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How NOT to moderate discussion boards  
Posted by ALP on March 12 2008, 21:15 » Uploaded 13/03/08 00:40  

There are two "political" discussion boards that have been set up for the specific purpose of illustrating how not to moderate discussions. I recommend both:

1. Moderator as interfering teacher ("Children, please behave!"). Cheerful but totally inconsistent application of board "rules", many knuckles wrapped: Persistence of Vision

2. Moderator as Stalinist assassin. You just disappear. Without warning. Nobody's aware you've disappeared. You're never heard of again: Medialens

Of the two, I much prefer the obnoxious schoolteacher, although it's a bad sign when they call themselves "Redverskyle The Undetermined". And it's a bad sign when they dissemble and post under multiple names to attack those whose views they dislike, or allow others to do so. Or, rather, it would be a bad sign if they did that, but of course they don't. Hypothetically, if you discovered they did that, you'd request to have all your posts removed from the board as a matter of principle.

COMMENTS Post comment


Comment 01 – Jim March 13 2008, 01:24

Yes. I agree, at least about the teacher type. The rules at PoV are applied inconsistently. A sure recipe for disaster.

All I said was "A female-impersonator with a vendetta is far from impartial". They removed the line. I asked why. They removed the post. I posed the question in parts to see which one they would removed. They removed them all and banned me for 48 hours.

All they had to do was answer the question. Of course, accountability would be out of keeping with teacher-tyranny with an axe to grind. So there you go.

But it went on. I posted from another IP, stating my case. They banned me for a month. This is how it goes at the easy-going teacher-tyranny of PoV. I posted from another IP and they banned me for life.

Notice, when geek got banned he continued posting from other IPs, for those who recall. Was he banned for life as a result? No, he wasn't. Not geek and he just went on posting after clearly being banned.

All my posts are now disappeared within an instant all for asking how the offending sentence broke the rules. No answer given. Oh well.

I hope their hypocrisy gnaws at their soul.

Comment 02 – Russ Bridger March 13 2008, 08:11

Another person at that PoV board noted how creepy it was that someone was allowed to post under multiple names while simultaneously breaking several board rules in each post and without so much as a warning from the moderator.

I think the difference between that person ("Stephen Ampadu") and people who have received warnings or been banned is that Ampadu was interested solely in stalking and attacking a critic of Medialens. For that, he seemed to get a free license.

He was a bit of a Rory Bremner, too, as I remember. LOL:

A Medialens creep. He sounds exactly like "Bern" or Sketchley or one of the other ML twerps.

Comment 03 – Ginger Joe March 13 2008, 08:14

"it's a bad sign when they dissemble and post under multiple names to attack those whose views they dislike"


Comment 04 – Jade March 13 2008, 11:16

ALP [translation] All I want to do is post under lots of names and continue my little war against Medialens. Why can't I do that and whats wrong with being called Anna and Bob and Susan? (yada yada) Everyone else is a liar, everyone else is in a conspiracy with medialens..... (cont.p 94)

Jim [translation]

So I broke the rules and got my posted edited. No biggie but then I argued about this and posted up the snipped bits in a second post. The mods deleted this too -weird, huh? Then I posted more, using the same bits that got snipped. Then I got a little 2 day ban. Then I get around that by posting from lots of IP addresses and the mods wiped those too. So then I post under different names and different IPs and the mods got pissed at me and banned me for good.

I really don't get it, what did I do wrong?? Its not like its someone elses forum and Im serially breaking rules because I think I'm special. Oh wait --- yes it is....

Comment 05 – g33kThug March 13 2008, 13:05

Jim, I did get banned from Paritsan O' Vision for 48 hours and then made a single post from another IP to gripe about it. The moderator increased the ban to a week. I don't recall ever having "carried on" posting after being banned.

I've pointed out that criticizing Medialens is rather risky at PoV because the mod is fond of the Davids and their ugly, authoritarian, passive-aggressive, lefty politics.

He's as humourless as them too - as can be seen from him also banning me for "defacing the PoV banner" by using a bit of CSS to switch the masthead:[...]

I'm bored with getting called names by the dopey Trots and netkook conspiracy theorists over there anyhow.

Comment 06 – fatbongo March 13 2008, 14:13


I've got no brief for medialens, but you come across as a real weirdo.

Why don't you set up a blog "why I hate medialens" where you can continue to follow your strange obsession with them, rather than clogging up other boards with this tedious campaign?

Someone (maybe you) has already have done so but looking at the number of the number of comments, no one is interested.

In short, fuck off and get a life.

Comment 07 – Jim March 13 2008, 14:29


What you say is fair enough, if you want to accept arbitrary authority, for your piece omits any evaluation of the removed sentence. Did it or did it not break the rules? Is this a valid question?

Jim: Yes, of course.
Jade: No. These matters are decided by an independent arbiter who cannot be questioned. Rules are not a matter of common concern, but rather something whose application and interpretation is entirely a matter for the owner of the board.

Here lies our disagreement, not, as you misconstrue it, on whether individuals ought to be allowed to break rules with impunity.

So, if you can show me that there really is something against the rules in "A female-impersonator with a vendetta is far from impartial", then I will give you all the rest.

Comment 08 – Mordecai March 13 2008, 15:01

The Medialens lot can be a quite an unpleasant bunch when their belief in their own moral righteousness is threatened.

Comment 09 – Russ Bridger March 13 2008, 16:52

ROTFL. "Jade" sounds remarkably like the character I mentioned in my post, above - the only person in the universe to have an obsession with "Anna and Bob and Susan", and to accuse others of using multiple identities whilst setting the Guiness Book record for the amount of sock-puppetry conducted on a Tuesday afternoon on PoV.

Comment 10 – MattS March 13 2008, 20:22

I know what you mean about moderating, ALP. I've participated in a lot of supposedly open, "progressive" forums and it's depressing how quickly it all gets a bit heavy with the "rules". Don't be too hard on the mods of those boards you mentioned, though. It's not an easy job.

Transparency is the key. Better to openly appear too heavy-handed on authority than to try to "disappear" postings or posters without anyone knowing. I think "progressive" moderators are so self-conscious about appearing authoritarian that they slide down the slippery slope of hiding what they are doing.

Comment 11 – Board admin. March 13 2008, 21:48

Apologies for the delay in putting up these comments. We don't monitor things 12 hrs a day, so we're not set up for good back-and-forth debates - unless you're into really slow-motion tennis matches. I've just hit an amazing serve, and I'll have to wait two days to see if Cliff's backhand is up to it?

Comment 12 – KEMA March 13 2008, 22:01


"So, if you can show me that there really is something against the rules in "A female-impersonator with a vendetta is far from impartial", then I will give you all the rest."

The Mods on POV say its against rules. There up there on the site so read them. You definately did NOT read the bit where they say:

Moderating a message board is an inexact science. We do our best to enforce the rules as fairly as possible. Nevertheless, we reserve to ourselves the sole right to interpret and apply the rules as we see fit. Users who are unhappy with an aspect of moderation are invited to email us, however, we do not welcome complaints about moderation on the board itself.

Thier board, they pay for it, their rules, their intepretation. You admit yourself that you WENT OUT OF you way to bug them so quit complain when you have no one else to blame except yourself.

All the people here whining about forum rules and "arbitrary power" need to realise that these places are paid for by people and that posters are visitors/guests. YOu don't like the place -pay for your own.

Comment 13 – Shakespere March 14 2008, 13:11

KEMA, thou quailing, rump-fed miscreant, what you forget is that the POV mods allowed a certain person to use the "female impersonator" type insults for months (along with many other breaches of the rules) without so much as a warning (in contrast to their treatment of Jim and most others). Now, I couldn't give a gleeking pox-marked whoreson over the issue of who pays for the board. The issue is hypocrisy.

Jim, thou pribbling milk-livered oaf - stop stealing all my best randomly-generated lines.


Comment 14 – Jim March 14 2008, 22:41

We can always continue discussion over here:[...] if you like?



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