Abuses of power?

Posted:
in Feedback edited January 2014
I'm having a little trouble with the fact that moderators and admins are posting their opinions under their normal usernames. Maybe I'm overreacting, but when I see an admin post something like "pathetic" in a thread, I am bothered by it. Maybe the admins and mods should only post stuff related to AI Forums policy under their mod/admin title and other things as their normal user names. This way, the forum is guided somewhat invisibly with seemingly little intervention from the administration. And the administration would have a little more weight when they actually post.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    I am quite bothered by it as well. The problem is primarily Jonathan, as I see it.



    If you have a problem with any other administrator or moderator besides him, feel free to contact me directly at neal@macnn.com . I exempt him only because I'm dealing with him already.



    Apologies all around, his behavior in certain threads has been completely unacceptable.



    [edit]

    Of course, I try to stay out of most threads except when my intervention is absolutely necessary (as in this case), but if you have a problem with me, you can also contact me personally at the above address. =)

    [/edit]



    -gzl.



    [edit: removed the drug reference, since I was mistaken on that count. fair is fair. =)]



    [ 12-30-2001: Message edited by: gorgonzola ]



    [ 12-30-2001: Message edited by: gorgonzola ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 32
    bogiebogie Posts: 407member
    Personally, I would just prefer that they do post under there Admin/Mod name but watch what they say and how they say it.



    Back in the day Mark was the poster boy as far as respectable conduct as a mod and later an admin, and I never saw him berate someone or a topic to get his point across.



    As I see it that kind of conduct raises the bar and the respect for the mods and admins.



    And at the same time lets not degenerate to posting about particular people in an open forum even if they are mods and admins, its poor forum to go and "tell the teacher."



    Your email, however, Neal, is greatly appreciated as a strong gesture.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    gzl,

    I don't have a particular problem with any one at all, I just think that whomever the mods/admins are should be able to speak their mind as long as they are not in that role. They shouldn't have to watch what they say anymore than anyone else, so they should use different nicks to post ordinary posts.



    Thanks for your email addresss, nonetheless.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    aw... did torifile gets his feelings hurt?





    they are members who have been chosent o moderate. why should they behave any differently and not be themselves?
  • Reply 5 of 32
    bogiebogie Posts: 407member
    First - you are demonstrating your ignorance of his actual suggestion by what you just said.



    Second - once you are a mod you are different from other members, just as are policemen and the like.



    Third - Hey, Neal, can we just write you email complaining about Applenut going from forum to forum being a jerk today?
  • Reply 6 of 32
    While I agree that admins should (and can) 100% state their views, my "pathetic" comment in that one thread was unnecessary. I apologize for it.



    (slips back into moderator mode)







    oh, and neal's kidding about the drugs.



    mostly.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    [quote]Originally posted by applenut:

    <strong>aw... did torifile gets his feelings hurt?





    they are members who have been chosent o moderate. why should they behave any differently and not be themselves?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    nope Just noticed a couple posts lately that sorta seemed inappropriate... What got me were two things:



    1) Something about mastergating's alter (macintosh) being revealed by a moderator/admin



    2) One of the admins responding with 'pathetic' to a thread.



    Bogie's hit the nail on the head: in the position of moderator or admin, they should not be posting using their opinions. If they want to do that, they should do it as normal users - off the clock, so to speak. While they are 'on the clock' they are representatives of the site. A cop shouldn't advertise for Dunkin Donuts while in uniform, but he can do all the advertising he wants while in plain clothes, I guess is what I"m saying.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    [quote]Hey, Neal, can we just write you email complaining about Applenut going from forum to forum being a jerk today? <hr></blockquote>



    You can email me about anything, but I started getting so many emails about applenut that I had to setup a filter for it.



    Or was that Ca$h?
  • Reply 9 of 32
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    Personally I was a bit startled by Mastergating's outing (if that is what really happened). I think it goes against the concept of AI, don't ruin the suspension by giving away who the fakes are... (or the real ones, like in the dorsal thread... that discussion killed the whole AI feeling...)



    Yes I think the mods or at least the admins should be aware that they represent the boards officially, and everything they say will be read different from a normal members post.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    [quote]Originally posted by Bogie:

    <strong>First - you are demonstrating your ignorance of his actual suggestion by what you just said.



    Second - once you are a mod you are different from other members, just as are policemen and the like.



    Third - Hey, Neal, can we just write you email complaining about Applenut going from forum to forum being a jerk today? </strong><hr></blockquote>



    oh. guess I insuled you somewhere today. what a shame. unfortunately its not that hard to do



    [quote]

    Bogie's hit the nail on the head: in the position of moderator or admin, they should not be posting using their opinions. If they want to do that, they should do it as normal users - off the clock, so to speak.<hr></blockquote>



    so let me get this straight. they can't have an opinion on anything? who the hell are you to say that?



    wow. this place is really going to start sucking if we start having rules where certain people can't express their feelings and offer an opinion on a subject.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Jonathan has revealed information about a number of posters' identities, including 68K and dorsal, as well as Macintosh. Bad form.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    [quote]Originally posted by BRussell:

    <strong>Jonathan has revealed information about a number of posters' identities, including 68K and dorsal, as well as Macintosh. Bad form.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Re: 68K

    I posted an email that 68K sent me and told me to publish when people were convinced that he was FUBUiMac. Only did so per his request, and on the will of the community. No bad form there.



    Re: Dorsal

    I revealed NO information about Dorsal other than the fact that we had reason to believe that he was the Dorsal of old. Again, no personal information revealed.



    Re: Macintosh/Mastergateing

    I revealed the identity of Mastergateing only after seeing the public outcry for it, and seeing that an innocent party (pscates) was being accused of something which would have wrongly tarnished his reputation here. There is no reason for an innocent to be dragged down by actions that he did not commit: i did what I did for his benefit, and to place the blame on the shoulders of those responsible.



    There's a reason why 2 accounts cannot be established using one email address: it's ?bad form,? as you put it, to troll on the board as a false identity.



    As I see it, no bad form at all. I am here to respond to users? input on the boards and related issues: any ?identity revealing? that was done was done A) in a manner that did not compromise anyone?s privacy, (i.e. it's not like i said HEY EVERYONE, THIS IS Mastergateing's IP address) and B) in response to the will of the board community.



    I stand by my actions.



    [edit: typos and formatting]



    [ 12-30-2001: Message edited by: Jonathan ]</p>
  • Reply 13 of 32
    bogiebogie Posts: 407member
    Applenut - nah, you haven't bothered me yet, keep trying if you care to waste your time.



    Just been noticing that you are very argumentative today, bashing everyone regardless of your caring for the discussion at hand.



    Did you regress when I wasn't looking?
  • Reply 14 of 32
    It seems to me like we're talking about more than one issue here. Firstly, I feel there is a difference between "revealing an identity" and intervening (albeit inappropriately) in someone's prank. Although it may have been out of line for certain members of the moderation team to make it known that "Macintosh" and "Mastergating" are one person, it is not the same thing as revealing one's "true" identity or personal information. In the case of "Dorsal" or other 'insiders,' the only time we would reveal personal information is if we were forced to by subpoena or other legal action taken against us; in fact, this applies to all members. That being said, it is now our policy not to get involved in the activities of Macintosh, 68K and the like.



    Jonathan is correct, however, we only allow one registration per e-mail address to prevent the sort of nonsense some people like to, spew, for lack of better words. Jonathan is also correct in saying that no personal information was revealed (or ever has been at AI).



    I hope this helps address some concerns.



    -nick nick@macnn.com



    [ 12-30-2001: Message edited by: Nick ]</p>
  • Reply 15 of 32
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    word :cool:
  • Reply 16 of 32
    markmark Posts: 143member
    Allow me to say a few things here as I've some experience with these issues...



    1) I've always believed it to be a terrible idea for mods/admins to reveal 'who's who.' We (Goatie/Robo/EriMac/Seb/Eugene and myself) joked about it since we were amused by what we saw, naturally - but we didn't share that information.



    The most important thing to remember here is that this is an environment which rests on certain assumptions. Chief among them is the notion that online identities not be compromised by those running the technology (or "behind the curtain," as it were.) It is not, however, an expectation at this forum that a certain level of - shall we say abstraction - isn't allowed when it comes to our participation.



    For people to ask is hardly a sufficient reason to interfere. Imagine the damper on the atmosphere if the mods/admins unmasked aliases by popular request. I'd find it terribly off-putting - and would wager that most would as well.



    Nor is it relevant whether the information divulged may or may not positively identify someone outside of these forums. The fact that people value their online personalities enough to distinguish one from another tells us what's really important here.



    It's also preferable and far more simple from the moderators' point of view never to tell who's who. To define the conditions where such and such may be revealed, etc. is to open a can of worms; you'll find that the line moves around a lot once you say that it's movable.



    (We're talking outside of MacNN's legal obligations, of course.)



    2) Being a moderator or administrator means you are different. You are the chaperone of the party and therefore will never be regarded the same way again. There's just no getting around this. Expect to be judged differently.



    It was also suggested at the first wave of mods that they retire their usernames/create new ones for the purpose of moderation. But of course, this wasn't necessary - and it isn't necessary now. Only recognize that expressing your opinion as someone in a position of authority requires that one eye be kept on how it appears; that's frequently the case in our society.



    In fact, for mods/admins to be recognizable personalities - rather than keeping 'out of the fray' - lets everyone know what to expect from whom. A group of individuals as diverse as Robo was from Goatie, or Eugene from myself could never be perfectly consistent. But people knew how to deal with each one of us, knew our individual approaches, how to come to us with problems and disagreements. (For the most part, anyway. Sumayouse were real pains in the... )



    Which leads me to:



    3) Some people simply do not recognize rudeness. They do not view consideration for others as anything other than a violation of the self. Social interaction usually consists of more than the exertion of our excesses of personality upon others - whether they like it or not - but such is not the case for everyone, apparently.



    One need not go far to find examples. Simply remember this when next you encounter someone who uses these forums as a forum for throwing their weight around (forget you, buddy - this is me!!): There isn't room for both of you to head down that path. So don't.



    4) Moderation is usually bad. There - I've said it. There's either too much, or not enough, and the people responsible are bound to be wrong sometimes. But the fact of the matter is that these guys have sacrificed something to keep these boards up and running for the rest of us who run around and go nuts.



    So let's give them a break, alright? Things are pretty darned good now. <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />





    Cheers,



    Mark.



    [ 12-31-2001: Message edited by: Mark ]</p>
  • Reply 17 of 32
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    [quote]Originally posted by applenut:

    <strong>



    so let me get this straight. they can't have an opinion on anything? who the hell are you to say that?



    wow. this place is really going to start sucking if we start having rules where certain people can't express their feelings and offer an opinion on a subject.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Jeezus, applenut! Do you ever read anything before you spout off? I said that they can have an opinion, just not while they are in uniform. Do you get the analogy? I know you're not as thick as you make your self out to be, but sometimes I don't know. I don't give a crap if a cop likes Dunkin Donuts, that's his right. But he shouldn't be telling me that he likes them while in uniform. That's an abuse of power. He has influence and he should be held up to higher standards because of that. When he is a lay person, he is no longer more influential than anyone else so it's different.



    Here's my major beef: Jonathan and EmAn have gone back and forth (earlier in the resurrection of AI) about whether a post should be open or closed and what forum it should be in. This is bad for an administration.



    EmAn has at least 1000+ posts that are entirely superfluous. I don't care what he has to say. Why? Because he usually doesn't say anything. This is bad for an administration.



    Jonathan seems to have the tendency to interject lots of personal opinion into his posts (e.g. telling members to watch themselves when the discussion between him and someone else gets heated in a matter that's entirely not policy related. Moderators and admins don't have the right to tell someone to "check yourself before you wreck yourself" if the issue at hand is one about an opinion. This, again, is bad for an administration.



    The other moderators and admins are seen much less frequently and, as a result, they are noticed when they make a comment or suggestion. Just as they should be. They may, in fact, be participating in the discussion as normal users, but we don't know that, and we shouldn't so that our views are not unduly influenced. If our views are influenced by the moderators or admins, just by virtue of their feeling a certain way, their power has been abused. There. Plain and simple.



    applenut, read the friggin' post before you reply. Get a dictionary if you need to look up the big words.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    [quote] Jonathan and EmAn have gone back and forth (earlier in the resurrection of AI) about whether a post should be open or closed and what forum it should be in. This is bad for an administration. <hr></blockquote>



    EmAn is new at this, as am I. If he mistakenly closed a topic, i'm allowed to reopen it. I have veto power (as I am an administrator) over his decision on a topic.



    [quote] EmAn has at least 1000+ posts that are entirely superfluous. I don't care what he has to say. Why? Because he usually doesn't say anything. This is bad for an administration. <hr></blockquote>



    This point is entirely valid, and we have taken steps to fix this problem.



    [quote] Jonathan seems to have the tendency to interject lots of personal opinion into his posts (e.g. telling members to watch themselves when the discussion between him and someone else gets heated in a matter that's entirely not policy related. Moderators and admins don't have the right to tell someone to "check yourself before you wreck yourself" if the issue at hand is one about an opinion. <hr></blockquote>

    [emphasis added by me]



    I'd really like to see an example of this. It is our stated policy to not allow topics to wander too off topic, or to allow ad-hoc flamefests to continue. If you would prefer a thread to just be locked instead of "guided back onto course" as I have attempted to do, then please, tell me- but I believe the majority of members would disagree with you.

    I have NEVER used my ability to lock a topic to try to win an argument. I'd really like to see an example of where you see this happening.





    [quote] The other moderators and admins are seen much less frequently and, as a result, they are noticed when they make a comment or suggestion. Just as they should be. They may, in fact, be participating in the discussion as normal users, but we don't know that, and we shouldn't so that our views are not unduly influenced. If our views are influenced by the moderators or admins, just by virtue of their feeling a certain way, their power has been abused. There. Plain and simple. <hr></blockquote>



    I would really like to question the logic here. You're saying that my status as an administrator gives my opinions on, say, for example, alternative energy sources, more weight? I really doubt this. And, FYI, the reason that many of the moderators/admins haven't been posting as much is due to external circumstances which have prevented them from paying enough attention to the boards.



    I find this idea that solely because I'm an Administrator, my ideas are somehow more influential than other posters'? In my opinion, this is preposterous. I'm not going to stop posting my opinions on issues under MY USER NAME, because this is not necessary. It seems that you are the only person who is so swayed by my opinions because I'm an admin. I admit I've made a few mistakes, but, you would make it seem like I own this entire message board and all opinions must be kosher in my book else the threads be locked.



    Finally, what is this nonsense about "bad for an administration"? This is NOT the White House. It's not like we're under constant scrutiny about our decisions to move or lock a thread, nor is it that we should be. This is an internet message board. It is a very trivial thing. The movements of the administrators and mods don't need to be scrutinized as much as you seem to.



    This is AppleInsider, NOT Washington.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Administration as in made up by administrators. That's what I mean. I think you're misunderstanding my point and that you implicitly agreed to it with your saying that EmAn's excessive posting is being dealt with.



    Don't flatter yourself into thinking that your posts affect the way I'm thinking, but they do affect the way I look at your decision making process. You, whether you like to admit it or not, are an authority figure on this board, and you undermine your authority by wielding it unneccessarily: here's an example <a href="http://forums.appleinsider.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=10&t=000137"; target="_blank">FUBUiMac Predicts</a>. You decided what would stay open based on a personal decision.



    Ok. I'm tired of this discussion now. This was the suggestions board, so I thought I'd make a suggestion. (And I didn't want to point anyone out specifically, but I felt I needed to to make a point.)
  • Reply 20 of 32
    bogiebogie Posts: 407member
    I think torifile's [I know I spelled it wrong - sorry] got a good point although you are expressing it a bit on the antagonistic side [eh, I do it to].



    As always, I was very happy to read what Mark wrote on the subject, to be honest I think he has been one of the most influential and positive members of this board since he came here.



    Applenut, you just seem to be argumentative lately, lets move on with life ok?



    Jonathon, mods/admins do have more influence due to their position and people do give what they say more weight - that is until they abuse that fact too much. Not a statement about you as I have not come across you in the forums much and can't comment on that intelligently, just a reply to you statement on the matter.
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