Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby linguoboy » 2018-03-30, 16:11

linguoboy wrote:(Naava posed some very specific questions in response to Luís' request regarding how bans work here. Were they ever fully answered?)

Since I posed this question, Luís has answered those questions here: https://forum.unilang.org/viewtopic.php?p=1105574#p1105574. Thank you, Luís.
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby Car » 2018-03-31, 4:36

linguoboy wrote:
Car wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Personally, the only ways I've ever heard of people becoming moderators here are:

1. by PMing the admins (and global mods, when they existed) and saying, "Can I be a moderator of X forum?" and
2. because the admins happened to notice them expressing interest in moderating a given forum X.

Of course, I don't know whether the process used to be different or not before I joined, though.

And there's 3. We need a mod for a forum, come up with some users we think would be suitable, come to a consensus, ask the users. If they turn it down, we then consider other options.

Is there a reason why you all have never considered putting out a general call? Yes, the active user community is small, but that doesn't mean you've necessarily thought of everyone suitable.

I don't think we've ever talked about that, so no.
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby dEhiN » 2018-03-31, 4:59

It's late and I'm pretty tired, but I have been away from the discussion for a few days since my post, so I would like to briefly respond.

linguoboy wrote:The following absolutely constitutes singling me out:
dEhiN wrote: I believe even you only asked some questions regarding what our purpose is and stuff, but gave no actual suggestions of recourses you think would be appropriate.

Moreover, what he says is provably false. Here's the post where I ask Luís leading questions and here's the one where I answer each of them with suggested courses of action[*]. At the risk of tooting my own horn, is it at all possible that the reason more people didn't reply is they thought this response was already detailed and comprehensive enough?

Yes, you're right, I was singling you out. (I was also asking in general, so the underlying point of my post wasn't only aimed at you). And you're also right in that you did provide specifics: I forgot that you had added that, and for that (i.e., my forgetting), I'm sorry. When initially all this discussion started, and the desire was expressed for admins to be more transparent about moderating issues, including getting member input, I understood that as members wanted the ability to share their yays or nays on specific cases of warning or banning, or possibly the ability to suggest a particular course of action. So, when I read your response to Luís' call for input, I saw the whole response as a case of "answer a question with another question", which, while it has its validity, can also be sometimes a way of avoiding giving an answer, namely in this case, a specific opinion on what should be done. Thus, I didn't see your response as "this is what I think, and my answering with further questions isn't an avoidance but my actual answer". I'm not defending myself; I'm explaining what happened. Like I said already, I'm sorry for that.

You asked about what type of moderating style are we going for? I'm not sure. Since I've been a mod, that question has never been discussed among us (at least as far as I'm aware). Perhaps a starting point could be, what type of moderating style would the current active users like to see?
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-03-31, 5:16

I may be repeating myself (I often end up doing this in these discussions), and these aren't necessarily the only things I think the moderation style needs to be (that it isn't already), but I would like a moderation style that is a) consistent, b) much less harsh, c) better informed (especially about the privileges admins have over non-admins), d) more considerate of the non-admin users of this forum, and e) more transparent. I would like to see some of the admins participate more and complain less. I would like to see them help us more and persecute us less. I would like to see them contribute to the forum more and pick arguments with specific users less. I would like to see the admins ask us publicly for our opinions on specific questions more often instead of having closed discussions among themselves that none of the rest of us are privy to, and I would like to see them make a greater effort to listen to our suggestions and make sure they understand what they are instead of making assumptions about them. I would like to see them pay more attention to what is going on on the forum and keep paying attention, instead of making absolutely disastrous decisions based on both poor memory and poor judgment.

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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby linguoboy » 2018-03-31, 15:41

dEhiN wrote:Yes, you're right, I was singling you out. (I was also asking in general, so the underlying point of my post wasn't only aimed at you). And you're also right in that you did provide specifics: I forgot that you had added that, and for that (i.e., my forgetting), I'm sorry.

Thank you for acknowledging this.

dEhiN wrote:When initially all this discussion started, and the desire was expressed for admins to be more transparent about moderating issues, including getting member input, I understood that as members wanted the ability to share their yays or nays on specific cases of warning or banning, or possibly the ability to suggest a particular course of action.

I think you've confused "transparent" with "participatory". In an operational sense, being "transparent" just means doing things in a way that makes it easy to understand what is being done and why. You can be perfectly transparent without allowing the general public a say in the outcome of a decision. (This is how juridical proceedings work in most liberal democracies, for instance. Only jurors get a vote in the outcome of a jury trial.) If you all are going to allow ordinary users a say in the outcome of particular decisions, then we first need a far more robust discussion of issues surrounding confidentiality and privacy than we've had so far.

dEhiN wrote:You asked about what type of moderating style are we going for? I'm not sure. Since I've been a mod, that question has never been discussed among us (at least as far as I'm aware). Perhaps a starting point could be, what type of moderating style would the current active users like to see?

Let me point out what this is: Yet another request for free labour from those with the least power to actually determine the moderating style here.

I keep being asked what changes we should make and I keep responding that it's pointless for me to suggest anything before I know what changes the moderators would even consider. That's why I keep trying to get you all to talk openly (i.e. transparently!) about how you view Unilang, its members, the goal of moderation, and so on. I've asked plenty of questions here to facilitate this discussion. Before you ask me to do more, why don't you take the time to answer them?
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby Johanna » 2018-04-14, 2:55

linguoboy wrote:Is there a reason why you all have never considered putting out a general call? Yes, the active user community is small, but that doesn't mean you've necessarily thought of everyone suitable.

For forum language moderators? No, the approach has been to ask someone who seems like a reasonable person and then elevate them. Or someone can ask to become a moderator, but that takes a certain amount of confidence.

For the admin team? There was a general call a few years ago. It lead to Luís, JackFrost, Ashucky and Meera joining the team.

(Meera has since left and been replaced by dEhiN.)
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby Johanna » 2018-04-14, 3:02

We were planning on doing a general call for forum mod positions before all of this happened.

I know it's not really an excuse, but if you trust my former colleagues to do their job for a few more months, they might just surprise you :)

And no, I have no access to insider information.
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-14, 5:50

Seriously, I don't know what "trust" is supposed to constitute at this point. Not complaining?

To me at least, telling me to trust the admins is like telling black people in the US to trust the police. Yeah, the cops may talk down to, frame, brutalize, and/or kill you and others in your community, but just trust them, and you'll be fine! Yeah, the admins may talk down to, infantilize, punish, ban, and/or even troll you and others on the forum, but just trust them, and you'll be fine!

Some of you (still!) don't seem to understand the practical implications of this forum's draconian moderation style. Before I was banned, there was another time when I was nevertheless deliberately prevented from accessing UniLang. That was when my father shut off the Internet connection for our entire house every night for a month (sometimes also during the day, and he also blocked several websites, as a result of which I still cannot access Twitter to this day) in an effort to punish me for not trying hard enough to get a job as soon as he wanted me to. That's the precedent you have for this ban.

At both times, UniLang was the only access I had to other people who would not judge me for my language-related interests; indeed, to a large extent, it was the only access I had to other people in general. At all times, I have been stuck inside this house where I have spent almost my entire life with my parents, with limited opportunities at best to step outside of it by myself (even for a little while!). At any given time, I have no way of knowing whether my parents will choose to treat me with respect, help me, judge me, infantilize me, or criticize me, though I do know that I can never make my voice heard in this house without literally shouting. People have told me several times I should leave; none of them understand that I can't. I can't just grab all of my clothes and my personal library and walk out the door. That is physically impossible. I can't even grab some of my belongings because no matter how old I am, my parents will do whatever it takes to bring me back unless they agree it's okay for me to leave. I also don't have anywhere to go, or at least didn't. Taking this forum away from me means leaving me to my parents' mercy.

And as if that weren't bad enough, on top of it all, most of the admins who responded to my e-mails to them had the gall to lecture me on exposing sexual material to a minor when I have been exposed to pornography as a minor, with arguments that make it sound as if every novel with a sex scene in it ought to be burned just because you never know, some kid might access it otherwise! So far, they haven't said anything about whether any of them has been exposed to sexual material as a minor.

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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-04-14, 11:46

vijayjohn wrote:To me at least, telling me to trust the admins is like telling black people in the US to trust the police. Yeah, the cops may talk down to, frame, brutalize, and/or kill you and others in your community, but just trust them, and you'll be fine! Yeah, the admins may talk down to, infantilize, punish, ban, and/or even troll you and others on the forum, but just trust them, and you'll be fine!

Comparing getting at most banned from an internet forum with losing your life is insensitive and trivialising of the very real, life-endangering issues black people face in the US.

Before I was banned, there was another time when I was nevertheless deliberately prevented from accessing UniLang. That was when my father shut off the Internet connection for our entire house every night for a month (sometimes also during the day, and he also blocked several websites, as a result of which I still cannot access Twitter to this day) in an effort to punish me for not trying hard enough to get a job as soon as he wanted me to.

a) What your father does or doesn't do, as or hasn't done has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with what the admins on an internet forum your father isn't and has never been a member of do or don't do.
b) I remember that. I also remember spending a bit of time to find a website you could use to access skype when your father had blocked it.

I don't tell you to leave your parents, because I know that's much easier said than done. But I also know that there are other UniLang members with problematic home situations and/or other serious issues. Plus of course there may be people with issues neither you nor I know about. And just like they don't get a free pass because of things outside of UniLang, you don't.

And as if that weren't bad enough, on top of it all, most of the admins who responded to my e-mails to them had the gall to lecture me on exposing sexual material to a minor when I have been exposed to pornography as a minor, with arguments that make it sound as if every novel with a sex scene in it ought to be burned just because you never know, some kid might access it otherwise! So far, they haven't said anything about whether any of them has been exposed to sexual material as a minor.

Again, what you have or haven't been exposed to outside of UniLang doesn't give you a free pass on UniLang. Whether any of us have been exposed to sexual content as a minor is just as irrelevant. There are plenty of places on the internet where sexual content is accepted, or even expected. UniLang is simply not one of them. This is a language learning forum.

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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-14, 12:14

Aurinĭa wrote:Comparing getting at most banned from an internet forum with losing your life is insensitive and trivialising of the very real, life-endangering issues black people face in the US.

Except that before I joined this forum, I contemplated suicide several times. That's also very real and life-endangering.

Besides, come on. You know just as well as I do that comparing death to less severe things is not something I alone have done. It's not insensitive; it is just a comparison. It is insensitive to pick an argument over this tangential issue when someone is trying to tell you how your actions have affected them, though, and when you are not black.
I also remember spending a bit of time to find a website you could use to access skype when your father had blocked it.

Which doesn't help much when he's turned off the Internet, does it?
Whether any of us have been exposed to sexual content as a minor is just as irrelevant.

Yes, it is relevant when you lecture someone on oh how bad it is and they have been exposed to it. If you haven't been exposed to it, and they have, you are basing your policy and lecturing someone on something you know nothing about and punishing someone who does know about it firsthand, none of which you have any business doing.

I never said anything about getting a "free pass"; that's just you putting words in my mouth. I am telling you what you put me through. That is what you need to understand: what you put me through through the choices you made.
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2018-04-16, 1:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby Johanna » 2018-04-14, 16:54

vijayjohn wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:Comparing getting at most banned from an internet forum with losing your life is insensitive and trivialising of the very real, life-endangering issues black people face in the US.

Except that before I joined this forum, I contemplated suicide several times. That's also very real and life-endangering.

That does not give you a free pass when you post porn - even in text form - in a part of the forum open to minors! OK all of the forum really is, but threads that don't have the word "sex" in their name are supposed to be safe in that regard.

You think you are the only one who's been abused or contemplated suicide? I can name at least ten others that will receive your message if you PM the language mod group as a whole. Myself among them.

Edit: Your bullying and constant complaining made me contemplate it once more. Yes, YOUR behavior! Then I decided that I much rather keep my sanity and stepped down. Not because I thought I was in the wrong, mind you, but because you pretty much alone made me go into that dark place again and I don't like it very much.

Contemplate that for a bit. Really think about it.

Edit 2: If you (in general) haven't seen me around for about a year, you'll know why. Pretty Sure Vijay will be happy since then he doesn't have to deal with my white ass ever again, but my family will be devastated.
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-14, 23:25

All I can conclude from the above post is: Johanna, you need help. Meaning a shrink. And you need one now.

I wrote this post the way I did because I feel it is an emergency. I have reworded it because someone suggested that I should; I hope this helps because this is a life-and-death situation.

Johanna, if you really are contemplating suicide, then I think you may need to see a psychiatrist so you can get better.

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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby linguoboy » 2018-04-16, 18:19

Johanna wrote:Then I decided that I much rather keep my sanity and stepped down. Not because I thought I was in the wrong, mind you, but because you pretty much alone made me go into that dark place again and I don't like it very much.

I'm very glad you realised that showing compassion (in this case, to yourself) was much more important than being "right". Now if you could just extend that compassion to embrace a wider circle, I feel like we could really make some progress.

I'd like to repeat that I sincerely believe everyone here is putting forth their best effort. That's why it's so upsetting when the communication breaks down because it means that just expending a bit more effort isn't likely to overcome the difficulty. We all need to take a step back and consider new approaches, and that's taxing.

Johanna wrote:I know it's not really an excuse, but if you trust my former colleagues to do their job for a few more months, they might just surprise you

I'm not looking for "excuses", I'm looking for ways to move the dialogue further. This has the opposite effect. Vijay's comparison was hyperbolic, but that doesn't make it wrong. When there has been a perceived pattern of injustice, it's not enough to say simply, "We've put new people in charge so things will change" without discussing further how they will change. Let's get back to talking about that, shall we?
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby dEhiN » 2018-04-16, 20:03

What I conclude from catching up on this thread is that, clearly, all of the (recent and distant) past difficulties have affected those on "both sides of the fence".

linguoboy wrote:I'd like to repeat that I sincerely believe everyone here is putting forth their best effort. That's why it's so upsetting when the communication breaks down because it means that just expending a bit more effort isn't likely to overcome the difficulty. We all need to take a step back and consider new approaches, and that's taxing.

I'm glad you feel that way. As difficult and challenging and this process has been so far (and will continue to be), I personally think it has been a step in the right direction.

linguoboy wrote:Vijay's comparison was hyperbolic, but that doesn't make it wrong. When there has been a perceived pattern of injustice, it's not enough to say simply, "We've put new people in charge so things will change" without discussing further how they will change. Let's get back to talking about that, shall we?

You're right, a hyperbolic comparison isn't wrong, and I know that Vijay was sharing his experience of everything that happened, and how he was affected. In terms of the specifics of the written erotica being appropriate or not, it seems to me like Vijay and the admins involved will forever be on opposing sides. But changing administration doesn't automatically make things better.

I do want to answer your question, linguoboy, but I'm not able to right now.
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-04-16, 20:33

vijayjohn wrote:It's not insensitive; it is just a comparison.

Something being "just a comparison" doesn't mean it can't also be insensitive. I'm sure you've encountered "it's just a joke" as a response to "that's insensitive" more than once; this is similar.

I also remember spending a bit of time to find a website you could use to access skype when your father had blocked it.

Which doesn't help much when he's turned off the Internet, does it?

That time he'd specifically blocked skype and you posted about it because you'd just joined the UL skype chat and wanted to join another one.

Whether any of us have been exposed to sexual content as a minor is just as irrelevant.

Yes, it is relevant when you lecture someone on oh how bad it is and they have been exposed to it. If you haven't been exposed to it, and they have, you are basing your policy and lecturing someone on something you know nothing about and punishing someone who does know about it firsthand, none of which you have any business doing.

So what do you suggest? That we ask everyone who's active on UL whether they have been exposed to sexual content as a minor (whether that's giggling over porn with friends, sexual abuse, or anything in between); ask whether they'd be against, in favour of, or indifferent towards explicit sexual content on UniLang; and whether their position on the latter has been influenced by their experiences with the former?

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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby linguoboy » 2018-04-16, 20:50

dEhiN wrote:I do want to answer your question, linguoboy, but I'm not able to right now.

At this point I've asked so many questions, I'm not sure which one in particular you're referring to. The one about target moderating style? I know it's a big one, so let me start with something more bite-size: What do you think of the distinction I was making between "transparent moderation" and "participatory moderation"?
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-17, 0:11

Aurinĭa wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:It's not insensitive; it is just a comparison.

Something being "just a comparison" doesn't mean it can't also be insensitive. I'm sure you've encountered "it's just a joke" as a response to "that's insensitive" more than once; this is similar.

I would agree, but I disagree in that I'm not convinced this particular comparison was an insensitive one.
So what do you suggest?

I suggest listening to what I have to say below since I did experience it:

Not every instance of viewing sexual content without adult supervision traumatizes a child. The difference is not between text and picture forms; the difference lies in how the child is exposed to it. What is traumatic is not merely coming across sexual content. What is traumatic, or at least can be, is when an adult who you trust specifically targets you and shows it to you.

On the one hand, I have come across both porn and written sex scenes as a minor before; this was not a problem for me at all. On the other hand, I have also been presented with porn as a minor by an adult who should have known better; this was the problem.

This is what happened (I've put this in spoiler tags since it's less important; you can read it if you want to, but you don't have to):
► Show Spoiler

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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby Johanna » 2018-04-17, 5:29

vijayjohn wrote:All I can conclude from the above post is: Johanna, you need help. Meaning a shrink. And you need one now.

I wrote this post the way I did because I feel it is an emergency. I have reworded it because someone suggested that I should; I hope this helps because this is a life-and-death situation.

Johanna, if you really are contemplating suicide, then I think you may need to see a psychiatrist so you can get better.

I have help, lots of it even. Why don't you?

I know quite well where I am at in my journey, and at the moment I am pretty far from my goal. The thing is, I have never ever taken it as an excuse to behave like a complete ass!

I've hurt people because of all of this, and that is on me. I've tried to come up with excuses, but they haven't really lasted more than a few months...

Also. what happened to "I once contemplated suicide, so poor me and I need special treatment!"?

Edit: This is actually why being a UL forum admin made me going into this dark place. It's always about me (in general) as opposed to you (in general), isn't it? Even when we're talking about the exact same mental disorder (clinical depression), I and others are the ones who need (even more) help, while you are only suffering from some light affliction, isn't it so?

My brain does not respond well to gaslighting at all. It also doesn't like to be accused of unspeakable things, like not wanting anyone from a certain subcontinent to reproduce. And a third thing it does not like is to be the arch nemesis of someone without any way of mitigating this.

------------------------------

Edit: Added a few clarifications and corrected typos. Also forgot to add this note before hitting "Submit" in the first place.
Last edited by Johanna on 2018-04-18, 23:45, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby dEhiN » 2018-04-17, 19:22

linguoboy wrote:Thank you for acknowledging this.

You're welcome.

I think you've confused "transparent" with "participatory". In an operational sense, being "transparent" just means doing things in a way that makes it easy to understand what is being done and why. You can be perfectly transparent without allowing the general public a say in the outcome of a decision. (This is how juridical proceedings work in most liberal democracies, for instance. Only jurors get a vote in the outcome of a jury trial.) If you all are going to allow ordinary users a say in the outcome of particular decisions, then we first need a far more robust discussion of issues surrounding confidentiality and privacy than we've had so far.

You're right, there is a difference. I wasn't consciously thinking of that difference and conflated the two. If I recall correctly, you have asked for more transparency, not necessarily more participation. Because I conflated the two, I reacted the way I did.

Let me point out what this is: Yet another request for free labour from those with the least power to actually determine the moderating style here.

Actually it wasn't. It was an attempt to get a conversation started. I suppose I prefer to start a conversation of this type with asking the other person what they want, and then explain where I'm coming from.

I keep being asked what changes we should make and I keep responding that it's pointless for me to suggest anything before I know what changes the moderators would even consider.

That sounds a little like a catch-22. Each of us moderators could take a stab at what we're willing to consider, but that list is very open and possibly exhaustive. Wouldn't it make more sense to start with a limited list of what those who are seeking change want, and then respond to each item? Not that you (and Vijay and others) haven't already spoken about some of the changes you want to see.


That's why I keep trying to get you all to talk openly (i.e. transparently!) about how you view Unilang, its members, the goal of moderation, and so on. I've asked plenty of questions here to facilitate this discussion. Before you ask me to do more, why don't you take the time to answer them?

How I view Unilang:
I see UniLang as a place where people with the same interest, namely learning and/or learning about languages, can go to exercise their interest, to find others of like mind, and to, thus, find encouragement and support for their interest.

How I view its members:
I see the members of UniLang as people with a common interest, as stated above. We come from different walks of life, live in different countries, have had different life experiences, and as such, have different worldviews and ideologies. Apart from the language interest, we also connect on here over other things, such as politics, the weather, and general life stuff. In general, most of us strive to be amicable with each other.

The goal of moderation:
This is my first time moderating a forum, but I have been part of leadership teams before. I guess for me, the goal of moderation is to ensure that those who participate in the forum are able to do so without feeling discriminated, harassed, or otherwise having a negative experience. All of this as far as possible, whilst balancing the fact that every member is a unique individual, so some, by nature, might enjoy trolling or harassing, etc. In such cases, then the goal of moderation is to determine if that individual is disruptive and causing others to have a negative experience, and act accordingly. That's why every forum has a policy, dictating how members should behave so that everyone has a generally positive experience.

So on:
I want to add some thoughts on transparent versus participatory moderation. I think that transparent moderation by itself won't be as effective a change, in this particular case (i.e., not in general), as some aspect of participatory moderation added to the mix. This is because, even if every single admin-only discussion was had publicly and every single admin/mod decision and action was publicly broadcasted, regular members could still be susceptible to unfair or harsh moderation. All that transparent moderation alone will accomplish is to illuminate in a public record fashion what the admin team is up to. That's why I think in order for the concerns and issues raised to be properly addressed, there should be some element of participatory moderation added.
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linguoboy
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Re: Historic grievances/specific cases [split]

Postby linguoboy » 2018-04-18, 21:07

dEhiN wrote:Wouldn't it make more sense to start with a limited list of what those who are seeking change want, and then respond to each item? Not that you (and Vijay and others) haven't already spoken about some of the changes you want to see.

That makes sense if you're only talking about tweaks to existing rules. It's less practical when you're talking about changing the overall culture.

To reprise another refrain: I'm less concerned about the actual rules and their exact wording than about how they're implemented. And that's crucially dependent on the principles and aims of the mods.

dEhiN wrote:How I view Unilang:
I see UniLang as a place where people with the same interest, namely learning and/or learning about languages, can go to exercise their interest, to find others of like mind, and to, thus, find encouragement and support for their interest.

How I view its members:
I see the members of UniLang as people with a common interest, as stated above. We come from different walks of life, live in different countries, have had different life experiences, and as such, have different worldviews and ideologies. Apart from the language interest, we also connect on here over other things, such as politics, the weather, and general life stuff. In general, most of us strive to be amicable with each other.

So is it safe to say that you see Unilang as basically an online social club organised around a common interest in languages?

dEhiN wrote:So on:
I want to add some thoughts on transparent versus participatory moderation. I think that transparent moderation by itself won't be as effective a change, in this particular case (i.e., not in general), as some aspect of participatory moderation added to the mix. This is because, even if every single admin-only discussion was had publicly and every single admin/mod decision and action was publicly broadcasted, regular members could still be susceptible to unfair or harsh moderation. All that transparent moderation alone will accomplish is to illuminate in a public record fashion what the admin team is up to. That's why I think in order for the concerns and issues raised to be properly addressed, there should be some element of participatory moderation added.

If moderation were perfectly transparent but moderators refused to listen to any feedback on it, then you might have a point. But I don't see ignoring constructive feedback as a goal of the mods. Transparency in moderation is a necessity for feedback to be worthwhile. Call that "participatory" if you like, but I think it's different from crowdsourcing the moderation process itself.

The issue with this, as I've said earlier, is that there are some legitimate privacy issues involved in moderation. For example, if a member were harassed via PM, the victim of the harassment might not want their identity widely known, let alone the content of the harassment aimed at them. That makes it hard to involve anyone else in the moderation decision outside of those directly involved plus the mods.

Then there's the issue that most members don't want to participate in moderation--not any more than want to participate in, for instance, editing the code which keeps the board running. They want to come here and--as you eloquently put it--"find encouragement and support for their interest"; the nuts and bolts about how that is accomplished doesn't interest them.

So you inevitably end up with a situation where either no one participates unless you somehow coerce them (either through calling them out when they don't or making it a formal requirement of membership, akin to jury duty) or you have a relatively small number of regular respondents. In which case, it's probably more efficient to just make them mods so they have access to the full range of information they need to make informed moderation decisions.

Maybe you've got some other participatory mechanism in mind than what y'all have demoed here that solves both these problems. If so I'm curious to discover what it is.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


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