Social Question

SeaTurtle's avatar

Social poll. Who here feels that the Moderators on QnA type sites become quickly biased?

Asked by SeaTurtle (1179points) May 10th, 2011

*sites other than fluther obviously.
In my experience of social QnA (Question and Answer) websites is that they start off great!
There is free & open discussion then gradually over time the moderators become part of a social clique and become biased in their moderation. The site then becomes unbalanced, and after a year or two the site actually turns into a self adoring chat room.
Thats my opinion and personal experience of QnA sites only.
What do you think ?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

28 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’ve never been on another site, so no I’ve never noticed it.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Yes, I have seen that happen. The site begins to engage in a type of “group think.” Kinda sad actually, but very human.

KatawaGrey's avatar

As a moderator, I wouldn’t say we become biased, necessarily, but there are some users who we learn to watch because they make more mistakes than the average user or maybe are more confrontational than the average users. This does not make us biased, what it means is that we have learned which users may need a little more help or may be more likely to behave in a certain way.

We also have certain unwritten rules that apply only to moderators, even when we are not acting in moderator status. For example, we may not moderate our own questions or those questions which we have answered.

If you ever have any issue with moderation or another user, you are welcome to come to speak to us. I think few people feel as if the mods will actually listen to them and many think that we will actively try and make life more difficult for them but this is simply not true.

CaptainHarley's avatar


It took me awhile to figure out the difference between “Social” and “General” questions, and I still ocassionally have problems with it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KatawaGrey Never having been modded, I just have to say you guys do a helluva job.:)

tedibear's avatar

I used to hang out at Askville. The moderation there was horrible. I hope that Klutzaroo or Cak show up for this question as they can express what went on there better than I can.

Seelix's avatar

I’ve never used any other site, either. But I can say that I’m very happy with the moderation here – the mods aren’t any easier on old-timers than on newbies, and that’s the way it should be. :)

john65pennington's avatar

I must answer this question truthfully. When I first joined Fluther, I had to change my whole way of thinking. Thinking before I hit the enter key. I had been so use to the trash and trashy answers on Answerbag, it was like a breath of fresh air to switch to Fluther. There were no police moderators, like Fluther, and the whole site became out of control. Then, the format changed on Answerbag and the site went downhill from there.

I have no problems with the moderators on Fluther. I make mistakes. I am normal. For a moderator to correct me is no big deal. Most moderators are correct in their actions against certain people.

I am glad Fluther has moderators. Having them as a “watchdog” over this site is like having the police patrol your neighborhood.

That’s a good feeling, I have been told.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I agree, sort of, but I have been modded so many times that I’ve cut back on my posts on here. A bit gunshy, perhaps.

Jude's avatar

This has been my only Q A site.

klutzaroo's avatar

Askville is crap.

More on that “startling” development later.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I kind of liked the old Answerbag. I compared it to an old west gunfighting type of atmosphere. Anything went. This is a lot more refined and civilized.

marinelife's avatar

I have no way of knowing that this is true except that it has not happened on Fluther.

flutherother's avatar

@john65pennington Well that depends on the police but the ‘police’ here seem nice enough and do a great job. I haven’t been modded very often and never without a reason I could understand and accept.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I just noticed that an answer of mine on another question was deleted without so much as the courtesy of posting the innane message that usally accompanies such nonsense. : (

KatawaGrey's avatar

@CaptainHarley: How do you mean and can you direct me to the thread please?

klutzaroo's avatar

On Askville there was no moderation. People’s real names were posted by stalker trolls and weren’t removed for hours or sometimes days (and in one case, months). Reporting did nothing (unless, before they fixed it, you reported something multiple times as “child porn” and the bot took it down… but once I figured it out I didn’t share that gem with many but abused it when necessary). Another time, a link to a Myspace page was posted by a troll as a question (“Do I need a nose job?” or something like that except that it was another member’s personal page) and that was reported by the whole community until it was finally taken down a day later. When things (and people) were removed, they were often just spammy. The “staff” wasted a lot of time in grand gestures that did nothing rather than addressing real problems. They kicked some people off just for the hell of it while allowing others who did far more egregious things to remain and continue on their reign of terror. There were stalker trolls who the staff did nothing about on the site which emboldened them to stalk people onto facebook and even here. Eventually, major trolls were removed (one after posting real names multiple times, one after completely losing “her” shit) and they changed and completely screwed up the site so that nobody wanted to use it. One way to solve a problem.

I perfer moderation myself. Even when it is unfair, its better than nothing.

syz's avatar

@CaptainHarley Deleted as in gone? Posts don’t get deleted. Not by us – it’s not even an option in our repertoire.

downtide's avatar

I’ve been on 2 other Q&A sites and part of the reason I spend all my time on Fluther is because I never noticed any moderation at all in the other two sites and they’re both full of utter garbage. I like the moderation here. It keeps the signal-to-noise ratio high.

Blondesjon's avatar

Joan Biased or biased cut like fancy Chinese veggies?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oooh, didn’t Joan Biased do a great rendition of “The Night They Drove Winn Dixie Around”?

augustlan's avatar

I’ve actually never been on any other Q&A site, so I don’t really know if that’s common. It’s something we actively work on preventing here, though.

@CaptainHarley We’d never do that. My guess is the server ‘burped’ at that moment, and your answer was lost to the ether. It happens.

woodcutter's avatar

Well @CaptainHarley I’m gonna say it. Hard left leaners never get modded here. No big secret I’m sure but its only the nature of the beast.

Berserker's avatar

I badmouth AnswerBag all the time, and with good reason. Haha. However, what you describe with mods, even there I didn’t see it. The problem there was cliques made of normal members who ganged up on others. But even one big AB hero was banned for being a dipshit, although nobody thought it ever possible.
I’m tempted to name names, (nobody that moved over here from there, dun worry) but that isn’t my point. Answerbag was strict with its guidelines and not as forgiving as Fluther. I think on places like those, people often mistake the head on approach of moderation duty to bias. Everyone who gets modded always thinks they didn’t deserve it, after all.

I used to think this about Fluther though. I got pissed that my crap questions got pulled while other, non newb members asked bullshit and it was never pulled. But someone told me that it may just be that no mod got to it yet. (as I had found out later, other questions I thought equaled to mine when it came to fuckery were indeed pulled)
So on this place, while I may have thought that the moderation was biased, I haven’t been modded enough, nor was I ever warned of anything about my behaviour here, for any of my past convictions to have any credit.

I’m not saying that what you’re saying is bullshit. I’m just saying that I personally have never seen it, but then again, I’ve only been active on two Q&A sites.

What you describe, I’ve actually seen very abundant on forums and message boards. Now some of those places and their mods may be very biased. They’re always smaller communities (besides GameFAQ’s and their super ninja mods) and can get away with it.
I would know, forums and shit were my thing for years, and I myself moderated quite a few, and was an administrator for one of them. Now this may be a bit different from Q&A sites, but I as a staff member on forums or message boards acted quite often in the ways you describe in your question details. I was often really quite fucking biased.
I admit this fully.
But bigger places like Q&A sites need to have more professional staff if they wanna survive. Again, not saying it hasn’t happened, I just haven’t seen it. But then yeah, just two Q&A sites for me…also, Yahoo Answers. Lawlz.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“What do you think ?”

I think bias is part of human nature, and not the sole domain of Q&A sites alone.

augustlan's avatar

@woodcutter That is utter nonsense. Of course left-leaners get modded. Hell, I get modded, as do the owners of the site.

Berserker's avatar

@augustlan Haha dude don’t be creepy. XD You get modded? Really?

augustlan's avatar

Not lately, but I certainly have! Nobody is immune. :)

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