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Susan Wise Bauer

Moderation Suggestions?

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I agree with the bolded.

 

But honestly I do think that the Chat board shouldn't have to only deal with homeschooling. I agree with Horton. I have learned a ton on the Chat board that had nothing to do with homeschooling that I am better for, and in many instances so is my family. Also, I have had some really fun discussions there and have learned a TON about different religions and other topics and viewpoints I had never even thought to ask about before. There are several great sub-forums for education topics. I would hate to lose the Chat board for topics that are not always directly education related.

:iagree:

 

(Can you tell I'm out of likes again? :))

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I've only seen a very few threads on the educational forums go downhill and become rude (Hello, math wars!  ;) )  The moderation is really 98% about the Chat forum.

 

I have observed those on either side of an issue "go looking for a fight".  It is poster-specific and not issue specific, IMO.  I'm not a hot and heavy debater, personally, but I can appreciate that others might like to be.  It is disheartening to observe overt disdain and rudeness (from either/both sides).  No one "side" of any stance/issue has the market on rudeness here.  IMO, a little self-control on all sides would go a long way towards a more peaceful coexistence.  I'm very much about the peace, though, so that is where I will always land. 

 

("Enough about me.  What do you think of me?"  :D  Bonus points for anyone who identifies the movie reference.)

 

 

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I guess it depends on the goal of the board. I sometimes feel like it is just a general board with a side of educational categories and posts...or that there are actually two boards operating in the same space. I find it frustrating to click on New Content and need to scroll past a wild variety of topics to get to something about education. Maybe the chat room should be a social group. ;)  At the very least it would do well to have designated moderators.

 

I thought there was a rule somewhere about not posting just to post. It seems like the some threads get to that point, and I often wonder why they are left open, retaining their place on New Content... I cringe when I see busy threads about someone's neighbor, boss, relative, or child's friends.... These aren't public figures or celebrities...is this board the appropriate place for such discussions?

 

So... I guess I wouldn't be against understanding the goals and vision of the board a bit better. That might make moderating decisions easier to understand.

 

 

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I've only seen a very few threads on the educational forums go downhill and become rude (Hello, math wars!  ;) )  The moderation is really 98% about the Chat forum.

 

I have observed those on either side of an issue "go looking for a fight".  It is poster-specific and not issue specific, IMO.  I'm not a hot and heavy debater, personally, but I can appreciate that others might like to be.  It is disheartening to observe overt disdain and rudeness (from either/both sides).  No one "side" of any stance/issue has the market on rudeness here.  IMO, a little self-control on all sides would go a long way towards a more peaceful coexistence.  I'm very much about the peace, though, so that is where I will always land. 

 

("Enough about me.  What do you think of me?"  :D  Bonus points for anyone who identifies the movie reference.)

:iagree:

 

And I think the movie was "Beaches," but I'm not 100% sure.

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And it's Cat for the win. ;)

:party:

 

I'm so excited. I never win anything. :D

 

Sorry for derailing. Back to the topic at hand.....

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I agree with the bolded.

 

but..........respectfully  :iagree:  with Horton regarding the rest.  

Honestly I do think that the Chat board shouldn't have to only deal with homeschooling.   I have learned a ton on the Chat board that had nothing to do with homeschooling that I am better for, and in many instances so is my family.  Also, I have had some really fun discussions there and have learned a TON about different religions and other topics and viewpoints  I had never even thought to ask about before.  There are several great sub-forums for education topics.  I would hate to lose the Chat board for topics that are not always directly education related.

 

It was just an opinion of what I would like to see.  The chat board does have things on it that are interesting but aren't religion/politics/current events.  There's threads on there about recipes, movies, importance of reading aloud, etc.  I'm not saying I want them all to go away just that I want us all to get along.  

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Giving warning points to those who report like this might help your moderation staff in the long run. It might inspire people to think a little more critically before reporting inappropriately. On most forums, reporting posts is reserved for spam and porn. Personal differences are left to be settled by the persons involved. 

Another solution could be to remove people's ability to report temporarily if they're in the habit of reporting on a hair-trigger. Something like 1 day first offense, 1 week second, 1 month third -- if they're set up to automatically turn off when expired it shouldn't be extra work.

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I guess it depends on the goal of the board. I sometimes feel like it is just a general board with a side of educational categories and posts...or that there are actually two boards operating in the same space. I find it frustrating to click on New Content and need to scroll past a wild variety of topics to get to something about education. Maybe the chat room should be a social group. ;)  At the very least it would do well to have designated moderators.

 

I thought there was a rule somewhere about not posting just to post. It seems like the some threads get to that point, and I often wonder why they are left open, retaining their place on New Content... I cringe when I see busy threads about someone's neighbor, boss, relative, or child's friends.... These aren't public figures or celebrities...is this board the appropriate place for such discussions?

 

So... I guess I wouldn't be against understanding the goals and vision of the board a bit better. That might make moderating decisions easier to understand.

To the 1st bolded I honestly agree.  It does feel like two boards.  The Education board and all its subforums and the Chat board.  I guess it would help to have New Content be separated into two separate lists, one for the Chat board and one for the Education board.  

 

To the second bolded I also totally agree.  As others have mentioned, the bulk of the issues seem to spring up on the Chat board.  It really seems to need the most specific attention and clear cut rules of posting/reporting, etc.

 

I must admit I am a bit confused regarding the third bolded.  Are you saying that people on the Chat board should only ask for advice regarding their neighbor/boss/relative or child's friend if they are public figures or celebrities?

 

Last bolded...yep, probably would help. :)

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It was just an opinion of what I would like to see.  The chat board does have things on it that are interesting but aren't religion/politics/current events.  There's threads on there about recipes, movies, importance of reading aloud, etc.  I'm not saying I want them all to go away just that I want us all to get along.  

I understand.  I hope I didn't offend you.  I just felt that I needed to indicate I personally have found even the religious threads and current event threads to sometimes be really helpful.  Best wishes.

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I'd prefer limiting reporting by an individual if s/he is found to have misused it rather than a general cap. There are three or four of us who typically spot and flag the spam on the General Education Discussion section within an hour or so, and we couldn't do that with a number limit.

 

I'd love an Ignore Thread option, and even an Ignore Forum in New Content option for seeing what's new everywhere else.

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To the 1st bolded I honestly agree.  It does feel like two boards.  The Education board and all its subforums and the Chat board.  I guess it would help to have New Content be separated into two separate lists, one for the Chat board and one for the Education board. 

 

In regards to this, I follow the Education board(s) and don't follow the Chat board. So, when I click on New Content, I only get the educational threads. When I'm feeling bold, I'll venture into the actual Chat board. I don't know if this is what you mean?

 

Not really a moderating issue, but I really dislike having a separate General Ed board and a K-8 board. I feel like there are separate groups of people reading each board and people post both topics on both boards. Sometimes when I post a new thread, I'm not clear on where I should be posting it.

 

I agree that I would love to be able to ignore threads/titles.

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I must admit I am a bit confused regarding the third bolded.  Are you saying that people on the Chat board should only ask for advice regarding their neighbor/boss/relative or child's friend if they are public figures or celebrities?

 

 

 

My point was that celebrities and public figures open themselves to public scrutiny. The same is not true for a private citizen.

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In regards to this, I follow the Education board(s) and don't follow the Chat board. So, when I click on New Content, I only get the educational threads.

 

Interesting! I only follow the Education boards, yet the other threads still show up in New Content...

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My point was that celebrities and public figures open themselves to public scrutiny. The same is not true for a private citizen.

If I am anonymous and talk about people in my life...their struggles or problems and how can I help them or what do you all think of this.....it is not public scrutiny. It is hypothetical discussions.

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Interesting! I only follow the Education boards, yet the other threads still show up in New Content...

 

Maybe following wasn't the right term. When you view your New Content, on the left is a sidebar with pink highlights. If you click on Filter by Forum, I only have the forums I want to see highlighted.

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It was just an opinion of what I would like to see.  The chat board does have things on it that are interesting but aren't religion/politics/current events.  There's threads on there about recipes, movies, importance of reading aloud, etc.  I'm not saying I want them all to go away just that I want us all to get along.

 

:iagree:

 

It's not the topics; it's the unkind/personal way people respond to certain issues. It's very possible to disagree with someone without taking it to personal insults about how ignorant and uneducated they must be for not agreeing with you.

 

And sadly, that sort of thing happens quite often, particularly in hot-button topics.

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If I am anonymous and talk about people in my life...their struggles or problems and how can I help them or what do you all think of this.....it is not public scrutiny. It is hypothetical discussions.

 

When pictures are posted or many details are given, I feel a line is crossed, but we're not here to discuss my views.

 

Once again, it comes back to the goals and vision of the board. My feelings about such posts are irrelevant if the goals and visions for the board are different than what I perceive them to be.

 

My point was that knowing the goals and vision for the board makes a difference.

 

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Maybe following wasn't the right term. When you view your New Content, on the left is a sidebar with pink highlights. If you click on Filter by Forum, I only have the forums I want to see highlighted.

 

I don't think I knew this! (Or I had forgotten..)  Thanks!

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My point was that celebrities and public figures open themselves to public scrutiny. The same is not true for a private citizen.

  

If I am anonymous and talk about people in my life...their struggles or problems and how can I help them or what do you all think of this.....it is not public scrutiny. It is hypothetical discussions.

I agree with Scarlett.

 

If I'm talking about "my neighbor" or "my aunt," that person is still completely anonymous. It's not like anyone posts that "Mary Smith who lives on Main Street in Anytown, Iowa" is doing something they don't like. And when people do post more personal information than seems safe, there are almost always people who gently suggest that they remove the personal info for the sake of privacy.

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Maybe following wasn't the right term. When you view your New Content, on the left is a sidebar with pink highlights. If you click on Filter by Forum, I only have the forums I want to see highlighted.

I never click on New Content so it hasn't been an issue for me but I have seen many others get frustrated by the merging of Chat and Education New Content.  I didn't know this feature existed but from now on I will mention it if someone is frustrated.  Thanks for the heads up!  :)

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I agree with Scarlett.

 

If I'm talking about "my neighbor" or "my aunt," that person is still completely anonymous. It's not like anyone posts that "Mary Smith who lives on Main Street in Anytown, Iowa" is doing something they don't like. And when people do post more personal information than seems safe, there are almost always people who gently suggest that they remove the personal info for the sake of privacy.

 

 

And we're back to the goals and vision for the board, which was actually my point.

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Maybe following wasn't the right term. When you view your New Content, on the left is a sidebar with pink highlights. If you click on Filter by Forum, I only have the forums I want to see highlighted.

I love you forever. You just improved my life enormously. Thank you. 

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It will take me some reflection time to see how to begin to act on the information in this thread, but can I just remark that I'm really touched by how invested many of you are in the boards?

 

Thanks.

 

SWB

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It will take me some reflection time to see how to begin to act on the information in this thread, but can I just remark that I'm really touched by how invested many of you are in the boards?

 

Thanks.

 

SWB

It is important to us.  It is a "tribe" of sorts.  Thank you for providing it.  :)

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It will take me some reflection time to see how to begin to act on the information in this thread, but can I just remark that I'm really touched by how invested many of you are in the boards?

 

Thanks.

 

SWB

Our homeschooling journey (begun just 2 years ago out of real desperation to save my kids) is so much better because of this Forum.  I am grateful it exists.

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It will take me some reflection time to see how to begin to act on the information in this thread, but can I just remark that I'm really touched by how invested many of you are in the boards?

 

Thanks.

 

SWB

My opinion may not mean much, but I really love it here and I truly appreciate all of the time, effort, and considerable expense you have invested (and continue to invest) in keeping these forums open for us.

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that I have recommended Peace Hill Press and these forums as the go-to source for homeschooling books and information since I read the first edition of The Well-Trained Mind, and I will continue to do so.

 

Thanks, Susan. :)

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And we're back to the goals and vision for the board, which was actually my point.

:iagree:

 

I actually wanted to like your last post on the topics, but I'm still out of likes for the day. :)

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I haven't chimed in on this thread yet, because I don't spend much time on the chat boards, and most of the issues seem to be over there.  On the Ed boards, the moderation seems great - I don't notice it, so it's clearly unobtrusive! And I don't notice the lack of it, so either it's very well done or people are very well behaved.

 

I just wanted to reiterate how wonderful, critical, helpful, supportive, and essential these boards are.  I can't imagine coping with homeschooling without this community.  I thank you, SWB, from the bottom of my heart for making it available to us.  I hope the moderation issues on the chat boards don't make you feel discouraged.  There's a whole 'nother side to the boards, and I think it's very well managed, well moderated, and I want you to know how grateful I am for it.

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I'd love an Ignore Thread option, and even an Ignore Forum in New Content option for seeing what's new everywhere else.

 

This would bring me such joy in life!  Yes!  This!  

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Even we all act like children cooped up on a rainy day trying to kill each other, it is home. And I say all of that with love. 

 

As I'm currently in an Outer Banks beach house with all my children (aged 13-23, but still, children), I totally get this statement. 

 

SWB

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Maybe following wasn't the right term. When you view your New Content, on the left is a sidebar with pink highlights. If you click on Filter by Forum, I only have the forums I want to see highlighted.

 

This is amazing.  You've made my week.

 

A couple times I have resolved to try to chime in on educational threads more.  I find that it's easy to focus on the high school board, because that is where my biggest challenges are.  But I also remember loving the input from been there, done that posters when I had little kids.

 

But I tire of trying to sift out what I care about from threads about things that I don't care about.  The filter tool is amazing.

 

 

 

Perhaps there is a need for a "how to get the most out of the board" set of FAQ that would help people with things like searches, how to effectively title a post, how to find content on subjects they care about.

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It would be helpful to have a way to report behavior that just seems off.  Sometimes it is posting that seems to mostly serve to pick a fight. 

 

But also, there have been posts by people who sold curriculum or online classes that just didn't really seem to add up.  I think there is a place for publically noting what seems odd so others can see it.  But perhaps there is also a place here for reporting the thread as off kilter and in need of monitoring? 

 

There have also been some posts that get very into personal details and sometimes seem off.  Not necessarily trollish, but again perhaps bringing to the attention of a moderator.  What are the board expectations here? 

 

 

FWIW, I've been on various iterations of WTM since 1997 or 1998.  It has been a huge help to me in our homeschooling and for feeling supported by a community, especially when we were homeschooling somewhere that had few or no other homeschoolers.  But there have also been times when I had to simply step away from the boards, because discussions were too close to raw emotional points (September 11th, Japanese earthquake/tsunami in March 2011, and a couple of election cycles for example). 

 

There is support here, but it's also a really large community.  It is way more diverse than any single group of homeschoolers I've ever been around.  Also there are so many different streams of conversation now than back in the old days of board flips and bulletin board style postings.  I really can't expect that my reading experience mirrors that of other members of the board. 

 

Somewhere there is both a recognition that for many board members, this is one of the most constant and reliable venues of support, both in homeschooling and in other aspects of life; and a realization that board conversations aren't something that you have to win.  It's ok that people disagree with you, even over issues that you hold to be very dear and self-evident.  Set boundaries that there will be conversations you don't have, threads you don't read, posters you don't engage in.

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Less habitual reporting would help. Imo, reporting should be reserved for spam, political posts ( seeing as that rule is loud and clear ), trolls, and for egregious posts - not for posts that are merely disagreeing with yours, or even necessarily offending you.

 

It's ridiculous that people are reporting based on the Duggar's feelings. Imo that's an abuse of the reporting feature.

 

I think clear guidelines about when you should report and when you should refrain would help. Especially if the mods were aware of those guidelines and reacted accordingly.

 

For those with a habit of reporting posts that do not fit the above, the suggestion to use the ignore feature should be made.

 

 

 

 

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Um..how come I can't like SWB's posts?!

Like!

 

As an aside, I have learned a great deal from all the sub-sections of the board, but the Chat Board is probably the go-to place for me to learn how to express myself in a gentle, kind and thoughtful way. I'm not good at social interactions in real life, and having a place to practice the fine art of tact and polite rhetoric has been most instructive. I actually like to study a thread that gets hot so that I can notice where it got hot so that I can learn how to diffuse and also how to communicate in a constructive way. 

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I guess it depends on the goal of the board. I sometimes feel like it is just a general board with a side of educational categories and posts...or that there are actually two boards operating in the same space. I find it frustrating to click on New Content and need to scroll past a wild variety of topics to get to something about education. Maybe the chat room should be a social group. ;) At the very least it would do well to have designated moderators.

 

I thought there was a rule somewhere about not posting just to post. It seems like the some threads get to that point, and I often wonder why they are left open, retaining their place on New Content... I cringe when I see busy threads about someone's neighbor, boss, relative, or child's friends.... These aren't public figures or celebrities...is this board the appropriate place for such discussions?

 

So... I guess I wouldn't be against understanding the goals and vision of the board a bit better. That might make moderating decisions easier to understand.

Hey :). I learned you can actually filter your new content and set it to only check for new content in specific forums. I checked all the education forums for that, so I could see topics more easily. Then if I want chat board content I can surf over there from the main forum listing page, but still get a clean feed of the educational stuff.

 

At the bottom of the left hand sidebar menu on the New Content page, there is a button named "Filter by Forum". You can select and deselect whicher forums and sun forums you want. It is a GREAT feature!

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Maybe following wasn't the right term. When you view your New Content, on the left is a sidebar with pink highlights. If you click on Filter by Forum, I only have the forums I want to see highlighted.

Doh! Somehow I missed this post. These directions are way more succinct than mine, so ignore the above :o

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I agree with what others have said about uneven moderating and the feeling that it is based on a popularity contest.  I also feel like when the mods delete things they are not actually reading them first.  So someone hits report and says the poster is doing X, the mods delete it and issue a banning when that activity never even occurred and had the moderator read the post they would see that.  

I would also like to see warning points have an expiration date.  Like really a year+ do those points really still need to be on the account? 

 

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Doh! Somehow I missed this post. These directions are way more succinct than mine, so ignore the above :o

 

It's easy to overlook a post in a thread, so it doesn't hurt to have the information about personalizing New Content mentioned again! Thanks! :)

 

I wish I would have done this long ago. I set it up yesterday - WOW - what a difference!

 

(Off Topic - it would be interesting to do a psychological experiment to examine changes in motivation, mood, board perception, and other areas affected by simply personalizing the New Content. ;))

 

Thanks again to everyone who mentioned this as an option - it's a life changer. :cheers2:

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One of our frustrations, and I think I'm seeing it reflected in your posts as well, is that moderators generally only see threads and posts that are reported--we don't do a systematic sweep through the whole board (it's just too big)--so board rules can be happily violated and never touched by a moderator if no one ever hits a report button.

 

What about a set of volunteer mods assigned to each board?  Those people are responsible for patrolling that one board each day.  If questions arise about issues on that board members know exactly which mod to PM. That is how it was done on a forum that I helped moderate several years ago and it seemed rather efficient. 

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It will take me some reflection time to see how to begin to act on the information in this thread, but can I just remark that I'm really touched by how invested many of you are in the boards?

 

Thanks.

 

SWB

I'm a relative newbie and I started homeschooling before I discovered the WTM. When I read your book, it was a revelation. When I found this forum, it was a blessing. Thanks so much to the moderators, your company, and you for your willingness to put up with us.

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Probably many of us have felt that when we were moderated, it was unfair.  And usually it is not very public.  Since I don't yell about it on the forum, very few (if any) others would notice when I have been moderated.  Just like I am unlikely to notice how often it happens to anyone else.

 

In short, I don't see how any of us can know that moderation is unfair, since most of it happens quietly or in private.

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It is not so private as you think.

 

Banning may not be widely announced, but I know I do notice when posts disappear, a whole thread gets locked while hands are slapped, or a thread disappears. I can name easily a dozen posters that have been moderated more than once. While a few of them are certainly abrasive, there are posters of the opposite social/political/religious view that are equally so.

 

It was suggested to me today that part of why the moderation feels uneven is because there are some groups of posters who are quicker on the report trigger than others. (Asking the mods to stop the Dugger thread because we were being mean to the Duggars? SMH)

 

Maybe a combination of more transparent moderation, more clarification of the guidelines, and less tolerance for school yard tattling would help?

 

At any rate, I thoroughly appreciate this board and SWB. The WTM, SWB's recorded lectures, and the advice and wisdom I've gleaned from this board are on the short list of what has made homeschooling children with SNs and moving into middle school not only doable but a pleasure!

 

(Most days. A pleasure most days. The month of February should never be held against any homeschooling parent!)

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I don't have anything to offer. There are some good suggestions here.

 

I just wanted to say how much I love this board. I may have a low post count but I have been here for many, many years. Well before we switched formats. I read the boards daily. I now typically stay to the Chat Board because after 12 years of homeschooling I am mostly set in what I use and how I use it. 

 

I truly cannot understand why anyone reports threads. That's what always gets me. Why do reports have to be taken so seriously?

 

 

 

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It is not so private as you think.

 

Banning may not be widely announced, but I know I do notice when posts disappear, a whole thread gets locked while hands are slapped, or a thread disappears. I can name easily a dozen posters that have been moderated more than once. While a few of them are certainly abrasive, there are posters of the opposite social/political/religious view that are equally so.

 

It was suggested to me today that part of why the moderation feels uneven is because there are some groups of posters who are quicker on the report trigger than others. (Asking the mods to stop the Dugger thread because we were being mean to the Duggars? SMH)

 

Maybe a combination of more transparent moderation, more clarification of the guidelines, and less tolerance for school yard tattling would help?

 

At any rate, I thoroughly appreciate this board and SWB. The WTM, SWB's recorded lectures, and the advice and wisdom I've gleaned from this board are on the short list of what has made homeschooling children with SNs and moving into middle school not only doable but a pleasure!

 

(Most days. A pleasure most days. The month of February should never be held against any homeschooling parent!)

Yes, it reminds me of the thread stars.  People even admit they down rate threads they just don't like the topic of or don't find interesting.  That's petty and childish and one of many indicators of the atmosphere on some threads where people go in and downrate or report things out of spite or boredom or something.  Perhaps the mods can look for trends in reporting or read the thread to see the details rather than first deleting-which many people agree has been happening unevenly.

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I have been on these boards for a looooong time....so I hate to say absolutely that I've never reported....but I am pretty sure I have not. Well, I do report spam.

 

I just don't get it...reporting because the Duggars are being talked about unkindly?  Really?  SHM.

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The playground tattling is what really gets me. I thought we were grown-ups. Unless it's spam or porn, a "reporter" should be punished for reporting, IMO. Actually, I'd prefer the report button to disappear completely. All reports should be made through a pm to moderator with a link to offending (spam) post. It requires more effort so would cut down on ridiculous tattle-tales quite a bit. OR make it visible like the likes. Soandso reported this post lets us know... stuff.

 

I find myself feeling rather feisty in my opinions and repeatedly deleting, so best move on from this thread now.

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