Sunday, 13 July 2014

Everything in Moderation



Or, less sarcastically what is actually being mostly said is:

"The moderation can be schizophrenic and I don't like that because its not fair 100%.  It's too hard to avoid warnings on this site and that is why people don't like the Escapist."

Ladies and Gents, here's a little tidbit you might want to remember if you are unfamiliar with the Escapist: The Mods run on a warning queue, they don't go on random patrols for wrathing others.

If a post gets flagged for moderation enough and it is deemed to be breaking the rules, they will take action.  It's simple and largely directed at the individual by the community reading the post.

Does this mean the moderation is not 100% consistent?  Yes.  That's because our community is not 100% consistent.  What one person will report is something others would just pass over.  If something is truly terrible, it generally does get a report from at least a few people but if the offending post is merely borderline, it may slip through the tracks through the internet version of the Bystander Effect.  Someone else will surely report this!  Or maybe they just scrolled down with disgust but didn't report.

No reports = Low Possibility of being detected randomly by a mod.

It is NOT hard to avoid warnings on the site.  If it wasn't, Sassafrass wouldn't have zero warnings at a 70K+ post count!  Also Jesus Christ Sassafrass...

Anyway, a while ago I caught Kross explaining to someone why the moderation was so strict and apparently heavy handed on certain issues while lenient on others:

with a limited staff.

The guys who run the Tech Team are busy keeping the site functional, the guys at the top of the editorial staff are busy writing the content the magazine is known for and every other paid member of the Escapist staff is also working away at their job.  The hours, insofar as I know, are just in the weekdays and there is only so much time they can turn their attention to issues of community and of punishment.  This is why they are humorless when they have to take the time to review, usually completely petty, moderation appeals.  They are forced out of doing the job they were hired to do, that they want to do in order to babysit someone who feels their warning over calling someone completely worthless in society was unwarranted.

It ain't fun.  The fact that there is a community manager who actually does go through each appeal personally speaks volumes for how much value the site as a whole places on the issue of keeping the community civil.  The fact that there are volunteer moderators across multiple timezones shows that the long term community members also appreciate the value of the standards the rules set for conduct in the forums.

People new (or just being difficult) may find it impossible to comprehend but this moderation system the best option for managing the huge number of daily posts that a popular forum gets.  The net is dependent on what the mods see on their own or what the community flags for their attention.  If the mods are in error, the warning (a WARNING, not a site BAN people!) can be appealed to be stricken from the record.  This takes time because it goes over the mods heads and ends up going to someone paid to do many other things in the weekday.

So why is this such an issue for the vocal minority?

A warning is public.  A warning bruises an ego.  A warning means that they were wrong and on the internet, you can never be wrong and people will go into massive sprawling posts to defend something that really, really is petty.  Being wrong is just something that doesn't happen to me!! <_<

I've been slapped on the wrists for low content posts in the past.  I appealed one, the rest I accepted as fair.  I've been goofy and sometimes I take funny derailing too far.  When I get warned, it stings but I don't take it personally as if a Mod was out to get me.  I broke a rule and got punished for it in a very small way.  I can still go about my daily postings and live my life off the site.  I DON'T NEED TO AVENGE MY POST!

Anyway, just my thoughts on this again.  Much respect to the mods who patiently go over this over and over again.

I need a bacon sandwich.


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