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Ah, ok.  That makes sense.  I don't ever click on new content.

 

 

I have never searched for a SG to join so I can't answer that question.  SG posts show up when I click the New Content option.  I just clicked NC minutes ago to see what SG would show and none did.  In the past some have.  I can't say how many or how often because I was never looking for them.  I would only notice because I would not be able read the thread (I could hover and see 1st, middle & last post)

or I wanted to reply and would not be allowed to.

 

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And isn't that pretty much the golden rule of the Internet? Assume that everyone can see what you say there, now and forever, no matter how much privacy you think you have? 

 

So very true! (Says this wife of a tech guru.)

 

I missed the whole kerfuffle, and I am sorry that some members feel exposed. But maybe this is a good wake-up call for all of us. The internet is not an anonymous place.

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I am a bit confused. So when you all are saying that social groups show up on your feed, do they show up in the regular chat forum then?????  I have never seen this.

 

Also, when I go to social groups, I can ONLY see the social groups I am part of.  I can't even see if there are others I would like to join.  I can't see what social groups are even available.  Is this not true for everyone?

 

Dawn

 

When I click on the Social Groups tab I can see three headings -- My Groups, New Groups and Popular Groups.

 

I only belong to two groups, so those two are all I see under My Groups.

 

I see many groups under New Groups and Popular Groups.  I believe that what I see under those headings are groups that are NOT set as private. 

 

I believe that one would only know about a private group if one were extended an invitation to join by the owner or a member of that group.  And if one joined, then it would show up under My Groups.

 

There is also a Group Directory tab on the main Social Groups page that lists all groups.  Again, I am assuming the ones listed are the ones that are NOT set as private.

 

I could be wrong.  But that's the way it worked on another forum that I helped moderate.  And I doubt the software packages that are used to run forums vary a whole lot in the basic way they work.

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So very true! (Says this wife of a tech guru.)

 

I missed the whole kerfuffle, and I am sorry that some members feel exposed. But maybe this is a good wake-up call for all of us. The internet is not an anonymous place.

Anyone posting on the Internet should be aware of that.

However, there is a large difference in a moderator coming in and deleting posts and a post being public. The first is an intentional act which does IMO destroy trust.

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Anyone posting on the Internet should be aware of that.

However, there is a large difference in a moderator coming in and deleting posts and a post being public. The first is an intentional act which does IMO destroy trust.

I thought that some posts became public *and were reported*, which led the mod to delete posts. I think when I helped mod a board with a similar set up that I was given the option to delete posts that violated the rules within my notifications without actually going on to a specific board? It sounds more like that it is what happened? And it sounds like several different SGs have had threads become public? Again, I don't really use the social groups here much, so I am not totally sure.

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I know I too have seen SG posts show up on the chat board, because I remember being completely confused by the formatting and wondering what the heck I was looking at. I eventually figured it out, and the topic of the thread was of no interest to me, so I just closed it and went on by.

 

Anyone posting on the Internet should be aware of that.
However, there is a large difference in a moderator coming in and deleting posts and a post being public. The first is an intentional act which does IMO destroy trust.

 

Well, I do agree with this. I don't think that part was handled well at all. The whole thread could have been set back to private and it would have gone away, and no one would have needed to be offended. However, I tend to think of these forums as a second- or even third-tier priority for PHP. PHP seems to have good intentions, but I don't think there are the financial or human resources to really run the boards to their maximum potential. It feels a bit like little pieces are bending or snapping off here and there, and they're just getting patched up or ignored. Given that these forums are a huge no-cost resource where we have quite a lot of freedom compared to pretty much every other open forum I've ever been on, I'm willing to overlook quite a lot, and I'm grateful for the community we do have.

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I know I too have seen SG posts show up on the chat board, because I remember being completely confused by the formatting and wondering what the heck I was looking at. I eventually figured it out, and the topic of the thread was of no interest to me, so I just closed it and went on by.

 

 

Well, I do agree with this. I don't think that part was handled well at all. The whole thread could have been set back to private and it would have gone away, and no one would have needed to be offended. However, I tend to think of these forums as a second- or even third-tier priority for PHP. PHP seems to have good intentions, but I don't think there are the financial or human resources to really run the boards to their maximum potential. It feels a bit like little pieces are bending or snapping off here and there, and they're just getting patched up or ignored. Given that these forums are a huge no-cost resource where we have quite a lot of freedom compared to pretty much every other open forum I've ever been on, I'm willing to overlook quite a lot, and I'm grateful for the community we do have.

I am grateful. But when we are told SG are Unmoderated, and the settings are all set to private, then this is violated (however that may have happened) I do think it's reasonable to be upset and concerned.

 

I am not surprised at all that some members left over it.

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I am grateful. But when we are told SG are Unmoderated, and the settings are all set to private, then this is violated (however that may have happened) I do think it's reasonable to be upset and concerned.

 

I am not surprised at all that some members left over it.

 

I think this is the "never the twain shall meet" part of the discussion. IMO, we should all know that nothing on the Internet is private, so something happening, by accident or by nefarious intent, to make Internet discussions not private, I don't think anyone should be surprised. As for the moderation, I remember when a major discussion about this issue took place, and I thought I remembered SWB (or someone) saying that the SGs would still need to follow board rules. No?

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But see, I think many of us have seen other popular forums go the way of the dinosaurs in the last 5yrs or so.   It's really sad when I think of the people that I have lost touch with.  I still think about some of them, years later and wonder how they're doing.   I'd like to avoid that happening here at WTM.

 

 

I actually think this board is too big for that to happen.  I could be wrong, but I doubt it.  Over the years I've been here many have left for various reasons (being upset at something was one of them) and many have come.  It's really the same way with life.  People go in and out of my circle.  Like you, I miss some of them, but life is simply not constant.

 

And this morning - now - I'm waiting on news as to who died in a car accident exactly 6/10ths of a mile from my house.  I heard the oodles of sirens and knew something wasn't good.  It happened at the exact time I'd have been leaving for school had I been working today.  I'm glad I wasn't.  I'm glad hubby wasn't going out.  I'm glad my boys are at college and not involved.  It's at the exact same spot my boys used to get on the school bus when they rode it.

 

It's a reminder to me that there are problems in life - then there are PROBLEMS in life.  'Tis best to keep reality in mind.  Someone is having an absolutely awful day today... and I'll admit I feel REALLY badly for them whether I end up knowing them or not.  The comparison to reasons anyone might leave this board is really minimal to me at this point, though that doesn't mean what happened was good - if that makes any sense.  I'm probably rambling.  I'll quit...

 

If folks felt it was time to leave or if they aren't happy with the privacy (or lack thereof) on this board or if they have personal issues with other members, so be it.  They are free to decide what is best for themselves just as we all are.

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I think this is the "never the twain shall meet" part of the discussion. IMO, we should all know that nothing on the Internet is private, so something happening, by accident or by nefarious intent, to make Internet discussions not private, I don't think anyone should be surprised. As for the moderation, I remember when a major discussion about this issue took place, and I thought I remembered SWB (or someone) saying that the SGs would still need to follow board rules. No?

You know, you are right.

 

 

I was a fool to think I had a safe place to share and seek support for things I never post on a public board.

 

But if there was going to be a reasonably safe place to share, I thought these boards and specifically it's social groups would be the place.

 

I was wrong.

 

Lesson learned. The hard way,

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I fail to see how it is offensive to consider the idea that someone within the group reported but perfectly fine to hint that an unethical moderator with an axe to grind was at fault...or that the thread was intentionally outed...or that we can't trust SWB.

I'm not responsible for everyone on this site's words, obviously.  However we were told it was reported after it went public and see below.

 

I don't understand why some are saying that ONE thread from ONE social group went public and that's impossible to happen accidentally. Several people have said other social group threads have gone public and we've all seen how wonky the forum has been since the last upgrade. I don't even know what group this is about, so I obviously don't know the timeline or who was involved other than Wendy, but I really am having a hard time imagining nefarious intent.

Ok, it looks now like it may have only been our group.  Ravin's group had been deleted before this issue by the group owner (as confirmed by group owner), and was not involved with this.  

 

I don't have a clue what SG this is about but I agree w/ Kathryn that SGs have been public since the last forum update in November 2012 or was it 2013.

 

When I have clicked on New Posts I have been able to view SGs I am not a member of.  As to the poster (I think Sadie) who said it is easy to know you are reading a SG post it wasn't for me.  The SG post was in New Content and clickable I never checked which forum it was from and a few times I realized it was a private SG.

This was clarified by admin that a group set to secret/private was not searchable in any way.  We had members search and look into it after we had some drama pop up about it. 

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I thought that some posts became public *and were reported*, which led the mod to delete posts. I think when I helped mod a board with a similar set up that I was given the option to delete posts that violated the rules within my notifications without actually going on to a specific board? It sounds more like that it is what happened? And it sounds like several different SGs have had threads become public? Again, I don't really use the social groups here much, so I am not totally sure.

  

I am grateful. But when we are told SG are Unmoderated, and the settings are all set to private, then this is violated (however that may have happened) I do think it's reasonable to be upset and concerned.

I am not surprised at all that some members left over it.

But hasn't SWB said that the private forums briefly going public was AN ACCIDENT?

 

Are you suggesting that a moderator intentionally made the content of your group public?

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But hasn't SWB said that the private forums briefly going public was AN ACCIDENT?

 

Are you suggesting that a moderator intentionally made the content of your group public?

Did you mean to quote me? :) I wasn't in the group. I thought the posts were saying it was a glitch and they tried to fix it as soon as they realized?

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You know, you are right.

 

 

I was a fool to think I had a safe place to share and seek support for things I never post on a public board.

 

But if there was going to be a reasonably safe place to share, I thought these boards and specifically it's social groups would be the place.

 

I was wrong.

 

Lesson learned. The hard way,

 

I'm sorry. It does stink, and I hate that people feel so exposed and violated.

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Did you mean to quote me? :) I wasn't in the group. I thought the posts were saying it was a glitch and they tried to fix it as soon as they realized?

No, but I did like your post. :)

 

I quoted Pinky because I'm seeing words like "violated," which make it seem like there is still a lot of resentment among certain forum members, despite the fact that the privacy problem was quickly remedied and SWB personally apologized for it.

 

I'm not sure what else SWB can do here. Accidents happen. She admitted there was a problem, apologized for it, and has even gone an extra step by asking for suggestions on how forum moderation should be handled in the future.

 

I'm sorry members have left over this, but I do think some of the drama could have been avoided by keeping this between the Group in Question and SWB, right from the start.

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I'm sorry. It does stink, and I hate that people feel so exposed and violated.

I would have been upset, too. There's no doubt about that.

 

The thing I'm having a problem with is the lack of forgiveness after SWB appears to have gone above and beyond to make things right. I don't know what else can be expected of her.

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I would have been upset, too. There's no doubt about that.

 

The thing I'm having a problem with is the lack of forgiveness after SWB appears to have gone above and beyond to make things right. I don't know what else can be expected of her.

 

I do not personally blame SWB and I'm not sure anyone else does.  Obviously I can not account for every person's feelings.  That's why we are discussing it in the Moderation Suggestions thread we have referenced above.  People accuse us of drama if we don't answer what happened for the curious, and drama if we do reply.  We can't win.  

I'm sorry members have left over this, but I do think some of the drama could have been avoided by keeping this between the Group in Question and SWB, right from the start.

ANOTHER MEMBER outside the group brought it up first as they thought it happened to them.  Then we responded it had happened to us.  If it affected all groups, then they should have known about it.  It wasn't brought up for drama.  We did not start this thread, the Social Groups thread, or the Moderation Suggestions thread.  It's not like we started a new thread to complain about the admin.  I mean, really?

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I asked this last night, but no one has responded. I'm wondering whether or not there is a forum rule stating whether moderators are allowed to enter private social groups.

 

I know people often discuss forum rules, but I don't know where they are posted. Can someone help me out, so I can take a look at them?

 

Thanks!

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I'm sorry members have left over this, but I do think some of the drama could have been avoided by keeping this between the Group in Question and SWB, right from the start.

 

I don't know. I mean, it originally was being treated as a technical problem, so posting and looking for guidance in the technical forum, under a posted titled "Social Groups" seems logical to me. Unfortunately, there's often not a lot of response in that forum, which I know frustrates people who are trying to get forum problems solved. I think it would have been overkill to go straight to SWB about it. It seems the members of the group really got upset when problems mounted on problems (invitations not working, so no new members could be added; groups disappearing; a sensitive thread then going public and getting moderated; and then it seems even more moderation happening once the group was set to private again). And when the issue went from technical difficulties to a potential privacy/board policy issue, then I could see getting SWB involved. Up until then, though, it seems perfectly feasible for people to look for solutions in the public realm.

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Community Guidelines

 

Found at the very bottom of each page.

Which does say:

Social groups exist so that you can all have additional fun/support. Posts in social groups which attack or mock other social groups or members will be deleted. We expect that you're all mature enough to understand why, so we won't answer messages asking why deletions were made.

I really don't know what happened though and (again) don't really use the social groups much. I am not sure when/where it was stated that they would be unmoderated? Seems like some misunderstandings exist among the team that runs the boards?

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It depends on the SGs settings that determines what shows up and is viewable.

 

Not really. I always use google to search the WTM forums because I don't like the search feature here. And I used to get a lot of SG posts on my search results randomly. I thought that people were aware that the SG posts do show up (a bug in the web server or maybe improperly configured) and that people were cautious about how much personal info they posted on the SGs.

 

Anyway, here is my PSA to all on this forum:

Only reveal as much as you are comfortable with. If credit cards and debit cards and emails get hacked all over the internet, there is a strong possibility that the forum you are posting on is hosted on the same software as the big companies (same web server) etc with the same security holes and they tend to have lesser IT staff (and lesser budgets to put in several layers of precautions) than the big banks and the retailers do. So, PLEASE DO NOT reveal things like your real name, address, health profile etc if you want to protect that information - someone (e.g. future employer) could google your name and it could pull up a thread about you from any forum you have been in randomly if there was a web server glitch.

 

I don't know anything about Sparkly Unicorn's leaving - but, if a thread was visible and people hit the "report" button on it, it is entirely possible that a moderator mistook it for a general thread. I suspect that was the case here. This forum has more than 50,000 members (I remember that being mentioned before) and it must be a nightmare to moderate it if people get trigger happy with the report button. I will save my comments on moderation issues for that other thread that SWB created.

 

PS: I do hope that SU comes back after a break. She was funny and always helpful.

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Also, when I go to social groups, I can ONLY see the social groups I am part of.  I can't even see if there are others I would like to join.  I can't see what social groups are even available.  Is this not true for everyone?

 

No, I've accidentally ended up in social group postings from the new content list, and I can read threads from groups I'm not a member of unless it's private.

 

I am the "owner" of two and the settings are public, because I set them up as an offshoot of a couple threads on here, but they ended up not really being active after all! ha ha

 

 

 IMO, we should all know that nothing on the Internet is private

Yes and no. Emails are a part of "the internet," and while we all know the government could be spying or someone might hack in, that's not the same as Google or Yahoo posting your email for all to read. If there is a setting that was selected as private, it's weird that it became public.

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The group being discussed here was not the only one to have the settings change suddenly from private to public.  I am the moderator/owner of another private social group that suddenly became visible.  (Not a WTM board moderator but the kind that approves invites and requests to join the group.)  I've worked with OtherJohn to try and correct the settings.  But no one on the group has ever posted anything that would cause anyone distress so while we were a bit more open there about things it was not reported or moderated (which I believe is the real bone of contention).  I don't think there was any conspiracy to out the social groups but that this all happened when some social groups "disappeared" and became unpostable.  Once or perhaps as? they corrected that problem some of the settings had been changed and I don't think anyone noticed right away.  I know that I didn't notice my group's settings had changed right away.  

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Which does say:

 

I really don't know what happened though and (again) don't really use the social groups much. I am not sure when/where it was stated that they would be unmoderated? Seems like some misunderstandings exist among the team that runs the boards?

 

IIRC, there was a kerfuffle involving "social group" threads that were in the main forum (because the actual SGs weren't up and functional yet). People were considering it a semi-private space and were posting things that non-members of that group were reading and taking offense at, and those non-members were reporting the "offensive" posts or were jumping in to argue, and it was a bit of a mess. I remember someone (I think SWB, I don't recall for sure) saying that yes, the SGs did still have to follow board rules, but no, they weren't going to be actively moderated. That's kind of contradictory, but my assumption is that that meant if someone reported content in one of the SGs, it would be moderated. Otherwise, they'd be left alone.

 

Which does kind of explain what seems to have happened here.

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Yes and no. Emails are a part of "the internet," and while we all know the government could be spying or someone might hack in, that's not the same as Google or Yahoo posting your email for all to read. If there is a setting that was selected as private, it's weird that it became public.

 

Well, yes, but the bottom line is still the same. Anything you put on the Internet, no matter how secure or private you think (or are assured) it is, could still somehow find its way to open channels. This could be by accident (e.g., the resetting of the social groups with incorrect or default settings after their glitch-caused disappearance, as Jean suggested) or through malicious manipulation (e.g., a mod with a bone to pick--which is not what I think happened, just throwing out an example). The potential for that exposure is always there.

 

It IS weird. However, it's also weird that some days the search function works great and sometimes it doesn't work at all. Sometimes all the like functionality disappears and no one knows why. Sometimes, when I reply to a thread, it shows up in Content I Follow just like it's supposed to, and other times I can't get a thread to show up there no matter what I do.

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Well, yes, but the bottom line is still the same. Anything you put on the Internet, no matter how secure or private you think (or are assured) it is, could still somehow find its way to open channels.

The same is true for everything, though, really, not just the internet? Arrest records, personal letters, and, heck, even personal conversations about whether black people should attend basketball games can find their way into the open.

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The group being discussed here was not the only one to have the settings change suddenly from private to public.  I am the moderator/owner of another private social group that suddenly became visible.  (Not a WTM board moderator but the kind that approves invites and requests to join the group.)  I've worked with OtherJohn to try and correct the settings.  But no one on the group has ever posted anything that would cause anyone distress so while we were a bit more open there about things it was not reported or moderated (which I believe is the real bone of contention).  I don't think there was any conspiracy to out the social groups but that this all happened when some social groups "disappeared" and became unpostable.  Once or perhaps as? they corrected that problem some of the settings had been changed and I don't think anyone noticed right away.  I know that I didn't notice my group's settings had changed right away.  

Thank you for sharing.  Did you see the update? http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/526161-moderation-suggestions/?p=5888744

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If anyone is in touch with sparklyunicorn could they please send her my best wishes. She is in my shortlist of favourite posters

Same. My kids want to know why I don't have dancing bacon!

 

Also, Quill, I would notice if you didn't post, because you're one of the four members that I know of who live not far from me (two of whom are IRL friends of mine).

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People keep saying that it's obvious when one is in a Social Group vs a regular thread, and it is, but maybe it's not as obvious in the "reported threads" interface the moderator uses. Maybe the mod only sees a list of all reported items, regardless of whether they are on a regular thread or in a social group, and has to rely on reading the categories or something. Just a thought. I'm not saying one way or the other, just saying we shouldn't assume that it's as obvious to the mod as it is to the user; we don't see that interface.

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The same is true for everything, though, really, not just the internet? Arrest records, personal letters, and, heck, even personal conversations about whether black people should attend basketball games can find their way into the open.

 

Yep, absolutely. So thinking you have a safe space here in the social groups of this quirky, wonky online message board with infrequent visits from tech support doesn't make sense to me, I guess.

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Yep, absolutely. So thinking you have a safe space here in the social groups of this quirky, wonky online message board with infrequent visits from tech support doesn't make sense to me, I guess.

People forget, I guess. Hence those politicians thinking that crotch shot won't see the light of day... always mystified me.

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I am not sure where to put this or if it is even relevant, but I am using a Firefox fork and open jdk7:

 

http://trisquel.info/en/forum/how-abrowser-different-firefox

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenJDK

 

and, although I get the "you are not authorized" page if I accidentally click on a post that shows up when I click on "New Posts" without realizing that is i in a Social Group, I see the first sentence or two in the first and last post when I hover my mouse.

 

I'm not a nosy troll, just a busy and distracted board junkie, but nosy trolls would see the same thing.

 

If this is important, would somebody else please mention it to the powers that be?

 

I love this place and don't have time to give these issues the time they deserve right now, so will probably take a board break or else make clueless, stupid, and irrelevant posts about things I don't know anything about.

 

I'd rather spend my limited internet time giggling about cupcakes and kilts.

 

Oh yea, and learning about homeschooling......

 

 

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There is (what I think is) an interesting discussion going on over in the "Moderation Suggestions" thread in the "Site News and Discussion" area of the forum.

 

There seems to be a perception among some members that the moderators are biased, and it would be very interesting to hear more points of view on this issue. I haven't personally seen any evidence of this perceived bias, but I'm only one person, so I think it would be helpful if others chimed in with their own opinions and experiences. :)

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There is (what I think is) an interesting discussion going on over in the "Moderation Suggestions" thread in the "Site News ans Discussion" area of the forum.

 

There seems to be a perception among some members that the moderators are biased, and it would be very interesting to hear more points of view on this issue. I haven't personally seen any evidence of this perceived bias, but I'm only one person, so I think it would be helpful if others chimed in with their own opinions and experiences. :)

I haven't noticed any.

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There is (what I think is) an interesting discussion going on over in the "Moderation Suggestions" thread in the "Site News and Discussion" area of the forum.

 

There seems to be a perception among some members that the moderators are biased, and it would be very interesting to hear more points of view on this issue. I haven't personally seen any evidence of this perceived bias, but I'm only one person, so I think it would be helpful if others chimed in with their own opinions and experiences. :)

 

I haven't really noticed this either.

 

I do think it could perhaps be easy to miss stuff is one if busy worrying about offensive things the other side said. I know for myself it's sometimes tempting to feel "triumphant" if the moderator moderates someone who had said something rudely (I felt) in their opposing post. I've never thought about how the other might feel if s/he was moderated but I wasn't.

 

Not to say that I think there's a bias. Just trying to consider the other perspective.

 

Anyway, this is probably a good reminder for us all to think BEFORE we post.

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There is (what I think is) an interesting discussion going on over in the "Moderation Suggestions" thread in the "Site News and Discussion" area of the forum.

 

There seems to be a perception among some members that the moderators are biased, and it would be very interesting to hear more points of view on this issue. I haven't personally seen any evidence of this perceived bias, but I'm only one person, so I think it would be helpful if others chimed in with their own opinions and experiences. :)

I notice that certain types of posts tend to get deleted. I chalk it up to the types of people who are trigger happy on the report button. I'm more likely to just tell someone that they're rude than to hit the button. I *think* I've only reported maybe one or two non-spam posts, and those weren't directed at me. The mods only see what people report. They can't be expected to read every post in every thread on the board.

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I notice that certain types of posts tend to get deleted. I chalk it up to the types of people who are trigger happy on the report button. I'm more likely to just tell someone that they're rude than to hit the button. I *think* I've only reported maybe one or two non-spam posts, and those weren't directed at me. The mods only see what people report. They can't be expected to read every post in every thread on the board.

I don't disagree with this; I just think that when a post or thread is reported that it becomes attendant on the moderators to then read not only the reported posts, but the conversation in situ. They then should apply clearly understood rules/guidelines in deciding whether or not to delete.

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I don't disagree with this; I just think that when a post or thread is reported that it becomes attendant on the moderators to then read not only the reported posts, but the conversation in situ. They then should apply clearly understood rules/guidelines in deciding whether or not to delete.

They don't?  I guess I assumed that they did?  I'm fairly sure that some of the moderators anyway are employees of PHP and are probably way too busy with their own workload to do that, now that I think about it.  

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I don't disagree with this; I just think that when a post or thread is reported that it becomes attendant on the moderators to then read not only the reported posts, but the conversation in situ. They then should apply clearly understood rules/guidelines in deciding whether or not to delete.

The problem with this that some threads are so long it could take forever to read thee tire thing. Are they supposed to lock it in order to give themselves time to make a fully informed decision or keep it unlocked and allow the offense to continue until they are caught up. They would get a lot of pissed of people no matter what they do.

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They don't?  I guess I assumed that they did?  I'm fairly sure that some of the moderators anyway are employees of PHP and are probably way too busy with their own workload to do that, now that I think about it.  

 

Well . . . I'd say that in the recent "Likes" thread that got locked the Moderator certainly didn't appear to have read any of it.  She (he?)  accused us of not contacting a mod, when I believe there were quite a few references in the thread to PMs having been sent.

 

I don't really understand the assumption on this board that the moderators can't possibly read everything.  This board is big and active, but it's certainly not unique in that regard.  I belong or have belonged to several just as large and busy.  And on those boards the moderators certainly seem to read everything.  If the problem here is not enough mods, then I would assume that's something that could be addressed relatively easily.

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