or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Site Help › Moderation of MDC - What do you think?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Moderation of MDC - What do you think? - Page 18  

Poll Results: Moderation of MDC - What do you think?

 
  • 56% (416)
    I think the current minimal moderation is great. It allows members the freedom to express their opinions without fear of their thread being shut down or a warning issued. Discussions of all types should be permitted and the community should be allowed to respond with their opinions unrestricted. I feel there are some situations where heavy moderation may be necessary but these are very few (explain).
  • 27% (204)
    I do not like the minimal moderation and feel that it is leading to problems. To help protect the integrity of the forums and make the community a comfortable place to post we need the moderators to return to their previous moderation approach. They should oversee discussions more and remove things that are mean, snarky, sarcastic, and harassing. They should remove threads and posts that are against Mothering's parenting philosophies. Members who refuse to post appropriately should be moderated and those who persist in such behavior should be warned consistently and, if necessary, their membership removed.
  • 15% (114)
    Other (explain what sort of moderation you think should be in place)
734 Total Votes  
post #341 of 612
Thread Starter 

When posting is made by trolls trying to wreck havoc just because they want to take advantage of an already tense discussion atmosphere - yes, I will stop their threads. We're not going to have discussions for their dramatic purposes under their pretenses. I have been running this community for many years. I'm not an idiot. I know troll behavior when I see it and so do our members who see it and report it. So please don't imply anything else and try to change this discussion into something it is not. I made a judgment call about the intent of a thread. If you'd like evidence I think you know where to get it. Go back and read my thread closure post and you won't need to ask your question about any time limit on topics. This topic is not for discussion here. Turn it back to the general topic of moderation, please, without throwing this matter into it any further.

post #342 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

When posting is made by trolls trying to wreck havoc just because they want to take advantage of an already tense discussion atmosphere - yes, I will stop their threads. We're not going to have discussions for their dramatic purposes under their pretenses. I have been running this community for many years. I'm not an idiot. I know troll behavior when I see it and so do our members who see it and report it. So please don't imply anything else and try to change this discussion into something it is not. I made a judgment call about the intent of a thread. If you'd like evidence I think you know where to get it. Go back and read my thread closure post and you won't need to ask your question about any time limit on topics. This topic is not for discussion here. Turn it back to the general topic of moderation please, without throwing this matter into it any further.

I'm actually still confused, but okay. Your thread closing didn't address time limits.

ETA: I never said nor implied that you are an idiot. So. . .please don't imply that that's what I was doing. greensad.gif I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.
post #343 of 612

Edit: I didn't see your clarification on the definition of a troll... makes more sense now.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

When it's Trolls trying to wreck havoc just because they want to take advantage of a tense discussion atmosphere about other issues - yes, I will stop their threads. We're not going to have discussions for their dramatic purposes under their pretenses.


Ooooo! I have to say that so far I have been on the mod side of things... more moderation, less snark, less hate, etc... but to say specifically that MDC will stop "discussions for their dramatic purposes" is pushing it a bit, given recent hot topics started and promoted by the "Mothering" user name (the welfare topic comes to mind specifically). That said, I participated in that thread and was interested in the variety of opinions. I think that as long as the thread is set up to discuss differing opinions in a forum where that is expected (i.e. not a support thread, but an informational one)... AND posters use respectful language to debate their topic of choice, why not have tense discussion? Most of these issues and values ARE tense (after all, they all revolve around the core of our lives: our children)... and I think they need to be heavily moderated for nastiness, but not for content. Public reminders that I mentioned before could be used ("MDC promotes <xyz value that you, poster, are against>. We'd like to hear your opinion on it, but please be respectful of the environment here.")

 

BTW, I think my opinion on this issue of moderation is evolving and solidifying even as I participate in this discussion... which is a primary reason, IMHO, to moderate for tone and not for content... which admittedly is far more subjective than any of us would like. The fact remains that moderators are human (*gasp* - I know that was a big shocker to some out there - way to state the obvious, huh? Go me.) and as such, will bring their personal experiences to the table when moderating. Is there some sort of buddy system with moderation, where mods can check their responses for feedback with other moderators before acting on them? To me, that seems like it would help with the impartiality of the job... and also take some of the pressure off being solely responsible for certain responses. I mean, some actions are obvious... but even still, a peer review might help. I guess I'm unclear on the process... and it seems the job is getting more difficult, otherwise the mods wouldn't be asking for feedback here... am I right?

 

post #344 of 612
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:

ETA: I never said nor implied that you are an idiot. So. . .please don't imply that that's what I was doing. greensad.gif I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.

 

 

No worries. smile.gif

 

I'd really like to keep this thread open for discussion so let's move it back to the generalities of moderation approach as stated in the poll.

post #345 of 612
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:
 Is there some sort of buddy system with moderation, where mods can check their responses for feedback with other moderators before acting on them? To me, that seems like it would help with the impartiality of the job... and also take some of the pressure off being solely responsible for certain responses. I mean, some actions are obvious... but even still, a peer review might help. I guess I'm unclear on the process... and it seems the job is getting more difficult, otherwise the mods wouldn't be asking for feedback here... am I right?

Yes, there is. The mods usually discuss issues together and decide together how to handle them.

post #346 of 612
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post


Yes, there is. The mods usually discuss issues together and decide together how to handle them.

 

 

Cool beans... there seems to be a large faction of members who feel that moderators were too heavy handed at one point, which I think is the biggest reason that there is such a majority of members wanting less moderation (seems like a backlash to me). While I have your attention... why do you think this is? I mean, I heard the rumors about this well before becoming a regular poster, so there has to be some merit to it, right? And more importantly, was the more minimal moderation a response to that? And how do you think that's working? Is that why this thread was started?

 

Sorry, that's a lot of questions, but after all this discussion I wonder about the motivation behind it and what you are hoping to get from all of our opinions... also, thanks for bringing the whole issue to my attention. I will be more active about flagging posts when I feel they are in violation of the current UA... as before I would just block a member from my view if I felt they were offensive.



 

post #347 of 612
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommel View PostCool beans... there seems to be a large faction of members who feel that moderators were too heavy handed at one point, which I think is the biggest reason that there is such a majority of members wanting less moderation (seems like a backlash to me). While I have your attention... why do you think this is? I mean, I heard the rumors about this well before becoming a regular poster, so there has to be some merit to it, right? And more importantly, was the more minimal moderation a response to that? And how do you think that's working? Is that why this thread was started? Sorry, that's a lot of questions, but after all this discussion I wonder about the motivation behind it and what you are hoping to get from all of our opinions... also, thanks for bringing the whole issue to my attention. I will be more active about flagging posts when I feel they are in violation of the current UA... as before I would just block a member from my view if I felt they were offensive.

 

 

I think the heavy moderation stemmed from an increasingly more detailed and drawn-out UA that developed over the years. Members tend to push for specifics about where in the rules it says their posts are inappropriate or in violation. They want it worded in the UA and if it isn't  there they feel that a moderator is being arbitrary and punitive based on her desire to censor them. That left our mods open to a lot of criticism. To try to address that we added things to the UA as issues arose so that it would be specifically worded and the mods could point to it when they alerted a member for a violation. This occurred until the UA became very unwieldy and complicated. So I think that's what laid the ground for the heavy moderation. That's not to say I think the mods were moderating incorrectly. It's just an explanation of how we got to where we did with the very long UA and the very detailed rules and enforcement.

 

We changed our moderation approach for two reasons. We recognized that the UA was getting to be too complicated. We also wanted to know what the community felt about many aspects of the site so we ran a survey. One of the questions was about moderation. The majority said they were fine with the current moderation but there were some very valid contributions by some about how less moderation would open up more conversation. We discussed that, along with our review of the UA that we planned to make (which we tend to do every year or so) and decided to simplify. So I guess it really is an experiment. I can't say it has been a successful one but I think we just need to look at what is lacking and how we can increase moderation in the right areas while still keeping things open enough to allow the exchange of opinion. The key is respectful, civil posting and self-moderation by our members, which not everyone is capable of and that's where we have to step in, no matter which side of the heavy moderation/minimal moderation preference you are on.

 

There does seem to be a large faction of members who like the new more laid back approach to moderation. But it is also true that some of those who voted for the less moderation do feel we need to increase moderation in some areas. Add that to the members who voted for more moderation and those who voted Other and it is obvious that we need to adjust our moderation approach a bit. If we get between 2000-3000 posts a day at MDC it's reasonable to say that a very small percent of those posts - let's say 0.25% - would need to be moderated and we could say half of that would need a more heavy moderation. That's a very small fraction of the participation. But if those few people are irked about being moderated and voice their issues with it then it can seem like much more than the small fraction it is.

post #348 of 612

I do not have time to read eleventy pages of replies, so I'll keep to only my statement on this.  This isn't in response to anyone else's post, just the original question.  You can take this for what you want, ban me, modspank me, whatever.  But keep in mind, I'm a long-time member, probably longer than nearly all the mods (remember the crash? in late 2001/early 2002? Yeah, I'd already been a member for 4 years.) And I've got every issue of Mothering from late 1997 to the second-to-last issue.  So I do have some history, some context, and some valid thoughts here.  Oh, and since it seems like that's all that matters anymore, I am also a big online shopper of crunchy kid stuff.

 

I've been sad about the overmoderation for a while, because I think it's dangerous in a couple of ways.  For one, there's the revision of history in the UC forums.  But more insidious, IMO, is that I think the deletion and sanitization of a lot of threads and in a lot of forums has led a LOT of posters to a false sense of privacy.  I see what some people are saying, about the feeling of a cohesive community and all that, with the moderation, but this is the internet, and MDC does a whole heck of a lot of SEO (search engine optimization) that makes threads here pop up very high on google/bing searches for a myriad of keywords and phrases.  Just because you don't have to put on your Big Girl Panties(tm) here, because no one can get away with saying, "um, yeah, that's a really bad idea" to you, doesn't mean it's safe to post that.

 

However, moderation aside, the new format/layout/design/whatever sucks.  It sucks a lot.  I'd still be spending a lot of time over here if it weren't for that.  Yes, even with all the problems.  This was my first online community, and I still love it, warts and all.

 

 

post #349 of 612
Thread Starter 

That's cool. Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts, CorasMom. smile.gif

 

Edited to add - late 2001 was the crash of the first forum on the old software. I was one of the very first mods when MDC started and I believe we have a few mods who are also still here from that first team. It was either 1998 or 1999 when we started. So we've been around for 12-13 years. Lots of history and experience together! thumb.gif

post #350 of 612

Oh, and one last post.  I can pinpoint the moment when it became finally obvious that this place had lost it's sense of humor, and that was when (Peggy? CM?) decided that we were NOT nono.gif Mothering dot commune anymore, and now we must all! call it mothering dot community, and this was VRY SRS BSNS.  I mean, good grief.  mothering dot commune started amongst the members as a way of recognizing our image as a bunch of crunchy hippies, and poking fun at ourselves.  And it was a great sign of a sense of humor from on high when it got put in the banner.

 

Oh, and the sign for me that the moderators had lost their sense of humor was when I said that I thought some tv character was a twit, and I got a point (or whatever the demerits are called) for that, for namecalling.  I mean, really? I had to chase my eyeballs halfway across the house, they rolled so far.

post #351 of 612
Thread Starter 

MotheringDotCommune - I guess that's a valid opinion for you as you view it from your stance of the meaning and origin. The other side is that a lot of people didn't like what they perceived as a negative connotation having the word "commune" in the name. And we also had a lot of "communist" comments placed due to that name.

 

We often have to make decisions that are not popular with everyone. What the community is today is different from what it was when it first started. We've grown and changed over the years from a very small "commune" to a very large "community". It was a fitting change of name, I think. But it's still MDC so you can intend either name with that. And that was a conscious decision - to retain "MDC" :)

 

The namecalling thing you mention is - I can only guess - an example of how the push for a very detailed and specific UA to justify moderation turned it to such heavy moderation. Even the mods felt that sort of thing to be petty at times. But the fact was that if we say "namecalling" is not permitted then the application of it gets murky if it is not across the board. Name-calling is namecalling - right? So if namecalling is not allowed it's not allowed at all. Maybe our mistake was that we didn't define it further? Like "well, you can't namecall an actual person but you can a fictitious person." It gets really stupid and we thought we could just ask people to not post in that manner at all and address actions rather than use namecalling. I'm being facetious, of course, about whether we should have defined it better. Just explaining how it came to be and how it was probably applied as you say it was. And that is likely one of the most overboard and silly rules we ever had. 

post #352 of 612

It wasn't just that the UA was overly detailed and the moderation was heavy handed.   Moderating became used as a tool for vendettas.  I've watched 'blessed' members get increasingly nasty/hostile/baiting, all while couching their comments in "Mama" and "attachment parenting!!!".   And when anyone who was not liked by a particular moderator said so much as 'boo' in response, nasty private messages from moderators were sent, demerits were issued.   The private messages were clearly personal in nature, and had very little to with the 'business' of being a moderator.  

 

If you are wondering how it is I am privvy to the content of these messages, I am comfortable sharing that I live in an area in which AP/NFL is a highly promoted type of living, where the now defunct "Mothering' magazine was as common as "Parenting" in other communities, where no one blinks about a three year old nursing in the shade at the playgrounds, and where children are regularly carried about in slings.  Thus, I've connected with real, live parents, kind, decent, intelligent, thoughtful people who have been on the receiving end of clear bullying from moderators.  

 

And in a slightly less personal format, I am sure MDC is aware that there are numerous spin off boards from MDC, not just TWWS, all composed of people who have been targeted by the powers that be.  In other words, the moderating at MDC has become an internet phenomenon.   It's no small secret.  

post #353 of 612
I'm on my phone. Don't mean to sound terse. What if the being polite and couteous part of the new ua was moderated just like the parts about the core values? Let people know all of those parts of the ua will be moderated ahead of time since it seems like theree has been a period with not much moderation at all. People deserve fair warning of what may cause them to get a reminder or warning or whatever. I understand what is respectful and courteous may be debatable but in general people know when they are being deliberatley provactive and mean. If that is your (general you) preferred posting take it somewhere else. There are LOTS of places you are free to post that way. When you come here, tone it down. It is not always about what is best or most fun for you. Sometimes it is about waht is best for the whole community. There is a wide variety of people here. This is a large board not a small intimate board. It is like going out in public. You put your best foot forward and try to communicate clearly and respectfully.save the mean and snarky for the specialty boards that promote that style. Also MDCs core values absolutely should be upheld. Yes there is a difference betweeen I have spanked please give me other tools to use instead and I spank and I am proud of it. Good grief I hpe this post is semi-articulate. Phone posting is not for me! If someone quotes this and asks questions I am not ignoring you. I don't have internet access right now and this will likely be my last phone post ever! Lol. Toooooo hard! Tiny letters and slooow.
post #354 of 612
Double post.
Edited by tinybutterfly - 6/18/11 at 6:00am
post #355 of 612

I think with the new UA, people are going to bring up topics they couldn't before, and it isn't always for dramatic purposes. I've had questions for years and could never ask them. MDC has alienated many former devoted members, and, well, yes the atmosphere is tense now. But we need to clear the air, and that might mean MDC has to take a few licks. They are trying to improve with this new UA, and I've seen several things stay up that would have been locked before the first response. However, I think even if a thread looks trollish, if it is still within the UA (polite discourse, etc) let it stay up. Answer questions. Let questions be asked!

post #356 of 612

I know this is my second answer, but I'm going to change my answer a little.  I think it's too early to tell.

 

The old moderation was way too strict.  Right now, there seems to be a backlash against it.  Which I think is a normal, cathartic experience.  Bring the pendulum too far in one direction, and it will swing back violently.  The whole thing where kids go off to college and act crazy.

 

I think that the current chaos is just a phase: at least, I hope that it is.  I think that people who feel they have a bone to pick will pick it, and then move on.  New posters will come in and not know any of the history.  A core group of posters will just just keep plugging through, until things settle down a bit.

 

I do think that some people's beef with MDC is totally legitimate.  I don't think that everyone is dealing with it in the most rational, mature way.  But I think that we just have to get over a riotous bump before things settle down a bit more and we can see how the new moderation system is working out.

post #357 of 612

I had to go away for a few days b/c the negativity was wearing me down.  I am on another board (not a parenting one) and apparently they had a very similar drama a few months ago, and the way they handled it was by posting a thread in their version of TAO that said this:

 

-We (the mods) are human volunteers.  We are not "The Man."

-Our #1 rule is to be nice to each other.  Unkindness will be modded away.

-Trolling happens.  We'll mod it away.

 

They let this thread go on for about a 100 pages and then they closed it.

 

I voted that there needs to be a balance between the old over-moderation and the current free-for-all.  I think the #1 rule of any UA should be "Be kind."  The #2 rule should be "Own your $hit.  Discussion of a topic that upsets you should probably be avoided."

 

[Finally, I don't have any technical problems with the board at all.  I like it and it is quick for me.  I also don't see any ads so I can't comment there.]

post #358 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatea View Post

I had to go away for a few days b/c the negativity was wearing me down.  I am on another board (not a parenting one) and apparently they had a very similar drama a few months ago, and the way they handled it was by posting a thread in their version of TAO that said this:

 

-We (the mods) are human volunteers.  We are not "The Man."

-Our #1 rule is to be nice to each other.  Unkindness will be modded away.

-Trolling happens.  We'll mod it away.

 

They let this thread go on for about a 100 pages and then they closed it.

 

I voted that there needs to be a balance between the old over-moderation and the current free-for-all.  I think the #1 rule of any UA should be "Be kind."  The #2 rule should be "Own your $hit.  Discussion of a topic that upsets you should probably be avoided."

 

[Finally, I don't have any technical problems with the board at all.  I like it and it is quick for me.  I also don't see any ads so I can't comment there.]


I think discussing topics that upset you is one of the best ways to work through those things, come to new conclusions, perhaps come to consensus. Passion and movement for positive change often comes from a place of upset/hurt and avoiding those topics could stunt that positive change.
post #359 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post

Oh, and one last post.  I can pinpoint the moment when it became finally obvious that this place had lost it's sense of humor, and that was when (Peggy? CM?) decided that we were NOT nono.gif Mothering dot commune anymore, and now we must all! call it mothering dot community, and this was VRY SRS BSNS.  I mean, good grief.  mothering dot commune started amongst the members as a way of recognizing our image as a bunch of crunchy hippies, and poking fun at ourselves.  And it was a great sign of a sense of humor from on high when it got put in the banner.

 

Oh, and the sign for me that the moderators had lost their sense of humor was when I said that I thought some tv character was a twit, and I got a point (or whatever the demerits are called) for that, for namecalling.  I mean, really? I had to chase my eyeballs halfway across the house, they rolled so far.



That was decided with a lot of input from the members and many of us, including myself advocated for the name change. Because even though the word commune was used, this place never was a commune. So I wouldn't put it all on Peggy.

 

And I've been here basically as long as you have. I was here before the crash to, as I posted in another thread. It wasn't no all love and peace then either. 

post #360 of 612

Like I mentioned up thread quite aways, I'm a newbie, so maybe I would feel differently if I had been around here a long while. But, having said that, I honestly feel like the mods, administrators or whoever runs this place should just do what they feel is right in regards to moderation, the UA, and whatever else governs the board. Clearly, trying to have a discussion with the 1000's of users on this site isn't exactly efficient or really even helpful (at least so far as I can tell). Sure, there are plenty of reasonable members who just want to post and get/give helpful information, but that tends to get lost in all the drama. Basically, you (the mods) are going to piss people off no matter what you do. I see a lot of complaining, or maybe even threatening, that if you do xyz then, GASP, the old timers will leave this site. I guess to that I say, so be it. Not that I want people to leave, but if they are really that unhappy then they should. It's not the mods/admins job to coddle and appease everyone who doesn't like the new way of doing things. 

 

Dh and I run a service based business with hundreds of members (not 1000's like MDC, I can't even imagine the headaches!). We learned, after years of trial and error, that we'll never please everyone all the time. We have had to settle with pleasing some of them some of the time! We have occasionally had to raise our prices (in order to make ends meet at the business AND feed ourselves, not out of greed) and we are continuously tweeking things as we learn. You know what, just about everytime we change anything, the vocal minority starts ranting and raving about how we've sold out and this will be the death uf our business. Well, seven years later, we're stronger than ever.

 

I suspect that this won't be a popular post, so flame me if you will, but I stand by it.  

 

I guess I should add that I like the uber-crunchy vibe here.  I also like the civility that is, for most part, commonplace here.  I would be sad if that if that changed, But, life goes on.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Site Help
This thread is locked  
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Site Help › Moderation of MDC - What do you think?