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Subject: Moderation policy

Author: Don Beal

Date: 09:45:17 09/21/98


I'd like to start with a large Thank You to Steve Schwartz
and the moderators for creating this forum and policing it.

This forum is successful because of its charter - no personal
attacks; on-topic posts only.

The charter alone is not enough.  Some posts (and if necessary,
posters) have to be deleted, because human nature being what it
is, and with the numbers of people who have web access, without
action to back the charter, there will be outbreaks of hostility
(and inappropriate topics) which will ruin the forum.

There has been discussion about rules for the moderators.  My
belief at the time was that we were voting for the moderators
to *use their judgement* to delete posts and/or posters.

Now the moderators, and the CCC community, seem to have drifted into
a position of trying to establish rules that govern their actions.
Fine, but it's costing more time and energy than is justified.
If this forum occupied a larger fraction of real life, or was the
basis for significant parts of national economies, then yes
definitely, have extensive political debate about policy and
individual cases.  But in my opinion, the current situation is
better handled by appointing moderators and letting them get on
with it silently.

I think the moderators have been very restrained.  They have
removed very few posts, and banned very few posters.  They
have tolerated many posts that were objectionable, in order to
avoid over-reacting.  They are willing to give posters second
chances.

I say we should accept their decisions.  All their decisions.
And stop trying to write down rules for their actions.  And
they should act silently.

Debating the decisions is re-introducing the problem that the
existence of the moderators solves.

However, moderators should be acccountable, so I do have one
suggestion.  If Steve and Tim can do it, I suggest all deleted
posts go into an archive that can be inspected by any reader.
Then anyone concerned that the moderators are censoring legitimate
posts, or acting inappropriately, can judge for themselves.

The moderators should seek votes of confidence occasionally.
With this in place, debates on moderator decisions should be
regarded as off-topic (although comment about a decision could
still be accepted at the discretion of the moderators).

Don Beal.



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