No Pit for mods

Actually, I can see how this sounds a bit childish. :D:o

IIRC there was the initial decision to move all mod complaints to the Pit, long before the ATMB-only move (and civil rules that followed). If my memory is correct (hint hint; chime in and set me straight if it isn’t), I think that was the largest mistake with regards to rules, even the silly umbrage against Pit language restrictions.

It pretty much gave rise to the Usual Suspects here, the shrill, fluid cadre of posters who do their best to dance on/across the line of ATMB demeanour in every thread about mod action.

I think you’d find it pretty much impossible to staff the Pit in that case, as forum assignments tend to be based on what forums each mod feels most familiar and at ease with. I know I’d never have accepted a position as a Pit mod if one of the requirements were that I was no longer allowed to participate in the Pit, and if the requirement were added, I’d almost certainly resign.

I, for one, add some absolutely sick burns when I participate in a pile-on.

I’m not a professional.

Someone questioned my impartiality once.


In my defense, Thursday and Friday were snow days, so I was all discombobulated. And also, beer.

Because the majority of mod actions are justified. Thus, the one who is modded is wasting everyone’s time by complaining publicly.

And a significant number who complain have personal issues, which was not only the reason they were modded in the first place, but becomes the factor by which their complaint becomes an incoherent rant where, in the end, they become philosophical proponents of anarchy, because that’s the last refuge of defense for their offense. Then when they lose, they look for vengeance against the mod who ‘wrongly’ modded them and so they then pile on to every public complain about that mod.

Once the complainer takes their complaint public, it’s now a matter of saving face publicly and not about a reasonable discussion of policy. It also makes the complainer, when they’re in the wrong, a target of scorn.

So what about when the mod action is not justified? Private messages with the mod with recourse to the admin or the whole mod team, but again, privately. This takes the sail out of the need to save face publicly. And it allows the user and mod to discuss things without the forces of public scrutiny and comment that can make sides dig in.

Mind you, I don’t mind public discussion of policy on a theoretical level. It’s individual indiscretions which I don’t think serves a purpose by publicly debating.

If I were modding, there’d be a whole lot of deleting of posts that crossed the line so as to take things out of the public forum immediately.

Actually, I see moriah’s point about why it may be more beneficial to make moderator complaints private.

Anyways, what I was trying to say is there should be some room to question and/or discuss moderator actions whether it’s publicly or privately. It shouldn’t be like a total tyranny where whatever the moderator says can’t be questioned is in total power. That’s just not fair to the other posters.

Thanks for further explaining what you posted earlier; I misunderstood and took it the wrong way.

This is a very good point. I have reversed a number of warnings when a poster contacted me by PM and offered an explanation or apology. If your objective is to get a moderating action changed, then by far the best strategy is to contact the mod in question in private (or possibly another mod).

While I have also reversed warnings or other actions after a poster has taken a complaint public, this is less likely to be effective. The reason is not so much saving face, but that in the majority of cases public complaints are not about getting the warning reversed. Instead they are public posturing in order to garner sympathy from other posters, or to take a poke at a moderator they don’t like. The poster rarely admits that they might have been at fault or apologizes. Since the reason we issue warnings is to ensure that a particular behavior doesn’t continue, if the poster doesn’t acknowledge it would be counterproductive to reverse it.

The first few years I after I became a moderator complaints were still in the Pit. Although I accepted this as part of being a moderator, it always struck me as an odd policy even when I was a regular poster. What organization or business in the real world permits staff to be publicly abused for actions they take as part of their duties? Polite complaints are generally acceptable, but if you shout insults at an umpire, referee, cop, bartender, waiter, or other staff you will generally find yourself bounced from the establishment or even in jail. I don’t know why some people think they have a sacred right to be abusive to staff here, when this is something that is almost never seen IRL.

And that it is between 0400 and 0600 hours, during the atumnal equinox in the Year of the Dragon.

And you Americans say you have no freedom to criticize!

This topic came up in the other thread. Czarcasm gave me a response and I wanted to give it time to percolate. So of course this thread is started immediately. :wink:

When you first started, all moderator complaints were required to be in the Pit. There was no civil discussion of moderator actions, only Pitting. Trying to be civil in there was useless because it was The Pit.

The difference being proposed now is a dichotomy I’ve been suggesting: If you wish to question a decision or discuss an action, do it in ATMB and do it politely. If you wish to bitch about a decision, you can pit the mod, but there is no expectation that anyone will do anything about it, or even read your thread. Any bitching in ATMB can then be moderated more heavily, because there is a forum for that.

To me, it is weird that we have a forum where people can flame each other, but we don’t allow one category of flaming. Why not? The same excuse for being able to flame other posters applies to being able to flame moderators for moderator actions. That whole release valve thing that applies to other posters has to apply to moderating as well, doesn’t it?

The flipside that was pointed out was the appearance that moderators may build up grudges in the Pit and then carry them around in their moderation. I don’t know that it would be any worse than it is now. See Oakminster’s post above. But it could be worse. Anything that changes the dynamic can affect the board in ways not anticipated.

Why, exactly? As I said, there is no expectation of this in real life situations, or on most other message boards that I am aware of. Why should it be different here?

The expectation that this very unusual policy should be permitted seems to me to be an artifact of the history of this particular board. Are there other moderated boards on which abuse of staff is permitted (aside from the spinoff boards of this one, which share its history)?

So don’t staff it. Let Pit reports go to all mods, so the first one to see a poster has dropped the dreaded cunt-bomb can swoop in and not issue a warning, or move a thread to the fluffy bunny forum, but otherwise there is no mod assigned there.

As things stand, despite the technical rule that mods can be pitted for their actions as posters, they really are pretty much immune to pitting. Yet they joyfully jump on the bandwagon to hurl invective at posters they don’t like. It’s cowardly.

Damn. I musta missed those non-pits of twickster. :rolleyes:

Many boards don’t allow flaming of members at all, why do we? There’s no expectation in real life that cursing and yelling at each other is acceptable. But it is here. So why do moderators get an exception for their moderating?

As I said, separate the discussion from the flaming. Moderators are not required to participate in the flaming. They can safely ignore it. It is in a completely different forum.

When they do so, they do so as posters, not moderators. You can thus flame back at them as posters.

So how does allowing mods to participate in the Pit add value to the board?

Just speaking personally, if I had my own board I wouldn’t allow it. I do understand why it’s allowed here. But because we allow flaming of people for their actions as posters (whether they are staff or regular members) I don’t see a good reason to allow flaming for actions taken by staff in their official capacity.

How does having any member participate in the Pit “add value” to the board?

It allows some to blow off a bit of steam, and perhaps helps to minimize hijacks of threads in other forums.

If we do participate in the Pit as posters, we’re subject to retaliatory insults as well. We’re not protected from insults when participating in the Pit.

I agree, on both counts. I have never been happy with us allowing personal Pits full of nasty invective, and Pitting the staff for their official actions isn/t a good idea either.