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4 Bumps

Can an online community be successfully moderated by people with no context or connection to the users?

UP FRONT DISCLAIMER - this is NOT a "bash CM" question, it's a legitimate discussion about an issue that applies equally to everything from facebook to reddit to youtube, and is about a problem that gets exponentially worse, the further the moderation is removed from the user.

Two examples to what I'm discussing:
Sally hates Tammy because Tammy isn't the "right" religion. Sally pays attention to everything Tammy says, and any time Tammy disagrees with her, Sally makes a comment about dead dogs. To an outside observer, this might seem a bit odd, but does not in any way seem to be a personal attack against Tammy, so it's ignored again and again. In reality, members of the community who know Tammy, know that she and her children witnessed their labrador being hit by a truck, with its innards splattered a quarter mile up the road. She's posted several times about her children's nightmares and how to deal with them. Sally intentionally tormenting Tammy by making jokes about the trauma her children experienced.

Can moderators not part of the community ever grasp that?

Debbie has a history of claiming not to remember things, even when she's repeatedly been involved in conversations about the things she claims not to remember. After lying about it enough times, people get fed up and lose their patience with her, refusing to take her seriously or give her the same consideration they give others with better reputations. Debbie starts accusing people of harassing her, when in reality, people are responding directly to her lying to them.

Will moderators not part of the community take the time to review months of posts leading up to a final blowout?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 10:47 PM on Nov. 10, 2013 in Technology

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • Not only will they not review months of posting leading up
    They will not read all the posts in one single thread

    IMO, it is faster just to response to whatever is reported, blindly delete what was reported without reading the context it came from

    Answer by fiatpax at 10:54 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • Even moderators who ARE part of the community might not be able to help in these cases.

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:57 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • it is faster just to response to whatever is reported, blindly delete what was reported without reading the context it came from

    ^^ and that is a HUGE part of the problem. If you don't properly vet an issue how can you come to a fair solution. You can't... you are always pissing on someone. And that's just not right.

    Answer by Crafty26 at 10:59 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • I doubt if any forum can be monitored fairly 100% of the time. Anything monitored by humans will have slip ups, and I'm ok with that. My irritation comes when a group of members repeatedly asks for clarification, or points out issues with a decision, and are ignored. If that is the policy of the moderators, then they should expect discontent and a decline in membership. Nothing tells you you are not valued like being ignored!!!

    Answer by Nimue930 at 11:02 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • Not everything that is reported is a reportable offense
    there are people who are report crazy, for self serving reasons at best


    Answer by fiatpax at 11:05 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • It is a problem on more than a few sites. Sometimes the moderates aren't total assholes and actually check to see if they can get any background before they just arbitrarily delete. Most are just too lazy or don't give two shits about their members and do whatever they want. Then refuse to respond when members get upset about it. It does seem to show that admins don't particularly care about the quality of the people they retain on their sites and so good members get fed up and are replaced with more and more trolls.

    Answer by kmath at 11:14 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • And at the other extreme, there's the mess that happened at YouTube this week. They "improved" their comments section, by lifting the character limit and restriction on posting links. Now there's malware posted with links in every top rated video and people are copy and pasting in entire movie scripts to a single comment. There's also a massive influx of ascii penis "art" throughout. That's in addition to now requiring you to have a G+ acct to use a YouTube acct, and posting all the comments on your videos to G+ instead of messaging you like it used to. There's a full on rebellion going due to YT being SO out of touch with the needs of its users.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 11:18 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • Oh I didn't notice the YouTube thing so I had to check it out. I didn't have time to read "50 Shades of Digifuck" in the comments of the fox song.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 11:27 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • The whole situation with YouTube is completely unsurprising. Actually, the surprising thing is that it took so long for them to get around to doing something like this.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:32 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

  • I really do not know. Even with the one where the moderators are somewhat involved you need to detail posts to evidence your claim of abuse. But if a person does not ask them to do something, most moderators do not interfere even if they are in the real time chat. That at least is my experience.

    On the other hand the more involved in the chat you are the more you might favor one party or another. It is hard to be objective when you are involved one way or another (pro or con) with feelings about the combatants. Objectivity is easier at a distance.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:35 PM on Nov. 10, 2013

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