Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody
I don't agree with either of you, but I must say that many of the moderators on this site are often as guilty of the "infractions" they punish the members for as the members themselves.
It seems to me like a horribly "broken" forum moderation system overall, it's just that we are all in fear of being banned or temporarily suspended if we speak about it. Don't kid yourselves that you "moderators" aren't exactly like us "contributors" in almost every way.
The only exceptions I see are the really obvious trolls and nasty types that also don't contribute anything to the debate, (techstud et al), and for some reason, those
are the ones that get banned or cautioned the least
. I know I'm not alone when I say that I really don't understand the criteria the moderators use, nor do I think the rules are applied evenly in any way.
I never kid myself about being somehow different from other posters. I'm not. Before I was a mod, I was a poster, just like you, as are the other mods here. When they asked me if I would do this, I said I would if I could still post as I have. It's difficult, because, in theory, we're not really supposed to mod threads we post in, and visa versa. But it's difficult to totally separate the two. If I see something egregious in a thread I'm in, I have to say, or do something.
But we have a pretty lively group here. I suppose we could all tone it down a lot, but is that really what most people here want?
Even with me, and As I said, I post a lot, despite what a few might think, I rarely get into a fight as a percentage of my posts. It may seem that way to someone who posts at a rate of 5% of what I've posted over time. But if someone has 1,000 posts, and I've got 20,000, it stands to reason that I would be involved in a lot more "arguments" than he would be. It's also interesting that I find that most of my arguments are with the same 6 or so people, over and again. That says as much of them as it does me. Some people come after me because they know I'll usually let them get away with it, at least for a while.
As far as applying rules evenly, that's not as easy as you think. If this were a site where even the slightest movement from center weren't tolerated, then it would be easy. Everyone who wasn't unfailingly polite by the most church-like standards would be removed. Anyone who criticized Apple, its products, people, users, etc., would be removed. That makes it real easy.
But we don't do that. Yes, it gets some people annoyed, but that's the price you pay for the freedom to speak your mind. As far as trolling goes, sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it may seem so, but it's not. It's different for a mod than for a poster when deciding what to remove, or what to censor. When I was just a poster, things seemed clearer, but when confronted with the actual decision, it's more difficult. So most of us bend backwards in trying to be fair about it. Maybe too far.