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FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Does anyone else think that some of the fluther moderators can be a bit fascist or overbearing?

Asked by FrankHebusSmith (4319points) May 14th, 2009

I’ve seen threads that were good fun between friends and I shut down because they “weren’t really asking fluthers opinion” (despite the fact they were and we were just joking around inside said thread)...And I just saw one on marijuana erased. Does anyone else find this overbearing and mildly infuriating that some of the mods here treat us like middle schoolers?

(Note to mods, I scoured the rules of fluther and this question does not in any way violate them)

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73 Answers

RareDenver's avatar

In my very limited experience, yes.

Dog's avatar

This again?

Seriously- let us recap:

The mods respond to posts that are flagged by the members.
The mods are not on a vendetta.
They do not seek to hurt others.
They are merely comparing the guidelines to the flagged post and hold it for edit if needed.

Please do not blame the mods. Do not refer to them as fascist or Nazis. They work for free and they keep our site troll-free and civil.



hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No, I appreciate the moderation on this site. It’s an adjustment for me personally to make to keep snarking and flirting between friends down to a minimum or to take it the our comments so our words don’t get misconstrued by the whole of readers. It’s a good thing.

Likeradar's avatar

Nope, not annoying at all.

The mods are just regular people who work to keep this sight at the high quality it is. It would fall to shit without them. Even if I don’t agree with 100% percent of their decisions (including times I’ve been modded), I am happy they are here doing an unenviable job and keeping fluther great.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Well don’t get me wrong, for the most part I’ve had no issues with them. And I assume most of them do a fine job. But I’ve been personally insulted by a mod, and seen perfectly good threads shut down because they were “joking and not asking a question”... and I just saw a perfectly legit question about marijuana shut down for no apparent reason.

shilolo's avatar

@westy81585 [mod says] Questions dealing with illegal content, i.e. marijuana, are against the Fluther guidelines. Now, you can feel free to argue about whether pot should be legal or not, but right now, it is illegal in the US (where Fluther is “located”), and as such, the content is inappropriate. Also, there are lots of teenagers on this site, and we cannot be providing a venue for sharing of illegal information.

Likewise, quips that are chat like banter are also a violation of those same guidelines and are removed when they are flagged by other users.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

@westy81585 Pssttt marijuana happens to be illegal, and questions about illegal content are automatically removed.

buster's avatar

@westy81585If you use the search you will find in the old threads pretty much every fucking conceivable question about marijuana has been asked and answered already on fluther. As well as the weekly question “Why are the mods modding people?”

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@shilolo Just yesterday a 15 year old was asking sexual opinions. That’s illegal, it wasn’t shut down. I’ve seen people ask about under age drinking and hiding it from their parents… also illegal….. Traffic violations…. illegal….

In short, i see illegal activity discussed regularly on here, in fact I’ve seen marijuana talked about endlessly (as buster was kind enough to point out)

Why the occasional caring?

And more over who cares if it’s illegal? It’s not like people are selling drugs on here, they’re just asking opinions on them… which if i’m not mistaken is the whole purpose of the website.

jrpowell's avatar

@westy81585 :: I think the distinction here is this is before the act. And most of the other questions focus on after the act has happened.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

@westy81585, There’s a huge difference between “asking opinions” on drugs, and asking if it’s ok to smoke a 2-month-old joint. One is seeking opinions, which, as you so kindly pointed out, is the point of Fluther, and the other is specifically seeking answers to a question that deals directly with illegal content and the use of illegal drugs.

shilolo's avatar

@westy81585 This goes back to your question. We aren’t robots. We don’t sit here 24/7 monitoring every Q and every quip. The other users flag the content, and then we decide what to do with the flags. Some things slip through, others are left alone if they’ve yielded important information or are in a gray area. “Can I do still smoke a 2 month old joint?” doesn’t meet any useful criteria. “I’m 15 and thinking about having sex. Should I?” isn’t quite illegal, since the laws vary from state to state, and the person can receive very useful information from others on the pros/cons (as well as safe sex information).

RareDenver's avatar

I was directed here by old users of Am I Right Or Wrong .com which no longer exists and my first question was how many old users of that site were here.

Well, my question first got pushed to moderation as it was more a poll so I edited it and asked what did they like about this site, what did they think that this site had that the other didn’t and what did they think that the old site had that this didn’t etc.

It would appear that was an inappropriate question as it has never appeared.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@shilolo I think some of people might be interested (specifically the guy who asked the question) in the pros/cons of smoking a 2 month old joint. And the 15 year olds question most definitely wasn’t “should I have sex” .... and even if it was, in all but I think 2 states, anyone who answered “yes” would be a technical sex offender.

shilolo's avatar

@westy81585 Please read the guidelines, then come back and discuss. These issues are clearly delineated there.

Jack79's avatar

Actually no, even though mods are of course human (and yes, this is coming from me about an hour after I verbally attacked a mod, but whatever that was does not change my overall opinion).

Mods try to implement what they think are the rules, and even though I often find the rules annoying or “too much”, I don’t blame the mods. We all break them sometimes, often without realising it.

My biggest problem with this site is in fact all the poll-type questions. I see a lot more of “what is your favourite colour?” than “what’s the colour of the Spanish flag?”. And I don’t think that’s what the site was meant for.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Question retracted for editing in five…. four…. three… two…

_bob's avatar

I do find it annoying sometimes, but then again, I don’t particularly like the rules (or “guidelines”). I doesn’t bother me that much, and since it’s a private website that they let us use for free, I don’t bitch and moan that much.

@shilolo “We aren’t robots.”

Wait, what?

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Some of the guidelines I think are stupid. If something isn’t worded just right, it gets pulled. I feel like “well, excuuuuse me!” That’s being way too picky.

AstroChuck's avatar

No. I find them tolerant as hell. And where the hell does fascism fit into this? Do you know what fascism is?

oratio's avatar

They seem to do a god job. But sometimes I am not sure about why some Q’s get slashed. The question “What happened to AlfredaPrufrock?” got pulled. I think that should be a legitimate Q.

I think it’s good that they pull questions that are worded badly, since many of them are hard or even impossible to understand what they actually mean.

Dog's avatar

@oratio It is likely that the question you referred to was asked to be removed by Alfreda.

The reason for her departure was that she was concerned about her privacy and the search engines picking up her user name.

tinyfaery's avatar

Wait. We can longer post anything about illegal stuff on this site? No more drug questions? Does pete have to change his name now, too? Please tell me this is not true. Please!!!

casheroo's avatar

I’m confused about the drug thing (note: I did not see the one that got taken down, so I may be confused) But we had a marijuana question asking how much we pay for a certain amount of pot would cost in everyone’s area. Was that against the rules?

shilolo's avatar

@casheroo I took the liberty of looking at the marijuana tag to review the Qs. Most are totally legitimate. The one to which you refer is borderline, and today would probably be removed for being too poll like more than illegal (though, it is close).

gailcalled's avatar

@oratio: You said it best. “They seem to do a god job.” The mods slave for the collective. Following the guidelines is a contract between the site owners and the querent, remember, and not a list of suggestions.

YARNLADY's avatar

When a question uses deliberately ‘hate baiting’ words like facist I think it is overbearing. I love heavy moderation, and if I was a mod (which I never will be) a lot more things would be deleted.

oratio's avatar

@gailcalled Well, they are little gods, aren’t they? :p I agree. I think they do a fine job. I think there is a great deal of freedom here.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

not really. perhaps they go overboard once in awhile, but i’d much rather a random misunderstanding or two than a site like yahooanswers. the mods are cool folks, and maybe they judge things a bit differently than you might, but it certainly doesn’t make them overbearing.

Ivan's avatar

I’m pretty much opposed to moderation on a site like this in general, but for the most part the mods are well-meaning and do a decent job. So long as you aren’t purposefully trying to get a rise out of people (like you’re doing with this question), they pretty much stay out of your way. Currently I don’t see the moderation as a significant problem.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I’m alright with moderation having seen the flip side of that coin.

If you get moderated, think of it as an opportunity to practice humility.

Aethelwine's avatar

I lurve the mods! I have a crush on many of them (male and female).

Imagine all the bullshit that they need to put up with every day. I couldn’t deal with it.

sccrowell's avatar

Hear! Hear! Or is that Here! Here!
I agree 200% with what @Dog, @Shilolo @gailcalled said! I say, “Thank Gosh For The Mod’s!”

Knotmyday's avatar

I am having Déjà Vu…again…

The mods make Fluther palatable. They do an awesome, yet thankless and uncompensated, job of making this the best place on the web. They are good people who have to make tough decisions sometimes, and I envy them not.

And yes, they mod me too.

Take AC’s advice, and try not to bandy the concept of fascism about willy-nilly. You’ll find it personally embarrassing, at the least.

gailcalled's avatar

I just got justifiably modded and chose to remove the question, which I felt was suspect the minute I typed it.

casheroo's avatar

@shilolo Thanks for explaining! I was getting confused on the drug thing

Darwin's avatar

@westy81585 – If you see something you think is illegal or otherwise against Fluther guidelines, then flag it, for Heaven’s sake. The mods generally seem to me to do a decent job, but they don’t read every line of every post on Fluther. Thus, the rest of us need to point out bothersome bits.

If you don’t see anything you think should be modded, then don’t flag stuff. At the same time, if you never flag anything you can’t complain that something should be modded.

And if you really don’t like being on a moderated site, why not try Askville? Supposedly there is a moderator over there, but he/she/it/they is rarely ever seen or heard from.

wundayatta's avatar

I once tried to ask whether mods were mod, but the question got modded. From this I concluded that the modding mods are not mod.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@Darwin If a personally find a thread insulting or negative (to myself or someone else), then I do flag it. I’m not referring to things like that. There are some things that are obviously out of bounds and I applaud the mods for taking those things down. But there are also things that I see taken down that I feel do not overstep the bounds whatsoever, and are simply the result of a few mods (not all, by no means all) being a bit overzealous in their duties.

Heck, shortly after I joined I had a mod personally insult/belittle/and otherwise offend me. She flat out said I hope to god you’re not actually going to be a Doctor, because you’re a jackass and an idiot (paraphrased, but that’s the jist of it, including some language like that, though the exact words escape me).

AstroChuck's avatar

Of course the mods do a great job, and they should. They get paid enough.

Darwin's avatar

@westy81585 – Perhaps some other Fluther members found whatever it was to be a problem and flagged it, thus bringing it to the attention of the mods. You could always PM the mod in question and ask politely why the question or post was modded.

And actually, I have never been belittled or personally insulted by a mod on this site, although a few users have obviously not been happy with my opinions at times. Any negative actions towards me have been considerably milder than anything I have faced on other, unmodded sites.

And the mods are just other Fluther users who have been asked by Bendrew to take on the post of mod for no reward other than the chance to be insulted by other users.

I don’t know why the mod in question felt you couldn’t be a doctor because you were a jackass and an idiot. I have met quite a few doctors that I would class as either or both, MDs notwithstanding. Perhaps you said something offensive to her first?

Dog's avatar

@Darwin said “And the mods are just other Fluther users who have been asked by Bendrew to take on the post of mod for no reward other than the chance to be insulted by other users.”


FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@Darwin Long story short, I was arrested for a very minor traffic offense (despite fully cooperating and having no record whatsoever), and I had asked whether people though the officer was justified. The mod said the things I had listed earlier in response, and said that she thought it was entirely justified (to put this in prospective, the judge [I took it to court] said that it was utterly ridiculous and immediately dropped the case).

And my personal negative experiences are that, a few threads being deleted for discussing “illegal” things (most recently the thread deleted today regarding whether marijuana was still good after so many days)... which I wouldn’t question if it were at all enforced or really called for (i thought it was a completely legit question) ..... and not long ago a thread I was joking around with a friend in was completely locked up and removed because of my friend and I joking, despite the actual topic of the thread being discussed. (let alone the fact that just because we’re having fun on a thread on fluther rather than thoroughly discussing the topic [though we DID discuss the topic in our joking], I don’t know that it’s really grounds for deleting it… I mean it’s not like we were costing fluther money or anything).

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for mods, and just judging by my limited incidents with them I would stand to reason they’re doing a pretty good job for the most part. But I feel that some are overzealous in their duties (ala, power corrupts concepts).

_bob's avatar

To those who say that mods are oh so wonderful cause they’re making such a big sacrifice for the greater good: if it’s that hard, why not just let someone else do it? It’s the same logic used when telling people they’re free to leave if they don’t like the website.

shilolo's avatar

@westy81585 Again, the marijuana thread was appropriately removed. Look at the link I posted above for other marijuana related questions in the past 6 months. Most have to do peripherally with marijuana, like “Do you think it should be legal” and not with the actual smoking/using of marijuana. I’m sorry if you find this to be a problem, but we will continue to remove illegal content.

As far as your other complaints, they seem rather minor to me. On a busy website such as this, we get hundreds of flags a day. We have to deal with all of them. It is far better to just get over it and move on. Lastly, as others have noted, this isn’t fascist (I suggest you look up fascism before you throw it around so easily) by any stretch of the imagination.

In the future, you can feel free to contact the moderators if you have an questions or concerns. We will help you and/or help you understand the rationale. You many not agree with all of our decisions, but the truth is that no one agrees with everyone all of the time. Fluther is no exception.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@shilolo My comments on it being fascist are not actually inaccurate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not fascist on the manner of you being a nazi or anything… But it is fascist along the sense of treating the users of fluther like we’re middle school students and not capable of talking about illegal substances for some reason. .... I suggest YOU look up the meaning of the word, and understand that it doesn’t necessarily need to be a polar extreme example. (maybe less time moderating would help you in that endeavor).

YARNLADY's avatar

per wikipedia:

“the term fascist has become hopelessly vague over the years and that it is now little more than a pejorative epithet.”

shilolo's avatar

@westy81585 These are the site policies. Like it or not. I’m sure there are plenty of other places you can freely discuss the intricacies of marijuana use (perhaps High Times would be a good place to start), or have witty banter between you and your friends (AIM or Twitter come to mind), but Fluther isn’t it.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@shilolo whatever…. enjoy the only authority you’ll ever have.

shilolo's avatar

That’s pretty funny, actually. I smell sour grapes.

_bob's avatar

@shilolo Um, I don’t get it. What was it that he wanted and did not obtain?

shilolo's avatar

@bob_ I’d rather not go further with this. I think the “discussion” has run its course. Feel free to send me a PM if you want to continue with this topic.

_bob's avatar

Eh, I’m not that curious.

Bluefreedom's avatar

The only problem I have with the Mods is that I can’t get them all down here to Phoenix at the same time so I can treat them all to dinner in appreciation for the great job they do here on Fluther.

reverie's avatar

I’ve only been on Fluther just over a week, and although I’ve noticed things being moderated, I can’t say I’ve ever felt it has been inappropriate. The things I’ve seen deleted have been chatty conversations between members (not on the topic of question-answering), and answers directed towards members that are insulting or otherwise offensive. I’m glad those things are removed – it’s not what I come here to read. So to fully answer the question, no, I’ve not found it overbearing or “fascist”. As has been said above, I’m sure mistakes do happen, and occasional misunderstandings occur, but that’s no big deal – it doesn’t seem to be the norm.

I actually really like that there’s not a load of in-group banter on this website. I guess as a “new” person I particularly appreciate it, given that I’m not familiar with anyone yet and thus can’t participate. However, whether I’m friendly or not with members of any community, I find that aspect of online forums and discussion groups quite off-putting, and it’s why I don’t often stick around with them – as though the interesting discussion plays second fiddle to the community/friends aspect. I don’t deny that the community spirit is what makes many websites like this successful; it can be really enjoyable to find a like-minded, interesting group of folk online. However, I also acknowledge that some people find witnessing other people’s banter quite tedious. By providing a place for both sorts of interaction to take place, everybody wins – and I think that is what the owners of this website seem to have done.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

@Bluefreedom, Well, you could…. Just say the word and I’m there!

spresto's avatar

Yes they can be real dicks…but cool too…hehehe…Please don’t boot me!!!!!!

oratio's avatar

I have never been to my knowledge moderated, though I know I’ve been in the fringe with my comments quite often. So I have an impression that they are quite tolerant. But then again, I often don’t know why people get whipped, since you don’t see what’s been written there if you come in late in the thread. When I do know what’s been written and removed, I usually understand why.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@omfgTALIjustIMDu. Okay, I’m saying it…...let’s do dinner! =)

mattbrowne's avatar

A bit fascist? Excuse me? Fascism is a radical political ideology. An example is Nazism which includes elements like racism, antisemitism, anti-communism, and totalitarianism.

Should we use those terms casually? I think not.

If you send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and he or she decides not to print it, does this make him or her a bit of a fascist?

If Fluther is a fascist system, westy81585, expect that the secret service will knock on your door within the next hour. They will arrest you without reading you your rights and you can expect a drumhead court-martial for posting a treacherous Fluther question. Sophie Scholl distributed anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich in 1943. A few weeks later she was executed by guillotine.

This is what fascism is all about. So it’s a good idea to choose terms wisely. We can certainly discuss overbearing? My experience: no, they were not overbearing. Some rules might allow a bit more flexibility.

Knotmyday's avatar

@bob – ”if it’s that hard, why not just let someone else do it?

The point is: Someone else is doing it. We call them “moderators.” They are the umpires, and we are the players.

It’s the same logic used when telling people they’re free to leave if they don’t like the website.

Not sure if “logic” applies in this context. However, as discussed before, there are forums that are are only nominally moderated out there. Thank goodness gracious that this site actually follows its own guidelines.

Maybe you should read them.

gailcalled's avatar

Now for the curmudgeonly part. Fascist is a noun. I am not a fascist. Fascistic is the adjective. Are mods a bit fascistic? It is also similar to the word pregnant. No qualifiers needed.

Response moderated
Knotmyday's avatar

Maybe we should all take that advice, and “love our fellow man” so to speak.

_bob's avatar

Yeah, probably.

gailcalled's avatar

@bob_ : You insult Knot, you take on me and Milo as well.

Too bad that summer remedial charm school is filled.

_bob's avatar

@gailcalled Am I supposed to be scared or something? Go bug someone else.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@bob_: Whoa there. Milo is a formidable enemy. He is general to a vast army of cats and middle aged women and gailcalled is at his right hand. Be careful what enemies you make.

lollipop's avatar

I think everyone on here should be happy there are moderators on here, but you have to remember they are NOT PERFECT and are only human, so give them a break!

There are plenty of other sites online that are similar to this that have NO or mostly No moderation what so ever, go check those sites out for a while and then come back here and you just might enjoy this site just a little more!

Response moderated

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