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There will always be those who feel it necessary for a moderator to step down when they adhere to a viewpoint different than theirs. However, whether or not the content of a post is still within the sphere of moderation. There are those who, simply by the way they post, seem to give an air of emotion that may or may not reflect the content but the tone of the post. I see a lot of personal attacks and sarcasm that is not moderated out of posts. But once the attack get out of hand, it's time to either close down a thread or remove posts. When I moderate other forums, whenever I removed a post it also included a personal response to the poster as to why I did what I did. That, however, is a personal expectation I place on myself rather than an expectation placed by the forum owner.


There is a lot of moderation that normally goes on behind the scenes that the general viewer does not see. I have no idea how much if any of this is going on with this forum.


From the comments made, it does not seem to apply on this forum, the moderators discussed behind the scenes quite a bit before banning a member or imposing some kind of restriction on them. On some of the more intense forums, there were times I placed more moderator-to-moderator posts than actual posts on the forum. There was no sense of scout-like expectations placed on these people so this was necessary.


All in all, from what little I have seen this forum seems to be very well moderated and find it difficult to wade through the junk that seems to pop up every now and then when someone hijacks a nice discussion with insessant concerns about how the thread is being moderated.


If someone has a problem with a particular moderator, contact that moderator directly and keep it off the forum. If a thread is brought up to deal with moderation efforts it needs to be done with a specific thread as it is being done here. The rest of the forum isn't interested in such discussions unless it is in a dedicated thread in an appropriate area of the forum.


My 2 cents worth





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The little boy who was pointing at the naked emperor might not have been as effective (nor immortalized in the fable), if he had taken your advice to "...contact that moderator directly and keep it off the forum."

I would expect similar effectiveness for your approach with, say, Pol Pot or perhaps Kim Jong Il (or his twin, Menta Lee Il)...also probably with Robert Mugabe, the leaders of Myanmar, etc.

One thing anyone weilding absolute power wants to avoid is any public question about that power.


As I have often remarked in these forums, if an idea has sufficient merit, it should be durable to free and open criticism. Attempts to stifle such criticism, to me, merely indicate potential weakness of the protected ideas.


Edited part: Drat thsoe tpyos!(This message has been edited by packsaddle)


One more Edit: I just peeked at the Federal Funds thread. Sigh.....(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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As a moderator, we don't answer to individual posters. They can offer advice and there are avenues to do so. Pubicly calling for a moderator to step down is not one.


I have been accused of being heavy-handed when it comes to moderating. I think several of the moderators here have. But I think we, as a group, do our jobs to the best of our abilities and try to keep things fair and civil.


Just remember--nobody's keeping you here.

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No Hops you don't answer to individuals but you do answer to the group as a whole. F-Scouter as others have stated acts as a tyrant in his moderation duties and thats wrong. Personally I don't care if he deletes a post of mine but we should be entitled to at least a pm stating why. F-Scouter also goes out of his way to insult others that he has been heavy handed with and that is unscoutlike. An organizations reputation is based on the people running it and when you have one bad apple it can ruin the reputation of that organization. Hops when you get a little older with more life experience you will someday understand what that truly means.


I don't care if F-Scouter steps down or not but IMHO if he stays as a moderator this forum will be a little less than it truly can be. I stay in this forum because of the people who contribute so much wisdom about their experiences in scouting and elsewhere. Like packsaddle when I see an injustice I will speak up because I believe its the right thing to do. I know any decision in this forum lies with Terry as it should. As far as this topic is concerned I have said my piece and consider the matter closed. It is my hope that anyone in this forum should be able to express a viewpoint without unjustly being censored by one individual.

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hey now, pack, I resemble that remark


"... They bring to the forums all of their personality quirks (sorry OGE, it had to be said ) and those are sometimes reflected in the way they censor the rest of us."


Now what do you mean by that? The way I see it, you guys are all mighty quirky, I have the answers to all the ills of the world, the problem is no one has bothered to ask me as yet

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I do think it would be useful to discuss what purpose is served by moderation. While not expressly stated, the forums do have a mission. I see the forums as providing a place where folks can share ideas about Scouting, and thus promote the successful implementation of a Scouting program.


The purpose of moderation should be to ensure there is no hindrance to achieving that mission. Folks wont want to participate if the atmosphere is not conducive to free exchange.


As I see it, there could be a number of hindrances:

Posts that intimidate or discourage others from expressing their ideas.

Posts that drive away folks seeking help.

Posts that add no value to the discussion, and thus make it difficult to find useful ideas.

Anything that discourages other folks from participating.


If the membership wants to develop a long list of rules and dos and donts, we can do that. If the Scout Law is general enough thats fine too. If you want a complete absence of control, Terry can eliminate the moderator team.


There have been a couple of ideas presented. Lets hear some more ideas for moderation criteria and techniques. So far we have:

-Use the Scout Law to determine when to take action.

-Ask the originator of the topic for an opinion before taking action.

-After taking action, identify the individual moderator that took action.

-Send a personal response to the poster as to why action was taken.




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Message Boards like this one definitely have a mission. This one, I believe, is here to help other Scouts and Scouters to share ideas, get answers, and maybe most important of all: develop friendships among the members. I know this last one is true for me. I've actually met a couple of people on this site and I've shared private discussions (emails or PM) with several more. Having found this web site (which led to finding another) and having internet contact with other members of the BSA afforded me the opportunity to attend the National Scout Jamboree in 2005. I have little doubt in my mind that I would not have gone without the internet.


I do feel there needs to be some sort of guidelines and there needs to be some sort of moderation. If each member would do it for him or herself then we'd all be better off. Knowing that people slip up (or deliberately post banter) I feel it is important to have moderators with the capability to clean it up to keep this a safe, useful resource that others are going to want to read. If Terry decides a shake-up of the moderator staff is in order, then so be it. We're guests of his.

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hops_scout, "Just remember--nobody's keeping you here."

Which one of the points do you think this embodies?

Helpful? Friendly? Courteous? Kind? Cheerful? Brave?

As a moderator, you have been given power that the rest of us do not have. If you think that diminishes YOUR responsibility to live by the scout law, I strongly disagree.


OGE, That was supposed to have one of those smiley things embedded somewhere, sorry. I was trying to make exactly the point you made in your response. As the Borg say, "Resemblance is futile"...or something along those lines.


To the moderators in general, if I have a criticism of the moderation, I intend to bring it to public view if and when I think I need to. I see no need to hide your mistakes if I think I've detected such. You guys can respond in the scoutlike manner that I'm sure you will decide to.

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The inmates in the correctional institution where I'm employed can file grievances.

As you can imagine Food Service and the Dietary Department does receive what seems to me more than our fair share.

Some of these grievances are about the food; quality, portion size and taste. Some are about the staff.

It used to be that these grievances were treated very much as a joke, dismissed and not taken very seriously.

To be fair some are very funny! Some are just the work of people who have nothing better to do.

A little while back I kinda changed the way we deal with them. Because so many inmates have a problem putting down on paper what they want to say. Now when we get them I meet with the person who wrote the grievance.

Sometimes I can't fix what they think is broken! The state determines the size of the portion and the menu is a State-wide menu. But sometimes we do mess up and get things wrong! Sometimes the complains are legitimate complaints.

Where as the Staff used to look upon these grievances as almost some sort of badge of honor!! They are now taking the time to see if the complaint has any merit and when it seems that it has they are doing what can be done to fix what was wrong.

Along the way something strange has happened, we have now started to receive notes from inmates telling us when we have done a good job.

I don't think any of us likes being informed that we are not doing what is expected.

I know at times I can and do tend to get very defensive. Maybe it's the old "Fight or flee" instinct?

I do have to admit that up until I read what packsaddle posted that I never really thought about myself as being any sort of censor!!


As a forum member I do choose not to take very much notice of a few members.

I have only ever used the ignore this user on two people, both who are no longer active in the forum.

I never really used the quality thingy with the thumb. I'm not sure if anyone does? I have checked it out in a very long time.

I think feedback is a good thing.

I'm just not sure when feedback crosses the line and becomes "Bashing"?

I'm not sure if posting in the forum that you are upset really serves anything any better than a PM?

Of course what anyone chooses to do with a PM is up o them!

So if the reason to post your grievance in the forum is to lure someone out? Maybe that's the way to go?

FScouter was kind enough to post his view about what the guidelines should be.

I'm wondering if the other members would post what rules /guidelines they think the moderation team might want to take a look at.

I would kinda hope bearing in mind that we are trying our best to be kind.



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I'm gonna say something here. I'm a Moderator at a forum in a different part of cyberspace.


The person who accepts a tour as a Moderator gives of their own time... for no financial gain.


The person who accepts a tour as a Moderator has to read everything on the Forum. He has to make a judgment call about does it meet the site owners standards, and he has to do that in about 20 seconds.


Oh by the way, the Mod is also a member, and often wants to post in one or more areas.


If you do not like the Moderation here, step up to the plate and ask Terry for a job! I promise you, the other Mods probably will appreciate some of "the heavy burden being lifted from their shoulders." (sound like a Scouting ceremony?)


Are there specific tweaks I'd like to see? Yes, but I'll address them offlist.



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Hi FScouter since you have asked for suggestion on-line I will reply on-line.


I think that decorum is the only reason to end a thread, and not whether a mod (or mods) has become personally bored with the topic.


Other posters who are no longer interested are free to stop visiting the thread so you are not protecting them from anything, and while the mods must continue monitor the threads that is a condition they chose to accept voluntarily and your personal entertainment was never guaranteed. Too many threads have been ended simply because a mod was no longer interested in the topic and for no other reason.


Posts that do not add or seek information on the topic should be removed by the mods. No explanation should be needed; the poster knows what he or she did.


Posts that are about another poster and not about a scouting topic should be removed. No explanation should be needed; the poster knows what he or she did.


Posts that use foul or questionable language should be removed. No explanation should be needed; the poster knows what he or she did.


Posters who want to share song lyrics should start a new thread or be removed. Interrupting people having a conversation by "singing" is rude. No explanation should be needed; the poster knows what he or she did.


Most of all I think moderators should be moderate. If you are going to take a position on a topic in a thread then you need to remove yourself as a monerator in that thread.


A moderator should be moderate. You cannot allow some posters to verbally insult others only when you do not like their target either. The behavior is either acceptable to all posters or unacceptable to all.


just my .02





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Well I'm late to this party (didn't know the thread was here) but I've been thinking some about this moderation business and FScouter's request for input recently. In particular, a certain poster who has been moderated more times than I care to count this week, pushed me to think harder about how I would like to see moderation occur. In another thread I made a comment about how I work in a setting where absolutely unfettered speech is expected (well, at least among those with tenure!). That isn't to say I necessarily want a free for all here, but rather, that personally I find moderation to be a pretty aggressive act that shouldn't occur often, and when it does, that should include some personal responsibility on the parts of the moderators (ie, sign your names!).


So here are my preferences and reasons why.


1) Rather than outright deleting posts, I would prefer that moderators delete or edit content while retaining the shell of the post.

This allows readers to see when one member has been moderated. Since many of us may already have read the uncensored text, it also helps us to understand where the moderator(s) think(s) the boundaries of acceptable vs. unacceptable content lie.


It annoys me when posts just plain disappear because half the time, I know they were there last time I visited and it gives me a moment of virtual disorientation ("hey wait a minute, wasn't there something here from Poster X?").


Even when I haven't previously read the post prior to moderation, I think it is valuable to leave the shell there. In the most recent case, what struck me was that one poster had practically all of his posts edited over a period of a couple of days. That signals a different and perhaps bigger issue (to my mind) with that poster. Other moderators might take notice of this and choose to discuss the situation further, I don't know.


Repeated edits might color my view of that poster's future responses too. Reputation is valuable, for good and ill. Simply removing all traces of the post prevents reputation from coming into the matter, unfortunately.


2) I would appreciate if moderators would sign their name when they edit or delete the content of a post. It is good to know who takes responsibility for such an act; it is a check on power (sorry guys, but just because you may strive to be even handed doesn't mean all mods always will be). It also helps to see if there is a consensus, when several moderators independently censor an individual's posts or several step into a particular topic.


3) I would prefer to see moderation only when it comes to advertisements for commercial products, sexual material unrelated to scouting, personal insults or vulgarities. Those, it seems to me, are off the table.


I don't like the moderation of discussions that a particular moderator feels are not adding value. Let the readers judge that.


I don't agree with Bob White that songs or occasional outbreaks of silliness should be deleted. Just like in a real group setting, sometimes spontaneous goofiness happens and it can be a tension breaker at times, or it can serve as a clue to other posters that the group thinks they're going off the deep end and should rein themselves in.


If things get off topic then I think it is appropriate to suggest a spin off, but I don't find that compelling enough to censor someone. The only time I could imagine that would be if one person insisted on pursuing an argument across the threads, across the board, relentlessly, even after being told many many many many times per incident to stop it. And I have never seen that happen here (even with merlyn and ed - usually they give it a rest when it gets to be over-heated and I've never seen them pursue each other outside the issues&politics section.)


That's my opinion. That, and $2.00 might buy you a cup of coffee. Do what you want with it.


ETA: I wanted to mention that I was in agreement with pretty much all of the recent edits of that one individual's posts, because they were personal insults and name calling, nothing more. That's the kind of thing I think we have moderators to deal with in the first place.(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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Agree strongly with LisaBob


Moderators should (1) wield their scalpel delicately and excise only grossly offensive words/phrases or commercial messages, (2) indicate the removed portion using ellipses or some symbol, and (3) sign their edit.



"Packsaddle, sometimes you are a real #####." (edited by Moderator OGE)

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See Trev, I disagree, in the phrase you wrote


"Packsaddle, sometimes you are a real #####." (edited by Moderator OGE)



the contest would indicate that you werent saying:


Packsaddle , sometimes you are a real genius


Packsaddle , sometimes you are a real smart person



I just offer that sometimes the best thing to do is to take the line out and thats it

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OGE, that's the point. After you make the edit, other readers will know that I have some very strong opinion and that I expressed it in an unacceptable manner. They don't need to know the actual redaction of course, but knowing that I expresssed it should be part of the record.


Of course that means more work for you, you lazy #####.

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