On the topic of moderator bias

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to get over. I think I’ve been reasonable in answering your questions.

That’s my fault: I hadn’t seen post #198 prior to this thread, so I also didn’t know tomndebb had written a note of his own around one page later which specifically addressed the tenor of Diogenes the Cynic’s comments. I saw that mod note earlier tonight and mentioned it in my latest post.

The sequence was this:

Diogenes the Cynic made some insulting comments in post #198 of that thread, and tomndebb responded with a mod note. Diogenes the Cynic made some borderline comments later in the thread and I responded with a mod note. Mods responded to both situations. I’m not going to issue a warning for a post tomndebb had already answered. Acknowledging I could have given a warning for the other post we talked about - ‘you’re off your meds’ is rude - I don’t see a reason to revise the decision now.

And I didn’t say it hadn’t happened, but I haven’t seen it. tomndebb has been moderating here for almost five years, so if it’s happened on a few occasions, it’s very rare. The initial call could have gone either way, but I don’t see a compelling reason to change it. Could I have responded differently? Yes, it could have gone either way. Do I need to go back and change it? I don’t see a reason.

If you’re going to accuse people of weaseling and lying in response to your questions, you’re not going to get answers to your questions.

c’mon. I didn’t call anyone a liar, and I only accused Clinton of weaseling.

I think I laid out my frustration in my last post. I think you understood (finally) where I was coming from.

I’m done here.

It fits it exactly. In a Pit thread on a different topic, a poster attacked the staff on the grounds that they reported posts for which we took no action. This was in a public discussion in the Pit where I had made a completely different observation, prompting the attack. I was wrong to respond as I did, but the case remains that individual Reports are judged on their own merits and I was explicitly commenting on the value of his Pit comments in light of the cumulative effect of his reporting behavior and his personal attacks in the Pit.

And yet, I was not acting in my Moderator capacity in that exchange and I revealed no specific Report that he has ever submitted, while you continue to pretend that it is a demonstration of my actions as a Mod. I have repeatedly asked for actual citations for where personal views have interfered with my Modding and have repeatedly been taken to task for posts I made as a poster in fora I do not Moderate.

I agree. Do so.

How about Dio’s weasel-wording which (in essence) said:

“People who believe XYZ are a pile of rubbish. O golly! People in this thread believe that? Jeepers!”

Stranger’s right. There are posters who get more breaks than others, and posters who get fewer. Dio is one of them. Der Trihs is another. Some people say that I’m one, but the fact that I was suspended over the piddliest of shit is some evidence to the contrary.

In any case, I do agree with Stink Fish Pot about one point especially (and I also agree with him generally), and that is that there are times — really, too many times — when warnings or cautions or mod intervention of some kind examine only the contextual material. To take a familiar example (me), my suspension occured when TubaDiva got wind of a pile-on in progress in aisle 9 (of the Pit).

(I know there is at least one user guest who doesn’t like me talking about this story, but I don’t care. So…)

She did not bother to check my actual post, but instead took her reports and her cursory look at a few posts that themselves mistrepresented my own, and then sent me an e-mail. Keep in mind, here, that Tuba has before pardoned herself from her duties by saying that she was away or just didn’t check her email when it involved people emailing her to get things done. So, with that in mind, she sent me an email. I use my Yahoo address here. I check it once in a blue moon. In fact, I think the only reason I got the account was to register here.

So she sent me an email to this address, and it just so happened to be right around one of those times that I checked Yahoo. Her email to me was not even quite one day old. It was an email spelling out that there were mods (or admins or whatever) reviewing my membership status, and that I needed to respond “quickly”. I responded to her within 24 hours — a far superior response time than she herself has admitted to having. And yet. Get this. She told me that because I did not respond soon enough, she had no choice but to suspend me.

A Southern Gentleman of less grace than I would have wanted to smack some “Hello!” into her. She never even read my post. She only read ABOUT my post. It was the famous one about an off-hand, practically parenthetical implication that the doctor who was my nut-case GP at the time told me that he thought it would be a miracle if I made it past two years. She enforced an ad hoc rule formulated by an ad hoc committee. There had never before (or since) been a rule against mentioning facts about one’s health or medical prognosis. Lynn Bodoni has recently done it, in fact.

That was about five or seven years ago. My new team of physicians (put together, incidentally, by my wife) is each an outstanding member of his peer group. My psychiatrist has written several peer review articles, and is currently seeking a private grant to pursue his hypothesis that a vitiman B6 deficiency can cause mild depression. These are doctorates from Duke University, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard. It’s an absolutely crack team.

So, I know what is (and was) wrong with me. I’m becoming much healthier now. I’ve lost 80 pounds, and still losing. (No fancy diet. I just eat what I like, except less of it. And I just do chores around the house and yard for “exercise”.)

What was wrong with me (among other things) was anxiety. (Yes, it is a *medical *condition.) My anxiety, combined with my pariticular kind of OCD, led me to take matters far too seriously and try to fight my way out of every pile-on. It was this constant fighting, even against people who were trying to help me, that left me with reputations like “martyr”, or “drama queen”, and so on.

So anyway, the point is that what Tuba et al judged was not what I actually did — which was nothing different from the same philosophical principle I have espoused since my arrival here ten years ago. And that is that the universe is not real, and therefore nothing to fret about existentially. If one’s body is dying, then it does not mean that his essence is dying as well.

I tried to reason with her, but she was Bush-esque with her stuck-in-the-mud mode, standing firm and unbendable, unwilling to change her mind once a decision was made.

Despite the fact that I had a good time during my suspension, and now with my meds I won’t draw pile-ons, and therefore won’t create the situation Stink Fish Pot is describing right now ever again, in all likelihood. So I have a very different perspective now on a lot of things than I had then. But that perspective remains: warnings, cautions, suspensions, and maybe even bans are sometimes the result of seeing a few posts in a shitstorm, rather than the whole backstory of the thread.

You can’t read all the threads, you say? Well, I recommend that you read at least the ones containing posts that are brought to your attention that happen also to be ones in which you are going to issue cautions and warnings. And if you can’t do that, then either you shouldn’t have volunteered to moderate or else you need more moderators. Stink Fish Pot is right. You shouldn’t apply your demerit scheme, whatever it may be, to posts about posts or to rumors or PMs or reported posts. Don’t suspend Mr. Smith just because there are people coming toward the mission waving torches and shouting things.

When warnings and suspension are involved, you should exmaine the facts, not the rumors. You should read the goddam thread, and that’s all I have to say about that.

Moderation around here is totally fucking capricious. Some poor downtrodden mod has a bad day and next thing you know they’re pissing in someone’s cornflakes.

Or you could just put it like that.

The last 3 posts were fantastic :smiley:

One of the posters in question is at it again. In [post=11830612]this post[/post], Diogenes the Cynic makes a statement that is so far beyond the pale, so intentionally, determinedly incendiary that it can only be interpreted as a blatant act of trolling for reactions. And yet, despite active participation in the thread by one moderator, not a single admonishment has been made regarding this statement or the poster who delivered it. Not a single word toward, “Hey, might not be appropriate, maybe you shouldn’t say things like, ‘The cops just had it coming,’ just f.y.i. Thanks, Mngmnt.” Seriously? And it isn’t as if behaving like this in a consistent, goading, and yes trolling manner isn’t a bannable offense, as stated [post=7697084]here[/post].

There is really no reason that this sort of behavior should be tolerated and continue unabated. If the moderation doesn’t make some serious effort to control, constrain, or waving hands and making ominous sounds as dire and problematic as it may be, suspend the individual in question until he can behave in polite society and not crap his way through every thread, I’m just going to start responding in complementary manner.


If you want to teach your dog to stop shitting on the carpet, you’re supposed to rub his nose in it immediately. If you do it afterwards he doesn’t learn anything, and he’ll still rub shit on your new jeans.

I was on board with the rest of your rant but… that’s in the Pit. In any case, you are misquoting him.

It started in MPSIMS, migrated over to Great Debates, and then was relegated to The Pit without a single moderator popping up and making even the briefest note other than to pass off this skid-marked thread like a veritable hot potato.


I agree, I think the thread should have been moderated like a normal thread in Great Debates. It should not have just been tossed into the trash, where it could turn into a free-for-all. I think there was a legitimate topic to be discussed there, even if emotion was running high (including my own.)

Well, fair enough, but I fail to see how implying that some dead cops (none of whom, presumably, were posters, or family thereof) “had it coming” is any more offensive than wishing for Mike Huckabee to commit suicide.

I also think it should have been kept out of the pit; there was no reason to put it there.

Did you report it? In general, the mods don’t do anything unless someone reports a post.

Why do you think it got moved so quickly? Yes, I reported it, and received a reply that was essentially that the poster violated no rules and everything he said was a-okay with the moderators. shrug I’ve said my piece about it, and as even a cursory search of threads by this poster demonstrates a history of inflammatory, intentionally goading responses that clearly violate the “Don’t be a jerk,” policy under which several posters have been suspended, I’m just at a loss to why this particular poster is handled with kid gloves.


As I said in the thread proper (which was perhaps the wrong place for it), I personally didn’t see anything GD about it. It belongs either in the Pit or MPSIMS.

It doesn’t belong in the pit. I guess that leaves MPSIMS. The pit is for where people want to insult each other and be dicks, not where a bunch of people group hug about some cops getting shot except for one or two posters who think the pigs should put down.

Really? You think that it should have stayed in GD?

Your own first post in that thread, which was also the third post in the thread as a whole, was:

This is not a GD post. It’s a stupid rant that does not offer the slightest useful contribution to any sort of “legitimate topic.” Make no mistake, if that thread got moved to the Pit, your own contributions were largely to blame.


I think MPSIMS is the place for it. GD threads need some sort of actual premise for debate. If someone wants to start a debate about the legal mechanisms surrounding the death penalty, and whether or not the length of time it takes to exhaust appeals is reasonable, then they can start a thread about it. But that thread was started simply to make people aware of the killing of 4 cops. It’s not a GD thread.