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Hiring Moderators

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Personally, I'd like to see a policy change such that when a moderator is directly involved in a personality conflict with a user, that moderator isn't allowed to act as judge, jury and executioner with regards to that user. The conflict of interest should be readily apparent as to why disputes between users and moderators should be settled by any OTHER moderator than the one involved in the disputes.

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Personally, I'd like to see a policy change such that when a moderator is directly involved in a personality conflict with a user, that moderator isn't allowed to act as judge, jury and executioner with regards to that user. The conflict of interest should be readily apparent as to why disputes between users and moderators should be settled by any OTHER moderator than the one involved in the disputes.

Surely that is already the case. I agree that it is required. At the very least, any action a moderator takes should be reviewed by another moderator. In the ideal case, there is very high agreement among moderators as to when and what action should be taken. The work is reviewing the threads systematically with the intent to spot violations of the rules, No?

Mindy

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What has happened in the past is that if a moderator was personally involved in the dispute, if the violation is not blatantly obvious, is that they typically consulted the other mods and admins in the Moderators Forum before taking any action. They may recuse themselves entirely or simply act on the consensus arrived by the mods/admins. That said, I do not object to the proposal you guys are talking about becoming a formal practice.

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And the same goes for me- the reason I no longer post in this forum is precisely because of an action of this sort.

While I simply intend to refuse to engage with the moderator in question again in the future, I think the staff here should formalize the practice of NOT acting directly in cases where they have personal involvement already.

I've operated message boards of one kind or another going back into the 1980's with a 300 baud modem, and one long standing policy I've had on my sites is that if a moderator or administrator has a hand in the matter, they are required recuse themselves from acting, turning the matter over to the rest of the staff instead. This helps greatly in avoiding claims of 'personal bias'.

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While I simply intend to refuse to engage with the moderator in question again in the future, I think the staff here should formalize the practice of NOT acting directly in cases where they have personal involvement already.

I've operated message boards of one kind or another going back into the 1980's with a 300 baud modem, and one long standing policy I've had on my sites is that if a moderator or administrator has a hand in the matter, they are required recuse themselves from acting, turning the matter over to the rest of the staff instead. This helps greatly in avoiding claims of 'personal bias'.

This is an Objectivist forum, no?

Strange to believe that our Objectivist moderators cannot be given the benefit of the doubt to behave objectively within the rules.

Not sure how much weight my opinion has, but for what it is worth for the reason stated above I am against formalizing that policy on principle.

For myself, I would rather "waste my time" going through whatever appeal process is available if I feel treated unfairly by a mod than to create an atmosphere in which we start off with the assumption that the mods are going to be unfair given a chance.

Just MHO.

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This is an Objectivist forum, no?

Strange to believe that our Objectivist moderators cannot be given the benefit of the doubt to behave objectively within the rules.

Even Objectivists can make errors.

Not sure how much weight my opinion has, but for what it is worth for the reason stated above I am against formalizing that policy on principle.

Interesting - it's the same principle that identifies why we need an Objective Government to resolve disputes between individuals. We as humans are fallible and prone to errors in knowledge and judgment *even* if we make every possible effort to exercise our rationality at every possible occasion.

For myself, I would rather "waste my time" going through whatever appeal process is available if I feel treated unfairly by a mod than to create an atmosphere in which we start off with the assumption that the mods are going to be unfair given a chance.

If we had a reasonable assurance that one quality necessary for being a moderator was the ability to always act with 100% impartiality towards situations in which said moderator were involved, that would be a reasonable assumption.

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This is an Objectivist forum, no?

Strange to believe that our Objectivist moderators cannot be given the benefit of the doubt to behave objectively within the rules.

Not sure how much weight my opinion has, but for what it is worth for the reason stated above I am against formalizing that policy on principle.

For myself, I would rather "waste my time" going through whatever appeal process is available if I feel treated unfairly by a mod than to create an atmosphere in which we start off with the assumption that the mods are going to be unfair given a chance.

Just MHO.

This makes no sense, as Greebo has already pointed out.

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This makes no sense, as Greebo has already pointed out.

Sorry but it is as I stated, my opinion and based on my experiences.

I've not been harassed by or treated unfairly by mods so I see no reason to change the SOP.

Nor have I witnessed anyone else being mistreated by a mod.

That doesn't mean it hasn't happened (and I certainly don't hope that my stating this doesn't turn this post into people airing anti-mod grievances to prove me wrong) but overall I see no problems with the way the board is run, other than the need for a mod in the chatroom which has already been addressed. If anything, I think I've seen the mods show pretty amazing restraint in forum interactions, erring on the side of laissez-faire.

Perhaps if I did stuff that got a mod all up in m'bidnizz I'd think otherwise. :P

Edited by SapereAude
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This is an Objectivist forum, no?

Strange to believe that our Objectivist moderators cannot be given the benefit of the doubt to behave objectively within the rules.

Not sure how much weight my opinion has, but for what it is worth for the reason stated above I am against formalizing that policy on principle.

That makes me think. I've never been warned or otherwise been subject to moderation. Why, then do at least two of our "objective" moderators judge me, in strong terms, to be unfit to be a moderator? There must, on the premise above, be objective reasons, I think those involved are obliged to explain their position.

Mindy

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Sorry but it is as I stated, my opinion and based on my experiences.

I've not been harassed by or treated unfairly by mods so I see no reason to change the SOP.

Nor have I witnessed anyone else being mistreated by a mod.

You wouldn't witness it. Public acts of moderation don't lend themselves to a welcoming atmosphere and - well to speak bluntly, I'm afraid to speak bluntly about my own experiences for fear of further reprisals.

If anything, I think I've seen the mods show pretty amazing restraint in forum interactions, erring on the side of laissez-faire.

Yes, publicly, that seems to be the case, doesn't it.

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Other than two closed threads, I've never seen a moderator do anything. If moderators' actions (or some of them) were public, their presence and the reality of the rules would be believable.

See I like that. I enjoy not constantly "seeing the strings" as it were.

This is my favorite forum in large part because the mods here are just like any other active participant until they feel that something demands attention, in which case they tend to try to take care of it privately. While some things may tend to go off-topic slightly or get a little more personally heated than they do on other forums I find the quality of the experience to be improved, not diminished by the style of moderation that currently exists.

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As far as adding features I think something to help with the orientation of new members would be good.

Perhaps one of the most dismaying things I see on here is how well-intentioned but poorly prepared newbies can get attacked for errors.

Many people, regardless of age find Rand for the first time, do a google search, find this site and go off a little half cocked asking questions that long term members may be sick of but to the OP they are completely new.

I've not always found the search function to be very efficient. Not to mention that for someone who is completely new to philosophy and or Objectivism they may pass up a topic on the search not realizing that the question has already been answered.

Maybe some form of orientation page would be helpful?

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See I like that. I enjoy not constantly "seeing the strings" as it were.

This is my favorite forum in large part because the mods here are just like any other active participant until they feel that something demands attention, in which case they tend to try to take care of it privately. While some things may tend to go off-topic slightly or get a little more personally heated than they do on other forums I find the quality of the experience to be improved, not diminished by the style of moderation that currently exists.

I don't get the relevance of your statement to what I said...?

Also, take a post that is just abusive of another person. It may have been "warned" or something, I have no way of knowing. So, how can I judge the wisdom and practices of the moderators?

Mindy

Edited by Mindy
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What has happened in the past is that if a moderator was personally involved in the dispute, if the violation is not blatantly obvious, is that they typically consulted the other mods and admins in the Moderators Forum before taking any action. They may recuse themselves entirely or simply act on the consensus arrived by the mods/admins. That said, I do not object to the proposal you guys are talking about becoming a formal practice.

I've seen two threads locked. One was closed with an explanation why. The other just got locked up. I think moderators ought to explain why they've locked a thread.

You are a moderator and you are strongly opposed to my being a moderator. Why? You chose to make your view public, so it would seem you ought to be willing to make your reasons public, doesn't it?

Mindy

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I don't get the relevance of your statement to what I said...?

Mindy

If you go back to the first page of this topic, to the post of mine to which you are responding you will see in a box the quote from one of your posts which is what I was responding to in the first sentence of my post.

For brevity I will repost part of it here, outside of quote box, emphasis mine:

"I've never seen a moderator do anything. If moderators' actions (or some of them) were public, their presence and the reality of the rules would be believable"

Edited by SapereAude
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You are a moderator and you are strongly opposed to my being a moderator. Why? You chose to make your view public, so it would seem you ought to be willing to make your reasons public, doesn't it?

Does it? Are you under the impression that I owe you an explanation? Have we contracted to that exchange between us? If the other moderators or admins asked me I would probably share it with them because my responsibility in moderating this board and in making decisions in that capacity is to them and the board owner. I may solicit someone's agreement with my decisions at times, but I'm not required to. Consequently, if someone (such as yourself) feels I owe them something that they do not receive, they are free to judge me accordingly. You know, in the manner that a bookseller might judge a customer who abuses his return policy if he had the benefit of knowing that the customer misrepresented his true intentions when they agreed to exchange value. It's hard to trust someone like that isn't it?

That said, I will share with you my reservations. There's an appearance by your participation in that book thread that you believe it is morally sound to misrepresent ones true intentions as long as its legalistically okay even when the other party is being honest and upfront with you. In that vein, I do not think I could trust you or your intentions in the capacity of a moderator.

You may disagree with that of course.

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Does it? Are you under the impression that I owe you an explanation?

Yes, as I said.

That said, I will share with you my reservations. There's an appearance by your participation in that book thread that you believe it is morally sound to misrepresent ones true intentions as long as its legalistically okay even when the other party is being honest and upfront with you. In that vein, I do not think I could trust you or your intentions in the capacity of a moderator.

That's clearly a mis-statement of my several arguments in support of the actions of the OP. Are you deliberately mis-stating it, or are you unable to see the difference? Neither is a recommendation for being a moderator. So, my taking a position you disagree with, yet cannot argue successfully against, leads you judge ME as having a character flaw? And this is "uninterested behavior" for a moderator?

Mindy

Edited by Mindy
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There's no rule that says they must. Why do you think they are obliged? Why do you think they owe you anything?

Let's see...this is a forum for discussing ideas. It is not Nancy Pelosi's throne.

Mindy

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Yes, as I said.

But I do not owe you anything. You are severely mistaken. There is no rule that states I must provide with an explanation for why I don't think you should be a moderator.

That's clearly a mis-statement of my several arguments in support of the actions of the OP.

No, quite in line.

So, my taking a position you disagree with, yet cannot argue successfully against, leads you judge ME as having a character flaw?

Oh, but I and others have argued successfully against it. But you misstate the issue... the issue has to do with your credibility given your position, as I said.

Let's see...this is a forum for discussing ideas. It is not Nancy Pelosi's throne.

Well, completely true on both counts, but non-sequitur.

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So, my taking a position you disagree with, yet cannot argue successfully against, leads you judge ME as having a character flaw?

To correct a point here the argument against your position was successful.

You just cannot or will not see that.

That the people arguing against your position stopped responding to you is more a sign that your arguments had grown boring than of an intellectual triumph on your part.

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If you want people to care about your opinion, and I think you do since you did express it partially. I don't think that this has anything to do with owing anyone.

Mindy's position, I have gathered, was that one can only act dishonestly in a legal (with an explicit contract) exchange by violating the legal contract. I don't agree with that, but that was her position. She wasn't saying that it was okay to misrepresent your true intentions, she was saying that you couldn't misrepresent you true intentions and act within the rules of the given contract.

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