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Arguments for moderation policy reform

Who needs it, who got it, who hands it out and why.

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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:53 pm

I couldn't care less about complaints being made. I care about how they're dealt with.
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Bluth Corporation
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Postby Bluth Corporation » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:54 pm

Unreasonable people will complain no matter what, yes.

Reasonable people will not complain when they're satisfied that everyone's being given a fair shake, because there'll be nothing for reasonable people to complain about (aside from the rules themselves).
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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:54 pm

Katganistan wrote:
Muravyets wrote:Yes, it is me being sarcastic, but your comment was still utterly irrelevant, for the reasons I stated in my finally fully edited (added to) post.

How so? Neo Art pointed out we have a private channel. So do other players. How is that irrelevant?


Because, insofar as it pertains to moderation of NSG (the topic of the conversation, after all) whatever private channels we may or may not have, and what may or may not have on those hypothetical channels have absolutely 0 baring on the moderation of NSG (again, the topic of this thread).

Yours do. Which is the point we've been making all along.

The fact that we may have a private channel is irrelevant to the discussion of moderation of NSG because, once again, we're not moderators of NSG. And since the topic of this thread is "arguments for moderation policy reform" what people who are not moderators do is in no way relevant to that topic.

So discussion of what people who are NOT moderators may or may not do on sites other than NSG doesn't pertain to moderation of NSG, it doesn't pertain to this topic. Which makes it irrelevant.
Last edited by Neo Art on Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Katganistan
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Postby Katganistan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:02 pm

Bluth Corporation wrote:
Katganistan wrote:The judges in this case are not inviting only one party. A group of moderators, that is, the legal experts, who were not involved in the dispute are invited to the conference. They look at the evidence, they discuss it, they come up with an answer. The original moderator is barred from a vote in the discussion and answers questions if asked.

Rather like a defendant, I'd say.

Are you serious? You're comparing the moderator who made the original ruling to the defendant? Seriously?

That's absolutely ludicrous!

The original moderator doesn't stand to be sanctioned in any way if his or her original ruling is overturned, assuming it was the result of an honest error of fact or logic rather than any sort of malice or dishonest intent. He or she isn't the one with anything to lose or gain by it.

The person being ruled against is the one most easily comparable to the "defendant," for the obvious reason that he's the one who stands to lose from the proceedings if a ruling is made that is not in his favor. He's not the one who has "made his ruling and now must stand by it"--he's the one challenging the ruling, so if anyone needs to be present to make a case it's him.

And again, are cameras allowed in the jury room? Is anyone allowed to hear their discussion before the decision? Because honestly, if this is the argument that people are making, that it should be more like a legal proceeding, and that there should be unlimited transparency, if we're going to be honest, that's not what happens in a courtroom.


Again, an absolutely awful analogy, so much so that I have trouble believing that someone with your education and background could honestly think it was legit. The jury room is where decisions are made, sure, but it's not where arguments are presented. All that is being asked is that the arguments being presented, which will later be deliberated upon, are made in public with the individual bringing the appeal having the full opportunity to make his case in public. No one's expecting deliberations to be made in public--but we should certainly be able to make our case in public.

Again: the appeal is made publicly. That is part of the function of the moderation forum: for people who believe they were unfairly treated to say so. Yes? To question policies publicly, as has been done in this thread and in the one on loosening moderation policy in the General forum. The cases are made publicly.

Clearly the thrust of the thread about loosening moderation policy was quite public, the cases were made, and then policies were loosened after private discussion that took into account everyone's side. Yes?

This is a fairly simple concept, and making ad hominem attacks about my "education and background" simply because you may disagree with a question I asked and an analogy I made is singularly unnecessary. I asked a civil question, and made an analogy. The responses have been less than civil. Why?

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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:05 pm

Katganistan wrote:
This is a fairly simple concept, and making ad hominem attacks about my "education and background" simply because you may disagree with a question I asked and an analogy I made is singularly unnecessary. I asked a civil question, and made an analogy. The responses have been less than civil. Why?


My guess? That the analogy was so nonsensically bizarre as to suggest that it's made less in a real attempt at fostering conversation, and more an ad hoc attempt and reflexively defending existing policy in such a way as to create the impression that the moderation staff as a whole is utterly unwilling to entertain the notion that there MIGHT be a problem.

If in defending a system "as is" you draw analogies to a situation in such a way that don't bear even the slightest resemblance to the actual system you're drawing the analogy to, the only implication is that you either truly don't understand the thing to which you draw the analogy, or you're trying to come up with whatever rationale you can.

You tried to defend policy as is using "existing" legal procedure, only what you described...resembles no legal system I am in any way familiar with.
Last edited by Neo Art on Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Cat-Tribe
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Postby The Cat-Tribe » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:06 pm

Czardas wrote:
Neo Art wrote:
Thanks for proving my point.

Okay, what do you view as the primary difference between you contacting the mods privately to explain why you are appealing a decision, and me contacting the mods privately to explain why I made a decision?

Apart from the fact that I'm a moderator and you're not, that is, since when one of my decisions is under question I cannot rule on it -- rendering the issue of authority moot in this case.


1. I was under the impression one was not supposed to contact individual Mods privately about Moderation complaints. From FAQ: Reporting in Moderation:

Telegramming a moderator is not advised. You are encouraged to use the three official channels that we have, the Getting Help page, the Moderation forum and the IRC channel (#themodcave). If you telegram a mod, chances are your request will not get a respond and likely be ignored. You may also be referred to either the forums or Getting Help because typically moderators will not field complaints or queries from telegrams. The latter varies from moderator to moderator. It is always a prudent idea to use the official channels.


2. Although I understand it is possible for me to do so, I do not currently have access to #themodcave. Perhaps I should correct that. Are you advising posters that they can argue their moderation appeals in #themodcave AND that they will be listened to the same as the Moderator whose decision they are appealing? If not, you are being disingenuous at best.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

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Geniasis
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Postby Geniasis » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:07 pm

Czardas wrote:Frequently the reason a decision is appealed is because not enough information is supplied by the mod making the decision. Note the average length of a mod ruling (one line or so: "That's not acceptable. You are warned for flaming. Consult the OSRS to avoid a longer forumban in future.") as compared to court proceedings, where evidence is exhaustingly presented, intent must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, judges write multi-page decisions full of references to legal precedent etc etc. Thus, particularly when the mods disagree with the original ruling, they'll ask the original mod what the hell he was thinking to get a sense of why the decision was made in the first place.

Rulings are not expected to be justified when they are made because, well, there's rarely much to justify. "He called some guy a douchebag, so I warned him for flaming." Rarely is an appealed ruling so straightforward, but if the mod making the ruling thinks it's straightforward, that's about all that will be said until it's called into question.


Then why not simply make it policy for a mod to assume that someone will ask "what the hell were you thinking" and thus to include an adequate explanation in the post? I don't think we're asking for multi-page legal briefs, especially not for a set of rules that is significantly smaller in size than what a judge would deal with, but I imagine a paragraph wouldn't go amiss.
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Bluth Corporation
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Postby Bluth Corporation » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:10 pm

Katganistan wrote:
Bluth Corporation wrote:Are you serious? You're comparing the moderator who made the original ruling to the defendant? Seriously?

That's absolutely ludicrous!

The original moderator doesn't stand to be sanctioned in any way if his or her original ruling is overturned, assuming it was the result of an honest error of fact or logic rather than any sort of malice or dishonest intent. He or she isn't the one with anything to lose or gain by it.

The person being ruled against is the one most easily comparable to the "defendant," for the obvious reason that he's the one who stands to lose from the proceedings if a ruling is made that is not in his favor. He's not the one who has "made his ruling and now must stand by it"--he's the one challenging the ruling, so if anyone needs to be present to make a case it's him.



Again, an absolutely awful analogy, so much so that I have trouble believing that someone with your education and background could honestly think it was legit. The jury room is where decisions are made, sure, but it's not where arguments are presented. All that is being asked is that the arguments being presented, which will later be deliberated upon, are made in public with the individual bringing the appeal having the full opportunity to make his case in public. No one's expecting deliberations to be made in public--but we should certainly be able to make our case in public.

Again: the appeal is made publicly. That is part of the function of the moderation forum: for people who believe they were unfairly treated to say so. Yes?

The initial ruling is distinct from the appeal. Every time someone questions a ruling once it's been made, they're told to "file an appeal via a GHR."

To question policies publicly, as has been done in this thread and in the one on loosening moderation policy in the General forum. The cases are made publicly.

Clearly the thrust of the thread about loosening moderation policy was quite public, the cases were made, and then policies were loosened after private discussion that took into account everyone's side. Yes?

Again, I have trouble believing that you're not just being deliberately disingenuous. We're not talking about open discussions on what the rules should be (which is what your analogy refers to), but how a case is handled when someone allegedly breaks those rules. Those are totally different processes, and while it's great that the first process has been opened up somewhat, that in no way ameliorates the problems with the second.

This is a fairly simple concept, and making ad hominem attacks about my "education and background" simply because you may disagree with a question I asked and an analogy I made is singularly unnecessary. I asked a civil question, and made an analogy. The responses have been less than civil. Why?

Because your analogies have been so far off the mark that, coming as they do from someone such as yourself, it's hard to believe that they were anything other than an intellectually dishonest attempt to evade the real issue.
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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:15 pm

Czardas wrote:
Neo Art wrote:Why should you have an opportunity to justify your position twice, When I can only argue against it once?

Your decision stands or falls on the record you leave when you made it. If you failed to do that then you failed to do your job.

Let me ask you. Why should you be afforded the opportunity to explain your ruling a second time. In private?

Frequently the reason a decision is appealed is because not enough information is supplied by the mod making the decision. Note the average length of a mod ruling (one line or so: "That's not acceptable. You are warned for flaming. Consult the OSRS to avoid a longer forumban in future.") as compared to court proceedings, where evidence is exhaustingly presented, intent must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, judges write multi-page decisions full of references to legal precedent etc etc. Thus, particularly when the mods disagree with the original ruling, they'll ask the original mod what the hell he was thinking to get a sense of why the decision was made in the first place.

Rulings are not expected to be justified when they are made because, well, there's rarely much to justify. "He called some guy a douchebag, so I warned him for flaming." Rarely is an appealed ruling so straightforward, but if the mod making the ruling thinks it's straightforward, that's about all that will be said until it's called into question.


The bolded is exactly the point. Either:

1) the issue is simple, and thus the ruling is simple, and as such, the rationale for that ruling should be obvious on its face, and no further conversation with that mod should be necessary, or;

2) the issue is complex, and the moderator took sufficient time to explain his rationale in such a way that the record leaves no doubt as to his reasoning, and no further conversation with that mod should be necessary, or;

3) the issue is complex, but the moderator failed to leave a sufficient record to explain the rationale of his decision.

In the first two examples, the moderator did their job sufficiently well so no contact is needed. In the third example, this is the moderator failing to do his job right. If the appellate moderators can't get a sense of why the moderator made his decision the way he did from the explanation the moderator left, then that moderator failed. Plain and simple.

Why in the world should a moderator be afforded the opportunity a second bite at the apple, and be allowed to further justify himself when he didn't do so in the first place? Your entire reasoning is "we have to let the mod explain his decision because he might not have done a good enough job in the first place".

That's not a good answer. Sorry, it's not. Especially as I, the player, often am not even afforded the opportunity to explain myself ONCE. If I HAPPEN to see a report in moderation, and HAPPEN to respond to it before the mod weighs in, then maybe I get a chance. Provided a report is made in the first place and the mod happens to see allegedly violating conduct and make a decision then and there. Your entire justification for the system as is basically boils down to "well, we can't trust the moderators to explain their decision well, or give proper consideration the first time".

I'm sorry, but if you can't trust the moderator to do his/her job right the first time, that person shouldn't be a moderator. Perpetuating a system that rewards bad moderation isn't a good one.
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The Cat-Tribe
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Postby The Cat-Tribe » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:16 pm

Czardas wrote:*snip*

See, what confuses me slightly is that the four of you have continued to argue against something that doesn't happen. The idea that mods can make decisions on appeals of their own rulings seems to be something of a misinterpretation of what we're saying: while the view of the mod who made the original ruling is considered, just as that of the player appealing it is, neither one has any direct control over the outcome. "Private access" doesn't give the mod an advantage over the player since mods don't have a vote on their own appeals; nor does having the private phone number of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court give you any greater weight in the next case at vote.

*snip*


1. "The four of us" (and whoever else has joined in) are responding to Melkor's posts and past posts from other Mods explaining how the appeals process "actually works." Correct him and them if they misspoke.

2. I will take you at your word that the Mod whose decision is being appealed does vote on the appeal, but they are directly involved in the discussion of the appeal. That is a bit more access than merely having Chief Justice Roberts telephone number. It is an access that posters do not have. Moreover, it would make sense for the appealing poster to have such access but not the Mod whose ruling is being appealed. That is standard procedure in not just U.S. courts, but copious administrative, judicial, or quasi-judicial systems.

3. It bothers me a great deal that this all appears to be ignoring the constructive comments and suggestions that were made -- including ones Melkor said he thought were good ideas -- in order to circle the wagons around a few things that were said less than eloquently by Melkor about the appeals process. Rather than dump on us, just correct the record and move on.
Last edited by The Cat-Tribe on Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I quit (again).
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:16 pm

FFS when did I start agreeing with BLUTH?
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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:18 pm

The Cat-Tribe wrote:
2. I will take you at your word that the Mod whose decision is being appealed does vote on the appeal, but they are directly involved in the discussion of the appeal. That is a bit more access than merely having Chief Justice Roberts telephone number.


Moreover, the question I asked before still stands. Exactly how many phone calls do you think ole' Johnny takes from litigants in an active case?

I'm guessing few. And by few I mean "none"
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The Cat-Tribe
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Postby The Cat-Tribe » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:21 pm

Katganistan wrote:
Muravyets wrote:Yes, it is me being sarcastic, but your comment was still utterly irrelevant, for the reasons I stated in my finally fully edited (added to) post.

How so? Neo Art pointed out we have a private channel. So do other players. How is that irrelevant?


That is like saying "its OK that the Judge had private communications with the Prosecutor where they agreed to convict the Defendant" because "everyone has access to telephones."

This discussion has become nonsensical.

I am saddened to say it seem that it has been made so deliberately by two Moderators I hold in high esteem. If I'm right, shame on you.

For the time being, there doesn't seem to be any point in talking to brick walls. That is extra frustrating because I thought we were having a productive conversation -- Melkor seemed to think we were.
I quit (again).
The Altani Confederacy wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
"Don't give me no shit because . . . I've been Tired . . ." ~ Pixies
With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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Katganistan
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Postby Katganistan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:22 pm

The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Katganistan wrote:The judges in this case are not inviting only one party. A group of moderators, that is, the legal experts, who were not involved in the dispute are invited to the conference. They look at the evidence, they discuss it, they come up with an answer. The original moderator is barred from a vote in the discussion and answers questions if asked.

Rather like a defendant, I'd say.

And again, are cameras allowed in the jury room? Is anyone allowed to hear their discussion before the decision? Because honestly, if this is the argument that people are making, that it should be more like a legal proceeding, and that there should be unlimited transparency, if we're going to be honest, that's not what happens in a courtroom.


With all due respect Kat, you are being disingenuous in several ways.

If you want to make a legal analogy, you utterly fail.

1. The Moderator is not the defendant. He/She is the judge below. As such he/she would never be allowed to participate in the appeal in any facet whatsoever.

2. An appeal is not a trial. It is an appeal. You are mixing and matching legal terms and concepts haphazardly. (For example, there is no jury on appeal.)

3. The "defendant" (actually the "appellant") would be the party who filed the appeal. They would be allowed to present their case and answer questions from the appeals judges.

4. No one has, to my knowledge, called for "unlimited transparency" - so that is a cute strawman.

I thought we were having a productive conversation, that got slightly derailed by Melkor's perception that an appeal is an attempt to "punish" the Mod making the original ruling. I note in all your clever sophistry about flaws in our suggestions (which don't really address our actual suggestions -- with which at least some Melkor agreed), you don't defend that position.

I don't think I am being disingenuous at all. The moderator is accused of wrongdoing, as a defendant is -- in that they are having their judgment called into question. The person who brought the charges -- that is, the player who is pointing out what may or may not be wrongdoing, gets to do it publicly. The group of uninvolved moderators need to gather information about what happened, then deliberate on whether wrongdoing happened or not. If it did, and a ruling was unfair, it is rescinded, usually by the moderator who gave it. If there was no wrongdoing, and the ruling was fair, it is upheld.

It seems as if the feeling here is that the person whose judgment is being called into question should never get a change to explain oneself.

And again, why is it that a few questions and an analogy are dismissed as "ingenuous" and "sophistry" when I ask for clarification -- why is it that there is open hostility to my attempting to discuss this and get more understanding? Why the insults about my intelligence and the unfair characterization of me and the rest of the mods not listening?

I am curious to see how this will be justified. Because honestly, I'm not feeling like we're having a problem listening to players. I feel like we're having a problem with a few players even entertaining the notion that we might have something to contribute to the process. And I would say that the fact that for every one post I've made, there are four or five picking at them and not even allowing any kind of coherent answer... well, that's pretty much a very public record from which other posters can draw their own conclusions.

Given the age and education range here, the one thing I can say without reservation is that our forum-goers are pretty darned smart.

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The Cat-Tribe
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Postby The Cat-Tribe » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:25 pm

Neo Art wrote:
Czardas wrote:
Frequently the reason a decision is appealed is because not enough information is supplied by the mod making the decision.
Note the average length of a mod ruling (one line or so: "That's not acceptable. You are warned for flaming. Consult the OSRS to avoid a longer forumban in future.") as compared to court proceedings, where evidence is exhaustingly presented, intent must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, judges write multi-page decisions full of references to legal precedent etc etc. Thus, particularly when the mods disagree with the original ruling, they'll ask the original mod what the hell he was thinking to get a sense of why the decision was made in the first place.

Rulings are not expected to be justified when they are made because, well, there's rarely much to justify. "He called some guy a douchebag, so I warned him for flaming." Rarely is an appealed ruling so straightforward, but if the mod making the ruling thinks it's straightforward, that's about all that will be said until it's called into question.


The bolded is exactly the point. Either:

1) the issue is simple, and thus the ruling is simple, and as such, the rationale for that ruling should be obvious on its face, and no further conversation with that mod should be necessary, or;

2) the issue is complex, and the moderator took sufficient time to explain his rationale in such a way that the record leaves no doubt as to his reasoning, and no further conversation with that mod should be necessary, or;

3) the issue is complex, but the moderator failed to leave a sufficient record to explain the rationale of his decision.

In the first two examples, the moderator did their job sufficiently well so no contact is needed. In the third example, this is the moderator failing to do his job right. If the appellate moderators can't get a sense of why the moderator made his decision the way he did from the explanation the moderator left, then that moderator failed. Plain and simple.

Why in the world should a moderator be afforded the opportunity a second bite at the apple, and be allowed to further justify himself when he didn't do so in the first place? Your entire reasoning is "we have to let the mod explain his decision because he might not have done a good enough job in the first place".

That's not a good answer. Sorry, it's not. Especially as I, the player, often am not even afforded the opportunity to explain myself ONCE. If I HAPPEN to see a report in moderation, and HAPPEN to respond to it before the mod weighs in, then maybe I get a chance. Provided a report is made in the first place and the mod happens to see allegedly violating conduct and make a decision then and there. Your entire justification for the system as is basically boils down to "well, we can't trust the moderators to explain their decision well, or give proper consideration the first time".

I'm sorry, but if you can't trust the moderator to do his/her job right the first time, that person shouldn't be a moderator. Perpetuating a system that rewards bad moderation isn't a good one.


I endorse NA's comments.

I highlight Czardas's statement because I can't believe that any Moderator would think that reality is not only a good thing, but justifies further unfairness in the appeals process.
I quit (again).
The Altani Confederacy wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
"Don't give me no shit because . . . I've been Tired . . ." ~ Pixies
With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:31 pm

Katganistan wrote:I don't think I am being disingenuous at all. The moderator is accused of wrongdoing, as a defendant is -- in that they are having their judgment called into question.


What is amazing about this is that it so eloquently confirms what so many players have said, and so many moderators have vigorously denied.

It's taken personally when a moderator's ruling is appealed. How exactly am I supposed to "trust" in a moderator being unbiased when here one straight out admits she perceives an appeal of her ruling the same as being personally accused of wrongdoing?

How can ANY of us be expected to believe that the moderators operate without bias or vendetta in those circumstances?

It seems as if the feeling here is that the person whose judgment is being called into question should never get a change to explain oneself.


It seems as if the feeling here from moderators is that moderators somehow, inexplicably, weren't given the opportunity to explain their ruling when they made it

I am curious to see how this will be justified. Because honestly, I'm not feeling like we're having a problem listening to players.


When a moderator openly admits that she feels that when a player appeals her decision this is the same as accusing her personally of wrongdoing, it becomes impossible to believe that this moderator has any interest what-so-ever in making the appeals process more accessible to players.

Given the age and education range here, the one thing I can say without reservation is that our forum-goers are pretty darned smart.


Yes we are, and a great many of us are quite gifted at not just reading, but reading between the lines.
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Geniasis
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Postby Geniasis » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:34 pm

Katganistan wrote:I don't think I am being disingenuous at all. The moderator is accused of wrongdoing, as a defendant is -- in that they are having their judgment called into question.


Hold on, isn't that what has been explained at great length as being exactly what an appeals process isn't?
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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:42 pm

What troubles me further is that the moderators seem very confused as to what the rules they actually enforce ARE.

One moderator, when confronted with the belief that the moderator being appealed has greater access to the deciding moderators, says that we can always TG other mods directly. The rules say direct TGs are discouraged.

Another moderator says appeals are public. The rules say appeals should be filed with a getting help request, which are anything but public.

I operate under the assumption that the moderators know the rules. When I critique moderation, I critique the process as outlined in the rules as written. To be met, as a response with that criticism, with statements and suggestions that directly contradict those actual rules I'm actually discussing, I'm left extremely disheartened.

And, as I've been saying before, if a system is predicated on "we're doing the right thing, trust us" how can I POSSIBLY trust you, when you say one thing, then do another, demonstrably so?
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Katganistan
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Postby Katganistan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:44 pm

No, honestly, what is eloquent about this is that oftentimes, the accusation of mod bias is made first and foremost when a ruling is disagreed with, and that we take everything personally, and that it is a vendetta. Those perceptions and accusations have been a great deal of the content of this thread. And yet, I have not been disrespectful to anyone here, but have been very eloquently and eruditely been accused of bias, of being uncaring and unhearing, of equivocating, and have been treated with hostility. I've also had the enduring pleasure of having no fewer than four people employed in this sport at the same time, rendering it impossible to answer any one person. And still, I am having difficulty in understanding why, if the purpose of the thread is to reform moderation, that some appear to feel that the moderation team should not express themselves or have any input into the process.

I say again: our forum-goers are quite intelligent, and I agree: they CAN read between the lines.

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Neo Art
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Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:46 pm

Katganistan wrote:No, honestly, what is eloquent about this is that oftentimes, the accusation of mod bias is made first and foremost when a ruling is disagreed with, and that we take everything personally, and that it is a vendetta.


Here's the thing though. That's exactly what you just admitted. If you perceive my appeal of your decision as an accusation of personal wrongdoing, which is exactly what you said you do, how can I possibly believe that you'll act without bias or vendetta?

I'm not making things up, I'm not putting words in your mouth, that's what you said. And how you can see that admission as not grossly disrespectful to every person you hold authority over is something I truly, utterly can not fathom.
Last edited by Neo Art on Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
if you were Batman you'd be home by now

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Muravyets
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Postby Muravyets » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:48 pm

Katganistan, I feel like I just got dragged off the Monopoly board and onto the chess board of Lewis Carroll's Looking Glass World by your post.

How you can see posts in which people are telling you that you're not getting their points and explaining how those points are the opposite of what you're saying they are, and come back with how you don't think you're having a problem hearing us...

How you can post remarks that imply doubts about either our intelligence or honesty, or both, and then challenge us to "justify" things we never argued, because you think we're smart...

And how I'm sure you will likely reveal that you think you're not being the slightest bit snarky or hostile...

Is all inconceivable to me.

I am stunned at the stonewalling I am seeing from you and Czardas at this point. Archregimancy and NERVUN invited this discussion. NERVUN has responded positively to suggestions offered. Melkor responded positively (not 100% to my personal liking, but hey, that's me and Melkor). Now you come in and seem to be essentially brushing us off with nonsensical arguments that ignore the content of the thread (only five pages long, btw).

You claim we're demanding levels of access and transparency that no one has called for. You want to know what's wrong with deliberating moderation matters in total secrecy, when that very question has already been addressed and explained at length in the thread. You act as if there's no difference between private chats and secret deliberations over penalties leveled against players -- I agree with Bluth that it is hard to believe that you, Kat, of all people really can't see the difference between those things. You make arguments of fact about how legal systems work that anyone with google could fact check and see that you're mistaken, and when the known RL lawyers in the thread correct you about how courts work, you give them an argument?

It's one thing if you just don't want to make any changes to the system at all. Fine, dismiss everything we've said and ignore us. But please don't piss on our backs and tell us it's raining, ok?
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The Cat-Tribe
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Founded: Jan 18, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:50 pm

Katganistan wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:
With all due respect Kat, you are being disingenuous in several ways.

If you want to make a legal analogy, you utterly fail.

1. The Moderator is not the defendant. He/She is the judge below. As such he/she would never be allowed to participate in the appeal in any facet whatsoever.

2. An appeal is not a trial. It is an appeal. You are mixing and matching legal terms and concepts haphazardly. (For example, there is no jury on appeal.)

3. The "defendant" (actually the "appellant") would be the party who filed the appeal. They would be allowed to present their case and answer questions from the appeals judges.

4. No one has, to my knowledge, called for "unlimited transparency" - so that is a cute strawman.

I thought we were having a productive conversation, that got slightly derailed by Melkor's perception that an appeal is an attempt to "punish" the Mod making the original ruling. I note in all your clever sophistry about flaws in our suggestions (which don't really address our actual suggestions -- with which at least some Melkor agreed), you don't defend that position.

I don't think I am being disingenuous at all. The moderator is accused of wrongdoing, as a defendant is -- in that they are having their judgment called into question. The person who brought the charges -- that is, the player who is pointing out what may or may not be wrongdoing, gets to do it publicly. The group of uninvolved moderators need to gather information about what happened, then deliberate on whether wrongdoing happened or not. If it did, and a ruling was unfair, it is rescinded, usually by the moderator who gave it. If there was no wrongdoing, and the ruling was fair, it is upheld.

It seems as if the feeling here is that the person whose judgment is being called into question should never get a change to explain oneself.

And again, why is it that a few questions and an analogy are dismissed as "ingenuous" and "sophistry" when I ask for clarification -- why is it that there is open hostility to my attempting to discuss this and get more understanding? Why the insults about my intelligence and the unfair characterization of me and the rest of the mods not listening?

I am curious to see how this will be justified. Because honestly, I'm not feeling like we're having a problem listening to players. I feel like we're having a problem with a few players even entertaining the notion that we might have something to contribute to the process. And I would say that the fact that for every one post I've made, there are four or five picking at them and not even allowing any kind of coherent answer... well, that's pretty much a very public record from which other posters can draw their own conclusions.

Given the age and education range here, the one thing I can say without reservation is that our forum-goers are pretty darned smart.


FFS, your first paragraph shows how you are either misperceiving or deliberately twisting the situation being discussed:

1. When a trial judge in federal or state court has her decision appealed to an appellate court, is she a defendant? Is she accused of "wrongdoing"? Is she allowed to appear in the appellate proceeding or even contact the appellate judges about the appeal? (The answers are "no," "no," and "no.")

2. Appeal via GHR are not public. Neither are the decisions that result from them.

3. The "group of univolved moderators" -- and I am glad to hear definitively that is who makes the decision on the appeal alone -- doesn't solict further input from the poster who filed the appeal. Their only input is the brief GHR (and anything that may have been previously posted in Moderation). The Moderator whose ruling is in question gets the input of his/her original ruling and rationale, anything posted in Moderation, and as much information as they want to give privately to the "univolved moderators." That is not an even playing field. (Not that it should even be seen as a contest -- it is a warped view that sees it as a contest in the first place.)

4. The person whose one ruling (not his or her "judgment") is being called into question gets a chance to explain themselves when they make the ruling.

I am honestly not trying to make this into an "us" vs. "them" discussion, but it seems that you, Czardas, and (to a degree) Melkor are. I made clear I respect you all and think you do a good job. This thread is for suggestions of how things could be better, not how you are all evil schemers. I apologize if anything I have posted gave that impression.

My view of how things should work is this: when a Moderator rules, he should explain the basis for the ruling. If a poster asks for a second opinion, the Moderator and the poster both have a chance to post more information about their perspectives. (There is therefore no need for the ruling Moderator to privately consult with the Mod making the second ruling.) The second ruling should also come with an explanation. If the poster then files an appeal via GHR (which is private), that is the end of the ruling Mods input. His/her decision should stand on its own merits and public explanation. The uninvolved Mods deciding the appeal may refer to private information such as a poster's history, but there is no reason to consult the ruling Mod and it is unfair for them to do so. They ultimately uphold or reverse the original ruling -- which could be any number of reasons having nothing to do with "wrongdoing," "poor judgment," or "incompetence" on the part of the original ruling Mod. They may just disagree with the original ruling or consider it a mistake.

How is this view unrealistic, unfair to anyone, or insulting to anyone?
I quit (again).
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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Bluth Corporation
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Ex-Nation

Postby Bluth Corporation » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:58 pm

Me, earlier in this thread wrote:The original moderator doesn't stand to be sanctioned in any way if his or her original ruling is overturned, assuming it was the result of an honest error of fact or logic rather than any sort of malice or dishonest intent.


We're all quite capable of understanding the distinction.
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The Cat-Tribe
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Founded: Jan 18, 2005
Ex-Nation

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:01 pm

Katganistan wrote:No, honestly, what is eloquent about this is that oftentimes, the accusation of mod bias is made first and foremost when a ruling is disagreed with, and that we take everything personally, and that it is a vendetta. Those perceptions and accusations have been a great deal of the content of this thread. And yet, I have not been disrespectful to anyone here, but have been very eloquently and eruditely been accused of bias, of being uncaring and unhearing, of equivocating, and have been treated with hostility. I've also had the enduring pleasure of having no fewer than four people employed in this sport at the same time, rendering it impossible to answer any one person. And still, I am having difficulty in understanding why, if the purpose of the thread is to reform moderation, that some appear to feel that the moderation team should not express themselves or have any input into the process.

I say again: our forum-goers are quite intelligent, and I agree: they CAN read between the lines.


You are one of my favorite Mods and I hate to argue with you like this, but you are being unreasonable and overreacting.

I don''t believe I have accused you of bias or of being uncaring and unhearing. I have tried not to be hostile.

I have accused you of being disingenuous, because (to my great disappointment) I think you are.

Mods should join in this discussion, express themselves, have input, correct misimpressions we may have, etc. But you aren't suceeding at doing any of that.

YOU came in this thread with (whether you meant to or not) a very hostile approach to what had been (mostly) an attempt at a productive discussion.

You specifically said that an appeal of a moderator's ruling is perceived as a personal attack on the judgment of that Moderator, that the ruling Mod is akin to a criminal defendant accused of wrongdoing, etc. What are we to conclude from that?

I really think this particular exchange has been beneath you. This will sound arrogant, but perhaps you should take some time to cool off.
I quit (again).
The Altani Confederacy wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
"Don't give me no shit because . . . I've been Tired . . ." ~ Pixies
With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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Neo Art
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Posts: 14258
Founded: Jan 09, 2007
Ex-Nation

Postby Neo Art » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:06 pm

What again makes this so utterly bizarre to me is my own perspective, and my own situation. As mentioned before, my job is one that requires me to make decisions, every day. I'm no stranger to the process, I'm no stranger to the idea. My job is to review facts, interpret law, apply one to the other and make a decision. And these decisions carry weight. hundreds, thousands, often tens of thousands of dollars is at stake in each one, and I make...what...30 a week?

I do what you do every day, in a professional capacity, with real laws, real policies, real procedures, and real things at stake. This isn't a hobby to me. It's not a pass-time. It's my work. It's my profession. It's the thing that puts food on my table. I am paid for my ability to make sound, reasoned, and rationale decisions. And if my ability to make sound, reasoned and rationale decisions ever becomes suspect, I won't be uninvited to the secret club. I won't be not shown the secret handshake.

I'll lose my job. So I have a HELL of a lot more riding on my ability to do it than the moderators here do on theirs, at least as far as NSG goes. That's not insulting, that's not demeaning, it's merely pointing out that the things you all do as a hobby, I do as my profession, and there's a lot more riding on my ability to do that for me, than there is on your ability for you. If you can't do it, you get asked to not be a moderator anymore.

If I can't do it, I get asked to not have a job anymore.

So if I, who has EVERY reason to be a LOT more protective of my reputation as someone who is seen as a person capable of making sound, reasoned, and rational decisions, doesn't consider it an attack on me when someone has the temerity to suggest that I might have gotten it wrong (which happens a whole lot), then why in the WORLD would people, with, let's be honest, so very little actually at stake, take SUCH a personal affront as to equate an appeal of A DECISION they made with an accusation of PERSONAL wrongdoing?

it's...unfathomable to me, and is truly indicative of a systematic problem here, that moderators truly do take being questioned personally.
if you were Batman you'd be home by now

"Consistency is a matter we are attempting to remedy." - Dread Lady Nathinaca

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