How do you propose that the moderators get consensus?
Yah, this ain't rocket science, eh? Is this really that hard? Has nobody ever worked a job where yeh had to collaborate with other people who weren't constantly available?
Yeh discuss in advance the "standards" usin' real-world examples to build consensus. Where yeh have time, you discuss with others before takin' action on somethin' that would be considered a "judgment call". Where you choose to act (or not to act), you let the others know and they should respect that and not interfere in da individual case, but anyone can raise it for a discussion among yourselves if they feel it merits it. And then yeh hash that out until there's a consensus.
When yeh get feedback, positive or negative, yeh share that and discuss it. Feedback from someone who was a "witness" rather than an affected party should be taken especially seriously. If an individual moderator is directly involved/has a personality conflict/ is just runnin' hot, he/she should recuse themselves and trust the review and judgment of the rest. Yeh don't "agree to disagree", yeh hash it out until you have re-established consensus.
Each moderator should be able to easily understand the actions of another (without askin' them) and be able to explain the standards to anyone who asks.
In my experience it takes precious little effort to build consensus for somethin' as simple as forum moderation in this type of forum. I can't help but thinkin' that not doin' so is just lazy.
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- Jun 2005
Hey, welcome back NJCubScouter! Long time, no read (or something like that). We've missed you and that incredibly good sense of humor!
- Jun 2000
The guidelines that FScouter posted at top were things I wrote for the forum many years ago. They seem pretty durable, and I'm inclined to not elaborate much beyond that.
Likewise, the moderators (all of whom should be thanked for their volunteer effort... trust me, they keep a lot of junk cleaned up that you mostly never see) were chosen specifically because they represented a diverse group of opinions, styles, age, Scouting experience, politics and moderation style. When I asked those folks to serve, it was simply to cut the "noise" (in nearly every case "noise" is SPAM, junk postings, nonsense or personal insults).
I've never met any of the moderators, and to my knowledge most of them have never met each other. This group has been in place now for quite a long time, and in retrospect we ended up with a pretty good balance. They work hard to keep this little corner of cyberspace healthy, happy, and wise.
Here are my current thoughts, after reading this thread:
1) If a moderator deletes or edits a post, I think it's helpful if they sign their name with a brief explanation of why/what was edited. However, I'm not going to require this of the moderators, and will leave it to each of them to decide if and when it's appropriate to sign their name.
2) If a moderator deletes or edits one post from a user, a good practice might be to leave it to a different moderator to edit a second post from the user. There's no easy way for these guys to collaborate in real time... but successive edits between one moderator and one user could be avoided (though certainly not prohibited).
3) Moderation should be VERY light, especially in the Politics Forum. People who say foolish or unScoutlike things do more to reveal their character to the group than any squelching/deleting can reveal. So if you're a moderator, and you see a post or thread that is "borderline", I'd say leave it alone (or admonish the user publicly).
4) Contrary to point #3 above, we also want to be aware that FAR MORE people read these forums each day than post, and the audience includes many young people. The kind of consistent insults, low-brow commentary, or "agitation just for agitation's sake" offered by posters who have been banned (and now being put forth by Gold Winger, for example) should be squelched for the benefit of the readers.
Finally, the opinions of the regulars that post in this forum are very important, and the collective wisdom of the group usually results in a pretty good standard around here. I deeply respect the suggestions of long-time posters who have a history of contributing good content or provocative thought... moderators simply reflect the balance of personalities of the whole forum, and they understand that they were not selected so much as arbiters, but as representatives.
(Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion.)