Resolved: Moderators shouldn't moderate threads they are actively participating in

From the SOTU thread 2/7/23:

State of the Union address Feb. 7, 2023 - Politics & Elections - Straight Dope Message Board

Aspenglow is actively participating from the beginning as a poster. Suggesting that “MAGA Republicans” are likely to pull shenanigans during the speech.

Later, I wondered why Bono was chosen as one of the invited guests. IMHO, celebrities don’t really belong in the same group as Congress, current and former Supreme Court Justices, Senior Military officers, etc. Celebrities are a distraction.

First, Aspenglow gets snarky:

“Does everyone the First Lady invites to the SOTU have to pass your eligibility test?”

And then as a moderator:

“To all, let’s please drop the Bono discussion. He was a guest. The end.”

Of course, let’s drop it, after she got her point across.

Followed by snark about the sound of Governor Sanders’ voice.

Not objecting to the snark. Just that a moderator shouldn’t be determining what constitutes a hijack or other inappropriate behavior in threads they are actively posting in.

Were you as upset about Rush Limbaugh being in attendance a few years back as you clearly are about Bono? Just curious.

This is a perennial complaint by you.

I’m clear on my comparative roles in P&E threads. I checked to see if another P&E moderator was available to moderate that thread before I handled your growing hijack. They weren’t. So it goes sometimes.

Your hijacking is a continuing issue and problem. Were I in your shoes, I’d devote more effort to avoiding doing that than complaining about moderation.

Yes, you wondered. And then you couldn’t stop going on about it. That was the problem. The moderation was appropriate.

What does Rush Limbaugh’s attendance have to do with this?

Resolve, No.

Sorry hit submit too soon.

In all seriousness, the moderator actively involved in the thread is the best informed to moderate the thread. I hate when I need to try and wade into a thread I don’t care about with hundreds of posts. I often miss that someone got egged on to what they did against the rules. It is a lot of work to minimize this.

An active poster declaring “He was a guest. The end” as a moderator is inappropriate, IMHO. It shuts down a discussion that she, personally, doesn’t like.

Personally, I think that “her [Governor Sanders’] voice makes my teeth grind” is not appropriate, but I wouldn’t ask that it be ruled a hijack. Such commentary is part and parcel of P&E.

What you ask is untenable and short sighted. Do you really think I should stop moderating the Ukraine invasion thread as an example. I’m immersed in that thread and occasionally comment as a poster but have managed to keep the thread on topic for a year at this point.

It might look like a hijack if someone kept saying it over and over again, instead of getting back on-topic. I think what was inappropriate, as has already been pointed out to you, was you harping on it.

I try not to moderate threads I’m involved in, if I’m emotionally caught up in it. But What_Exit has a point about a it being easier to moderate if you’ve already read the thread. There’s a balance.

This sounds like a fairly clear cut case, though. In general, one or two comments that are adjacent to the discussion are okay, but a lot of comments from one person are not. (And a lot of comments from a lot of people may be worth breaking into a new thread.)

And now I wasted my time reading your posts in that thread and realize Aspenglow let you off easy. I probably would have warned you for trying yet again to derail a thread with a minor side issue. You’ve been warned about this specific act more than once.

She probably let you off easy as she was an active participant and just wanted you to stop trying to derail the thread. So probably best for you if you don’t get your unreasonable request.

This is my take on it, YMMV.

Question: Does anyone know why Bono was invited?

Answer: His humanitarian efforts and philanthropy. (an actual answer)

Answer: Because he was invited. (not an actual answer)

Me: I don’t think that being a celebrity is reason enough to be included in the SOTU.

Moderator/Poster: Hijack. End of discussion.

What have I missed?

That’s utterly ridiculous. It shuts down something that was clearly and objectively a hijack in a thread about the State of the Union speech. If you can’t see that I don’t know what to say. Also @Aspenglow works hard to keep P&E threads on track, with a good balance of fairness and leniency. You should at least be able to recognize what the topic of a thread is and what is or isn’t relevant. And going on for four posts about Bono in a SOTU thread is clearly NOT relevant.

Really pushing it with your track record. You were hammering a minor and off-topic minutia.

I will confirm this was exactly my thinking. I wish you or raventhief had been around, but I certainly understand why you, in particular, were not. We all of us have regular lives that need looking after.

ETA: I had a discussion with a very senior moderator recently on this very point. I asked if I should refrain from moderating threads in which I am a participant in P&E. His response was that I couldn’t do my job as a moderator in P&E if I did that. I agree. So this is not something that’s going to change.

That’s the thing. I wasn’t trying to derail the thread. I asked a legitimate question, got one answer and one non-answer, and then gave my opinion. For the life of me, I can’t see how that’s a hijack.

And if it is, so is commenting about the sound of Governor Sanders’ voice in the original thread or bringing up Rush Limbaugh in this thread.

Now I think you being deliberately obtuse. It wasn’t the original question that was the problem. It was your inability to let it go after you got a couple of answers. That becomes a hijack. You seemed to just want to whine about Bono and I can well believe that if you hadn’t been stopped, you’d still be going on and on about it.

There was only one legit answer given. I guess I could have dropped it at that point, but I happened to disagree that a celebrity, regardless of humanitarian efforts, merits inclusion.

Which is off-topic.

But somehow you don’t see that?

Deleted as this is not relevant to the current topic.