I appreciate the effort and hard work it takes to moderate a discussion forum, especially when things get heated and emotions get riled up. There is often nothing a mod can do that won't piss someone off when they step in to cool things down.
This is why I take the time to explain my opinions on these sorts of procedures, so that the rules can be modified, or the moderators can at least understand what some possible consequences might be during the enacting of said rules. These consequences might be acceptable, but at least they will not be a surprise.
My opposition to the method of editing posts doesn't actually work in my favor here, as the editing makes me look better since no one can go back and pull out those lines that so angered everyone. But, objectively, I see flaws in the method, hence my comments. My words are in print for all to see, including the offensive ones. Unlike certain politicians, I do understand that when it's said on the internet, it's on the record and one can't say "I never said that" when one so clearly did. One can explain and/or apologize, but one can't really hide that it was said in the first place.
I did try to refrain from crying "why me? they did it too!", especially since the initial response I received from Seventh Crow was a private discussion, so maybe I wasn't the only one being talked to, but since it has been brought up publicly, I do feel it is not out of place for me to point out that it appears as though my posts were singled out for editing and deletion when there were other posts with equally strong use of language and apparently high amounts of emotion.
Perhaps I was the only one who didn't see the need to try and censor someone else's words just because I didn't like what was being said. As mentioned previously, the only rule that might have been applicable was rather fuzzy on whether it applied in this situation or not (I maintain that I did not break the ad hominem rule except to point out what an ad hominem was on several occasions to illuminate that I did not, in fact, make an ad hominem attack). As far as I could tell, neither was anyone else breaking that rule, they were just getting upset, so I saw no reason to try and censor anyone else even though I clearly disagreed with several other posts, and some of them were worded just as strongly, if not moreso, than mine.
Breaking in and asking everyone to step away for a few hours was a reasonable approach and first step, and, as everyone can see, the argument immediately ceased. All following posts are regarding the moderating tactics, which the moderators themselves brought up. Since a moderator has stated that editing other people's posts will not be used for now, we can leave that one be.
But, like Ceoli, I would like to know where the line is drawn on which posts will be selected for deletion, since the posts that were deleted were not against any guidelines. Repetitiveness isn't an ad hominem attack, nor was it spam. Several posts were made asking what a person actually said, and some of those posts were immediately after a quote taken from that person. I figured people couldn't see them for some reason or another, and all caps, bolding, and large fonts is considered "yelling". Since we were already repeating ourselves several times, repeating myself in rapid succession didn't seem out of line, and is not addressed in the guidelines one way or another.
There should be some objective way to determine which posts get deleted, so that the moderators do not delete the posts of the people they happen to disagree with while people they agree with use equal or similar language or tactics. I am not saying this was the case here - I have no idea why some posts were deleted & edited while others remain, and that's kind of the point. If I don't know what made some posts eligible and others not, then I can't avoid breaking the guidelines in the future. There should be some method of determining that this post counts as a breach in the guidelines while that post doesn't.
Unless, of course, part of the guidelines include "all rule-breaker decisions are a subjective decision", in which case, it's entirely up to how the moderators feel about someone. This is a valid and legal method, most notably used in certain other online poly communities, but, IMO, encourages "favorites" and not designed to make the larger community feel welcome.
**This was written prior to Seventh Crow's most recent post about "Thread pared" but was not posted then because the thread was locked. I had some points I still wanted to make, so I posted it anyway, even after the "Thread Pared" post. I'm really not a fan of someone else going back and editing/deleting other people's words, thereby changing the nature of the discussion, whether they're my posts or someone else's. Again, spam and useless name-calling I think are reasonable uses of the deletion privilege.
Last edited by Joreth; 11-30-2009 at 08:08 PM.