Meta Question

HolographicUniverse's avatar

Are messages monitored on Fluther?

Asked by HolographicUniverse (1665 points ) January 29th, 2013

I noticed in a recent message that a word of mine was “scratched out” in a private message.
This might sound naive as I am sure moderators have access to account activity/information therefore I suppose the real question is how often are they moderated/read? What is the reason for doing so?( if the answer is yes)

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130 Answers

augustlan's avatar

No one can make an edit (like scratching out a word) to your PMs, so the scratch out was likely just an error in formatting. It’s an easy error to make, because it’s similar to other formatting marks. Italics is _, whisper is – -, and scratch out is – (before and after the word).

That said, only I can look at PMs, and I only do it if there is a problem of some kind. No other mod can see them.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Scratched out like how? Like this? If so, then it is Fluther’s automatic formatting that you must have accidentally triggered. No moderation involved.

That being said, we don’t moderate PMs, unless there is harassment or something similar going on. We don’t simply cross out words. Besides, I can’t read PMs, and there is only one person who can: @augustlan.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yes, the mods monitor your every action here and if you cross a line you will be beaten

No.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

Hmm I a still learnng the functions of this site. Sarcasm or anything unneeded is unnecessary

jerv's avatar

@HolographicUniverse There are some wiseasses here, but generally benevolent ones who merely have a quirky sense of humor. Of course, there is much less of that in the General section where they tend to frown on unneeded comments; things are pretty casual in the Social section, and it’s rare to see a Social thread make it to 10 posts without somebody at least trying to be funny.

syz's avatar

^ Sarcasm is one of the very foundations of this site.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@jerv duly noted
@syz sarcasm is the lowest form of wit ;-)

Yeahright's avatar

@HolographicUniverse A lot of sarcasm here. For some reason a lot of people here find it really funny and cool. Some also enjoy being obnoxious especially people that have been here for a while and are very territorial and they want to show their power and let you know how far they can go, especially if they have their friends around to laugh and GA their sarcasm. The more the merrier and they give plenty of lurve to one another and have a ball. Fortunately, most people are not like that. And yes, PMs are not 100% private here. If someone doesn’t like what you say in a PM, they can report you, and that is enough reason for your PM to be looked at. I was also very naive at first and thought that the P in PM meant private.

Brian1946's avatar

Vitreous is the lowest form of humor. ;-)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Hahahaha, yes! You caught me! I answered the way I did because I wanted to “show my power” and because I’m a lurve whore. That’s me in a nutshell!

Yeahright's avatar

Whenever I write something like that, I just sit back, relax and watch them go at it. It’s quite amusing actually…very predictable too. Same people, same comments.

zensky's avatar

@HolographicUniverse Sarcasm may be the lowest for of wit, but it is the currency here In Social and Meta. For serious Q and A use General.

Enjoy Fluther and welcome.

bkcunningham's avatar

@zensky, me thinks @HolographicUniverse was being ~. I may be wrong. I’ve been wrong one other time; so, it is possible. I think @Yeahright is funny. So, really, what do I know? Oh, and I sent you a PM. I hope it doesn’t get deleted.~

CWOTUS's avatar

Well, it’s a tautology to say that anything unneeded is unnecessary, but I guess you do speak the truth there, anyway.

zensky's avatar

@bkcunningham I’m going to monitor @HolographicUniverse ‘s PM’s from now on to see whether he was being sarcastic or not.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@Brian1946
Haha my favorite answer yet.
@Yeahright
Instead of typing a long post on how I agree with you I’ll keep it at “I believe you’re 100% correct”
@zensky fair enough
@CWOTUS
Didnt think that would be noticed ;-)

jerv's avatar

@Yeahright Sometimes it is funny to just lob a grenade into a conversation, step back and watch.

Yeahright's avatar

@jerv I know it might look like that, but you know, I meant every single word. Sadly, I’ve seen it happen time and time…

ninjacolin's avatar

Some people have a horrible sense of humor or no sense of humor at all.
Then there’s the rest of us.

In the end, we all have to put up with eachother so I guess it makes us even.

CWOTUS's avatar

I monitor all messages sent to me.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

^^ He monitors all messages sent to me, too. :D

wundayatta's avatar

It is possible to get into deep trouble here because of things you say to others privately. You think people are adults, so that when they insult you, they expect to be treated similarly. But no, they go running to Mama and mama intervenes and tells you not to talk to each other again.

My advice is that you make damn sure you say nothing at all interesting in PMs if you would be pissed if Augustlan read it. If you want privacy, then take your messaging to email. Whatever you say in pms, you should be prepared for the possibility that your presumably adult partner is actually a baby and will complain about it. Don’t say anything mean in PM, no matter how much the person deserves it.

I do break this rule. But it’s usually because I trust people. However you never know when someone will go nuts and start saying really weird stuff. Normally, I figure I’m a grown up and I might stop writing the person. So far, I haven’t felt a need to complain to Augustlan. And I’ve had some very weird stuff written to me. Not by anyone recently, but in the past.

This is an annoying aspect of this place. I’m not sure why they even bother. But I guess since there are youngsters here, they need to be able to watch for harassment. Maybe even harassment between adults. In loco parentis. Make sure nothing happens that the website can be sued for, I suppose. Although I would think they are much more likely to get sued if they have the power to watch and something slips by than if they didn’t have the power to watch so could do nothing about it.

Help. Help. He’s making me write this shit. Someone help me. Let me out. I’m trapped in a pm and can’t get out!

Adagio's avatar

@Yeahright ”… especially people that have been here for a while and are very territorial and they want to show their power and let you know how far they can go, especially if they have their friends around to laugh and GA their sarcasm.”

When I read your response I was not sure you were referring to the place I know as Fluther. I’ve been coming here 3½ years and I’ve never seen things as you see them, we must see things through different eyes I think.

Yeahright's avatar

@Adagio Oh I have…many times :( Unfortunately, I can’t name names or even link situations where things have gotten out of hand because of mocking, sarcasm, or horrible “sense of humor”. Though interpretation of things is subjective, some things are so obvious that they are just facts.

zensky's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought This isn’t Imgur. It’s Immature.

jonsblond's avatar

@Adagio I’ve seen what @Yeahright is referring to. Many times, unfortunately. :/

ucme's avatar

Monitored, by the twitchybum police?
“Message in a bottle…yeah,”

Yeahright's avatar

I think that we newbies are in a different stage of understanding of the Fluther environment and it’s only natural that we ask these types of questions, so that we get a better grasp of the dynamics of the place. We expect decent answers, but in return we sometimes get either sarcasm, mocking or they totally ignore the question. What I don’t quite understand though is why some people get so defensive and act as though some stuff that’s quite obvious and in the open doesn’t really happen here.

@Adagio I have noticed that your lurve is somewhat low for someone that’s been here for 3 odd yrs so I reckon that maybe you are not here as often as other members, or that maybe you hang out mostly in General and therefore don’t see some of the things that happen in Social and Meta. That probably explains why your impression of what sometimes goes on here is different from mine. I know that the rules for Social and Meta are more lenient than those for General, but sometimes those less strict rules are taken to the extreme and people go totally off topic with inside jokes, they mock and bully others, etc. This is all validated by the free spread of lurve and off they go. It should also be noted that some people come here drunk or high sometimes which would also explain why they behave like that.

The same people that partake in some of these charades, are the ones that in various threads give suggestions as to how to attract new members, are saddened at the thought of Fluther going off the air, and welcome newbies to Fluther but later do nothing to encourage them to stay—especially if they dare question certain things or stand up to them. It is incongruent to want to have new members and then clique up and make them feel uncomfortable.

@wundayatta summed up the underlying situation of PMs, but I should add that some people have more than one account so that they can harass you through PMs without putting their main account at risk.

ucme's avatar

@Yeahright It’s rather like poking a stick into a box full of paranoid, headless chickens…such a commotion & what a din, still, you get used to it.

Yeahright's avatar

@ucme I know what you mean. But that getting used to comes easier for some. It depends on your personality. Ultimately, you stay if you get used to it, and conversely you go your merry way if you don’t. As in real life, it takes a bit of a thick skin. The way I see it is that if there is room for sarcasm there should also be room for people calling upon it just the same.

ucme's avatar

@Yeahright Oh absolutely, no quarrel there, if we were all the same what a boring world that would be.

Adagio's avatar

@Yeahright In actual fact my time here is spread pretty evenly between General and Social and I always look at Meta every time I come here. I do a lot more reading of threads than I do responding to them, partly explains my low lurve score.

Yeahright's avatar

@Adagio Oh OK. Silly me, I do more reading than participating too but somehow missed to relate your low lurve score with that…but even more surprising then that we have so different opinions on the what sometimes goes on here…go figure.

Unbroken's avatar

Not to beat a dead horse but @Yeahright you expect people who have been here day after day in a relatively small forum not to express their sense of humor or make some sembalance of bonds?

That almost goes against the grain of human nature. And if it were the case would reflect poorly on the whole site.

Yes I will say things go awry on occasion. I think the mods do an excellent job even though they aren’t paid. Balance is an art, although I am not implying I agree with every single decision they have achieved a balance I can admire as a whole.

I have seen things on occasion get out of hand. I may have a pretty broad interpretation of that, I prefer that people work things out like adults and hopefully they do in PM.

The biggest difference which has not been mentioned is overwhelming and humbling support of newbies and oldies alike in quite a significant number of interactions. It is all in what one chooses to focus on I suppose.

Yeahright's avatar

@rosehips you expect people who have been here day after day in a relatively small forum not to express their sense of humor or make some sembalance of bonds? Not at all. I love humor. As a matter of fact two of my fave people here are @ucme & @bob_ because they answer all Qs with a touch of humor. Hilarious stuff! What I am not fond of —and can’t find the humor in—is sarcasm, mocking and disrespecting and I think cliques are very High-schoolish.

I have seen things on occasion get out of hand…people work things out like adults and hopefully they do in PM. Yes, I think so too. That’s what I’ve saying all along. One would expect things were taken to PM, but it doesn’t always work like that as it has been wonderfully stated by @wundayatta above.

And yes, a lot of the great, fantastic, amazing, helpful things that happen here all the time were not mentioned here because the topic is PMs and around the 4th. answer @HolographicUniverse mentioned sarcasm and it went on from there.

When the topic is about the good stuff that goes on in Fluther, I’ll be more than glad to elaborate on that too. If I focused on the bad stuff, I wouldn’t be here. It is because I focus on the good things and the great decent jellies that I stick around.

I’d like to add that even though a lot of people find this topic as Fluther bashing, it isn’t done for the sake of it, and at the end of the day it calls attention upon stuff that may prevent newbies from sticking around, and this isn’t good for FLuther. It is all done in good intention. No need to remind that slow traffic is a big issue here these days and in times like this every little thing counts.

jonsblond's avatar

^^ I’m another person who has a lot of nice things to say about Fluther. Here is an example from the other day.

But anyone who doesn’t see some of the bullying behavior that goes on here is either in denial or they are one of the bullies. It happens every time a user addresses anything that happens to be negative about this site. There are at least a handful of users who go into attack mode if someone questions what goes on here. They start calling the user a whiner and tell them to put on their big girl panties or leave if they don’t like it here. Their personal attacks get awarded with many great answers before the attack is removed. This happens to both newbs and old-timers whenever they mention anything negative. The complaint can be expressed in the gentlest manner, but it still gets attacked. (And I’ll admit right now, I’ve done this to @wundayatta in the past, so I know for a fact it happens here. I’m sorry @wundayatta.)

I’m going to go now and read some more questions. I’m sure I’ll get a laugh somewhere and maybe be able to help someone. =)

Unbroken's avatar

@Yeahright Thanks for clarifying your perspective for me. I posit that our site numbers are down because we are a niche group that isn’t well advertised, but improvement is usually good if not taken too far.

As to the the sarcasm well I am surprised. @ucme is funny but I would label it snarky and sarcastic. I specifically remember snapping back at him for a particularly callous sarcastic remark my first week here. Of course I was informed as to his nature and am able to enjoy his irreverent and sarcastic humor now. @bob_ I am not so famaliar with but if memory serves he is also sarcastic. So I’m not sure what point you are trying to make.

As to cliques. Well other then the old versus the new that talked about months ago and I have seen some improvement in… I am completely unaware of any.

@jonsblond Hm. Yeah it never feels good to have the unpopular opinion, I am guilty of disagreeing @wundayatta is a good example. I disagreed with him once or twice but made sure he knew while I disagreed with him on the matter I meant no disrespect overall.

I just like balance. And people pointing out the flaws of Fluther can be hypercritical or overzealous in their approach which is off putting and a little skewed but absolutely enjoy!

Yeahright's avatar

@jonsblond But anyone who doesn’t see some of the bullying behavior that goes on here is either in denial or they are one of the bullies. So true.

@rosehips Yup…clarifying is my middle name :) So I’m not sure what point you are trying to make. Point is that I hardly ever see them being sarcastic against people or directing their sarcasm on people’s questions but rather at certain little things, and it’s there that their wit lies in. There have been situations where they have been under direct attack in which case defending yourself with sarcasm is fair enough in my book. I have yet to see @ucme attack someone first. Mostly, I find their double-entendre remarks funny.

I think the problem is not to have a different opinion, but rather the reaction that you get from some people when you do. I like balance too, and fortunately there is. I find sarcasm as off putting as you find it being brought up on the table. There is no joy in that.

ninjacolin's avatar

Who are the bullies on fluther? Name names. Have I ever been a bully?

HolographicUniverse's avatar

I haven’t read all comments but I noticed something that mentioned “fluther bashing”

Fluther, like any other site, has it’s flaws but so long as the flaws don’t outweigh it’s strengths then there is no need for concern. It is unfair that users expect others to always say good things to/about each other or about fluther rather than acknowledge the flaws that may bother them.

I admit that the behavior of many users frustrate me a great deal, the other day I was thinking “screw this annoying shit”, the moderation I also find infuriating… I’m not going to disregard these things in order to make others happy or out of fear of being criticized… I agree with alot of statements @jonsblond and @Yeahright have said

ucme's avatar

Sarcastic & snarky…moi? How very dare you ;¬}
Seriously though @rosehips I haven’t got a nasty bone in my body, whatever comment I made to you was done in jest I can assure you.
@Yeahright You’re right, I have no desire to bicker with folks on here, waste of time & energy, but sometimes idiots need dressing down, all done with a huge grin playing across my lips mind you.
Oh & for the record, once again @jonsblond is right on the money :¬)

Unbroken's avatar

@ucme Uhoh you caught me bashing you. Nah I was over it very quickly. I got a huffy response.. like typically taking myself too seriously til a min later. Got a lot of likes and a prompt explanation that you were just like that.

But it was a good illustration to point out that new people are new and might not understand or misinterpret things and that is just going to happen.

@HolographicUniverse I hope over all you come to enjoy your experience here. Sure there can be days. But it grows on you.

ucme's avatar

@rosehips I wouldn’t call it bashing, more of a gentle prod…it tickled more than anything.

Unbroken's avatar

@ucme I suppose I’d rather be known as the gentle prodder rather then a cattle prodder. : )

Thanks for being so gracious about being used to make a point. I will refrain in the future from besmirching your good name to make a point.

ucme's avatar

@rosehips Hey, while i’m being talked about, others are being left alone, so that’s okay.
Besmirching…you dirty little birdy ;¬}

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond Thanks for the apology. We’ve known each other for four or five years now, it seems. We do have issues we seem to have fundamentally different opinions on. Sometimes things get heated. It’s ok. I’m sure we’ll figure out how to talk about them without causing so much psychic damage.

@rosehips It’s ok to disagree. I am passionate about my views, and I do care a lot, so I suppose disagreement might hurt me at times, but that’s ok. I’m surviving. I really don’t mind disagreement. Why I mind is not understanding why I’m being disagreed with. That takes a lot of work to figure out, sometimes. And sometimes I take it personally, of course.

Unbroken's avatar

I will keep that in mind @wundayatta. You are always welcome to ask should there arise an occasion where I do not clearly state my opinion and intent.

ucme's avatar

One former user here, a very well respected & popular one at that, informed me by e-mail that a substantial number of PM’s are looked at for no legitimate reason other than to gossip over & mock particular users. She did credit a reliable source at the time, but i’ve no way of knowing how accurate this is/was…don’t shoot the messenger!
Oh & for the record, she wasn’t pushed, rather she jumped for her own personal reasons.

zensky's avatar

No reason not to believe Lisa when she says only she can read PM’s and does so only when there is a reason.

And of course I read them at will. And will continue to do so for my amusement.

Everyone else can only read their own – and those NOT PRIVATE. Methinks some people don’t remember to click/unclick the privacy button on PM.

ucme's avatar

Certainly wasn’t the case according to her, she had enough sense about her to use the privacy button as a matter of course. I was quite taken aback, because she wasn’t the type to throw unfounded criticism around & in her time here never once bothered herself with such meaningless trivia, just had fun, but there you go.

zensky's avatar

We’ll never know then will we.

ucme's avatar

Much less care.

glacial's avatar

@ucme She wasn’t the type to throw unfounded criticism around, but she was telling this story based on secondhand information, as she was walking out the door? This is how ugly rumours get started.

zensky's avatar

The plot thickens.

Bellatrix's avatar

@ucme, I can assure you mods cannot read private messages unless they are their own private messages. I can also say in the time I have been a mod, @augustlan has never shared the content of private messages with the mod team unless it is a message sent to her that relates to a moderation decision. Even then it’s only when we need to see some information in order to make a decision. I have also never known her to discuss members’ private messages in order to mock or gossip about them. I would be very surprised if other moderators have had that experience either. I don’t know who your source was but that has most definitely not been my experience.

zensky's avatar

Uh, guys, it’s @ucme – not to be taken too seriously. He’s busy now with the question about candies and calls them little buggers. I say case closed.

SuperMouse's avatar

@ucme as a moderator, I take personal offense to your spreading garbage rumors about the mod team reading personal messages.I can tell you that the information you received via email from a “well respected & popular” former member is patently false. It is rather a bummer that this person left the site feeling this way, and is even worse that she saw fit to spread lies. As @Bellatrix (and many others) have said, mods do not have access to anyone’s personal messages but their own. @augustlan does, but anyone who knows anything about her and her character know for an absolute certainty that the only time she exercises that ability is when it 100% necessary. She would never share the information for purposes of gossip or to bad mouth another member. That kind of stuff just does not happen.

This has been said time and time again, and I am going to say it again. The mods are volunteers. We give our time and energy to this site because we love Fluther and want to do our part to help maintain the quality that sets Fluther apart from all of the other Q & A sites. We continue to do our best even in the face of rumors about us, constant moaning about bias, and regular mod-bashing threads. One has to have a thick skin to be a mod on this site and has to love this site and its members in order to keep at in the face of this. It is time for one and all to stop complaining and start thanking their friendly neighborhood mod and @augustlan especially for helping make Fluther the awesome place it is.

Now, @zensky, the case is closed!

Yeahright's avatar

I believe @ucme. He can be serious about things too in spite his usual humorous tone (and BTW his last two entries are not humorous). We all know that humor is based on absolute truth. Humor is just a way of putting reality in a way that makes you laugh about stuff you should be crying about.

@Bellatrix I know for a fact that @augustlan has discussed at least one of my PMs with the mod team. At least that’s what she said in her message to me, she said something along the lines of I will discuss your case with the mod team and will advise you of our decision. So yes, the contents of my PM were known/seen by people other than @augustlan and the person that I sent it to.

I am stating a fact based on my own personal experience. Not trying to get any rumor started. It is about time that ex-mods, oldies, or random people stop getting into defense mode just because they think that certain comments are direct attacks against @augustlan or the mods, or that comments on certain things that go on here are ill intended or plain flat lies. They fail to understand that not everyone experience the site in the same way.

It’s also worth noting that the user I sent the PM to reported the PM, so that’s why it was discussed. I don’t think the mods or @augustlan were snooping my PMs.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yeahright for the record, I believe that @ucme is telling the truth about the email he received. That being said, I know for a fact that the mod team does not view a “substantial number of PM’s… for no legitimate reason other than to gossip over & mock particular users.” That is just plain not true. As a member of the mod team and I can assure you that the entire time I have been a mod that has not happened. Not a single time. I am frankly appalled that well respected and active member such as @ucme would spread such a rumor.

If @augustlan discussed your situation with the mod team, she did it in broad terms without compromising your privacy in any way. She also did it because it was necessary to a moderation decision. Your experience, with the fact that she came right out and told you what she was doing, proves that she operates with the utmost integrity.

Regarding the sarcasm and some members’ attitudes/bullying. In the real world (as opposed to the virtual world we are discussing here), there is a jerk in every crowd. There is a big mouth, or a bully, or a sarcastic jerk, a joker, someone who is always completely serious, etc. Why would an internet site be any different? Of course some of the answers are sarcastic. Some will be stupid, some will be well thought out and well stated. That is just the reality of the world and the internet. In real life we stay away from people who rub us the wrong way. On a site such as this we ignore their posts. If it rises to the level of bullying or personal attack the offending quip is removed.

SuperMouse's avatar

It is too late to edit my last message, and I feel compelled to say that not only does the mod team not look at a “substantial number of PM’s”, the mod team does not look at any private PM’s. @augustlan is the only mod who has the ability to even look at private PM’s, and she does not ever abuse that ability. Ever.

Yeahright's avatar

If @augustlan discussed your situation with the mod team, she did it in broad terms without compromising your privacy in any way. My privacy was compromised because as I stated before I thought the P in PM meant Private which means it is between the sender and the recipient and does not include the manager and/or the mod team. I found it out the hard way. Had I known this, I would have refrained from sending such PM to the person and would have requested an email or so to be able to address the problem in question more freely and privately. So it is good that @wundayatta, @ucme and others do acknowledge the fact so that newbies know that depending on the circumstances there is a possibility their PMs willbe read and that it is better not to write anything in PMs that they would not want the manager and/or the mod team to see under any circumstances. Your experience, with the fact that she came right out and told you what she was doing… This proves to me that they do it and that PMs are not 100% private which is what I am discussing here—not @augustlan integrity.

I am frankly appalled that someone like @ucme would spread such a rumor. IMO he is sharing information given to him by a reliable source not spreading rumors.

Regarding the sarcasm and some members’ attitudes/bullying. In the real world (as opposed to the virtual world we are discussing here), there is a jerk in every crowd…Of course some of the answers are sarcastic. I agree. But my point of discussion regarding this is:
1. A lot of people here are in denial of this fact and unlike you they do not acknowledge the fact and treat those that point it out as liars. (Check @Adagio’s number of GAs above.)
2. Some bullying goes on and when you try to defend yourself as you would in real life, you get a warning by the mods as if you had started it, and sometimes the person who actually started it walks away scott-free.
3. People get in defense mode when this and other similar issues are put on the table. They label it as unfair bashing rather than take it as something healthy that will result in making this Q&A site even better than it already is. The refusal to address issues in a family group or with a SO in a relationship is never good and could lead to resentment. Some stuff is ugly but it needs to be addressed whether it changes or not, whether you decide to stay in the family, the relationship, or in this case in the site or not.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yeahright sharing information? The information he posted in this thread is not true. He is spreading rumors. Period.

1. I would be pretty interested to see an incident of someone pointing out sarcasm and being called a liar for it. Sorry, I just don’t see it. @Adagio‘s post is not an example of denial, it is @Adagio sharing Adagio’s personal experience here on Fluther. I think there are plenty of people who have a thick skin and are more impervious to sarcasm than others. Not being phased by something doesn’t mean one is in denial.
2. I believe in God. I come right out and admit that on Fluther. I admit it all the time. I am bullied, called ignorant, and taken to task fairly regularly on this board for my beliefs. I stand up for myself and my beliefs passionately and constantly. I have never received a single warning (not even before I was a mod and I was on this site a fairly long time before I became a mod). The only time any of my self-defense has been modded has been when it crosses the line to personal attack. So forgive me if I’m not buying what you are trying to sell here.
3. Humans get into defense mode. It is what happens. Stick around the site for a while and you will see how common mod bashing really is. You will also see that there is consistent striving for improvement in the moderation process. Hopefully you will also see that the moderators are a fairly reasonable group of folks who are all working for a common interest – helping Fluther remain the awesome site that it is. What I do believe is unfair and will continue to label as unfair is people who are long time members of this site, who know the rules, who are intimately familiar with the rules, who consistently and regularly break the rules or cross the line then bitch when they are moderated.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@Yeahright
Is spot on, you want examples of this? See my question “does favoritism play a role on this site”, not only is the question answered in the affirmative but examples of it, and your post, are evident on that page.

But in regards to PMS, only augustlan has the capability of doing so and I doubt, though I could be wrong, that she spends time snooping PMS in which has no intrinsic benefit.

glacial's avatar

@Yeahright Any time that you communicate with another human being, you risk that person repeating what you said, whether it’s a PM on a site like Fluther, or an email. It’s a problem.

I am one of those people who gets horribly offended if someone uses bcc in emails, which is basically a means to secretly show others a communication that the official recipient thinks is private. I think using bcc, along with forwarding emails without telling the sender you’re doing it, is a serious breach of privacy, and I wish people would take it more seriously. I have learned that some people have very different ideas than I do about privacy and emails.

I also think it’s a serious breach of privacy for someone on a site like Fluther to publicly repeat things said in a PM, unless they’re absolutely certain that the sender wouldn’t care. People shouldn’t do that. It isn’t nice.

I do, however, think that people should have some sort of recourse if they are being harrassed via PM on a site like this. I think there is a heavy responsibility on the person who is considering reporting the PM to try to resolve the issue himself, so that the messages do not have to be shared. I mean this very seriously – people should do all they can to end the communication themselves. But if the sender will not stop, then as a last resort I think it is acceptable to report that person to the mods.

Even though I often disagree with your views here on Fluther, and even though I hate to see the mods being ganged up on (which I don’t think they deserve), when reading your posts about your PM being reported, my reaction is that the person who reported you must have made the wrong choice. Whatever the reason they didn’t want to receive a PM from you, I can’t believe they couldn’t have convinced you to stop writing to them. So, I don’t think this situation should have escalated to mod intervention, and I’m sorry that happened to you.

But I still think that reporting PMs to mods should an option for people who are being harrassed, and have tried everything they can think of to end the communication. And once a PM has been reported, the mods (and I guess here I mean @augustlan) must have to examine both sides to figure out what the heck is going on. What else could they do? It won’t be obvious to them who is in the right or wrong until they read the conversation.

SuperMouse's avatar

@HolographicUniverse sorry, I don’t see how that thread is proof or even contains proof that there is favoritism on Fluther. Mostly it seems to be you trying to convince everyone that there is favoritism and others conceding that it is human nature to play favorites and favoritism is not a defining feature of Fluther. Read @thorninmud’s response because it seems to sum things up pretty well. .

Yeahright's avatar

@SuperMouse @ucme spreading rumors? He is sharing information. Period.

1. @Adagio‘s post is an example of denial. He claims that doesn’t happen here and others including you acknowledge that it does happen here. He says I’ve been coming here 3½ years and I’ve never seen things as you see them. This in my book is not acknowleding a situation takes place.

2. So forgive me if I’m not buying what you are trying to sell here. I forgive you and NOT trying to sell anything here. Take it or leave it. It’s entirely up to you.

3. Stick around the site for a while and you will see how common mod bashing really is. I have been around for a while. A lot of people are not happy about it and feel the need to voice their feelings. This means it’s a constant concern, not the random opinion of a liar or two.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yeahright sharing information that is incorrect is rumor mongering.

1. Seriously, if @Adagio has not been exposed to these things then he/she hasn’t felt like he/she has been exposed to it.

2. I am leaving it because it is simply untrue.

3. They do voice their concerns, and do so regularly. The same people with the same gripes over and over. The same people who stick around breaking the same rules over and over then crabbing about being modded for it. It is a constant concern – for a small and vocal group of people who flat out insist on trying to make it a concern for the site as a whole. Also, I did not refer to anyone as a liar – that is your word.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@SuperMouse
I am to assume you read all 270 responses in which answered “yes” and tried to justify it? Saying “it’s human nature to play favorites” is clearly stating “yes it plays a role”... I did not say it was a “defining” feature but obviously pertinent to many threads (for instance on that one)
I suggest you read a bit more of it ;-)

Yeahright's avatar

@glacial Any time that you communicate with another human being, you risk that person repeating what you said, whether it’s a PM on a site like Fluther, or an email. It’s a problem. Kindly focus here. The topic is PMs on Fluther, not privacy in human communication.

I do, however, think that people should have some sort of recourse if they are being harrassed via PM on a site like this. Again the focus is are PMs in Fluther private? Answer: Not entirely. Should they be? Another topic for another thread. I’m not discussing that.

Even though I often disagree with your views here on Fluther Thanks for keeping track of my participations here. Very flattering.

Whatever the reason they didn’t want to receive a PM from you, I can’t believe they couldn’t have convinced you to stop writing to them. It was me who didn’t want their PMs. I’m sorry that happened to you. I am not sorry because it allowed me to have a more realistic view of this site than the one I initially had when I first joined in.

glacial's avatar

@Yeahright I was backing you up here. But if you want to reject that, okay.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Hold on, what in the world is going on in here?!

I feel like there is a huge misunderstanding as to what moderators actually do behind the scenes.

This is what we do as moderators. In it, you shall see that we ban spammers all day, every day. In this case, there are a whole lot of profile spammers.

Augustlan is the only person who has access to PMs, period. End of story. There is no grand conspiracy, there is no gossip, and this unpaid job is certainly not worth the hate that I receive because of it.

If you want to see what moderators see, I suggest that you become a moderator.

SuperMouse's avatar

@HolographicUniverse that thread is more of the same old stuff. I’ve read it all before and I am not wasting my time with it. I still haven’t figured out why people such as yourself come to sites such as these and expect everyone to behave in a way that suits you. Why do some folks seem to forget that the same things that happen in real life happen on the internet?

There are people who get along well with some and not so well with others. No one is trying to justify anything in that thread or this one, they are merely pointing out that human nature is human nature and you are fooling yourself if you want to think people can turn that off at will. I will tell you that the mod team bends over backwards to be fair in their moderation and make all moderation decisions based on the site rules and nothing else. Unfortunately there are many who insist on not following the rules and when those people are modded regularly because of it they feel picked on. When one starts to feel picked on the natural reaction is to cry favoritism. Oh shit, there’s that pesky human nature again!

Yeahright's avatar

@glacial How am I rejecting you? Must’ve missed something here. I think you are addressing the PM question from a different angle than I am, that’s all. Also, read @wundayatta‘s post above, it is a great exposition of how having the manager act as a mother telling her children off and acting as a referee between two adults’ PMs is not the best solution for some of us who feel perfectly capable of solving our problems on our own.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yeahright so if someone is being harassed via personal message should their only recourse be to leave the site? Come on now, that makes zero sense. There necessarily has to be someone with the ability to confirm or deny accusations and sometimes act as a referee. As a matter of course personal messages are not monitored on Fluther. If the necessity arises they can be reviewed. That is the only context in which it happens.

Yeahright's avatar

@PhiNotPi Augustlan is the only person who has access to PMs, period. End of story. Yes. That seems clear so far, but since private suggests that the PM is between the sender and the receiver, having someone else read it w/o the consent of all parties, seem to breach the privacy of such communication.

…this unpaid job is certainly not worth the hate that I receive because of it. Constant rubbing in reminder that it is unpaid contravenes the fact that volunteering is a matter of choice and usually undertaken for the greater good of a community and therefore without any expectation of payment and/or reward other than personal satisfaction. The strength of volunteering depends on the active involvement of individuals who value the opportunity to contribute in the benefit of the community. It is important to ensure that volunteering actions are not perceived as negative by others in the community. So it is good to be able to accept that members of said community need to discuss these things.

No one hates mods. I think hate is a very strong word, and questioning and disagreement should not be interpreted as such.

@SuperMouse Not to leave the site but to solve the problem in a respectful adult manner w/o anyone’s intervention—pretty much the way it is done by adults in real life. It makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t rely on monitors in my everyday life, I’m not a teenager, I can solve my own problems.

augustlan's avatar

@Yeahright Suppose a co-worker was harassing you, via email. Suppose you’d done everything you possibly could to get the harassment to stop, without success. What would you do then? I’ll tell you what a lot of people would (and should) do…they’d show the email evidence to the HR department. Consider me the head of HR.

@ucme Whoever told you that was either woefully misinformed or flat-out lying (as often happens when people are banned…they’ll say they quit, and invent a reason for quitting). I assure you, that never happens.

Yeahright's avatar

@augustlan You bet I would!! I’d want his sorry butt fired and for him to leave me the hell alone.

However, IMO your analogy is not entirely valid because a lot of the elements surrounding both situations are different.

My income or job is not on the line here to begin with, I have worked for some of the top corporations in the world and none of them called their email system PM, hence it was not implied that all email communication was private and not subject to be read by IT or HR people. Same applied to our Internet search. All Internet history was monitored by the IT staff, thus we refrained from watching porn, e-shopping, etc. Also, email sent and received through the company’s server was the property of the company as stated in a disclaimer at the bottom of every email sent thru their servers. In every job I’ve had, I’ve been discouraged to send/receive any personal communication via their servers.

And again, in all my posts here I have been addressing the fact that PMs are not entirely private here for they can be viewed outside the sender/recipient w/o consent of all parties. That’s all I’ve been saying. I have yet to give my opinion on whether the manager reading reported PMs is the best practice or not. I have to think about it.

augustlan's avatar

Okay, let’s just switch the situation to a neighbor harassing you/show the evidence to the police/consider me the chief of police. If people weren’t able to report harassment, what other option would they have?

Yeahright's avatar

@augustlan Again, that’s not how I am addressing the PM situation here. My problems with neighbors or in my job, etc. are entirely different circumstances that call for different rules/laws/measures.

The OP wanted to know about PMs being monitored, or read by mods, and whether they were 100% private. All my answers are based on that. IMO it was an excellent question from someone who is new here and wants to know how to effectively surf here.

As for myself, I know that Fluther’s PMs are not 100% private and I have no problem with that. I learned the hard way though and these days I only send PMs that I don’t mind being viewed by the whole of Fluther. As a matter of fact, all my PMs could be posted on the recepient’s wall for all I care, that’s how public they are.

The only person I have made kind of close friends here, I communicate with via email, or BlackBerry. All outside of Fluther.

PhiNotPi's avatar

On a side note… Does anyone quite understand what exactly we are arguing about here? I’m lost in this conversation. Someone please fill me in.

Yeahright's avatar

@PhiNotPi When that happens to me I usually read the whole thread to get back in track. The answers took different turns and it’s difficult to summarize the whole thing.

Bellatrix's avatar

Firstly, @Yeahright did you read my post? I said I can also say in the time I have been a mod, @augustlan has never shared the content of private messages with the mod team unless it is a message sent to her that relates to a moderation decision. Even then it’s only when we need to see some information in order to make a decision. I clearly said direct messages might be shared with the moderation team if they contain information required to make a decision.

I absolutely support people having the right and the ability to ask questions about the way the site operates and to complain about aspects that they feel are wrong but there is a point where if the site doesn’t meet an individuals needs or expectations, there isn’t much we can do about it. The rules and conditions are not going to change significantly. The moderation team will over time but the rules they work to will remain pretty much the same. The members will change but some people have been here for a long time and are likely to remain. People either like it or they don’t.

Furthermore, and I say this as a member and not as a moderator, as far as I’m concerned members who regularly and repeatedly whip up the sort of negativity seen here come close to breaching the rule that prohibits ‘Egocentric attention-grabbing’ behaviour.

Yeahright's avatar

@Bellatrix …sort of negativity seen here… What sort of negativity are you referring to? I sense you’re feeling you’re being attacked or something. Please be more specific. I fail to understand where you are coming from.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yeahright it is wonderful that you are an adult and feel equipped to handle difficult situations that may arise. There are however regular participants on this site who are not legal adults. There are also more than likely people who are also adults that may not feel quite as confident as you when it comes to handling challenging situations. The original question regarded whether personal messages are monitored, the answer to that question is no, as a matter of course they are not.

Yeahright's avatar

@SuperMouse There are also more than likely people who are also adults that may not feel quite as confident as you when it comes to handling challenging situations. Yes, that seems to happen as it was well described by @wundayatta in his well crafted post.

The original question … the answer to that question is no, as a matter of course they are not. I am not the OP. But, I think that has been clarified for him a few posts above. I’m sure he is clear on the subject by now.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Yeahright, if you can’t see the negativity in this thread and the many other threads you have participated in whenever there is an opportunity to criticise Fluther, I can’t help you.

Yeahright's avatar

@Bellatrix I don’t need your help, thank you very much. Because my intention is not negative, I fail to label my posts (or those of people who happen to share my opinions) here or in any other thread as negative. A different opinion is just that ‘different’ not negative. I have shared my experience here when the question was related to certain aspects I have experienced firsthand, and I will continue to do so. I participate in all kinds of threads and share my opinion, experience and knowledge when I see it fit. As I have said numerous times, addressing certain topics puts some people on defense mode, some feel easily attacked.

What you call an opportunity to criticize fluther is seen by others as a chance to address topics that concern them or are unclear to them, especially if they are new to the site.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Yeahright you can call it what you like. I am going to leave it to individual members to decide for themselves.

Yeahright's avatar

@Bellatrix I agree. I call it as I interpret it. I appreciate your less negative tone too. I like objectivity.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yeahright you like objectivity? Wow, you could have fooled me.

Yeahright's avatar

@SuperMouse I do. Would love to know your definition of objectivity though. It seems that for you is more a feeling than a sound appreciation.

It puzzles me how people label things, then they are unable to explain it or clarify it.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yeahright I would consider your responses in this thread anything but objective. I indeed have a “sound appreciation” for objectivity and unlike you I realize that no one is totally objective (not even you) as everyone filters reactions through their own experiences. I am labeling you – just as I would label pretty much anyone – as not being objective. I also label your participation here on Fluther as mostly negative in tone. Is that clear enough for you?

I am going to go ahead and label myself as being done wasting my time in this thread.

jonsblond's avatar

I think @Yeahright has been very helpful on many questions and I rarely, if at all, have seen @Yeahright be negative.

Yeahright's avatar

@SuperMouse What is clear for me is your confrontational tone. Is that clear for you too? You are free to label my participation here the way you want. I’m surprised you have the time to follow me around here and keep track of my participation so that you could gather enough objective information to come to that conclusion. Sorry I don’t have the time nor the interest to do the same with you.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Yeahright as a moderator I pop in on many, many threads. Don’t flatter yourself by thinking I am “following you around.” I suppose you can label my tone however you wish, while you are at it go ahead and rethink your puzzlement about people labeling others. Worry not, my “confrontational tone” and I are done engaging you.

Yeahright's avatar

@SuperMouse It doesn’t worry me. Don’t flatter yourself.

I thought we were done repeating that people are free to label things here. We all get it. But whether that labeling is objective or not, that’s another game altogether.

Unbroken's avatar

I haven’t completely caught up in this thread. There are quite a few posts to read and very little is new information just rewording of an already declared case.

My take, because we all see it is so valued : ), is that, @YeahRight is quite literal and objective, the most technically correct.

Many other people read it as Fluther bashing or negative because it ignores the spirit or what they see as the nature of Fluther.

Loyalty and dedication to the site hinder objectivity and put us, I will include myself because I made an argument to the effect myself, want to defend what is an exception and a by law rather what we interpret the essence of Fluther.

I too was told a story of PM being read by @augustlan. I believe it, I know it does happen and it has made me somewhat careful in composing messages though not so much that everything I saw I am ok with others reading but that when there is a disagreement or breakdown in communication I rethink my wording and am extra cautious to either end the conversation quickly and on a positive note or to work things out in an adult manner.

But over all this informing my behavoir is not negative as much in my view a good judgement in principle and how I want to act as a person.

Though I would not make the claim that I am perfect.

Tangent but back to point at hand. My interpretation is @YeahRight’s intent is not attack but to inform and perhaps allow us to consider a better alternative.

Unbroken's avatar

It would be interesting an informing to find out an approximation of how often a PM is read by @augustlan.

No I am not attacking her but I find it relevant to conversation and may allay or quell some irrational fears.

Also I find it odd that pertinent information is given to other moderator’s to make a team decision. In that it is hard to be unbiased indetermining what is relevant it would seem that @augustlan would have already an idea as to what should happen. Thus rendering the step seemingly redundant, unless they just act as a sounding board or discuss specifics of “rulings.”

Again I am not critisizing @augustlan as I enjoy the site and if it were moded ineptly or without sound judgement it wouldn’t be what it is today.

Just something that struck me as odd.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@rosehips Auggie only reads PMs when someone brings a problem to her attention. As far as discussing the information with the team, it is only done if she needs to give us a heads up about something going on or if she wants our opinions on how to handle the situation. She never gives us the exact information from the PMs, just an overview of what’s going on.

For example, if there are two users that have moved their arguing/fighting to PMs and one of them complains that they are feeling harassed (or whatever), she’ll tell us that there have been things going on between the two people so that we can keep an eye out for altercations between those people on the site.

It really is very rare and in the time I’ve been a mod, I can only remember 2 issues that have come up where Auggie has had to review PMs and discuss it with the mod team.

Unbroken's avatar

@Seaofclouds thank you for the additional information. : )

augustlan's avatar

Just re-reading this thread, and I’m amazed that it’s gone on this long. The OP’s question was answered in the very first response (by me), and over a hundred answers later we’re still at it. Let’s all move on to other things, shall we?

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@augustlan
I agree but another conversation has materialized, are we to cut it short because her highness wishes so? Seems a bit dictatorial ;-)

augustlan's avatar

A suggestion, only.

zensky's avatar

Ahem: Her Royal Janitor has spoken. And I, the King of Fluther say this thread is over.
Who dares continue it?

jonsblond's avatar

What? A conversation must die because it hasn’t turned into a recipe swap? :P

hint: if anyone isn’t happy with the conversation they can quit following. I do it every time a discussion turns into one about food. just sayin’. :)

Yeahright's avatar

I got a PM saying I was “abrasive”? I don’t think I am. That I “riled people up into drama”? I don’t like drama, but if you address a post to me by name, I will surely reply to it. That I needed to be “more respectful”. This is a general statement and no specific post where I had been disrespectful was cited.

In any case, I think a couple of mods have been negative and confrontational with me. It is here for everyone to see. But sadly, this wasn’t mentioned in the PM I got. It was stated that it was me who had turned this thread around.

jonsblond's avatar

Wow. I don’t see any of that coming from you @Yeahright. You answered and asked questions, but you were not rude. I think some others here contributed to riling up drama, but it didn’t come from you. I think some here need to reread the entire thread (or look in a mirror).

Anyone who thinks @Yeahright is negative and abrasive needs to go look at all of @Yeahright‘s responses to other questions. They are all right there on the profile page.

wtf people? You know what abrasive is. We’ve seen it before. This is not abrasive. Proves my point that anyone who brings up anything negative about the site is quickly called names and told to shut up.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@Yeahright
We are not sheep who can be herded into danger without awareness
I think she simply brought up an additional topic,stemming from the question and ongoing thread, that we all felt was interesting. I didn’t view this thread as drama, technically off topic from the OP but I’ve seen worse.

ucme's avatar

Wow, sometimes…I know how he feels ;¬}

augustlan's avatar

Since I don’t want my tone misread, and since @Yeahright has posted the basic content of the PM I sent her, I’m going to post the actual PM here, too, minus one bit of personal info that @Yeahright might not want to be publicly known. If she chooses to, she can share that portion, too. So, here’s what I said:
———————————————————————————————
Hi there, Yeahright.

You say you mean well, and I will take you at your word. That said, you do have a tendency to come across as rather abrasive, which gets people riled up and creates drama where there was no need for any. [this sentence removed for privacy reasons]

Remember that intent is not always clear in text, and please try to keep the tone respectful. Thank you.

Augustlan

Unbroken's avatar

We need another clip @ucme. That one is blocked in the US.

Interjection of irreverant of fun would be a nice way to tie this thread up. : )

jonsblond's avatar

@augustlan I don’t see where @Yeahright has been disrespectful. I just don’t see it. and you know me, I love to bitch whenever someone is being disrespectful.:) I honestly feel @Yeahright‘s intentions are misunderstood, but I don’t think it’s at the fault of @Yeahright. Some people here get snarky when someone says something bad about Fluther. I would get snarky too if someone got snarky with me. There can never be a constructive discussion when this happens.

PhiNotPi's avatar

In the spirit of what @rosehips said, I found a pretty funny video a few days ago, depicting a rap battle between Heyek and Keynes.

Yeahright's avatar

@augustlan You don’t want your tone to be misread, but mine has been totally misread and I have been labeled as:
•Negative in tone
•Rather abrasive
•Need to keep tone respectful

IMO it is the other way around, it is you and the mods who have been all those things to me.

What puzzles me is how easily people label other people, yet when you ask them why they said that, they are unable to come up with an explanation as to why exactly they assigned that label, or made that comment.

When you can’t support your statements with evidence, proof, quoting, examples, then they can’t be validated.

I think it is wrong, very wrong to assign a member all these unfounded labels publicly.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I have reposted the photo of my inbox, since I found that there was one email address not yet redacted. If anyone contacts that email address, I will haunt you to your grave. (no pressure)

zensky's avatar

Popcorn is deelish.

wundayatta's avatar

@Yeahright You are right. You’ve been slammed and misread and totally and unjustifiably trashed here. I think @augustlan was entirely wrong to share that PM, and it just goes to prove that you can not count on things remaining private that have been in PMs. @augustlan has a habit of letting these cats out of the bag, without even realizing what she is doing. The other mods rally round the flag as if they are being attacked, and are unwilling to look at their own behavior.

Whoever reports an issue with a PM is always seen as being the one who is harmed. It is impossible to be seen as innocent in these things.

But they can do what they want. It’s their website. The best thing is to speak to people in true private—using email. Otherwise you never know when someone will twist your words, get @augustlan to see it the way they want her to see it, and threaten you with banishment if you don’t lay off the other person.

Life ain’t fair. @augustlan is the queen here. What she says goes. There is no point in pretending it is fair, or even, as most mods would argue, an attempt to make this into a quality website. It’s just to run it according to their taste. And if you like their taste, fine. And if you don’t, and it bothers you enough, you go elsewhere. They are real happy when the people who don’t like the way things are run here go elsewhere. I can’t count the times I’ve been invited to leave by mods and others.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Response moderated
Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Response moderated
Response moderated
augustlan's avatar

Oh for heaven’s sake. This is just getting ridiculous, folks. I would never have posted the PM if @Yeahright had not quoted from it out of context. I am not the one who made the information in the PM public…that was @Yeahright. If I am going to be quoted, I want the context made clear as well.

@jonsblond You know I lurve you, but I’m absolutely bewildered that you don’t see the abrasiveness and drama here.

Look, way up there ^^, someone made a joke. Then someone came along and responded in an abrasive tone, followed by this. The thread has been almost nothing but unnecessary drama from that moment on.

augustlan's avatar

@wundayatta You are wrong. It is, of course, entirely possible that the person reporting a PM is equally to blame, or even wholly responsible for the situation. It has happened more than once. There is no “getting me to see it their way”. I look at all of the relevant PMs, and since I am not a brainless machine, I am quite capable of seeing what is what, and holding the proper party or parties responsible.

And sometimes, there is nothing to hold anyone responsible for. People sometimes get upset and report a PM, but upon investigation, I find nothing in the PM that is against our rules. When that occurs, we do nothing about the situation. I only act when it seems necessary to do so.

ucme's avatar

@rosehips Oh, what a shame, just think cuckoo’s nest & you’re more or less there.
Now, best way to empty a room… fire in the hole!!

Yeahright's avatar

@augustlan I didn’t quote you out of context, I just didn’t think it was right to name the person that had sent it to me or the entire content of the PM. Your copying the whole PM didn’t change the point I was trying to make, which was that I had in fact been labeled as abrasive, etc. Your links to my quips fail to show what you want people to see simply because it isn’t there. I wasn’t abrasive, just factual.

The thread has been almost nothing but unnecessary drama from that moment on. That’s is your opinion, and it’s also your opinion that I am to be blamed by all the “drama ” as you call it.

augustlan's avatar

And on that note, we are done here. Going to archive this thread.

This discussion has been archived.

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