Ending the Nonsense

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Whilyam
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Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:03 pm

http://whilyam.wordpress.com/2010/03/23 ... -nonsense/
I linked to this off of the Writers forum, but I'd be interested in hearing opinions from Open Uru too.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by JWPlatt » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:36 pm

I'm not tracking the issue between you and DocOlanA, mostly because as the "discussion" gets more heated, the posts get longer and I run out of time. The single, broad rule on this domain ("Do no damage"), by which all others can be derived, suggests that an argument is not healthy for the general community but a reasoned, constructive discussion is healthy. It is also requested here that if you have a complaint, be prepared with your own solution to present into the discussion. So I suspect that's where moderation here would judge on whether something has crossed that line of damage. Again, I'm not tracking the topic to know, but serial quoting is a significant sign of an argument and a thread in need of moderation. That's because the participants are probably beginning to drill down into word usage instead of concepts and overall meaning. Ad hominems and pejoratives are reason enough for immediate moderation. One has a choice between calling something a "stupid idea" or saying "I have an idea that might work better." Not knowing the threads involved, I can't really touch on it with any authority. But if any of this is familiar to anyone, they can stand some introspection about what they're out to prove.

By the way, if I were moderating this thread, I'd be very tempted to merge the posts here into the very popular "Forum Moderator Issues" thread in the "Standards For Discussion & Debate" project. The valid reason for that is to change the context of a personal complaint into a broader, more constructive discussion about moderation in general. It transforms the complaint into a solution aimed at an issue instead an individual. But I'm going to leave that up to the moderator here. ;)
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Whilyam
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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:08 pm

JWPlatt wrote:Ad hominems and pejoratives are reason enough for immediate moderation. One has a choice between calling something a "stupid idea" or saying "I have an idea that might work better."
This is true. However, the portion of my post removed was NOT any of these things and, as far as I know (I don't care enough about the many "veralunations" to search for them) the posts that did contain this were left intact.
Also, I get to the point. This can come off as insulting.
By the way, if I were moderating this thread, I'd be very tempted to merge the posts here into the very popular "Forum Moderator Issues" thread in the "Standards For Discussion & Debate" project. The valid reason for that is to change the context of a personal complaint into a broader, more constructive discussion about moderation in general. It transforms the complaint into a solution aimed at an issue instead an individual. But I'm going to leave that up to the moderator here. ;)
This isn't about general moderation. This is a single forum with a long-documented problem. It has a very simple solution. Cyan, in desperation for moderators, allowed veralun to moderate the rest of the MOUL forums. This was a mistake which has seriously degraded the quality of moderating on the MOUL forum. It needs to be rectified as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the community.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by JWPlatt » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:17 pm

The general issue, then, becomes whether multilingual forums should be supported with native-speaking moderators, and how one chooses them or evaluates their performance. And if there is a primary language, what that means to global moderators who need need to deal with all languages. Finally, where should an organization balance seniority and experience with talent? Especially if it consists entirely of volunteers. I'm not judging anyone, but just looking at the kinds of decisions and resources that are generally involved not only in moderation but in a lot of things.

I'll go a bit further. We know how you would not do things. Now how would you staff and moderate a website, generally speaking, if you were a legal, responsible and liable entity with a budget and not a simply a fan? It would be best if you were not specific to individuals and just speak in terms of positions and requirements. But from your plan we should be able to estimate your actual implementation.
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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Nalates » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:37 pm

I can understand your frustration with veralun. Been there, done that.

I don't necessarily agree with you or veralun. I will point out that I find most of my problems with veralun boil down to how I read veralun's, or any second language English speaker's, use of English. Since I have made the 'Language Adjustment' and think about veralin's intended meaning and possible mis-slanting of English, I've had fewer problems and more often agree with veralun. When we disagree I usually consider that I'm not writing clearly and its losing in translation. We can only change ourselves.

As JWP says, (sort of) once things reach the word level the concepts are lost. That points out a unique challenge in veralun's writing. I need to drop down to the the word level, decide on alternate definitions, and try and come back to the concept level to make sense of his post from his viewpoint as the connotation of his writing usually does not match mine.

Standards for D&D was started to find ways to handle problems in discussion and debate.

Since you asked for opinions... I'll say I think your blog post shows you missed the obvious. What veralun said as written does not really make sense. Therefore something else was intended. To continue to discuss the issue using the same words just continues the confusion past what is necessary. The word 'discussion' and whether or not the forum is for 'discussion' shows it has different meanings to each of you at that point in the conversation. The Second Life language translation in the Emerald viewer has a novel feature of providing multiple synonyms for ambiguous (vague, indefinite, uncertain) words... like that. You might try the same.

Your consideration that veralun SHOULD stick to moderating in his language... that is impractical and unrealistic. I've been of that frame of mind at times. I decided I was being provincial, arrogant, and intolerant. I decided to try and change. SD&D is as much for my learning as anyone's.

Edit: The resource question is a good one. While you consider that cross language moderation has made things worse, we have no hard evidence of that. I don't have any that without it things would be worse. I think that, but I don't know it.
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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:51 pm

Nalates wrote:Since you asked for opinions... I'll say I think your blog post shows you missed the obvious. What veralun said as written does not really make sense. Therefore something else was intended. To continue to discuss the issue using the same words just continues the confusion past what is necessary. The word 'discussion' and whether or not the forum is for 'discussion' shows it has different meanings to each of you at that point in the conversation. The Second Life language translation in the Emerald viewer has a novel feature of providing multiple synonyms for ambiguous (vague, indefinite, uncertain) words... like that. You might try the same.
There are two options that I see:
Option 1: Veralun meant what he said and either thinks a forum is not for dialogue or, more insidiously, thinks it is only for APPROVED dialogue.
Option 2: Veralun meant "argument" or "rant" or whatever.

Option 1 I think is true. Consider, if he were mistranslating why did he make the same mistake with discussion in our first exchange. Furthermore, the portion he edited out WAS NOT "over-discussion." It was a request for clarification which was critical to that topic and which had yet to be provided.

Option 2 is not much better. This is why he should moderate a forum in his native language. If he cannot make the distinction between these terms, he has huge issues with moderating in that language. This leads to further problems (see below).
Your consideration that veralun SHOULD stick to moderating in his language... that is impractical and unrealistic. I've been of that frame of mind at times. I decided I was being provincial, arrogant, and intolerant. I decided to try and change. SD&D is as much for my learning as anyone's.
It is neither impractical nor unrealistic, it is vital. By provincial I assume you mean something along the lines of "consider your own language superior." I am not being one of those silly people getting angry because the customer care representative "dudn't speek 'merican!" this is a point of efficacy. Veralun is an ineffective moderator both inherently and because he does not appear to understand/be able to type English with the necessary proficiency. And this is disastrous to the prospects of Uru. I spoke out because I've been here a while and I've experienced this before. What if this happens to a new person? What about the numerous topics in the MOU forum asking about making Ages that get veralun's absurd and cold response of "Go over there! We don't talk about THAT here"

Cyan and Uru cannot afford to let this stuff slide anymore. The MOUL forums have several good new moderators who speak English and type it very well.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by admin » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:06 pm

With Whilyam's okay, this thread has been moved to this more appropriate section, Standards For Discussion & Debate. He requests that the topic stand on its own and not be merged with another. I'd like his cooperation respected in that regard, but the project managers and global moderators have final say.

For this topic to remain, however, it must be constructive from here on out and not become an attack on any individual.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:37 pm

Does that mean I can attack a group of people? :D

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Whilyam » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:31 pm

A comment on the post from semplerfi:
Welcome to the growing world of veralun’s outcasts Whilyam.

Not much fun being under veralun’s gun is it?

And… some of you wondered why some of us do and say some of the things we do.

Spot on Whilyam. Thank you. (^8
This is exactly the problem this poor moderation spawns. A group viewing themselves as outcasts, constantly under threat (under the gun). It leads to unnecessary fracturing. Beyond simple splitting of the community, there are unknown others who simply walk away, unwilling to deal with the unfriendly atmosphere.

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Re: Ending the Nonsense

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:42 pm

Well, speaking as one of the "new moderators" on the MOUL forums (whether "good new" or not possibly remains to be seen), what I can say is there are simply too damn few moderators to make things work properly, and that's not veralun's fault - I think he was the one pushing for more mods to be appointed. Veralun puts himself out on the line by making descisions that some of the rest of us are humming and hawing over. That's kind of brave and I respect him for that, although errors of judgement will occur for any number of reasons, and I don't always agree with his decisions.

The problem that arises on a relatively busy forum like the MOUL one is a that a post that is controversial in some way can easily appear at a time when there are no moderators around to deal with it in a timely manner. Or it simply goes unobserved. Then, once a post attracts a number of replies it becomes increasingly difficult to moderate. Some things will be clear breaches of Cyan's rules (which some people seem not to have read, or simply chose to ignore, particularly Rule 1) but often a post will be partly relevant to the discussion and partly, say, a flame of another user. I've seen a number of threads that have developed that way, and as one of the "new kids on the block" I'm a little reluctant to wade in and start editing posts left, right and centre, so I'll take it back to the other mods and say "what do you think we should do with this?". That takes time and can allow the problem worsen. So you get left with the choice of either trashing a whole chunk of posts or leaving them as is, because piecemeal editing is too time consuming. Sometimes the wrong decision will be made.

People have the power of the "Report" button at their fingertips, but not that many people seem to want to use it, preferring to rise to trolling bait and argue things out in public instead. People can influence the moderation (in a positive way) and help to stop it being a reaction too late after the event - mods can't be everywhere, but reporting posts can help them get to the trouble spots sooner, before heavy moderation becomes necessary. If someone feels they've been wrongly treated by moderation (and I guess it will happen even with the best intentions) then "see Rule 1".

I expect a lot of people judge the MOUL site by the "standards" of other fan sites, in some cases forgetting that the MOUL forums are part of Cyan's "shop window", so the moderators are expected to follow Cyan's guidelines on posting policy, so yeah, speech isn't quite as free as it may be on other forums. If something gets sticky then the Cyan admins can be (and are) called in to adjudicate.

I give this mainly as an in-line explanation of sorts, not as a direct response to Whilyam's OP. I hope it makes some kind of sense. I'm not trying to excuse inconsistency, which I think is Whilyam's main point, but lack of manpower is a significant issue. Veralun just happens to be the guy who steps up to the plate more often than most.

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