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Afos22's avatar

What do you think about over-moderation on Fluther, or other websites?

Asked by Afos22 (3990points) December 14th, 2010

Do you think there is too much filter on how we respond to something, whether it be on fluther, or any other website?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

94 Answers

Jude's avatar

I think that it’s perfect.

You’re not going to find a better question and answer site.

YoBob's avatar

No, I do not think it is too much to ask that users of a service follow the established guidelines. The moderators around here seem pretty darned reasonable to me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I strongly disagree there’s over-moderation on Fluther, I don’t care about other websites but I can tell you that when there’s no moderation on a question and answer site, it fucking sucks.

downtide's avatar

I don’t think Fluther is over-moderated, I think it’s just right for the kind of site it is. There are rules, and by choosing to participate here, it’s our responsibility as members to abide by them. Anyone who thinks the rules are too strict is free find a site with fewer rules and less moderation. But personally I’ve been to sites like that ~cough~answerbag~cough~ and to be honest I prefer the way it is here.

wundayatta's avatar

It meets my needs. I have no idea what is being moderated out, so I can’t tell if I would agree with moderation decisions or not. But since I don’t notice it, and it still seems interesting enough, I guess it can’t be terrible.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I guess I’m too old to get the appeal of free-for-alls on websites, where anonymity allows for meanness and rudeness. The level of discourse here stays high because we are required to behave decently. We’ve been invited into someone else’s house, manners are required.

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t think it’s over-moderated. The rules are simple: There’s a general section and a social section.

Doppelganger19's avatar

“Be moderate in everything, including moderation.”
Horace Porter

Cruiser's avatar

Just play by the rules and you can pretty much say or ask whatever your heart desires.

ratboy's avatar

It has all but ruined my life.

phoebusg's avatar

If anything, slightly under-moderated.

Zyx's avatar

I think over-moderation is an issue anywhere there’s moderators. Surely it might be worse if there were no mods but being a mod doesn’t make one infallible either. Like with most square holes, democracy might be just the round object to jam in there.

Enter the actions of mods (not talking about fluther or anything, just in general) into a moderation pool accessible to all the mods, who can then discuss and vote on the issue. This is where multiple admins come in to moderate the mods.

Afos22's avatar

I have recently had an ‘on topic’ response moderated several times, even after rephrasing my original response, which was a fine answer to begin with.

Rarebear's avatar

I find the moderation excessive and often unnecessary.

Sarcasm's avatar

I probably am biased, because I’m a mod, but I don’t think there’s over-moderation. I’ve been a mod for 8 of my 17 months here
When I first came to this site, I thought there was. I had come from a completely different community, where we were encouraged to post our weird, stupid thoughts and jokes. But after getting modded a few times here on Fluther, I realized that it wasn’t the desired quality, and I realized that I liked the desired quality here on Fluther.
Modding has never been a matter of squelching opinions. It’s been a matter of encouraging members to post their relevant, well-spoken (well-typed?) opinions. Hell, there was a 430-response question about pedophilia on Fluther, with a self-admitted pedophile in it. If anyone thinks we silence undesired opinions, that should be proof enough that we don’t.
Now that we have a General and Social separation (We didn’t always), there’s a bigger effort to make sure that people stay on target in the General questions, in addition to making sure that they’re high quality.

In regards to other sites/communities.
It’s a matter of whether mods silence opinions, or they silence poor expressions of the opinions. If it’s the former, I don’t bother hanging around those communities. So, generally I don’t encounter over-moderation in places. I really never have had a problem with moderators on sites, I’ve been one on a couple of different sites so I’ve known what they deal with and that they get enough shit from people to not need me breathing down their necks.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Rarebear and @Afos22 : Do you take it up with the mods? If it’s that important to you, maybe they’ll address your concerns.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Hey, the mods saved my “Hiney”, I’m all for the job they do.

marinelife's avatar

I disagree that Fluther is over-moderated.

I wish there was more moderation on other Web sited.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


But I understand why it exists and appreciate the need some people have for it. The WWW is a big place… That’s where I care about censorship. The forming of specialized enclaves with specific rules in place is no different than Boy Scouts preventing girls from joining or the KKK preventing Jews from joining. We have a right to our separate methodologies. We have a right to join those we wish to join, leave them at any time, or start our own.

I will protect your right to disagree with me.

JilltheTooth's avatar

This was my response on another thread about modding and I still stand by it: ”...really, @(pissed off user name) , is anyone’s prose so deathless here that it is above reproach? The mods go out of their way to to send posts back to the user that have obviously had a lot of work and thought put into them. But to get so upset? Really? I don’t think the Nobel committee is hanging out on Fluther waiting for posts on which to make their decisions. I learn a lot from the intelligent discourse here, and I think it can be valuable, helpful and insightful, but if it is that important, for God’s sake go to a place where it will have an impact on the grand scheme of things.”

flutherother's avatar

Some moderation is necessary. Have you seen unmoderated sites? I mean who are these people? Are they out there walking the streets?

Blackberry's avatar

@flutherother Lol….Yeah. Topix is a good example.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@flutherother We have had some interesting discussions on here even with mods.

Doppelganger19's avatar

I wonder if the only people who are concerned about over-moderation are people who are modded?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Afos22 ; I get modded and my daughter’s a mod and I’m never upset by it. Hmmmmm.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JilltheTooth What’s it like to get modded? :)

perspicacious's avatar

This site has way too much moderation. Unless users are ganging up on someone or something of that nature, the mods should be invisible and mute.

Rarebear's avatar

@JilltheTooth I haven’t bothered. It’s not my site, and they have their rules. If I don’t like it I can leave. It’s not bad, it’s just annoying.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

no no @Rarebear… let’s get it straight… I’m annoying… Fluther is frustrating… at times.

seazen's avatar

This question comes up every so often, and the mods allow it to get fresh perspective. Those of us who came here in the great migration when it shut down – appreciate moderation.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: this is the best q and a/social site on the web. When those who have been here for a few years speak – whatever they say – listen up and learn something. Those who stuck around from the December 09 AB crash – are interesting and smart. Newbies come and go – and I see you’re a summer jelly that stayed. Cool.

But the mods are volunteers – and they were all regular jellies who stepped up and sacrificed a lot (think it over) to become mods. They took one for the team, they stepped up to the plate, if not for them – there would be no fluther. Seriously. I won’t be a mod; will you? Those who are unfamiliar with unmodded sites: they suck – and then they close down.

Part two: it’s a privately owned site. You go to a private club – there’s membership. Maybe you get in, maybe you don’t. There are also ruiles, and they are enforced. It keeps the (intellectually challenged, poetically handicapped) out. And that’s fine by me. I don’t want every twit here. I just want those who can “make the cut.” Elitist? Nope. Just experienced. And opinionated.

Party Fluther on.

BoBo1946's avatar

I like to be over modded, just once!

deliasdancemom's avatar

This site is rediculously overmoderated in the general catagory…to the point of censorship its sad, I will no longer use the general section of this site anymore

deliasdancemom's avatar

I just had a totally on topic discussion ripped down because it wasn’t what a mod wanted to see…well too bad opinions are like….well you know

Seelix's avatar

I don’t think Fluther is overmoderated.

I’ve had a question of mine get so off-topic that I actually stopped following it. That shouldn’t happen. I guess it’s bound to, sometimes, but the mods are doing what they’re supposed to. If you don’t like it and if you think it’s excessive, no one’s forcing you to stay here.

Fred931's avatar

ya th overmoderatoin is anoying here i use yaho ansers much beter

Seelix's avatar

@Fred931 – OMGWTFLOLOLOLOLLLLLLL!!!!!! U jst sed xactly wut i waz thnkng… how did U kno????!!??!??!!

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t feel like this site is over moderated and I like the level of moderation that is here. I don’t participate on any sites that don’t have any moderation at all anymore, but I do post on one that has much less moderation and, honestly, I post on that site a lot less often.

I’ve been modded here before and it’s never bothered me. Sometimes I had a feeling it might happen and others it caught me off guard, but it never made me mad, upset, or even frustrated. It just is what it is.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oooh! There it is! @deliasdancemom , the C-word? Really? The rules in General are very clear. If you want to have another discussion, post another Q (in Social) or go to PMs. “Censorship”. Give me a break.

Bluefreedom's avatar

There isn’t any over moderation on Fluther so that’s not really a consideration. If it happened on another site, I think it might lessen the appeal of that site and that wouldn’t be very entertaining for the users.

deliasdancemom's avatar

Oh I read them….and I stick by my position

iamthemob's avatar

I feel, and this may just be my perception, that the moderation has been stepped up in the general section – ironically, again my perception, in what may be a reaction to what people claimed was uneven moderation. I recently had a response sent back to me because it was partially on and partially non-responsive, saying that I could re-edit it without the non-responsive portion. And although I felt like this was over-the-top, it was still right – I opted to just leave the response moderated.

But I disagree that this is over-moderation, especially considering that there are separate and clear rules for the general versus social rooms. If I want targeted answers, I go to general. If I want open discussion, I go to social. I wish that there was something more in-between, but unfortunately, this would inevitably lead to probably valid claims of biased moderation. So I feel like the mix, although flawed, is as close to fair as it can get.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
CaptainHarley's avatar

I just had a post moderated because I suggested that, instead of going in debt by getting credit, a couple should delay their purchases until they had saved enough to pay cash.

I’m very, VERY unhappy with that!

YARNLADY's avatar

@CaptainHarley but did your excellent response actually answer the question?

I am very happy with the level of moderation here, and I have been modded before.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

After perusing a few other Q & A sites, I really appreciate the work the Fluther moderators do in keeping this site on-topic and not a garbage dump. My guess is that most of us only see the tip of the iceberg of the moderation done. And yes, I have had Q/A posts moderated, thank goodness. I should never, ever be on Fluther when really tired.

Xena's avatar

I think that the people crying over-moderation don’t perhaps understand the guidelines. I feel like this question has been asked like three times in the past week or two, what’s up with that? Anyway, it’s been explained that in General, your answers have to be on-topic and helpful. I think there is some confusion about ‘on-topic’ and ‘helpful’, even though this has been explained repeatedly.

Anyway, your answers have to be helpful/on topic in regards to what the OP is asking and intending with the question. It’s pretty simple. However, I’ve noticed that sometimes, people just can’t let certain discussions go and they keep coming back to a thread with their idea of ‘helpful/on topic’, which then gets moderated because it doesn’t fit the spirit of the OP’s question.

Not all questions have to be answered by all people, you know? If you don’t believe in Jesus, for example, why not just walk on by and let someone who does answer the question? And if you can’t help yourself and post repeatedly anyway, then it’s a bit silly to get frustrated when your posts are pulled, IMO.

Zyx's avatar

@CaptainHarley I can imagine the rage that would be boiling in me, had I been you in that situation.

@YARNLADY It might very well not have, I don’t know the thread in question. But if I were to ask “How can I create a jet engine in my back yard with no engineering experience?”, would I not be told “Don’t!”? I should be, but I’m the kind of idiot that tries anyway. Point being that solid advice shouldn’t be moderated just for not answering the question. It’s not like it’s completely irrelevant.

Coloma's avatar

I have no complaints.

I am mostly modded for being off topic or injecting humor into the serious zone.
I try to pay attention, but, sometimes I slip.
Oh well, I slip, they mod, life goes on. lol

I have confidence that things are managed adequately.

deliasdancemom's avatar

After hanging out a couple days I’ve decided this site isn’t for me….it was nice meeting you all, I have posted information where you can contact me on facebook if you liked what I had to say, but you will find my facebook much like I was on this site outspoken and uncensored, so feel free to look me up….the level of moderation on this site just isn’t my cup of tea…good meeting all of you and I wish all the best!

HungryGuy's avatar

The censorship moderation here used to be far, far worse. That was exacerbated because I came from a Q&A site where personal attacks and spam were moderated, but we could, otherwise, say pretty much anything we wanted without censorship.

They’ve eased up a bit since they separated the General section from the Social section. But I’m still a bit nonplussed at the favoritism from a few months ago where people were allowed to attack me, but when I defended myself against their personal attacks, I was censored moderated. But that’s water over the tunnel…

CaptainHarley's avatar


LOL! Who said anything about “rage?” Try “mild irritation.” : )

Zyx's avatar

@CaptainHarley I have a lot of anger in me, makes things interesting.

Afos22's avatar

@Xena I personally understand the guide lines. That is why I chose to include “and other sites” in my question. So, I could ask it in the social section instead of meta. I asked this question in response to one of my answers that was moderated. It followed all rules of general question and when I re-rephrased my answer for a third time, the asker actually got to read it and gave me a ‘good answer’ before my response was moderated.

seazen's avatar

@Fred931 made me laugh out loud.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

While I’ve done my best to stand up for the mods and the policies, trying not to take it personally… alas, I must admit, the mods are varied in their opinions of what constitutes a viable answer or not. I would have hoped for more insight, and more trust in legacy members to police their own. The judgments are rather subjective and one dimensional… to put it politely. They want consistency from us, but they should consider offering it as well.

goodbye, it’s been fun

seazen's avatar

@deliasdancemom Hi. I read your profile and you seem interesting. People come and go – many complaining about the moderation – mistakenly. Though I won’t try to convince you to stay, I will add this: you’ve been here for 5 days in a very tight, close-knit community that exists around a Q and A site. The (newly formed, btw) General and Social categories were created specifically because of your complaint – i.e., moderation.

Feel free to go crazy in Social – be very specific in General – until the thread is done – then it’s okay to joke around there too.

If I had “joined” a private club, in real life or here, I’d respectfully give it more than 5 whole days to decide – but that’s me – maybe I’m more of a conformer than you.

In any event – you could just leave – and not delete your account – and check in once in a while to see if it suits you – who knows – maybe you’ll “fit” in the future with a different outlook and perspective. No need to burn bridges or close doors here – and no need for dramatic exits. I for one, welcome you here, but after only five days – won’t notice if you have left either.

Take this the right way; for I wouldn’t have wasted my time hunting and pecking this long answer if I didn’t care – I’d have ignored it.


chyna's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies If you are being banned, I will miss you. I hope you get to come back. You are a very important part of fluther.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

fuck em’... just to see the look on their face… punk ass 21 year olds scolding me? hahahaha

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Who hijacked this thread? Nazi Mods! Fuck Them ALL!

Afos22's avatar

omg, holy crap. That is what I’m talking about.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Inconsistent ignorant hypocritical bastards every one of them… except for Augustlan

Afos22's avatar

I don’t know about that.

YARNLADY's avatar

I see no humor in the above comments.

Afos22's avatar

@YARNLADY Would anyone?

Dog's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies We all work as a team along with Augustlan. There is no vendetta or rouge moderation going on.

Many of us are fond of you such as me. Please do not force us into a decision we do not wish to make. I do not want to see you go nor do any of the mods.

You offer so much to Fluther. All we ask is that you respect the users who have chosen to post in General by posting helpful responses.

This is your choice… Your actions at this point are in control. Please take a breather to think and reconsider what you are doing here. I want you to stay. :(

Afos22's avatar

Wow, the moderator of which you speak is the one that sparked up my question.

augustlan's avatar

As @Dog says, no moderator works alone. We are a team, and every mod sees every action taken by every other mod.

@Afos22 I know the question and answer you’re talking about. This seems to be a simple case of mis-communication. The first time you posted your answer, it came across as a joke rather than a helpful answer. The question was in the General Section, so your answer was removed. Your next post was: I replied with a reasonable answer and it was moderated whats up with that? Off topic, clearly, and so that was removed. I posted a [mod says] reminder to stay on topic and be helpful. You then posted another remark about your answer being removed, which was, of course, removed for being off-topic.

In the end, you answered again, with enough supporting detail to see that you weren’t joking, but making a serious attempt at answering the question. As you’ll note, that answer was not removed.

When you wish to dispute a moderation action, the best thing to do is contact a mod directly with your concerns, rather than continuing to post off-topic in the thread. If you had done so, we’d have explained why we removed it, and you could have skipped directly to the last step, answering with more detail. Lots of frustration (on both our parts) could have been avoided, here.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I think sometimes moderators and members tend to read the questions a bit differently. Members posting tend to read the questions as much broader in scope, where the moderators tend to read them very narrowly. Thus a question about credit would, in a mod’s opinion, not include talking about paying cash as an alternative to going into debt.

Just a thought.

breedmitch's avatar

fuckin mods~

Dog's avatar

@breedmitch Yeah… We also drink Thunderbird out of a paper sack. ~ ;)

Odysseus's avatar

I previously done QnA on MsN. It was disgustingly biased and clique by both the majority of members and the mods.
Currently I’m experiencing fluther as a very enjoyable and relaxed platform to openly and honestly ask and answer questions. I do however have reservations and I have still not asked controversial questions here.
The nature of the beast is.. the more popular Fluther becomes the stricter the regulation will become also.

world_hello's avatar

@Odysseus :: You have that backwards. It used to be much more strict.

Odysseus's avatar

@world_hello Ooh the paranoia !
happy you’ve chillaxed ;)

world_hello's avatar

@Odysseus I’m not sure what you want to say.

Doppelganger19's avatar

I agree with @Coloma. I’ve been modded, but never for anything I didn’t deserve. It’s like getting a speeding ticket when you’re speeding. Pisses you off, but underneath, you know you deserve it.

BoBo1946's avatar

glad they have a good sense of humor…. after all, they get paid so much!

iamthemob's avatar

Personally, I’d like to see one of these threads where people are complaining about the mods that points to a modded thread that is not in the general section.

That’s a clearly highly regulated section, and I’ve seen over and over again people complain about being modded in the thread (as @augustlan points out) and seem to wonder why it was done. Of course that happens in general, but I’ve never seen it in social.

I don’t think people are reading the guidelines as closely as or with the understanding that they seem to be claiming…

CaptainHarley's avatar


I suspect you are correct, except that most of the interesting stuff is posted in the General section, and the General section seems to be a system default unless you think to change it. This makes it likely that most things of interest will wind up in General by default.

Mariah's avatar

Fluther is moderated more than most websites I go to (that’s not to say that it’s overmoderated – just that other websites I go to have NO moderation) and while I normally am not a big fan of moderation on the internet, I don’t think it harms Fluther one bit. In fact, I think it’s really beneficial to the general feel of a benevolent community that has been established here.

Websites that encourage discussion or debate have the potential to go horribly wrong with too little moderation. The debate site that I used to frequent (the owner shut it down) actually had a section called the “cesspool” that the owner created as an outlet for our shenanigans. Even though he encouraged us to limit our bullshit to the cesspool, it didn’t really happen. People were really rude sometimes. It just wasn’t good.

iamthemob's avatar


I agree. I never thought of the practical issues of the default-direction being to the General section, but now that you mention it I 100% agree that the problem is compounded by that.

I’ve said from the beginning, personally, and stand by the argument that the sections are good as constructed, and bad as named – and now I’ll add bad as positioned. I think you’re right to point out the default issue, and maybe that should be reversed. But I also think that the names should indicate the rules of the section better, somehow. Granted, I can’t think of how the best way to do it (“Directed” and “Open”? “Direct” and “Roundtable”? “Specific” and “Social”?), but I do think some change is necessary as these threads seem more a reaction to people seeing favoritism because they’re modded in one section and see something unmodded in that section (e.g., more than likely because it hasn’t been flagged) or in social (e.g., because, you know, it’s social).


I love the idea of a “cesspool” section. You’re right, of course – that requires a pretty reliable community, though, for it to work.

Kayak8's avatar

I just had another question shit-canned (er, I was given the choice to abandon it or change it, so I shit-canned it. It wasn’t done TO me). It was about a banal topic which, as I understand it, should go in the general section (I didn’t want open-ended “social” responses to my question, so my choice was made for me). I have not asked a lot of questions (36 in 20 months or 1.8 per month) because of the moderation of my questions when I first started on Fluther. I was intimidated out of asking more questions.

I thought I had finally figured out what made for a good question and learned again that I was wrong. When I see what passes for an acceptable question, I am more confused than ever. I am not planning to ask any more questions and will just respond to the approved questions from others. I accept that it is a private site and so I adjust my behavior to the prevailing attitude of the mods.

Dog's avatar

@Kayak8 I understand what you are saying here. It seems (to me) that posting in social should possibly have the option for on-topic responses.

I know that the powers that be are working on this. Until their plans are set into motion I am going to see if Augustlan thinks we can establish some sort of designation in a social question that lets both users and mods know that the asking party wishes responses to be on topic. Maybe something in the title in brackets?

I am not sure how it would work but I would honor the wishes of the asking party even in social and moderate accordingly if it was somehow designated.

Kayak8's avatar

@Dog I just don’t understand why my question couldn’t stay in “General” where I put it in the first place. Seriously, “How should I talk to my crush?” is a legitimate question and I can’t ask a question about something just a tad more cerebral and get away with it? You can PM me if you think you can help me understand how to ask better questions.

Dog's avatar

@Kayak8 I will have to look at your question and I gladly will do so when I get home. (I am pulled over typing this :) ) Please expect a pm from me this evening.

Kayak8's avatar

@Dog I appreciate it—drive safely (that is way more important to me!)

YARNLADY's avatar

When I posted a question in General that received a lot of social type answers, I was given the choice to have it moved to Social or have the responses modded. I chose to move it.

Afos22's avatar

@YARNLADY This question was moved for me. = l

augustlan's avatar

@Afos22 We do move Fluther-related questions to Meta without asking the member first, because it’s easy to know where they belong. We don’t move questions to Social without asking, though.

Paradox's avatar

No. Some sites have little or no moderation so it allows cowards to type all types of insults at you. Some sites don’t even allow an opposing veiwpoint, these types of sites don’t directly have any specific guidelines but I’ve seen my email notifications and even accounts mysteriously disappear when I didn’t agree with OP expressed in the blog.

SavoirFaire's avatar

You beg the question by asking about over-moderation. I have no reason to think the level of moderation here is too high. If I thought a site over-moderated, I’d leave. Simple as that.

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