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it's raining deletions

Pull up a chair, have a biscuit - discuss the site and general questions about the LemonFool
MDW1954
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Re: it's raining deletions

#217747

Postby MDW1954 » April 27th, 2019, 3:52 pm

Chaps,

Despite the fact that some of the contributors to this thread are moderators, can I remind everyone of the rule clearly stated in the guidelines above:

Headline

Discussions on Moderation are only permitted on the new Room 101 board viewforum.php?f=91. Any discussion of moderation elsewhere is no longer permitted and will be deleted, including in the Biscuit Bar. However, Room 101 is not to be used for General Moderation Discussions. See below for more information.


MDW1954

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217757

Postby Arborbridge » April 27th, 2019, 4:46 pm

MDW1954 wrote:Chaps,

Despite the fact that some of the contributors to this thread are moderators, can I remind everyone of the rule clearly stated in the guidelines above:

Headline

Discussions on Moderation are only permitted on the new Room 101 board viewforum.php?f=91. Any discussion of moderation elsewhere is no longer permitted and will be deleted, including in the Biscuit Bar. However, Room 101 is not to be used for General Moderation Discussions. See below for more information.


MDW1954


I was, some time back, told I should post in room 101. Then I was told it should be the biscuit bar. Most confusing, especially as the names given to these similar but difference boards mean absolutely nothing.
If possible, I avoid both and post all my comments on the HYP-P - especially if it's to complain about something disagreaable which has happened there. Sorry, but to talk about something "off-board" which concerns a happening "on-board" seems like conveniently sweeping a problem under the carpet.

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217767

Postby Bobwood » April 27th, 2019, 5:45 pm

MDW1954 wrote:Chaps,

Despite the fact that some of the contributors to this thread are moderators, can I remind everyone of the rule clearly stated in the guidelines above:

Headline

Discussions on Moderation are only permitted on the new Room 101 board viewforum.php?f=91. Any discussion of moderation elsewhere is no longer permitted and will be deleted, including in the Biscuit Bar. However, Room 101 is not to be used for General Moderation Discussions. See below for more information.


MDW1954


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPkKgrmgFTw

Gengulphus
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Re: it's raining deletions

#217774

Postby Gengulphus » April 27th, 2019, 6:20 pm

Arborbridge wrote:Incidentally, I've never found out what all those different things in the circles on the left hand side mean. I can't find any key to the symbols, and why do they sometimes have scrolly things inside?

Also incidentally, I can give you most of the answers: a red circle means the thread has posts you haven't yet read (= loaded a page containing them in this context), a red star in the circle means that you've posted to the thread, a padlock means the thread is locked, the contents scrolling means that there are 50 or more posts in the thread (I personally could do without this one - the number of page symbols in the middle of the entry gives an idea of the number of posts it contains I find entirely adequate, and I find the movement quite distracting visually, causing me to overlook things I might otherwise see). Rarer ones are italic is and 'lampbulbs' containing exclamation marks, which seem to be for two types of announcement, and blue arrows, indicating that it's a link to somewhere other than where it appears to be. There might be others I haven't encountered or remembered.

On the actual subject of this thread, I will observe that there are at least three main reading styles people use for TLF, with each having some options within it and various hybrids between them also being possible: reading according to the "New posts" or "Unread posts" quick link, reading the board or few boards whose general subject one is interested in, and reading the set of threads one is subscribed to or has bookmarked. All of those methods have their various advantages and disadvantages, and people's views on which of them are important to them personally will vary enormously, so I don't think there is any hope of finding a reading style that everyone finds acceptable (*). A consequence is that whatever the site's rules are, at most a small minority of users are going to find them perfect... So basically, the site's rules do have to have some rough edges for all (or almost all) users, and users do have to take the rough with the smooth...

Also, sorry, but I don't agree with your comment in reply to dspp's post speaking as a moderator earlier in the thread that "It therefore becomes your job not to fall over to satisfy the trolls but to ignore them", or at least, I don't think it's the moderators' primary job on TLF. That primary job is to keep the site running as smoothly as they can, within the resources they have available - and IMHO it's not just their job, it's also the job of ordinary users. That does mean that the moderators will quite often have to deal with reports in a 'quick & dirty' fashion, I'm afraid - in particular, by deleting the post without leaving anything on the board to indicate what's happened or by disregarding the report without any indication that that's been done (other than the automatically-generated "it's been closed" notification that one requests by default), possibly making a fairly snap judgement about the merits of the report - and that applies especially when the issue is a known 'flash point' on the board, so that leaving things as they are for any length of time is likely to generate a whole lot of responses that also provoke reports...

And it also means that users will have to accept that that happens and take care to avoid provoking reports, again especially about known 'flash points'. Tangential remarks are generally accepted, I think, provided they remain tangential - and as far as I can tell that's judged by results (including past results of similar tangential points), not by intentions. I.e. if you post a tangential remark and it turns out to provoke an extended diversion from the thread's subject (let alone the board's subject) and prompt reports, moderator action is likely no matter how little you intended that to be the outcome, and accepting that that happens and steering clear of similar tangential remarks in future is part of the contribution you can make to keeping the boards running smoothly. And note that if you consider it an important tangent, you can do that in at least two ways: if it relates fairly directly to the thread's subject (so is not actually as tangential as it might at first sight appear), say how it does so rather than relying on readers to see how it does so for themselves (**); otherwise, start a new thread to discuss the tangent, and restrict what you say in the original thread to something like "Incidentally, that has reminded me of <whatever the tangent is> - I've started a new thread about that at <link> (all replies there, please)."

All of those do cost you some extra work, I know. Think of it as your contribution to keeping TLF running smoothly... Though there are also some side-benefits to some of them - e.g. a new thread is more likely to come to the attention of those users who use a "subscribe to / bookmark threads they want to read" reading style, since they might never have been interested in the original thread's subject, or have been interested but lost interest in it and so have unsubscribed / unbookmarked it.

One final point: I'm pretty certain that you have no firm basis for saying that the reports are due to trolls. They could be, agreed, but the system doesn't tell you who reported your post and I'm fairly certain the moderators don't either (among other reasons, I think it's pretty clear that if they were to do so, it would provoke at least some bitter recriminations, denunciations, etc, which would trigger yet more reports for them to deal with - so it would be making a rod for their own backs!). You might suspect particular users of making reports for the purpose of trolling, or just that the site's users include some such users, but such suspicions can be mistaken. And I'm pretty certain that they sometimes are, because I've seen occasions when people have voiced such suspicions as though they were facts, and I've known that I reported the post concerned for reasons completely different from the reason they've confidently stated was why it was reported. I can't be entirely certain of that, of course - it's possible that the moderators closed my report without taking any action, then someone else reported it for a different reason and the moderators deleted the post for that reason before I checked up on what had been done. (I do normally try to check up on that, basically to glean what information I can about what the moderators consider needs action taken about it and very occasionally to let the moderator know they've left things in a state that's confusing for an ordinary user, e.g. with a clear case of meaning to tell people to use a particular board and inadvertently typing the wrong board name. And no, while I do sometimes report posts, it's nowhere near frequently enough for those checks to be a noticeable burden on my time!).

(*) In fact, I'm pretty certain that there's no hope of it: as a result of past discussions of reading styles I've had with various other users (none of which this is an invitation to repeat!), I know for instance that Lootman's preferred reading style does not suit me and I'm pretty certain mine doesn't suit him.

(**) Remember that it only takes one reader to generate a report, and a popular board probably has hundreds of readers. It only takes a pretty small percentage chance of any particular reader failing to see something to make it a near-certainty that some reader won't see it. Basically, it's a fact of life that the bigger one's audience, the more care one needs to take about what one says - as many politicians and others who are in the public eye have discovered!

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217777

Postby Lootman » April 27th, 2019, 6:43 pm

Gengulphus wrote: I'm pretty certain that you have no firm basis for saying that the reports are due to trolls. They could be, agreed, but the system doesn't tell you who reported your post and I'm fairly certain the moderators don't either

I think one can believe that a certain percentage of cases where posts are reported are for less than honourable reasons. I'm not sure that "troll" is the right way to describe such cases since, to me anyway, a troll is someone who posts in a way to inflame or aggravate others. If instead one's chosen mode of bad behaviour is to report posts mischievously or to over-report posts then I think another term might be preferable, although one isn't on my lips right now that would be suitable for family viewing.

As to not knowing who reported a post of yours, I'd agree that you can never normally know with absolute certainty, unless the other party admits it. But there are a few ways that you can guess who it was with reasonable accuracy:

1) You are having a "lively" debate with X, and as soon as you start winning it, X stops responding and then, some time later, your last post vanishes.

2) X is on record as saying he/she reports a lot of posts, and X is shown to be active on the same board at the same time as a spike in post removals.

3) X has a record of stalking you on the boards and your posts are removed more often at times when X was active on the site. This is noticeable particularly with people whose pattern of usage is often a few days off followed by a few days on.

So for example on the HY boards I reckon I could guess the half dozen Lemons who report the most posts. I suspect that you could as well. And the Mods surely know for certain. So if I understand Arb correctly then such "mischievous reporting" could be reduced if Mods develop more of a zero tolerance policy towards such behaviors, rather than rewarding them.

I've said before that I almost never report posts, so you might also know which Lemon it probably wasn't if you find your posts vanishing!

MDW1954
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Re: it's raining deletions

#217800

Postby MDW1954 » April 27th, 2019, 9:44 pm

Arborbridge wrote:
MDW1954 wrote:Chaps,

Despite the fact that some of the contributors to this thread are moderators, can I remind everyone of the rule clearly stated in the guidelines above:

Headline

Discussions on Moderation are only permitted on the new Room 101 board viewforum.php?f=91. Any discussion of moderation elsewhere is no longer permitted and will be deleted, including in the Biscuit Bar. However, Room 101 is not to be used for General Moderation Discussions. See below for more information.


MDW1954


I was, some time back, told I should post in room 101. Then I was told it should be the biscuit bar. Most confusing, especially as the names given to these similar but difference boards mean absolutely nothing.
If possible, I avoid both and post all my comments on the HYP-P - especially if it's to complain about something disagreaable which has happened there. Sorry, but to talk about something "off-board" which concerns a happening "on-board" seems like conveniently sweeping a problem under the carpet.


Arb,

The rules are clear. I don't make them up, but I'm supposed to apply them.

Your acknowledgement that you are willfully and deliberately wasting volunteers moderators' time by posting the wrong stuff in the wrong place simply means that more of your posts will be deleted.

I certainly won't hesitate, next time.

MDW1954

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217805

Postby MDW1954 » April 27th, 2019, 9:50 pm

Gengulphus wrote:One final point: I'm pretty certain that you have no firm basis for saying that the reports are due to trolls. They could be, agreed, but the system doesn't tell you who reported your post and I'm fairly certain the moderators don't either (among other reasons, I think it's pretty clear that if they were to do so, it would provoke at least some bitter recriminations, denunciations, etc, which would trigger yet more reports for them to deal with - so it would be making a rod for their own backs!). You might suspect particular users of making reports for the purpose of trolling, or just that the site's users include some such users, but such suspicions can be mistaken.

Gengulphus


Obviously, I see all the reports. The vast majority are not malicious or self-serving. (Like you, I'm not sure Arb's use of "troll" is exactly the right word.) A couple of posters on HYP-P report posts so as to advance their own views of what HYPing is or is not about, but many of those reports are ignored.

Most reports are useful, relevant, and appreciated. To those Lemons, thank you. We appreciate your effort.

MDW1954

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217806

Postby MDW1954 » April 27th, 2019, 9:52 pm

Lootman wrote:
Gengulphus wrote: I'm pretty certain that you have no firm basis for saying that the reports are due to trolls. They could be, agreed, but the system doesn't tell you who reported your post and I'm fairly certain the moderators don't either

I think one can believe that a certain percentage of cases where posts are reported are for less than honourable reasons. I'm not sure that "troll" is the right way to describe such cases since, to me anyway, a troll is someone who posts in a way to inflame or aggravate others. If instead one's chosen mode of bad behaviour is to report posts mischievously or to over-report posts then I think another term might be preferable, although one isn't on my lips right now that would be suitable for family viewing.

As to not knowing who reported a post of yours, I'd agree that you can never normally know with absolute certainty, unless the other party admits it. But there are a few ways that you can guess who it was with reasonable accuracy:

1) You are having a "lively" debate with X, and as soon as you start winning it, X stops responding and then, some time later, your last post vanishes.

2) X is on record as saying he/she reports a lot of posts, and X is shown to be active on the same board at the same time as a spike in post removals.

3) X has a record of stalking you on the boards and your posts are removed more often at times when X was active on the site. This is noticeable particularly with people whose pattern of usage is often a few days off followed by a few days on.

So for example on the HY boards I reckon I could guess the half dozen Lemons who report the most posts. I suspect that you could as well. And the Mods surely know for certain. So if I understand Arb correctly then such "mischievous reporting" could be reduced if Mods develop more of a zero tolerance policy towards such behaviors, rather than rewarding them.

I've said before that I almost never report posts, so you might also know which Lemon it probably wasn't if you find your posts vanishing!


Lootman,

The vast majority of what you describe doesn't occur on the boards that I moderate. I don't moderate Polite Discussions, etc, but on the other hand I don't read those boards, either. So, dunno.

MDW1954

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217810

Postby Lootman » April 27th, 2019, 10:13 pm

MDW1954 wrote:
Gengulphus wrote:One final point: I'm pretty certain that you have no firm basis for saying that the reports are due to trolls. They could be, agreed, but the system doesn't tell you who reported your post and I'm fairly certain the moderators don't either (among other reasons, I think it's pretty clear that if they were to do so, it would provoke at least some bitter recriminations, denunciations, etc, which would trigger yet more reports for them to deal with - so it would be making a rod for their own backs!). You might suspect particular users of making reports for the purpose of trolling, or just that the site's users include some such users, but such suspicions can be mistaken.

I see all the reports. The vast majority are not malicious or self-serving.

To make such a statement implies that you know the intention of those who report a disproportionate amount of posts.

I agree that you see the over-activity but not necessarily that you can successfully attribute it. That implies an ability to perceive motive.

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217818

Postby csearle » April 27th, 2019, 11:02 pm

My impression is that most people report posts because they genuinely see an issue with the post in question. As the months go by you get an idea of where each reporter is coming from, well at least those that report often enough. Each time you either make a decision because you see the matter as clear or, if you don't, you leave it for the next mod who might have a clearer perspective. C.

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217870

Postby Gengulphus » April 28th, 2019, 10:52 am

Arborbridge wrote:I was, some time back, told I should post in room 101. Then I was told it should be the biscuit bar. Most confusing, especially as the names given to these similar but difference boards mean absolutely nothing.

IIRC, that was around the end of last year or start of this one, and the rules on posting about moderation were changed in mid January. The change was announced in a Biscuit Bar thread, which was posted a couple of weeks after I noticed that two different moderators' comments in two different threads were producing a quandary for users about where comments on moderation should be posted if they weren't disputing a particular instance of moderation. I PMed the two moderators concerned, quoting their moderator comments, pointing out the obvious quandary, and asking them to clarify. I got back a reply basically saying "Good point, will discuss, might take a bit of time" - and it did take those couple of weeks! (Though to be fair, December 30th is not the ideal date to get a quick response about anything, especially if quite a few people need to be consulted...) I can't say that I found the new rules all that workable, as my reply in the announcement thread indicates, and Clariman's response to that makes it clear that they're not to be taken as absolutely literally meaning that nothing general at all about moderation can be said on the boards. Just how much can be said I'm still not clear about - but I would certainly treat MDW1954's comment as a 'warning shot'!

Anyway, it's possible that you haven't looked at what those rules say since encountering the problem you describe in the quote. If so, do check out what they currently say - and do remember that they don't prohibit raising issues about moderation, just doing so on the boards. Doing so by PM is fine, and can yield results. (By the way, I'm not claiming that it was specifically my PM that led to the results in the case described above. It was a pretty clear conflict between different moderator rulings, which I know a number of others noticed, and it's IMHO quite likely that others also PMed moderators and/or admins about it. So I'm saying that PMing very likely yielded results in that case, rather than more specifically that my PMing did so.)

Arborbridge wrote:If possible, I avoid both and post all my comments on the HYP-P - especially if it's to complain about something disagreaable which has happened there. Sorry, but to talk about something "off-board" which concerns a happening "on-board" seems like conveniently sweeping a problem under the carpet.

And presumably you also feel that everybody else should similarly be able to complain on the board about anything they find disagreeable there? So if I find your complaint disagreeable, I can complain on the board about your complaint, and if AnotherUser finds my complaint disagreeable, he or she can complain on the board about my complaint about your complaint, and so on? And when that's built up a bit, everyone can complain on the board about all the complaining that's going on, which is disagreeable because it's making them feel that the board is no longer worth reading? And when all that complaining finally dies down, everyone who's still around and reading the board can complain on the board about how disagreeable it is that so few people are still around to discuss the board's subject?

I'm sorry, but no matter how attractive the idea is of always dealing with a complaint where it arose, it's not IMHO workable in practice without placing a limit on one person's complaints spawning complaints from other people. Where that limit currently lies is basically that a complaint sometimes gets dealt with informally (*) on the board itself (e.g. A misspeaks, B objects to what they've said and voices their objection, A corrects themselves, or A speaks, B misunderstands, A clarifies, or other similar cases) or if that fails, something gets reported and a moderator deals with it. And any complaint about how the moderator deals with it is then basically a complaint about a complaint and beyond the limit. The limit could in principle be placed further on in the process - e.g. complaining about a moderator ruling on the board itself might be made acceptable, but on condition that if that then spawns a further report and moderator ruling, no complaint about that is allowed on the board itself. But in practice, that (a) requires greater complexity in site rules; (b) makes site rules more difficult to remember, not less; (c) requires users to look for and/or remember more about the situation the thread is in if they want to adhere to the site rules; (d) increases the opportunities for trolls to create trouble rather than reducing them; (e) requires more moderator time, if only because of the need it creates for them to spend more time on deciding whether a complaint about moderation on the board is allowed or not.

In short, I think the idea is attractive in principle but unworkable in practice. I might be wrong about that, of course, but I do think that if you want to get things changed, you need to put forward not just the general idea of allowing complaints about moderation to appear on the board itself but also the practical details of how it should work in various cases. If you don't do that, but just decide that you won't post comments about something disagreeable that has happened on the board anywhere other than on the board itself, then either you don't post complaints about moderation anywhere at all or you post them on the board in defiance of site rules. The former may lead to frustration (though there is the possibility of using PMs instead of posts, as I indicate above) - but if it does, it's self-imposed frustration. The latter leads to conflict with the moderators and admins that IMHO you cannot win...

(*) I would add that while trying to settle a problem informally is a good thing IMHO, that's only the case if it actually gets settled fairly quickly. And I'll have to admit that I have a tendency to continue trying to settle problems informally for rather too long - which has among other things caused complaints on the board about how tedious an exchange is becoming, and ultimately reports followed by a moderator comment that I and the other person involved should stop "bickering". And another thing that I suspect it's led to is that the other person treats it as a debate, which they're determined to 'win', rather than as an attempt to informally deal with a matter that I regard as reportable but would prefer to settle amicably. The longer I try to continue the attempt rather than reporting the issue, the easier it becomes for them to see the results of the eventual moderator action as both resulting from a report made by me (which it often is, though not by any means in all cases that show that pattern) and a tacit admission that they've 'won' when it's actually belated recognition that informal resolution isn't going to happen. Neither of those is very desirable, nor is the amount of time I've sometimes found myself spending on the posts concerned desirable for me personally - so I've been trying to cut back on how much I try to settle things informally - the self-imposed rule I'm trying to adhere to is "one attempt to settle things informally, probably; two attempts, maybe; three or more attempts, no - report or forget it instead"

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217879

Postby Gengulphus » April 28th, 2019, 11:22 am

Lootman wrote:
Gengulphus wrote: I'm pretty certain that you have no firm basis for saying that the reports are due to trolls. They could be, agreed, but the system doesn't tell you who reported your post and I'm fairly certain the moderators don't either

I think one can believe that a certain percentage of cases where posts are reported are for less than honourable reasons. I'm not sure that "troll" is the right way to describe such cases since, to me anyway, a troll is someone who posts in a way to inflame or aggravate others. If instead one's chosen mode of bad behaviour is to report posts mischievously or to over-report posts then I think another term might be preferable, although one isn't on my lips right now that would be suitable for family viewing.

As to not knowing who reported a post of yours, I'd agree that you can never normally know with absolute certainty, unless the other party admits it. But there are a few ways that you can guess who it was with reasonable accuracy:
...

Lootman wrote:
MDW1954 wrote:I see all the reports. The vast majority are not malicious or self-serving.

To make such a statement implies that you know the intention of those who report a disproportionate amount of posts.

I agree that you see the over-activity but not necessarily that you can successfully attribute it. That implies an ability to perceive motive.

Fascinating - it appears there's a difference between attributing motives to all but a "certain percentage" and attributing them to the "vast majority"...

Gengulphus

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217895

Postby Walrus » April 28th, 2019, 12:08 pm

MDW1954 wrote:
Gengulphus wrote:One final point: I'm pretty certain that you have no firm basis for saying that the reports are due to trolls. They could be, agreed, but the system doesn't tell you who reported your post and I'm fairly certain the moderators don't either (among other reasons, I think it's pretty clear that if they were to do so, it would provoke at least some bitter recriminations, denunciations, etc, which would trigger yet more reports for them to deal with - so it would be making a rod for their own backs!). You might suspect particular users of making reports for the purpose of trolling, or just that the site's users include some such users, but such suspicions can be mistaken.

Gengulphus


Obviously, I see all the reports. The vast majority are not malicious or self-serving. (Like you, I'm not sure Arb's use of "troll" is exactly the right word.) A couple of posters on HYP-P report posts so as to advance their own views of what HYPing is or is not about, but many of those reports are ignored.

Most reports are useful, relevant, and appreciated. To those Lemons, thank you. We appreciate your effort.

MDW1954


I would be very interested to see a a report on stats around members who report posts. I've pretty much given up on posting these days

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217907

Postby Lootman » April 28th, 2019, 12:59 pm

Gengulphus wrote:Fascinating - it appears there's a difference between attributing motives to all but a "certain percentage" and attributing them to the "vast majority"...

I think you are not allowing for the difference between the vantage point of a moderator and the vantage point of a participant.

I'd agree that moderators see a bigger picture in the sense that they know who reports a lot and who reports a little. They probably can take a decent guess at who is causing problems by pedantically over-reporting posts or discriminatory reporting (*). Whether they actually do or not is another matter. The fact that some here are complaining about moderators responding to post reports too frequently and technically, rather than applying some flexibility, may indicate that Mods do not in fact form such judgements or else do not act on those judgements.

On the other hand as a participant I do sometimes see indications of mischievous reporting, and in fact gave you a list of examples. That might be harder for a Mod to perceive unless they are aware of the background and history of some relationships here dating all the way back to TMF where they weren't Mods at all.

The distinction may be nuanced but it is no less real for that.

(*) Discriminatory reporting is where a Lemon reports a post on technical grounds if Lemon A (whom they personally dislike) makes it. But does not report that same post if Lemon B (whom they like) makes it. Mods may not always see that since they only look at reported posts, and not realise that similar posts are going unreported.

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217910

Postby dspp » April 28th, 2019, 1:07 pm

Walrus wrote:
MDW1954 wrote:
Gengulphus wrote:One final point: I'm pretty certain that you have no firm basis for saying that the reports are due to trolls. They could be, agreed, but the system doesn't tell you who reported your post and I'm fairly certain the moderators don't either (among other reasons, I think it's pretty clear that if they were to do so, it would provoke at least some bitter recriminations, denunciations, etc, which would trigger yet more reports for them to deal with - so it would be making a rod for their own backs!). You might suspect particular users of making reports for the purpose of trolling, or just that the site's users include some such users, but such suspicions can be mistaken.

Gengulphus


Obviously, I see all the reports. The vast majority are not malicious or self-serving. (Like you, I'm not sure Arb's use of "troll" is exactly the right word.) A couple of posters on HYP-P report posts so as to advance their own views of what HYPing is or is not about, but many of those reports are ignored.

Most reports are useful, relevant, and appreciated. To those Lemons, thank you. We appreciate your effort.

MDW1954


I would be very interested to see a a report on stats around members who report posts. I've pretty much given up on posting these days


TLF does not have a easily accessible stats-engine. If such a phpBB stats-engine exists then it is at the mercy of the Gods of Stooz & Clariman who can remain loftily silent for months on end.

However what I observe is that (crude generalisation follows) :

- 1/3 of reports are from users who have done a woopsy and are asking for Mod help to get it fixed. That is a pleasure to assist with, and ordinarily very simple, and 100% get actioned fairly quickly.

- 1/3 of reports are from some very patient and mostly dispassionate supportive individuals who scan boards with a keen eye for things that could get TLF into legal trouble, and who also have an eye for untidy weeds and rubbish. Generally this is a pleasure and simple to fix, but occasionally requires deeper thought and can occasionally take considerable trouble*. About 90% of these alerts have validity and get actioned.

- 1/3 of reports come from maybe a few dozen individuals who have particularly strongly held points of view on some subjects. These occur in a variety of different areas of TLF, and not everyone will always be aware of all of the areas. (This is because the centre of one person's universe may not be the same as the centre of another person's universe.) Probably about 2/3 - 3/4 of these get closed without action by Mods. Most Mods here are fairly clued up about the trajectory of various matters and individuals, collectively going back about 20-years, and even to TMF.com in the USA back in the beginning before TMF UK (or TMF AU) existed.

I hope this helps. I would personally encourage anyone who feels they have something useful to contribute on any given board or topic to do so. But equally watching & lurking & reading is also just fine, and that is probably what 90%+ of people do.

Regards, dspp


* As an example on one occasion a piece of legal 'risk' took me maybe a dozen private emails and a dozen or more PMs with the relevant parties stretching over months. It was quite obvious that lawyers were involved at the other end. It was in a less well travelled (but no less important) area of the boards. This was in respect of what amounted to freedom-of-speech defence against fairly peeved opposition seeking to close down criticism/'surfacing' of aspects of something, that in turn was being aired here on TLF. The criticism and/or 'surfacing' in this example was facts-based and in the public interest, and so we as TLF stuck to our guns as it being a valid subject for a valid public platform to host, and that example's defence fell to me. But the point I am making here is that occasionally Mods either see stuff themselves, or get alerted to stuff, that has quite far-reaching legal and financial ramifications. The mere presence of TLF (and some similar sites) is actually very important for reasons that go far beyond the vast quantity of the ordinary stuff. But fortunately not too often !

Walrus
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Re: it's raining deletions

#217925

Postby Walrus » April 28th, 2019, 2:01 pm

dspp wrote:
Walrus wrote:
MDW1954 wrote:
Obviously, I see all the reports. The vast majority are not malicious or self-serving. (Like you, I'm not sure Arb's use of "troll" is exactly the right word.) A couple of posters on HYP-P report posts so as to advance their own views of what HYPing is or is not about, but many of those reports are ignored.

Most reports are useful, relevant, and appreciated. To those Lemons, thank you. We appreciate your effort.

MDW1954


I would be very interested to see a a report on stats around members who report posts. I've pretty much given up on posting these days


TLF does not have a easily accessible stats-engine. If such a phpBB stats-engine exists then it is at the mercy of the Gods of Stooz & Clariman who can remain loftily silent for months on end.

However what I observe is that (crude generalisation follows) :

- 1/3 of reports are from users who have done a woopsy and are asking for Mod help to get it fixed. That is a pleasure to assist with, and ordinarily very simple, and 100% get actioned fairly quickly.

- 1/3 of reports are from some very patient and mostly dispassionate supportive individuals who scan boards with a keen eye for things that could get TLF into legal trouble, and who also have an eye for untidy weeds and rubbish. Generally this is a pleasure and simple to fix, but occasionally requires deeper thought and can occasionally take considerable trouble*. About 90% of these alerts have validity and get actioned.

- 1/3 of reports come from maybe a few dozen individuals who have particularly strongly held points of view on some subjects. These occur in a variety of different areas of TLF, and not everyone will always be aware of all of the areas. (This is because the centre of one person's universe may not be the same as the centre of another person's universe.) Probably about 2/3 - 3/4 of these get closed without action by Mods. Most Mods here are fairly clued up about the trajectory of various matters and individuals, collectively going back about 20-years, and even to TMF.com in the USA back in the beginning before TMF UK (or TMF AU) existed.

I hope this helps. I would personally encourage anyone who feels they have something useful to contribute on any given board or topic to do so. But equally watching & lurking & reading is also just fine, and that is probably what 90%+ of people do.

Regards, dspp


* As an example on one occasion a piece of legal 'risk' took me maybe a dozen private emails and a dozen or more PMs with the relevant parties stretching over months. It was quite obvious that lawyers were involved at the other end. It was in a less well travelled (but no less important) area of the boards. This was in respect of what amounted to freedom-of-speech defence against fairly peeved opposition seeking to close down criticism/'surfacing' of aspects of something, that in turn was being aired here on TLF. The criticism and/or 'surfacing' in this example was facts-based and in the public interest, and so we as TLF stuck to our guns as it being a valid subject for a valid public platform to host, and that example's defence fell to me. But the point I am making here is that occasionally Mods either see stuff themselves, or get alerted to stuff, that has quite far-reaching legal and financial ramifications. The mere presence of TLF (and some similar sites) is actually very important for reasons that go far beyond the vast quantity of the ordinary stuff. But fortunately not too often !


Thank you for taking the trouble to write that. I actually found it quite enlightening and I am glad to see the majority are indeed useful requests and not the frivolous point scoring I had feared from certain posters which give the impression of revelling in post reporting.

Thx

Walrus

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217928

Postby Lootman » April 28th, 2019, 2:06 pm

dspp wrote:
Walrus wrote:I would be very interested to see a a report on stats around members who report posts. I've pretty much given up on posting these days

- 1/3 of reports come from maybe a few dozen individuals who have particularly strongly held points of view on some subjects. These occur in a variety of different areas of TLF, and not everyone will always be aware of all of the areas. (This is because the centre of one person's universe may not be the same as the centre of another person's universe.) Probably about 2/3 - 3/4 of these get closed without action by Mods. Most Mods here are fairly clued up about the trajectory of various matters and individuals, collectively going back about 20-years, and even to TMF.com in the USA back in the beginning before TMF UK (or TMF AU) existed.

I am depressed, but not altogether surprised, that up to one third of post reports derive from some kind of personal agenda or vendetta. I had remarked on the existence of mischievous reporting before but did not realise it happens on such a scale.

Given that the culprits are clearly known to the Mods, is it not possible to go a little further than merely denying their attempts? Because it is still a lot of work to process them. Could you not pro-actively write to these usual suspects and let them know that you have their number, as it were. And that they are being counter-productive by abusing the reporting system in this way?

Another method might be what Walrus was suggesting, i.e. naming and shaming the chief protagonists. I have thought myself that a report of who reports the most, in much the same way as we see who thanks and is thanked the most, might be a deterrent to excess reporting. But it may not be technically simple to do as you indictate.

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217932

Postby Itsallaguess » April 28th, 2019, 2:17 pm

Lootman wrote:
Gengulphus wrote:
Fascinating - it appears there's a difference between attributing motives to all but a "certain percentage" and attributing them to the "vast majority"...


I think you are not allowing for the difference between the vantage point of a moderator and the vantage point of a participant.

I'd agree that moderators see a bigger picture in the sense that they know who reports a lot and who reports a little. They probably can take a decent guess at who is causing problems by pedantically over-reporting posts or discriminatory reporting (*). Whether they actually do or not is another matter. The fact that some here are complaining about moderators responding to post reports too frequently and technically, rather than applying some flexibility, may indicate that Mods do not in fact form such judgements or else do not act on those judgements.


I don't think you're giving enough credit to the fact (and I know it to be a fact...) that a lot of flexibility is given, even when reports are made. It's a shame that this will be naturally invisible to people, but it is, nevertheless, a fact that this happens....

It's interesting, do you not think, that this very thread has been started by someone who claims to simply ignore the posting guidance where requests are made to not discuss moderation issues on HYP Practical, and yet will then form a view that heavy-handed moderation is being undertaken....

The phrase 'two-way-street' plays a significant role in trying to maintain site-harmony at times, and yet here we have someone who's admittedly unwilling to help play their part in that....

Lootman wrote:
On the other hand as a participant I do sometimes see indications of mischievous reporting, and in fact gave you a list of examples. That might be harder for a Mod to perceive unless they are aware of the background and history of some relationships here dating all the way back to TMF where they weren't Mods at all.

The distinction may be nuanced but it is no less real for that.


I don't think you're giving any credit to the fact that the majority of moderators of particular boards are *also* participants...

Your idea behind a 'lack of perception' on behalf of moderators is wide of the mark here Lootman, I'm sorry to have to tell you...

I also don't think it's particularly helpful to persist in denoting a potential 'us and them' attitude to these issues - as far as I'm aware, all moderators also play posting roles on a wide range of boards here.

We're all board-users just like you, who just happen to volunteer to also be moderators. We're not moderators who also just happen to post sometimes....

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217938

Postby Lootman » April 28th, 2019, 2:39 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:I also don't think it's particularly helpful to persist in denoting a potential 'us and them' attitude to these issues - as far as I'm aware, all moderators also play posting roles on a wide range of boards here.

We're all board-users just like you, who just happen to volunteer to also be moderators. We're not moderators who also just happen to post sometimes....

Actually I have stated before and will state again that I think the moderation at TLF is greatly superior to that which prevailed at TMF. And a big part of that is precisely because of what you say - here it is peer moderation rather than moderation by a corporate entity with its own set of commerical priorities and objectives.

And I base that statement on the fact that I had a lot of moderation issues at TMF, but have had very few here, and I do not believe that my personality or writing style has changed, meaning that the moderation here must be better.

That said I think it is sad that some long-standing folks here, like Arb and also Dod, Ian and others, have stated that they are put off posting in HYP-P, and maybe even on TLF, because of moderation issues. So I don't think that complacency is fitting either. Feedback from those who have been on TMF/TLF for many years and who are held in high regard should always be listened to.

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Re: it's raining deletions

#217941

Postby tjh290633 » April 28th, 2019, 2:55 pm

Perhaps the solution is to make arb, dod et al moderators? They will end up moderating each other to oblivion. Certain posters do a lot of reporting of posts which they disagree should be there.

If the moderator agrees with the report, the post is deleted. If not, a PM may go to the objector and the report is closed. Some other action like deleting objectionable phrases or words can be an alternative. If it looks frivolous, the report may just be closed.

I think that the golden rule should be to think before you post or report a post.

TJH


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