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Official Suggestions Thread

Nicole

luke is my wife
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Location
NJ
I was wondering if the maximum gender options vB allows is limited to male and female. I think it would be helpful if there were other gender options (such as genderqueer or nonbinary and the like) but I'm not sure if that's possible with the software. Could someone look into it?
 

Batman

Not all those who wander are lost...
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Location
40 lights off the Galactic Rim
Gender
Dan-kin
Libertarian governance is ideal for any community, be it a country or a web forum. The moderation and administration staff should be directly elected by the members and privileged ranks should be largely abolished. Such an authoritarian system creates far more troubles and conflicts on web forums than it fixes. You either respect every active member's contribution to this forum or you prefer Stalinist standards of hierarchy and big-headed power abuse. And I get sick of hearing this argument "this website is a private enterprise and should not be held to the same standards as real life communities." I completely understand that the webmaster of this site can do whatever the hell he wants with his private endeavor, but that doesn't excuse the fact that the way he chooses to allow this site to run is unethical. The authorities on this forum have a choice to make this site more democratic and libertarian - they choose not to. Lessening the authoritarianism on this site would not hinder this forum's functionality in any way. It would only create a more welcoming, democratic, sensible forum where members would feel far more comfortable and interconnected with their community.

Allowing members to voice their complaints in public is the only moral and practical way to do it. It's the most efficient method for ridding this forum of the things that hinder its progress on all levels. That's all I have to say.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Gender
Timecube
I think he was referring to the majority vote lock thing. Should such a feature exist a thread could be locked despite a mod deciding otherwise. It has the potential to be abused and likely would be when people are unhappy with a mods decision.

In the time I've been on this forum any issue I have raised with any more legitimacy than clicking the report button on a post has always been responded to. I am yet to see or hear of an example of a person being blatantly ignored with situations usually being as follows:

a) User complains about something (usually their own punishment for this or that)
b) Mod/Admin responds with a decision that isn't to the users taste.
c) User kicks up a fuss and takes "I won't be discussing this further" as a sign of ignorance.

Mods have as much right to refuse to further discuss something as they do to decline the request initially. If you have a problem that only the mods can solve then it should stay with the mods if such issue could cause further derision. This isn't just a forum imposed rule it's also common sense, and as such I see the majority of instances of public cries for "help" as attempts to stir more controversy. Often to spite the members or mods already involved. "Hey everyone, look at what BillytheMod wouldn't listen to me about! Isn't it shameful that I had to come here to get noticed?!"

No means no, and that's a lesson that took me some learning too. If Mummy and Daddy say no, you don't start talking trash about them to your brothers and sisters. If you continue to make the same, already resolved, request and do so disrespectfully then you have no reason to be surprised when you log on to find an empty inbox.

Don't think I'm having a personal attack against you here, I'm not contesting what you yourself have been through. Merely the statement that "People" have been ignored by mods in such matters, rather than yourself.
The issue is more often that the administration makes a decisions, such as locking a thread or giving an infraction/warning, without valid justification. I.e., a thread is locked preemptively because one or two posts "might" lead to flaming. Naturally, there are going to be people who question such actions. And again, more often than not, we do not get an explanation. At best, we get a rehash of the same flawed reasoning; at worst, we get ignored or further infracted/warned (and some cases, banned). This is a problematic way of dealing with moderation issues, as it both sets a precedent that any dissent can just be suppressed or ignored, and also that those who challenge the status quo are just "troublemakers". As Batman pointed out above, there is not detriment in having a more democratic forum, but in fact creates a better environment.
Ironically, when complaints are consistently ignored, it creates a greater atmosphere of tension, and does the opposite of resolve issues. Indeed, it generally creates more issues, as members either look for other ways to get their issues heard/resolved, or give up and leave.

Lastly,

Mods have as much right to refuse to further discuss something as they do to decline the request initially. If you have a problem that only the mods can solve then it should stay with the mods if such issue could cause further derision. This isn't just a forum imposed rule it's also common sense, and as such I see the majority of instances of public cries for "help" as attempts to stir more controversy. Often to spite the members or mods already involved. "Hey everyone, look at what BillytheMod wouldn't listen to me about! Isn't it shameful that I had to come here to get noticed?!"
This fixation on "controversy" and not causing derision is exactly what causes most of the problems in the first place. There is such importance placed on not causing controversy that it drives people crazy. Compounded by the fact that the term "controversy" is so arbitrarily defined here, and thrown around at just about... any disagreement whatsoever. It's literally become a catch-all for anything that isn't liked. If a member posts something that isn't deemed acceptable by some subjective standard that isn't well defined to begin with, it's "controversy". This is the real heart of the issue. Instead of just tossing out "controversy" or "derision", issues would be more easily resolved by the novel idea of listening to members.
 

Kybyrian

Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Location
Amherst, MA
Gender
Didn't I already answer this one?
Kitsu said:
The issue is more often that the administration makes a decisions, such as locking a thread or giving an infraction/warning, without valid justification. I.e., a thread is locked preemptively because one or two posts "might" lead to flaming. Naturally, there are going to be people who question such actions.
I totally agree, and that's something I see with the moderation team from time to time. Obviously I'm in a bit of a situation that may lead to bias, still close with the mod team due to my previous position as admin, so often I try to rationalize moderator behavior even if it may not necessarily be the best course of action; however, this is something I definitely see from time to time, and it's something that Locke has addressed to the moderating team recently as well. Threads shouldn't be locked because of a couple people arguing back and forth or saying something that may lead to controversy. The posts in question from the party, if their actions are reasonably as adverse as they seem to be, should be dealt with individually rather than shutting down an entire thread. Topics that aren't inherently hateful shouldn't be locked down because someone has attempted to create that environment.

Kitsu said:
This fixation on "controversy" and not causing derision is exactly what causes most of the problems in the first place. There is such importance placed on not causing controversy that it drives people crazy. Compounded by the fact that the term "controversy" is so arbitrarily defined here, and thrown around at just about... any disagreement whatsoever. It's literally become a catch-all for anything that isn't liked. If a member posts something that isn't deemed acceptable by some subjective standard that isn't well defined to begin with, it's "controversy". This is the real heart of the issue. Instead of just tossing out "controversy" or "derision", issues would be more easily resolved by the novel idea of listening to members.
And in reference to all of this... I agree as well. I know that during my time as admin (when I was reasonably active in the community, which I admit died down for significant periods many times), I tried to talk to members who found themselves offended by the actions or a moderator or having problems with other members or actions/decisions made by the moderating team. Even now, while not even being a part of the moderating team, I have had conversations that have lasted hours or more with concerned members/groups who worry about or have felt wronged by the actions of the moderating team with my knowledge of why some decisions are made and what my take on some issues are.
 

Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Location
Vegas
I don't like the ideas of a public place for complaints about moderator actions and members having a way to forcibly overrule moderators. Issues should be taken up with the mods or me privately. I wish more people would do this, and do it respectfully.
As others have said, this is just not an option. The staff will only either completely refuse to acknowledge them, or scold them for daring to question them. And then they get labeled a troublemaker for their effort. And then told off again when they take their complaints to something more public, when they started off doing exactly what you asked and they only got blown off and got nothing for it. Not even a "no, I don't agree" but just complete silence. You yourself have merely complained about me bringing my concerns to you before and always refused to acknowledge it. In your position, you can't just ignore everyone then complain when they are forced to do something else to make themselves heard. If you refuse to communicate with someone, you have no right to complain about the manner in which they have to communicate because you ignored them.

The staff has made a lot of questionable decisions over the last year and has always been poor to communicate about them, and only ever hostile to anyone that questions them. Even privately. The staff exists to maintain the forums. Not to rule over them. If the members wish to keep discussing something, they should be allowed to do so instead of threatened for "opposing" a mod's decision and told they're breaking a rule that doesn't even exist. It sounds like you, Locke, have made a good point about that to the mods, according to Wyatt's post. But that also should include unlocking threads that were over-zealously locked, and issuing an apology to those who were harshly treated when they questioned those locks or innocently tried to continue the conversations.

I don't think there is much choice but to make future complaints about mod conduct public. Let's face it. Mods have a lot of responsibility. And they have to be held accountable. If they're made totally immune to criticism, they can get away with a lot of crap. And... another thing we have to face is that ALWAYS, every single time a mod does something wrong, and the others actually acknowledge that it is wrong, the said action is almost always left as-is and never reverted. Excessive bans are usually left untouched though some are reduced even though they should have been completely removed. Unfair infractions are left in place continuing to count against people. Locked threads left locked. People who got undeserved reputations as troublemakers continue to be treated as such by the mods despite it. There needs to be some retroactive accountability whenever something a mod does is challenged and the challenge succeeds.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
I think he was referring to the majority vote lock thing. Should such a feature exist a thread could be locked despite a mod deciding otherwise. It has the potential to be abused and likely would be when people are unhappy with a mods decision.
That's a rather lame excuse. A mod's privileges 'has the potential to be abused', but that doesn't stop you from creating moderators. If a mods decision is considered abusive by the community, then at least there is a way of countering it in a democratic way. Not saying it's perfect, but it's better that what we have now.
 

Axle the Beast

The Second Coming
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Location
USA
That's a rather lame excuse. A mod's privileges 'has the potential to be abused', but that doesn't stop you from creating moderators. If a mods decision is considered abusive by the community, then at least there is a way of countering it in a democratic way. Not saying it's perfect, but it's better that what we have now.
A moderator is put in charge by the owner of the site and who gets to be a moderator is heavily screened so there are hardly ever any poorly-behaving moderators. Even when there have been moderators who do things they shouldn't, they're reprimanded and/or removed from the job as necessary. Comparing moderator abuse (which, again, is handled by the administration) to member abuse changes way too many variables to be a viable comparison, particularly considering the entire point of a moderator is to reprimand rude members. I've only been skimming the discussion so if I've missed the entire topic at this point I apologize in advance, but if the suggestion in question is -- as I'm gathering -- to have a means of members voting to keep a thread open despite a moderator closing it, then that defeats the entire point of having moderators at all.



Also, I thought it was worth mentioning in relevance to the idea of members voting to determine mods that several times in the past member suggestions were taken into consideration when promoting new moderators. I specifically remember one of the last times Mases gathered member suggestions, though I don't know if he made a thread about it or went into the shoutbox or what. Of course the suggestions were screened but I think a few of them were promoted. So it's not like member input was ever ignored when it came to new moderators.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
A moderator is put in charge by the owner of the site and who gets to be a moderator is heavily screened so there are hardly ever any poorly-behaving moderators. Even when there have been moderators who do things they shouldn't, they're reprimanded and/or removed from the job as necessary. Comparing moderator abuse (which, again, is handled by the administration) to member abuse changes way too many variables to be a viable comparison
I wish I knew what variables you were referring to.
 

Axle the Beast

The Second Coming
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Location
USA
I wish I knew what variables you were referring to.
I already gave you the most important one. The comparison you made assumes both groups have the same position and role, but they don't. All members are equal and need to be treated equally, but that doesn't change the fact that moderators exist to make sure that happens. Variables the comparison ignores, off the top of my head:

  • One only exists to keep the other in line
  • Moderators are screened for good-behavior and decision-making, whereas members can be literally anyone and might be utterly untrustworthy in these areas
  • Moderator abuse is dealt with, just not by members (which wouldn't make any sense)

The idea of members having the ability to overrule a moderator decision isn't viable. One group exists to deal with troublemakers in the other group. You can get into "who watches the watchers" all you want, but that's what admins are for, and then what the site's owner is for, and if you aren't comfortable with the site's owner's decisions, then generally you're not in a community where you're going to feel comfortable anyway. Either way the idea of two groups watching over each other basically totally invalidates the purpose of the second group in the first place, as well as basically just creates feud of two groups scenario.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Gender
Timecube
The issue isn't so much that about members 'watching over' the moderators, as it is that at present, there is a stark lack of communication between the members and staff, and even amongst staff. The last several posts in this thread have been about the fact that members (including myself) have had trouble getting a response from moderators. There have been several instances where I or other members have politely questioned or challenged something, and were ignored entirely. This creates a great deal of frustration, because actions such as locking threads are being performed without valid reason, and contesting this usually results in silence, or an off-hand dismissal. Essentially, we're bringing up an issue that should be addressed, but so far, despite previous suggestions and mentioning of the topic, hasn't been.

Also, I don't think anyone (unless I misunderstood M107) was actually suggesting completely overruling moderator actions, so much as having the place and opportunity to question such actions, and even if the action is not reversed, have our questions answered, or at least acknowledged.
 

キラ

Yo!
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Location
Illinois
I think it would be a great idea to be notified when someone quotes my post, like when I get notified when someone likes my post. ^^
 

Axle the Beast

The Second Coming
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Location
USA
Also, I don't think anyone (unless I misunderstood M107) was actually suggesting completely overruling moderator actions, so much as having the place and opportunity to question such actions, and even if the action is not reversed, have our questions answered, or at least acknowledged.
Like I said I've only been skimming so I haven't been following too closely and might have misunderstood; I was mainly addressing an exchange that was going on between some quotes of a section from earlier posts. Sounded like the suggestion was about a thread to vote to re-open closed threads or something, so I replied with that assumption. M107 didn't correct me so... xP


The issue isn't so much that about members 'watching over' the moderators, as it is that at present, there is a stark lack of communication between the members and staff, and even amongst staff. The last several posts in this thread have been about the fact that members (including myself) have had trouble getting a response from moderators. There have been several instances where I or other members have politely questioned or challenged something, and were ignored entirely. This creates a great deal of frustration, because actions such as locking threads are being performed without valid reason, and contesting this usually results in silence, or an off-hand dismissal. Essentially, we're bringing up an issue that should be addressed, but so far, despite previous suggestions and mentioning of the topic, hasn't been.
Well if there's a communication issue, then it should be addressed, although Blue seemed to disagree that there was one in his experience at least. Either way, if admins are ignoring private messages, why would they pay more attention to a public thread? I don't really see how a thread solves the issue or enables more communication with the administration. In that situation the communication is the issue, not the venue.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Gender
Timecube
Well if there's a communication issue, then it should be addressed, although Blue seemed to disagree that there was one in his experience at least. Either way, if admins are ignoring private messages, why would they pay more attention to a public thread? I don't really see how a thread solves the issue or enables more communication with the administration. In that situation the communication is the issue, not the venue.
The entire point of bringing up this issue here is that one, it's a suggestions thread, ergo, we post suggestions, and two, it's an attempt to communicate with the administration at large by raising the issue in a public venue, where anyone can see it, since obviously PMs are ineffective. Keeping all these issues secret does no good either way, it's better that they are brought up where anyone can see them and comment on them, rather than try to confine everything to PMs and private chats. Discussing the issues in a venue like this is representative of the kind of communication that should already be happening.
 

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