Apparently the new standard is that the role of the moderators in GD is not to enforce rules, but rather to decide whether the arguments being presented are honest and valid and to hand out warnings when they are not.
For those who are interested, the beginning of the end started herewhere I asked Gigobuster some fairly simple questions. For those who can’t be bothered with the link, the substance of it was
Not unreasonable or complex questions in my honest opinion. The type of questions that get asked in GD all the time. And I posted them solely in a bona fide effort to get a clear and accurate idea of what Gigobuster’s position was
Anyway Gigobuster simply ignored the questions. He didn’t even try to weasel around them, he simply ignored them.
So I pointed out several times that Gigobuster was avoiding answering the simple questions. A tactic that any regualr user of GD will know gets used regularly. After asking several times, tomndebb steps in with thispost:
So, here we have a moderator arbitrating the quality of the debate. No actual breach of the rules is even implied. The only thing that I am being warned for is that **tomndebb **has found my argument dishonest. And I am specifically told that I am not allowed to post dishonest arguments in GD.
Well that was a shock to me. I didn’t realise it was the place of Moderators to adjudicate on whether an argument in GD was honest. I also didn’t think they had the authority to stop people from using dishonest arguments. But apparently they do.
Now maybe I’m being harsh. Maybe Tomndebb is warning me for something else here. Maybe “badgering” is against the “no jerks” rule, though God knows it’s a common enough tactic and he certainly never made that clear in his warning.
But the situation that creates is equally disturbing. If I was warned because badgering = being a jerk then why has **Tomndebb **has taken the opportunity to intersperse his moderation with no less than three direct declarations that my argument is dishonest and invalid. 9/10th of Tomndebb’s post is commentary on the honesty of my argument. One sentence refers to badgering. We aren’t allowed to respond to Moderator posts in GD, so **Tomndebb **has taken shots at my argument that I can not address. And those shots have no bearing at all on what I was being warned for. Even if I wished to continue the debate without badgering, or whatever rule I am assumed to have broken, my argument has been trashed by board management using unassailable moderator privilege
Well that’s new behaviour to me. I have never before seen a moderator make a moderation call because an argument is dishonest, and even if it has happened, it’s totally unacceptable to me to have board management making declarations on the validity, strength and honesty of our arguments that we are forbidden, on pain of banning, to even challenge.
And in case you are wondering why it took me a week after this event to decide to post this, the shit has been piling up this week.
Firstly, in thisthread Colibri issues a directive that I am not to post relevant LMGTFY links. Not the worst admonishment by itself, but a bad call in light of the fact that we have specifically asked about this in advance, and been told by a freakin’ Board Administrator that it’s acceptable. Seriously, WTF are we supposed to do when we ask except get an Administrator’s word-of-god declaration that something is acceptable? This by itself isn’t a huge problem, **Colibri **was quite civil, but it’s just more inconsistent moderator behaviour in a week where **Tomndebb ** is already flinging it thick and high.
The final straws came as a result of thispost in another thread. In its entirety it consists of three sentences an apparently drive-by post as being too stupid to comment on:
For that I get more inconsistent, made up, subjective rule interpretation from Tomndebb. This time he claims the ability to interpret the “spirit of the rules” and apparently i have to develop that ability as well. :
So apparently now we not only get warning for actually breaking the rules, but also for breaking some nebulous “spirit” of the rules. And apparently three sentences dismissing a post is “piling up repetitive insults”.
This was just the final straw. I have previously reported other posters for calling someone “not entirely sane on the subject” or saying that if you “want to continue to make a fool of yourself knock yourself out” and similar insults. I was told that they wouldn’t even receive a Moderator comment because those were technically attacking the post, not the poster, and thus only violated the spirit of the rules, and also because they were one-offs, with no build-up of tension.
And today **Tomndebb **hands me an ultimatum again within a week for attacking a single post, something that is specifically allowed under the rules. A post made by a drive-by poster. And I was warned because **Tomndebb **has decided that it violates the “spirit” of the rules?
This is just too much, too close together. Some Moderator inconsistency is to be expected. But to be told by the same Moderator that some posters won’t even get a Moderator comment for “continue to make a fool of yourself” because it only violates the *spirit *of the rules, not the *letter *while I get an ultimatum, unreported, for something that is expressly fricken’ allowed in the rules precisely because he decided that it *does *violate the spirit of the rules? That is just bullshit. This sort of inconsistency makes it pointless to listen to some Moderators. We may as well not listen, because they clearly decide whether something is permissible or not with no attempt at consistency or clarity.
By itself this level of Moderator inconsistency would make me reticent to stay. But if the Mods are now openly adjudicating the honesty of arguments and making it a bannable offense to even post certain questions, it’s all too much for me.
At this stage if I am not sure if this is a new board policy, or if Tomndebb is just a really incompetent moderator who doesn’t understand that he isn’t allowed to arbitrate on the validity of arguments, or if he has some sort of personal gripe against me and is letting that get in the way of being objective.
And quite frankly I don’t care.
If management has decided Mods can adjudicate which questions we are allowed to even ask by measuring how honest they are, then it’s not worth the walking-on-eggshells that is required to post without getting a warning. And it’s certainly not worth the aggravation of watching some posters get away with blatant personal insults like “If want to continue to make a fool of yourself knock yourself out” despite being reported, while other get warning without being reported for violating some undefined “spirit of the rules”.
So, can I get this clarified please. Are Moderators now going to start pontificating on the validty of arguments on GD form the inviolable sanctum of Moderator status? Are they going to start issuing warning for people posting arguments that they consider honest? Or can we hope that somebody finally tells Tomndebb to pull his head in?