1 (edited by montalk 2006-04-12 13:28:46)

Topic: Moderation Policy

There is no strict moderation policy here, just common sense. Members are usually intelligent, considerate, and honest enough to keep discussion flowing elegantly even when there are differences of opinion. So the atmosphere here is pretty relaxed.

At most, here are some suggestions:

* keep humor in good taste
* keep profanity/cursing to a minimum
* think before you react to provocation

Occasionally members post who are:

- incoherent
- extremely arrogant and abrasive
- incapable of restraining their overreactions
- inconsiderate
- just plain crazy

As moderator, I usually email them offline to discuss and resolve any problems. In extreme cases, these disruptive members show clear signs of having ill intentions or else they lack the self-awareness to see their own behavior from another's point of view.

Those who continue being disruptive despite warnings are eventually banned or deleted. Banning is for those with malevolent agendas, while deletion is a respectful way for a member to leave the forum. Because there is no unsubscribe function, some wishing to unsubscribe have asked me to delete their membership. This means not all with the title "guest" beneath their name have necessarily been kicked out.

If one has a problem with this forum in general, then:

1) give a thorough description of your problem and be specific

2) be constructive in your criticism by offering practical solutions or suggestions for improvement

3) if your solutions or suggestions are not even feasible, your remaining option is to leave

4) do not consistently resort to personal attacks, logical fallacies, or irrationally reject disagreement

I've been in other forums where either the board was overrun by sabateurs or the moderators were tyrannical. Here at Noble Realms we are aiming to avoid both of these pitfalls, and so far things have turned out great. Ironically, it's always the honest people who worry about being admonished while the troublesome ones rarely admit to doing wrong. So in reading this, if you have joined this forum with honest intentions, then have no worries about posting freely.

Acquiring fringe knowledge is like digging for diamonds in a mine field.

Re: Moderation Policy

(Someone just emailed me with a question about what they perceive to be an imbalance in the moderation at NR. For anyone else who does not understand how I approach things, read on)

My moderation policy is more sophisticated than some people realize, and for them I can simplify a little. Basically I draw a difference between:

A) people who are good inside and make good contributions but who have occasional bad days where they lose composure and do something uncalled for, and

B) people who are dark inside or highly vulnerable to manipulation and make overall negative contribution but who use false sincerity, ego stroking, and pretending to remain camouflaged until some incident reveals their true colors.

Type (A) I never delete or ban for things that are out of character for them, especially if their good contributions outweigh what harm they cause on occasion. If anything I talk to them off the forum about preventing further slip ups.

Type (B) I am harsher towards because of the net negative effect and the insincerity that reveals itself when they are sent on the attack.

Now, the main problem is with the 10% of the forum membership that the type (B) individuals are slick enough to initially fool, particularly those who lack experience in discerning the underlying intentions of others, who are unaware of previous/off-forum trouble, who have been programmed to cheer for a troll, or those who have emotional insecurities that the ego stroking plays upon.

These naive ones always scream injustice when I act too early before more of them have had time to learn the hard way (at the expense of everyone else on the forum). So sometimes I wait extra long so that everyone gets the point. Other times their slowness to catch on brings too much harm to the forum when others who see the problem grow disaffected with NR having to "suffer the fools". In fact, that causes the membership to drop in quality as positive contributors leave and the manipulators along with the foolish stay behind.

In other words, I am looking at the underlying essence, intention, temperament, and orientation of an individual together with their long range influence on the forum as a whole.

Acquiring fringe knowledge is like digging for diamonds in a mine field.