martinibuster - 2:48 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: tedster at 1:26 am (utc) on May 6, 2013]
that hasn't suspended or cautioned me for "being honest"
I have to be "honest" with you that your statement does not sound accurate. I don't recall ever moderating you or having any issue with you as a member here on WebmasterWorld, so don't take the following statement as a description of you personally, because the following is not about you personally, it's about the statement itself.
There is some truth to your statement. I have participated in a forum where my comments were removed because they expressed negative sentiments about a member who was also an advertiser who was posting thinly veiled promotional posts. He complained, my comments were removed. I'm a member there because they're making an effort to moderate well, and that advertiser was told to change his posting style. I could claim I was edited for telling the truth. But I have to be honest and admit that my post was a direct challenge to a member, which made the post borderline uncivil, and definitely off-topic. I turned the discussion into a discussion about the OPs motivation, not about what was in the title of the discussion.
This forum (nor any other forum I participate in) does not moderate members for being honest. Rudeness, yes. Uncivil comments, yes. Taking a thread off topic, yes. There is a point where a topic goes from Topic A to Lynch Mob Pile-on.
Here are my personal opinions, do not take them as WebmasterWorld policy:
1. Two sides to every story
Many people who claim they were censored for telling the truth are often exagerrating to paint themselves as innocent victims of over-moderation, they're not telling the entire truth of what happened.
2. False calls for free speech
The biggest advocates for "free speech" on a forum are almost always trolls.
On the flip side, when good intentions go bad:
1. Some times moderators lose sight of the goals of moderation.
This is the fault of the admins. The admins must be able to clearly state what the purpose of moderation is. This must be communicated to the mods. The goal can be increased participation, civility or unfettered discussion. Whatever it is, it must be formulated and communicated so when a mod action is considered, the action works toward that goal.
2. Mods take things personally
This is why I believe selecting a mod for personal characteristics trumps their topic experience or knowledge. A good mod is patient, thoughtful, and gets along with other members. A bad mod takes things personally and "rules" the forum. Those are the ones that take things personally.
I was once jumped by the moderator team at SearchEngineWatch because I disagreed with a statement by one of the mods that supernatural forces and click fraud were at work to lower Yahoo's stock valuation. Several of the other mods jumped in to attack me personally as well as to deny the credibility of respected traditional news sources that offered the real reason for the stock drop. Graciously, Danny Sullivan stepped in and said I was right. Those moderators took my criticism personally. They were poor moderators.
3. The best mods are servants
The best leaders, the best moderators, are the ones who think of themselves as servants to the community, not the rulers over it.
[edited by: tedster at 1:26 am (utc) on May 6, 2013]