linguoboy wrote:Thank you for acknowledging this.
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.
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.