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Author Topic: When edits happen! (moderation thoughts)  (Read 823 times)
Melooon
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« on: May 17, 2023 @898.81 »

I thought this might make an interesting discussion!

Often as part of moderating I delete posts and make edits to posts - these edits are always clearly labelled - and Iv been trying to expand my labelling to better explain what has happened. I also often PM people to suggest edits and I try to explain why this suggestion is being made.

In a way it has started to make me look at moderation more like the job of an editor - this forum is published material after all; if it were a newspaper, the newspaper editor might make large and sweeping edits to an article before it's published. However, that's never been common in online spaces.

Most of you have probably been edited at least once since you joined here; most people don't seem to mind, but every now and then people really dislike it.

I thought it might be worth hearing how people feel about this version of moderation! From my seat it seems like an amazing untapped resource for allowing positive communities to grow online - (an edit is much more precise than outright deletion) - perhaps all moderators should become editors!

What do people really think of this idea; is this more common than I know, or have we discovered a new kind of moderation, and what could be done to improve its faults? (Im sure it has many)

 :pc:
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2023 @919.44 »

I'm part of an online group that doesn't allow 'dirty deleting'. What that means is if you make a mistake, you keep your mistake up plus the feedback/criticism/learning responses that came from it. And I'll be honest, I kinda dig that, because it allows you to be accountable for your actions and also showing others what is an isn't okay so that the same doesn't happen again.

It's just more of something I wanted to share as I'll be honest I have seen it work well, but that may not mean it will work for all online communities. Remains yet to be seen really.

But it does align a bit with promoting the edits you're looking to make instead of deleting things outright.
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Melooon
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2023 @967.82 »

if you make a mistake, you keep your mistake up plus the feedback/criticism/learning responses that came from it
It sounds like that forum has a different conceptual priority to this one - that's a policy that would focus on individuals, whereas this forum has always been focused on a broad overview (eg. the mood of the overall forum is considered more important than any one individual's experience) - here there's an emphasis on well rounded complete posts that form a cohesive experience, rather than the process of an individual creating that post.

People making their process visible here is often considered inappropriate. That pressure creates the split we have, where there are a few EXTREMELY polished posts, and then a great many casual posts that don't require a lot of self-moderation.

I guess maybe this topic is mainly interesting to me since I have to do most of the actual moderation - but that's a really interesting angle I hadn't thought of before, thank you!
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HayleyMulch
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2023 @988.43 »

It sounds like that forum has a different conceptual priority to this one - that's a policy that would focus on individuals, whereas this forum has always been focused on a broad overview (eg. the mood of the overall forum is considered more important than any one individual's experience) - here there's an emphasis on well rounded complete posts that form a cohesive experience, rather than the process of an individual creating that post.

People making their process visible here is often considered inappropriate. That pressure creates the split we have, where there are a few EXTREMELY polished posts, and then a great many casual posts that don't require a lot of self-moderation.

I guess maybe this topic is mainly interesting to me since I have to do most of the actual moderation - but that's a really interesting angle I hadn't thought of before, thank you!

Oh that group is very different, it's about learning authentic Irish spirituality, so they have a tough stance on not preaching the colonised and regurgitated bull-tripe that new age people write regarding Ireland when it's totally inaccurate.

And when you mean process, do you mean members that may constantly have to go back to a post they made to re-word it?
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Melooon
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2023 @5.64 »

do you mean members that may constantly have to go back to a post they made to re-word it?
Partly, but I also mean the WHOLE deep personal process of creating and broadcasting an opinion - for example, I'll often take hours or days before I make a new post (unless it's conversational like this one) - I won't make a post unless Im as certain as I can possibly be that I believe and understand what Im saying at that moment. So I expect the same from others too (they do not often do the same!)

Finding the balance between how I expect the forum to work, and how people actually need it to work is quite a challenge and it can lead to a lot of animosity when it goes wrong!


Quote
authentic Irish spirituality,
Out of curiosity, what's the definition of that? Usually authentic means old and accurate to a particular era - but if you go back 100, 1000 and 3000 years you'll get VERY different versions of spirituality and mythology on this island  :omg:
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HayleyMulch
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2023 @13.21 »

Partly, but I also mean the WHOLE deep personal process of creating and broadcasting an opinion - for example, I'll often take hours or days before I make a new post (unless it's conversational like this one) - I won't make a post unless Im as certain as I can possibly be that I believe and understand what Im saying at that moment. So I expect the same from others too (they do not often do the same!)

Finding the balance between how I expect the forum to work, and how people actually need it to work is quite a challenge and it can lead to a lot of animosity when it goes wrong!

Out of curiosity, what's the definition of that? Usually authentic means old and accurate to a particular era - but if you go back 100, 1000 and 3000 years you'll get VERY different versions of spirituality and mythology on this island  :omg:

Aaaah I getcha now. That makes a lot of sense. And yeah, I can imagine that can be very tricky to navigate when others may be used to different kinds of messaging. I would wager that a few of us are used to very fast instant messaging... heck, even myself. So yeah definitely having all of us members that aren't used to that (like myself) to learn to take a step back, and realise that there isn't a rush for a response to anything where it does require a fair bit of thought. I will say, for a few of my responses and posts, it has definitely taken me sometimes like 20-30 minutes. So kinda proud of that, woo!

Yeah, so I do understand that's rather... broad? I guess? to say. Basically by 'authentic', it's all based on the actual found archeology and written recorded history from monks and other first party sources across the island of Ireland that are used. A restoration of sorts, to be as faithful as possible. It's the Irish Pagan School. They too acknowledge that they'll never be able to get anything 100% accurate due to so much not surviving to the modern day. But let's just say, it's not run by self help gurus that want a quick buck. These are people working with the Tuath Dé Danann and such for many years and work in right relationship with Irish culture, heritage and folkflore.
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2023 @65.08 »

People making their process visible here is often considered inappropriate. That pressure creates the split we have, where there are a few EXTREMELY polished posts, and then a great many casual posts that don't require a lot of self-moderation.
I notice that, in more direct and casual conversations, it is much more likely for people to state something that they think in the moment without much thought. I assume that this is usually a way to process something better or simply give/get a quick response.

Would you consider typing something out, re-reading it a few times to find any possible errors, doing extra research or thinking to confirm it's accuracy, and then re-wording or changing it if needed (all before posting) similar to the kind of (in this case, hidden) process that you may be thinking of?
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Melooon
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2023 @87.86 »

similar to the kind of (in this case, hidden) process that you may be thinking of?
Again that's a big part of it, that's the part where you try to convert your ideas into a format that others can understand - but there's also a stage before that, the stage where you actually encounter a subject and have to form your opinion.

For example; one of the rare instances where I allowed public process to take place was with this post. Here you can see a post that appears to contain an un-formed and slightly aggressive opinion - the next post points out the issue (it was actually reported too) and then finally I address it directly and point out how it could be formed better.

Those three steps; initial raw idea -> criticism of idea -> creation of a polished point of view; are the first stages we all go through when we encounter a new piece of info (at least I assume we all do to varying degrees??). In this example, the three steps were done by three different people, but usually I expect people to be able to do all three steps for themselves before they actually post anything.

So the full steps would be something like:
  • See Info on the forum
  • Have an initial reaction
  • Analyse personal reaction
  • (Possibly) research the topic if you need more info
  • Come to a conclusion (hopefully having spotted any issues or biases in your first reaction)
  • Try to write down your reaction (as you say, this may force you to return to step 3)
  • Verify any references or facts you state (If facts turn out to be wrong, jump back to step 3)
  • Verify that what you're saying fits the rules and culture on the forum (if not make corrections)
  • Make a post!
  • (In my case) Notice your post is 70% spelling errors and try to edit it again quickly :ok:

One thing that's interesting about the example I linked is that it actually failed to help; that member continued to cause moderation issues and use up a lot of my time and energy - The reality is, I don't have the energy to help people do this process, they need to learn it themselves  :ohdear:

SO in theory, if you do all this, you should end up with a nice polished and interesting post that fits the forum, represents you in a positive way and is helpful to others! Obviously, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes or have bad days, so there's some leeway.

When I talk about acting as an editor, my goal is to get all posts to a point where they are at their best for the person posting them and everyone reading them. I will admit it sounds kinda odd when I say it like that though  :drat: (By odd I mean WILDLY control freaky :tnt: )
« Last Edit: May 18, 2023 @101.45 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2023 @321.91 »

Well, Melon, with you as the boss here, really soaring over all the topics, I thought: Wow, that's some dedication!
I wish to you, that it scales well for you. Because like 1 year ago, there were on average 15 new posts per day. Now it's like 60-70. Can you handle it all?

If an objective critic doesn't get run over by ideology, then your moderation is excellent. I'd always appreciate tolerance for "a second or third perspective" on topics, even if they offend people. A tolerance, that's rarely found in internet bubbles, because they all want to hear support, support and only support for each other. Let's see how this will work out here on Melonland. In any case, Melon, you are the boss and you make the rules and we have to get on with it or host our own equally beautiful message board.

I'd say dump the forum post count, or make it just some stat to be displayed in the user profile. That should bring the focus away from writing a lot of nonsense, if the goal is to keep the post quality high.
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2023 @398.58 »

In regards to the overall thread topic, I think for now you are doing a great job. It would be cool if you could notify people that you edited their posts, but depending on how many a day you edit, this might not be feasible and I understand. If notifying the people every time is not an option, I think it's great if you would at least notify if you keep editing someones posts for the same reason and it becomes a pattern, so the person has a chance to change and it's less work on your plate. I guess you already do that (probably?) but I just wanted to mention it as I think this is a good strategy.

About the quality of the posts: I think there is a little divide between people in how they treat a forum.

There's a group of people who is aware that forum posts like these stay up for years (or possibly decades) and will be read over and over again, be found by others via Google who have the same problem (not this one maybe, but think of the tech forums with posts from 2004 that helped you!), and will be continued over months and years, and possibly "necroed" over and over. It won't really disappear, aside from being a few pages back, and it will show up on forum search still and be open to be commented on. They realize that making a post is more like opening a public space for discussion that is then mostly out of their hands, or to be enjoyed over different forum generations and times, and is not really about them or to respond to them as a person. The focus is the topic, and people don't expect them to engage with literally every reply. For example, I made the Steam Deck thread to be a general space for discussion regardless if I am here or not, and even my coding help threads where I personally had a problem are general enough for others to get some use out of it, and they could necro that thread if they have the same problem but need a bit more info without opening an entirely new thread.

Then there's a group of people who is very used to everything happening on their own profiles and the disappearance of content. Other social media, of the social media giants like FB, Twitter, Instagram etc. all have you publish on your own profile, so you really have this intentional design to have close ownership over that post; it is directly attached to you and how you present yourself, like a T-Shirt you're wearing. The posts are usually only for you, about you, or for closest friends. Then after a few hours or a day, it vanishes from everyone's feeds and the older a post is, the less it will be found and viewed and there is barely any value to comment on it now. Even on Reddit, which is more forum-esque than FB or Instagram, the threads disappear quickly within a day and are archived,(no commenting possible) after 6 months. The reason you make the thread is mostly because you have an issue, you have to vent, you want something answered etc. and it is about you, and you are expected to respond specifically. Since there is no linear thread, but a lot of comments with their own subthreads, continued discussion over weeks or months is discouraged by design since it all tapers off into its smaller branches. Because of visibility and archiving, you are expected to make your own thread always instead of searching and reviving a fitting one. This adds to the feeling that threads are only about and for OP.

And I think if you're very used to the latter, forums like these are gonna be a bit of a struggle because people feel pressured to always engage, read every reply to their thread, jump back into the discussion and semi-moderate their own threads, and might even feel offended when "too many" people comment, or people comment after a few months when this topic was already over for them in their mind - this isn't usually something you have to deal with on other platforms. Or maybe, the discussion doesn't go as planned and they just lock it, taking that away for the members and future of the forum (unless it is unlocked again). The thing is, forum topics are never really... over over, I guess, and there is much less ownership over the thread and focus on you as the OP as you might think if you are used to Reddit and others. And I think it might be important to drive this point home a bit more in people's minds. I hope that would lead to a bit more organic forum culture and quality increase while also taking the pressure and anxiety out of some people when they actually get responses on their threads and are overwhelmed.

Another issue forums have is that most of them have roles and perks tied to posts, which in turn incentivizes posting a lot to earn the roles and standing in the community, and low effort posts count towards this. I think the gift giving is restricted to the role you get when you reach 100 posts here, right? If anyone wanted to, there are enough forum game threads that with 2-3 posts an hour, they could reach the 100 quickly (like within 2 days) with almost exclusively forum games. This isn't meant as a dig against forum games, I'm just saying that forums always had this issue where mechanics rewarding posters with increased visible status on their profile for posting a lot or for a long time have always had the drawback of also simply incentivizing number over quality. If quality is dropping, this is one mechanism that might need to be reviewed and tweaked.

Edit: Ironically, this was my 100th post.  :ozwomp:
« Last Edit: May 18, 2023 @401.10 by shevek » Logged

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