Mod Retaliation

In a recent response by a moderator to a Doper at ATMB, the moderator made statements very similar to the ones I am about to post. I am not on the side on the Doper in his contention that the moderator closed a prior thread because of religious bias. And I take no position on whether the prior thread was closed fairly or unfairly.

But in a follow up thread, Dex said that Moderators are not to personally attack other Dopers. Do these statements attack the poster or his words? I submit that they attack the poster.

  1. You want to invent issues. (Judges motives, accusation of dishonesty)

  2. You are carrying on a little crusade. (Dismissive of the poster’s issues)

  3. I will not play your game. (Accusation of dishonesty)

  4. You are pouting. (Treating like a child)

Dex, if you think that these insults are about the poster, please take another look at what Tom actually said. I have removed any that were about what the poster said..

“Inventing issues” is just as much an accusation of lying as any other. He would have been justified in giving a warning for it in GD. It is a personal insult.

Tom would be showing a lack of integrity if he claims that he did not mean that response to be insulting to intention.

Dex, do you think that anyone mistook ScissorJack for a Moderator?

You gave him two warnings for that? Please reconsider. His posts were the only thing that kept a civil tongue on my keyboard. Well, you know what I mean.

One would have to be autistic to think (s)he was impersonating a moderator. Utterly bizzare warnings.

Be that as it may, Dex was pretty clear that the warnings were for disregarding his instructions to stop.

I question the wisdom of the warnings as well, but I think this issue pales in comparison to the larger one outlined in Zoe’s OP.

It seems relatively straightforward to me, Zoe.
[ul][li]Mods are not allowed to insult posters.[/li][li]tomndebb is a mod.[/li][li]intention is a poster[/li][li]tomndebb addressed the remarks in question to intention[/li][li]tomndebb did not receive a Warning[/li][li]Ergo, the remarks in question were not insults (and such remarks are not “being a jerk”).[/ul][/li]So the remarks in question must not violate any rules, and we should feel free to make similar remarks, to another poster or to the mods, as we please.

Or else there is some flaw in my logic (although I cannot see one), and it** is **against the rules. My experience, however, is that the mods in general (and tomndebb in particular) cannot or will not explain what the rule is, except after a poster (especially one with whom he disagrees) violates the rule. Often tomndebb will then post something expressing his anger at the poster for not violating the rule and semi-officially warning him or her not to continue not violating the rule or he or she will receive an official Warning for not doing so.

My only advice to you would be to be careful to employ remarks such as these only at posters with which tomndebb disagrees. Or else, if you can get enough other posters to all violate the rules together in a pile-on (against a poster with which tomndebb disagrees) then the rules no longer matter and no action will be taken (other than to lock the thread once the poster has learned not to post in defense of positions tomndebb doesn’t like).


Wait, are you saying that these types of statements are personal attacks and should be forbidden anywhere outside The BBQ Pit? e.g. if someone says to me in GD or IMHO “You are carrying on a little crusade” or “You want to invent issues” I should report the post?
That seems way too strict to me. Maybe it works that way now but from my reading of the board, a statement like that outside the Pit would not warrant moderator intervention.

Or did you mean that those types of statements should be OK for posters, but not for moderators?

Well, maybe I’m mistaken, but as I said in my previous post, I would be surprised if a comment such as one of those that Zoe had in her post would get anyone a warning outside the Pit.

ETA: on re-read, I see that Zoe clearly meant that those comments should be forbidden to all posters, so I can withdraw that question in my first post in this thread. I still think that forbidding those types of statements is too draconian of a guideline for moderating.

That seems way too strict to me too, but that’s the way the rule’s been enforced in the past. See, for example, Dex admonishing Giraffe for calling another poster’s actions “henpecking.”

Bottom line is that the whole “attack the post and not the poster” rule is egregiously stupid. It rewards rules-lawyers who can say pretty much anything so long as it’s phrased properly, and penalizes posters not in the know for saying anything that could be interpreted as mildly derogatory.

And, as I think Zoe is pointing out, the rule is inconsistently applied.

Whether Zoe would prefer that all those comments be forbidden to all posters I’ll let her answer, but my personal opinion is that the rule should be revamped, since the implementation results in goofy decisions based not on how insulting a post is, but on how carefully it’s crafted to adhere to the rule itself.

That is pretty much what Zoe has mentioned in the past and Shodan apparently agrees with her. Moderators are merely targets in their world.

Aside from the issue of claims of dishonesty, for which there is a rule explicit to GD that was proposed, discussed, and agreed upon by the membership, not imposed by the staff, none of my comments would have gotten my attention as a Mod in GD regardless of the authors or subjects, unless they appeared to by part of a broader threat of a hijacking. (Many of Shodan’s posts in GD are limited to exactly those sort of comments.)

It is amusing to see that Zoe is horrified by my rebuttal of one poster’s false charges and insults that were directed against me in ATMB, none of which received Warnings, while she is quite happy to accept that other posters may insult me in ATMB without any response.
Shodan is simply joining in his typical rush to invent complaints against me whenever the topic arises.

This is pretty obviously false and stupid. Arnold Winkelried has it correct; you don’t.

No, this whole thing is just your overheated imagination, driven by your desperate need to invent complaints against me,

We saw this recently, when you apparently did not read my posts for content, and falsely accused me of calling another poster a liar. Same thing here - you are mischaracterizing Zoe’s post, even after it is explained to you.

Fortunately, your post is stupid, this is obvious, and you are pouting about it.


As noted, Shodan is simply joining in his typical rush to invent complaints against me whenever the topic arises. :smiley:

As you your weaseling on your accusation of lying, here is the post:

You simply quoted a poster and asserted that “this” was a lie. Perhaps you intended to be clearer, but your actual post is an accusation of lying directed at another poster.

No, I did not.

For the second time running, even after it is explained to you, you refuse to understand.

Arnold Winkelried points out where you misread Zoe. You ignore it. I point out, twice, where you misread me. You ignore it.

As mentioned, this is driven by your desperate need to invent complaints against those with whom you disagree. This is one of the several reasons why the posts you create as moderator are so stupid and inept.

You really are a very poor moderator. This has been pointed out several times in the last month or so. You enjoin posters against behavior in which you engage. You alternate between telling others not to question poster’s motives, and telling other posters that their motive are bad. You flagrantly mischaracterize posts and ignore correction. You set up arbitrary and inconsistent rules, and then when I am careful to abide by them, complain that I am not breaking the rules so you can warn me.

All this has been cited in the past, and you have ignored it. You will ignore this too, and repeat your false statements.


tom, you have the short end of the stick. The whole McCain (mis)quoting Mao started with this. Following the discussion from there makes it clear that Dunn is the one being called a liar, not any Doper.

Stop trying to confuse the issue with FACTS, man! :smack:

I looked up that post for my own curiosity, and I see that Giraffe said “Carol’s incredibly loaded OP and constant henpecking of the mods.” I don’t know that I would have given a warning for that if I were a mod, but in my opinion this is worse than what tomndebb said, mainly due to the modifiers. I base my estimate in part on my experience as a married man:
when I tell my wife “why do you do this?” she gets much less upset than when I say “why do you always do this?” The always makes her very irritated.
So in my case I would disagree with you that Giraffe’s comments were equivalent to what tomndebb said. In any case, I personally don’t worry about these things too much. If I were concerned about it, I would just avoid comments on the thin side of the line. IMHO the better behaviour is to think “For me this is a personal insult, I won’t use it” than to have the attitude “well if that poster can say it then so can I.” Also I think that many posters are too thin-skinned. If someone insults you, report it if you must, and then ignore it, you don’t have to answer in kind or get angry about it.

What kind of rule do you propose to replace it, that would not be subject to “rule-lawyering?” I thought that “you can attack the post but not the poster” was a pretty good guideline for GD. Further restricting what is allowed in GD would (in my guess) raise more complaints than get kudos. Witness the recent kerfluffle when the Powers That Be announced that people should be less nasty in The Pit.

Actually, I did not misunderstand. I am not issuing you a Warning or arguing that you are not correct. I simply noted that there was enough ambiguity in your clumsy syntax that your claim is not a dead certain thing.

Actually, here you are misrepresenting me. First, Arnold may or may not be correct in his interpretation and I am not going to argue against him.
However, my point was different: regardless how you wish to explain it, my statements stand as an accurate description of both posters’ general tendencies when posting. Zoe, while denying that it is her intent, always argues from the perspective that Mods have no recourse to insults and you simply wander around looking for any opportunity to make up insults against me.

It’s certainly clear enough to those of us who have no beef with Shodan and/or paid attention to where “liar” was first used in regards to the whole McCain/Mao thing.

(emphasis mine)

Interesting attempt at spin. :rolleyes:

Tom, have I ever suggested that moderators should not criticize posters? Have I ever said that criticism by a mod should be limited to the Pit? Do you have a cite for my saying that personal attacks should be reported to a mod? Do all of the mods complain to you about my making them “targets”? You claim was dishonest.

Arnold, more than one mod has said that moderators are not supposed to insult other Dopers in ATMB. I think the most recent was an Administrator yesterday:

Post 93
I stand by my statement that saying that someone is “inventing issues” in Great Debates is a claim of dishonesty. In other words, you are saying that they are making things up or lying. That is my opinion.

Did you try reporting the insults? That’s what I was always told to do. But you are mistaken that insults went without any response:

Post #37

And again in [url=]]([url= Post #58

I’m sorry about the failed links. They are all in the same thread as the link that works.