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dl021
Topic Author
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Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:47 pm

So.... the question of perma-banning is being discussed in various quarters (online and in person), along with certain moderator/user interactions.

Let me say first that I firmly believe that we have to have moderators and photo editors, and the ones we have seem to do a very good job for the most part, and get thanked rarely if at all. Anyone wants to accuse me of ballwashing (term credit to CastleIsland) can do so, but prove me wrong.

That said, this business owned now by Demand Media should have an interest in making sure that it's paying users feel that they are being fairly treated by the business which is earning money from this online community that pays to enjoy and contribute to the content and the extra benefits.

Every time someone is banned for any period there's going to be two stories. If a banning lasts a couple of weeks then it's always going to be arguable. If a banning lasts a lifetime then there's one less person paying Demand and perhaps even bitching about it loudly enough to make others question their investment in the site by screaming bloody murder without any response to the general populace from the mods. This happens in the photo forum, general forum, and of course, NonAv on a regular basis.....and it happens that some submitting photographers feel that they are being singled out for personal attention just the way some board users feel.

I don't buy into everyones story, and I often can see easily why something is happening. But there should be some manner of relief or system of appeal for users who feel that they're being unfairly treated. I'd suggest that we discuss creating a panel of non-moderating users who agree to review decisions that are questioned by enough users and privately or openly (based on the users desire) share why the decisions were correct or privately return an opinion to the moderators that their decision could stand further thought. It may serve to keep the moderators out of the line of fire when they can't come out and discuss reasons for actions thus get unfairly accused of personal vendettas, and it'll serve to give the general user population a better sense of fairness and evenhandedness in these decisions.

I know that it's a rough idea, and I further acknowledge that some may not feel it's worthwhile. But unless one participates in a solution process then they're part of the problem, and I'll say that there appears to be a problem with how many users are feeling restricted in offering opinions (of course if they could do it without personal acrimony or silly aspersion casting it'd be less of an issue) and certain mods can't openly justify what they've done....all leading to an atmosphere of suspicion and resentment.

I value this community very highly. I've met folks all over the world, and have made friends both online and in person.... heck, I've made some great friends here.... and all this in addition to having my desire for aviation information and photography satiated for not much money at all. I want to see things continue to grow here, and I think something like this could help with disputes in both the photography and forum users throughout this site.

My two cents....

Anyone else?
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
bhmbaglock
Posts: 2489
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:35 pm

Great idea Ian! I'll throw a few small additions on top. If something like this were to happen, I think it would be a good idea to not allow members of this panel to apply for moderator positions until they've left the position for at least a year; this would hopefully reduce the possiblity of panel members trying to use their position as a springboard to becoming mods.

It would also be a great way for users who don't have the time to be mods to still contribute meaningfully to the forums.

Continuing to think out loud, it might be a good idea to have separate panels for the different forums composed of members who contribute particularly to each individual area. I suggest this because certain "rules", i.e. low quality posts(btw, not even defined in the rules but used often) should be defined and enforced in the context of the forum in which the post appears; i.e. something could be "high quality" in Non-av but inappropriate in Tech-Ops.


Perhaps this group could also vote on doling out humor implants on occasion as needed.  Smile
Where are all of my respected members going?
 
diamond
Posts: 3000
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:44 pm

Good questions, all of them.

There are 3 key aspects of what goes on behind the scenes that cannot be shown to the entire membership:

  1. The exchange of emails and PMs that some users initiate after having a post removed. Usually, a deleted post does not result in a ban ... it is often the name-calling, threats, and promises to make trouble in the future that causes a user to get banned. To the members who may be watching a given thread - all they see is a post deletion and a subsequent ban. And they assume we're taking unfair action against a rather simple post deletion. They don't see the far nastier stuff that actually caused the ban. There is no way we can ethically publish a user's emails and PMs for everyone to see.

  2. A user's history of making the same or similar rule violations. We have records of that. The general membership does not. We cannot publish the history of a person's prior deletions or bans as a way to justify our actions.

  3. An appeals process already exists. Any user who has a question or concern about a post deletion can contact the moderators to discuss it. It's only fair to expect those communications to be calm and professional. If the user isn't satisfied with his/her initial response, they can take it to the Head Moderators. We have a lot of documentation of such inquiries, and have many examples of working cooperatively with members. But again, those can't be shared publicly.


While some people would like more transparency in what's happening behind the scenes, it would often violate a member's privacy to provide it. Other moderators may have more creative ideas on this subject.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:49 pm

Interesting thoughts Ian . . .

Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
If a banning lasts a lifetime then there's one less person paying Demand

Inaccurate. For every member that is permanently suspended from the site there are a dozen more tha sign up. SIx months ago, Membership reached 50,000. Today, it's over 70,000. Take a guess how many members were permanently suspended in the last six months? The ratio of permanent suspensions to new users is - are you ready - in the 1:2500 range. Interesting isn't it.


This also begs the question, leaving the people that are permanently suspended . . . is that a good idea. If there's a drunkard that is always raising hell in your bar, and begins to drive away customers, are you not eventually going to tire of this drunkard and permanently excuse him/her from your establishment?

How many members will not renew because of a few members here that cannot grasp a simple set of rules.

Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
I don't buy into everyones story

Probably a good idea - you're smarter than I gave you credit  wink  wink  . . .

What members read on "other sites" is generally  redflag . There's an old saying in the cop world. There are always THREE sides to every story. In this case, what he said, what the cop said, and what really happened.

What you read on these other sites is utter horsecrap - really. The general membership here does NOT get to read the kind of crap that gets sent to the Moderator and Support crew . . . by the very same people that will pat us on the back here, and on the "other" sites call every moderator here whatever name they can think of (inventing a few at that) and then come right back here and pat us on the back again - but only in Moderator E-Mail. I obviously cannot name names, but I think you'd be utterly flabbergasted. Then these same members get permanently suspended and go immediately to another site and start their whining, sniveling, unfair, A-Net hates me, the Mods suck  redflag  all over again.

Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
But there should be some manner of relief or system of appeal for users who feel that they're being unfairly treated.

There is. Moderator decisions can be reviewed by the Head Moderators, and have been overturned in the past. Head Moderator Decisions are reviewed by Deman Media.

Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
I'd suggest that we discuss creating a panel of non-moderating users who agree to review decisions that are questioned by enough users and privately or openly (based on the users desire) share why the decisions were correct or privately return an opinion to the moderators that their decision could stand further thought.

And who would select theses "Non-Moderator" members?

Furthermore, there hasn't been a member summarily permanently suspended here in my tenure as a moderator where the entire group of moderators didn't discuss the suspension. Oh, except for the idiots that have three, four, five, six - and the record - seven - accounts because they can't learn. Those folks get tapped for the max as soon as they're discovered. There are several of them by the way.

Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
It may serve to keep the moderators out of the line of fire

I don't mind being in the line of fire . . . if I did I wouldn't be a cop, and I wouldn't have been a soldier, and I wouldn't be a moderator.

Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
and I'll say that there appears to be a problem with how many users are feeling restricted in offering opinions

On any given day I see negative issues here from generally the same users . . .

On any given day I see absolutely nothing from 70,200 members of this forum . . .

THAT oughta tell a tale.

If there's a problem, I submit it's with the 100 or so users that are constantly being shelved for numerous rule violations, and those users are a detriment to the entire site, and are generally the ones that wind up on the shelf . . . .for longer and longer periods of time, until finally - permanently. They earn it. We don't summarily hand out permanent suspensions because we don't like the flag someone waves, or their politics, or the color of their hair . . .

Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
My two cents....

Ditto
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Queso
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:34 am

I'll just add a short statement of opinion. I think a "lifetime" ban is a bit harsh, and realistically a one-year or longer ban is too. A 90-day ban is plenty to let someone refresh their attitude and check to see if they're going to change the way they conduct themselves. Nobody ever said they couldn't be banned again, but I think they should at least be given the chance to return periodically.

A year-long (or permanent) ban only creates more bitter sentiment.

Probably only worth 1.5 cents, but that's OK. Thank you for the opportunity to present my opinion.
 
diamond
Posts: 3000
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:57 am



Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
I think a "lifetime" ban is a bit harsh, and realistically a one-year or longer ban is too

Without knowing what was communicated via PM or email? I'm curious to know how bad it would have to get before you would agree that a more lengthy ban is in order.

When someone writes to us with threats and name-calling and then says, " ... fine, ban me if you want, but when I return I will do exactly the same thing over and over ..." - do you really think 90 days is the way to go?

That sort of thing is exactly what happens - recently, and in the past.

We could re-write the rules - add oversight panels - write numerous threads in site-related about it . . . OR, people could just stop making stupid threats and avoid getting perma-banned all together. They have far more control over their own relationship with the site than they are taking accountability for.
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srbmod
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:06 am



Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
I think a "lifetime" ban is a bit harsh, and realistically a one-year or longer ban is too. A 90-day ban is plenty to let someone refresh their attitude and check to see if they're going to change the way they conduct themselves. Nobody ever said they couldn't be banned again, but I think they should at least be given the chance to return periodically.

In the some of the cases, the permaban has been enacted after a user has essentially racked up all of the potential bans. 3-7-14-30-60-90-120-365.

Some users, no matter how long you ban them for, return from a ban and almost immediately start doing the things that got them banned previously. So in short, they come back and start challenging the moderators immediately. So rather than to continue the round and round with them, they get banned permanently.

The moderators don't issue permabans unless the circumstances call for it. Sending nasty grams to the moderators is definitely the express lane to being shown the door permanently. There have been occasions where the moderators get a couple of nasty grams from a user over a "referenced post deleted" deletion that ultimately led to that person being permanently banned.

There's no telling how many permabans are the result of a user letting their emotions get the better of them. There's been times where at say 9:30 am a moderator deletes someone's post and by 9:32 am there is a nasty email from that user sitting in the moderator email in box. So instead of waiting a little while to let the deletion sink in, they send an email missive loaded with F bombs and other flowery words.
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:19 am



Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
Nobody ever said they couldn't be banned again, but I think they should at least be given the chance to return periodically.

I'd pay real US$$$ to tell you the number of people - currently in the cooler for periods of 90 days or more - that upon receipt of a suspension humbly e-mail the Moderators and profess their profound apologies, take their suspension like a man (or a woman), then upon their return, don't change a bit.

One quite recently.

That said, EVERY member that is suspended for a period less than eternity is offered a chance to return.

Oh and then there's that other site, where same "on bended knee" member who has professed their desire to mend their wayward posting goes to question the heritage of any of the Moderators.


I suggest my friend that the owness for one's suspension - or its lengthening - falls on that person.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Queso
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:42 am

Well, if nothing else my earlier post generated some clarification and further discussion and that's a good thing.

Let me expand on what I said earlier. I still think the 90-day ban is a good guideline ceiling for ban lengths due to in-forum transgressions of the rules. Of course, the extra-curricular e-mail "storms" and certainly threats would be grounds for more lengthy bans. Even at that, I think a permanent ban should be a very special case, such as those who sign up for multiple accounts or direct threats of violence and things of that nature. People change over time and I still think most things short of something illegal should be handled by something short of a permanent ban. Again, posts can be deleted and users banned again with an increased ban length if the user commits another breach of the rules.

I think an oversight or review panel would be a good idea, it certainly wouldn't hurt anything. And I also agree with the thread starter in that it would take away the ability for some users to claim a slant against them by certain mod(s).

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
And who would select theses "Non-Moderator" members?

At one time a particular female crewmember from Sweden had a poll and asked all users to participate. After having a thread asking for nominations, a poll of a similar type could be used and the top 5 (or whatever number) users who agreed to serve could be empaneled. This would ensure the membership felt like they had some say in the process. In theory, their job wouldn't entail much, just reviewing bans issued by the mods. Just an idea.
 
miamiair
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:42 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:54 am



Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
This would ensure the membership felt like they had some say in the process. In theory, their job wouldn't entail much, just reviewing bans issued by the mods. Just an idea.

I would agree with that. What would it hurt?
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
aloges
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:02 am

Apart from those folks described by the mods who participated here as aggressive, incorrigible trouble-makers, would you (mods) venture to say that post deletions and possibly bans have become more frequent over the last couple of months?

I'll play with open cards here, hope I won't regret it: I've very much got an issue with the "higher quality" maxim put forth in this thread: Head Crew Visit Demand Media (by AC320 Oct 30 2007 in Site Related)

Quoting AC320 (Thread starter):
For our part, the mods are working to advance some ideas to make Airliners more enticing to industry professional and members, so we don't have to hear complaints about "armchair CEO's" and such. DM was really excited about this and other ideas and we'll give you more concrete info as plans develop.

I have received deletions I would, judging from a couple of years on here under my old and then newly-obtained "aloges" nicknames, never have expected. One was a thread in non_aviation intended purely for the entertainment of a.netters who were in on a rather well-known Terry Pratchett joke. Trouble is, the topic ("Quanti canicula ille in fenestra?") wasn't in English but its meaning is painfully obvious to anyone able to use Google; so naturally, I assumed it all did comply with rule #2:

Quote:
As this is an international website, messages should be written in English. An occasional "Hello" or "How are you?" in French, Swahili or any other language is however permitted.

I exchanged a few messages about that deleted thread afterwards with both members and a mod - nothing provocative, to save you the trouble of looking it up  Wink - which let me know that the thread was working and going as intended (I didn't even see a single reply myself) and that the mod deleting it did so based on a couple of deletion suggestions. To me, this meant that based on a technicality included in and basically sanctioned by the a.net forum rules, a few irritable members were able to spoil a little bit of nonsense fun others were having.

I don't quite think we had much of that a while back.

The other example is this thread: Daughter Killed By Dad For Not Wearing A Hijab... (by Slider Dec 12 2007 in Non Aviation) where, as you can see in reply #22, an entire discussion was deleted which had never seemed to be a flame war to me. Of course, my judgement is personal, but nevertheless those deletions raised the questions whether "higher quality" is also understood to mean "less dissent between the members" and where the good practice of warning members to keep things calm went. I don't think any bans resulted from that thread, I would probably have read about that "somewhere else", but the way that discussion simply disappeared was unknown to me.

That's the sort of thing driving me away from this site. It's never been the flame wars - courtesy of the mods, those have always been extinguished rather quickly - or the odd post deletion that made me go "What the hell...?" but it's this perceived change of atmosphere and attitude... perhaps best described as a change from "Must it go?" to "Should it stay?" That and more more business spirit instead of community feeling.

I'd much appreciate mod opinions (or just one, if you can be bothered) on that; and if you've followed me up to here, thanks for putting up with my palaver.  Wink
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
miamiair
Posts: 4249
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:25 am

Is there a system in place for the mods to be accountable for their actions and/or behavior?

I can understand the nasty-grams they get, but what triggers such messages?
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
AC320
Posts: 2809
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:26 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 10):
would you (mods) venture to say that post deletions and possibly bans have become more frequent over the last couple of months?
Nope, it's business as usual. Things have remained steady for the last year or so.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 10):
I've very much got an issue with the "higher quality" maxim put forth in this thread: Head Crew Visit Demand Media (by AC320 Oct 30 2007 in Site Related)
We're still developing those plans with DM and nothing overly concrete and certainly absolutely nothing in place with them yet. A few conference calls and a rough time table for development to begin in the near year is all that exists at this time.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 10):
To me, this meant that based on a technicality included in and basically sanctioned by the a.net forum rules, a few irritable members were able to spoil a little bit of nonsense fun others were having.
The few irritable members out there can grow thicker skins. While deletion suggestions can call our attention to something and communicate general opinions in the forum, simply receiving a number of them is not and has never been simple cause to remove a thread. A moderator must still find the thread or post to be in violation of the forum rules. A title like that simply doesn't work based on the forum rules and deletion suggestions at the very least notify us that the thread exists.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 10):
perhaps best described as a change from "Must it go?" to "Should it stay?" That and more more business spirit instead of community feeling.
If we acted on every deletion suggestion and complaining e-mail we receive certainly the mindset here would be "Must it go". This is not the reality of how things work here, and we certainly do not implement such a philosophy.

Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
Even at that, I think a permanent ban should be a very special case,
It is a very case that we implement a permanent ban. The number of users on lengthy bans represents a statistically insignificant percentage of even our active membership.

Regarding bans and such, lengthy bans are typically reviewed by a majority of the mods and the head mods. As it stand our reporting hierarchy goes: Moderators > Head Moderators > Demand Media. This is unlikely to change.

We have always and continue to answer to the ownership of the website who actively reviews our actions and in some rare cases has requested or suggested different courses of action.

Quoting Miamiair (Reply 11):
I can understand the nasty-grams they get, but what triggers such messages?

Post deletions, bans, notification of a referenced post deletion, dares or other such childish nonsense on other websites, taking the internet too seriously, the phase of the moon, really we've received nasty-grams for any and all reasons imaginable

[Edited 2007-12-29 18:29:27]
fuddle duddle
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:33 am



Quoting Miamiair (Reply 11):
but what triggers such messages?

Referenced Post Deleted  sarcastic 

Quoting AC320 (Reply 12):
The few irritable members out there can grow thicker skins.

No question about it.

Being a world-wide site with 70,500+ members there are obviously going to be things one member says that perhaps another member doesn't appreciate. THat member has to think, in some cases, about the location of the poster, the context of the post, etc. rather than so rapidly hopping on the SD button . . . . or worse yet - and most common - posting back at the original member with some flamebait or personal insult.

In short . . . Grow Up!

Good post Aloges . . . thanks for the input!
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
aloges
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:45 am

Thanks for the replies, just one thing before I head to bed:

Quoting AC320 (Reply 12):
If we acted on every deletion suggestion and complaining e-mail we receive certainly the mindset here would be "Must it go". This is not the reality of how things work here, and we certainly do not implement such a philosophy.

I meant "must it go" as in a mod decision on whether or not a post is so much in violation of a rule or several of them that it must be deleted. I've long perceived that to be the way things worked.

In contrast to that, "should it stay" means that a post suggested for deletion must have some special redeeming quality that makes it stand out for it to stay even over the complaint from a user, thereby reversing the "direction" of the decision and adding hassle to the whole process.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
diamond
Posts: 3000
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:01 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:06 am



Quoting Aloges (Reply 10):
would you (mods) venture to say that post deletions and possibly bans have become more frequent over the last couple of months?

The quantity of post deletions might be up - slightly. But it is not because our standards have changed. It is because there has been a growing environment of "let's push the limits and see what we can get away with - then accuse the mods of inconsistency if they don't catch us." This is not from the membership at large - it is from a very small group of members who couldn't care less about aviation - but just found a website (this one) on which to act out, and be destructive.

As ANCflyer said earlier, for every member whose main goal is to make trouble, there are dozens more who will join that truly love aviation and can play by the rather lenient rules.

It's frustrating that when one or two people whose whole goal in life is to make trouble are banned, that some others attempt to paint it as a huge indication of how the entire site is moving. We're actually doing them a favor by banning them - because it frees them up to join those other communities that they are more suited to.
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MCOflyer
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:52 am

I think this is a great idea. If this falls through, you have my vote.

Several people including mods have given me advice on how to clean my acts which I believe have made an impact in my recent posts. Srbmod is dead on in reply # 6 about people changing. Some will continue to be harsh and others will not by changing. I feel it is entirely up to the individual on whether he or she will make the correct action(s) needed to stay a part of Airliners.net. I chose the latter after learning from my mistake.

Hunter
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
dl021
Topic Author
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:17 pm

I do appreciate the discussion this has generated, and the quality of the input. As I said before there may not be enough of an issue here to impact the business....but I think it bears some non-defensive introspection from the powers that be.

Quoting Diamond (Reply 2):
While some people would like more transparency in what's happening behind the scenes, it would often violate a member's privacy to provide it

What if the member in question was offered the option to open the records of their exchanges when they complain? That would put everyone on the spot and privacy would not be violated as they agreed to the measure. Transparency achieved and reasons/room for doubt eliminated. Then the entirety of Anet could see why things happen and let you know if they disagree.

Quoting Diamond (Reply 2):
Other moderators may have more creative ideas on this subject.

Or general users.

Quoting Diamond (Reply 2):
The exchange of emails and PMs that some users initiate after having a post removed. Usually, a deleted post does not result in a ban ... it is often the name-calling, threats, and promises to make trouble in the future that causes a user to get banned. To the members who may be watching a given thread - all they see is a post deletion and a subsequent ban. And they assume we're taking unfair action against a rather simple post deletion

Which is what I assumed, but without the ability to see it then we're being asked to trust without verification or backstopping.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
Probably a good idea - you're smarter than I gave you credit . . .

Let's not get carried away.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
But there should be some manner of relief or system of appeal for users who feel that they're being unfairly treated.

There is. Moderator decisions can be reviewed by the Head Moderators, and have been overturned in the past. Head Moderator Decisions are reviewed by Deman Media.

OK...but as with the police or military, to draw on your experiences, there's always some independent review mechanism that isn't involved with the chain of command that can be counted upon to police the police. Generally the police and the military chain of command resent this, but it helps improve the morale of the public and privates giving them some visible measure of redress outside of the people who they feel are punishing them.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
Quoting DL021 (Thread starter):
It may serve to keep the moderators out of the line of fire

I don't mind being in the line of fire . . . if I did I wouldn't be a cop, and I wouldn't have been a soldier, and I wouldn't be a moderator.

Never, ever will I question your personal courage or integrity. This isn't about that. This is about making the general populace feel better about how they are valued as customers and serve to eliminate the volume of the bitching from the small number of offenders who take their complaints public. You know as well as anyone that it's not the successes that get the attention...it's the negatives and that's what folks worry about.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
And who would select theses "Non-Moderator" members?

By the moderators and confirmed by the general base of customers.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
On any given day I see negative issues here from generally the same users . . .

On any given day I see absolutely nothing from 70,200 members of this forum . . .

THAT oughta tell a tale.

If there's a problem, I submit it's with the 100 or so users that are constantly being shelved for numerous rule violations, and those users are a detriment to the entire site,

I agree...but I reference the above passage on what squeakiness gets the attention.

Quoting Queso (Reply 4):
Nobody ever said they couldn't be banned again, but I think they should at least be given the chance to return periodically.

I can see reasons for perma-banning. Some people get really asinine on the internet and say things they would never say in person. There has to be a line they can't cross. We aren't paying the mods to listen to personal abuse. Hell, we're not paying DM to ask their volunteer mods to accept personal abuse. We're not paying the mods.

Quoting Diamond (Reply 5):
Without knowing what was communicated via PM or email? I'm curious to know how bad it would have to get before you would agree that a more lengthy ban is in order.

Personal invective and abuse, threats...that sort of thing should never be tolerated and should be justification for a ban. Enough of it should lead to a deletion. It's a matter of drawing the line someplace.

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 6):
So in short, they come back and start challenging the moderators immediately.

I understand what you're saying, but some people will read that defensively and ask why moderators are afraid to be challenged. If the user starts abusing moderators then that's a different story entirely.

Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
Well, if nothing else my earlier post generated some clarification and further discussion and that's a good thing.

Absolutely. I feel that way about the whole thing.

Quoting Queso (Reply 8):
At one time a particular female crewmember from Sweden had a poll and asked all users to participate. After having a thread asking for nominations, a poll of a similar type could be used and the top 5 (or whatever number) users who agreed to serve could be empaneled. This would ensure the membership felt like they had some say in the process. In theory, their job wouldn't entail much, just reviewing bans issued by the mods. Just an idea.

Good idea.


Discussion is good. Clarity is good. All of this serves to increase the understanding and appreciation the average user has for the site. At least that's what I think.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
AC320
Posts: 2809
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 11:29 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:51 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
Transparency achieved and reasons/room for doubt eliminated. Then the entirety of Anet could see why things happen and let you know if they disagree.

However, its not the business of the entirety of A.net what happens to a specific individual.

Moderators answer to the Head Moderators who answer to the ownership. The ownership has quite an interest in seeing things run smoothly and that it continues to grow. If we were going around and doing things for no really good reason that certainly would not be good for business.

Most members never hear from a moderator except for say a referenced post deletion, or moving a topic to a more appropriate forum. A small number earn warning or short bans for violating the rules repeatedly or severely, a smaller number earn longer bans, and an even smaller numbers have their forum posting privileges permanently suspended.

These ideas put forth by you an other only have some sort of influence over a small and insignificant group of the membership that has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to play nice on the forums.

For people with questions or concerns over a ban/deletion/moderator action, there's always been our e-mail address [email protected] where we will certainly address constructive criticism and honest attempt at dialogue. It's a shame some choose to use their opportunity throw childish tantrums and score a few insults. No one here has the time for that. In most of those cases the ban would have expired and everyone would have gone about their business...

Quoting Aloges (Reply 14):
I meant "must it go" as in a mod decision on whether or not a post is so much in violation of a rule or several of them that it must be deleted. I've long perceived that to be the way things worked.

Rules are rules and are agreed to upon sign-up. We already catch enough flak or a supposedly loose interpretation of the rules, so this would be opening a huge can of worms. As users receive a copy of their post upon removal they have the opportunity to correct any problems and re-post, with a moderator's input and approval of course.
fuddle duddle
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:01 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
What if the member in question was offered the option to open the records of their exchanges when they complain?

Fine by me.

And when they don't, and the records remain sealed, and they still post on those other sites, we've gained nothing.

Well - okay, we have gained the fact that the offender is a chicken and won't open his/her record . . .

Since the Moderators already have their messages posted a half dozen other places, I suppose this isn't a unilateral move. Interesting to note in all the moderator e-mails I've seen posted in AirWhiners thread not a single one is from the User to the Moderator . . . always the Moderator to the User . . . with the instant claim of innocence and mistreatment and malfeasance.

If THAT doesn't speak volumes about character . . . well, I'll eat the infamous hat.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
Never, ever will I question your personal courage or integrity.

Never took it that way my friend . . . was only making a general point.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
I do appreciate the discussion this has generated, and the quality of the input.

Agreed
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:04 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
I understand what you're saying, but some people will read that defensively and ask why moderators are afraid to be challenged. If the user starts abusing moderators then that's a different story entirely.

Almost immediately, they start making posts or starting threads that are essentially daring the moderators to ban them, and in the process, thumb their nose at the forum rules. Just like waving a red cape in front of a bull or poking a beehive (or bear) with a stick, it's not a good idea to start making trouble as soon as you come back from a ban. I have told this to several members of this site that are currently on long-term bans, but refused to listen to friendly advice, so they reaped what they sowed.

The moderators are not afraid to be challenged. As long as it is done in a rational and respectful manner and is within the forum rules, then we have no problems being questioned/challenged by the users. Bashing the moderators, other crew members, the ownership, other members, etc., is not a very productive manner in which to start a discussion or perhaps even be heard by the folks that can make things happen. As the old saying goes "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar".

There have been times where users gripe about other moderators "sticking their nose where it doesn't belong". While they may not have been the moderator that deleted the post/thread or issued the ban, any action done by a member of the moderator staff is every member of the moderator staff's business. Sometimes, it takes another moderator to enter the discussion in order to perhaps defuse the situation, as it may take someone else's P.O.V. on a problem or telling them the same exact thing that's been already said by the other moderator (or moderators) for it to sink in with a user.

You won't see a member of the moderator staff send someone an obscenity-laced tirade as a response to the obscenity-laced tirade they send to the moderators. Two wrongs do not make a right. They will be warned about their behavior in the email(s) they've sent to the moderator (or moderators), and that further emails of a similar nature or tone could see them either banned (if they are not currently serving one) or if they are currently banned, see that ban lengthened. Most users tend to tone it down and apologize for acting in such a manner. Then again, some users are just too stubborn.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
What if the member in question was offered the option to open the records of their exchanges when they complain? That would put everyone on the spot and privacy would not be violated as they agreed to the measure. Transparency achieved and reasons/room for doubt eliminated. Then the entirety of Anet could see why things happen and let you know if they disagree.

There already is transparency on the part of the Moderators, as every email exchange between a member of the moderator staff and a user in regards to a deletion or a ban is CC:'d to every member of the moderator staff and also to members of the Demand Media staff.

In general, deletions and bans are between the moderator crew and the user(s) involved. If someone asks us why user QWERTY was banned, we will they them that we do not discuss such matters with users.

We have close to 71,000 users; only a small fraction of that number do we have to deal with on a regular basis. The other 70,000+ users very rarely even come into contact with the Moderators in the form of a deletion notice. Every site, no matter how big, will have its' share of trouble makers. Compared to other sites I'm a member of, we're pretty easy on folks. There's one site I am a member of where folks would get banned for bashing a moderator, even if it were the first time they had ever done it. I've seen one of the moderators on numerous occasions permanently ban a user for calling him gay (either using gay or the "f" word) or telling him to "Go F himself.". This guy makes the moderator staff here seem worthless and weak by comparison.
 
miamiair
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:42 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:33 pm



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 20):
As long as it is done in a rational and respectful manner and is within the forum rules, then we have no problems being questioned/challenged by the users.

Not true, I am sorry to say. In this case I will use a recent example. In a recent thread that was since locked, you went through the thread and "cleaned it up." You had deleted one of my posts because I had told another member "to get a grip." Your reason was that I was disrespecting the user. Now it didn't seem to me that that statement was disrespectful and I sent you an email. That email was sent to you personally and not at the [email protected] address. I was respectful and did not accuse, insinuate, etc. I wanted to know what the line was, so to not repeat the mistake. The reply that I got from you was not reciprocal. You went off about how I was supposed to mail the moderators and you did not provide any positive information. I do have the documents if proof is required.

I am not going to purposefully run afoul of the mods, but I can't sit back and read how some members are evil and the mods are victims. Maybe 99% of the bans are warranted, but just like the justice systems, sometimes mistakes are mad. Maybe I will be scrutinized more from this point on, but I call it like I see it. I have the utmost respect for several moderators here, but the moderators are people too, prone to all the maladies of everyday life. And if one of those mods woke up on the wrong side of the bed and made some harsh decisions, that may have been over and above, then the need for oversight is a valid reason to have an IG. There must be an independent panel or have someone from DM make the call that can overturn such a ban.
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
bhmbaglock
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:51 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:34 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
What if the member in question was offered the option to open the records of their exchanges when they complain? That would put everyone on the spot and privacy would not be violated as they agreed to the measure. Transparency achieved and reasons/room for doubt eliminated.

I'd be in favor of changing the terms of service to allow this in all cases. I think the mods would see much more polite correspondence if this were done.

Quoting AC320 (Reply 18):
We already catch enough flak or a supposedly loose interpretation of the rules, so this would be opening a huge can of worms.

Like the "Low Quality" post "rule" that doesn't exist but is often used for example? In fact, the word "quality" does not even appear in the rules. Is there some equivalent of FAA Advisory Circulars containing "rules" that aren't exactly rules but are still used?

Quoting AC320 (Reply 18):
As users receive a copy of their post upon removal they have the opportunity to correct any problems and re-post, with a moderator's input and approval of course.

There is no such invitation included in a post deletion notice.
Where are all of my respected members going?
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:46 pm



Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 22):
There is no such invitation included in a post deletion notice.

Perhaps not, but clearly in Rule 26:

26. If your post or thread has been deleted, please do not view this as a personal attack against you by the forum moderators. If you believe there was an error, please send us an email in order to bring it to our attention. Do not repost without first obtaining the agreement of the moderators otherwise suspension will follow.

Further, I generally add a personal note - ESPECIALLY on Referenced Post Deleted deletion notices where the user has responded to one or more persons and one of those persons caused the deletion, that they are free to repost the other portions of their post. . . .

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 22):
Like the "Low Quality" post "rule" that doesn't exist

Would it be easier to include the words "Low Quality" in a rule such as this:

7. You agree that you will not use this discussion forum to post any statement which is knowingly false, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, graphic, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy or otherwise in violation of any law.

22. Please spend some time to make your posts interesting and easy to understand. Messages of agreement such as "me too" or "I agree with X" have been found to waste time and are therefore to be avoided. A message consisting of only one or two lines of text is probably not worth posting.


As examples.

Ted, I'm not bashing your post, just seeking information exchange . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
bhmbaglock
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:51 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:13 pm



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 23):
Perhaps not, but clearly in Rule 26:

26. If your post or thread has been deleted, please do not view this as a personal attack against you by the forum moderators. If you believe there was an error, please send us an email in order to bring it to our attention. Do not repost without first obtaining the agreement of the moderators otherwise suspension will follow.

I stand corrected on this one.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 23):
Further, I generally add a personal note - ESPECIALLY on Referenced Post Deleted deletion notices where the user has responded to one or more persons and one of those persons caused the deletion, that they are free to repost the other portions of their post. . . .

You certainly do a good job of this, other mods(not all, some), not no much.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 23):
Would it be easier to include the words "Low Quality" in a rule such as this:

The explanation included in a post deletion notice certainly corresponds to Rule 22 but not at all to Rule 7. I've replied back to the moderators e-mail address regarding a specific case that I'm sure you'll see shortly(probably tomorrow, our e-mail server is down for maintenance). Rule 8 also seems to be included in the definition.

My point is that it should be SOP to reference an actual rule, not a concept that is a poorly defined amalgamation of the rules when deleting a user's post, particularly if zero personal explanation is included in the message. Again, I'm not referring to you but the actions of other mods here.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 23):
Ted, I'm not bashing your post, just seeking information exchange . . .

I know you aren't and I'm glad you are participating.
Where are all of my respected members going?
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:18 pm



Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 24):
not at all to Rule 7

Sure it does:

Obscene/Graphic.

I can name dozens of times a post has been canned for LOW QUALITY because a member posted someone or some part of someone that was 'obscene/graphic'.

That's just one instance.

I suppose the Suggest Deletion feature could be redone to include a checkmark for every rule . . . that would solve this problem . . . but that is out of my purvue.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
bhmbaglock
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:51 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:36 pm



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 25):
Sure it does:

Obscene/Graphic.

I agree that this is, in most cases, low quality. However, neither of these is addressed in the standard "Low Quality" post deletion notice. My problem with this type of deletion is that it is entirely possible to have a post deleted and have exactly zero to go on as to why.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 25):
I suppose the Suggest Deletion feature could be redone to include a checkmark for every rule . . . that would solve this problem . . . but that is out of my purvue.

Low Quality isn't listed on the SD menu anyway so I don't know how relevant that it. If the SD dialog is ever modified, my first suggestion would be a real text edit box including the ability to use paragraphs. It's very difficult to write a message in a 20 character text box without carriage returns. btw, never mind on the SD I just sent on my last post by mistake. I was measuring the size of the text box and forgot that a carriage return in the text box actually sends the SD instead of going to the next line.
Where are all of my respected members going?
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:48 pm

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 26):
My problem with this type of deletion is that it is entirely possible to have a post deleted and have exactly zero to go on as to why

Concur . . . hence the need for a Moderator to make a comment, and in my opinion, on most deletions SHOULD make a comment.

Some are blatantly obvious though - even to the most casual observer or newest member . . . really.

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 26):
Low Quality isn't listed on the SD menu anyway so I don't know how relevant that it.

Understand, hence my question: Change the SD menu to include one check box per rule. Eliminates any question.

Low Quality encompasses a gamut of rule violations, some outlined above, others such as:

One line replies. Or one WORD replies. "Filler, Filler, Filler". US (or DL or AA or UA or AS or CX or insert your least favorite airline here) Sucks.

I could go on.

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 26):
btw, never mind on the SD I just sent on my last post by mistake. I was measuring the size of the text box and forgot that a carriage return in the text box actually sends the SD instead of going to the next line.

     That has been discussed with the computer widgets pre/post DM takeover. As has the deletion page we have to fill out and send. Ever notice how a thread link in a Deletion Notice is so badly mangled it appears on three or four lines? We've asked that to be repaired for as long as I've been a moderator.

I'm not trying to crap on Johan or DM, but giving you examples of things behind the scenes that aren't readily apparent to our users.


All this, and a dozen Old Fashioned Donuts, still doesn't answer the mail as to why about 75-100 members here - the same ones - out of over 70,500 have their panties in a knot and find it necessary to slander and defame every moderator here because THEY broke the rules.

How about we get back to that one. We can start another thread - oh, Lord, another thread, on the things we'd like to see get fixed here that are software related.

  


As requested Ted, I deleted your suggestion. If all you type in that block is a dozen or so letters, then you've got the problem, not is. I can type a couple hundred characters in there . . .

[Edited 2007-12-30 13:53:27]
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
zanl188
Posts: 3845
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:28 pm



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 27):
All this, and a dozen Old Fashioned Donuts, still doesn't answer the mail as to why about 75-100 members here - the same ones - out of over 70,500 have their panties in a knot and find it necessary to slander and defame every moderator here because THEY broke the rules.

The 70,500 figure has been used several times in the thread. Is there a possibility we could see the breakdown on that figure? Particularly how many of those users are active (posting, adding photos, spending time on the site) on say a monthly basis. Pardon me if this info is already available on the site somewhere

Also I applaud the effort DM & crew are making to make the site more professional. I visit 2 aerospace enthusiast sites on a regular basis, airliners.net & nasaspaceflight.com. Both offer a "pay for play" option which, as I recall, is about the same $$ on a annual basis. Both are at the top of their game in respective fields of aerospace. Nasaspaceflight.com doesn't seem to have the disciplinary issues though. Might be worth a look from the powers that be at a.net.
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:39 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 28):
Pardon me if this info is already available on the site somewhere

https://www.airliners.net/discussions/userlist.main

Shows:

Username - Total Number of Posts - Registration Date - Country - Last Post Time amongst other things.

Sort it User Name, Respect Rating, Number of Posts, etc . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
zanl188
Posts: 3845
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:22 am



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 29):



https://www.airliners.net/discussions/userlist.main

Shows:

Username - Total Number of Posts - Registration Date - Country - Last Post Time amongst other things.

Sort it User Name, Respect Rating, Number of Posts, etc . .

Thank you sir....

I took a quick look at that database. It appears to be corrupt. Majority of users had their last post 34 days ago. Also it only shows 196 pages of users at 29 users per page or a total of 5684 users.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong... I'll keep at it....
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:40 am



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 30):
Maybe I'm doing something wrong... I'll keep at it....

No you're probably doing nothing wrong . . . it's a problem most likely located in SoCal . . . . sorry.

Thats the place to get the info you asked for - if it's operating properly . . .
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
garnetpalmetto
Posts: 5352
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 1:38 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:18 am



Quoting Aloges (Reply 10):
The other example is this thread: Daughter Killed By Dad For Not Wearing A Hijab... (by Slider Dec 12 2007 in Non Aviation) where, as you can see in reply #22, an entire discussion was deleted which had never seemed to be a flame war to me. Of course, my judgement is personal, but nevertheless those deletions raised the questions whether "higher quality" is also understood to mean "less dissent between the members" and where the good practice of warning members to keep things calm went. I don't think any bans resulted from that thread, I would probably have read about that "somewhere else", but the way that discussion simply disappeared was unknown to me.

Thought I'd chime in here as I was the moderator responsible for the deletions in question here. Aloges, you illustrate an excellent point that has been somewhat made earlier. To the best of my recollection, the vast majority of the deletions in question were for "Referenced Post Deleted." In this case, a user made an off topic or flamebait post, another user responded to it, another user responded to that user, etc. and it snowballs to "an entire discussion being deleted." No, it wasn't a flame war, save for perhaps one or two posts, but the rules dictate that if a post is deleted, any posts which reference it, both directly and indirectly, have to be deleted. Some mods, myself included, try to put a note whenever a referenced post deletion occurs to "track back" the history of how the posts are tied together, but in that particular case there were so many that going throuhg the thread in a timely manner made it difficult, if not impossible to do so. I'll admit that if I had it to do differently I would have gone back and done a note for each deletion, but I stand by the necessity of those deletions.

That being said, as you were a participant in the thread, were you to have e-mailed the moderators mail list, I would have gladly gone through and tracked how your post tied back to the original deletion(s) that caused the cascade of deletions.

I'd also use this as an opportunity to point out another problem that a good many members seem to have and that would be to not respond to a post which you feel violates the rules. Just don't do it - suggest it for deletion instead. It doesn't make you a tattletale or a whiner or a crybaby - it helps make sure the site runs smoothly. Don't ask for clarification, don't insul tthe user who started it, and don't point out the flaws in his thinking - just suggest it for deletion - that wasy the number of "referenced post deletions" are kept to a minimum.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
aloges
Posts: 14807
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:14 am



Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 32):
the vast majority of the deletions in question were for "Referenced Post Deleted."

 checkmark  All of my 13 deletions were "RPD" and I'm fairly sure it was that for just about everyone. It was an unusual event and I remembered the discussion fairly well at the time I received the deletion notices, which is why I didn't ask for an explanation the way I have before. Anyway, that was not a standard mod action so not quite something begging for "analysis".

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 32):
Don't ask for clarification, don't insul tthe user who started it, and don't point out the flaws in his thinking - just suggest it for deletion - that wasy the number of "referenced post deletions" are kept to a minimum.

And THAT needs to be the number one rule for dealing with provocation. Maybe you could add it to the disclaimer atop non_av...  Wink that and "sleep heated discussions over".  Silly

But then again, the line between dissent/disagreement and provocation is everyone's personal idea.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:00 am



Quoting Srbmod (Reply 6):

In the some of the cases, the permaban has been enacted after a user has essentially racked up all of the potential bans. 3-7-14-30-60-90-120-365.

Is this 3-7-14-30-60-90-120-365 thing official policy? If so when was it enacted?

I know of an instance where a member went from getting one 3 day ban ever in his life, straight to a 365... all for merely sending a level headed, non profane email to the [email protected] address in regards to a specific moderator's prior actions. Now the hope was that a 3rd party moderator would "moderate" the situation... hence why it was sent to [email protected], but instead it was replied with vulgarity / name calling FROM said moderator.... and the member forwarding that email to Mr. Lundgren (a last ditch effort at an "appeals process") was what initated the chain of events ending in the ban. I'll note that none of the staff/mods posting here so far were part of these events which happened nearly 2 years ago. But... what kind of appeals process can you get out of that I have to ask? When it is a moderator himself who has taken the personal swings and shots what chance does a "commoner" have?

Furthermore there have been a few well documented instances where moderators/staff have gotten away with things that would have gotten any other commoners banned. Were they punished?

At the very least I think this appeals process needs overhauled. It is quite questionable at best... and I'd be willing to bet that 95% of users who've used it in any regards think it isn't much more than a sham.
 
AirTranTUS
Posts: 3313
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:12 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:16 am

I think users should be able to question a moderator's judgment without fear of punishment, and if possible, have another moderator (and/or user) monitor the situation as a third party. I know Rule #26 allows this (quoted below) but an additional check would be good to have so a moderator does not get full of their power or a user misunderstands a rule and does not get punished for questioning the mod.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 23):

26. If your post or thread has been deleted, please do not view this as a personal attack against you by the forum moderators. If you believe there was an error, please send us an email in order to bring it to our attention. Do not repost without first obtaining the agreement of the moderators otherwise suspension will follow.

I love ASO!
 
diamond
Posts: 3000
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:01 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:44 am



Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 34):
Is this 3-7-14-30-60-90-120-365 thing official policy? If so when was it enacted?

I know of an instance where a member went from getting one 3 day ban ever in his life, straight to a 365

When members choose* to break forum rules, they do not follow an orderly progression of violations. They don't start with a slight infraction and the go slightly worse the next time. A user may slip up and get a tiny bit angry one week - and their very next violation might be huge, and worthy of a very long ban. Therefore, there is no guarantee that ban lengths can progress in a specified order as shown above.















* It is a choice.
Blank.
 
garnetpalmetto
Posts: 5352
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 1:38 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:45 am



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 35):
I think users should be able to question a moderator's judgment without fear of punishment, and if possible, have another moderator (and/or user) monitor the situation as a third party.

That already happens in part (I say in part because outside users aren't involved). Whenever one of us makes a post deletion, we all receive a copy of the deletion notice. That's also why we ask that all communication be directed at [email protected] rather than to our own personal e-mail addresses so that all of the other mods can keep tabs on what's happening. Not only that, but I'd say all the mods get along well enough that we feel comfortable enough calling into question something that doesn't seem kosher or lobbying for reductions/increases in ban time if we feel one of our other fellow mods was being too harsh or too lenient.

Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 35):
I think users should be able to question a moderator's judgment without fear of punishment

Provided that the user's question was within the realm of propriety and wasn't vulgar, threatening, obscene, or harassing, I can't think of a reason off the top of my head why a user should feel "fear of punishment." We're really not the beings o fpure evil that some would like to make us out to be. OK, maybe Pep is, but that's only when he's running low on beer  Wink
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
Tornado82
Posts: 4662
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 10:19 am

RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:48 am



Quoting Diamond (Reply 36):


* It is a choice.

In the situation described, there was actually no rule chosen to be broken, nor was a broken rule ever mentioned in the ban email. I'm sure it's in the moderator archives somewhere.

Back on topic. Diamond, your post doesn't address the matter at hand here. That story that you responded to was just anecdotal about the fact that a better appeals process is requested from the customers of this business. How will this business respond to the needs of its customer base? This is a business after all, and businesses need to be adaptive and responsive to their customers.
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:02 am

I like the idea of an independent "membership review board." Here's what I have in mind:

This "review board" would be made up of members (no more than five I'd say) from the general membership, who volunteer to serve on the board for a limited time (maybe like a year). When a member is banned, they have the option of formally appealing their ban to the board (or just serving the time). The member can then present their case for reinstatement, and the moderating staff can also present their case for the ban to be upheld. Only the banned member, moderators, and the review board would have access to the information, to preserve privacy.

If the ban is overturned, it would be expunged from the user's record. If upheld, the user would serve out the entire ban beginning from the date the moderator(s) originally issued the ban.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
diamond
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:38 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 38):
Diamond, your post doesn't address the matter at hand here.

Let's be clear: it does address the question you asked in post #34 of this thread. You asked if there was a sequential ban policy, and I answered that it was not possible for bans follow a strict sequential sequence because violations don't happen sequentially.

If you regard that is missing the 'matter at hand' then perhaps your question was off-topic.

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 38):
That story that you responded to was just anecdotal about the fact that a better appeals process is requested from the customers of this business.

So let me be sure I understand: because a small group of users cannot write a simple email with relative politeness and civility - you believe that an entirely new process needs to be created to your satisfaction? There is an existing process that the vast majority of people 'get' and know how to use to get their concerns addressed. And that same process doesn't work for people that are hostile by nature, defensive by habit, or can't take criticism of any kind without believing they've "been done wrong." That's hardly a justification for creating a new process.

The existing process is not being utilized to its fullest - mostly because it involves being polite and professional, which some people are unable to do.

To propose another process or another body of people to review things so that members can continue to be rude in their communication is not likely to be considered, let alone approved.

This is about rudeness, plain and simple. And any effort to protect or justify that rudeness isn't going to work. Asking a new committee of people to excuse the rudeness of others isn't in the best interest of the site, either.

[Edited 2007-12-30 20:48:07]
Blank.
 
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fxramper
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:19 am

A few more mods to chime in and we'll have the entire crew!  yes 

Great ideas Ian.

I would agree with the majority above - most bans issued, regardless of time, are necessary.

 twocents 
 
Halcyon
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:21 am



Quoting Diamond (Reply 40):
This is about rudeness, plain and simple. And any effort to protect or justify that rudeness isn't going to work. Asking a new committee of people to excuse the rudeness of others isn't in the best interest of the site, either.

I think the issue is more one of trust. Whether or not the general members trust the moderators is important. As the customers, if we would like to weigh in on decisions, we should be allowed to.

What is wrong with ShyFlyer's suggestion?

Quoting ShyFlyer (Reply 39):
I like the idea of an independent "membership review board." Here's what I have in mind:

This "review board" would be made up of members (no more than five I'd say) from the general membership, who volunteer to serve on the board for a limited time (maybe like a year). When a member is banned, they have the option of formally appealing their ban to the board (or just serving the time). The member can then present their case for reinstatement, and the moderating staff can also present their case for the ban to be upheld. Only the banned member, moderators, and the review board would have access to the information, to preserve privacy.

If the ban is overturned, it would be expunged from the user's record. If upheld, the user would serve out the entire ban beginning from the date the moderator(s) originally issued the ban.

It addresses privacy concerns and allows some of us an outlet to communicate. I've rarely had posts deleted (And only one deletion seemed as if someone was bored.), but I also think that a review board would be a good idea. There are many mods who seem to be very aloof from the membership, and this would address that. It would also make sure that justice is delivered to all.

It seems to me that many of the moderators don't like this plan, and from what I've gathered, it's because they don't think it's needed. In this case, I really don't think that's for the moderators to decide.

Happy New Year everyone!

And thanks to the mods for volunteering their time!  Smile
 
ShyFlyer
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:35 am



Quoting Diamond (Reply 40):
Asking a new committee of people to excuse the rudeness of others isn't in the best interest of the site, either.

No one is suggesting that an independent panel would excuse rudeness. It is simply a way for members to have someone to appeal to other than the one(s) that issued the banning in the first place.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:43 pm



Quoting AirTranTUS (Reply 35):
I think users should be able to question a moderator's judgment without fear of punishment, and if possible, have another moderator (and/or user) monitor the situation as a third party. I know Rule #26 allows this (quoted below) but an additional check would be good to have so a moderator does not get full of their power or a user misunderstands a rule and does not get punished for questioning the mod

I absolutely agree. Question all you want. Membership should do that . . . keeps the moderators honest. The thing is, my friend, 95% of the membership lose their minds when doing so. "What the F*#& - deleting my post, you suck, you each SH8T and Die". Now that approach is not conducive to further progress.

One thing you should know AirTran, a deletion notice is sent to the member and EVER moderator automatically. The addressee lines cannot be altered, it's generated automatically.

There have been numerous occasions I've seen another Moderator question a deletion and suspensions. I've seen the moderator taking the action capitulate. Have done so myself.

Further, members need to reply to all the Moderators. It will save time. We are required to share everything, and we do.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
dl021
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:17 pm



Quoting AC320 (Reply 18):
However, its not the business of the entirety of A.net what happens to a specific individual.

Moderators answer to the Head Moderators who answer to the ownership. The ownership has quite an interest in seeing things run smoothly and that it continues to grow. If we were going around and doing things for no really good reason that certainly would not be good for business.

I agree with that. But the attitude that many will perceive from that first line of the quote is perhaps a little strong. Basically you're saying that what happens to one person in our community doesn't impact the rest of us when it does. It sets standards of behaviour and it sends a message to the rest. "Pour encourager les autres" or to encourage the others is a time tested system of modifying group behaviour. If the perception is that one person is being singled out as an example (i.e. with bannings or deletions from one member that ignores anothers similar behaviour) then people will feel that the moderator is taking sides or allowing the person whose tastes/politics/whatever to do what they like while clamping down on the opposite side.

Perception is reality to most people, and for the vast majority here it's the only thing they have to go on.

Quoting AC320 (Reply 18):
These ideas put forth by you an other only have some sort of influence over a small and insignificant group of the membership that has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to play nice on the forums.

I disagree. I further point out that the manner in which you name the group of people who feel disassociated is somewhat polarizing. Calling them insignificant is not productive. I believe that there are more people than you think impacted by this, who wonder if they should bother to contribute either photos or thoughts if they're going to be deleted or refused by people who minimalize those with whom they disagree. I don't think you mean to do this, but step outside yourself for a second and re-read that. Ask yourself if you were a regular member and read that without a real idea about what happens behind the scenes "would I like that?"

I don't think you meant to call the group insignificant, but I may be wrong. Perhaps you meant to say it's a small enough group that their numbers are statistically insignificant. I would understand that better, but it's also a group of active contributors who make things interesting for the lurkers who seem to be in the vast majority and for whom this is a valued part of the Anet experience. There are thousands, I think, of people who do no more than read the threads while perusing the photos, or who find one part of the site after looking at another. Calling that impact insignificant is perhaps not correct. What do you think?

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 44):
"What the F*#& - deleting my post, you suck, you each SH8T and Die". Now that approach is not conducive to further progress.

That shouldn't be tolerated.

Quoting Diamond (Reply 40):
The existing process is not being utilized to its fullest - mostly because it involves being polite and professional, which some people are unable to do.

There's children everywhere, and the lack of civility and restraint shown on these threads as well as worse behaviour elsewhere does make it difficult to keep things productive. This sort of behaviour would not be tolerated by the majority of the members, so why not ask the people who bitch to make all their PMs public to offer transparency. Or change the rules to allow the publication of all their PMs if they choose to make selected passages public while concealing the behaviour they don't think will endear them to the rest of the group from whom they're soliciting sympathy/allies?

Quoting Diamond (Reply 40):
This is about rudeness, plain and simple. And any effort to protect or justify that rudeness isn't going to work. Asking a new committee of people to excuse the rudeness of others isn't in the best interest of the site, either.

Rudeness is not justified and it shouldn't be excused....but definitions of rudeness are varying. I think that some people are more sensitive than others. That said.....anytime someone decides to use foul language and personal invective then it's gone too far, as I've stated previously. Childish tantrums and name calling should be penalized. Its the how and wherefores that concern me and many others.



I've said this plenty, and I'll say it again. The moderators do a job, for which they volunteered to be sure, which is difficult and relatively thankless. I believe that a new process, or perhaps simply a development of the old process...further clarifying.... can enhance user confidence in the system as regards fairness and evenhandedness. This would make life a bit easier for the moderators, who currently are in a catch-22 in that they cannot justify publicly some well-earned vacations from anet...along with a couple of richly deserved perma-bans....and have to take the abuse of a few who decide to launch personal attacks and say things they'd never say in person.

It'd also serve to give the users some additional visible structure to enhance their peace of mind that they're being fairly treated in this experience for which they pay to which they contribute in varying degrees.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:31 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 45):
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 44):
"What the F*#& - deleting my post, you suck, you each SH8T and Die". Now that approach is not conducive to further progress.

That shouldn't be tolerated.

And it's NOT. THAT my friend is where 99% of the permanent suspensions are generated. Members inability to have a rational, ADULT conversation with the moderators regarding a post/thread deletion.

And then of course, less than half the picture is painted on the 'other' sites .

[Edited 2007-12-31 07:41:27]
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
Queso
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:41 pm



Quoting Diamond (Reply 36):
When members choose* to break forum rules



Quoting Diamond (Reply 36):
* It is a choice.

I don't agree with that statement at all. Interpretation of forum rules tends to be very objective, partially due to the diversity of the moderating team and a user could post a comment that one mod wouldn't even think skirts the rules while another mod would find to be highly offensive either by content of the post itself or by virtue of who posted the comment.

The classic example: The Gambler Also A Cheater? (by HPLASOps Oct 23 2006 in Non Aviation)

Quoting KROC (Reply 42):
Dude - Does your pussy hurt?

Is this not "disrespecting another user"? The same comment has been deleted many times since using that interpretation and IIRC a user was banned for it.

It's all in the interpretation of the rules so a blanket comment to the effect of...

Quoting Diamond (Reply 36):
* It is a choice.

... is simply not correct.
 
AC320
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:18 pm



Quoting DL021 (Reply 45):
I agree with that. But the attitude that many will perceive from that first line of the quote is perhaps a little strong. Basically you're saying that what happens to one person in our community doesn't impact the rest of us when it does. It sets standards of behaviour and it sends a message to the rest. .

When someone is banned or has a post removed it is entirely their personal business, considering how the membership at large is not privy to the circumstances or details there's little to be gained regarding standards and messages to be had unless one has religiously kept tabs on all their posts or has kept detailed records on what has been removed. We're not going to treat these forums like some high school lunchroom where we're to gossip about what's happened to whom.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 45):
then people will feel that the moderator is taking sides or allowing the person whose tastes/politics/whatever to do what they like while clamping down on the opposite side.

It's really really hard to take sides when there's 12 of us moderators from different walks of life, with different political views etc... Hence why should a user have an issue with a deletion or other action they should reply to their notice asking for clarification. Many times we do indeed uphold a decision by a fellow moderator because we found the reasoning to be sound and in line with the forum rules. Other times we make adjustments in favour or against in light of post history, the original moderator may not have understood what was said etc... There's a number of us not just because of the workload but also to recognize the fallibility of the individual. Mistakes happen, and every action we take here is reversible.

We're not above mistakes. Hell, before I became a mod, Johan gave me absolute hell in an e-mail because I somewhat jokingly suggested another user remove himself from the gene pool if he was going to whine about something so much.

Some of our disagreements on the moderator e-mail list have been EPIC but we work things out and approach things from the avenue of majority consent.

Also regarding taking sides, consider we've never even met most of the people on this site. I know some have a low opinion of the moderators but taking sides or giving preferential treatment to someone you've never met (or met only briefly at a forum gathering).....geez..

Let me cite a frequent example of what may be mis-construed as "taking sides". User A and B get into a disagreement that gets verbally nasty.

User A has been suspended previously for this or has had many post deletion for flamebait.

User B has had a handful of unrelated deletions.

Likely user A gets suspended and User B gets strongly warned. Of course maybe they've been going at it for a few hours before a moderator noticed and completely trashed an entire thread: B goes on vacation too but maybe shorter than A since he doesn't have a history.

Or after receiving a notice B send a 36 e-mail rant in the space of an hour (yes this has happened) and goes away for a very long time.

There's a lot that can happen in these cases. I'm trying to highlight the fact we consider many variables in dealing with individuals.

Let's face it, this is the internet we're all just sitting in front of computers here. The mods have zero real power over the actions one chooses to take. Our only hope to influence compliance with the rules and standards for the community is to either remove contributions or suspend posting privileges to encourage adherence. Some are so ashamed they earned a post deletion and we never have a reason to interact with them again. some cool off after a short ban and are never much of a problem. some continuously get banned for longer and longer because they do not wish to adjust their posting habits or simply don't care. It's an active, individual choice of what they want their time here to be. Simple fact is if you keep having to hear from us on a regular basis for rule violations it's going to catch up with you eventually.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 45):
I disagree. I further point out that the manner in which you name the group of people who feel disassociated is somewhat polarizing. Calling them insignificant is not productive.

As I stated before, I feel this is a lot of energy to put forth on the relatively small number that earn incredibly long or permanent bans. Currently less than half a percent of the membership is suspended, and even less of that permanently. The perma-ban list also consists of many double/triple/quadruple aliases used by already suspended members. I do not feel this is a significant enough number to warrant much concern.

The group that has been permanently suspended, I feel, are no longer significant to Airliners.net
fuddle duddle
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: Moderator IG/Review Panel For A.Net

Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:50 pm



Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 27):
Ever notice how a thread link in a Deletion Notice is so badly mangled it appears on three or four lines? We've asked that to be repaired for as long as I've been a moderator.

My personal theory is that this is by design and is part of the punishment for having your post deleted.  Smile Definitely makes your head hurt trying to decipher it.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 27):
If all you type in that block is a dozen or so letters, then you've got the problem, not is. I can type a couple hundred characters in there . . .

True, but it's difficult to compose something coherent that's more than a sentence long.

Quoting Queso (Reply 47):
to be very objective

subjective maybe?

Quoting AC320 (Reply 48):
As I stated before, I feel this is a lot of energy to put forth on the relatively small number that earn incredibly long or permanent bans..... I do not feel this is a significant enough number to warrant much concern.

The group that has been permanently suspended, I feel, are no longer significant to Airliners.net

Do you think there's any significance to the fact that not one non-mod user has chimed in here saying that all is good and this is a waste of time? I know that you can probably find a lot who think this way and probably a much larger number who don't care one way or another but I think you (collective for the mods, not you personally) are being a bit too defensive here and should at least look at this concept with a bit more of an open mind.

I also don't understand the compulsion for secrecy regarding bans/discipline. Sunshine has a way of sanitizing things like nothing else IMO. As long as the TOS are changed accordingly there should be no legal issues and NOBODY could hope to hind behind lies. Clearly there would need to be provisions for exceptions in extraordinary circumstances but seriously, what's wrong with this idea? btw, just to be crystal clear, this paragraph is not directed specifically to AC320.
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