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big_bob
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The reason I pose the question is from reading the Muggle This ! thread. Although interesting I agree that is seemed to breach the guideline quoted by mandarin. My concern is at the immediate closure of the thread. Looking at the forum guidelines it says:

We (Groundspeak, Groundspeak’s staff, and the volunteer moderators) reserve the right to edit/remove inappropriate messages, or to lock a discussion thread. Before taking any of these actions, a moderator will attempt to steer the discussion back to the topic, if this is possible and appropriate.

(my emphasis)

 

I can't see any attempt to steer the discussion back on track, just the sudden closure of the thread. This is not the first time this has happened recently either.

 

I stress that I agree with mandarin (the forum moderator) that the discussion seemed to breach a guideline so needed some action taking. Surely a warning would have been in order before cutting the discussion short.

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I think there was over-moderation in this case: as far as I was concerned, I had said what I wanted to and the thread could have remained open. I had nothing further to add but I’m certainly going to defend myself publicly should others see fit to take a thread off topic in order to have a punt.

 

To keep this one on topic in terms of moderating and the reason for the closure of the Muggle This! thread (Sometimes, a discussion thread strays off into […] a heated debate among a very small number of users. For these exchanges, we ask that you please use the Private Message feature), bear in mind that I was communicating by email to the other party but they were replying one-sidedly by posting logs on the cache page. In terms of this thread, then, how is one supposed to behave if replies to emails and PMs are done the way these were done?

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I can't see any attempt to steer the discussion back on track, just the sudden closure of the thread

 

Which is only one option open to Moderators

 

We (Groundspeak, Groundspeak’s staff, and the volunteer moderators) reserve the right to edit/remove inappropriate messages, or to lock a discussion thread. Before taking any of these actions, a moderator will attempt to steer the discussion back to the topic, if this is possible and appropriate.

 

Bold is my emphasis

 

The Topic developed into a follow up private discussion from one that spread on to a cache page. As such Mandarin was correct in closing it.

 

This is not the first time this has happened recently either.

 

mandarin has both mine and Groundspeaks full support over the way she is moderating this forum. If you wish to post in a extremely lightly moderated forum, then the GAGB Forum would be ideal.

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If you wish to post in a extremely lightly moderated forum, then the GAGB Forum would be ideal.

So the GAGB forum is Lightly moderated and this GSP forum is not?

 

All I was trying to ascertain is why no warning was given. You yourself have said that a warning can be given

if this is possible and appropriate.

In this case of course it was possible. No obscenities or other inappropriate language were being used, the argument was being conducted in a civilised way, even if it was developing into a personal dispute. no swearing or similar was involved.

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I agree that the discussion was stopped without sufficient warning. It was getting a bit personal, but it was interesting. There I was - reading the original cache page (that must have had several interesting logs missing), and the thread and when next I saw the thread was closed. It was really a very interesting topic with all sorts of relevant comments. I do miss the continuation of the topic.

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The title and the link in the first post of that closed Topic referred specifically to one cache. The thread developed into a dispute primarily between the two parties involved.

 

When I closed the Topic I informed the OP that if he wished to start a new Topic covering the broader issues regarding extreme caches then he was welcome to do so and this applies equally to anyone else who wishes to continue that part of the debate.

 

mandarin :)

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I do beleive the moderating in these forums has become too heavy handed :)

 

That is the reason myself and many other very rarely visit any more, the regional forums are much friendlier/nicer place to be :)

 

I know this is not very well put but...

 

If the boat is dritfing along nicely and every one is happy happy happy then the thread will be left open...

 

Once the boat starts to wobble and people have a real discussion the thread will be closed :)

 

Just my opinion

 

M :D

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Personally, I think closing the thread was the right option.

 

Don't get me wrong, it was highly entertaining :laughing: watching the two protagonists frantically quoting one another like cheap TV lawyers as their discussion degenerated from a geocaching-related issue into a full-blown "he said - she said" hissy fit.

 

Unfortunately, as it developed their argument became less about geocaching and more about not backing down and admitting that maybe, possibly and perhaps not reading a cache listing is a teensy bit silly, and that pulling a cache listing because someone has been a teensy bit silly is just a tiny teeny itsy bit of an over-reraction...

 

Given that there was obviously nowhere the discussion could go, closing the thread seems to have been the correct move.

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Personally, I think closing the thread was the right option.

 

I fully agree with this sentiment as I do with most of the Mods decisions. The problems arise - and let me stress that I am not, in any way, criticising the UK mods who sometimes have to act under compulsion from TBTB - is when moderation becomes censorship, either directly or by enforcing unpublished "rules" that are invented on the fly to stifle criticism of "you know who".

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I think that the style of moderation in the UK section IS rather more heavy-handed than you see elsewhere. But it seems that there are some very sensitive people frequenting this section, so the moderators have had to adopt this style to protect their feelings. I'm not talking about any particular thread: it's been a general trend over the last couple of years. It's difficult to get a discussion going here without upsetting someone. :unsure:

 

For those that prefer a more robust discussion, the main (non-regional) Geocaching section allows much more freedom to voice your opinions. Whilst it's still subject to moderation, in my opinion there are more people there who can cope with being challenged and can tolerate a discussion without feeling that it's an argument. Or indeed, ignore it. They will tend to be mostly US-based though! :laughing:

 

Obviously, if the topic is specifically related to British caching then this isn't a good alternative, so I suggest the GAGB forum or one of the regional ones.

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Said it once say it again.. The Book is for the guidance of the wise and the obediance of fools..

 

This is my first post in a long time.. I think some one of the new moderators should take a step back and remember this is a discussion forum..

 

If a discussion goes of track.. put it back on track..

 

I was a pain as a moderator. but always tried to be fair to all parties..

 

OK.. 3 day ban.. Byeeeeeeeeeeeee

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Said it once say it again.. The Book is for the guidance of the wise and the obediance of fools..

Hear hear. I think certain people around 5000 miles west of here would do well to remember that.

 

In my experience, being a forum moderator is often a thankless task and you often only hear from people when things go wrong. Everyone has their own style of moderating and I would hesitate to criticise someone who was trying their damnedest to do what they believe is right for the people they serve i.e. the general geocaching public.

 

In the six months since my abrupt "change in circumstances" I have certainly seen things done differently here. But as one of the reasons I had to leave was a disagreement with the company that owns this forum over my style of moderating I guess I'm in no position to give an unbiased opinion. Maybe I was too far from the Groundspeak ethos and in any case the world has moved on.

 

There are lots of people, many of them new, enjoying the forum as it now is so "carry on moderating" :lol:

 

Edited to say: It's all yours now, I'll leave you to it.

Edited by The Hornet
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I have an opinion on this subject, but am fearful of expressing it. I'll leave it to others to decide what that might say about Groundspeak's forum moderation.

Surely you can express an opinion, however reactionary, as long as you abide by the published guidelines. This is a DISCUSSION forum after all, all opinions should be accepted.

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I have an opinion on this subject, but am fearful of expressing it. I'll leave it to others to decide what that might say about Groundspeak's forum moderation.

Surely you can express an opinion, however reactionary, as long as you abide by the published guidelines. This is a DISCUSSION forum after all, all opinions should be accepted.
Let's say I've been warned against poking the sleeping bear with even the bluntest of sticks.
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I have an opinion on this subject, but am fearful of expressing it. I'll leave it to others to decide what that might say about Groundspeak's forum moderation.

Surely you can express an opinion, however reactionary, as long as you abide by the published guidelines. This is a DISCUSSION forum after all, all opinions should be accepted.

Let's say I've been warned against poking the sleeping bear with even the bluntest of sticks.

 

In which case the moderation is a bit to harsh if forum members are not allowed to commenct on things like the actions of the moderators. Nobody is perfect and that includes many moderators on many forums I belong to, yet on all the others the members are allowed to comment as long as they are not abusive or threatening.

Edited by DrDick&Vick
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... and many more refrain from speaking their mind because of it! :)

I wasn't aware of anyone being banned due to criticism of the moderation.

 

I was aware of a ban but I thought it was for persistent use of what were deemed to be offensive words, or corruptions of offensive words used as surrogates for those words.

 

Have I got that wrong?

 

Rgds, Andy

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It's a thankless task being a mod. Just remember they are doing the job for us all. They aren't getting paid, often have to put up with a lot of abuse and rarely get a pat on the back. It is only when they carry out an action that someone stands up and complains about that they are even noticed most of the time.

 

I for one am thankfull that they stepped up to the base and are doing the job - they often show a lot more restraint than others would do in the post. Just remember you can please some of the people all of the time but you'll only please all of the people some of the time.

 

They are under a lot of pressure from above and no doubt have their moments with the powers that be behind closed doors but at the end of the day if we all behave ourselves on here they wouldn't have to make any 'dodgy calls'. There are lots of very touchy people with thin skins who seem to forget its just a game.....honest it - at least thats what my therapist says when I tell him it's all about the numbers and icons :) .

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... and many more refrain from speaking their mind because of it! ;)
I wasn't aware of anyone being banned due to criticism of the moderation.

 

I was aware of a ban but I thought it was for persistent use of what were deemed to be offensive words, or corruptions of offensive words used as surrogates for those words.

 

Have I got that wrong?

 

Rgds, Andy

Yes, you've got it wrong. Again. :)
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Yes, you've got it wrong. Again. :)

I wasn't aware I had got it wrong before? I still can't find any instance where anyone was banned for criticising the moderation, and I'd be pleased if you or anyone else could point me to it? By email if you feel constrained about posting it here.

 

Rgds, Andy

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It's a thankless task being a mod. [...] They are under a lot of pressure from above <snip>

I would be inclined to say that they are under a lot of pressure from the side, rather than above. The people on the side my feel they are under pressure from above, though. Therein sometimes lies the dadgum poblem. "Dadgum": I ask you. :)

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I have always felt that on this forum it is the members you have to be wary off, rather than the moderators!

 

That is not to say I haven't had my disagreements with the moderators in the past, but that was the past. So far since Mandarin has came along and stepped up to the plate, I haven't had anything to complain about. Yes, she has told me off on here as well :) but still nothing to complain about.

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Yes, you've got it wrong. Again. :)
I wasn't aware I had got it wrong before? I still can't find any instance where anyone was banned for criticising the moderation, and I'd be pleased if you or anyone else could point me to it? By email if you feel constrained about posting it here.

 

Rgds, Andy

You stand corrected then. Have a look at some of my replies to some of your past inaccurate comments on the topic of 'rude words' to see where you previously got it wrong. Perhaps you didn't see them before; certainly you never responded when I challenged you on them. I've never minded people having different opinions from me, but I do, and did, object to misrepresentation of demonstrable facts.

 

As for challenging authority here, there are many more ways life can be made difficult than an unsubtle ban. Use your imagination. ;)

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It's a thankless task being a mod.

<snip>

They are under a lot of pressure from above and no doubt have their moments with the powers that be behind closed doors..<snip>

And therein lies the problem. With this company, Moderators volunteer their time and experience to deal with "local" situations in what they perceive to be an appropriate way but when push comes to shove there are those who profess to "know better" and their views inevitably hold sway.

 

It has been made abundantly clear that this is NOT a "local" forum, rather it is part of a corporate entity and everyone who contributes must abide by the customs and standards of those who own the company.

 

There is little or no room for discretion for the poor saps who try their damnedest to be fair to contributors here. My sympathy goes out to them.

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You stand corrected then. Have a look at some of my replies to some of your past inaccurate comments on the topic of 'rude words' to see where you previously got it wrong. Perhaps you didn't see them before; certainly you never responded when I challenged you on them. I've never minded people having different opinions from me, but I do, and did, object to misrepresentation of demonstrable facts.

 

As for challenging authority here, there are many more ways life can be made difficult than an unsubtle ban. Use your imagination. :anicute:

Unless somone can point me to where anyone has been banned merely for criticising the moderation of a topic, which no-one has yet, I haven't misrepresented anything or "got anything wrong" and nothing needs to be "corrected".

 

Where I have not responded in the past it was simply because I had already clearly made my point and it would have been a waste of time to repeat myself.

 

Not sure I understand what you mean by the last para.

 

Rgds, Andy

Edited by Amberel
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Unless somone can point me to where anyone has been banned merely for criticising the moderation of a topic, which no-one has yet, I haven't misrepresented anything or "got anything wrong" and nothing needs to be "corrected".
That's not the bit you got wrong. You're 100% right; no one has been banned for criticising the moderation of a topic (yet, you said. Who knows; a topic is closed, someone starts a new thread on the topic, it's closed, they start another, while questioning why the other two had been locked- bang, banned?) - I don't know quite where the suggestion this had ever happened came from though. Dorsetgal, who you quoted, was responding to mongoose39uk's post about the discussion NOT getting anyone banned. I think her point was clear enough.

It was other suggestions you made which weren't accurate.

Where I have not responded in the past it was simply because I had already clearly made my point and it would have been a waste of time to repeat myself.
I have no comment to make on this :D
Not sure I understand what you mean by the last para.

 

Rgds, Andy

Spelling it out would ruin the mystery. :anicute: Team Sieni has a point- except for the heated element. I've been staying broadly on topic though, but to be more direct; is GC Forum Moderation heavy-handed? I'd say, with a warning for using a word beginning with D which I'm not aware of anyone else ever being punished for, and what happened to The Hornet over calendars and coins, that it can be and has been in the past.
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(yet, you said. Who knows; a topic is closed ...
By "which no-one has yet" I really meant no-one had yet pointed out to me where it had occurred. But no matter. As far as the rest is concerned, if I responded I'd only be repeating myself.

 

There are places where I too think moderation was too heavy, the calendars are indeed one such example, but on the whole I think they get it pretty much right. It's a fine line they have to tread.

 

Rgds, Andy

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