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Virtual Moderation; Scalpel or Shotgun?


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I was just thinking, totally unrelated to anything that might have happened recently on these very forums...

When you moderate or see someone else moderate a virtual space, like groups or land in SL, or forums or online communities, do you prefer very specific moderation with specific reasons for each, or massive actions that get everyone and anyone that might be even remotely involved?

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

What are you talking about?

I'm talking about monitoring and moderating virtual spaces, like land or groups or forums.

Do you manage any groups or own any open land?

Edited by Paul Hexem
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13 minutes ago, Paul Hexem said:

I'm talking about monitoring and moderating virtual spaces, like land or groups or forums.

Do you manage any groups or own any open land?

I get the general idea but when people refer to other things happening in the forum I don't always know the relevance, although after I posted my comment I looked about and guessed.  Your topic doesn't need that allusion, unless you're trying to provoke people.

I do manage a few groups, but I've never needed to moderate them.  Perhaps I just associate with civilised people. :) 

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1 hour ago, Paul Hexem said:

When you moderate or see someone else moderate a virtual space, like groups or land in SL, or forums or online communities, do you prefer very specific moderation with specific reasons for each, or massive actions that get everyone and anyone that might be even remotely involved?

Very specific moderation for me, personally! If one person starts trashing a thread or abusing others, I don't understand why the whole thread has to be locked...just remove their posts, IMO. 

But I suppose if someone is working late moderating and has other things to deal with, they might think "Oh, sod this!" and just lock a thread to save time? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

I have been on the other side, hosting SL clubs. Although problems were very rare, you had to be accurate and fair when trying to sort them out. Someone in a club I hosted at lost her job because she thought four people who TP'd in at the last minute of a club contest and voted on the board were a scammer and his alts, so she ejected all four - one was actually the owner's boyfriend :S

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58 minutes ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

I get the general idea but when people refer to other things happening in the forum I don't always know the relevance, although after I posted my comment I looked about and guessed.  Your topic doesn't need that allusion, unless you're trying to provoke people.

Aha, I specifically specified that I wasn't referring to anything specific. Otherwise, I'd be violating a rule, I'm sure of it. Any connections or assumptions are entirely your own and I take no responsibility. Specifically.

 

1 hour ago, Garnet Psaltery said:

Perhaps I just associate with civilised people. :) 

I didn't know we had those in SL. 

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The way I deal with stuff is:

If someone is breaking the rules, I punish them. This includes those that retaliate, such as by using """defense""" huds or combat huds to grief the griefer, as this disrupts other people as well and just makes the situation worse. However, if someone is just a bystander and say, uses sitting to prevent being pushed around, they won't be in trouble.

The same goes for forum moderation, if someone is trolling on the forums and calling someone names, and someone starts calling that person names as well, I will punish both users.

I am a equal opportunity moderator, I will suspend or ban anyone who is breaking the rules, doesn't matter the context, or if they were trying to troll the troll. If I don't enforce it equally across the board, it just makes the rules look pointless because there isn't a clear indication on when the rules will be enforced, and instills distrust of the moderation.

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I send out a note praising people for good behaviour (I'm specific about what I mean by good behaviour). The guilty party generally catches on and either reforms or leaves of his/her own accord. Perhaps it's the uncertainty of exactly how much I know that scares them. 😏

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A point here to remember is that when you supply something, be it land, forums, shops, blog-space, you are in a no-win situation. If you don't step in from time to time and restore order, you're accused of inactivity, if you do step in you're accused of being over-zealous or favouring one side over another.

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What I see most time in groups people arguing about something outside group topic, a product group or a community group etc.

Usually no one will interfere because people who make those groups did not expect to baby sit entire group.

This is why we need special group option for avoid out of topic arguments "Allow only owner and moderators write and read group chat."

When a member writes something owner and moderator can see it help with it.. but others can't see it. Posts made by owner and moderators visible to everyone. This model more suitable for content creators who does not want to deal with "outside of topic" discussions IMO.

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A scalpel is always better, imo. I can't see any excuse for using a shotgun, at least not permanently. I can see it being valid to temporarily lock a thread until the bad parts have been dealt with. Imo, it's bad moderators who permanently lock threads. I can't really blame them until they've acquired some experience but, after that, yes they are bad moderators. And they are recognisable as such. It can be that they are forced into doing the job, and they don't have the time to spend on it, but that wouldn't mean they are good or decent moderators. They would still be bad ones.

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4 hours ago, RunawayBunny said:

What I see most time in groups people arguing about something outside group topic, a product group or a community group etc.

Usually no one will interfere because people who make those groups did not expect to baby sit entire group.

This is why we need special group option for avoid out of topic arguments "Allow only owner and moderators write and read group chat."

When a member writes something owner and moderator can see it help with it.. but others can't see it. Posts made by owner and moderators visible to everyone. This model more suitable for content creators who does not want to deal with "outside of topic" discussions IMO.

And would not work for any kind of support group such as Firestorm's several different language support groups. When the mods/CSRs can't be on then others can help. It is rare that any group will always have 24/7 coverage. There just are not enough people willing to do the dirty job.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
possession is evol
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3 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

And would not work for any kind of support group such as Firestorm's several different language support groups. When the mods/CSRs can't be on then others can help.

It works for some groups for others it wont work some groups does not require 24/7 coverage and "volunteer helpers".

If LL include it sometime (very unlikely) it has to be optional.. not suitable for every group.

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As to the OP, consistency is the key. The SL forum has never had that and, frankly, as long as LL keeps viewing it as a part time thing it isn't going to change. They can deny it all they want but it became excruciatingly obvious during the past 17 years.

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My 2 cents:

A good DJ let's the music play, even if it isn't his\her favorite song at times.  If you know what I mean.
The less moderation the better. 
Although there have to be a few iron lines that can't be crossed. But they have to be clear, simple and enforced.
If you're not able or willing to enforce your rules consequently, they are useless and gives you as moderator a bad name in the long term.

Edited by Sid Nagy
Adjusting small stuff.
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I have noticed that threads in the general.discussion that bash LL too much do tend to get locked.more quickly than others.  Just an observation.

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I think moderating a site of this size is only possible if you only react to\investigate threads that are somehow reported to you. Or where you stumble upon scanning yourself.
Otherwise you need at least a handful of full time moderators.  It is always 5 o'clock somewhere on our planet, so posting never stops on this site.

The prime time cycle Asia\Australia then Europe\Africa followed by the Americas back to Asia\Australia never ends (hopefully).

Edited by Sid Nagy
A few adjustments.
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It would behoove LL to listen to residents since many of us have been in SL far longer than they have been employees. Obviously, there are exceptions like Strawberry but she wasn't hired for a position with any real authority. Meaning, she can convey but she can't  make them listen. 

Want to know what happens when companies don't listen to their customers? Ask US Airways,  W. T. Grant and Blockbuster.

Do you believe it can be salvaged? - Page 12 — The Sims Forums

Yes, that is my post. 

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1 hour ago, Rowan Amore said:

I have noticed that threads in the general.discussion that bash LL too much do tend to get locked.more quickly than others.  Just an observation.

Top be fair, we sink those threads pretty fast when they come up on the Second Life subreddit (of which I am a mod)

You'd think as an independent forum such threads would be welcome, only it's been our experience that they detract from the overall community and can quickly turn the entire place sour. When the anti LL crowd come up out of the woodwork, people having fun in SL tend to go quiet or get intimidated. It took us several years to pivot the sub from the LL haters and griefers left over from Qarl's tenure as moderator.

 

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2 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

I have noticed that threads in the general.discussion that bash LL too much do tend to get locked.more quickly than others.  Just an observation.

I haven't paid close enough attention to notice this but I wouldn't blame them.  It's disheartening to get bashed a lot when you're trying to do your job, especially when you're well aware that things aren't perfect.

Edited by Garnet Psaltery
Typo.
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Generally speaking: If you are afraid of opposite opinions you better not start a forum.
Forums are invented to inform but also and mainly to discuss things. Ideally in a friendly way.
And for a discussion you need several opinions. If only one opinion is allowed, you get no real discussions.
Of course the discussions need to go down in a civilized manor.

But in the end, who owns the place makes the final decisions. I only expressed how I would do it.

Edited by Sid Nagy
Some small improvements.
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   Scalpel or shotgun ... Hm. No option for flamethrower?

ImpoliteWeakConure-size_restricted.gif

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1 hour ago, Rowan Amore said:

I have noticed that threads in the general.discussion that bash LL too much do tend to get locked.more quickly than others.  Just an observation.

 

3 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Top be fair, we sink those threads pretty fast when they come up on the Second Life subreddit (of which I am a mod)

You'd think as an independent forum such threads would be welcome, only it's been our experience that they detract from the overall community and can quickly turn the entire place sour. When the anti LL crowd come up out of the woodwork, people having fun in SL tend to go quiet or get intimidated. It took us several years to pivot the sub from the LL haters and griefers left over from Qarl's tenure as moderator.

 

One of the problems, or benefits - depending on viewpoint, with LL staff moderating discussions about SL is knowledge of SL and policies along with their jobs duties and employer instructions. They are often calculating how a discussion matches up to the requirements they have and how they perceive the rules. It creates a sort of one step removed decision making process. I think this creates a division between forum readers' and moderators' viewpoints. I do expect a 'game support' forum to quickly limit discussion that unfairly or emotionally derides the game. Fair criticism of a game is a touchy subject for moderators.

My opinion is most devolving discussions of SL are debates of opinion. The LL moderators and most people should be able to detect an argument based on opinion and hopefully move it toward something factual.

 

Moderation in forums and games is guided by the motivation of the owner for providing the discussion forum. Some merchant groups strictly limit discussion in their group to the product. I assume their purpose is to reduce annoyance to customers, which I appreciate. So their moderation will be more heavy handed.

In other cases forums are provided so management can get an idea of what people are thinking. Often there is hope this will allow the game/product to be improved. A much lighter hand is more productive.

 

Trolls... for moderators this is likely one of the more complicated challenges. Many legitimate questions will come across as someone trolling. It depends on how the moderator is thinking and what triggers them as to how it gets handled. That problem of recognition includes all the readers and colors how they respond.

The other part of trolling is justification. People will post ridiculous things framed in often polite politically correct language. Any response that points out the stupidity of such a post is often considered trolling the OP by many. The moderator may or may not see the value of allowing the apparent troll to correct an idea. When I moderated for an online game, the moderators often talked it over. I learned a lot from the more senior moderators. My take away was one had to seriously broaden their thinking when dealing with apparent trolls.

Emotional content is a serious consideration. Any post with a highly emotional topic is likely to draw out the emotional haters triggering them beyond reason. One could see the OP and immediately be able to make a decision on where it is likely to go. Watching such a thread closely and using heavy moderation is likely the wise choice.

 

Thinking either lite or sever moderation is possible or a good solution is way over simplifying the subject.

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2 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

Generally speaking: If you are afraid of opposite opinions you better not start a forum.
Forums are invented to inform but also and mainly to discuss things. Ideally in a friendly way.
And for a discussion you need several opinions. If only one opinion is allowed, you get no real discussions.
Of course the discussions need to go down in a civilized manor.

But in the end, who owns the place makes the final decisions. I only expressed how I would do it.

MY man This guy Gets it - Denzel Washington Cigarette | Meme Generator

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