A striking example of moderator bias

Sorry to drag up an old thread but I saw what I consider a striking example of moderator bias and didn’t want to start a whole thread about it, and the more recent “moderator bias” threads are locked.

From this post:

Now as I see it, “the Democrats are willing to excuse any and all accusations against Hillary, which would have been a more non-partisan approach” was a direct response to the OP’s “the GOP wants to tear her down as much as possible and this is more a political ploy than anything else” to which it was responding and quoting. Yet Colibri did not seem to see it that way. He quoted doorhinge’s post and said “Moderator Note doorhinge, political potshots like this are not permitted in GQ. No warning issued, but don’t do this again” but passed over the directly comparable quote that it was responding to. (In a later post he returned to the quote from the OP but only said “Since this has strong political implications, let’s move this to GD”. Even at that, it’s not completely clear whether that referred to the accusation about the Republicans or the general issue.)

This is not a big deal. However, it does illustrate - pretty starkly, I think - how someone can view the same thing differently based on how it aligns with their views, which is a topic that comes up every so often. The idea that the Democrats would do anything to defend HRC is a “political potshot”. But the idea that the Republicans would do anything to take down HRC is at worst something with “political implications” and possibly not even that.

Is it possible that doorhinge’s post was reported, and the OP was not, and that Colibri responded to the report?

It’s possible. But doorhinge quoted the OP’s words in his post. Are you suggesting that Colibri didn’t bother to read the entire post that he was moderating?

On second thought, I’m going to make this its own topic. I have chosen a title based on your post, so know that it was written by me, not the OP,…
…however you can report the topic or PM a mod to change the title to anything you wish.

And the basis for creating a new topic is further explained here.

Personally I would rather that you would have just deleted the post entirely. I didn’t want to start a new thread because that carries the connotation that this is big deal that you feel warrants a huge discussion, which I don’t think it is. But this is a topic that people have discussed in the past, and I thought people who had already discussed it might be interested in a concrete example so I figured I’d attach it to a prior discussion.

But I guess that’s not a big deal either. :slight_smile:

Did you not notice that Chihuahua also got a mod note for the same thing, but against Republicans?


Actually, it’s an excellent example of a lack of moderator bias.

Actually, doorhinge’s post was reported, so that was the first one I saw and hence moderated.

I’m suggesting that you might look at all three of my moderator actions, which took place over the span of four minutes, in order to evaluate whether my moderation was biased.

  1. I gave doorhinge a note for an anti-Democratic jab at 5:02 PM.

  2. Checking the next post down, I gave Chihuahua a note for an anti-Republican jab at 5:04 PM. In your eagerness to claim bias, you seem not to have bothered to read the immediately subsequent note.

  3. After issuing the two notes, I checked the OP and saw that the well had already been poisoned, so I moved the entire thread to Great Debates at 5:06 PM.

Just because I don’t mod note every instance of a political jab in a thread, doesn’t mean I’m biased on one side or the other.

I would say that your readiness to claim bias when even casual reading of the thread would reveal there was none indicates your own bias towards seeing bias.:wink:

It is a big deal in that this kind of shit is why the 'Dope is going to hell. Post in GQ that the GOP are all poopy heads? Sure thing! Suggest that the Democrats are less than perfect, honest and upstanding citizens? That’s a paddlin.

Of course, the mods ran off the vast majority of the conservatives/republicans eons ago, so it doesn’t matter much.


Which kinda deflates the whole bias charge, doesn’t it?

Yep. In the same way you missed a mod note immediately below the one you quoted that pokes holes in the accusation of bias.

Again, this sort of accusation simply indicates your own bias.

I’ve been here almost 9 years. I’ve seen several moderator bias threads in ATMB and honestly, I’ve yet to see anyone clearly show examples of moderator bias.

I had seen all three mod notes before posting.

It would be ridiculous to claim that jabs at Republicans are never moderated, and that was not my claim. My point was that directly comparable statements are seen differently depending on which direction they’re aimed at.

In this case, the doorhinge statement was directly comparable to the statement that it quoted. The OP said the Republicans were solely motivated by partisanship and the response was that the Democrats were likewise. So the disparate treatment was a striking example.

As previously noted, the relevant part of the OP was quoted in the post that you modded. Did you not read that before modding the post? I would have assumed that you did. If you say you didn’t then I guess I can’t argue with you, though that seems strange in its own way.

Then your complaint is absurd.

Yes, I did, but as I said I dealt with the issues over a time span of four minutes. I can’t mod everything simultaneously. doorhinge’s comment was inappropriate for GQ, regardless of what he was quoting. I modded that first because it was reported. I modded Chihuahua’s post second because it was immediately adjacent to doorhinge’s.

Having dealt with those two, I proceeded to go to the post that doorhinge had quoted, and saw it was the OP. While I might otherwise have mod-noted it, since it was the OP it required me to move the thread to GD. At this point there wasn’t any reason to issue further mod notes.

As I said, your readiness to jump on this as an example of bias, without taking a moment to consider the totality of the actions I took, betrays an undo readiness on your part to claim bias where there is no evidence of it.

Well in any event, as I’ve said I don’t think this is a big deal and wasn’t intending a major argument about it. I think my assessment is correct, but don’t intend to keep arguing about it. If others agree that’s great and if they don’t that’s fine too.

You’re assessment, as I’ve demonstrated, is completely wrong. I hope you will consider more carefully in the future before making such a bogus accusation.

It appears to be more a function of the one-sidedness of the SDMB as a whole, and not necessarily just of the mods.

Chihuahua’s political jab wasn’t reported. But

Nobody saw fit to report the first jab, because it was a jab at Republicans, and the board as a whole is OK with that. Nor did anyone report the OP, for the same reasons. The jab back at Democrats got reported, and thus came to moderator attention. IOW Dopers are more likely to get away with posts that transgress the rule against politics in GQ if their potshots are against Republicans. Because the other posters overlook it, and so the mods don’t notice.

Don’t know if there is anything to be done about it.

I am not disputing that in this case, the moderation was even-handed. Both jabs were moderated. I am saying that that kind of even-handedness isn’t going to be as common as it might be, if Democrats were as diligent at reporting problematic posts from other Democrats.

Is that avoidable? Probably not.


You have no idea what was reported, and what was not (aside from my revealing that doorhinge’s was). Your assumptions, on the basis of no information, betray your own bias.

Well, you said that doorhinge’s post was reported, and that you only moderated Chihuahua’s after you read the thread after dealing with the reported post.

I assumed you were telling the truth. Was that not the case?

Actually I think it is pretty clear that things happened exactly as I said.



Man, for somebody who gets upset at being called biased you sure are throwing that word around a lot.

You haven’t demonstrated anything.

One might think that a couple things, taken together, might indicate a problem.

#1. Conservatives/republicans left this place in droves.
#2. People see a bias in moderation of conservatives/republicans.

Of course, the easy answer it to claim there is no problem which is par for the course these days at the 'Dope.