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Mod re-election thread #2!

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Guest Albatross_

If a community does not wish to conform to your definition of good, no form of moderation will make it do so.

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You're wasting your time, Albatron. Pleeb gets it.

But he doesn't really grasp how severely true what you're saying is.

As far as just how true it is: It's borderline tautology. One could argue, "Then we ban the people who won't be good and so change the community." In that case the condition is no longer met; the logic still holds. It's a different community from the one that hypothetically "does not wish to conform to your definition of good." The only questionable part of it is whether moderation alone can actually cause people to conform or not. It's ultimately another issue of nature vs. nurture. To be fully honest, I've never made the nature argument here before, and if not for:

You canb't dictate the actions of others because that is wrong on its face!

I might never have known (how) to do so.

How is it what I said backwards and contrary to human psychology?

Allow me to explain:

#tulpa.info has a stricter moderation team, and I have instructed my moderators to moderate strictly. I actually wish some in there would moderate MORE strictly.

Esp if it imposes controls, that's better for me, even controls on the moderation team (which are in place for the forums), as it centralizes and organizes things to run even smoother

If you would like to shoot me a PM with your own more strict rule set, please do so, and we can work something out.

See it now? I'd PM you my own set of rules, but it would be anything but strict. I haven't found strict to be useful. Not in rules. When I used to imagine being strict, I imagined it at the software level; people would be digitally unable to do what I dictate can't be done. Anything that can be handled by a well-placed line of code should be, and including it as a written rule is wrong. Because:

if people know what they're allowed to do.

This isn't just a Pretty Big If. This is a Never Going to Happen scenario. People knowing what they are allowed to do involves them caring what is and is not allowed in the first place. We don't. Because we can't just make cares from nothingness; we care about survival, and being in an immensely social taxonomic order, we care about the survival of not only ourselves, but everyone around us. Evolution has made our entire taxonomic order bound by this principle. We value each other's company far more than may be otherwise biologically healthy on an individual member of the species basis. We care about the company of others on a deep, genetic level.


If the rules didn't already reflect the common values of the collective, the collective wasn't going to care to follow them in the first place. Most people, and I do mean by a large margin, I'm talking 90% here, and this is a genetic statistic, are already set in their ways. They were never going to read the rules because they can "just as easily" find another community of people to hang out with.


But that's not even the biggest issue. Most people don't write rule sets that contradict human behavior. For the most part, and this forum is included here, people write rules that pander to other people. This is all well and common human behavior. Most of us (large statistic) already agree on most (very large statistic) of this stuff. The biggest issue here, as I see it, is that we suck at communicating it.


Here, I'll actually quote the rubyeah no. I'm not reading all that. I'm three rules in and it's already a mess. Yeah okay this things is destructive on multiple levels. It's also haphazard and disorganized. "Disorganized?! But there's even a table of contents!" THAT'S A BAD SIGN. A ToC doesn't make otherwise disorganized content organized, it just makes it appear as if someone has put effort into organizing it into neat coherent chunks. This thing is clear as mud in trying to say things that people already all agree on in the first place for the most part. You don't make yourself clear by trying to explain the finer points of human interaction; that actually makes things confusing by trying to fit into neat little boxes and statements what can't be categorized easily. (See: The Natural Language Parsing problem.)


Neither does brevity on the matter work; sometimes finer points of behavior need to be stated explicitly as different from the general overarching principle of, "We'd like anyone to be able to use these forums and enjoy it." Hell, even that goes without saying. Just put a donate button up and it'll be trivial for a child to ask their parent, "Why does this site want money?" Obviously it's because running a site costs money to someone. If that isn't a plea for the userbase to try to make a friendly and communal atmosphere, I don't know what is.


If it were possible for people to really know what they were allowed to do, we wouldn't need moderators.


Now compound that by the fact that this was said in the context of the staff knowing what it is and is not allowed to do with its power.

This doesn't mean that I'm going around picking staff members who agree with me on everything.

Obviously not. Finding clones is hard. But suppose you could. Suppose there were a dozen other Pleeb's running around that agreed with you on all the right issues with the same level of severity in their beliefs as you have. Tell me you wouldn't love to have a staff like that. Yes, it's easy to concede it's never going to happen; that's not the point. The point is, hypothetically, if you could, wouldn't that be the ideal moderation team?


The question is rhetorical, of course: I'm simply pointing out that having the moderators know how to judge as you see fit is the primary problem of written rule based moderation systems. At a glance, this is not the problem that was in mind when the current set of rules was drafted. At a glance, and with further inspection, it becomes quite apparent that these rules were drafted by a mind focusing on the problem of getting people to behave. That is: They were written to solve a problem that is 90% solved. If you want to argue it isn't at least that level of solved, then I can push it to 100% by arguing that the staff has digital powers that the users do not have access to. That is, the principle of the mindset that wrote these rules has already been digitally (read: "physically" (read: really, actually)) brought into existence.


This isn't just my opinion or logic, this is your own.

I'd rather the moderators in this room be taking action against both of those people with an iron fist,

This is all you have been saying this entire thread. Stricter stricter stricter, iron fist, they're not doing their job, order and control, restrictions, please help me help the moderators help you help us all. By the implication of your statements, not the statements themselves, but the logic that must be present in order for you to say them in the first place, you are of the belief that a proper userbase depends on the moderators moderating. That a proper moderation team needs an informed and active Pleeb. That Pleeb can't actually do his job without the userbase itself informing Pleeb of problems.


Why do you think people don't Invoke The Pleeb more often? Why do people "apparently" have complaints but not voice them? Why aren't you getting the complaints you "need" to perform your duty? Don't give me half a reason, give me every potential reason. Especially the ones you don't want to admit because your image of humanity disallows you from seriously considering those cases.


You already know my stance. The reason people don't complain is because they don't rightly care. They'll easily assert they do, but if they did, if it were really an issue, you most certainly would be contacted. Insults, flamewars, back and forth hostility, everything listed in the rules as objectively inadvisable aren't actually the problem. People aren't put off by that stuff. It makes their day that much more interesting. It's goddamn entertaining and anyone who disagrees is clearly fooling themselves, or...


They've seen so much of it they've become jaded on the matter and it's a chore to bother with that stuff. That I can understand. There's a lot of stuff I'm jaded on from having to deal with it too often. If I'd dealt with it a little less, I'd be a lot less jaded over it. Me? I'm jaded in watching and waiting and arguing with people trying to control collections of humans to a constructive end. If this doesn't work, if this argument doesn't get through, if you, Pleeb, can't get over yourself and try to observe the actual mechanisms at play in all this healthy chaos, then I'm really really finally giving up on ever dealing with webmasters that are anything more than machines.


If you can't let both instances exist, if you can't see that your job is to balance these very human occurrences in such a way as to avoid anyone becoming jaded over it...


No no no... Let's be optimistic here.


If you can let civility exist alongside flamewars... If you can achieve balance... If you can avoid letting the interactions on the site become too concentrated on a specific dynamic... If you can find a way to fit everyone who comes along into the community...


You will have your goals easily met and then some.


You'll be in a position to meet everyone else's goals as well.

Not picking and choosing, definitely not picking and choosing, otherwise you have the same mess, just different people.


  1. Not all moderators can be Pleeb.
  2. Moderators will differ in perspective.
  3. "Strict iron fist," isn't a clear directive.
  4. Moderators are still human like the rest.
  5. Everyone varies in choosing who they like.
  6. You guys barely ever ban anyone, you mostly just mute them temporarily.

Can you really expect your current method is a valid solution? Are you really going to insist what you're aiming for by using this method is something that human behavior allows? Are you earnestly of the belief that control of other humans is the answer here, and not simply management?


Tell me, because now I don't get it. Exactly what part of what you are asking for is compatible with human psychology?

I've walked in on that as well and became saddened to see it.

Why? So what if moderators pick and choose because they like one person more than another? Because they think one is more capable of behaving than another? Because only one party needs to be muted to solve the "problem"? What emotional investment is it of yours? Is it about image?

The result is, when a moderator takes action against members, members start to dislike the mods.

Not true. You can ban all the spammers and tulpa-flamers you want and you'll get nothing out of it but praise and peace. Oh wait you said members. I don't know if I can count the random spammer who has literally no interest in the tulpa community other than to annoy everyone as a member.


Member of the community.


Tell me I don't have to explain the psychology behind this one. Tell me I don't have to explain that I don't like it when my friends are banned.


Member of the community.

The IRC rules are pretty much the forum rules as far as presenting yourself, as well as keeping off-topic discussion out.

That's terrible news. Off-topic? In an IRC channel? I can understand the issue with a threaded forum where things are organized according to topic... But, an IRC channel? Chatrooms are where people go to link threads and talk about them in ways they can't talk on the forums. They are for the express purpose of real-time interaction with other people. Conversations drift enough as it is in the forums. To try to enforce the same approach to topical management in an IRC channel that exists on a forum...

If a moderator tells them to stop being off-topic, they'll usually take offense to that.

Is just contrary to the way real-time communication works. A quiet channel can't be interrupted because there is no active conversation to interrupt. You can have multiple people talking to each other and still have it be easily moderated if the conversations are paced right. And if it can't be moderated because too much is happening at once, so what? I could understand if it was always far too active for anyone to keep track of, moderator or not. That can wear on a person. I prefer #Tulpa for this reason. It's not to say anything is wrong with #tulpa.info. I just prefer slower channels. But when I'm bored and feeling helpful, I'll join #tulpa.info to do just that. It's not a problem, and in interpretations where it was a problem, it sure isn't one that can be solved with moderation, strict or otherwise. The problem is it's too loud. Not because of some disproportionate amount of off-topic. It is legitimate, on-topic, I need advice on tulpa activity. The "problem" is that tulpa are becoming more popular and more people are needing real-time advice. The "problem" is a product of success.


Wait no scratch that. Success is definitely something that the right kind of moderation can keep at bay.

If not, it means moderators aren't doing their jobs.

And for that, 63% of the community thanks them.

In the future, please, let me know when this stuff happens when it happens,

Why would we?

I will be able to have stern discussions with the moderation team about this.

When all you're giving us...

If you see a moderator being off-topic, log it and let me know, I'll have a discussion with that moderator about it.

Are reasons to not do so?


You're going to have to find some other way to stay informed, because what you're asking is contrary to human psychology. You're asking us to behave in a way we do not. Our DNA does not allow us to do what you ask.


Well, I should say, most of us can't. Statistically, of course, there is a percentage of the population capable of this. We have many names for these types of people. None of them are kind. None of them are kind because what you are asking for, in effect...


The truth is, I was once a control freak like you.


...Until I took a knife to the back.


People like being moderators. They like having a position of power. They like being respected for no reason. And I don't mean basic "you are a human with rights" respect. I mean respect respect. Praise respect. Ego stroking respect. The kind of respect they don't warn you about. The kind of respect that you don't actually deserve. The kind that makes you think you're different from anyone else. The kind that gives you an attitude.

I don't like faceless things. It makes people behave in strange ways.

The kind of respect that changes you in ways you might not ever be able to fix properly.


...But people don't think of it in those terms. It's not a curse so terrible I wouldn't wish it on my enemies, it's a privilege, clearly. To report someone is to invoke a higher power to give them a hard time. Something you are eagerly testifying to wishing to do. To jeopardize their position of power and respect and privilege.


I think the least venomous name we have for the people that do things like what you are asking for is, "Tattle-tale."

"Are you prepared to enforce the rules, moderate when you're around, and be hated by everyone?"

"Are you prepared... To give up your humanity?"


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Guest Albatross_

Porcupine, while I often find myself struggling to understand the points you make, I will say that I agree with these nuggets:


Insults, flamewars, back and forth hostility...[are]...goddamn entertaining


When they do not disrupt normal communications, yes.


People like being moderators. They like having a position of power. They like being respected for no reason. And I don't mean basic "you are a human with rights" respect. I mean respect respect. Praise respect. Ego stroking respect. The kind of respect they don't warn you about. The kind of respect that you don't actually deserve. The kind that makes you think you're different from anyone else. The kind that gives you an attitude.


While not all moderators on the site/IRC are like this, it is nonetheless fact.


If you can let civility exist alongside flamewars... If you can achieve balance... If you can avoid letting the interactions on the site become too concentrated on a specific dynamic... If you can find a way to fit everyone who comes along into the community...


You will have your goals easily met and then some.



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