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Moderating Mapleafweb's Moderation

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A lot of people are unhappy with the moderating policies at MLW. This did not use to be the case. I've read far more complaints in the last year or two than I ever used to hear before. We're speaking about how to encourage more posters, yet long term members who were prolific posters have left in a huff over moderating policies. Others have simply disapeared, banned or just gone. Still others threaten to leave.

What I think people don't consider is that the moderating policies have changed over the years, and what you can say on this site is now more restricted than parliament.

The purpose of moderating a site, it seems to me, are to prevent spam, to prevent illegality (hate speech and libel) and most importantly, to allow for the free flow of ideas and discussions unhindered by crass personal attacks.

The central purpose of Mapleleafweb's moderating seems to have become enforcing political correctness.

Over the past year or so I have been suspended a number of times. Most recently, I was suspended last week for 'rude and outrageous' comments about the cultural values of Afghanistan's people. Prior to that I was suspended for comments about Quebecers, about the native council of Attawapiskat, and for what the moderator took to be a homophobic slur (it wasn't but he wasn't insterested in discussion) about a former commisioner of the RCMP.

This experience seems to mirror what I've heard from other members. Most of them were not suspended for insulting anyone here, but for insults 'towards third parties', which is a rule which used to be largely ignored but has now become sweeping in its interpretation and rigid in its enforcement. Direct personal insults seem to be rare here, but suspensions seem to be growing in frequency.

Dont' get me wrong, there is a reason to keep an eye on what is said towards third parties, but only in that it can cause flamewars. That's why you can't call Liberals lieberals or Conseratives Cons. But I believe this has been taken to extremes and has driven away and continues to drive away members.

Here's the thing. I can stand up in the House of Commons and say nasty things about Aghanistan's treatment of women, call them violent religious fanatics and misogynists and loonies. No one will stop me. Here, I get suspended for it. I could get up in the House and say the issue with Attawapiskat is not the Canadian government but the 'dumbass local natives' without fear, but here I get suspended for it.

And not only does this rigid insistence on political correctness do little or nothing to enhance or encourage disussion, it winds up discouraging people, who leave, fed up. We're not the House of Commons. We don't need, nor can we sustain, a level of unemotional, intellectual discourse the House can. Our words don't come from paid writers, and we don't speak them because we want to look good to various groups. We write OUR opinon, and some of us sometimes get emotionally attached to them. The moderation on MW right now is akin to a large man holding a stick hitting you in the face every time you raise your voice. Sure, it leads to calmer, softer voices - and a lot less of them, as people go somewhere else to talk.

As someone who has had run-ins with moderation for many years here I can say the tone of moderation has become much more rigid and harsh. Ten years ago I used to get warnings from Greg telling me to knock it off, to rephrase, etc. Discussion was possible between us. I could explain, he would reply. That didn't mean he always accepted my explanations. Someone insulting me, for example, cut little ice with him if I insulted them back. But he was open to discussion, and it's been quite a while now since I had an issue with direct personal insults to anyone here.

Charles Anthony is not open to any discussion of any sort when he suspends you. He doesn't respond to questions. People have often complained that they don't even know why they were suspended. I don't know if he doesn't have the time or simply doesn't have the inclination. I suspect it's both.

The enforcement of the rule against third party insults needs to be drastically cut back. The only need of moderation is when discussions become too personal, harsh, angry and filled with vituperation and invective. Someone making a politically incorrect comment should not be suspended.

In fact, suspension should always be a last resort. Right now a 'warning' comes with a suspension. It's not really a warning. It's like a cop giving you a 'warning' and then handing you a ticket anyway. People can be asked to rephrase or delete, can be told not to repeat, can be guided. If necessary, the moderator can delete a post. Using suspenision as a blunt tool to hammer everyone who says anything which offends the moderator is not conducive to enhancing the discussions or growing the membership here at MLW.

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The increasingly politically correct slant here is something I've been noticing for quite some time now. One of many reasons I really cant be bothered with this board anymore. That is except for the occasional post.

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Thanks Argus, and thanks to everyone that posted in the previous "What improvements would you like to see..." thread.

I'm serious about addressing these issues, I want to make this forum as attractive and as welcome as possible. Give me a few days to collect my thoughts, and speak with both Charles and Micheal.

In the mean time, everyone's input is valued, so if you have something to say relative to moderation, please share it. However, please keep your comments on topic (off-topic banter will be deleted) and don't just repeat what someone else has said.

Thanks

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Charles Anthony is not open to any discussion of any sort when he suspends you. He doesn't respond to questions. People have often complained that they don't even know why they were suspended. I don't know if he doesn't have the time or simply doesn't have the inclination. I suspect it's both.

That may be your experience however I have found at most times CA will respond and tell you why he is doling out a warning or a suspension.

In fact this week and last I was back and forth with him on issues.

I may not agree with his viewpoint , and in fact on our last go 'round I most certainly didnt , but he did respond.

As to moderating in principle, I find some reasons chosen to suspend et al to be ridiculous .

For instance if someone comes on her spouting absolute garbage yet holding themselves out to be in said profession it should be ripe for mocking and ridicule. This does not apply to 'opinion ' related matters (ie; religion , global warming,the Leafs) Otherwise people who lurk and read w/o siging up will think this is a looney site and start calling it Dominion of somehthing.

There are some prime examples of this stupidity in threads that are hot right now.

If a self professed mechanic comes on and can neither spell wrench nor can tell us what end to hold......what good is being polite ?

But look at the good side, Steve is now in play for Harper (not Stevie tho) , afterall, it is what he called himself for years.

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As to moderating in principle, I find some reasons chosen to suspend et al to be ridiculous .

Just a word in reply - we must keep in mind that some members have been repeatedly warned, and sometimes the reason that they're finally suspended is a 'last straw' situation. Charles is just a human being, though, so he can't be expected to be any more correct than a judge would - and in fact I have nothing but admiration for the consideration he puts into these things. Without him, this forum wouldn't be able to run, let alone run as well as it does.

And, again, we're all volunteering and we're here because we value discussion so we're all a part of making this place what it is.

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I disagree with the OP. in my experience Argus has trouble tolerating views he doesn't understand, without resorting to juvenile name calling and stereotypical insults. And it's my experience that he constantly repeats said behaviour. That's just my opinion.

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....And, again, we're all volunteering and we're here because we value discussion so we're all a part of making this place what it is.

Agreed...this point cannot be overstated. Membership and posts are voluntary...freedom of expression rights do not apply to a privately owned web site...they don't even apply to a public web site. I think of the moderation here as a black box transfer function, purposely never initating or responding to emails or notifications. Warnings and suspensions (for myself and other members') have pretty much let me dial things in without running afoul of the necessary moderation function. Remember, it could be worse:

....You get two sheets. Every Saturday, you put the clean sheet on the top... the top sheet on the bottom... and the bottom sheet you turn in to the laundry boy. Any man turns in the wrong sheet spends a night in the box. No one'll sit in the bunks with dirty pants on. Any man with dirty pants on sitting on the bunks spends a night in the box. Any man don't bring back his empty pop bottle spends a night in the box. Any man loud talking spends a night in the box....

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I also wanted to note that moderation is something that happens in private (between the mods and the user), which at times means a user can feel like he or she is being singled out -- when in fact, more than one person may have been warned. On the flip side, to everyone else, because the warning is made privately, it may seem like no action was taken at all.

Also, each moderator can have a style that does not always jive with individual members. That isn't an excuse to be rude to each other, but i imagine it causes it share of the problems.

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I disagree with the OP. in my experience Argus has trouble tolerating views he doesn't understand, without resorting to juvenile name calling and stereotypical insults.

Is he the guy who always calls the President of the U.S. a moron and the affirmative action president?

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Just a word in reply - we must keep in mind that some members have been repeatedly warned, and sometimes the reason that they're finally suspended is a 'last straw' situation.

Most of the times he tells me, in the message where I'm suspended, that I know I can't do that. But since he keeps changing the boundaries, NO, I don't!

He suspended me for a statement in a thread about Quebec and I replied saying I was simply expressing my honest opinion, and that it wasn't untrue either. His answer was "grow up and stop trolling". What!? Nothing I'd said had anything remotely to do with trolling!

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I disagree with the OP. in my experience Argus has trouble tolerating views he doesn't understand, without resorting to juvenile name calling and stereotypical insults. And it's my experience that he constantly repeats said behaviour. That's just my opinion.

I'd just like to agree with Guyer2, about how difficult it is to be respectful of people's whose views, when in public, those views would have everyone at the table staring at them in gobsmacked amazement, then bursting into gut-wrenching laughter.

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I'd just like to agree with Guyer2, about how difficult it is to be respectful of people's whose views, when in public, those views would have everyone at the table staring at them in gobsmacked amazement, then bursting into gut-wrenching laughter.

That tends to happen when people sorround themselves with like-minded people acting as echo chambers, reinforcing their own ideas. As if lower taxes, smaller government and public employees paying more into their retirement plans is "gobsmacking".

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Direct personal insults seem to be rare here, but suspensions seem to be growing in frequency.
but the 'dumbass local natives' without fear, but here I get suspended for it.

I find direct personal insults to be quite frequent and I am astounded by the lack of respect for other members.

'dumbass local natives'. Hello!!! I believe that is a crass, derogatory comment made against a certain culture. Why would you even consider speaking like that. It's highly disrespectful and you wonder why you got suspended?

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That tends to happen when people sorround themselves with like-minded people acting as echo chambers, reinforcing their own ideas. As if lower taxes, smaller government and public employees paying more into their retirement plans is "gobsmacking".

No real surprise that you ascribe a scenario where , for the most part, no one would out and out mock another for advocating (or not) lower taxes or smaller govt.

Its more the garden variety knowledge and when one posts that 2+2=5 <---- that is mock material . We have 'experts' who espouse such ignorance of mundane things one would know, yet they prove time and again that there is no way they could be what they say they are.

If you hold yourself out saying you are an English teacher and proceed to spel everting rong - What is left to do? I say mock them out of here or insure they realize they are not posting to the stupid. (although thats up for discussion)

Plenty of boards have self disciplining members. If enough members join then a wide variety of professions and knowledge becomes apparent. At some point that member will post his knowledge on same and others who are wannabees will be weeded out, via mocking or informing. Sometimes they need a slap to the head to wake up and realize you are discussing something with one who has inner working knowledge and is somewhat an expert on dsaid subject

I didnt know half (quarter?) of what I now know about our Parliamentary system and how it runs. It has been a pleasure to read bambino's post about this, I have learned a ton from his posts. So of course his lessons would not be mocked...hes right 99.9% of the time. But if one were to post about Canada being a Republic that person should be mocked if they continue with such tripe.

We have posters here who think China is a more open honest country with a trusting Govt. It is that posters idea that we here in the West (canada specifically) are hoodwinked and lied to by our media and things are more open in China.

And that is not be mocked? It damn well should be free to rain down on that abject stupidity. I tried too.....and was suspended. (long time ago)

Argus giveth.....and he can taketh too. I doubt he ever reports anyone <cough cough> and I also doubt he is hurt by it.

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I find direct personal insults to be quite frequent and I am astounded by the lack of respect for other members.

Some dont deserve respect for many reasons....one will become apparent in a moment

'dumbass local natives'. Hello!!! I believe that is a crass, derogatory comment made against a certain culture. Why would you even consider speaking like that. It's highly disrespectful and you wonder why you got suspended?

....and here we are.

You took, and I would say deliberately too, a paragraph and turned it around as if Argus was saying what you posted above.

Of course he didnt, of course you know that but want to play all cutesy and shocked as if to make a point.

Heres the point, he didnt say that and you ascribing that to him is what gets mocked , or should be.

You best get it now huh?

If you dont, it is called weaseling. Congrats , you just won that.

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I find direct personal insults to be quite frequent and I am astounded by the lack of respect for other members.

'dumbass local natives'. Hello!!! I believe that is a crass, derogatory comment made against a certain culture. Why would you even consider speaking like that. It's highly disrespectful and you wonder why you got suspended?

Great example. You should read some of the colourful language he uses to describe other cultures as well, like Southerners. It seems like when he doesn't understand something, or someone, he goes into insult mode. And yes, then gets a serious case of the vapors when he gets warned or suspended.

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Of course he didnt, of course you know that but want to play all cutesy and shocked as if to make a point.

Heres the point, he didnt say that and you ascribing that to him is what gets mocked , or should be.

You best get it now huh?

If you dont, it is called weaseling. Congrats , you just won that.

I don't know that he didn't say that. And why would I pretend that he did say that? That would be irresponsible on my part. And I wouldn't set out to discredit someone for no reason. If he didn't say that fine. I apologize. I misread his post. As far as me playing cutesy and shocked, that is very sexist. No wonder there aren't many women on this forum. And me being a weasel. that's a hoot!

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Charles Anthony is not open to any discussion of any sort when he suspends you. He doesn't respond to questions. People have often complained that they don't even know why they were suspended. I don't know if he doesn't have the time or simply doesn't have the inclination. I suspect it's both.

I had a conversation with Charles in chat and I found him to be quite open about this forum and open to suggestions. Perhaps your approach is all wrong.

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Great example.

No, it was a horrible example,missed the mark by a a country mile,. but it allowed you to get your well known childish digs in.

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I don't know that he didn't say that. And why would I pretend that he did say that?

I dont know, you used it as an example and ascribed something that was not evern remotely true in the case presented.

See ? Now you say 'I dont know that he didn't say that'

Why the hell dont you? You saw the OP, you saw all the words and paragraph where he posted. Can you not understand what he was saying? It was rather clear.

That would be irresponsible on my part. And I wouldn't set out to discredit someone for no reason.

Suuuure,,,,except you 1) are irresponsible for doing it and 2) you did discredit someone for no reason.

I misread his post. As far as me playing cutesy and shocked, that is very sexist. No wonder there aren't many women on this forum. And me being a weasel. that's a hoot!

Misread?

If I say apple and you print thermal dynamics, you didnt misread anything....and you know it.

Here is his words "Here's the thing. I can stand up in the House of Commons and say nasty things about Aghanistan's treatment of women, call them violent religious fanatics and misogynists and loonies. No one will stop me. Here, I get suspended for it. I could get up in the House and say the issue with Attawapiskat is not the Canadian government but the 'dumbass local natives' without fear, but here I get suspended for it.

Do explain this one away will you? Too cute by half.

Sexist? Cutesy and shocked have no gender.

Edited by Guyser2

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Nasty.

No, nasty is trying to pin something down on someone who didnt say what you are trying to pin on them.

If you use ones words to make a point, and get it not only wrong but dead f'ing wrong then you best come back with something better than "oh gosh, did I make a mistake'

Since of course no retraction, correction or withdrawal of that post has occured, then it is obvious what the agenda is here.

In this specific case, whereby you take out context and meaning, you deserve and should be mocked in print.

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In this specific case, whereby you take out context and meaning, you deserve and should be mocked in print.

Not sure what your problem is with me. But I assure you, I have no intention of harming anyone's reputation.

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Not sure what your problem is with me. But I assure you, I have no intention of harming anyone's reputation.

I have no problem with you, but what you posted was not only incorrect, it was a gross mischaracterization of what was said.

And once again, you dont go back and correct or acknowledge.

So now what, wait for the fourth post that doesnt address the problem? (you are at 3 now...k ?)

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