Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Moderating Internet Forums

Dumb people love to feel powerful with little or no accountability, and the internet gives them plenty of opportunity to do this. This is unlike the real world, where incompetence is harder to hide.

Just having the title of moderator is enough for any dumb person to drool with delight.

However, smart people know that having power online means shit. But dumb people see it as a way to "flex" muscles they don't actually have.

Hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, dumb people can cause all sorts of problems. And when people complain about their actions they immediately adopt a classic defensive posture; you'd think you were making fun of their breast or dick size.

Not knowing how to rationally explain themselves, dumb moderators hide behind nonsensical forum policies and address complaints by referring people to these policies — it's easier to do this than explain themselves in a way that makes sense.

With no checks and balances in place, some go on to become very heavy-handed, banning people based on a whim.

Plentyoffish (POF) is one of the worst places for moderator abuse of power. POF moderators are comprised of social rejects, insecure retards, and all sorts of individuals with personality issues, who use the internet medium as carte blanche for their recklessness. The moderators on POF love to delete forum threads that don't follow certain narrow and retarded standards, calling it "democratic" with the stipulation that the only vote that counts is theirs. They also love to ban "problem members" for ridiculous periods of time, such as until 2020, or even 2050 (if they're having a particularly bad day).

Even calling them on their dumbness won't work, as they'll just delete you for being a nuisance. Drunk on having this kind of power, this is no doubt met with extreme satisfaction on their end, probably accompanied with copious amounts of drooling plus cackling.

The problem is compounded if a group of dumb moderators are working together, who police the forum like retarded nazis who don't have the intelligence to be nazis in real life.

So how do dumb people become forum moderators in the first place? It's because smart people normally don't care to do it, as they've got better things to do. This leaves mostly dumb people who are left to take on the role. It's an opening for people who are not deriving satisfaction from their own lives in the real world, but finally have a chance to show who's boss in the virtual world.

Behind every shit head moderator online is a fucking idiot in real life.

They frequently use "intelligence boosting" tools to make themselves appear smarter online than they actually are; tools such as a thesaurus, which can fool others into thinking that they know their shit and are therefore well suited to the title of "moderator".

Another virtual advantage is that they can avoid real-time responses. Dumb forum moderators usually don't respond to grievances or complaints right away (since their mental capacity is limited). They can take their time to cut-and-paste "intelligent" sounding phrases from various sources (in addition to using a thesaurus). This will enhance the "abstractive" quality of their responses to make it seem like they know what they're talking about.

Furthermore, you will never get a personalized (direct) response from these moderators. They will always veil their response in "forum policy" snippets, and if you question it they'll just tell you that the "rules" apply to everyone (meaning that everyone gets screwed equally).

The best way to avoid these types of moderators is to only use forums that have a limited and select number of users. This keeps the number of required moderators low, and makes it more likely that the moderators will be a select group, chosen by the webmaster, who himself is (hopefully) not a dummy.


Mr Truth said...

I agree. The larger the forum the more likely you'll find a "forum nazi".

A forum Nazi is a person who is in power of a forum or a Site Admin and they get drunk with power and abuse it to kick out newcomers who might question them at any chance.

What's worse is the "forum nazi" has a way of making "yes people" to agree with him and the "yes people" makes the forum nazi look like God and it puts a bad image to the real God. (Jesus)

They are like the playground bully who throws sand at you but now we have the internet and they cannot be held accountable for their actions until God comes down for judgment or they die.

Whichever comes first.

I hope the forum nazies do something so dumb they will be held accountable.

Mr Truth said...

If you wish a reply my email is at Kylexj21@verizon.net

I had a misunderstanding about someone and I apologized like a human being cause I caught the mistake a day later but the person never forgave me.

Instead the person made fun of my because I have a (mild) forum of Autisum.

Before I got banned the person was starting to form a *yes group* of people making fun of autisum in general thinking they are making everyone else look stupid but in fact they are the ones stupid.

I am still very sore at them.

The site and forum are vgmusic.com http://www.vgmusic.com/

While more modern *and some retro* video game music can be fun to listen too the people who run the site are dickheads who don't know anything about running a site.

Further more they insite that having 200 rules make themselves look cool if you look at the FAQ page which has a long scroll time.

I don't think I've ever seen a forum ran by so many dumb rules that are not worth the enforcement.

Areyourealyserious said...

After reading this entry I am appalled. I myself am a moderator but I moderate live games and nto forums. yes I have seen the said "forum nazi" or others on crazy power trips because they feel they have this right. I however am beyond pissed off that YOU assume all mods must be some sort of retard or social degenerate. I am a well educated and intelligent woman who owns her own company and mods in her spare time. i do not do this because I have a lack of feeling in control or lack of feeling powerful (I have a company of my own so the power factor is sufficiently fulfilled). Never mind the fact that it is rude and disrespectful to call people you have never met such names. If I went around voicing my opinion, which yes I know freedom of speech blah blah blah, then I would assume the majority of humanity is dumb.
maybe you should actually try moderating yourself and working with a group of other moderators and see what it is actually like. Wait never mind with this post itself you are probably a greifer that comes in to piss the mods off causing you to get pissed off and write such nonsensical drool as this.

Vittorio said...

^^^ I never said people who moderate internet forums are all dumb, but rather that many dumb people like to moderate internet forums. This is a blog about the stuff dumb people like, after all.

Areyourealyserious said...

^^^ If it is a blog about stuff dumb people like what does that say about you that you go looking for things that said dumb people like, and write about them? It is not a blog FOR dumb people it is a blog essentially about "dumb people" and what they like? You are what you eat ... I mean write about.

Anonymous said...

You are so right. I've been a member on an internet forum for 2 years without complaint from anyone - but 1 moderators who has a habit of viewing my user profile, reading my PMs and contacting members I speak to via e-mail to forward him the e-mail I send. Yes, my privacy is repeatedly breached. Not only that but on this forum (which is VERY popular - think millions of visitors every month) we can trade items. When I bought an item from a moderator he spent an exceptionally long amount of time sending it despite it being for a special occasion (which I told him prior to the purchase). I received it too late.

Now that moderator is abusing his powers more. When I called him out on a thread (I was having a bad day, he was being particularly vicious, and I finally decided to say why I was unhappy) he later PMed me telling me to edit that post. Strange because he has a habit of editing and deleting my posts without my consent.

I then started a website to help others make money during the recession. I asked OTHER moderators if I was allowed to mention it on the site, and they were extremely helpful (saying I can't mention it but others can). This moderator then PMed every moderator I spoke to in order to badmouth me resulting in few responses when I asked again. Oh, and that dictator moderator joined that website...

Now yesterday someone mentioned the site. More replies followed from others who had joined the site and they were ALL saying positive comments about it (exceptional service, friendly staff, etc.). That mod today had it deleted despite no rules being broken. What made it worse was yesterday he pretended to be nice, saying that he wants to help me..., and then breaks the rules he's supposed to protect by preventing others from hearing about the site.

I have now been informed that he is trying to get the admin of the site to impose a ban on my site (by censoring the site's name during posts).

How's that for a moderator?

Anonymous said...

In all honesty, good moderation seems to be more of a given talent than an aquirable ability. I've seen my fair share of good mods, who let people speak freely and will keep open comments that criticize them unless it is obvious that there is a breach of rules. But there are also a large number of poor moderators, which you seem to be refering to here (Actually, I FOUND this because I really need to find a description for a moderator. She banned me for a while because I stated in a public place that if a specific person, who was banned, got suspended, then so should a couple other users, which meant there was an inconsistancy...despite there being no rule in existance about it).

I agree, there are some moderators out there who are terrible at what they do and are purely up there for popularity reasons and completely suck at what they do. Many poor ones, I've noticed, seem to think that because they are a moderator, their opinion matters more.

Anonymous said...

Forum mods suck.
Every forum has its own manifesto of rules.

Get something wrong and mods correct you in a way that is almost always belittling. And you can't say anything back or they'll slam you.

A good example is xkcd forums. You could post a cure for cancer on that site and Azrael or one the other cranky mods would delete it for poor grammar.

I guess it's good though for those kinds of people to get their kicks online rather than make everyone miserable in the real world.

Anonymous said...

Reddit is full of Nazi Moderators.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more!

*BANNED* said...

Haha so true, i am so sick of searching the net for an answer to some kind of simple question, only to be led to some crappy forum where some poor guy has asked the exact same question but gets hounded by search button nazi's (who could have easily answered the question but choose not too),but then finding you cant search their forum unless your a member.

Anonymous said...

The Communist Bush/Obama economy also plays a role where a lot of people that used to work one job now works 2 or sometimes even 3 have given up all together and are homeless not even having a computer.

Before the economy crash more people had free time to tinker around and the web was a brand new thing to most people except for those of us on BBS and usnet back in the early days.

That leaves the social rejects left to run social networking on the internet and the scrubbing by the US Goverment that also monitors widely much like the Colossus Forbin Project which I think is much more interesting then 1984 though both are insightful while the latter is more emotional not really focusing much on computers.

If you haven't watched that then do it as it is a very good guide of where we are going in computer technology despite it being from the 1960s it is ahead of it's time.

You can clearly see the internet is heading in a very dictatorship state with no *we the people* left.

That one forum is hardly alone in censorship.

Anonymous said...

By the way. Youreallyserious is likely a paid troll to try to distract people from the purpose of this site much like paid government trolls who go around to smack people who dare speak negative about government health care and gun issues.

Anyone can clearly see that this site is not bashing all moderators but just ones that suck and so far the language is pretty clean actually where others uses the F word and they actually look worse then the mods they are complaining about.

Anonymous said...

.... and nearly seven years later, forums are dropping like flies all over the Internet. Generally speaking older, well-established communities are slowly deflating, while newer forums either died quickly or were completely still-born. It is unfortunate as such a medium can be a good place to exchange ideas. Now information is so readily available and the reputation of forums of being so douchey is well established that it isn't a surprise that forums no longer are central to the web. Sad in some ways, but not in others.