamonium at 2007-3-29 18:07
I agree

(but don't tell anyone)

I voted green by the way

:)


OK, I wont tell anyone.

I am going to make another poll with a slightly different - although related question - to see if we can flesh out a little more how the contributing posters feel.

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Post time 2007-3-29 22:49:05 |Display all floors

I totally disagree with you canchin.

I totally disagree with you canchin. What on earth make you think all or most moderators are like you said? Do you really think a human being cannot do a job and also have opinions... and keep the two separate? It's only a message board, not like a danger of a surgeon operating on his own wife or something.

I was a moderator on a bbs once, I had a username I used as mod and a separate name for me as a member. I did a perfectly fine job as mod, it was not difficult at all to remain objective when I was in "mod mode". And it didn't take away from my time to participate. If the mod is getting paid, doing it from an office with a set time, then sure, s/he should only do his/her job (though it only takes a minute to write a short response), but if it's possible to mod from home too, or at any time, then, like I did, a mod can read through everything, respond if he wants, and when he sees something that needs to be dealt with, deal with it, then go back to reading.

It's no big deal. It is very totally possible for mods to contribute with no ill effects. Heck, when I was mod I even deleted some of 'my own' posts and those of 'friends' after rereading them the next day & realizing they were going off topic. I even banned a person I used to joke with because he went WAY too far with someone else. He never knew I was mod, and he was always nice to my screenname, but I had to do it. He came back with a new name, continued joking with me, left the other person alone, and life went on uninterrupted, no big deal.

[ Last edited by freakyqi at 2007-3-29 10:50 PM ]
I am not rich.  :L

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Post time 2007-3-29 23:06:13 |Display all floors
Originally posted by freakyqi at 2007-3-29 22:49
What on earth make you think all or most moderators are like you said?


I do not think - nor did I suggest - that it was "all or most" moderators.

The fact is that over the last 3 years that I have been involved in the CD forum, there have been - and continues to be - cases where stats are manipulated, posts that should not have been deleted have been deleted while posts that should have been deleted as it was obvious that they were blatant violations of posted forum rules were not so dealt with.

There are numerous cases where a personality conflict between a mod and a contributing forum member ends in said mod abusing their power by banning a poster simply because that poster did not feel there was a need to kowtow to said mod. One a moderator joins as a contributor they are then just like any other forum member - not better, no worse - and the administration of the forum should be managed as such.

A mod that contributes should not be allowed to allow personal self-interest or self-promotion to the point of denigrating any contributing forum member because the mod had opened him or herself up to disagreement by writing something that has offended someone else.

Abuse of power is a negative and over the last 3 years I have seen it cause numerous well-liked, intelligent, thoughtful - and even abusive but colorful - forum members leave the forum because they could not deal with the double-standards.

I care not if mods contribute as long as they accept that once they do become contributors then they are fair game as far as flame wars if something they write is idiotic; if they do not deal with any forum member that takes offense to something the contributing mod writes by banning them or deleting that forum members defense of his or herself.

When a mod that has the power to do so acts in a way that shows they are focused ONLY on their own self-interest and will manipulate forum statistics, manipulate the forum - for example by making a couple dozen of their own, often currently irrelevant, poorly written or many years old and contributed to ONLY by the mod in one guise or another threads as "recommended" while at the same time eliminating from the recommended section or even deleting far more relevant, interesting, and active through many posters contributing rather than just "one" threads, then that is another abuse of power that is offensive.

The forum rules require mods that delete a post or move a post notify the poster involved stating the reason for the act...how often does that happen?

There have been threads made that simply disappeared from a section because -- apparently - a moderator had created a thread in another section that nobody bothered about but which was on the same topic, and the moderator seemed to want to promote their own thread and did so by eliminating what they saw as "competition"...another offensive abuse of power.

So, NO, I did not imply that it was "all or most" moderators that acted in such a manner...but some do and that is what the poll is about, as is the other poll topic that I had suggested to me.

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Post time 2007-3-29 23:09:47 |Display all floors
Originally posted by freakyqi at 2007-3-29 22:49
It's no big deal.


On this I totally disagree...it IS a big deal as it damages the many good moderators on the forum that are not so ham-handed and narcissistic as to live for self-promotion and who are willing to abuse their powers to make themselves seem like they are "somebody."

A moderators job is to moderate - the forum proper is the playground of the forum members to work out their own disagreements, to bring up topics that are important to them, to argue, agree, cajole, entertain...whatever; and if that atmosphere is sullied by abuse of power than it becomes a negative.

I don't really care if a moderator contributes - as long as they "leave their power at the door" when they enter the forum.

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Post time 2007-3-29 23:12:26 |Display all floors

I do agree with Canchin and Freakyqi you are confused.

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