Next month marks my tenth anniversary on the SDMB. As best as I can recall, since joining, I have never pitted, or even criticized, a moderator (although I once asked why the rules of Great Debates seemed not to apply to a certain poster). So, I hope it’s clear that I am not one to complain about the mods here. Indeed, I can only begin to imagine what it must be like to be constantly lambasted, knowing that whatever decision you make is gonna piss someone off (and please spare me the pointing out of how I am thereby contradicting myself by opening this thread). Having said that, there reaches a point where even an unpaid, overworked, and unthanked volunteer is fair game for condemnation.
I am speaking of Czarcasm and her (I think she’s a ‘she’) actions in this thread (a poll about whether you think Obama has the country’s best interest at heart). She locked it down. Why? Because people weren’t just voting, they were, get this, debating:eek:
Did the OP’er complain? I don’t think so; his/her responses in the thread gave no clue that he/she was displeased at the way the thread had evolved. Did the debate engender profanity-laced vitriol inappropriate for IMHO? No, no more than many, many others. Was the thread closed to offload the SDMB server? No, in fact, Czarcasm encouraged the offending posters (one of whom received a “moderator warning” for debating, btw) to start a new thread in GD, increasing the load if anything. Other than to enforce an unduly narrow, literal interpretation of the forum guidelines, her lockdown served no purpose.
I recognize that a ‘guiding hand’ can be needed on the boards and often fulfills an important role. In this case, though, that hand did nothing more than smack down a spontaneously emerging discussion (OK call it a debate if you want) that, if anything, should have been supported (“fighting ignorance” and all that).
I really meant what I said about the mods having a tough time. And, I am serious when I say that it pains me to open this thread. But, come on, you’ve gotta have some flexibility, especially when sticking strictly to the rules is going to cut off legitimate discussion.
P.S. One brief comment on Czarcasm’s final statement upon closing the thread (“will decide future of political polls in IMHO”). Is she suggesting that because people debated, and didn’t simply vote and then keep their mouths shut, that “political polls” may now be prohibited? I hope I have misinterpreted that.