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Official Suggestions Thread

Axle the Beast

The Second Coming
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Location
USA
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.
Was referring to the suggested public discussion thread for moderating concerns, not this suggestion thread. I was questioning what that proposed thread would solve if the concern was over admin responsiveness.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
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.
↓ My original post ↓​
...
EDIT: On another note, could a thread be unlocked by majority vote (voters would had to have posted in the thread).
Axle's assumption is valid. The idea was to allow a 'majority' vote to override actions. Of course I think there would need to be certain conditions that might make a thread not be eligible for unlocking (e.g. length of thread, and how many different members posted). Though it's hard to say without empirical evidence whether it would work or not. Axle made a pretty solid argument against it, so it might be better to leave it be for now until someone in charge wants to either test it, or somebody else comes up with another alternative that's better than what I've suggested.
 

Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Location
Vegas
Was referring to the suggested public discussion thread for moderating concerns, not this suggestion thread. I was questioning what that proposed thread would solve if the concern was over admin responsiveness.
No you weren't. You very clearly meant the communication problem:

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.
It's very hard for that to mean anything else. AND it sounds like you're trying to dismiss the need to discuss the communication problem at all. If not here, where? What do you expect people to do? You talk with them one-on-one, they don't listen or yell at you for it. You talk to them in places like this, they scold you for it and tell you to talk to them one-on-one. You're just repeating the same circle. Just what do you think is doing to happen? That people are just going to forget about this because YOU don't want to talk about it? How is that going to make anything better? If you don't want to discuss the issue, then don't. You're not actually a moderator anymore anyway. Just an adviser. You don't have to take part in the discussion if you don't want to.
 
K

Kieroni

Guest
Hello. I've been wanting to get on here to say; the Media page (and other related things) need to be updated! We have not LBW section, and it is needed!
 

Kybyrian

Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Location
Amherst, MA
Gender
Didn't I already answer this one?
Hello. I've been wanting to get on here to say; the Media page (and other related things) need to be updated! We have not LBW section, and it is needed!
The forums are unrelated to the main site and its content; however, I assure you that our content writers on the main staff are gathering information on LBW, and it will be available soon. Some parts of the content pages have lower priority than the others and will be completed at later dates.

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. ^^
That's an interesting idea. It looks like some modification developers have already had the same idea, so I'll help in bringing it up with the administration. I don't know if it has the option to turn it off, though, which would be useful and could determine whether it's implemented or not.
 
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Justac00lguy

BooBoo
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
NZ
Gender
Shewhale
Oh I definitely think there's a communication issue. Simply not in the regard that others here are making out.

I agree insofar as little communication is given on why a decision is made. But the decisions are ultimately made. It is our part of the bargain as members of this community to abide by that decision regardless of how vehemently you may disagree with it. Yes, you may contest what conclusion you've been slapped with and yes, you absolutely are allowed to be peeved with such outcome. But when taking things through the official route doesn't work for you, it's for a reason. At this point it's down to the member to either grin and bear it or face the consequences when they try and stir up trouble because of it.
However this simply doesn't work if the decision is unjust and no one should stand by and let nothing happen. If you put exactly what you said in a completely unfair situation then, even if mods have the final say, it doesn't necessarily make it right. The fact is that no community, whether it's an Internet or your local community, should just take decisions on the chin without questioning authority. If no one questioned anything then it's a good chance we would live in a world with no democracy.

Now it may sound silly of me to compare this to a real life scenario, and I'm not necessarily saying we should treat this matter like that, I'm just simply using it as an example.

TheBlueReptile said:
isn't an excuse at all. It's a risk factor that has to be taken into consideration. As Axle has already pointed out, people are not promoted to the moderation team with carefully being selected, sometimes by the referral of the community. Even then, steps are taken to ensure the risk is managed ongoing. Moderators cannot take whatever action they please as they're held accountable for each of them.

What's being suggested here is to give the power to override a mod's decision, a decision with a relatively low risk factor, to the general community.
That wasn't suggested whatsoever. Kitsu is voicing the right for members to at least have a say in matters. A forum is a community like any other at the end of the day. While you may have a hierarchy--whether it be members, HKs, Mods, Admins etc.--I believe that everyone has the right to have an equal say despite their rank.

I'm not saying that there has been any bad decisions by the mod team (current or past), but the right to question is a right that we most definitely should have. Again, usually strength comes in numbers, and one member complaining about a thread being closed (which was the original topic?) Is likely not to be taken into account. So this, as a suggestion thread, is an outlet for a suggestion by Kitsu, which I thought made perfect sense as there were many threads that were closed quite prematurely to the disappointment of many who were enjoying the topic at hand.

TheBlueReptile said:
A community populated by malicious and ill-intended members as well as those who want to contribute positively.
The former greatly outnumbers the latter. Plus its easy to differentiate between someone who is causing controversy for the sake of it, and someone who is making a civil suggestion. I don't know whether you're referring to people causing trouble in this thread, but I think it's simply members voicing their say.

If that's a problem though, said members are susceptible to bans.

TheBlueReptile said:
I'm yet to experience the throw-away use of the term "controversy" on these forums. But you knew what I was referring to and would appreciate it if you didn't try to paint my response as an overreaction to something simple.

To cause controversy is quite literally to cause a public display of opinionated debate, in this instance one of heated debate. I'm not talking about one member making a flippant comment and another taking offense, I'm talking about a direct attempt to undermine the decisions of the mods and belittle those involved by shouting it from the rooftops. If you have tension with the mods or the way they have dealt with something then that's a shame and something that should definitely be addressed. However, it should be addressed respectfully and without causing unnecessary disruption to the community. All people are doing by making blogs about how unfair theirs or another's ban is, is trying to get reactions from people against the mods.
Controversy is sometimes exaggerated and I think people do sometimes need to sit back and realise it's an Internet forum, but it does exist maybe just not on the level people make it out to be. Also just because you haven't experienced such it doesn't mean it's nonexistent nor does it mean you can take the position to speak from a pedestal that represents the masses, which I get the feeling you're doing.

Like I've said above, I don't think this whole discussion was an attempt to stir controversy for the sake of it or to "undermine" as you said. I don't recall you were present at the time, but this was on the back of a few threads being closed quite prematurely and--at that moment--another was closed, which many disagreed with. However, this wasn't an outlash at the mods as we were discussing this in a civil manner at the time, and many thought the wrong decision was made. I don't see what was so "disrespectful" about the original post by Kitsu, maybe you could expand? It was done because we thought our say was getting shot down without no where to reason. It's not exactly a huge problem, but nor should we take it on the chin.

TheBlueReptile said:
Having an actual public forum in which to display your concerns about the moderation doesn't seem like a bad idea to me in theory. It's out of the way where people don't have to scroll past actual content to gain access to it, and would allow general opinion to be collected on issues that fall into more of a gray area. However, we as a community are not mature enough for it to be effective in my eyes. It would be swarmed by the "Why was I banned?!" blogs that we've seen punctuating the blogs section and would likely often result in Mods vs Members debates that are only going to lead to frustration when attempts to overturn subjectively unwise decisions are unsuccessful.
I honestly think that it could be abused, but again, it's easy to differentiate between a troll-like posts and an actual suggestion. The original suggestion, being: for mods to delete posts instead of closing the thread straight away, is a legitimate suggestion rather than a simple "why was I banned". The mods can easily spot the difference between the two and make the right decision.

---

Me agreeing with Kitsu (and others) isn't exactly me being against the mods and nor should it be seen as such; however, I think we should work together to make the community better. Mods are bound to make wrong choices from time to time; it happens and I can relate as I honestly don't see myself as anywhere near a perfect HK either.

Mods should have the final say as that is their job, but if a bad descsion does occur then members should have the right to voice their say on the situation at hand. This shouldn't be treated as a members vs mods scenario, but instead a cooperation between both parties.
 
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Batman

Not all those who wander are lost...
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Location
40 lights off the Galactic Rim
Gender
Dan-kin
TheblueReptile said:
Unethical according to what? At the risk of sounding redundant, you're still holding these "morals" against the real world. You weren't born into this forum, you actively chose to join it despite being given fairly clear instructions to read and abide by it's rules. To say that having to play by those rules having already accepted them is unethical is like quitting halfway through a game of tennis on moral grounds because you disagree that the nets should be the height they're at.
Unethical according to the libertarian ethics I subscribe to. And of course I wasn’t born into this forum and I joined this forum with at least some basic knowledge that things weren’t run the way I would prefer them, but how does that fact lessen the validity of my complaints? It would be like a person moving to Russia out of his/her own free choice because he loves Russian culture and has family there - and then decides to protest their anti-gay laws. Protest is a very healthy thing and the public expression of dissent in a civil and rational manner is the most important tool for communal change. I can be a member of, and enjoy, this forum and still give my two cents about what I think could make the place even more enjoyable. I like this forum, it’s pretty neat, so I’m going to keep on using it. But it does have problems I’ve noticed and I’m the kind of person to express my discomfort over those problems.

To use your tennis analogy: I could love the game of tennis but strongly disagree with the behavior and decisions of one of the referees. Ultimately, if I’m going to play tennis in this specific tennis club I’ve joined, I have to abide by the insane judgments of the referee. But there is no harm in letting my fellow tennis players and the ref know about my dissatisfaction and present my ideas about how to improve our tennis game. It seems I’m not the only tennis player who feels this way either.

Keep in mind that I’m not wanting to “quit” the tennis game. I just am disappointed with how the refs handle things and I’d like to see some reforms – so I’ll do my small, probably futile part to make things better. Also keep in mind that I’m fully aware that this Zelda fan forum is just a silly little website meant to provide fun for its members. This isn’t the real world where decisions here have profound effects on people’s lives. Nevertheless, I have fun here and I’d like to make the place a little funner if I can. My ethical ideas can apply to this forum as they would apply to the real world – the difference is that the real world deals with life and death – this forum deals with the quality of fun.

TheblueReptile said:
I get what you're saying, I really do. And I agree that the voice of the members should be given a higher importance than it currently is. Voicing complaints with a degree of publicity needs to happen, but not in the way that it HAS happened. That being, childishly and disrespectfully blaming or taking digs at the mods on issues they don't agree with. If you have an issue at work and approach one of the managers who declines to accept your viewpoint, what happens if you send a mass email to all your colleagues about the issue and how unfair your treatment has been? You get fired. Is this unethical? Or is this simply you choosing not to abide by the rules you've already signed your name against? You would make the issue public, in that people would know you had an issue, but you would not begin pointing fingers and giving names until in a civilized and secure environment with whoever's next up on the ladder.
So, I’m a firm believer in horizontal governance. Vertical hierarchical governance is an incredibly immoral way to organize a community of cooperating individuals in my opinion. I don’t believe in the existence of autonomous managers who can control the fates of those who work so hard to make their endeavors come to fruition. In my mind, this forum would not exist without its massive active member base. Therefore, since the active member base is responsible for the success of this forum, they should logically have the biggest say in how things operate here. That said, the bosses on this forum have the ability to fire me and those like me, but having the ability doesn’t justify the actual undertaking of the action. Luckily, I’m not breaking any rules which would merit a firing.

So don’t confuse what “is” with what “should be”. I’m well aware of what “is” and there is nothing I can do about it except discuss it civilly like in this thread and hope that the merit of my ideas eventually find acceptance with those in power.

You are of course free to reject my proposals and think my ethics are silly, and that’s okay, but my goal is simply to put my two cents in and hope they resonate with some people here. In the meantime, I will continue enjoying the site.
 
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Justac00lguy

BooBoo
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
NZ
Gender
Shewhale
If a decision is viewed as unjust (which, again to bring this back to past examples, almost every instance of an infraction or ban has by the receiving party...), then a members power to contest it does not solely lie in taking the issue to the rest of the community. Unless people are going to assert that the entire modding and administration team are in on some scheme together there is no reason to begin making blogs posts and angry SB rants about it. There are other official means to go about it. People claim that they are being ignored when trying to access these means, but as I've pointed out they are merely sustaining the decision and drawing a line under the complaint. There's only so many times you can contest a decision before your attempts are going to become a nuisance and, in the name of asserting their authority and getting the message through the the issue has been decided upon, they quite rightly take the decision to decline to comment further on the matter.
This an entirely different scenario to what was essentially suggested. The original past wasn't really an attack on a decision, it was simply a suggestion that needed to be taken into account as threads were closing prematurely - even Ky agreed with this. Thus the suggestion thread became the best outlet to show how many people generally weren't in favour of said decisions. We tried talking to the present mods, but a statement from the mod team wanted the topic to change. A simple PM has proved not to work in the past - I'm not saying mods are doing their job wrong, but when multiple people share the same concerns, and agree together through a communication based thread between both parties (such as this one), then we can show that this isn't one persons' disagreement; it's many.

Put yourself in ths shoes of a mod. If one person claimed they didn't agree with a specific decision then you'd take it into account of course, but your natural stance would be to stick by your decision. Now if you have several people voicing the same concern (which was what was happening) then naturally you have to consider it more so. You'd be more inclined to take it into account. Maybe the best scenario would be for members to collectively PM, but it's very likely that not all will. By using the suggestion thread you can point out a certain flaw, offer a rectified solution, and see if others agree.

As long as said suggestions remain civil then it's not a problem in my eyes. Your problem relies on it getting abused, but let's face it, everything has a chance of getting abused. You mentioned that it may lead to people asking " why was this member banned?" Etc. Well this is already present and is not the resulting of what we're suggesting as, like previously said, it already happens. As well, a reason why a lot of people do get so hung up on decisions is because there is little communication between both parties. So by offering an outlet for communication, it may somewhat solve such problems.

TheBlueReptile said:
To bring this back to the issue raised about thread closings, yes, people should contest the closing of a thread if they feel it unfair. Yes, they should bring it to the attention of the mods that they and others feel it was unjust. I'm not contesting that. My point of discussion has been based on the proposed idea that members are being ignored when issues are raised. This supposed ignorance has caused people to make their issues public, and it's that course of action that I am speaking out against here. Not the action of contesting it at all.
I said above why I think this thread can be a good outlet for suggestions as long as it's handled in a civil manner, so I won't repeat that part. However, a lot of members do feel ignored; I'm not speaking for the majority as I can't, but I certainly know people feel that way. Powerless is probably a good way to word it. The very fact that it can exist is a problem in itself and I don't think it's an isolated problem.

TheBlueReptile said:
Yes, I'm not arguing against the idea of an outlet to voice concerns about modding decisions. Especially regarding matters as non-personal as a thread lock. My concern arises from the potential for abuse as you later mention when people being using it instead as an outlet to take digs or begin rumours about mods that have taken action against them.
I do acknowledge that it could be abused, but it's not like we're proposing a complaint centre. Kitsu just wanted to make sure our concerns could be raised in such a way that it would get noticed. I thought, for the most part, it was done in a civil manner. And maybe it does get abused, mods can differentiate between the two and separate valid suggestions and those that are there simply to cause controversy.

TheBlueReptile said:
Strength comes in numbers yes, so if enough people speak up on a matter it is of course going to be given a higher degree of notice. But why should the fact that multiple people believe a decision to be wrong mean they have to voice it in a public section? I'm not saying to do so in this instance would be a bad thing, but why can't all affected people simply PM the 'offending' mod? If ignorance is still the issue, why would having this in a public forum make any difference? Either way, the mod team knows they are a number of people concerned about the matter.
Well like I said above, not everyone is likely to go PM a mod; maybe they don't want to cause a fuss or just don't have the confidence in their complaint. So if it's presented in a middle ground, like this thread, then those people will have the chance to agree.

TheBlueReptile said:
You're right, I was not involved in the circumstances surrounding the locks that started this. Nor do I much care to discuss my agreeing with some that took place when looking back through them. As such I have been instead responding to the general concern of there being a problem with the moderation on this forum and the proposals to voice ALL concerns publicly and diminish the authority the mods are allowed to excersise. (again to clarify, this is not in response to your posts specifically. But rather the topic in general that this issue has given birth to)
Yeah I was just stating the reason for why this was brought up and how it lead to this discussion. I don't think we necessarily want to publicly voice our concerns for the sake of it, but the idea that it's uncivil and shouldn't be done is something I disagree with.

TheBlueReptile said:
don't think anyone in this thread is trying to cause controversy. Nor do I believe this suggestion was a disrespectful jab at the mods. Am I here again talking about the community in general, specifically in relation to the proposed suggestion of having members vote on thread unlockings, and their apparent desire to make specific concerns public.
Well I'm not sure about that suggestion (the voting on thread locking) as I believe that's the mod's job and that they will make the right choice most of the time. However, if a wrong decision is made, and multiple members share the same view, then our view should be considered.

TheBlueReptile said:
And again, I agree. But the methods in which members do make their voices heard is the concern I'm having here. Which is why I focused so heavily on instances of members making blog posts about their "unfair" bans.
However that will happen anyway. I think the root of some members' certain dislike towards moderation actions has stemmed from little communication between the two, which has caused friction to a degree.

TheBlueReptile said:
conclude, I do not appreciate being accused of trying to put myself on a pedestal from which to speak when putting forth my views on this matter. Especially when the matter is ironically partly about being given a greater medium to voice your opinions. However I can understand that people have strong views on this. I have put forth what I think on this topic now and feel I'm having to cover old ground in the few posts I've made, so unless something new is brought to the fore I won't be contributing any further. This too as I'm feeling some tension on the matter and don't think it would be at all appropriate of me to further fan the flames of any heated argument that may be brewing. I've said some strong words but haven't meant any of them as a personal attack, please do not take them as such.
I'm sorry if you took offense to what I said, I never meant it to be an insult of your stance on the matter; maybe I used a bad choice of words. And yeah I see that you're just voicing your view, as am I. I like to think I keep a level head when in discussion, as do you. So I'm on the same page as you when it comes to the tone and meaning of posts.
 
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Clank

Hmm
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Location
Veldin
Before I start I should say that this is an opinionated post;

First off I have had experiences similar to TBRs, I pretty-much always get an immediate response when I ask a mod about something, I honestly don't know why you have the experiences you have...

Secondly I really disagree with the idea of members being able to overrule decisions made by mods/admins/webmasters/etc... I mean quite frankly the site owner (possibly indirectly) appointed them to power to watch over his community, if he wanted a democratic system, then I think he would have implemented one.

Also, this may sound really offensive(which is not my intent by any means), but if the mods(appointed by the owner) consistently punish a certain behavior, then why do you continue to do it? I mean it is obviously not accepted around here, so if you want to do it then I would recommend you go to a site that tolerates said behavior that ZD obviously doesn't. Or better yet, why don't you make a site that follows the standards that you set?

I guess I don't really have anything else to add other than the fact that if the things you are suggesting were implemented, I would personally leave ZD.

So yeah, that is my opinion, I can't really prove it right or wrong...
 

Justac00lguy

BooBoo
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
NZ
Gender
Shewhale
Before I start I should say that this is an opinionated post;

First off I have had experiences similar to TBRs, I pretty-much always get an immediate response when I ask a mod about something, I honestly don't know why you have the experiences you have...
We're not putting forth that mods are blatantly ignoring members complaints. It's the simple fact that we should be allowed to voice our concerns in a manner that would be noticed more. One complaint isn't enough sometimes. It has prove that one complaint won't really overrule a mod's decision. Thus by using a medium, such as this thread, you can provide a suggestion and see if other members agree. Power in numbers is essential for any community. If said problem wasn't highlighted in this manner then I doubt the original problem would be rectified. You're acting as this against the rules or something and that it's bad for the forum as a whole when in actual fact we're trying to improve it.

Clank said:
Secondly I really disagree with the idea of members being able to overrule decisions made by mods/admins/webmasters/etc... I mean quite frankly the site owner (possibly indirectly) appointed them to power to watch over his community, if he wanted a democratic system, then I think he would have implemented one.
I don't know whether you've just skimmed over this thread or if you actually have read it, but no one is reallly suggesting having members overruling mod/admin decisions. It's voicing concerns and proposing suggestions to improve future descions, which are best for the community. If we went by the logic that we have no say then quite frankly this thread shouldn't exist and all decisions/Implementations should come from the higher ups and them alone.

See how this seems unfair and undemocratic? It's the same with posting suggestions on some descions that are unjust. The whole point of this thread is for members to propose ideas to the higher ups to consider. You're basic always saying that the higher ups are acting in an undemocratic manner. Well then, why do we have event staff? Why do we have dedicated Article Editors? Why do we handle HK matters in a democratic fashion? Etc. The forum isn't set up in a way where members should have no say, so it shouldn't be treated that way either.

Clank said:
Also, this may sound really offensive(which is not my intent by any means), but if the mods(appointed by the owner) consistently punish a certain behavior, then why do you continue to do it? I mean it is obviously not accepted around here, so if you want to do it then I would recommend you go to a site that tolerates said behavior that ZD obviously doesn't. Or better yet, why don't you make a site that follows the standards that you set?
What behaviour are you referring to?

Also let's say the mods decided to randomly ban members for the sake of it (purely hypothetical), do you not speak up? Of course you speak up. Just because members are given certain powers over the forum it does not make their descions right. I get the feeling you would support them no matter what they did because they are in that position.

Clank said:
I guess I don't really have anything else to add other than the fact that if the things you are suggesting were implemented, I would personally leave ZD.
Wow. What's so wrong about members having a place too openly voice thier concerns? You're overreacting. This is no different to members voicing thier problems with technical problems on the site, which you have done plenty of times.
 

Locke

Hegemon
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Location
Redmond, Washington
Hey everyone, first I want to say that I really appreciate what you're doing here. Thoughtful, civilized discussion like this is the best way to communicate, elaborate, and defend your concerns.

Communication is definitely an issue that I want to address. Since this discussion was apparently spurred by several threads being locked with no good reasoning given, we'll start there. Was there no 'final' post in the thread by the mod explaining why it was closed? There should certainly be one, and I will make this clear to the mods if we've failed at this, as well as adding it to the handbook for future reference. A locked thread with no reasoning only communicates "this thread doesn't have our arbitrary approval" which isn't useful for anybody. Members deserve to know why action was taken, and moderators need to communicate to members what sorts of things aren't allowed so it doesn't happen in the future.

The next thing to address is the means and results of showing discontent with this reasoning and/or a desire to have the action reversed. I think the most important thing to say here at this point is that I think a well-reasoned argument against the decision will hold a lot more sway than a large number of simple complaints. That is, it doesn't matter how many people say "I don't like what you did" or "I think what you did is wrong"; if none of them are able to give a convincing reason why it was wrong, then nothing will change. I trust the mods to make well-reasoned decisions, so they need to be provided with a better reason to reverse the decision.

Back to the mods' side of the conversation, there are certain situations when I think these deserve responses, and some when I think it's reasonable to forgo a response. This is up for debate and I'm open to your opinions. This is all assuming that adequate reasoning was given for the decision. If someone PMs a mod just to complain about a decision, I don't expect the mod to waste his or her time reiterating why the decision was made. If that member is concerned that the complaint isn't being heard, then simply use the "read receipt" function. Thoughtful arguments (like those seen in the last few pages of this thread) and polite requests for elaboration deserve responses. However, there comes a point when "no" means "no" and the mod is right to disregard further unproductive complaints. Again, I trust the mods to make well-reasoned decisions. I also trust them to be thoughtful of the feedback they receive, so they won't reach this point prematurely. If you think my trust is misplaced, then by all means take it up with me.

Which brings me to another point. I very rarely directly receive complaints of mod actions. Much more often I hear it via the mods having to take action regarding inappropriate blogs or shoutbox discussions. Just as often I never hear it at all. If you're concerned that I'd ignore such complaints, then by not sending me any you're not giving me a chance to correct this weakness. I was just the other day informed that a situation that happened nearly two years ago resulted in a grudge against me that lasts to this day. All the complaining was done behind my back with other groups that only spread general discontent rather than trying to solve the problem. This sort of thing happens A LOT around here and is a major reason why many blogs and shoutbox discussions are shut down. This sort of communication is counter-productive. It just puts us in a tough spot and makes it even harder to satisfy anyone.

In summary, I will try to improve transparency of reasoning within the mod team (including myself), but I'm not convinced that something intended to simply facilitate volume of discontent is quite the right way to go.

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. ^^
That's an interesting idea. It looks like some modification developers have already had the same idea, so I'll help in bringing it up with the administration. I don't know if it has the option to turn it off, though, which would be useful and could determine whether it's implemented or not.
This is also something that I've always wished we had. Unfortunately the mod that Kybyrian showed me won't work out for us. I'll keep my eye out.
 
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Justac00lguy

BooBoo
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
NZ
Gender
Shewhale
I agree with a lot you mentioned; however I still believe that a case of multiple disagreements with a decision is more effective in some circumstances.

Someone may give the best suggestion objectively; however, if that receives little support then it's not as strong. Let's say a thread closes (might as well apply it to what happened), if only one person voices their concern then is it really a big problem? Enough of a problem to reverse a mod's decision? Moderators are likely to see this as an isolated complaint and thus won't see it as an immediate problem. However if that problem is highlighted by multiple people, and they agree, well isn't that something more to consider?

Anyway, as long as members do raise certain complaints in a civilised manner then there's no problem. At the end of the day this is all done to improve the forum as a whole.
 

Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
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Communication is definitely an issue that I want to address. Since this discussion was apparently spurred by several threads being locked with no good reasoning given, we'll start there. Was there no 'final' post in the thread by the mod explaining why it was closed? There should certainly be one, and I will make this clear to the mods if we've failed at this, as well as adding it to the handbook for future reference. A locked thread with no reasoning only communicates "this thread doesn't have our arbitrary approval" which isn't useful for anybody. Members deserve to know why action was taken, and moderators need to communicate to members what sorts of things aren't allowed so it doesn't happen in the future.
I want to reiterate that just about everyone here wants thread locking to be changed into a last resort if a situation cannot be resolved on an individual basis. Besides obvious spam and vandalism of course. But actual serious threads. You don't have to deal with explaining why something got locked if you never lock it in the first place. And in nearly every case, there was no good reason to lock a thread regardless of actually giving one. And it more so appeared to be done out of frustration and an unwillingness to deal with individual people who were either making an issue themselves, or complaining about something they should not have been. There are many reports that go out on threads that are completely invalid that have a lot to do with people feeling they were offended and the mods have been actively encouraging this behavior by cracking down on anything offensive. Which only increases the number of those useless reports and exasperates all the other problems of badly locked threads and undeserved punishments that infuriate people. It's unrealistic to have no one be offended. I can say I like apples, but not oranges. And someone, somewhere could find that offensive because they love oranges and hate apples. It's absolutely ridiculous to think it's a realistic goal to prevent people from being offended and trying to is only going to make things worse.

The next thing to address is the means and results of showing discontent with this reasoning and/or a desire to have the action reversed. I think the most important thing to say here at this point is that I think a well-reasoned argument against the decision will hold a lot more sway than a large number of simple complaints. That is, it doesn't matter how many people say "I don't like what you did" or "I think what you did is wrong"; if none of them are able to give a convincing reason why it was wrong, then nothing will change. I trust the mods to make well-reasoned decisions, so they need to be provided with a better reason to reverse the decision.
There's usually a large number of people who are discontent. But only a smaller number who are brave enough to make larger, more well-formed criticisms with plenty of details. And this is almost always used against them to claim that it is just a "vocal minority" that should be disregarded because there's not enough of them saying it. And I'm absolutely certain that this will be used again. So you can't have it both ways. You either have to accept all criticisms as serious, or none of them as serious. Allowing more public forums for complaints like this would allow the "small minority" to provide their well formed complaints and the less bold people to see it and say they agree and possibly add more to it than they would have otherwise felt capable of doing on their own. And it'll put more pressure on the mods to be careful about what they do and they will not be able to just disregard whatever they don't like and will have to listen to what the community wants.

Back to the mods' side of the conversation, there are certain situations when I think these deserve responses, and some when I think it's reasonable to forgo a response. This is up for debate and I'm open to your opinions. This is all assuming that adequate reasoning was given for the decision. If someone PMs a mod just to complain about a decision, I don't expect the mod to waste his or her time reiterating why the decision was made. If that member is concerned that the complaint isn't being heard, then simply use the "read receipt" function. Thoughtful arguments (like those seen in the last few pages of this thread) and polite requests for elaboration deserve responses. However, there comes a point when "no" means "no" and the mod is right to disregard further unproductive complaints. Again, I trust the mods to make well-reasoned decisions. I also trust them to be thoughtful of the feedback they receive, so they won't reach this point prematurely. If you think my trust is misplaced, then by all means take it up with me.
Whether or not something is "constructive" or not is horribly subjective. Any mod can choose to claim something is unconstructive even if it isn't. It'll generate complacency with disregarding everything critical no matter how well formed the questioning is. And given how badly the mods have been at accusing people of defying them and being trouble makers, you absolutely shouldn't be trusting them right now to determine what is and isn't constructive. One thing you can do is make it a requirement to address all complaints and write up a thread for mods to look at that has some examples of what is isn't okay. Like: "Hey, I don't really agree with this decision here." versus "What do you think you're doing, you idiot?!"
Okay, that's a bit extreme. :P But you get the idea. There just seems the tendency to deem all criticism as unconstructive. And there even seemed to be here before it turned out many people felt the same way. And you couldn't just go and call all of them troublemakers.

Which brings me to another point. I very rarely directly receive complaints of mod actions. Much more often I hear it via the mods having to take action regarding inappropriate blogs or shoutbox discussions. Just as often I never hear it at all. If you're concerned that I'd ignore such complaints, then by not sending me any you're not giving me a chance to correct this weakness. I was just the other day informed that a situation that happened nearly two years ago resulted in a grudge against me that lasts to this day. All the complaining was done behind my back with other groups that only spread general discontent rather than trying to solve the problem. This sort of thing happens A LOT around here and is a major reason why many blogs and shoutbox discussions are shut down. This sort of communication is counter-productive. It just puts us in a tough spot and makes it even harder to satisfy anyone.
You're thinking about this WAY too short termed. This bad communication has been going on for a very, very long time. And many people have given up on direct communication because they know they'll just be ignored. And I also don't think you should be concerning yourselves with blogs and shoutbox posts criticizing the mods. Why should you care? And it is hypocritical to claim that the mods don't have time to respond to every single private complaint, but they certainly have time to deal with anything that publicly embarrasses them. It just sends the wrong message and it reinforces the idea that the mods don't actually care about communicating and only are concerned with their own image. There needs to be a degree of maturity on the mods' part and acceptance that they are going to be discussed publicly and it's not going to always be positive. That's just how things work. And cracking down on it is only going to reinforce any negative perceptions people are talking about.
 
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