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Forced New Member Moderation?

Discussion in 'Announcements & Support' started by gsbell, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. gsbell

    gsbell Consumed

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    We've all seen a real rash of newer members acting as trolls. This does nothing but ruin the overall friendly atmosphere of GT. Established members who have a low tolerance for this behavior stoop down to their level and then the moderators get involved. Who does this hurt? The troll? No he just goes away then we’ve got moderators PO’d at people who normally would never have offended a reasonable person. Does this message board software have the ability to moderate messages for new members? It sure would cut down on the childish and pointless arguments. Or would this be a huge burden on our volunteer moderators? Food for thought, comments, other ideas?
     
  2. pizzaaguy

    pizzaaguy

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    I'm sure the moderators and Eric are doing the very best possible.
    I don't have a clue about the software options, sorry.

    I've witnessed the goings on as of late and I choose to use my own good judgement and my personal "ignore" feature: the one between my ears. ;)

    Stay well:cool:
     

  3. Glenn E. Meyer

    Glenn E. Meyer

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    Not a bad point but time consuming. You usually can tell if they just post politics, things about gays, blacks, Bush, Israel, etc. and never contribute to anything technical.

    When one sees a newbie like that, give them the boot. It's like those martial arts matches where you are forced to kick every once in awhile.

    I say that if they are a new person and post inflammatory rhetoric and don't do any posting in the techy forums, then Adios.

    There were folks who just hung in GNG or Politics and raved about Israel, Bush, Gays, etc and never said anything about guns. Or if they did, they announced their ignorance.
     
  4. gsbell

    gsbell Consumed

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    Good point Glenn, thats kind of what I thought as well. Maybe the first 25 posts are moderated for content. After that they gain regular member status. As a new member I would be slightly put off, but would understand the need for it. If this required moderation activity could be handled via email I'm sure Eric could get several more volunteers to handle this task. I'm fairly new but I'm game.
     
  5. Fred

    Fred Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    all of us are volunteer moderators, and squeeze that in during all the other activity in our lives. To have to sift through every message for each new member would just plain take too much time.

    The best thing we have now is for any member who notices a vioaltion to use the "report a post" function which will alert the appropriate moderator of a problem in a timely fashion. Then he or she can go right to that post and decide what to do with it.
     
  6. Patricia

    Patricia Wild at heart CLM Millennium Member

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    Hi Greg :) I think it would be too much of a burden and seems a bit too restrictive to me. As someone recently said, the honor system only works with those that have honor to begin with. There are folks here who seem to have a pretty low opinion of our mods though. Without knowing all the facts, they just assume that we have done something wrong or inappropriate. We are human, and I know I've made mistakes (and will continue to make them) but I sure wish that more people would give us the benefit of the doubt. I know most of our mods very well and they are good people. If in doubt, write to them personally. I don't mean one of these "what the hell did you do that for" kind of messages that we all get, but an honest "why did that happen". It is not what folks ask sometimes, but the way they choose to ask it.
     
  7. revbrown

    revbrown useless member

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    i don't envy Eric and the Mods a bit doing their pretty much thankless job - have been there myself and don't want to be there again

    i would like to say i appreciate all that you (Admin) do collectively

    if it helps - i read an interesting factoid today - banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories an hour

    see - there is something good in everything

    take care and keep up the good work

    :cool:
     
  8. gsbell

    gsbell Consumed

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    Fred and Patricia,
    Thanks for the feedback. Yes I agree with you it would take too much time on such a busy site like GT. Even in the short time I've been here there seems to be a noticable change in the "weather" so to speak. I Never have been the type to run and tattle to the teacher like in grade school. But maybe thats what it will take to get back to normal around here. I do like the idea of an open unmoderated over 18 forum (Religion, Politics, AWOT, Whatever) with the gloves off for those to care to get down and dirty. Thin skinned? Don't enter! Anything short of violent threats is fair game. I saw this idea somewhere else on GNG yesterday and at least to me it seems to have merit.

    (edited for typo)
     
  9. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

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    I thought the mods read every message posted by all members as a matter of course.
     
  10. Fred

    Fred Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    the volume on this board is way too great for that to be feasible. I'd have to give up my paying job and read posts all day long! ;P ;f
     
  11. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man

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    You guys do a great job here. But as gsbell said, the trolls seem to be in hyperdrive lately.
     
  12. hy5z

    hy5z

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    After the recent turmoil here I spent some time and wrote up a lengthy post. It discussed what I thought about the recent bannings of JLB, The Bagman and Danimal, the apparent departure of CastleBravo (who's excellent site I found even before I came to GT) and the apparent actions taken against Scott. I decided not to post it because it didn't contain any practical solutions.

    So I went to the source, so to speak, and started digging through the development board for vbulletin- the software that runs this site.

    http://www.vbulletin.org

    I found one particular solution that I thought be applicable to this site:

    http://www.vbulletin.org/hacks/index.php?action=showhack&hackid=1075

    It bascially allows for temporary banning. Perhaps this isn't a solution you're looking for... who knows. But I would encourage anyone to go take a look and browse through the various 'hacks' there. It's my supposition that some of the problems that have led to recent bannings could have been solved in other ways.
     
  13. 9mmMike

    9mmMike The Fun-Police Millennium Member

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    There is a boatload of flotsam in GNG. I'd like to see that whole forum moved to the bottom of the list but then it's a personal problem for me, I guess.

    On topic though....

    Instead of an outright ban on these old-timers, why not a temporary suspension instead? That would not be too difficult to maintain and a cooling-off period is what some of these folks really need.
    Multiple (let's say three) suspensions would then equal a ban.

    Just a thought,

    Mike
     
  14. ragnarock47

    ragnarock47

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    I am one of the admin at a motorcycle owners' association (O.A). We use VBull as well. We don't have the traffic of GT, we have about 1/4 of it, we still deal with the same issues.

    The one problem with a lot of the hacks for VBull is that they mess up other features/functions of the message board. My advice after trying a few of the hacks in which about 10% work as advertised is to just stick to the hacks which VBull releases. The ones that VBull users come up with usually have issues.

    As for the problem with "trolls", pretty much banning them is the only solution that keeps the integrity of our O.A. in tact. We send them an e-mail and a P.M. when we determine their posts aren't adding to our organization, but in effect detrimental to the comraderie'{SP?}. If they don't straighten up, see ya. If they are long time members, and the e-mail/P.M. doesn't sink into their heads, too bad for them. They should know the policies and general tone of the board.

    Yep, moderators and admin deal with a lot of crap. GT's admin do a great job taking care of business, thank you all.

    ADD:
    Our "Politics & Religion" forum is the biggest source of our troubles. It's also a good forum, it keeps the off subject of the board threads to a minimum in the forums that are for the subject of the message board.
     
  15. Eric

    Eric Big Giant Head Staff Member Admin Silver Member

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    Hi folks. I appreciate the input. Let me cover a couple of points.

    Temporary bannings do not work. There have been about a dozen times that I have banned and later re-instated someone. In every case but one, the member reverted to the behavior that started the trouble and was re-banned. Some poeple are just not compatible with this type of community. 99% of the people here have a similar enough sense of descency/manners/idea of right and wrong/whatever, that they get along with each other and don't cause problems. The other 1% cause 99% of the trouble I have to deal with and they are not generally amenable to modifying their behavior, for whatever reason.

    I am a programmer and I used to hack the message board software with every neat mod that was developed. I even wrote a few mods that are being used in VBulletin and UBB message board software. For instance, I was the first person I have found reference to, that added extra smilies to my message board and created an interactive preview/insertion hack. This was when I was using the UBB software, long before VBulletin hit the scene. Anyway, the extra features are nice, but they are a pain, for several reasons. First of all, if a problem occurs and the software is hacked up, it can be very difficult to track down the problem and it can be just about impossible to convince the software company that their program is at fault, if it is. Secondly, the hacks themselves can cause any manner of problems. Anyone can hack a program, but the level of skill and talent of these hackers runs the spectrum. Sometimes the hacks screw everything up and then you get to go on a bug hunt. Thirdly, transferring the hacks from version to version of a program is a real pain. Not only do you have to keep track of all of the mods, you inevitibly end up having to make the mod work with re-worked sections of code, in the new software version. It is more trouble than it is worth. VBulletin has a good set of bells and whistles. I have only a handful of mods I make to it and they are all security-related.

    Anyway, moderating new user posts wouldn't work logistically and I think it wouldn't matter much anyway. Eventually, the problem users would spread their wings and fly. We would just be delaying the inevitable, at a cost of a substantial amount of work. I appreciate the ideas though. Eric
     
  16. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    Eric and mods,

    Thanks again for all the work (and it IS work) you do to keep this board up and running smoothly. You MUST know it is appreciated greatly by the vast majority of members and lurkers.

    This is for you-all! ;c
     
  17. 9mmMike

    9mmMike The Fun-Police Millennium Member

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    I know that guy! He was going to be my "fer instance". ;)

    My thoughts were more towards old-timers that were just going through a slump. Everyone has them and just to become and old-timer requires some sort of self-control.
    Mean new guys would get smoked pronto! :)

    Keep up the good work Eric and Mods.

    Thanks very much,

    Mike
     
  18. glklvr

    glklvr

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    I'd love to see a probationary period, but I think you'd still see the same problems.
     
  19. Patricia

    Patricia Wild at heart CLM Millennium Member

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    Thanks Mike :)

    With all due respect Mike, I don't think anyone should be given any special consideration just by virtue of how long they have been here or how many posts they have made. In fact, I expect more from "old-timers" because they have been around long enough to know what is acceptable and what isn't. With some folks, a friendly reminder is all that is needed. When those friendly reminders go ignored, and then the official warnings go ignored, and someone gets banned, they have no right to say it was unfair. It is in only the most extreme cases that people have gotten banned without being warned to modify their behavior. Yet in many circumstances they claim that their banning was a complete surprise and was so unfair.

    I have never and will never ban anyone on this board. I think there is only one person who should be making those decisions and that is Eric.
     
  20. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

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    Greg I think you touched on the best solution in your intiating post. Don't feed the trolls! Not to say that I haven't been guilty of it myself from time to time.

    Trolls seek to stir up the mud with their inane and often arguementative threads. If their attempts in this regard go unanswered they aren't achieving the goal they set their sights on and summarily they aren't rewarded for their behavior.

    The difficult thing with this approach is that it places the burden on the membership rather than a handful of moderators/administrators. We can effectively do this by posting Don't feed the trolls! to threads of this clasification and more importantly be PMing other members that are entering the fray. Saying to other members "I know that xxx is a dumb*** but answering him is rewarding his inappropriate thread topics, instead let's collectively ignore him". A message like this can help unite the membership in an effort to keep Eric's house in order. If done effectively it could also lead to a reduction in moderator/administrator headaches.

    Just an idea what do you think?