On the topic of moderator bias

Or if the facts say so? The original comment that this was about:

That’s talking about gun fetishists, whether they post here or not.

The link that you provided:

That’s about posters, not about others. Apples and oranges, cheese and chalk, as I said before.

I’m not missing any point.

First, I agree with what **Stranger **stated (the idea of mod bias in general, I didn’t bother to form an opinion on the current discussion because it’s a waste of time).

Second, I’ve been around here long enough to know that something like “mod bias” will never be admitted by the Administrators or Mods on this board. They will not cannabalize their own. To complain about it becomes an exercise in futility and frustration. That doesn’t mean I don’t agree with your second paragraph in its entirety.

As an example, **Marley23 ** states in this thread that

Now, I don’t have a personal gripe with Marley23, but just read that posting. This is what frustrates people. Marley23 thought a warning would have been deserved, but decided to go the lighter route and give a warning. Why? Because no one reported the post? That’s just stupid, and makes people who are looking for consistency pull their hair out. How about this idea? **Dio **has been around for what, 40K posts? Can we assume then, that **Dio **knows better? If an official is warranted, issue it, regardless of whether or not someone reported the post. Don’t take the easy way out and say something inane like “since no one reported it, I’m not going to issue a warning.” That’s called inconsistency, which can be interpreted as bias, and is why people get upset. Moderating is important, but on this board, their are certain posters that always get more slack than others. It isn’t right, but that’s the way it is.

There are also mods who are more heavy handed than others. So if **Marley23 **decides not to give an official warning, that’s his right as a mod. But it doesn’t stop another mod from issuing a warning under the same or similar circumstances in another thread or forum.

If you are looking for consistent Modding, go elsewhere. This isn’t the place. And if you think complaining about this is going to change anything, good luck with that.

Ergo, love it or leave it, (as you put it) are your only true options. Changing mod behavior? Don’t make me laugh. But yes, a third option does exist where you can post here and make your points. And in a perfect world, that would work. But we are dealing with the SDMB and TPTB.

Let me know when they actually remove a moderator for poor moderating, or actually warn/suspend/ban a poster that has consistently behaved as an ass on these boards (and who is given the benefit of the doubt more often than not), and I will happily change my mind.

Just send me a PM when it happens. I’m not going to hold my breath.


A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, as Thoreau, Emerson, one of those guys, said. I’d much rather have mods exercising their judgment than automatically rubberstamping warnings for every possible infringement, A software program could do that, although God forbid it ever should.

Of course you’ll get inconsistencies but in the long run what we lose on the swings we’ll gain on the roundabouts, so it’s all good. And if nobody reports a post it could just be that no one was offended by it, and I see nothing wrong with a moderator taking that fact into account when deciding whether a warning should be issued.

I think we have a missed connection here: I made a note to Diogenes the Cynic based on post #309 (link here). The post you mentioned in the OP, the insult to Argent Towers, was #198 (link here). Nobody reported that post, and as a result, I didn’t see it. That post was more insulting on an individual level, and if I’d seen it, I probably would have upgraded to a warning.

When I’m deciding whether or not to give a warning, it doesn’t matter if the post has been reported. The post either deserves a warning or not. But if there were earlier insults upthread that were not reported, I may not have seen them. Usually I read an entire thread before I hand out any warnings. But that’s not really practical with a five or six (or eight) page thread. So I didn’t see some of the posts that had come before.

Dude (or dude-ette), you ain’t Thoreau. Or Emerson. And get back to us when it’s YOU that’s been zapped by mod inconsistency.


Read my post again. I have no problem with you personally or your moderating style. I have no idea what you are trying to defend yourself over. I based my posting on your post, #13 I believe. That’s it.

Your explaination is not what you said in that post. Read it again. Maybe it’s not what you meant, but it reads as if it was reported to you, it may have received a warning. Since it wasn’t, you didn’t, and decided to go the easy way with a note. That’s bullshit, in my opinion, but since I’m not a mod, I can’t issue any warnings. Whether you read every posting in your moderation forum is unknown to me. I don’t mod, and I wouldn’t want the responsibility to read every thread and every post. But, you can’t honestly see why people get frustrated? If you are telling us that in a long thread you don’t read all six or eight pages, then your moderation is by definition inconsistent. (not that I can’t actually blame you for not wanting to slog through an 8-page thread).

I didn’t see post #198 until Stranger On A Train discussed it in the OP. If someone had reported that one, I might have given a warning based on that post (or just warned Diogenes the Cynic based on his body of work in that thread). Nobody reported that post, so I didn’t see it. I responded to post #309 alone. (I think a separate post by Diogenes the Cynic was also reported, but I didn’t think any rules were broken in that one.)

We don’t have the time, or even close to enough time. That’s why we ask people to report posts to us: to call our attention to things we might otherwise miss. We’ve never claimed to read all the posts in any forum.

When people complain about inconsistent moderation I think they’re usually talking about warnings being given in some situations but not in others - not when a mod fails to read all 250 posts in a thread before deciding to give a note or a warning.

I’m not surprised. It would be a full-time responsibility.

I would agree with this assessment. However, by not reading each entry, you cannot, by definition, be consistent. You only get to see what you read, and react to what has been reported to you. Posts that may (or do) cross the line may go unreported for a number of reasons. That’s not your fault, it’s just a fact.

Misread header as On the topic of moderator bites.

If a moderator bites, I recommend saying “NO! BAD mod!” in a firm voice, then ignoring hi/r completely for ten minutes. It works with my cat, anyway…

Sorry. I didn’t mean to miss this.

OK, you didn’t see post #198 until this thread. Fair enough. Now that you did, is a warning not warranted? You say you MIGHT have given a warning on THAT POST alone IF someone had reported it. Or given him a warning based on his body of work in that thread. Fine. Based on what I’ve read, you did NEITHER. You put out a moderator note.

See the difference?

I didn’t assign any blame. And as far as consistency goes, I think the limitations are obvious: we can only see what we see, either based on the threads we’re reading on our own, on the reports we get. You’re not going to get more consistency than that. In MPSIMS and Cafe Society, my policy was to always read an entire thread before weighing in. In Great Debates I don’t think that’s going to be practical, but when it is, I’ll do it.

That said, when you see a thread that asks why a certain post didn’t draw a warning, the answer is usually ‘nobody reported it.’ I think a lot of people do assume we see everything, and we don’t. That doesn’t make it anyone’s fault, but I think it needs to be said.

We usually don’t go back and make late calls like that, especially since Diogenes the Cynic already received mod notes about other comments in the thread.

yeah, *this *makes sense. :rolleyes:

The thing about the “personal insults” rules on this board is that they are, if you are committed, quite easy to get around. All you have to do is be just general enough, and use just enough weasel words, to suggest that you’re not offering a direct personal insult aimed at a specific poster. If you can manage to do this, you’ll be able to include a surprising variety of insults in your non-Pit threads.

Also, you get a double bonus, because not only do you get away with insulting people while just remaining within the letter of the law, but your ability to do this will eventually cause your targets to get frustrated with your behavior, call you an “asshole” (or something similar), and then get hit with a warning.

I was actually on the wrong end of a similar case last week. I ended up with a warning, which i deserved because i threw a direct personal insult at someone outside the Pit. But the behavior that led to the insult was right in line with what i described above. I said as much to the moderator in question, in a PM i sent:

I still feel that way.

The OP of this thread suggests it’s about moderator bias. This might be the case in some specific instances, but i actually think it’s more a product of the rules themselves.

Yes. Fer shure.
ACCEPTABLE: What you said is a pile of rubbish.
NOT ACCEPTABLE: You are a pile of rubbish.

So, as long as you’re focused on what someone said (rather than who they are) you can get away with lots. That’s always been the rules and the way we’ve enforced them. Nothin’ new.

I think it’s just common sense. He’s already received two mod notes. I’m not going to go back and upgrade someone else’s comment into a warning.

why not? I’ve seen someone just recently get a warning removed. We aren’t talking about a week of time passing here. This looks like hours.

No, the issue is that you don’t want to look like you made a mistake.

Again, I don’t care how you moderate, Marley23. But you can’t put a sweater on a pig and think no one will notice.

We remove warnings once in a while, yes. That’s not the same as increasing someone else’s note into a warning.

The post I said might have deserved a warning was made at noon on Saturday. And yes, I think that’s too long. The thread’s already been moderated and I think people have a right to expect we’re not going to go back and give them warnings that way. That decision’s already been made.

What about:

What you said is a lie.
You are a liar.

Would the first one be acceptable? Because that’s a far closer approximation of the situation that i presented in my post.

It’s a lot grayer than your simplistic black-and-white justification indicates.