All right, I'll ask. Being a jerk via PM?

“The second was for being a jerk (via private message) . She responded by threatening to make an accusation of harrassment by a moderator.” Really? Really? She said because she was warned she was going to accuse **Marley **of mod harassment? To who, exactly? Other mods?

Smells like a bullshit mod overreaction to me, MOL.

I just read the thread and I can’t believe that **Sleeps **was suspended, especially after such uneven and vague modding.

Marley - you should suspend yourself for being a jerk with your mod hat on. Suspended for a PM. To you. ::smh::


Sorry, found the link.

Sorry for not including a link. In this thread, with a link to the offending post, Marley explains his suspension: Sleeps With Butterflies Suspended for A Week - About This Message Board - Straight Dope Message Board

You may not be aware of the rather strict Code of Ethics all message board moderators must sign when they join the MBMA (Message Board Moderators of America), which is the national chapter of the worldwide professional association IAMBM (International Association of Message Board Moderators). If Sleeps were to report Marley to the ethics board, he could be in for a world of hurt…maybe even get his license revoked!

PM technically stands for “Personal Message” – i.e., one sent directly to another person, not posted for the membership at large – not “Private Message”. A person with administrator privileges in the software (not necessarily those with “Administrator” as their board title) can (in terms of software engineering) access PMs. What the board’s policy on such access is, I don’t know – for example, it may be that only Ed Zotti, or someone acting on his instructions, may do so.

And it is always legitimate for someone to forward a PM they received to another, including most particularly a moderator or administrator.

What? My husband moderates a message board (by which I mean he logs in once a month to delete spam) and he never told me about this. :mad: When you see my MPSIMS divorce thread, I’ll say it’s because we grew apart, but really, it’s this.

Thanks for that, Polycarp! This effectively addresses my incredulity that Sleeps “threatened” Marley with anything.

IIRC, Mods are prohibited from reading anyone else’s PMs.

I read that as (s)he was issued a warning for being a jerk, and the warning was issued via PM (which is why they couldn’t link to it as they did for the first warning).

But I may be wrong…

My reading is that she got a regular warning for whatever they though she did wrong in some thread. And then got a week suspension for whatever transpired in PMs.

Right. And whatever transpired in the PM was allegedly some sort of job-preventing “threat” to Marley that involved making a moderator harassment claim to… Cecil Adams?

I’m confused. So Sleeps with Butterflies thought that this threat of a harassment claim actually had any validity? Or she knew it was meaningless and only did it to irritate the moderator because she wasn’t happy about getting a warning?

To be honest I don’t think I have to figure that out, since she didn’t have any kind of credible claim: she asked me a question, I answered it, and then she said any further communication would be construed as harrassment. I assume she was saying she’d complain in ATMB regardless of the fact that there was no validity to it. I don’t think posters are entitled to try to stop mods from doing their job by threatening to cause a problem.

The second one.

Here’s the general sequence of events that lead to this:
Cisco was arguing with Sleeps With Butterflies (among others) in this thread. Cisco gets very insulting and gets warned. I then made the following comment directed at all the other posters:

I figured the thread was moving quickly, so I made a second mod note and addressed Sleeps With Butterflies specifically. Then I logged out for the night.

Cisco and Sleeps With Butterflies kept arguing. Cisco gets another warning, this one from twickster. Sleeps With Butterflies then reported one of her own posts from the same thread. The decision on whether or not she deserved a warning was left to me, since I’d given the instructions about dropping the personal comments. I logged in at around 10 the next morning. It was a little bit of a late flag, which I don’t like to do, but I thought about it andI decided her posts deserved the warning. Sample post:

Even though she’d reported her own post, she didn’t take the warning very well. :stuck_out_tongue: I gave her a second warning for being a jerk in her response to that first warning. She answered by asking about the timing of the warning I’d given, and why I’d been busy posting other threads while her argument with Cisco got out of hand. I pointed out that she was wrong, and she responded by saying not to PM her any further, and any other messages from me would be considered harrassment.

She was making a reference to some other discussions about protracted PM conversations. I guess she thought this would be a clever way to shut me up, but I felt she was continuing to be a jerk. So I asked the staff if they thought a brief suspension was in order. (I initially suggested 24 hours.) Everyone who responded to my question agreed, and most of them suggested a week instead of a day. So that’s what I did.

If she was done talking to me, she could have accepted the warning, or said she was going to dispute it in ATMB, or just not responded, among other things. Making threats and being a jerk is not an option as far as I’m concerned.

You need to grow a thicker skin, mod man.

Marley, are you willing to quote the PM? Like Arnold, I have a difficult time believing that an intelligent woman like Sleeps would threaten a moderator with anything, especially with all the recent high profile ‘I’MA SUE YOU!’ bannings.

Out of respect to Sleeps, I won’t release information from a private message without her express permission, but I will say: anyone who felt ‘threatened’ by the contents of that PM had to work really, REALLY hard in order to get there.

Complaining of harassment is now considered a breach of the rules? Sure, I agree there would have been no grounds for her claim but surely she’s entitled to put her case, however feeble?

Marley is being ridiculously over-sensitive. Moderators should be made of sterner stuff.

Uhh, okay. So if I say “One more BS post outta you, and I’ll construe you as annoying,” that is a threat to complain about you somewhere? She can construe your behavior however the hell she wants.

Uhh, why?

Lemme get this straight. She received a PM about the warning, and in her response she was mean to you, so you responded with a second warning for “being a jerk.” Then some discussion ensued, she didn’t feel like talking to you anymore, and said any further PMs from you she would construe as harassment, which you took to mean she would start a thread about it, which would interfere with your job (somehow), so you suspended her. Zat right?

Aside from how laughable this “being a jerk business is” (She wasn’t nice to me in a PM!), you keep using this word “threat.” I would prefer that you didn’t.

I was going to do a partial quote, but since it’s all of two sentences:

And she got suspended for that?