Meta Question

6rant6's avatar

Do you have examples of mod actions that left you perplexed?

Asked by 6rant6 (13619 points ) May 18th, 2012

I’ve had mods kick back my questions for puzzling reasons several times. In one, I was asked to put in NSFW for a question I didn’t see that way. I made the change, but noted I was surprised at the request. The question was then modded because I’d made that comment in the question.

In another, I asked for specific idioms for a project I was working on – actually, making a shirt with those idioms. It was kicked back, according to the mod, only allowable in social, where I would of course get lots of off topic answers that would be useless to me.

What mod activity have you experienced that you found perplexing?

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86 Answers

rebbel's avatar

In my first year i I got almost all my questions sent back because i I persisted in writing “i” when i I apparently had to write “I”.
It perplexed me because in the Netherlands we were taught to write ik (which is Dutch for i I) with a small letter (except when we started the sentence with it.
But I am thankful for those interventions.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m amazed at the leeway the mods allow me. I try not to be an ass but I don’t hide my feelings either. I work with them when they do call me on something.

gailcalled's avatar

Never.
Nothing.

Trillian's avatar

Yep. Just today. My parody question from yesterday was yanked for editing because I “didn’t actually ask anything”. I edited it, sent it back and was told I’d see it up in an hour. I waited two, then sent a PM. No response. I sent another through the system “Ask a mod” this afternoon and have not gotten a reply. I just now asked again.
We’ll see, I guess.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I’m still wondering why the policy exists to remove comments that mention moderation of other comments. It’s clearly Orwellian.

woodcutter's avatar

Once I was modded for using the word “sammich” in a reply. And this was after seeing that same word in others replies a few times that day. I will admit it was during a session I was playing devils advocate and it was really rubbing people the wrong way I learned. That mod was camping on my ass that day.If we could get a mix of mods like the supreme court or some other body where it wasn’t all Marxist. Boy would there be a lot of hollering then, lol.

wundayatta's avatar

I think I have been modded between six and ten times. The first few times, the modifications asked for kind of ruined the question. But I think I gave them anyway. Then came the time when they modded something, and I fought back, and someone with a leveler head must have come by, because they decided my question was ok, after all. I wish I could remember what that question was.

Since then, I’ve been modded for mispellings or for inadvertantly leaving words out. Those are actually useful modifications and I was glad to make them.

Symbeline's avatar

Once, I was sleeping, and Bellatrix kicked in my door, told me to cut the crap, and then threw a rabbit at me. She then vacated the premisses by disappearing in a puff of smoke, like a ninja.

woodcutter's avatar

Hmm, thats the second mention of “Bell” on this matter so far.

The first was in a PM.

augustlan's avatar

We can be a perplexing bunch. We try really hard to be fair, but we do miss stuff sometimes, and sometimes we’re just plain wrong. The joys and trials of human moderation, I guess. ;)

@Trillian I sent you a PM about your Q. Sorry I wasn’t around all day, and it took me so long to get back to you. Forgive me?

@incendiary_dan We remove posts commenting on moderation in the General Section, always, because they’re off-topic to the question. In Social and Meta, we usually let them stay, unless they actually restate what was moderated. We’d much prefer to be contacted directly with questions about moderation, though, rather than taking a discussion off-track by publicly commenting on it.

Bellatrix's avatar

@woodcutter, if someone has a problem with something I have modded, they are quite welcome to ask me about it. Or if they don’t feel able to do that, they can write to the site manager. I can’t respond to comments made to you in pm and since they were made to you in pm, perhaps you should keep them there.

And although I can’t speak for @Symbeline, I think you will find she was joking. I have never kicked in her door or thrown rabbits at her.

ucme's avatar

Only very rarely & that was way back in the early days of my existence here.
Aside from the occasional “head scratcher” I don’t even think about the moderation, that’s how air-tight it is in terms of reliability.

wundayatta's avatar

“And although I can’t speak for @Symbeline, I think you will find she was joking. I have never kicked in her door or thrown rabbits at her.”

I, on the other hand, do this on a weekly basis.

Although I mayhave to switch to hamsters as my rabbit supplier is running low. He said something about a sudden plethora of pregnancies.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Oh, I had one comment taken off because someone thought it was a passive aggressive jab at them, even though it had nothing to do with them and they were just being a paranoid lunatic. When this was pointed out, it was still not put back on. Shame too, since I never got the wording quite as good again.

@augustlan Every single one of mine that was removed for mentioning moderation was in social, did not restate the previous message, and to top it off, many were quite jovial back and forth conversations with others. So far, all I’ve seen the policy used for is covering the ass of a moderator who clearly didn’t know what they were doing (but of course, I wouldn’t see many of the ones that don’t involve me, anyway).

Symbeline's avatar

@Disclaimer; Bell is right, I was being funny. She never did any such thing, in case somebody thought I was being serious…she’s been nothing but awesome to me.

Wundy on the other hand…I keep having to replace my doors. he’s awesome too though

Response moderated
flutherother's avatar

I’ve never been perplexed by a Mod’s actions. My door was smashed down once by Augustlan wielding a whip but I may have dreamed that.

bkcunningham's avatar

I can say in all honesty that I have never, not once had a moderator mod me or send me a reprimand or whatever. Not once. I’ve had responses removed from General when I responded in a Social kinda way (sometimes I did it on purpose, other times mistakenly). I’ve also sneaked a few by them too. hee hee

My only complaint was in trying to a ask questions. The few questions I’ve asked were always sent back for editing so many times that I usually gave up. I know one of the few questions I tried to ask here was a really stupid question that I’m glad didn’t get through. Other than that, I don’t think I’ve ever been perplexed.

woodcutter's avatar

@Bellatrix pssst hey,.. it was an inside joke chiilllll

Fly's avatar

I’ve only been modded once in my Fluther career, and the one time that I was modded, I knew I would be and I definitely deserved it. So no, I have never had such an experience with any of the mods. I find that they are very good at being objective about these things, and that even though some people may not understand why certain things are modded, they are usually right.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Fly Oh come on you goody two shoes. I’ve been modded more than once in one day. When I start out with Sorry mods, but….it’s going to disappear.

Bellatrix's avatar

@woodcutter, inside jokes are only funny if you are in on the joke. I’m not so it just looks like an attack. I asked for it not to be removed because I believe in open and clear discussions of these matters. However, if I was to be publicly criticised for a decision I made, it should either be done privately OR openly where the person explains what their post/question contained so I (or another mod) can explain why it was modded.

I get a bit sick and tired of people bagging mods because they take down their posts. People grow up. Occasionally you might have a post removed and maybe it is unfair but it is a post. It isn’t your life’s work. If an error is made, posts can be put back up. If they aren’t it’s because the site manager or a group of your peers here looked at it and decided that no, it didn’t meet the site standards.

Mostly though mods remove the deluge of spam that you never see, they help newbies to tidy up their initial questions or help them on their way if they don’t want to meet the writing standards and they clean up after some of you decide to get nasty or go totally off topic in general. They stop you having to see the many Randy type duplicate questions and other crap from trolls. I do this because for the main part I really like this community. I am sure my mod peers do it for similar reasons. We do all have other things we could do with our time and really, for me, the ongoing “why are mods such bastards” makes me wonder why I bother. Really, it does.

If you have a genuine complaint, talk to @augustlan. She is the referee, what she says goes and that stands for modding decisions too. If I make a mistake, and sometimes it is a case of… should that stay or not, the question/post can be restored. If you attacking OR ridiculing other people or if your posts are likely to cause problems for another person at work, even if you don’t name names, your posts should not remain.

6rant6's avatar

@Bellatrix I think it’s the double standard that irks. look at your post. In fact, no one here called the mods names – “why mods are such bastards” is total fiction.

Yet you say, “People grow up.” You’re allowed to get sick and tired. Don’t you think others should be allowed to as well?

I think the problem is that mods take complaints personally. Just as the rest of us take modding personally. Kind of makes sense, we all being people and so forth.

Bellatrix's avatar

They do regularly, go and do a search of all the posts/threads about modding. And mostly the mods say nothing. They explain the policy and let it go. When you use my name though in a public thread, I won’t just go… oh that’s fine. And saying later “it was a private joke” is not okay either. Then I will speak up.

6rant6's avatar

@Bellatrix No one did here, was my point.

Bellatrix's avatar

On a modding thread _Hmm, thats the second mention of “Bell” on this matter so far.

The first was in a PM._ Below a post that jokingly mentioned my name. Really… my name wasn’t mentioned?

And if you mean nobody was bagging modding decisions, the whole thread is about being ‘perplexed’ about modding decisions. Anyway, I really do have other things to do so this is my last comment on this topic.

6rant6's avatar

@Bellatrix I freely admit that if I were a mod I would make bad decisions at least occasionally. I’d like to think I could admit that I had without getting defensive, or taking the most provocative comments discussing my performance to be the intent of everyone.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

<stands in front of Bella, wielding a shovel, ready to go all Spartacus if needs be>

:D

Trillian's avatar

Wow. Talk about defensive. I think we’re certainly entitled to discuss a topic like this. I’m pretty sure I didn’t take a swipe at anyone specific, though I see a definite veiled reference to a question a few posts above mine. So, kinda double standard right there.
This is a site made of people. We all have different lenses of perception. And it certainly seems apparent that some of the modding is a bit lopsided.
The good news is, one can pick and choose which threads one participates in. We’re all well aware that this is in no way real life.
But we’re pretty well vested to one extent or another, and you cannot expect to wield supreme executive power because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at you, it comes from a mandate from the masses. Some of the masses have spoken. Feel free to disagree, but defensiveness and sarcasm have never helped to change the minds of others.
Help, help, I’m being repressed! Come see the violence inherent in the system!

gailcalled's avatar

What exactly is a moistened bint?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

And how does a bint lob a scimitar?
@Trillian Loved it.

bkcunningham's avatar

It is actually a derogatory term for a female and was stolen from Monty Python.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If it’s derogatory I apologize. My bad.

woodcutter's avatar

I’m here all week

Trillian's avatar

Wow. I always cite my references. Please forgive my omission. @Adirondackwannabe it’s ok to like it, it’s a funny word. Relax.

Only138's avatar

NEVER!!!!! All the mods love me, my questions, and most of all…...my answers. :)

wundayatta's avatar

What I want to know is how you know which moderator did a hatchet job on modded your answer. I’ve never been able to tell. I’ve always thought it would be a lot nicer to have a civilized talk with a responsible person. There is nothing that makes me so mad as being modded by an anonymous individual who is actually a faceless mob. Or maybe it’s the other way around—a faceless mob that is actually an anonymous individual. I always thought that if you were going to have the guts to have an opinion, you should also have the guts to own it.

Dog's avatar

Spend a week on Sodahead.com and then report back on moderation.

augustlan's avatar

It really does get tiring, honestly, to have our motives and practices called into question all the time, both privately and publicly. Obviously, there are going to be times when we make mistakes, but they are honest mistakes, not the result of some secret agenda or double standard. When a mistake is made, we are very happy to correct our actions. But just because you (the general ‘you’, not anyone specific) don’t think we should have removed this or that post, that doesn’t mean it was removed in error. Remember… every mod sees every action taken by every mod. There is never one mod to ‘blame’ when you don’t like how things go. If there is any question about whether something should be removed, or should have been removed, we talk about it at length and in detail. We are a team.

The mods volunteer their time to help this community and I’m not exactly getting rich managing the place, either. We do the best we can, and we do it because we love it here. For that, we put up with a lot of abuse. I, personally, have been called a bitch and a Nazi, more times than I can count. It ain’t all fun and games, folks.

If @Bellatrix seems defensive, it is because she is defending herself! Her name was mentioned specifically, you know? Should she just not address that?

@wundayatta Mods sometimes identify themselves either in the editing notes or via PM.

ucme's avatar

Well, some of this thread illustrates exactly what a tough gig the mods here have, must feel like a kindergaten teacher sometimes.
My philosophy has always been this, if it’s been modded, then so what, move on.
There must have been just cause to do so, otherwise why bother?
I like @Bellatrix even more now, she kicks arse man ;¬}

6rant6's avatar

@augustlan Ever mod sees every action? I didn’t know. In my mind, that makes it worse, not better. Mistakes in individual judgement are one thing, but for no one to stand up and say, “that is overbearing” is something else.

gailcalled's avatar

If you think the mods are unfair, unimpartial and unclear, please volunteer to help them out. It’s a thankless and unpaid job (save the administrator), without which there would be no fluther.

I too find “moistened bint” a truly unfortunate and unnecessary turn of phrase…the guideline state clearly that personal attacks serve no purpose other than to waste the staff’s time and use up energy.

Man up; rewrite the question. In twenty years when your biographer is looking for material, he may come here for nuggets. You want to leave a trail of gold and not pyrite, surely.

Disclaimer; No one has suggested, hinted or forced me to write this. Milo did the editing, however.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@6rant6 Actually, there have been many times one mod will state that they don’t agree with an action another mod took. When that happens, the rest of the mods and @augustlan discuss the situation and a decision is made from there. So, we do stand up against each other if we feel a decision was wrong.

Fly's avatar

@6rant6 What do you think the mods do, sit around all day conspiring against everyone and trying to find ways to screw people over?

6rant6's avatar

@Seaofclouds That’s good to know.

@fly Wow. Uh, no.

My point was that among the many times I have been modded a few of them seem capricious and therefore feel personal. I would expect other mods to step in and say, “that’s not necessary” which I believe is the appropriate standard, not, “that’s defensible.”

I am sorry to learn that the minority of times that it seemed something was modded without good reason, that no one stood up for my integrity and said, “you didn’t need to mod that.” Maybe that’s the crux of the matter – that when you mod me when I do something innocent and straightforward, it seems to call into question my integrity. Obviously, mods don’t like having their integrity called into question either. The difference between us is that the mods win every battle, regardless of the merits of the argument, implementing their pleasure from Mt. Jelly.

I recognize that volunteers everywhere often feel unappreciated or under appreciated. But that doesn’t entitle them to get a pass when they do less than what’s expected. On Fluther, I think people expect them to be impartial and protective of the sensibilities of the people they serve. If you don’t care about how the people to whom your services are valuable feel about what you do then what the hell are you doing it for? The money? The power? The black tie events?

To contextualize this __again__ I am sure that I would make mistakes too, if I were a mod. I have make many of them. Sometimes, I am irritated at being modded __and squeak accordingly__ and later acknowledge my culpability – either to myself, privately or in the question. But sometimes, I just can’t explain it because it seems to deny me the leeway afforded others.

gailcalled's avatar

I have been modded often and never felt it was for my integrity or lack therein.

Sometmes I wasn’t actually asking a question but trying to sneak in a polemic.

Occasionally I misspelled something,

Once I put a link in the opening gambit.

Who decides what is expected and what is less-than-expected?

Please remember to keep on speaking for yourself only and not for “the people to whom…”

6rant6's avatar

@gailcalled I was postulating that there were people to whom the site was valuable. Is that a stretch? Mia culpa.

Your opinion is just that, not wisdom from on high. Oh, no, wait. You can mod my answer, and the rest of your friends will back you up. So in that sense, yes, you are better than me.

The fact that you have never been knocked in the back of the head hardly proves that people don’t get knocked in the back of the head, does it? That you – among the inner group – are treated better than others is the problem I am citing, not evidence of equality of treatment. People treat you, an insider, well so others have nothing to complain about? Get real.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@6rant6 @gailcalled is not a mod, so no, she can’t mod your answer.

Are you aware that if you feel you were unjustly modded you can ask the mods about it? There have been times that the user that was modded felt they should not have been modded and after discussing the situation with @augustlan and the mods, their modded response was restored because it was misinterpretted. If you are concerned that you were modded in error, use the contact button at the top or send a PM to @augustlan or any of the other mods and ask about why it was modded and explain why you feel it should not have been modded.

6rant6's avatar

@Seaofclouds Thanks for that clarification.

wundayatta's avatar

It seems to me that a little more dialog might reduce a lot of these problems. The way moderation happens now, it is a fiat sent down by God. Who knew you could talk to a mod and maybe help them understand they had misunderstood? I sure didn’t.

It seems to me that there could be better advice when a question is sent back for modification. I’m sure mods have learned a lot over the years, and now they could do a lot better job of helping folks out. I think it would also help if moderation was sold as a way to make people better understood, rather than as a punishment, which is how it feels when there is no clear reason for the moderation.

FOr better or for worse, moderation has caused me to edit myself pretty severely. I don’t really try to be funny any more. I know my absurdist sense of humor just won’t be tolerated. Or I believe it, anyway. So I don’t bother to even try, and even if the rules were changed, I don’t think I would try any more. I’m sure that makes most people happy. Oh well. I liked it better before, though.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I would volunteer to be a mod, but I have a feeling that most of my “reprimands” would include a complimentary bitchslap, what with me being so moody…

woodcutter's avatar

Mods do have some sense of humor but it’s not really funny so….

augustlan's avatar

@wundayatta Surely you did know that you could question a mod action and that we’d reconsider and reverse our action if appropriate, because we have done that for you. Do you not remember that?

@6rant6 Of course we care how our members feel. We don’t say ‘it’s our way or the highway’, which a lot of sites do (if you can even get one of their mods to respond to you at all). Instead, we are happy to discuss moderation issues with anyone, explain our actions, listen to their side, and spend time discussing it as a team before making a final decision. We care, but we obviously cannot make everyone happy with everything we do.

jrpowell's avatar

I get modded a lot. Do I care, not really. The only time I had a real problem is when my response was altered. But that was explained to me so I understand what happened and don’t give a shit.

It is pretty hard to get a group of people to agree on what is alright to allow. There are guidelines but everyone interprets them differently. So if you think the decision was wrong hit that contact button in the upper-right and ask. And @wundayatta I don’t really buy that didn’t know you could contact the mods.

The mods are not paid.. They have real jobs and real lives that need attention. Be grateful they keep the spam down for nothing but grief in return.

Please only respond if you are a nice person.

gailcalled's avatar

I just got a question pulled for editing, which I can understand because it was really an excuse to see some light-hearted joking. And timely only for the week-end. Old and boring news this boring.

Should I sulk, whine, and punch my fist through the wall? I might have considered it if I didn’t have 100 minutes in the dentist’s chair coming up in an hour. Prep for a crown and replacement of ancient silver filling. Isn’t it lovely that I will not be facing two tooth extractions instead of novocaine and four hours of drooling and lisping.

wundayatta's avatar

@augustlan Yes, I learned it eventually. But up until it happened that you changed your decision, I did not know that was possible. That was after I’d been here 3 years. It would have been nice to know before hand. I think I would have felt less upset about the decisions, knowing I could talk to you about them and that you might actually come to see it my way.

@johnpowell There’s a difference between contacting the mods (which I knew about) and knowing they could change their decisions (which I did not know about until it happened once, quite unexpectedly).

6rant6's avatar

@augustlan I have a question in my to-be-edited box. The history is, it was sent back to me to include NSFW tag. I did that but also inserted a comment that that had happened and I was surprised. I was then modded and told to delete my added comment. It was in the Social section.

It was not a moth-eaten question to start with, so I haven’t pursued it. But it represents my point. According to what you said, @augustlan, being in Social the added sentence was fair game. And then someone decided it wasn’t and every other mod let the modding stand.

So. I found that perplexing and more so in light of what you have written here.

Symbeline's avatar

When you get a question pulled, the mods send you a message and give a reason as to why, but don’t they also say in the message that you can ask em about it if you’re still not sure? I seem to recall this anyway. But they can’t very well send a message for ever single modded answer, although it is safe to assume you could ask them about those, too, if you can for questions. (unless there had been some change about this that I wasn’t aware of)

6rant6's avatar

@Symbeline I went back and checked, wondering if I had been entirely obtuse.

What options are provided: review the guidelines, abandon question, edit question.

Now that I understand the process better, I would be more inclined to appeal a mod. Kind of like dealing with insurance companies – you have to keep complaining.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I don’t personally like a comparison between the mods and insurance companies, seeing as how there has been many a time I wanted to torch an insurance company… :D

Aside from promising to protect @Bellatrix with my Shovel of Death, I will add that I had a problem with the mods for quite some time when I first joined. But then I removed my head from my posterior and rolled with it. I have wondered about the odd modded comment that didn’t really seem “modworthy,” but tough shit. I mean, really… all things considered, it’s not the end of the world.

When a question gets modded, it’s been modded for a reason. You can put on your big girl panties and edit it, or you can put on your diaper and whine about it. Frankly, I despise diapers. They chafe and they smell funny.

gailcalled's avatar

@6rant6:Kind of like dealing with insurance companies – you have to keep complaining.

Or, as with both insurance companies and fluther, switch to another one.

6rant6's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate So, I just want to make sure I’m taking your comment in the proper context. Are you saying that on Fluther people should only ask and write about things of significant import in their lives, that small annoyances are not worthy of discussion? Or are you saying that talking about moderators and their actions is special and shouldn’t be discussed?

There were some comments earlier from mods about the use of a rude analogy to describe them which they found offensive. I resent your use of “big girl panties”. Once again, the double standard.

gailcalled's avatar

^^Apples and oranges, as you well know.

Fly's avatar

@6rant6 You know plenty well that @WillWorkForChocolate meant neither of those things. Rather, she’s saying it’s irrational and silly to get so hung up over a small, ultimately meaningless act of moderation on this site that has no importance in the real world.

It’s one thing to privately talk with a moderator about your concerns, and to then accept their reasoning as to whether or not the modification was justified, and why they made that decision; it’s another to repeatedly and publicly whine and complain about a decision made by the moderators, and then to huff and puff around if things don’t go your way.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@6rant6

<facepalm> If the panties shoe fits… Would you like some cheese to go with your whine?

I’m leaving the “room” before I say something incredibly accurate and somewhat awesome that would be quickly modded…

6rant6's avatar

@Fly Exactly my point. I am not saying it’s huge and life-changing. You are the people with the over the top reactions. Most of what’s on Fluther is trivial. But on this point, you are all, “you need to move on.” Look, if you don’t like it, YOU can get over yourself.

@gailcalled I disagree. It is not apples and oranges. You do not call a man a little girl without being intentionally offensive. I don’t give a crap if you think it’s accurate. It’s rude and intentionally hurtful. I have to say, this discussion has caused me to lose respect.

@WillWorkForChocolate We can all be rude. I commend you for showing some restraint __at last.__

6rant6's avatar

BTW I’m done with this.

rooeytoo's avatar

Here we go again, with the “not quite personal attack” but without a doubt, rude, and unhelpful comments. I like Fluther and don’t usually have any problems, but this fine line that some tread so skillfully is a part that could use some work and perhaps modification. Or else drop the fine line and let it all rip.

We rail about “bullying” but there is a fair bit of it that goes on here under the guise of witty repartee. And the gang bullying is really frightening and off putting.

woodcutter's avatar

You mean when a mod threatens you in a PM so no one can see?

wundayatta's avatar

@6rant6 I think you are making some important and valid points.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Seriously woodcutter was moderated for stating he had a harrassing PM by a mod? Ironic much?!

woodcutter's avatar

Yeah no shit why was that, thank you @SpatzieLover

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] I have restored @woodcutter‘s comment. It was removed initially because it is absent of context and since mods have to maintain member privacy, there is no way the mod in question can defend themselves. I will investigate and discuss the situation with @woodcutter.

I want to make clear that the “threat” in question was a warning that a member can be banned for certain behaviors. Not a physical threat.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m glad it was restored. That was very troubling to me, @augustlan.

woodcutter's avatar

:) :) :) :) :) :):)

^ ^ ^
context

wundayatta's avatar

@woodcutter I was informed on more than one occasion (years ago) that continuing to pursue the path I was thought to be on could end with me getting banned. It is interesting that you see that as a threat, as if a threat consists of one potential outcome. I guess that is kind of provocative, but I never thought of it as a threat.

ratboy's avatar

I’ve quit writing questions altogether as what’s left after the trashing is unlike anything I would have written.

jca's avatar

I have to say I have been modded very few times. I usually write in what I think is a pretty straightforward way, and I usually don’t get into really heated arguments with other people. I can’t complain. I imagine being a mod is like being a cop – they have a job to do and people may or may not like the outcome, and people who deal with them might sometimes take things personally that aren’t necessarily meant to be taken personally.

wundayatta's avatar

Well, sometimes mods read stuff into questions and take action. Issues of interpretation are tricky. Issues of intention are tricky. What if I had no intention of suggesting something, yet that’s how the mod reads my question. I may be purely innocent, but I’m SOL, because the mod sees something there that they don’t like.

In normal life, we can argue a case like that, but online, moderators can banish your opinion from view, and there’s nothing to argue. In the real world, cops have the guns. You gotta do what they say, even when they are wrong. In the online world, the mods have the power to disappear you. You gotta do what they say, even when they are wrong.

I think it’s pretty sad, because they create a pretty harsh form of the character of a place in this way, and usually don’t know they are doing so. If it is pointed out, they deny they are forming anything. But they don’t see what else they can do. They have to make judgment calls. Then they live with them, as do the rest of us, unless we choose to leave.

I think that’s why a lot of people leave when modded. It may seem childish and unimportant, but at the heart, fluther is about free speech. In reality, we do not have free speech, but it is the illusion of free speech that is important. People get invested in that, and then, suddenly, they run up against a moderation that seems completely unfair and wrong, and what can they do? Sure, it’s not that important in the overall scheme of life, but most people want to believe they stand for something. Stand on principle. And the only way to stand on principle here, since we have no power at all, is to take ourselves away, and hope that someone cares enough to ask after us.

It’s quite manipulative, I guess, but on the other hand, when you have no power, that’s all that’s left. Your presence.

Or absence.

jca's avatar

@wundayatta: We have free speech, ” but then we really don’t have free speech” the way we live in a free country, but that doesn’t mean we can totally do everything we want. We can’t go around murdering people, or running them over with cars, or burning down their houses. We can,if we really want to, but we know there will be consequences.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes, @jca. But we want to err on the side of freedom, as much as possible. When we restrict things, we change society and we lose stuff. Mostly we lost stuff we want to lose, but in some cases we are overly restrictive and we lose things we don’t want to lose. The problem is, we don’t know what we’ve lost because it never got created. So no one thinks there is a problem.

Fly's avatar

@wundayatta If one mod read into it in such a way, it is likely that others would, too. And, they often ask another mod for a second opinion if they feel they might have misinterpreted something or if they’re on the fence about something before they choose to mod it. Even if the intentions of a question or answer are innocent, how it comes off to other people does matter, which you certainly know. For instance, people often say things that are racist or offensive without being aware of it. Though they may have meant nothing by it, the fact of the matter is that it is offensive in the minds of other people. As others have said, you have the ability to essentially appeal the moderation if you feel that you have been modded unjustly; or, if your intentions truly are innocent, I see no reason why you should have a problem with changing the wording so that nobody can misinterpret your intentions.

ratboy's avatar

Did the Creator endow anyone with the unalienable right not to be offended?

wundayatta's avatar

@Fly Well, you can also get modded for the way answerers interpret your question. Sometimes your question will get modded instead of taking out all the offending answers. It’s pretty silly. Similar to blaming a victim for getting into trouble.

woodcutter's avatar

@wundayatta The thing of it was, is the reference to being banned was an non-threat, threat, sort of take it any way you like type thing, but be warned and doing it in private so it is meant to be ambiguous. So If someone chooses to leave something like that, it is on them if it gets taken in a way that they could not control. The mod in question left a PM preceding that that seemed rather berating in nature and probably even the mod wished could take back but sometimes what people who have some position of authority end up doing is to double down in order to make the earlier action have merit. Usually it just makes it worse. I didn’t make all those back and forth messages public but the fact that a mod, who is supposed to be the epitome of judgement, was over the top showing their ass. Hey, it’s under the radar who will ever find out, huh? Bet it won’t happen again any time soon.

jca's avatar

Mods are people too, just like anybody else. They get heated, they get emotional, they make mistakes. Maybe the person feels apologetic now but doesn’t want to stir the pot by issuing an apology.

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