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Moderation of MDC - What do you think? - Page 3  

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 #41 of 612

MDC used to be a pretty serious echo chamber. Frankly, I appreciate the change. And I have seen enough people say something similar that I know I'm not alone, or even in a tiny minority. I had wandered away from MDC after getting weirded out by some of the moderation decisions, which tended to push to discuss certain subjects only in the most glowing of terms, as though there was literally no possible downside or debate possible, while others could only be decried, again without the possibility of real conversation...  an approach I don't consider healthy or conducive to authentic understanding.

 

I think it's okay for adults to disagree in respectful ways. Someone is not oppressing you simply by having a different perspective. Even if that different perspective touches on some NFL sacred cows. If people are behaving politely, and you feel confident in your choices to do X within your family, what's the big deal about someone saying "That's not the choice I would make" or "Have you thought of this angle"?

 

Maybe if you want to start a conversation about X topic, and you don't want any criticism, couldn't you just lead with "Agreement and support only, please"? Enforcing a UA that enables the pretense that no disagreement exists seems like a strange way to deal with this stuff. The world is not a place where everyone agrees with you on all topics all the time. And that's okay.

post #42 of 612

Thanks for asking this question!

 

Another vote for 'other',  another vote for 'something in between'. 

Quote:
we need the moderators to return to their previous moderation approach.

 Oh heck no.  That was nuts. 

 

I don't think everyone agrees on the definition of 'snark'.  I'll just say I ask that people not post in a nasty or scornful way. 

 

 

post #43 of 612

I've been gone a while, but I can say that MDC HAS changed a LOT over the past 5 years or so, and is part of the reason I am rarely here anymore. As others said, many moons ago there wasn't any advertizing on the forums AT ALL. They went from some ads that the mods and admin claimed were carefully selected to now splattered all over everything. I'm looking at a Cheerios one right now. While I don't have anything personal against Cheerios, it's not excatly a "carefully selected ad", which illustrates the progression of the ads here. The trading post used to be that- like an MDC freecycle. Now, there is a large portion of commerce which MDC takes a cut. Many moons ago the boards were smaller, you would recognize certain posters, etc. The crazy UA was enacted, important voices of respectful dissent left, there was some crazy veil of secrecy over some things... But, there was still a center core.

 

When the magazine folded, I think it eliminated an important "gateway" to the boards. The magazine was, in essence, a print version of what the boards discussed and gave a structure to that. The boards were an extension of something we could hold in our hands, that took commitment to read. Now, the boards stand alone, with no real foundation of thought. The website is here, but let's be honest. Its not the same. At all. So people get tossed here from other places and without an organized, clear, and strong foundation.... Well, ya get all kinds. Not everyone on the boards got the magazine, but the connection was tangible. And, I think there is a lot of frustration with the magazine's end, which didn't lead to those readers who were really invested in the organization to feel super about all of it.

 

Its "bigness" also dilutes recognizable voices (except in very specific topic areas) for more general discussion. Our wise, experienced moms get drowned out by the new ones finding their way, disrupting the cycle of learning. On an on-line forum, unless you recognize the user name (which has much less mental "umph" than a face!), it just looks like another post. Having grown so big so fast... we can't "see" each other anymore.

 

My other frustration is this- the ideas and discussion are really driven toward babies and young children. These discussions need to go on, but I'm past the "cloth/disposable" chat, I've been nursing for 6 years straight, etc. Once you kind of move past that, the amount of relevant and intreresting general discussion drops dramatically. There are specific avenues- schooling, other interests, but the more engaging and mind expanding ideas in open forums is nil.

 

Look- when your goal as an organization is to just get bigger, you are going to loose your uniqueness. If your goal is attracting and keeping people who don't really share these ideas as a value, then "mainstream" is inevitable. I'm not talking about newbies who are just at the begining of the journey. I'm talking about people who are looking to communicate but are not really interested in the underlying principles. I really don't know how mods are supposed to make that call- someone saying "I was spanked and I'm fine." Might be someone who is re-evaluating that position and needs to "try it on" to hear the comments back which aid their growth. Or, it could be someone who really doesn't care and has put that out there because that is their experience and isn't able or interested in seeing other ways and genuinely thinks it's fine.

 

I wasn't down with the super-harsh UA. I felt it stiffled important discussion. But you're already working on a loss of visible core with the magazine gone. Without more voice from mothering, it will turn into just another "big board."

 

On a personal note, I also don't feel like coming and reading a choppy, internet-ese loaded story riddled with holes in logic which degrades quickly into cruelty. I've always appreciated that mothering parents were intelligent, thoughtful, expressive, and dedicated. It wasn't internet trash. I truly hope that doesn't happen :(

post #44 of 612

Someone upthread mentioned not being aware there's a new user agreement.  Here's a link:

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/user-agreement

 

And here is a cut and paste:

 

To support the open exchange of ideas and opinions, Mothering.com members are required to treat one other with respect and courtesy at all times. MDC Members agree not to:

 

  • post copyrighted material without permission (see Copyright guidelines)
  • upload or link to profane or sexually explicit text and images
  • harass, impersonate, intimidate or defame another member, group or entity
  • submit content that discriminates on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion or disability
  • post commercial messages/promote a specific company, product or service without MDC approval
  • post or delete content with the intention of disrupting discussions or violating the guidelines above.

 

Mothering reserves the right to remove member accounts that violates these guidelines; if we determine that a member violates these guidelines on a recurring basis, we may permanently revoke access to our service.


Edited by journeymom - 6/15/11 at 11:35am
post #45 of 612

Just thinking out loud here.  I think there are a couple of separate but overlapping issues.  One is how the mods interact with the members.  The other is how members interact with each other. 

Quote:
Mothering.com members are required to treat one other with respect and courtesy at all times.

 

I think this encompasses everything about member/member relationships we've been discussing in these various threads. 

post #46 of 612

I prefer the minimal moderation. However, I do agree with several PPs that MDC can and should be very clear & persistent about setting an intention for the site.

 

Perhaps because I've only been coming here for about a year, I don't have memories of a rosy "old MDC" that was better. Since I've been coming here, there has been lots of thoughtful, intelligent conversation and lots of immature, trivial snark. I do way more reading than posting on MDC, and I steer clear of the crazy stuff. I believe that openness is the way to go, but hey, I'm an optimist on these matters.

 

I see most of the "problems" as things that are outside of MDC. I think in the USA we've been losing our capacity for civil public discourse for a long time. So it's no surprise that we struggle with it here. I also fully appreciate that MDC is struggling to figure out a new business model. It's crazy hard to keep a magazine afloat. I'm glad MDC didn't just shut down & disappear. I need to put my money where my mouth is and make a financial commitment to MDC since I value it and want it to continue.

 

This community seems to be experiencing growing pains. More women are aware of natural birth, attachment parenting, etc. and there's tons more information available to everyone. That's a good thing! No wonder there are more voices in our community and less cohesion. Those are signs of success, which is not to say they are easy to deal with, but I hope there's a way to celebrate growth and still keep the clarity and intention that makes MDC a good source of information and a safe haven for those who need it.

 

My approach is to find the conversations that feed me, connect with those who want to keep things civil, intelligent & interesting, and trust that the silly obnoxious stuff will peter out & the good stuff will win in the end.

 

 

post #47 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

Just thinking out loud here.  I think there are a couple of separate but overlapping issues.  One is how the mods interact with the members.  The other is how members interact with each other. 

 

I think this encompasses everything about member/member relationships we've been discussing in these various threads. 


Not speaking for MDC as a whole or the mod team as a whole, but personally:

 

I think the new UA is elegant and simple, and I really like that about it.  But it's a huge difference from what we had before.  I think it would be hard to disagree with the new UA in terms of the vision everyone wants for MDC; the tricky part is figuring out how to honor and, yes, enforce it. 

 

post #48 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by To-Fu View Post




Not speaking for MDC as a whole or the mod team as a whole, but personally:

 

I think the new UA is elegant and simple, and I really like that about it.  But it's a huge difference from what we had before.  I think it would be hard to disagree with the new UA in terms of the vision everyone wants for MDC; the tricky part is figuring out how to honor and, yes, enforce it. 

 

 

I'm not certain that there is a vision that everyone here wants for MDC.  For example, some of us want the Unassisted Childbirth and/or the Vaccination forums to be 'support only', while others of us want to be able to disagree. 

 

Does the board have a mission statement?  Something that links back to Mothering Magazine?

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #49 of 612

I voted other. I like the minimal moderation, but I do think that there are a couple of more things that could be outlined as against the rules, like hardcore swearing (if we're gonna get in trouble for the F word, or swearing constantly then you may as well say it right?), as well as the "no homophobia, sexism, racism, sizism, etc" stuff that was part of the UA before.

post #50 of 612

MD, the agreement already addresses your second point in the fourth bullet point,

 

Members agree not to "submit content that discriminates on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion or disability" 

post #51 of 612

I like the new lax moderation. It was unbearable before. We're all adults after all. 

post #52 of 612

Yeah, those are the details that aren't spelled out in the UA.  I was thinking of how I it seems most people would agree with this:

 

 

Quote:
Mothering.com members are required to treat one other with respect and courtesy at all times.

 

The mission is something else entirely, IMO.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post



 

I'm not certain that there is a vision that everyone here wants for MDC.  For example, some of us want the Unassisted Childbirth and/or the Vaccination forums to be 'support only', while others of us want to be able to disagree. 

 

Does the board have a mission statement?  Something that links back to Mothering Magazine?

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

post #53 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

MD, the agreement already addresses your second point in the fourth bullet point,

 

Members agree not to "submit content that discriminates on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion or disability"



All right then, I also think Mothering needs to follow their own UA then. Here and other places designed to connect the posters and other people who follow Mothering's ideas and their website.

 

 

post #54 of 612

I voted other.  I far prefer the minimal moderation...  The thing I don't like is that it seems like with all the advertising/trying to bring traffic to the site, that it is becoming a lot more mainstream and I do think there should be reminders of what MDC stands for ie. no CIO, anti-circ, etc.   It seems like some of that is getting lost, but I think it is less a matter of moderation and more a matter of who MDC is trying to bring in. 

post #55 of 612
I like less moderation. When we had more moderation, we wouldn't have even been able to have a thread like this with people expressing their opinions about how the site was being run. Threads that criticized the management would go all 1984 *poof*! I'm fine with having a "no personal attacks" rule, but the way that was interpreted in the past was pretty much "It's a personal attack if you say anything that isn't 100% nice." And I think people should be able to call their abusive exs "jerks" without being warned for it.
post #56 of 612

I'm a huge fan of a discussion board being supportive of NFL/AP issues.  I don't think anyone wants to see Mothering embrace a more generic format.   However, in the name of 'edginess', MDC in the last few years has gone from 'alternative, crunchy, non-mainstream in a thoughtful, intelligent manner' to supporting whatever insane, off-the-reservation idea is being floated as some sort of fringe, anti-mainstream trend.  

 

As a proponent of natural birth, of homebirth, of midwives, of 'trusting my body', I have watched in horror as the UC forum provided essentially a line of cheerleaders for people making horriffic decisions, that in multiple cases resulted in the serious birth injury or death of their newborns, and I have watched particularly nasty-minded moderation toward anyone who dared interject a line of common sense into the forum, no matter how kindly and gently phrased, and I have watched MDC quickly cover up its misdeeds by locking or deleting all together threads about the harm those horrible decisions caused.

 

I can only hope that lighter moderation will protect infants and mothers from suffering in ways that should never have happened.  

post #57 of 612

I voted that I support the more subdued moderation, but I'd like to add some things.

 

I agree with the previous posters that advocacy of some things should be 100% prohibited: spanking and CIO are good examples.  However, I think that many people need to learn what 'advocacy' actually is.  Saying "I was spanked" or "I have spanked my child" is not advocating anything.  It is a statement of fact.  Saying, however, "spanking done the right way is done with love" or "I was spanked and I don't even remember it, so I wouldn't hesitate to spank my child," is advocating.  I don't think there has to be a show of shame or guilt over an act ("I spanked my daughter and I feel horrible!!) for it not to count as advocacy.

 

This, to me, leaves room for people who are admitting they spanked but are looking for other alternatives/assistance changing to gentle discipline methods.  And I feel a lot less like I am participating in a police state than if discussion of these topics were outright forbidden.

post #58 of 612

Low moderation - just to clean up spam and true hate speech.  (FTR, referring to Tom Cruise as a loon is not hate speech!  LOL).

Snark and anger will die down after a few months, as people decompress from the ridiculous over-modding of the last 3 years.  A lot of the "nice" tone of the last couple years is simply b/c if you wanted to express any non-sanctioned thoughts, they had to be couched in "gently, warmly, hugs mama" language or they'd be yanked immediately.

This place was awesome years ago, and can be again.  People can handle dissent.  People can handle being called out occasionally.  People can handle "taking issue" (I hope I never hear that phrase again!).  And people can handle hearing grim and difficult truths.

 

Never return to the overmodding.

 

Oh plus, the few remaining readers will leave if we ever go back to that, and the site won't make a dime, so the choice seems obvious from a business standpoint.

post #59 of 612

I voted other. I WANT to vote for minimal moderation but I couldn't choose that option because I absolutely do NOT agree with:

 

Quote:
I feel there are some situations where heavy moderation may be necessary but these are very few

 

 

I do not feel there is EVER a time for heavy moderation. Are we adults or aren't we? Seriously! People need to put on their big girl panties and deal.

post #60 of 612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viriditas View Post

However, I don't like that people feel free to say things like, "I was spanked, and I turned out OK," and "Well, most people here might not like CIO, but it worked for me." 


Wow, what's wrong with those statements?  I could make either one, and yet I still value and appreciate learning from others who have differing opinions.  Those statements are personal, not aggressive or rude in any way.  If people who could make those statements are not welcome here, then I'm a little confused about the purpose of these boards.  Is this a place ONLY for people who have EXACTLY the same views on childrearing and don't want to interact with anyone else at all?  Too bad, because I've gained a lot from visits here. 

 

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