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WebmasterWorld Feedback Days Forum

This 65 message thread spans 3 pages: 65 ( [1] 2 3 > >   posting off  
Ask Moderators to Be Less Bitc*y
Andrea Wasik

 1:43 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Although I have been working in various ways with the Internet since 1994, I still hesitate to post questions here because I have gotten some very know-it-all kind of rude replies. You asked for my opinion...



 1:47 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)



 1:53 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Rude replies are usually dealt with within minutes Andrea. I know this because I've been a rude poster before. I've had posts edited and I've had them deleted outright. In all cases I was informed by a mod via sticky and in all cases, at the end of the day, I had to agree with their reasoning. I've found the moderation of this forum to be extremely fair, even bending over backwards at times toward that interest.

Rudeness detracts from discourse and seems to have this snowball affect that attracts others rudesters. Mob mentality maybe. I don't know.



 1:54 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)


Rudeness coming from moderators. They delete your replies and tell you in private why you should not say something. North Korea for you.


 2:03 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

And it seems heavy handed to some... I'm sure. This is not any forum though. There are standards to follow and while I've been at odds with some of those standards at times, again, at the end of the day I had to agree with them.

If I want to argue on the web I have a surplus of places I can go. This isn't one of them.


 2:07 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hmm I don't agree with rudness in most cases in some cases the question is such the poster doesn't want to do the work to find the solution when it is right there. I call this the lazy man post and wants someone else to do the work for them. Then a short to the point (call it rude it ya want) letting the poster know hey try getting off you butt and do some research before posting is fine by me. This cuts down the "Hey what is a Title Tag" post that just take up space.

This tends to help nudge the "hold me by the hand" kinda poster to do some work on their own and then when they get stuck put up a post that. Hey guys I have researched this and am stumped can ya help me out here.

[edited by: bwnbwn at 2:11 pm (utc) on May 26, 2010]


 2:11 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

you dont have to argue to get told off in this place. i got told off for using the word chopsticks once. apparently that is racist, and my post was wiped from the face of the earth in case anyone got upset.
if talking about chopsticks is racist, then so is talking about bowler hats, haggis and hamburgers.
i've also received stickies from the bosses informing me that i've spelt a member's name wrong. that is just silly.


 3:32 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

North Korea for you.

There is a difference - this is a voluntary association.

Personally, I rarely excise anything that is not reported and complained about by another member. It surprises me how quickly the member reports roll in if there's something that violate the WebmasterWorld ethos.

I'm not saying you don't have a point. There are times when I think people - including myself - should lighten up here a bit, be they moderators or general members.

That said, I used to read a lot of forums. I have seen friends who were bona fide experts, but not native English speakers, get misunderstood and flamed by total idiots who knew half of what my friends did and those flames were rude and vicious. Even though I wasn't a target of these flames, they ruined my experience of the forum and I just quit reading them.

So for me it's a question of where to draw the line, not whether or not to draw it. I think if you're comfortable on WebmasterWorld, you won't be able to hang out at WickedFire, and if you like WF, you'll hate WebmasterWorld. I just can't see many people really being active members in both. Even WF has a line drawn, but it's waaayyyy out from WebmasterWorld. So if WebmasterWorld removes the line, why would anyone come here instead of just going to WF? That is, at that point, what would differentiate WebmasterWorld?

Or for that matter... without flaming individuals, can you give specific examples of where the line is in the wrong place?

Finally - on rudeness. I think deleting something that violates terms and then sending you a friendly personal not can not be called rudeness. It might be excessive, but I don't think you can say that is "rude".

Imagine: Cop pulls you over and says "excuse me sir, did you know why I pulled you over?" You might think he's out of line, overly picky or excessive when you hear the reason, but it's not rude. If a moderator is genuinely rude or insulting, you should complain.


 3:45 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

its the sentiment behind the message that makes it rude, not the words.

if you tell someone off for some committing an infraction then who cares if your note is polite -- you're still telling them off. most people here havent been told off since their school days, twenty years ago. so when you find yourself getting told off for silly things like daring to mention a product name it makes the site less homely.


 3:57 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

No moderator likes editing a members post. When we do make an edit we send a message to the member. This is not "telling the member off" its an attempt to be courteous. It would be a lot easier to just edit the post and forget about it. By letting the member know their post has been edited it keeps them in the loop. Most mods will also provide a reason for the edit, this again is not a telling off, its just a heads up that we all need to stick to the same rules.

We all have the same set of rules to abide by (mods included). I feel that editing a members post without taking the time to let the member know why is plain rude. By pointing out the edit and the reason you are also opening the door to a dialect. Perhaps they may wish to ask for more details.



 4:17 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

We all have the same set of rules to abide by (mods included).

To be honest, there are all sorts of things I felt I could say before I was a moderator, that I wouldn't say now.

@londrum - First off, thanks for sharing your thoughts. It helps to see how members see our actions, because clearly sometimes the perceptions don't line up. So at the very least, some better communication is needed. Part of it is a result of the fact that most of us only have so much time. We volunteer as mods for no pay simply as a way of giving back to the community and most mods would prefer to police as little as possible. I recently ran an experiment in my forum on loosening things up and the result was a fairly rapid rise in self-promtional commericial posts.

Anyway, I can't speak to the chopsticks thing or any other, because I don't know the specifics. Still, being edited is not the same as being "told off". There are times that I make a minor edit if there's a mispelling in the post title. I would typically send a quick message as a courtesy because I feel not doing so would be rude. I'm not telling someone off for having bad spelling/typing. I think of it as doing a service for the member so their post title will get picked up better by Google.


 4:23 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Truthfully? I'm glad the Moderators are around, you SHOULD be too. Sometimes we say things that are not conducive to the community environment here. I know, I've done it myself. It's nice to know I have someone checking in to make sure I haven't overstepped the boundaries which I can definitely do if I want to - but not here.

I think I used to be one of those bitc*y Moderators. :)

Note: NEVER discuss Politics or Religion.


 4:25 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

obviously its no big deal, and its forgotten about five minutes later. no one really minds getting a note from the mods saying their topic title has been amended. sometimes it just seems a bit silly and preachy, thats all. like the place is going all PC.


 4:39 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

No moderator likes editing a members post. When we do make an edit we send a message to the member.

Many forums do not have the courtesy to do this. The premier small business organisation the UK has a forum that could not hold a candle to this. The moderators in there do not have a clue. They get emotionally involved and ens up causing more trouble.

The problem is seldom that moderators are telling anyone off. It's just that people (me included) do not like their comments being moderated in any way.


 4:50 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The real problem WebmasterWorld faces is that new people come from poorly moderated free-for-all sites that have no respect for the visitors, posters or the mods with threads that veer all over the place and expect we run the same kind of sloppy outfit.

I would say the majority of the edits are when people start discussing each other and making it personal baiting, which heats up quickly, that'll get the axe.

As long as the thread stays on topic, is professional with no religion, politics, rudeness or link drops involved, there will rarely ever be an edit.

So basic politeness and topic consistency is all it takes to stay edit free on WebmasterWorld.


 5:12 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

My sarcastic humor is not always appreciated by the mods. I've learned to keep it in check here. I can appreciate Andrea's point and it needs to be raised, but this is an ongoing issue. Overall, I wouldn't change.

incrediBill makes a good point about WW being different from most online forums. I wish our local newspaper was as strict as WW.


 5:23 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think some of the posters have to big of an ego to start with and sometimes an edit tends to make them think it is a personal attack. They don't really see the problem due to it being blocked by their oversized ego.

I myself have been edited several times and each time I could review and see the reason. It wasn't ever taken personal and has taught me how to be a better poster.


 6:17 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm probably suffering an oversized ego. But I really hate it when some mod. thinks he can express *my* opinion better than myself. Either zapp the post or leave it as is.


 6:58 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

My most memorable experience at WebmasterWorld was about a year ago. I had started a discussion that in retrospect was a lot more controversial that I had initially thought. There was some heated discussion, but then a mod from another forum came through and blindsided me like a bus with some really personal comments.

Both those comments and my reaction were removed, but it left me feeling pretty sullen. I even tried to reach out to that mod through sticky, but never heard anything back. I can truthfully say that I have never felt the same way about WebmasterWorld since then.

Furthermore, there have since been several occasions where I have written long posts that I thought might be thought provoking, only to close the browser window before posting because I'm concerned that they might not be well received by some of the higher ups. WebmasterWorld is still my favorite resource on the web, but I'm a bit jaded as to what can and can not be discussed here.


 7:31 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

started a discussion that in retrospect was a lot more controversial that I had initially thought

That is one of the biggest reasons why editing is needed sometimes.

It's unfortunate that your discussion didn't get edited sooner, to cool things down before someone got stupid-mad. That can be a hard thing to recover from.

It's a hazard of forum posting: a discussion can easily stumble into someone sore spot and feelings get hurt and tempers flare even though that wasn't anyone's intent.

Our challenge is to learn from different perspectives instead of hitting someone over the head because they see something differently and don't rush to agree with us.


 7:45 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Furthermore, there have since been several occasions where I have written long posts that I thought might be thought provoking, only to close the browser window before posting because I'm concerned that they might not be well received by some of the higher ups. WebmasterWorld is still my favorite resource on the web, but I'm a bit jaded as to what can and can not be discussed here.

Ditto. In the past I've started writing posts and then stopped and closed the wiondow, because of incidents in the past with a moderator of that forum. I don't want to have to think about how I should word a message so that it doesn't get edited. When it gets to that point it just isn't worth the effort to continue.


 7:49 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am going to ask mods to back out of this discussion and let the members talk. There will be time for you to respond later...


 7:50 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The application of moderator justice is uneven. Which stands to reason since they are human. But it is still uneven.

I think I got a post censored once because I linked to CNN, even though the mod that censored me had done so a few threads before. Irritating, but not fatal.


 8:54 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am going to ask mods to back out of this discussion and let the members talk.


In the past I've started writing posts and then stopped and closed the wiondow

LOL. I actually totally snipped this post myself, because it seems the mods feel totally justified in whatever action they take since they seem to always explain it with 'this is why my reply may seem rude' or 'blah is what I always do, so it's the right way' instead of checking their attitude for a minute and listening to how they are perceived...

First off, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

First time I've heard this from any of the mods here, but I have been told publicly to keep a thread on topic when I made an reply and another mod responded and taking the thread off on a tangent (more than once)... No comment made to the mod taking the thread OT though.


Thanks for being open ergophobe.

I'll withhold the rest of my opinion because according to some, even in this thread, controversial posts should be snipped immediately and I'm probably already right on the edge.


 9:00 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

<taking off moderator hat for this post>
Before becoming a moderator, I had a few posts edited and even snipped. A few resulted from typing before my brain caught up with my fingers. In hindsight, I agreed with most of the moderating.

However, one time in particular I really did not agree with and exchanged a few PMs with the mod trying to point out that the way he took things was not what I meant. However, I eventually realized that if he took it that way, others certainly could have also.

As a user, I felt that while a few mistakes were made from time to time, overall WW was much better than most other forums I have visited. I felt it was a combination of the mods and the maturity of the other members. (After all, forums with fewer rules tend to attract more unruly members who push the boundaries.)

I like the fact that it is easy to alert the mods to a troublesome post (or poster).


 9:02 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think I've been edited three or four times. The first one was getting a comment nuked because irony doesn't post well- I got feedback that I felt was a little harsh. I was pretty new then, and it nearly put me off staying.

Apart from that, any edits have been fair. I'm under the impression that its site policy for a mod to explain to a member why an edit has taken place, with a view to helping members stay within boundries in future.


 9:34 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is the exception in my experience here, but there are a couple of mods here that I avoid entirely. (If they post on a thread, I don't.) They themselves behave rudely, and if you say anything, they "flash their badge" and talk big. I think this has always been in open forums, or at least with "moderators of other forum." I spent a few months without posting after one case. So now I basically never post anything that disagrees with/correct any mod I don't "know."


 10:18 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am a “Muppet”; many of the Web Master World visitors were “Muppets” at one time. If someone knows almost nothing about what he/she is doing as a “Webmaster”, then one can assume that the “questions” will seem redundant to those with “experience”. We can put doctors and lawyers into those bins as well as anyone using this site.

If you take a step back and look at the Webmasterworld site, it looks like a maze; it is a complex site. If I were a rat and dropped into the site, what would I do first? Ask a question on how to find the cheese. Perhaps the appropriate answer would be, “Have you tried searching the library?” “The “Library” is [give location] and you may find some help there.” “If you do not find what you are looking for, please come back and see if we can assist you.” How hard is that?

Moderators must walk a fine line between being too rude, too direct, too narcissist, too decisive as opposed to telling the same story yet to another new rat. It is a real challenge for them to keep everything in perspective.

When I joined WebmasterWorld, I expected it to be similar to forums about “how to” with certain software. And I got what I expected, except for the moderation with harsh words.

After a couple of brushes with a certain moderator, I became very careful about what I post. I did violate a specific rule, although I was unaware of the rule at the time, (my ignorance – I’m a Muppet) and carefully avoided a repeat. But, the same moderator allowed another visitor to get by with the same violation I had made in the same thread. The inconsistency of the moderator keeps me from posting questions or suggestions to questions posted.

When I have been asked for answers pertaining to my specialty, I won’t tell the person to go read a book. I explain to that person what I know and then give them a reference to help them understand my explanation. That person leaves with some knowledge that he/she needed and suggestions to reading material to help them understand. It makes them feel like someone cared enough and did not put them down. They will come back with new questions based on their understanding and still feel good about it. Eventually, they will become a non-Muppet.

And finally, there is no fixing stupid. Not everyone can be saved/helped. But we can all show respect to those newbie Muppets.


 10:18 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anyone can have a "bad day", and hopefully that's not the times we are talking about here. We don't want to paint with to big a brush on this topic.

The vast majority of the mods and admins here are wonderfully helpful, incredibly generous in sharing their time and knowledge, and courteous to a fault.

Posts by mods (or members) that are rude, insulting, or demeaning lower the level of conversation here in general, and that's unfortunate for all of us.

I dug around in the TOS and charters and found these items.

TOS #4 says
Always be respectful of other users, the system, and the moderators. We put the system online in good faith, please use it in good faith.

I thought the following was in the TOS or all forum charters here, but maybe not. It might be good if it was.
Forum Etiquette

Please be mindful of the original topic of discussions and be respectful and courteous to other members. Posts that are rude, insulting or belittling toward others will be considered inappropriate and will be edited or removed.

All that said, moderating is probably not all that fun at times, and I'm personally grateful to the generous, helpful, respectful mods for all they do to help make this the great site it is.


 10:28 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been reprimanded 6 or 7 times in the 6 years I've been posting here. About once a year I guess. Off hand I can only really recall one of them.

I've been active on a local forum for about the same amount of time and been reprimanded 40 or 50 times. I've been banned twice and let back in twice. It's a large forum set in a small town that is home to a major university. Grad students, professors and a host of other professionals post there and the caliber of conversation is first rate at times, even brilliant. It has the potential to be a top notch forum yet because of the haphazard, part time, outright lackadaisical moderation, 4 out of every 5 threads disintegrate into all out flame wars. There is more back stabbing and juvenile whining among this group of highly educated forum veterans than on any board I've ever been involved in. Very few rules. Moderators step in only at the last minute and long after the thread is so corrupted it can't possibly be saved.

There has to be rules and they have to be enforced. Posting online brings with it an anonymity factor that allows many people to say things they would never even think about saying to your face. This is a well moderated forum. I think everyone knows what a poorly moderated forum looks like and I don't see any resemblance here. Moderators are human though and humans make mistakes. I've seen very few of them here though.

And I'm not trying to kiss any ass here either. I call it like I see it. If I'd seen abuses here, power plays, blatant self-promotion, etc... I'd be right up there in the front yelling about it. I haven't seen it. Not saying those discretions haven't existed in the past. I'm only saying I haven't seen them. And while I'm not trying to kiss any ass, I am most certainly a WW cheerleader. Rah rah.

Now if I could just get this skirt to fit...

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