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FlipDog 2000
11 June 2002, 07:40 AM
Is it just me, or are some , not all, but some of the moderators...(now that it's summer and we're all on again) of the HoloNet Forums on a major power trip? It seems everywhere I look, and read, there is someone that is getting in trouble for just random things. Maybe its just me, and/or I'm a moron, but I wish it could be explained. You know, how one summer starts, the moderators go in to "Super-Hyper-Censorship" mode. I was just wondering if anyone else felt the same way, plus, I just needed to vent a little.

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
11 June 2002, 09:15 AM
I don't think that any Mods are on a power trip. I haven't noticed anything that you said. I have seen a few posts moved to different forums, but they needed to be due to the threads topic. There has only been 1 example of 'censorship' that I have seen in the last few weeks was in the D6 forum were I think that someone posted a scanned WEG book and Moridin took it off (I support his choice BTW). I back this up by saying that I have been on the HoloNet a lot lately (being trapped in a cubicle all day the internet is your only escape) so I am going to have to disagree with your view on this Flipdog.

Any idea when you were planning on answering the Quiz Question? VoV answered it less than an hour after you posted it (she put what I would have said) and now it's been a week if not more.

Chris Curtis
11 June 2002, 10:04 AM
I have to disagree with you, FlipDog. If anything, I think there's been a rash of poor behavior among the regular members recently.

As Frobi mentioned, there have been an unusual number of threads posted in inappropriate forums lately. There have also been a few inappropriate posts within threads. The Mods have had to deal with both these issues multiple times.

I think a great many of the newer members of the HoloNet are either not reading or ignoring the Membership Guidelines. By not following those simple guidelines, they make it necessary for Mods to step in and fix things -- which can get annoying when it's constantly required simply because a member is too lazy to do what they're supposed to do.


I'm not aware of a single Moderator that is behaving as though they're on a "power trip". On the contrary, all the Mods take their responsibilities very seriously and always try to perform their duties as they should.

Furthermore, I think pretty much every Mod on this board sets a great example for others to follow by way of their behavior and posting habits. I challenge you to find another board that's run as well as this one.

Now, if you have some specific examples, FlipDog, that might be different. However, in that case, I'd suggest that you take the matter up privately with the Mod(s) in question and/or the HoloNet admins.

FlipDog 2000
11 June 2002, 10:32 AM
Please on't take what I said personally, the past year that I have been a part of this, I have seen a lot of things that I disagreed with. I t came to a head this morning, when I was reading a thread and saw editorial marks all over it.
And personally, I like the way that the HoloNet is run. Its smooth and efficient and I enjoy posting. But last year, I was banned for a short amount of time because I registered at my school and had the same IP adress as another member, I also called Yoda a "pimp-daddy, college frat-drunk" or something to that extent in one of the Chaos and misc. joke threads. I had to beg my way back on to the HoloNet because some felt that it was an innapropriate comment, and some thought that I wad the same person. Now I see it all the time, and nothing happens there. I see constant "innapropriate" comments, and no action is taken with that.
I apologize if I offended anyone, I just wanted to know how other members might have felt, because that's the way I saw it.

Maybe you guys should go through again and do what you did last summer. Ban those who you think are not setting a good example for the rest of us on the HoloNet...and if I happen to be in the list...so be it!

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
11 June 2002, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by FlipDog 2000
I t came to a head this morning, when I was reading a thread and saw editorial marks all over it.

Just out of curiousity what thread was it that you're talking about? Is it the one that I mentioned? I know that there are forums I never venture into on the HoloNet and this may very well may be in one of those.

As for the banning of members - I have been a member for over a year now (although I was not active over the summer do to location) and I have only been aware of one or two people being banded. And that was for a week around X-Mas I think.

ALFRED_THE_EWOK
11 June 2002, 11:38 AM
I agree with FlipDog entirely, though I would have never posted a thread about it. I think that this board, is in some cases, overly moderated. I can't remember more than a few occasions, but I'll try to jog my memory: A guy got talked to for talking about eating dogs, which I thought was dumb because people do actually eat dogs. hotten2 was banned, for no other reason than that he had a dissenting opinion on just about every topic, and since everyone disagreed with him, no-one complained when he was banned. Actually, about hotten2, I went back and read his posts in the 9/11 thread, and he was the most sensible person. Also, this is the only message board I've seen where threads are closed before flaming happens, once the mods decide everyones had their say, and also, threads are never allowed to veer of course, which I think can end up spawning the most interesting discussions.

But, these are just the things I have noticed, I could be wrong about the accuracy of some of them, though.
Then again, this may be the price we pay for a sterile, friendly message board.

Grimace
11 June 2002, 12:42 PM
Flipdog's comments are probably directed at me, since I recently edited a joke that Kobayashi Maru stated. The joke was not humorous, by any stretch of the imagination. If a person has to put up a note stating that the previous sentence was a joke, then chances are it isn't funny and should not have been posted. This was the case, so I edited. I have received no complaints from Kobayashi...and if he DOES have one, I'd expect him to PM me and we could discuss it.

Barring that, I would not consider any of my actions overbearing. No one else has complained (that's not to say that there aren't upset people), and there have been no flame wars in any of the forums I moderate, so something must be working correctly.

Any and all moderators have to look at each and every thread and weigh the directions of the comments within it, as well as the meaning of vague comments within it. Some comments that people make can be severely misconstrued in text format. People need to remember that when posting on the holonet. People must also remember that we have all ranges of people on this board...from 40+ years old to younger than 14. Some comments are not appropriate for younger people and will be edited. If you have problems with that, please feel free to PM the moderator so that you can discuss it. I would like to think that all of the moderators, myself included, are willing to talk it over with people. I even remember the discussion with you, Flipdog, and found that you were a decent person...so I didn't have a problem with letting you back on. We just don't like trollers or troublemakers. Plain and simple.

FlipDog 2000
11 June 2002, 03:26 PM
It's actually no specific Mod...really. And I saw where you edited that joke Grimace. Although I didn't see the joke, I have come to the realization that when someone adds "oh, and by the way, that was a joke," its either in bad taste or its a really stupid joke. So, I do understand where you are coming from.

I feel I must apologize again if I seemed a bit overbearing and condemning to the moderators this morning. In reality, I think that you guys are doing an overall good job, and perhaps using the term "power trip" may have been too much and over the line, so I apologize for that as well. So guys, please, oh please don't take what I put up this morning personally.

However Frobi, last summer there was about 12 members of the HoloNet banned for either inappropriate names, comments, or threads. Whereas I could see the reason for some bannings, there were also some that I could not fathom the reasons behind the "excommunication." I think the way that you, Grimace, handled the situation last summer was the absolute best way to handle that type of situation, and I commend you for that.

So, I do think that the mods are doing a good job, and I really wanted to get some feedback from other members, and the Mods of the HoloNet about this subject. So, hopefully this thread will inform and educate some of the new members that come to this Forum and also inform some of the older members about what is going on.

P.S. to Frobi -- Believe me, I know how it feels to be stuck in a cubicle all day long and having only a little bit of recreational web browsing time to spend. And I gave Vix the helm on the quiz.

Chris Curtis
11 June 2002, 05:20 PM
Understandable if you might have come across a bit more overbearing than you intended orignally, FlipDog -- we all do that sometimed. ;) However, I think a couple of points do still need to be addressed.

1. I've been an active member of this board for quite some time now (since before the "join" dates got reset...). I certainly don't remember "about 12 members" getting banned last summer. Yes, a handful of members did get banned, and several of the bannings were actually the same person/people trying to join again under different usernames. I don't think the number ever approached a dozen, though it's possible my memory could be failing me here.

2. Nearly all major "disciplinary" type decisions are discussed privately among the Mods and Admins. It isn't as though one day a Mod or Admin suddenly decides, "Hmm, I think I'll ban 4 people today because I'm in a bad mood." Big decisions like the ones that are being discussed don't happen lightly.

3. Moderators actually don't ban people. Armage and Moridin are the ones who are weighed down with that responsibility.


Now, I'm not trying to say that you might not have some legitimate issues here. However, it seems to me that if you do have specific issues, you'd probably have a lot better luck if you brought them to the attention of the Admin(s) (or one or more Mods) privately. ::shrug::

Nova Spice
11 June 2002, 06:01 PM
First off, FlipDog, you joined the Holonet around the same time that I did, along with Frobi, so you two have been around and naturally I've come to respect your posts,since all of us "rushed" the Holonet within the same time-frame.
I haven't noticed anything unusual in regard to Moderator activity. I have noticed that many of the "newbies" (this is not a derrogatory term by any means..I enjoyed being a newbie :) ) have been posting topics in very strange forums. I have also noticed that many of the new members post a single phrase or a single word,which irks me, but that's just my own problem. The Holonet has really started to take off in recent months and the members have increased by gigantic proportions! This is a good thing, but it also can be overtaxing for the Mods. They are few.....we are many. It can be frustrating when people continue to repeat mistakes that have been addressed time after time again.
And also, last summer, I remember when a few people were banned. But I also remember one person who deliberately bashed a moderator by signing his username that was BLATANTLY derrogatory to Grimace. I have noticed that hotten2 was banned, but I never knew why until you mentioned something about 9/11 (a day that opened my eyes to those that want to kill us). I don't know what happened there and I don't want to bring it up.
FlipDog I see where you're coming from as far as Mod activity increasing. That is a necessity however as more and more people join the boards.....there is over 2500 members now! That's a lot of people for a dozen or so to keep in balance and its up to veteran members like you, Frobi, and me to help the Mods out in anyway we can. ;)

Jedi_Staailis
11 June 2002, 07:24 PM
Nova Spice makes several excellent points that I'd like to touch on.


I haven't noticed anything unusual in regard to Moderator activity. I have noticed that many of the "newbies" [...] have been posting topics in very strange forums. I have also noticed that many of the new members post a single phrase or a single word,which irks me, but that's just my own problem.

I haven't noticed any unusual moderator happenings either. What I have noticed is a stronger moderator presence. We see them more, but they are still (in my opinion) applying the same policies as they always have. They are simply needing to do so more often. There is nothing wrong with this, and I'm glad the moderators are stepping up if they see more infractions.

I have also noticed that, in general, newer players tend to make shorter posts, often filled with computer typing abbreviations, which are only marginally comprehensible. I think this practice will change in time. The Holonet has an entirely different culture from every other message board system I've encountered. If you look at other boards, the comments of the new users here are far above the average in terms of quality and length. The boards here are better, and the newer players just need time to see why. We all had our learning periods.


That's a lot of people for a dozen or so to keep in balance and its up to veteran members like you, Frobi, and me to help the Mods out in anyway we can.

I agree. But I would also warn against anyone overstepping their bounds (I know Nova Spice didn't intend his comment this way, I'm just using it as a springboard for further discussion :) ). We (the regular members) are not moderators. We can do little things like link to other threads (an example that a user is repeating a topic), gently warn against copyright infringement, and just help nudge newer members in the right direction. However, we shouldn't act as if we have authority, because we don't. The moderators are the ones who need to say when someone has stepped out of line.

Grimace
11 June 2002, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by FlipDog 2000
Now I see it all the time, and nothing happens there. I see constant "innapropriate" comments, and no action is taken with that.


Just as a note to all, and a way to "help the moderators" as Jedi Staailis suggested...if you happen across a post by someone that you feel is inappropriate, you can report the post to the moderator of that forum. Basically, feel free to communicate with us if you feel that someone is getting away with something that they shouldn't.

Sometimes when we're going through threads, we'll miss a post or two...or a thread may be so busy that something can occur and be left a page or two back all in the same day. We're human (believe it or not) and we sometimes miss things. So feel free to let us know if you see something that screams "wrong". We'll look into it and take the action that we feel is best suited.


Now, on a personal note...not speaking for the whole moderating staff...I particularly appreciate it when the more senior members of the holonet stand up and promote ways to be helpful for the newer members. New people look at the way others post...look at the general attitude of people, and post in similar manners. When you guys and gals that have been here a while treat these new posters with professional attitudes and are helpful, it fosters good manners in the "new generation" of holonet posters.

So, to all of you on here...regular posters and moderators alike, thank you for being good examples for others. I know, this sounds like a parent talking to kids, but I'm not trying to be condescending at all. I genuinely appreciate everyone's effort.

Armadious
11 June 2002, 09:24 PM
There you go Grimace calling me senior, when once before - a little while ago I was a old timer (and I am only 20!!!) :D

Personaly I think that the level of moderatorship that we have here is a good one, and has been since I joined. The civility here is one of the things that attracted me in the first place. While the boards have gorun a lot in that time, this is one of the things that remains the same.

That was my bit of Chaos for the day...

VixenofVenus
11 June 2002, 10:29 PM
Well ... interesting ... I guess since Flip and I know eachother in real life, I can try to comment on this without being too biased.


But it has seemed like the boards have been a little over-moderated lately ... but I'm not saying that's ALL-Bad. Most of those who have been banned (and not un-banned), deserved it ... and good riddance. When newbs make mistakes (or us Vets make mistakes :) ), and the Mod's correct them, like moving posts and threads to the correct forums, etc., thats a good thing.

But lately it seems like there has been a bit too much censorship, or maybe not censorship, but just the threat of censorship, like people saying "Don't Say that here, or You shouldn't say that', etc. And it seems with the new movie that alot of people have been on 'tip-toes' about 'SPOILER WARNINGS' ... but that will pass soon enough. I think most HoloNetters have seen Ep2 once or twice already ... and those who haven't are smart enough to realize when they start reading something that forgot a spoiler warning and says, "In episode 2 ... blah, blah, blah' they know that if they don't want spoilers, they shouldn't be reading past the 'In episode 2', and if they can't help it and keep reading ... well, get a little willpower!

As far as I'm concerned ... the HoloNet is my favorite Message Board on the Internet ... of all of them. I might not have said the same a few years ago when I was still an active Ultima Online player ... but I now know - the HoloNet is the place to be! And I want it to stay that way ... so maybe some of Flip's attention-grabbing rant is founded. At least it will make some of the Moderators look at things from a broader perspective for a bit, which is NEVER a bad thing ... so even if it was unneeded, it's a nice heads-up for you Mods, just to keep you on your toes. :)

PS - I'm gonna think up some QUIZ questions right now and then go post em ASAP!

Superdog
12 June 2002, 06:41 AM
I will admit I never fully understood why hotten2 was banned. Sure, he constantly argued with everybody, and never actually talked about Star Wars. But he was fun to argue with.
Anyway, I must say in some instances the moderators are too nice. I remember some guys who just posted gibberish threads in Chaos and Misc. that made NO SENSE and were actually quite gross in some respects. Their antics continued for a lot longer than I would have let them continue before they went bye bye.
However, on the other hand, I do think that Flipdog 2000 has a valid point, although I can't think of anything specific.

Grimace
12 June 2002, 07:35 AM
Just to help me (us) see where you all are coming from, I'd like to see some sort of examples as to why some of you agree that "some" moderators are "over moderating". Banning doesn't count, as that hasn't happened in some time and is decided ultimately by the majority of the moderators and confirmed by the Administrators (as in the case of hotten2). I'm interested to see what is considered too much in the eyes of some of you.

Moridin
13 June 2002, 03:26 PM
I will admit I never fully understood why hotten2 was banned. Sure, he constantly argued with everybody, and never actually talked about Star Wars.

Well, uh, there's your answer right there. He never actually posted productively and did nothing but post inflammatory posts. Not only that, but he continued to do so even after the moderators had warned him about it. He was being a troll, which I think we can all agree is a bad thing. This is a Star Wars message board, not a come in here and bash America board, which is pretty much what ticked off a lot of members. We got many complaints, and after we tried to play nice we were forced to play hardball.

I'm honestly not sure where this "over moderating" stuff is coming from, but as Grimmy said, please, show me some links so I decide if it's a probelm.

Talonne Hauk
13 June 2002, 07:34 PM
I can't see why this is a problem. These boards are not my property, I didn't set them up, and I don't run them. I'm given temporary license to post my opinions and information and to ask questions. The end result is a pleasant experience of sharing between peers. I think the moderators are doing an excellent job.
Recently, I posted with an unfortunate choice in language. I was (politely) chided by the moderator, and I asked why, because when what I said was taken in context, it made sense. The answer I received was because when what I said was taken out of context, what I had written could be offensive. And he was right.
As adults we have the obligation and responsibility to set examples in our manners and behaviors for every child we come into contact with, directly or indirectly. Unfortunately, in an online community, we never know just how many children we may be influencing. That's why I'm in favor of strenuous oversight by the Moderators. In large part, they have a thankless job, but it is a worthwhile one.

Reverend Strone
13 June 2002, 08:10 PM
Were it not for the Moderators, I'd postulate the Holonet would have descended long before now into something far less appealing, like the WOTC boards.

If there are moments when they might appear overzealous to some folks, I'd gladly accept that over loosing the relative tranquility and pleasantness of the Holonet to the mean-spirited chaos of almost every other message board I've ever seen.

All I've ever seen the Moderators do is encourage and remind users to be considerate to one and other, which to my mind, is not overstepping their mandate.

Their role brings to mind a certain quote- "We're keepers of the peace, not soldiers".

Not meaning to slam you either, Flip. I think it's important to challenge if you feel something isn't right, so don't be upset if not everyone here agrees with you. The holonet is a benevolently-run place with checks and balances to maintain it's continued spirit of goodwill and cooperation. Occassionally the Moderators feel it's necessary to bring out the big stick, and you and I as users are right to challenge them in how and when they use that stick. That's part of the process of keeping the place fair and honest. I think as long as you do so respectfully and reasonably, questioning them is acceptable in my mind. Just bear in mind, in the end, someone has to have the last word, and they're really the only ones that can be.

VixenofVenus
13 June 2002, 10:23 PM
Ok ... I hate to be the first to post an example of some odd Mod actions ... but I have seen posts where time and again Mods stop civil discussions of D6 vs. D20 rules. These are not the 'Well D6 is the Best!' "No D20 is the Best!" threads, these are just threads where people whom some of don't know the other system are talking about how things work differently in the other system, and the Mods break it up, close the thread, etc ... "Before things can get out of hand".

You Mods say that you don't want us fighting about systems and thats why we can't post stats in many forums to back some things up that we say ... so we get frowned on if we post stats anywhere but the D20 and D6 forum ... but at the same time, Grimace has a little pic of the D6 symbol and it says D6 Forever! under his name!!!

Sheesh, you tell us to try and be neutral, but then the Mods go around with stuff like that ... now is that really fair?!


And I'm not saying it's wrong for Grimace to have that under his name ... what I'm saying is that there are MANY of us who would rather just say "Hey, if I'm in a discussion about D6 vs. D20 and I get out of hand ... ban me or suspend me."

I used to play D6 (a long time ago), I don't have any of the books and I won't buy them when I have over 100 HoloNetter friends who could explain to me how things work in that system and we could have a nice discussion of similar systems.



So ... you wanted a specific gripe ... theres one (course now I'll be the one who gets banned for speaking out right when it was FlipDog who started it all ;) )

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
13 June 2002, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by VixenofVenus
You Mods say that you don't want us fighting about systems and thats why we can't post stats in many forums to back some things up that we say ... so we get frowned on if we post stats anywhere but the D20 and D6 forum ... but at the same time, Grimace has a little pic of the D6 symbol and it says D6 Forever! under his name!!!

I have to agree with Vixen on this point.

I try to just stay away from anything that starts to look like a D6 v d20 forum (although most know my preference and that I played D6 for years and am still expanding my D6 collection to convert for my new website). And I think that I have been largely successful, for the most part. And while Grimace has never brought up his beliefs in a thread (to my knowledge that is) the mere presents of it is a soft spot in the armor that is the HoloNet's tolerance of both systems.

Grimace, I belief that you do an excellent job and this is in no way, shape or form an attack on your abilities as a HoloNet Mod.

ALFRED_THE_EWOK
17 June 2002, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by Moridin

This is a Star Wars message board, not a come in here and bash America board, which is pretty much what ticked off a lot of members. We got many complaints, and after we tried to play nice we were forced to play hardball.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but your saying he was banned because people didn't like him? Seems kind of childish to me to complain because you disagree with someones opinions, and then have that person banned because their opinion is that unpopular. I would feel guilty if I was one of the people that complained. But again, this is how I am reading it, correct me if I'm wrong.

Rick Vogt
18 June 2002, 03:38 AM
Well, I don't truly get where people are coming from on the "overmod" deal. I myself have been politely nudged by none other than Grimace.

First thing I want to say is that, in that particular instance I had read a post and replied to it before PARTICULARLY thinking it through. It had gotten me a little worked up. Then Grimace came in and posted a post which I read with my agitation boiling over. I didn't really think about it, but replied again. The next day I came back on and there it was, an explanation about what was happening, and had happened before.

THEN, I stopped and thought about what I had posted, and thought about it for a while. This time not so agitated. It all made perfect sense after I actually took time to think on it for a bit. The ERROR was on my part. Soon afterwards, I pulled up his post and rated him a solid 5.

Sometimes, we post things hastily. Not alwasy thinking things through. Other times we are just so agitated by things others have posted that we lose control of our rational thoughts and judgement.

In short I don't think things are being overdone by the MODS, sometimes we might not think things through, or even just accidentally slip and post something we shouldn't(which happened in my case).

All I can say is this: I enjoy my time here, because of the POSTERS, and the MODS. :)

Chris Curtis
18 June 2002, 05:47 AM
Alfred, please be assured that any banning that happens on this board (and yes, they are rare) isn't done from personal differences. The decisions are not arrived at hastily or impulsively. Rest assured that anyone who has been banned (whether it be hotten2 or someone else) was done so for legitimate reasons.

Dan Stack
18 June 2002, 06:50 AM
Personally, I think the moderators here are doing a great job - I've not noticed many flame wars and those that I have seen get dealt with quickly. Being a moderator at another board (www.trek-rpg.net) I know what a thankless job it is - realistically you have to read every new post, even those of absolutely no interest to you. The most innocent sounding thread-titles can erupt into flames when you least expect it. You need to be diplomatic, realizing that "offenders" may not even realize they are stirring up trouble or being less than polite. You have to make a judgement call when to let something slide and when to intervene, and you know that people will often disagree with your decision.

And besides all that, the pay is rather poor. Doubling your salary leaves you still making nothing! :D The only reason to do it is because you enjoy a community and want to nurture it and keep it healthy. You don't do it for a power-trip - it's way too boring a job for that! ;)

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
18 June 2002, 08:10 AM
Originally posted by Rick Vogt
Sometimes, we post things hastily. Not alwasy thinking things through. Other times we are just so agitated by things others have posted that we lose control of our rational thoughts and judgement.

I can think of more than a few times that the edit button has come in handy for me.

reliant
28 June 2002, 08:00 AM
I'm not sure that this place is "over moderated" but I can say that the moderators presence is definately felt. For the most part I think that's a good thing. I haven't seen any flame wars and for the most part everyone is pretty nice and helpful.

My only complaint would be about the D20 vs. D6 thing. If someone even mentions D6 in the D20 forum (or vice versa) there is a good chance that a moderator is gonna say something about it. Maybe it's a good thing and avoids arguements, but I'd like it more if the mods would let it ride and at least see where the conversation is going before laying the smack down.

Well, I guess I would complain about the STATS and SPOILERS thing, but that's not such a big deal. We all know how it is so if the mod has to point it out to us, that's our own fault.

I don't see a problem with topics veering horribly off course sometimes the best info comes out of those (as someone else pointed out). I haven't seen any mods come down on that though...

Maybe I'm still a newbie so I don't see all the bad stuff, but compared to other boards, this one is definately the best. Personally I think the mods are doing a great job considering how many people are members and post. I think if more new members would read the rules the moderators wouldn't have to step in so often...

Kobayashi_Maru
29 June 2002, 07:44 PM
I, for one, haven't seen any signs of over-policing. And as many of you know I can say some EXTREME statements. :D I agree with the idea of some examples (besides this vs. that and banning).