Forum policy review 2018

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Luís
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-03-02, 9:32

linguoboy wrote:I think it depends what you're trying to accomplish.

Is your primary goal (a) to modify the behaviour; (b) to shield other users from potentially offensive content; (c) to show responsiveness to member complaints; (d) to demonstrate consistency and firmness of enforcement; (e) something else entirely?


What would your suggested action be for each of the goals you mention?

In this particular case the process has always been initiated by other users (some of the posts were even written in a language none of us speaks). If people are reporting these posts, I assume that's because they're uncomfortable with their content and want some action to be taken, but I have no idea of knowing exactly what they expect from us (and different people might have different motivations). Do they simply want the posts to be removed? Do they want us to ban the user? Do they want us to contact them privately and tell them not to write that kind of thing again? Do they want a public warning?

And let me just add that although for the most part people seem to agree that the moderation has been too harsh in the past, we've also had several cases over the years where people contacted us to complain that we were being too lenient (e.g. I reported this post that offended me and you did nothing)
How to reconcile different member expectations?
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby aaakknu » 2018-03-02, 11:04

About the ban policy:

1. I think permanent bans should only be limited to users, whose very first post is a serious violation, and even then they should receive a warning first. If absolutely all of the next post violate the policy, only then should a user be banned.

2. I suggest we shouldn't have such long bans as 1 or 3 years. If a user is banned for such a long period of time, they are unlikely to return after the end of the ban, so it's effectively the same as a permanent ban.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-03-02, 17:23

Luís wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I think it depends what you're trying to accomplish.

Is your primary goal (a) to modify the behaviour; (b) to shield other users from potentially offensive content; (c) to show responsiveness to member complaints; (d) to demonstrate consistency and firmness of enforcement; (e) something else entirely?


What would your suggested action be for each of the goals you mention?

In this particular case the process has always been initiated by other users (some of the posts were even written in a language none of us speaks). If people are reporting these posts, I assume that's because they're uncomfortable with their content and want some action to be taken, but I have no idea of knowing exactly what they expect from us (and different people might have different motivations). Do they simply want the posts to be removed? Do they want us to ban the user? Do they want us to contact them privately and tell them not to write that kind of thing again? Do they want a public warning?

I would assume the chief thing they want is not to have to see posts like that again and don't have strong feelings about the means you use (or expect you to use a particular approach and don't see it as their place to counsel another or don't think such counsel would be heeded).

If the goal is (a) behaviour modification, you need to learn something about the poster's motivations. If they genuinely didn't understand that their statements would cause offence, then just explaining this to them privately might be enough. If you've tried that already, then it's possible that they either lack the intelligence to avoid such statements or the willpower or both. Then your job becomes harder. You have to decide whether prescribed penalty would help encourage them to try harder or not. And, if not, what would--if anything.

If it's (b) shielding users from offensive content, then the simplest solution is to delete the posts and permban the user. This is also the harshest solution.

If it's (c) show responsiveness, then whatever you do should be done promptly and publicly and followed by a request for feedback from the users in questions and probably all users generally. (Think about what a corporation would do in response to complaints about inappropriate language in their ads, for instance.) Otherwise I imagine the result would look most similar to (b).

If it's (d), then the answer is simple: apply the policy as written without trying to take these other factors into consideration.

The difficulty is that no one of these factors may be primary or that they may be combined with strong secondary motivations. If you are too responsive to complaints, you risk a situation where users abuse this by reporting people for trivial reasons just to see them punished. If you're too lenient with a problematic user, you risk upsetting other users and driving away those who don't like their content. But if you're too harsh, you risk driving them away along with other users who provide content and bring traffic to the site.

Luís wrote:And let me just add that although for the most part people seem to agree that the moderation has been too harsh in the past, we've also had several cases over the years where people contacted us to complain that we were being too lenient (e.g. I reported this post that offended me and you did nothing)
How to reconcile different member expectations?

I wish I could give you a magic formula. In the groups I've moderated, this ultimately came down to asking what kind of contributions and interactions we wanted to encourage and which members were providing these. In a few extreme cases, we ended up permbanning members who provided good content because they simply couldn't play nice with others. Other times, we let problematic personalities drive away others because we didn't want to appear that we were being too harsh or arbitrary in our enforcement.

I'm not sure if this helped at all. If you want me to get into more detail about some of the specific cases I mention, we can do that via e-mail.
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Luís
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-03-03, 14:10

We never really delete any posts, we just move them to the moderation forum (either temporarily or permanently). Posts made by spammers are moved to the Spam forum (but that one gets auto pruned after 60 days IIRC).

Right now the posts that were reported were moved to that forum (they're not visible) but we haven't done anything else so far.

We can privately contact the person in question and explain why that kind of post isn't appropriate for this forum and then see what they respond.

Also, I would like Language Forum Moderators to be more active in this kind of cases, particularly when they involve languages other than English and happen in specific subforums. I know it's probably easier to simply click the "Report this post" button, but language moderators have complete liberty to deal with these cases. They can't ban someone, but they can issue warnings, PM someone, etc.
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-03, 14:57

I'm on board with you Luis. I mean, I thought that was part of our job to begin with.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Naava » 2018-03-03, 15:14

Luís wrote:Also, I would like Language Forum Moderators to be more active in this kind of cases, particularly when they involve languages other than English and happen in specific subforums.

Did I understand this right - you wish language forum moderators moderated their own forums? If so, then I agree with księżycowy. Or do you mean we should take a more active role in other forums, too?

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-03-03, 15:26

Naava wrote:Did I understand this right - you wish language forum moderators moderated their own forums?

Yes. To a certain extent, anyway. Language forum moderators can't hand out bans, and if they take action like giving a reminder or a warning to a certain user, they should inform us of that, so that we can keep an overview, e.g. in case that user has caused trouble elsewhere as well.

There were some other posts I wanted to reply to, I'll see if I manage to later.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Naava » 2018-03-03, 15:40

Aurinĭa wrote:. . . if they take action like giving a reminder or a warning to a certain user, they should inform us of that, so that we can keep an overview, e.g. in case that user has caused trouble elsewhere as well.

I didn't know this. Maybe we could add it to the Moderation Guidelines? There isn't anything about giving reminders or warnings, either. I kinda assumed it's part of the job anyway, but imo it's good to have things like these written down. :)

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-03-04, 0:45

I have no problem with moderating my own (sub)forums. The problem is there's nothing in particular to moderate.
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2018-03-04, 0:59, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-04, 0:59

vijayjohn wrote:The problem is there's nothing in particular to moderate.

I feel the same way. :P

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Naava » 2018-03-04, 9:19

I think Luís wanted to say that if there's something to do, you should do it yourself instead of using the report-button. He hasn't yet answered me if he also meant that we should be more active in other forums.* Imo that'd be problematic because language forum mods can't do anything else than use the official purple voice outside their forums, and I don't think sending warnings and reminders or even unofficial PM's would be a good idea because we can't know if someone else has already done that. At least I wouldn't want to get 15 PM's with similar content but each written by a different mod. :D

*I doubt he meant this but I asked anyway because "mods should moderate" sounds so obvious that I started to feel like I've missed something here. If it was that simple, well, you can ignore me. :P

---------------
Now that we're talking about moderating: what do you think about the old threads? The Finnish forum has 14 pages of threads and the oldest of them date back to 2002. Some of them might be interesting to learners (like translation requests) but I'm not sure if anyone wants to go through 14 pages just to find translated texts. There are also threads where people who haven't logged in for years are looking for someone to practice Finnish with or like this one that's basically everyone saying where they are from and that they study Finnish.

So, do we have any archive for threads like these? Do you want to keep them in the subforums? Should they be merged into a new thread, something like "ancient miscellaneous questions about Finnish"?

Another question: the thread "Questions about Finnish" has 112 pages. Do we have any page limit before the thread gets locked and a new one is started? If we don't, should we? And if we should, what would we do to the locked topic? I mean, there's probably useful questions and useful answers, but I don't think that anyone wishing to learn how to say "what about" in Finnish would know to check the page 57...

I've used Finnish as an example but I guess it's like this in other subforums as well. So, what do you think we should do? Do you want to keep it as it is or do you think something could be done?

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby OldBoring » 2018-03-04, 9:31

I didn't even know I could give reminders and warning...

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Naava » 2018-03-04, 9:39

OldBoring wrote:I didn't even know I could give reminders and warning...

Yeah, me neither. That's why I suggested we could update the Guidelines. :P

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-03-04, 10:46

Naava wrote:I think Luís wanted to say that if there's something to do, you should do it yourself instead of using the report-button.


Yes, that's what I meant :) (99% of the time you'll probably only have to deal with the occasional spammer, though)

We replaced a lot of inactive language moderators last December and added some new ones such as yourself, so I think this won't happen as often as before, though.

Naava wrote: He hasn't yet answered me if he also meant that we should be more active in other forums.* Imo that'd be problematic because language forum mods can't do anything else than use the official purple voice outside their forums, and I don't think sending warnings and reminders or even unofficial PM's would be a good idea because we can't know if someone else has already done that. At least I wouldn't want to get 15 PM's with similar content but each written by a different mod. :D


You're right. However, it there's a troll posting in Finnish somewhere else you're probably in a good position to warn the rest of the moderators, considering most of them don't speak Finnish ;)

Naava wrote:Now that we're talking about moderating: what do you think about the old threads? The Finnish forum has 14 pages of threads and the oldest of them date back to 2002. Some of them might be interesting to learners (like translation requests) but I'm not sure if anyone wants to go through 14 pages just to find translated texts. There are also threads where people who haven't logged in for years are looking for someone to practice Finnish with or like this one that's basically everyone saying where they are from and that they study Finnish.

So, do we have any archive for threads like these? Do you want to keep them in the subforums? Should they be merged into a new thread, something like "ancient miscellaneous questions about Finnish"?


We usually don't archive threads. You can merge them if you like, it's your forum ;)

Naava wrote:Another question: the thread "Questions about Finnish" has 112 pages. Do we have any page limit before the thread gets locked and a new one is started? If we don't, should we? And if we should, what would we do to the locked topic? I mean, there's probably useful questions and useful answers, but I don't think that anyone wishing to learn how to say "what about" in Finnish would know to check the page 57...


We only start new threads when it comes to games and stuff like the "Random X thread". I suppose no one will check page 57, but posts will still show up when you use the search button (you can search inside a specific subforum). I really don't see an issue with the information being there, you never know if it might be useful to someone.
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Luís
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-03-04, 10:50

Naava wrote:
OldBoring wrote:I didn't even know I could give reminders and warning...

Yeah, me neither. That's why I suggested we could update the Guidelines. :P


We're updating the whole forum policy anyway, so I guess we can update the guidelines after that.

And for those that don't know, there's also a language moderator tag:

mod

Please don't post spam in Finnish!
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby kevin » 2018-03-04, 11:23

I got a report for this post begin cross-posted here (it's about language exchange between German and Italian, posted in those two subforums). It's technically against the policy, but I'm not planning to take any action because I think that's actually the most sensible thing to do when it's about two specific languages. (Admins, feel free to override my decision.)

So instead, I suggest that we find a way to rephrase 4.4 in a way that explicitly allows this kind of cross-posting.

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-03-04, 11:56

I agree that in this particular case it shouldn't be an issue, so we can perhaps change that section.

kevin wrote:(Admins, feel free to override my decision.)


Like I said before, in cases like this I'm all in favor of letting language moderators decide what they want to do :)
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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-03-04, 16:13

Luís wrote:
Naava wrote:Another question: the thread "Questions about Finnish" has 112 pages. Do we have any page limit before the thread gets locked and a new one is started? If we don't, should we? And if we should, what would we do to the locked topic? I mean, there's probably useful questions and useful answers, but I don't think that anyone wishing to learn how to say "what about" in Finnish would know to check the page 57...

We only start new threads when it comes to games and stuff like the "Random X thread". I suppose no one will check page 57, but posts will still show up when you use the search button (you can search inside a specific subforum). I really don't see an issue with the information being there, you never know if it might be useful to someone.

In the subforum you mod, you can choose whether you start a new thread after 100 pages or not. I've decided not to do so for the Dutch forum, but some other mods do. So it's really up to you.

kevin wrote:So instead, I suggest that we find a way to rephrase 4.4 in a way that explicitly allows this kind of cross-posting.

Two posts is not really a problem, but there have been cases of people posting the exact same post in four different language forums, with just the language name changed. That really clutters up the forums.
Perhaps a general pen-pal thread?

księżycowy wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:The problem is there's nothing in particular to moderate.

I feel the same way. :P

Is that a problem? :P

Naava wrote:Should they be merged into a new thread, something like "ancient miscellaneous questions about Finnish"?

That's a good idea, I might do that for Dutch. People should really learn to ask simple questions in the "Questions about [language]" thread instead of starting lots of new topics that only get a few posts each. :P

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-04, 16:19

Not at all. I'm enjoying my easy time as a mod! :P

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Re: Forum policy review 2018

Postby OldBoring » 2018-03-04, 18:27

I come from Wordreference Forum which is structured exactly in the opposite way as Unilang: one question, one thread.


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