Change the moderating style 180º - MensTennisForums.com

 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Change the moderating style 180º

While some of the rules and infraction/banning system are pretty nonsensical themselves, they're far from the biggest problem on this forum, that being a completely counterproductive moderation style, one that breeds more and more trolling instead of containing it. Detecting infractions and enforcing pre-set rules, whatever those might be, robotically was never an efficient way to improve the quality of a forum, well on the contrary, nor will it ever be.

What I really mean by a chance in the moderation style is that actual moderation should be introduced. Mods should not be distant figures laying down the hammer, but active members of the community they're moderating and they should actively moderate threads/discussions, get close with the members instead of antagonizing them, talk to them instead of infracting them. Conversely, any big decision should be taken after hearing what the members have to say and weighing in their arguments. Taking decisions like permabans of popular posters or cancelling the ACC unilaterally is, as mentioned before, counterproductive: it breeds further disrespect towards the moderation staff and therefore more trolling to be dealt with. The main advantage of an actively moderated forum would be the the gradual increase in the quality of discussion, which will make insightful people more likely to join upon reading the forum for the first time and dissuade trolls and flamers, which means the forum will at some point end up moderating itself for the most part. This takes patience and moderators with a certain empathy and ability to get along with people, but it's the only way to improve things: if you believe a simple change of rules will change anything, prepare for disappointment. Bridging the gap between moderators and members and making members feel part of the decision-making process is the only way to go; right now, MTF is structured like a dictatorship, which obviously reflects in the members' complaints.

If you want to change any particular rule though, abolish this 'moderator bashing' nonsense if you ever want to be taken seriously. It's the single most absurd rule I've seem not only on this forum but on any forum, a rule that is so vague that it pretty much allows any moderator to close a thread where their work is being criticized or analysed under a negative light or infract any user who criticizes their work. Not to mention it puts moderators on a pedestal, why should this 'moderator bashing' be any different or worse than 'user bashing'? You're moderating a forum with 50k+ members; even if you do a good/great job, which you definitely aren't at the moment, there will be some criticism anyway, if you feel 'bashed' so easily just let someone with a thicker skin do the job.

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Suicide Tennis (5): Wimbledon 2014, World Tour Finals 2015, Madrid 2015, Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Metz 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 WTF, 1 Masters 1000, 2 ATP 250; 2 finals lost

Fill-in-the-Draw (3): US Open 2014, Rotterdam 2013 and Geneva 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 ATP 500 and 1 ATP 250

Tennis Tipping (3): Veneza and Todi 2014 (with vn01), Knoxville 2015 (with Redkop) - 3 challengers; 7 finals lost
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 06:01 PM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
If you want to change any particular rule though, abolish this 'moderator bashing' nonsense if you ever want to be taken seriously. It's the single most absurd rule I've seem not only on this forum but on any forum, a rule that is so vague that it pretty much allows any moderator to close a thread where their work is being criticized or analysed under a negative light or infract any user who criticizes their work. Not to mention it puts moderators on a pedestal, why should this 'moderator bashing' be any different or worse than 'user bashing'? You're moderating a forum with 50k+ members; even if you do a good/great job, which you definitely aren't at the moment, there will be some criticism anyway, if you feel 'bashed' so easily just let someone with a thicker skin do the job.
I'll agree 100% on this one, actually. I don't see why this rule is in place, to be honest: inappropriate ways of criticizing should be covered on "personal attacks", "inappropriate language" and so on.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 09:20 PM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

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Originally Posted by erickmartins View Post
I'll agree 100% on this one, actually. I don't see why this rule is in place, to be honest: inappropriate ways of criticizing should be covered on "personal attacks", "inappropriate language" and so on.
I completely disagree with this.

First, mod bashing isn't necessarily an attack on the user as a person, but on the user as a mod. So it may not be a personal attack (although it could be both).

Second, substituting mod bashing with personal attacks leaves a gap when mods are attacked as a group. Saying "all the mods are Nazis" isn't a personal attack on any one of them specifically, but on all of them as a group. Personal attack or inappropriate language infractions don't adequately deal with this type of comment. Finally, it serves the interest of the forum to provide stronger incentives to not attack moderators, because a) the mods as a group are more likely than any one particular member to be attacked, and b) they perform important functions on the forum, and to the extent that attacks on the mods detracts from performing such functions, such attacks should be strongly discouraged.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

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Originally Posted by RagingLamb View Post
I completely disagree with this.

First, 1-mod bashing isn't necessarily an attack on the user as a person, but on the user as a mod. So it may not be a personal attack (although it could be both).

Second, 2-substituting mod bashing with personal attacks leaves a gap when mods are attacked as a group. Saying "all the mods are Nazis" isn't a personal attack on any one of them specifically, but on all of them as a group. Personal attack or inappropriate language infractions don't adequately deal with this type of comment. Finally, 3-it serves the interest of the forum to provide stronger incentives to not attack moderators, because a) the mods as a group are more likely than any one particular member to be attacked, and b) they perform important functions on the forum, and to the extent that attacks on the mods detracts from performing such functions, such attacks should be strongly discouraged.
1-This is a forum with 50k users. Even if you do your job perfectly, it's impossible to avoid criticism from even a small section, let alone when your work is evidently very poor. If someone can't handle that, they should just give the 'job' to someone with a thicker skin. This rule, despite its absurdity, actually serves an interesting purpose, distinguishing who can effectively moderate a forum and who can't. Anyone who ever shut down criticism under the pretense of 'Oh noes, moderator bashing, let's close this thread/infract this poster' is simply never going to be able to effectively moderate a forum with 50k+ users.

2-What are you on about? Groups of people, namely fanbases, are attacked all the time on this site. Why would saying that 'all Gasquet fans are Nazis' be any different from saying 'every mod is a Nazi'?

3-a)I'll take the assertion that mods are far more likely to be attacked as an admission that you're not doing a good job, because why else would you expect constant attack on moderators? Don't say it's like that in every forum, because it isn't; in well moderated forums, a random user is much more likely to be attacked than the mods.

b)we get back to point 1 here. If this so-called bashing 'detracts mods from performing such functions' those mods should just resign and let someone with thicker skin do the job. It's a forum with 50k members, if something like that is enough to detracts mods from doing their job, it pretty much explains the current situation. The most ironic part is that this rule would be pretty much redundant if the forum was properly moderated.

What is this 'bashing' anyway? I've seen threads closed where the moderator's work is simply being criticized, no personal insults thrown at all. This rule is simply a means for the mods to shut down any criticism that comes their way.

MTF games titles:

Suicide Tennis (5): Wimbledon 2014, World Tour Finals 2015, Madrid 2015, Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Metz 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 WTF, 1 Masters 1000, 2 ATP 250; 2 finals lost

Fill-in-the-Draw (3): US Open 2014, Rotterdam 2013 and Geneva 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 ATP 500 and 1 ATP 250

Tennis Tipping (3): Veneza and Todi 2014 (with vn01), Knoxville 2015 (with Redkop) - 3 challengers; 7 finals lost
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 10:10 PM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingLamb View Post
I completely disagree with this.

First, mod bashing isn't necessarily an attack on the user as a person, but on the user as a mod. So it may not be a personal attack (although it could be both).

Second, substituting mod bashing with personal attacks leaves a gap when mods are attacked as a group. Saying "all the mods are Nazis" isn't a personal attack on any one of them specifically, but on all of them as a group. Personal attack or inappropriate language infractions don't adequately deal with this type of comment. Finally, it serves the interest of the forum to provide stronger incentives to not attack moderators, because a) the mods as a group are more likely than any one particular member to be attacked, and b) they perform important functions on the forum, and to the extent that attacks on the mods detracts from performing such functions, such attacks should be strongly discouraged.
Unbelievable how you TOTALLY ignore his point. Do you think it is legitimate to close a thread simply because the moderators work is being criticized?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:16 AM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

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Unbelievable how you TOTALLY ignore his point. Do you think it is legitimate to close a thread simply because the moderators work is being criticized?
No, I don't. Unless the criticism crosses the line into attacks on the mod or mods. Are there situations when the distinction isn't very clear? Sure. But to me, when the criticism clearly turns into insults, the line is crossed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
...

2-What are you on about? Groups of people, namely fanbases, are attacked all the time on this site. Why would saying that 'all Gasquet fans are Nazis' be any different from saying 'every mod is a Nazi'?
First, it is different in the sense that the group "all gasquet fans" is not clearly defined, and therefore, all the members belonging to the group "all gasquet fans" are not individually identifiable. In contrast, every member of the group "all mods" is identifiable and can be pointed to individually. In fact, all mods are individually listed here for your convenience. Because of that, calling all mods Nazis amounts to calling every single identifiable member of that group a Nazi, whereas calling all gasquet fans nazis doesn't amount to calling specifically identifiable individuals as nazis. For this reason, calling all mods Nazis is worse.

Second, referring to all members of a fan-base as Nazis can and has been infracted in the past. So I'm not sure I understand what your point is in making that comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
3-a)I'll take the assertion that mods are far more likely to be attacked as an admission that you're not doing a good job, because why else would you expect constant attack on moderators? Don't say it's like that in every forum, because it isn't; in well moderated forums, a random user is much more likely to be attacked than the mods.
I didn't say there is a constant attack on the mods. But mods are more likely to be attacked because people don't like it when the rules are enforced against them. It has nothing to do with doing a good job or bad job. To use a personal example, I have been attacked (not "criticized") for infracting someone for the use of a well-known racial slur against african americans, as well as for infracting someone for the use of a vulgar homophobic slur. Does the fact that I was attacked mean I was wrong for infracting those posts?

In any case, my likelihood of being attacked by those two posters was increased because of the fact that I am a mod. Had I not been one, I'm fairly certain I would never have to interact with those two individuals.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:19 AM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

As much as I disagree with him on pretty much everything regarding tennis, ML's points here are spot on. No one at all is happy with the harsh moderation lately. And criticism of moderators should be expected and even welcomed.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:40 AM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

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Second, referring to all members of a fan-base as Nazis can and has been infracted in the past. So I'm not sure I understand what your point is in making that comparison.
But this is the whole point. You've yet to make clear why moderator bashing is a separate offense at all since any personal attack or offensive slur (like NAZIs) is already an infraction. Maybe in another universe this rule would be harmless, but we have already had multiple examples of the rule being used to stifle actual debate and call things like "the moderation is bad" or "the rules are unfair and arbitrarily enforced" into "bashing."

Personally, I don't think it's that important, if you want to shut down a debate you'll do it no matter what the justification, that's because you have admin powers and we do not. But you're reasoning so far seems to be proving Lender's points.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

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Originally Posted by RagingLamb View Post
No, I don't. Unless the criticism crosses the line into attacks on the mod or mods. Are there situations when the distinction isn't very clear? Sure. But to me, when the criticism clearly turns into insults, the line is crossed.
Except this never actually happened in many threads conveniently closed for 'moderator bashing', this rule is so vague that it allows any mod to shut down criticism when he doesn't like what he's reading, as SliceAce put it.

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Originally Posted by RagingLamb View Post
First, it is different in the sense that the group "all gasquet fans" is not clearly defined, and therefore, all the members belonging to the group "all gasquet fans" are not individually identifiable. In contrast, every member of the group "all mods" is identifiable and can be pointed to individually. In fact, all mods are individually listed here for your convenience. Because of that, calling all mods Nazis amounts to calling every single identifiable member of that group a Nazi, whereas calling all gasquet fans nazis doesn't amount to calling specifically identifiable individuals as nazis. For this reason, calling all mods Nazis is worse.

Second, referring to all members of a fan-base as Nazis can and has been infracted in the past. So I'm not sure I understand what your point is in making that comparison.
What? When you single out 'all Gasquet fans' you're definitely insulting specific people, namely those who declaredly support Gasquet. Not to mention that there are more Gasquet fans than MTF moderators so the number of people 'attacked' is far higher, regardless of whether they are identifiable or not. If I insult all Jews, not every member of the group is identifiable either, doesn't make it any different.

All its others flaws apart, this rule puts moderators on a pedestal, one that is not warranted at all. Personally attacking a moderator is not better or worse than attacking a normal member and shouldn't be treated differently.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingLamb View Post
I didn't say there is a constant attack on the mods. But mods are more likely to be attacked because people don't like it when the rules are enforced against them. It has nothing to do with doing a good job or bad job. To use a personal example, I have been attacked (not "criticized") for infracting someone for the use of a well-known racial slur against african americans, as well as for infracting someone for the use of a vulgar homophobic slur. Does the fact that I was attacked mean I was wrong for infracting those posts?

In any case, my likelihood of being attacked by those two posters was increased because of the fact that I am a mod. Had I not been one, I'm fairly certain I would never have to interact with those two individuals.
People don't like it and react negatively towards distant figures robotcally applying rules and pre-set infractions? Well, color me shocked, this is a completely unexpected collateral effect of the way MTF is (not) moderated, no one could have seen this coming. Oh wait...

Do you even understand why posts like those are the norm instead of the rare exception? It all goes back to the way MTF is (not) moderated; members' MTF 'persona' and the type of people who join in (and their intentions) upon reading the forum for the first time is a direct result of the general atmosphere on MTF. You saw those racial/homophobic slurs and you took the easy/lazy way out by dishing out an infraction on the users, which seems all well and good on paper, but in reality couldn't be any more counterproductive.

If instead you had stepped into the thread in question and actively moderated the discussion using tact and common sense (editing said post, sensibly alerted them that such slurs were out of line...), odds are those users would have got the message much better and improved their behavior and they'd not have attacked you. If this was a regular practice (moderators stepping in/actively moderating the site), the quality of the discussion and the overall atmosphere of the forum would improve, not to mention the forum would probably end up moderating itself at some point for the most part.

I reiterate: applying rules robotically and dishing out pre-set infractions/bans does not and will never improve the forum's quality or reduce the overall trolling/bad atmosphere. Well on the contrary, it does even more damage, it is counterproductive

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Suicide Tennis (5): Wimbledon 2014, World Tour Finals 2015, Madrid 2015, Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Metz 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 WTF, 1 Masters 1000, 2 ATP 250; 2 finals lost

Fill-in-the-Draw (3): US Open 2014, Rotterdam 2013 and Geneva 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 ATP 500 and 1 ATP 250

Tennis Tipping (3): Veneza and Todi 2014 (with vn01), Knoxville 2015 (with Redkop) - 3 challengers; 7 finals lost
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 01:04 AM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

Thank you for your suggestion.

The current system will remain.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 01:08 AM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

^ lol

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:10 AM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

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Thank you for your suggestion.

The current system will remain.
Could have saved the internet a few megabytes of memory if you had just said this from the start like we all knew would happen.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:14 AM
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

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Thank you for your suggestion.

The current system will remain.

If you were going for irony...
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Change the moderating style 180º

Surprising decision, couldn't have seen this coming at all.

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Originally Posted by djokovicgonzalez View Post

If you were going for irony...
For the sake of our faith in humanity, the entire way MTF is (not) moderated better be a premeditated/deliberate attempt at self parody

MTF games titles:

Suicide Tennis (5): Wimbledon 2014, World Tour Finals 2015, Madrid 2015, Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Metz 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 WTF, 1 Masters 1000, 2 ATP 250; 2 finals lost

Fill-in-the-Draw (3): US Open 2014, Rotterdam 2013 and Geneva 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 ATP 500 and 1 ATP 250

Tennis Tipping (3): Veneza and Todi 2014 (with vn01), Knoxville 2015 (with Redkop) - 3 challengers; 7 finals lost
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