Meta Question

iamthemob's avatar

Are you inclined to let the moderators and managers take the blame?

Asked by iamthemob (17121 points ) October 13th, 2010

This is a meta question – so I’m posting in meta. If I want specifically tailored results, I post in general. And if I want a discussion that will develop organically, knowing that it might develop into something unintended, I post in social.

Because I know that I’d be confused if a neutral answer I gave were moderated, I started sending users PMs if I remember if I do flag a response that is off-topic in the general section. I generally flag only in the general section, or anywhere that a response is offensive just to be so. If I’m uncertain, I include a message while flagging to see if the moderators agree.

I recently did this on a thread, and received responses back indicating that I was, to put it more delicately than it was expressed, being unfair…and the members I had written proceeded to purposefully post on the thread answers that were off-topic, or demanding an explanation from the mods.

In the end, I found something that I thought would be helpful spit back at me. If I had just flagged the answers, I believe that the users would have just blamed the mods.

Is it worth it, in a community sense, therefore, to just let the mods take the blame? Is it better, on the other hand, for users to openly hold themselves or other users responsible for keeping up standards, and to accept when they fall short?

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131 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I personally don’t see the point of telling someone that you flagged their question/response. It seems to me like it would just create unnecessary tension. I could see people taking it personal. I really like the annonymity of the flag system here.

JustmeAman's avatar

So if any answers are not what the person wanted then just have them removed?

Coloma's avatar

I don’t think that anyone should take on a flagging ‘role’ as a part time job nor make themselves responsable for policing others words and answers.

If something bothered me that much I might call it to their attention but keep out of it myself.

I believe in relaxed rules and the only posts I would flag would have to be borderline abusive imo.

I have only flagged maaaybe 3 posts since I have been a member for those reasons.

I think it is best to leave flagging to the mods unless otherwise mentioned, so, no, I wouldn’t blame the Mods.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

Sure, it apparently can create animosity between members. But having your answers disappear without any apparent reason does the same thing – it’s just directed at the moderators.

@JustmeAman

Nope. That’s why there are different sections, and why the moderators review flagged responses prior to taking them out. If it addresses the question, and it’s in the general category, then it stays in – regardless of what kinds of answers the OP wanted.

If it was off topic and in the social section…well…I don’t see any really moderated threads in the social question – and if I do the mods are generally listed as “flame bait” or “personal attacks.”

iamthemob's avatar

@Coloma

That’s why there are two sections – general and social – for questions on topics other than fluther.

I’ve also had a question in general moved to social because the thread developed in an unforeseen way, and if the responses were moderated it would have gutted the thread.

bob_'s avatar

Wait, you mean you send a PM to someone whose answer you’re flagging?

CMaz's avatar

“Is it worth it, in a community sense, therefore, to just let the mods take the blame?”
Yes. Or you come off as a wet diaper.

The mods are there the keep the peace. And I love them for that. Well… Sometimes. ;-)

It comes down to this… What good is a question, if you are only looking for (and expect) answers you like and want to hear?
And, you do not need to have an excuse to do so or explain yourself. If you feel the need.
It is just a Q&A site. Nobody (I hope) is loosing sleep over it.

Ok, I do. ;-)

Coloma's avatar

@iamthemob

Right.

I am sharing that I personally think members should just butt out and let the Mods do their job. Running too much interference is a bit much in my humble opinion and seems silly to ME that people get all bent about policing others. Just not my style.

JilltheTooth's avatar

One advantage to the mod system, here, is that the mods don’t mod threads they are invested in, so hopefully they can bring some objectivity to the process. They do get overwhelmed, sometimes, and do not make unilateral decisions, every flag goes through the system. I know they get sick to death of the word “censorship” as if this were a free press instead of a privately owned, quality controlled website. I appreciate the courtesy of explaining to a poster why you flagged, but in this environment many will not take kindly to that, the anonymity of the net allows for behaviors that would get someone poked in the snoot in the real world.
I applaud your support of the mods, it’s refreshing, (and, hey, my daughter is one so my mommy instincts are jumping and down cheering you), but they know what they’re getting into when sign up, and go through very specific training to do it.

iamthemob's avatar

@bob_

I flagged answers in a thread. I thought the answer was genuine, but completely off-topic. I sent a note to the person telling them why I’d flagged it so that if it disappeared they wouldn’t be surprised, and so that if they wanted to throw their hat in with information they might have they could. It was a thread I wanted to keep tight, as there was potentially a lot of off-topic responses to be made.

One who didn’t read the message first actually popped on after the moderation and stated the same thing, and then blamed the mods and asked for an explative explanation.

That’s what I mean.

iamthemob's avatar

@Coloma

There’s already a way to do that, though. The social section. The moderators depend on feedback from the community, otherwise there’s no point in having standards at all.

In the general section, however, there are stricter standards, as stated in the description. It seems like the best of both worlds, in a lot of ways.

ucme's avatar

Don’t blame it on sunshine
Don’t blame it on moonlight
Don’t blame it on good times
Blame it on the boo….....

Oh dear, I appear to have gotten sidetracked again. I really must apologise :¬(

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’ve had some of my answers removed, and I don’t think twice about it. I’ve had several questions sent back for editing. Some I edit, and some I abandon. Again, I don’t think about it. It’s just the way the site works.

I flag some answers and a few questions. They have to clearly cross a line set down in the guidelines, but I do not play the Fluther police. That’s not my job even in my own questions.

iamthemob's avatar

@JilltheTooth

I appreciate the courtesy of explaining to a poster why you flagged, but in this environment many will not take kindly to that, the anonymity of the net allows for behaviors that would get someone poked in the snoot in the real world.

And I appreciate that sentiment. But this isn’t really about protecting the mods feelings for me – it’s more about the fact that, if I have a thread, I want people to feel like they can participate if they want to. So if a question is just off-topic, and in the general section, I don’t want the contributer to be frustrated and give up. And if someone is insulted that they got an answer flagged, and decides to take it out on me…well, that’s what I got into. But I don’t feel the need to hide behind anonymity.

It’s more about the general effect on the community – if you know why someone flagged your answer, and your told in a respectful or at least neutral manner, I think generally you’re more likely to contribute again. If you take it as an insult, you’re not taking responsibility for your own participation in the site, and don’t really care what the community thinks – you just want to do whatever you want. In general, I think hiding behind the anonymity decreases respect, rather than increasing it.

iamthemob's avatar

@ucme

Not totally – but that’s totally cool – because that’s what meta’s for. ;-)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

The mods should take the blame. Since they review every flag, and decide whether or not to delete it, the mods are the ones doing the deleting. When you flag something, all you’re doing is saying “Hey, you guys might want to take a look at this”. If you flag something, PM the user, and then it doesn’t actually get modded, then you’ve really just created tension between you and another user for no reason.
The mods are the designated authority. Sure, they use tips from users, but at the end of the day they’re the mommy and daddy. If you’re constantly telling users that it was your fault and not the mods, then it seems like you’re acting as mommy and daddy when you’re really just a sibling. And as anyone who’s ever felt their sibling was playing parent can tell you, not cool dude, not cool.
Almost all the modded posts now tell you why – writing standards, OT, unhelpful, etc. So you really don’t have to do that.
By PMing a user after flagging a post, you’re making it personal when it doesn’t need to be. I’m then inclined to take it personally.

iamthemob's avatar

@ChazMaz

Nobody’s suggesting that you excuse or explain yourself. But why shouldn’t you?

And if someone takes an explanation as a wet diaper, why should that someone think so?

iamthemob's avatar

@ucme

I know – you were really, really scared there for a bit, weren’t you. ;-)

ucme's avatar

@iamthemob Well my arse was twitching like a fish’s mouth yes. God i’m so cultured :¬)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I have sent a few PMs to people who I have flagged for what I thought was an inappropriate response, as well as to the OP who was new to Fluther explaining what I did and that the person normally had valuable answers. Here is what was exchanged between one answerer and me:

Me: Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I flagged the answer to the question about ___ and sent a message to the OP explaining that it must be a mistake as your answers are not way off like that. I hope you don’t mind. I did it out of an attempt to preserve your reputation for anyone who might read the thread. And if I am way off-base, I want to apologize.

Respondent: I was mocking the OP for asking such a stupid question.

If the question got modded, which it did, I’d rather have both the OP and and respondent know why then let the sole blame fall on the shoulders of the mods. I’m a big girl, too, and have no problem admitting and apologizing when I am in the wrong. I feel that all parties involved are more likely to learn to play nicely in the future if the issue is discussed rather than swept under the rug.

syz's avatar

Removed by me – redundant.

iamthemob's avatar

@papayalily

If you flag something, PM the user, and then it doesn’t actually get modded, then you’ve really just created tension between you and another user for no reason.

Of course. In my case, I did it with an answer that was in the general category, but not including anything I requested throughout the OP. I figured I’d give a heads up. I was certain the post would be moderated. It was a fairly specific instance.

However, I don’t see why anyone should take it personally if it’s a neutral issue, and not “I flagged your post because you’re an idiot and don’t know what you’re talking about.”

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob Because they’re different than you, and have different guidelines for what they will take personally than you do.

iamthemob's avatar

@syz

You’re right. In this case, though, I was 99% sure that it was going. And if it didn’t, it wasn’t anything insulting that was the reason. So why shouldn’t I?

If the only reason is people don’t want to hear why you think they didn’t answer your question, etc., and that people don’t like to have their questions moderated…well…that’s an issue for them. I just wonder if you think there’s a community benefit to either reaction.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@iamthemob : I think you misunderstood me. I’m not talking about you protecting the mods feelings, they’re big girls and boys, they don’t need us to do that. As far as the rest goes, my point is that one often cannot predict the reaction of many users, trying to temper the community mind with your own values will likely be unsuccessful when there are no real consequences.

iamthemob's avatar

@papayalily

Absolutely. But if they take it personally, and decide not to ask for an explanation, or see what’s really going on, etc., they’ll likely take it personally if the post is moderated without explanation.

If they want to hold a grudge, that’s on them. I don’t see how it can be considered a mature reaction.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I appreciate the transparency of explaining why something was flagged, but I can see where good intentions could easily be taken the wrong way, especially in a text medium, where you can’t gauge someone’s facial expression or tone of voice.

I say let us take the blame.. that’s what we get paid the big bucks for!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob Not necessarily, because the mods are the designated authority. You aren’t.

Maybe it’s not a mature reaction (or maybe it is, I have no idea right now), but you’re creating a situation for there to even be a reaction instead of just letting sleeping dogs lie.

iamthemob's avatar

@MissAnthrope

I have no problems with that. I just don’t see why I should refrain from explaining something if I think it lets someone know what’s going on.

I thought that was a good thing. ;-)

(and yeah, text can be flat. but even then I can read the sarcasm all over your “big bucks” statement. ;-))

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob The few times I have had answers removed, I could figure out why it was done. In one situation, I even asked for it. Honestly, I’ve only even noticed a few times my answers have been removed, there could be others that I’m not even aware of and I really don’t care. If I did something wrong, then it should be removed, plain and simple. I’m not going to argue about it or make a big deal out of it.

If someone PM’d me to tell me they flagged my response for whatever reason, my response would simply be “ok”, but if they continued to do so and I noticed they seemed to do it often (which is how it would appear since they were the only one telling me when they did it), I would begin to wonder if there was more to it.

Honestly though, since we don’t even know if we are flagged before something is removed, I really don’t see the necessity behind it. I guess I’d just rather not know who flagged me because it really doesn’t matter.

@iamthemob If you want to continue telling people, that’s your choice. I just really see it as you stepping into a situation that should be between the mods and the users. What if the answer was removed but it wasn’t removed because of the reason you flagged it? Then the user thinks their answer was removed because of what you said instead of what the true reason was and it could cause a problem for the mods.

Dog's avatar

@MissAnthrope Wait! We get paid? I know I got the awesome collectable t-shirt signed by Dr. J plus free guacamole every time we are in San Fran. Cool!~

This question is very interesting because this gave a glimpse of a mod’s life to the asking party. It is interesting to see the responses.

As mods we are somewhat used to the negative responses. It is not always pleasant but for mods it is just that the mission and quality of Fluther is more important than the venting of a user because a quip needed removal.

Is this an experiment on your part @iamthemob or do you feel the need to continue informing others when you flag? I do understand your reasons were sincere.

iamthemob's avatar

@papayalily

Sure, and I expect bad reactions at time. But if this were the general practice, wouldn’t it on average be helpful? Individuals are individuals, sure…I’m just wondering if holding back is a greater benefit then just taking it on the chin when it goes wrong.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob No, because then users wouldn’t flag stuff they didn’t feel comfortable explaining to that user. And really, it makes everyone seem like douches when they aren’t.

Coloma's avatar

I think it’s kinda a no brainer myself.

If something is blatently out of line go for it, otherwise, ‘moderation.’

Moderate YOUR reasons for flagging and if they are all about your own pissy little pet peeves maybe just don’t hit the button. lol

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

If someone PM’d me to tell me they flagged my response for whatever reason, my response would simply be “ok”, but if they continued to do so and I noticed they seemed to do it often (which is how it would appear since they were the only one telling me when they did it), I would begin to wonder if there was more to it.

Sure – and that would be my response (and reaction if it were repeated) too. However, I don’t do it all the time – In fact, I’ve only done it a couple of times. And those times I thought that the reason might be unclear.

Honestly though, since we don’t even know if we are flagged before removal, I really don’t see the necessity behind it. I’d rather not know who flags me.

But if you didn’t know why, wouldn’t you? If you don’t care, that’s cool – but if you don’t care or you would be interested, it seems like the better action is to explain, as it doesn’t do any objective harm.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Dog ; Katawagrey just bought me a fancy car with her earnings from Fluther…did she maybe hijack your check? I’ll reprimand her for that. <sigh> I tried so hard to teach her honesty.

iamthemob's avatar

@Coloma

Or just don’t post in social.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob If I want to know why my answers are removed, I will ask the mods. I don’t need other users telling me why they think my answers should be removed.

Coloma's avatar

@iamthemob

But we do know why, the bar spells it out..‘off topic’, ‘unhelpful’ etc. so I agree with @Seaofclouds it is not necessary to have someone send me a reason.

And social has it’s share of strange and arbitrary flagging too.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds, @papayalily,

So…would you be insulted by someone sending you a message? Or would you not care.

I did it out of a showing of respect, as I know sometimes the mods don’t respond, or take a while, as they have a lot of other stuff on their hands.

But what sort of negative intent could you justifiably infer from a neutral message explaining what happened? I just don’t see how it could be taken as a grave offense.

@Coloma

Sure. Fine. No one has to do it. But why shouldn’t they, reasonably? And if they do, and you don’t care, what’s been done?

In my mind, I’d assume that there was concern for how I’d react, or if I’d wonder why it had occurred. I don’t see the negative in that – I think it shows appreciation that there is a person on the other side of the avatar.

marinelife's avatar

I do not tell someone when I have flagged their question or their response. After all, any action taken is taken by the moderators not by me. Also, why get into it with someone unnecessarily?

bob_'s avatar

@iamthemob I see. Well, next time, ask yourself, “what would @bob_ do?” The answer is: flag anything that’s not in accordance to the guidelines and don’t tell nobody.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Honestly, I would take it as you wanting to brag about having (or trying to have) my answer removed (but that’s for you specifically because of an opinion I have formed about you with the things you’ve posted in the past). Even if that was not the intention, that’s really all it serves to do in my opinion. Someone else, I’d probably wonder why they even bothered telling me. I mean, if someone doesn’t like my answers, that’s fine and that’s their right, but why PM someone and actually tell them that you don’t like their answer? Also, by sending a PM, you are making it personal in a way (it is a personal message after all).

My response, nonetheless, would still just be “ok” to you and I would go about my day without giving it a second thought.

Coloma's avatar

@iamthemob

No disrespect intended but, it seems you are a little more attached to being an informant that most of us are in being informed. lol

flutherother's avatar

I have had a couple of answers removed and I could understand why each time. If it was done at the suggestion of another Flutherer I would rather not know and there is no good reason for knowing who it was. It doesn’t have to get personal.

iamthemob's avatar

@marinelife

Because if it’s a neutral explanation, stated in even a friendly way, how is that getting into it with someone. Don’t do it, do it. Care or don’t care if you don’t get it. But to take offense? That’s odd…I know it happens, but it doesn’t seem a reason not to do it if it’s the rare situation where I want to.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I would not bother flaging anything really, there is no need. the moderators are here and watching. spam does not even tend to survive past the minute mark, so you know the mods see everything that goes on. the only time i have ever flagged anything, it was my own answer that i flagged because i made a mistake or something.

As for sending someone a message to let them know it was you that flagged them, its just asking for trouble really, no matter how nice you say it or explain your self, its a bit like standing in front of someones car, pointing at a big scratch and then saying “see that, that was me”.

If we are going to be talking about religion, politics, and other such topics, its bound to get a little offensive from time to time, so some thicker skin is probably in order.

Just let the moderators do their thing. there is no need to flag anything really, even if an answer is obviously in violation of the T.O.S. there is no need. In my opinion, flaging something is a little like telling the moderators they dont know how to do their job, as well as kind of admiting to be a grass/snitch/rat what have you. if the site gets enormous and even 1000 moderators cant keep up then sure, start to flag things, but until then there is no need in my opinion.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

Reading @Pied_Pfeffer‘s message above…would you read that as bragging? That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.

iamthemob's avatar

@flutherother

It’s not about who – it’s about why. Why would you care who did it? And if they told you, and you didn’t agree, but it was clear that no offense was intended, wouldn’t you feel better? Would it make you feel worse?

And would you feel more or less respect had been afforded you by someone contacting you in that manner.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob Like I said in my response, the bragging thing was just from you specifically because of your past answers on here. If it was someone else, I’d wonder why they bothered PMing me. If it was a message like @Pied_Pfeffer‘s above comment, that would be different and I would respond appropriately.

Either way, it is the mods job to tell people why their answers were removed (if the person asks), not the users job.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@iamthemob – You are such a lawyer! I mean that in the very best way.. it’s obvious you like to ‘argue’ cases. ;)

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
iamthemob's avatar

@poisonedantidote

But if it’s supposed to be left to the mods…why is there a flag button at all?

I thought it was because the community was meant to assist in maintaining standards – this is a site where the community, I thought, was supposed to participate in the development and running of it.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m with @Seaofclouds, et al. on this one. I don’t really want anyone to PM me that flagged one of my responses and why. It would seem a little patronizing to me to get a PM about why someone flagged my response. It’s not all that hard to figure out why a response gets modded. It’s not rocket science. And if it isn’t clear to me why one of my responses got pulled and I care enough or it seems arbitrary, I will contact one of the mods about it.

crazyivan's avatar

@iamthemob (in the interest of full disclosure, I’m the one he’s talking about) I think you could save yourself a lot of trouble if you applied your self-appointed mod-status evenly. Considering that the post that you flagged was no more or less on-topic than the post you left right before it, I think the whole premise of your question is nonsense. You flagged my post because, in your words, it didn’t contain links, which is what you were asking for. Of course, neither did yours.

I think you have a remarkable ability to apply a double standard without noticing it and that is the root of this issue.

iamthemob's avatar

@MissAnthrope – it’s funny though – I’m a transactional attorney – no court arguments at all. ;-) Maybe I fill my need here…

MissAnthrope's avatar

@iamthemob – Because.. and I know this going to be a shock, so brace yourselves.. we are not omnipotent and we can’t be everywhere. If there weren’t flags, we’d miss lots of stuff. Thankfully, we have a bunch of cool jellies that know what’s up to alert us of things as they happen.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob The flag button is there to give the mods more eyes, not to help them make decisions.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

gets out the popcorn

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@hawaii_jake Not enough headdesk in the world…

Dog's avatar

@iamthemob Even as a mod we get can get some very negative feedback but we accept it as a team with the ultimate goal to keep up the quality and mission of Fluther.

I am concerned for you to step into the role without team support regardless of how good your intentions are. We do not want to see you get frustrated and leave.

That being said you are within your rights to do it still.

Quite frankly I appreciate this question and the peek behind the scenes it provides. Perhaps next time one of the mod team contacts a user in a bad mood they will take a deep breath before responding.

Either way it is what I volunteer to do. It is done for love of the site as a whole and I am proud to do it.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@iamthemob i imagine that the flag button was put there before the site even existed. as in, the site was designed with the button. why design it if you dont intend people to use it? well, finding moderators that are not biased and fair minded is actually very very hard to do. when the site was being designed, they probably thought they would only have 1 or 2 moderators at best, and that a flag button would be needed. but really, in my opinion its not needed yet. at the rate questions and answers come in, a couple of mods can take care of it all. worse case scenario would be that an offensive answer sits there for a couple of hours while they sleep.

EDIT: btw, i have no authority here of any kind, im just talking opinion and speculation

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob By sending a message telling someone that you flagged their answer to be removed because of ‘x’, it is sending a message that their answer will be removed for ‘x’. If the mods do remove the answer, but they removed it because of ‘y’ and they don’t agree that ‘x’ was the problem, it could cause a problem between the user and the mods when the user asks the mods about it assuming it was removed because of ‘x’.

There’s nothing wrong with flagging something and letting the mods take care of it, I just think the users role in it ends once they flag the question/answer.

iamthemob's avatar

@papayalily

Interesting. It’s more along the lines of “Can’t we all just get along” ;-).

It’s easy to misinterpret things on the web. That’s a fact. If someone sent something to me that I took personally (and it’s happened) I try to let it go, or I message back telling them what I thought they were saying. Usually, that clears it up.

I tend to expect that people will not take things personally…and if they do, to ask me about it. In a sense, I guess I do want everyone to be like me. But if I do something and someone takes offense at it, I’ll try to explain myself. If they continue to ascribe motivations to me for what I did, and I can’t try to talk it out, then I’ve learned not to deal with that person.

Everyone can react however, they want. I just don’t see why that should stop me from doing something that I see as acting from a place of respect, and that I can explain if it’s interpreted differently.

Jude's avatar

I just flag ‘em and move on. No pm. I don’t feel the need and I find it tacky. Let the mods decide.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob Because maybe I don’t see why I should stop picking my teeth in public. Maybe I think everyone else is wrong that it’s gross and indecent and disrespectful towards their eating environment. But I’m still gonna cut it out, cuz it’s a small thing to keep the peace.

iamthemob's avatar

@lillycoyote

But isn’t that expecting the worst out of people? I thought this was a “trusted community.”

I’m not saying it wouldn’t be, and I have really only done it these two times because I felt I was being a particular stickler more than usual on the thread. So I don’t think anyone should do it all the time…this was where I thought there would be a real chance of confusion.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Ok, I’ve come to a conclusion. Absolutely no one other than @iamthemob wants to be PMed by the flagging user. Understand it, agree with it, don’t, it doesn’t matter. But the votes are in: Cut it the hell out.

iamthemob's avatar

@Dog

I have no intention of it being a frequent occurrence – it was only those two times. I just am surprised when people think that it shouldn’t be done ever.

lillycoyote's avatar

Anyway, @iamthemob, my friend, you can do what you want but if you ever send me a PM telling me you flagged one of my responses and why, I am going to respectfully ask you not to do it again. :-)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@papayalily I wouldn’t mind being contacted via PM letting me know why they flagged my answer. It would be considered a lesson in how I am perceived. I would prefer it be objective and not an attack, but either way, it would be taken into consideration.

lillycoyote's avatar

@iamthemob Sorry, missed your last response to me. Why is that expecting the worst out of people?

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds

THAT’s an interesting point, and one I hadn’t considered. I still would want to contact people, but can now understand a reason for leaving out the flagging information.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Damn. I have to leave and go to the doctor. Well, it’s been amusing, folks. TTYL.

iamthemob's avatar

@papayalily

Well, I think you’re evidence is a little shaky, and you’ve overgeneralized, of course. Because I think there’s at least one other post on here that suggested that I was not the “only” one…

…but I’m glad that you think that it’s your place to tell me how to interact with all other members. But I’ll be sure not to private message you.

Coloma's avatar

@iamthemob

Why not send a questionaire to each member asking if they prefer notification of why their post was flagged.

It’ll keep you busy, still fulfill your vicarious need to be an informant and allow everyone a choice too.

I see it as a win/win situation. lol ;-)

iamthemob's avatar

@lillycoyote

Assuming that they’re being condescending or patronizing.

diavolobella's avatar

I have to head home on my long commute, but I’d just like to say, if anyone ever flags me, please do not send me a PM. I’d rather not know.

iamthemob's avatar

@Coloma

Because I only did it a couple of times. I feel like you think it’s a general behavior or I’m arguing that it should be.

I’m just wondering why it should never be done.

lillycoyote's avatar

@iamthemob Yes, of course. Otherwise, I’m always glad to hear from you.:-)

iamthemob's avatar

PS – Has everyone assumed that I’m advocating this be done every time you flag? Or even most? Because…no…I just didn’t know why it would be assumed to be offensive, and accepted as such without further explanation. I’m wondering if there would be a possible benefit to it being done at times…but not every time.

I don’t want my message box flooded like that either.

Coloma's avatar

@iamthemob

I don’t think it is really necessary.

The reasons are given and it should be up to the flagged to inquire on their own if it is that important to them.

Yes, it did seem as if you were advocating this as a daily practice, but aside from your clarifications I think that it does come across as rather arrogant and busy-body-ish.

No offense, just how I see it.

BoBo1946's avatar

I only flag when the member is attacking me or a friend. Off topic stuff, I leave up to the mods. And, most of the time, the mods take care of the situation. My problem is sometimes I’m too impatient in their response. As @MissAnthrope said, they cannot be everywhere and sometimes we expect too much of our mods. After all, they have lots of other things to do besides reading all our “stuff!”

lillycoyote's avatar

I just don’t see the need for PMing someone when you flag something. The final decision is still up to the mods. I could flag every response on this thread if I wanted to but that doesn’t mean that the mods will remove them. They will only remove them if they violate guidelines. What’s the point notifying someone that you flagged them by PM? What value does it have and what purpose does it serve?

Response moderated
bob_'s avatar

@iamthemob Took you long enough. Better late than never, I guess.

JilltheTooth's avatar

can I have some cake when @bob_ has his sandwich?

bob_'s avatar

@JilltheTooth There’s cake? I’m not sharing.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Hey, it’s not your cake. It’s my cake. I was just putting in my order. And now I’m going to eat all my cake. Get your own damn cake. XP

Kayak8's avatar

We all enter the fray knowing that we can be modded for what we may type. If I flag a question, I do so with the hope that the mod will understand why I flagged it (I just check the little radio button to help them catch the clue bus). Sometimes they might agree with me and sometimes not (I have never gone back to check, to tell you the truth). That is where my role in “policing” Fluther ends.

You might imagine that you are not hiding behind the anonymity (“I think hiding behind the anonymity decreases respect, rather than increasing it”). One of the advantages of the internet is the anonymity factor which, in my opinion, YOU are using to your advantage. In real life if you called the cops on me say, for example, because my dog was barking and keeping you awake, you probably will not drop me a note to inform me that you are the one who called the cops. On Fluther you can tell people you are the one who notified the mods, but you have no real consequences (as you might in real life if you sent me a note about you calling the cops on me).

I think if I received a PM from you that you flagged one of my posts, I would think you were a control freak. It would not increase my respect for you—I would just feel a little sad for you.

Dog's avatar

It always ends up being about food.~

bob_'s avatar

@JilltheTooth I’m so suing you. Watch out, I’m very litigious today

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JilltheTooth Will you share your cake with me? This little nimbus makes me really hungry!

Response moderated
Coloma's avatar

Each to his own but I am happy to announce that the odds of me ever flagging anyone are about 1 in 66,409. lol

Sooo Coloma gracefully extracts herself and plants a subliminal seed all at the same time. lololol

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Seaofclouds : Of course I’ll share my cake with you. And I’ll add some ice cream for Nimbus. Don’t worry, nobody will award @bob_ a dime when we point out that he wanted to take cake from a baby…

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JilltheTooth Awesome. :-) @bob_ doesn’t stand a chance.

lillycoyote's avatar

Just about everything that can be said about this has been said but in the end, @iamthemob‘s intentions were good (the new paving on that road to hell of yours looks pretty good, by the way), he sent the PMs and the users apparently didn’t appreciate it but they had options too, for how they could have handled it. Someone should them on that too. They could have ignored the PMs, they could have responded politely or responded not so politely even, but they chose to escalate matters, in rather childish manner, if I understand things correctly, by purposely posting off-topic responses on the thread just to piss @iamthemob off. People do things that some of us don’t like sometimes and we have a choice in how to handle it. Responding to something that someone does with insults, petty little childish games and tantrums isn’t tremendously helpful either.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I totally get the ‘calling the police’ analogy. I called the police dept. once because some neighbors down the street were having a horrific battle in their front yard. There was no way that I was going down there to attempt to intervene.

I think that this is different. Fluther is a community, and if I respect someone, I am willing to share with them that a response feels out of line. I also feel an obligation to let new members know that, in general, this is an awesome Q&A site and to not give up because of one snarky post.

Most of us have our off moments, even on Fluther. What I’ve learned in life is that I would rather hear criticism from a co-worker, even someone who doesn’t report to me or is on a (as much as I hate to say this) lower level, then from my supervisor who is relaying a message. Just give me the facts and the feelings. How else am I going to learn to be a better person or justify what the intent was?

Ltryptophan's avatar

Just let the moderators do what they do. I think they are on top of things. Even if I don’t agree with them, how much control does the herd need?

Sarcasm's avatar

I left to take a nap when this question had like 10 responses. Wow, this was a really hot topic apparently.

Just wanted to say that if everyone PMed someone everytime they flagged a response, you’d be looking at an extra ~35 PMs being thrown around every day (assuming that there was only the PM, and never a response to it). There’s a lotta flagging that goes on.
I guess the rest of you already came to a bit of a conclusion here, but my opinion is that sending a PM when you flag is unnecessary.

BarnacleBill's avatar

If I had an answer flagged, and the person said, “Hey, I’m the one that flagged your answer.” I would think that they were a real Gomer, The determination as to whether or not an answer gets modded is up to the mods, not the person that flagged it.

It’s kind of like being in high school and have someone come up to you and say, “Hey, I just wanted to know that I saw you smoking on the way home yesterday, and told your mother. Smoking is bad for you. You might get grounded, and I think it’s important that you know that I told, because it really is bad for your health.”

zen_'s avatar

@iamthemob I understand your question, not your thinking here. Which is more than I can say for many – especially some newbies – not their fault, though.

But: Is it worth it, in a community sense, therefore, to just let the mods take the blame? Is it better, on the other hand, for users to openly hold themselves or other users responsible for keeping up standards, and to accept when they fall short?

WTF seriously?

Ask a question in General, get an answer. If an idiot (like me) attempts humour too soon in the thread, it’s modded. Social has questions, by Tim no less, like: I LOVE YOU GUYS. That’s what the new fucking sections are all about – variety.

So fluther away, jellies, and keep up the good work.

ZEN OUT

Fred931's avatar

I think that if someone posted something that got modded, the only person who should be blamed is the person who posted. Didn’t some of us learn this decades ago as children?

Symbeline's avatar

It’s an admirable approach, but I think that might just cause too much friction, as modding is often due to people being immature or biased, and you’re not likely to get anything more form some of those people when you PM them about it.
And even so, whether you tell them or not, in the end the mods got the big stick and they decide, so they’re still to blame. I don’t really see the difference. Also, I like to think the mods are aware of what happens with their jobs, as they’ve chosen to agree and go with it, so, they know what to expect, and don’t need any vigilantes or retainers, so to speak.
It’s a noble endoever, but probbaly not so practical or needed in a place like this. This isn’t Answerbag lol.

bob_'s avatar

@Symbeline I love how your posts are always thoughtful and serious, but at the end you manage to make me laugh XD

Symbeline's avatar

@bob_ Yeah I was just gonna say something about ass licking, but then I mighta got a PM about that. XD

bob_'s avatar

@Symbeline Oh, you can always… PM me XD

zen_'s avatar

You can always call me for an ass licking. Really.

talljasperman's avatar

with some really offensive spammers… like gb1990 (glenn beck) I like to heckle them online a bit after flagging them

LuckyGuy's avatar

I let the mods do it. That’s why they get paid the big bucks! Right?

jlm11f's avatar

Disclaimer – I didn’t read any of the responses ^ the question was long enough.

I’m okay with the mods and manager taking the blame. That’s what they’re here for. Plus all the emails they get telling them that they are miserable waste of space and carbon are more amusing than offensive. They’re used to the hate.

What can we do to help? Flag and tell them that we appreciate them for what they do.

iamthemob's avatar

@PnL

I completely agree. In my case, the PMs were sent to people that had given neutral, even complimentary, answers that were just clearly off-topic. They were also people that I had strong disagreements online with previously. My whole point was to contact them and indicate that their posts weren’t being modded for any personal or random reason – I was just trying to keep a thread specific, tight and clean. They took offense, which I thought was possible (I considered that when attempting to craft the PM in a nice way). I wasn’t expecting the level of the offense, or the reaction of posting things on the thread that seemed aimed at “getting back” at me.

I would never propose PMs as a general practice, although I can see why people thought that’s what I was advocating. By general practice, I meant only that if a situation arose where it appeared there might be confusion, let the person know what’s up. However, I didn’t think it was worthwhile to stop myself from doing so unless there was a real benefit to it – I didn’t want to expect that people would take offense. @Seaofclouds stated an interesting counter – that you’re assuming your reason is the reason it’s removed by sending that message. This brings up the possibility…an in-between allowing for you to tell them what’s possibly going on without saying you’re the reason why or it’s the reason why. Again, I don’t think that should be done every time (I just only saw the potential need yesterday). But I think it could be a better way to handle it.

CMaz's avatar

“their posts weren’t being modded for any personal or random reason”
Sure it was personal. Or you would not have done it.
That being reinforced with you saying, “They were also people that I had strong disagreements online with previously.”

So you are saying that there are people that you do not want to be a part of your personal Q&A club?
The only offense that was taken was your “wimpy approach”.

And, I AM one of those people. Causing @iamthemob ‘s feeling to fester for days.

YESSSSS!

iamthemob's avatar

@ChazMaz

Interesting. So whenever a post is flagged it’s because of a personal reason?

And the argument you propose that it was personal is not reinforced by the statement that, well, you and I had strong disagreements. It reinforces the concern I had that the moderation would be taken as an attempt to prevent someone I had a disagreement with from contributing. Particularly because you and I had just had a disagreement on a thread just prior.

In fact, @crazyivan (the other person) had just complimented me on a thread immediately prior to me flagging his response…and I told him that I was inclined to let the post stay but I was trying to be consistent with the thread.

And someone who I have a very good relationship on here as well. So, no…there’s no one that I don’t want to be in my Q&A club per se. And my wimpy approach was the one where I stood up and told you what I had done and why. I don’t see how the alternative, flagging and forgetting you, and not giving regard to the fact that you wanted to contribute, isn’t the more wimpy approach.

CMaz's avatar

“So whenever a post is flagged it’s because of a personal reason?”
Yes. And I feel the need to not read any more. ;-)

Of your continuous rant.

iamthemob's avatar

@ChazMaz

Ahh – are you going to make me a sandwich then?

bob_'s avatar

@iamthemob Hey man, what the hell? You’ll be hearing from my lawyer.

iamthemob's avatar

@bob_ – dude, I’m spreading the word. AND the mustard. Do you really want to pull injunctions on that? Weak…

bob_'s avatar

@iamthemob Ask not what your country can do for you, but who you can sue.

free_fallin's avatar

I rarely flag and I haven’t sent any PM’s explaining why I flagged something. However, I think it’s silly for people to feel insulted by a rational and polite PM explaining why you flagged something. I understand your point and I appreciate the sentiment. You can PM me any time, by the way; my skin is thicker than most. I don’t feel it is necessary to do but, again, I have no issues with you doing it. It seems my opinion is in the minority, though.

“The internet is SERIOUS BUSINESS” ~

iamthemob's avatar

@bob_ that…was…amazing

bob_'s avatar

@iamthemob That’s what she said. OH SNAP!

free_fallin's avatar

@bob_ Don’t you know I am all obsessed with xkcd?! I knew that one. :D

bob_'s avatar

@free_fallin Yes, but others, like @iamthemob, didn’t XD

MissA's avatar

@iamthemob

Time to take a pill and take a lil’ nap.

iamthemob's avatar

@MissA – okay – enjoy!

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