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Old Feb 06, 2013, 07:22 PM
Wonderfully Wicked
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Willoughby, Ohio
Joined Jan 2002
12,969 Posts
Complaint
Selective moderation when there are too many violations?

I have seen mods do this before in the past and it happened again today:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...2&postcount=67

The post says " It looks like there are a lot of rule violations in this thread, so instead of handing out a bunch of infractions we're just going to close this thread.
...."


First of all I have no personal interest in the parties involved in that thread, my concern/question is in regards to the logic of why the mod closed the thread and did not want to spend time to issue points. A rule infraction should be a rule infraction and the points should be awarded if they break site rules. By not doing so, you reward exceptional rule breaking behavior and everyone involved simply gets a pass with no ramifications for their actions.

The lesson I learn from the mods post is that if I wanted to intentionally break a site rule, for example, if I wanted to personally attack a person I do not like, it is in my best interest to make the thread into a huge flame festival/spectacle so that there are a lot of rule violations and reported posts and the mods apparently will just give up and close the thread and not hand out all the points. However I thought we are each responsible for our behavior so if a guy is flaming away and I decide to flame back and in the process break site rules, then I should still be given points for my behavior just as they should get points for their behavior. Why does the number of reported post in the thread matter? Just because it is inconvenient for the mods to review all the reported posts in one thread to me is not a valid excuse. If a post breaks a rule then it breaks a rule. I have seen guys get 10 points in one day for flying off the handle but that same behavior can be simply forgiven if it happens in a thread where a mod decides to just close the thread and not issue points instead of dealing with all the infracting posts. To me that is not a fair way to do it. The mods say they have 100s of post a day to review, so be it. But why is one thread not worth reviewing for all the infractions and another reported thread is? If it is too much work for one mod then maybe the work needs to be divided up to more mods in such a situation or if it takes days to assign points then so be it.

That closed thread is only 67 posts long and that is over a 2 day period so there are really not that many posts to go over. I have seen flame thread wars here on RCG were 100s of posts were posted in less than an hour. Those at least I can see some rational in closing them, but even after closing the points should still be issued to those who broke the rules because as it is stated over and over, we are all responsible for our own posts/actions. I just do not see how because a thread has a lot of infractions in it why then it becomes exempt from moderation?

Don
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 08:13 AM
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Jim T. Graham's Avatar
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This was not done because it was inconvenient for the moderator. It was done to keep from issuing points to multiple users. The first post of the thread was warned as a personal attack. That is usually good sign the thread is going to go bad. On the other I do see your point. I will take a look.
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 04:48 PM
Wonderfully Wicked
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Willoughby, Ohio
Joined Jan 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim T. Graham View Post
It was done to keep from issuing points to multiple users.
My question then is why? Why do those multiple users get a free pass in that thread and multiple users in other hotly debated threads do not get such a pass? If multiple users violated the rules in that thread or any thread then they should also be awarded points for their bad behavior. Just because they may have been provoked by the initial poster is not an excuse, each RCG member is responsible for themselves and what they post. That is the mantra repeated here in SSC and the appeals section and I have read it so many times that for me it is an automatic consideration when I make a post anymore. Believe me there are times when I just hold my tongue in some threads when I could have easily posted a few zingers that would most likely gain me a few personal attack points, but I refrain from doing so.

The other users in that thread could have all walked away from that thread and not responded just as in any other inflammatory thread, but they chose to be involved and behave in the manner they did. So I am just asking why are they not responsible for their behavior like the rest of the RCG user base is? I think the "It looks like there are a lot of rule violations in this thread, so instead of handing out a bunch of infractions we're just going to close this thread." policy in the long run will cause more issues than it resolves. It is at best a temporary solution. It offers no behavior change of the users involved, it just stops the discussion form continuing on.

However, I believe It also invites escalating thread intensity without fear of repercussions. That is what I think is unfair. For example I can post in a thread that I think a user such and such is an idiot and then I get a point for personal attack but a thread where a bunch of guys hurl pages of insults at each other, probably enough points to give them all 10 point temp bans, and if mod closes the thread and decides there are too many points to hand out, then they all get away with it. It is like a cop pulling over a guy going 37 mph in a 35mph zone while letting go the guy going 50 mph through a red light. They both broke the law. They both deserve a ticket.

I would think a thread that was so inflammatory that it had to be shut down would be highly undesirable on RCG and the mods would take the extra effort to issue points to ALL involved as a deterrent from it happening again. But the lesson being taught is the opposite, a free for all is the best way to hope to avoid getting points.

I do think closing inflammatory threads can be a good idea. I just think not issuing points is sending the wrong message. I wish the thread I was involved in that I received my last personal attack point for was closed by the mods. That way I never would have received my point. Guess I should have escalated my comments to make the thread more inflammatory

I just want to reiterate that I am not really concerned over the topic or specific posters of that one specific thread that was closed. I am concerned over the policy of closing and non issuing of points by the mod as I have seen that happen before and that is what I am questioning.

Don
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 04:57 PM
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Ultimately the thread was left closed and appropriate points were issued. Thanks for your input.
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 08:21 PM
Wonderfully Wicked
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Willoughby, Ohio
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Quote:
Should a mod close a thread with multiple rule infractions or simply warn every post? That is up to the mod.
This explains a lot, I was not aware of this policy. I incorrectly assumed that all posts that are in violation of RCG rules were infractionable. I was not aware that a mod may at their discretion elect to overlook violations after they have closed a thread.

Consequently, I now can see why some people claim they are a victim of moderation bias because points may be awarded at the beginning of a thread but later when it gets more heated and out of hand the thread is simply closed. So those who engaged in the fight first will most likely get the points and those who join later in the fight may all get a pass on points when the mod closes the thread in this manner.

I would think those who were awarded points early on in such a closed thread could now appeal those points on the basis that other posts in the same thread were not awarded points due to the mods discretion to give immunity. In my opinion, to be fair, if a mod closes a thread then they need to either assign all points to all users in violation, or declare amnesty for all infractionable posts in that specific closed thread. Otherwise you can have a mix of people who get points and a mix of those who do not get points in the same thread, the only difference being the timing of their post in relation to the mods decision to close the thread and not award points. I would think those who received the points (when other violators did not) would be upset and feel they were being singled out by the mod involved.

Thanks for your time.

Don
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Old Feb 07, 2013, 08:54 PM
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Don
I will discuss this issue our mods during our next moderation meeting. Thank you for the thought and time you have put into this. Have a great weekend.
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