Rules should exist to oppress as many people as possible so that they are not able to challenge the moderating elite
The basic goal of moderation should be to enable a civil platform for discussion, with action taken against content/users who are overly inflammatory or acting in bad faith (what counts as such would depend on the culture of the community and the intention of the platform), and content that is simply off-topic, with the former being treated as more severe than the latter. The intention of rules should be to give new users a basic idea of what is expected, but with actions taken fully at moderator discretion rather than following the letter of the law. Such actions should, however, be transparent, with it made clear why such actions were taken (except when it is self-obvious), and with the opportunity for appeals and community feedback to reverse decisions. New users should be given guidance on what is expected from them (so stricter in terms of corrections/warnings/post deletions, but more lenient in terms of permanent/semi-permanent bans, except when it is clear from their responses that they have no interest in conforming), whereas long-term users can be assumed to already be well-aware of such, and should be treated accordingly.
It depends on the community; some thrive under hands-off moderation, whereas others need more intervention to keep things running smoothly.
I don't really have much to add. >>100026
pretty much perfectly summarized my own thoughts.
It depends on what kind of community you want to foster and what kind of people find their way to the website.
Hands off moderation works if you want a chaotic free for all or in a relatively closed community of like-minded people but in order to sway board culture in a particular direction moderation is often needed, there are other tools that can be used but banning something undesirable is the simplest.
Basing moderation around the 'best' posters seems fairly convoluted, they should moderate around what they feel makes something good rather than the individual themself. I would not say this eliminates moderator bias either as it's ultimately their views on who is or is not a good poster that would matter.
Sure, you could try to democratise it but that would be difficult, you would have to add profiles and likes and then you end up in social media territory and this also shares some of the issues with hands free moderation in that you are letting the people sway board culture and undesirables may sway it in a way that you might not want.
>>100016>Back on 4/qa/ I used to lean more towards the hands off side with how the board was ruled by user moderation.>However, after reflection I realized that the user moderation was a bit of a consequence of circumstance which kissu doesn't really have, so now I'm in favor of more moderation to keep boards/sites stable.
I don't think you should so easily dismiss the moderation lessons from 4/qa/. The moderation system that set itself up was in response to "normal" moderation taking an indifferent and laissez-faire approach. This left a power vacuum that allowed all users to technically participate equally in moderation.
Like you said there was user-moderation on 4/qa/ but user-moderation is critically not moderator-moderation. Users could not ban or actually delete threads or posts. They could only "de-rank" posts, they being a select few "power-users" that had the skill set and time to invest in moderation. Anyone could effectively be a user-moderator on 4/qa/, and even posts that got "moderated" on 4/qa/ could be "unmoderated" if enough other users banded together to "unmoderate" it. You were able to clearly see what the community considered the "best" posters as there threads were protected through the force of the community. This resulted in probably the most representative form of moderation on 4chan. Though, for lack of a better word, this lead to mafias being setup that protected the interests of their constituent posters through force. Ignoring the crazy guy, you saw this most clearly happen with /mlpol/. What was essentially a gang-war erupted between competing factions over control of /qa/. Each faction tried to "moderate" the other off the board through force of posts, bumping and creating threads to delete the competitors threads.
"Normal" moderation is by it's very nature not representative. What amounts to a feudal monarch (the site admin/owner) appoints moderators. This monarch gives nobles the power to moderator based upon some sort of moderation contract, written or otherwise. And these nobles are sometimes able to amass enough power (through circumstance or force) themselves to appoint their own moderators. Traditional moderation may consider the input of the broader community but the very structure it derives it's power from is inherently non-representative of the community.
My personal opinion is that this traditional top down moderation thought has evolved as far as it can. No amount of rules or strategies can ever truly "identify the best posters and making decisions based off of what'll create the best environment for these posters", as what is "best" is ultimately decided by the nobility. The ability to enforce what is "best" is decided by the nobility. The community's input into what is the "best" is limited to whatever empathy the nobility happens to feel for the community on the particular topic.
Essentially the admin is God and the moderators kings that have not just been ordained to rule but bestowed god-like powers to do so as well. Moderators will find the "best" moderation strategy by studying human interpretations of God/gods and the "best" deity from the user perspective is going to be the one you believe in. Heretics apostates, and unbelievers get the banhammer.>>100029>you could try to democratise it but that would be difficult, you would have to add profiles and likes
4/qa/ had a semblance of democracy in it. Voting was restricted to only certain posters with the power of their vote was derived from their own ability to organize and circumvent spam filters and not an admin gifting them God-like powers.
>>100036>Voting was restricted to only certain posters with the power of their vote was derived from their own ability to organize and circumvent spam filters and not an admin gifting them God-like powers.
That's not really democratic, it favours activists and those that know more about programming.
The point is that it was more democratic than the more traditional moderation systems, as the power came from the posters and not the some outside entity like an admin or moderator manipulating the reality of the forum.
It's hard to disagree with the second paragraph because its statement is rather nebulous. It admits that its approach should be pragmatic rather than strict which I'm cool with, however, the criteria of what makes a good poster is still left up to the staff and not the community, like >>100029
said, though it's you guys that have the history of each user so no one can really dispute its practice.>>100026
Treating civil discussion of the end-all be-all of message boards is simply incorrect, it's only one of many activities that can take place. If you really care about learning about a topic, you might as well ditch the community entirely and go watch serious youtube essays and read some texts, because those will give you considerably greater insight into it than 99.9% of discussions would.>>100036
100% agreed. If we loosely define moderation as the act of determining what posts are allowed to exist on a board, which we usually think of as employing force of some kind, then we can say that yes, there were a number of competing moderation styles in 4/qa/. It was more democratic in the sense that there were multiple users trying to impose their own mod style, rather than a single one imposed by the staff. Force multipliers can be used, one of which is simply organizing into a cabal with explicit goals and coordinated movement, and in principle the one difference between u-mod and staff-mod is that the latter comes with multipliers already installed, but this doesn't automatically grant ultimate power over others. It's the usage of those multipliers that gives certain users greater power than others.
>>100045>the one difference between u-mod and staff-mod is that the latter comes with multipliers already installed
In this context, I feel like it’s important to keep in mind that staff-mod ultimately derives their force multiplier from the admin or whoever is at the top. Whereas u-mod will derive its force multiplier from a user or group of users, which inherently has its origination at the bottom or community level.
It’s also worth noting that u-mod force multipliers “effectively” remove posts/prevent posts from other users on the board while staff-mod force multipliers “actually” remove/prevent posts from other users on the board. The “right” of a user to post and see posts is never taken away when u-mod occurs, it may be impeded or reduced but it’s still there in principle. Contrast this with staff-mod where it’s entirely possible to prevent users from making posts or seeing posts. Sure it’s hard to stop the dedicated user from posting but in theory you can actually stop them from posting by implementing a whitelist of sorts and staff-mod can always have the ability determine what can and can’t be seen by other users on the board.
True, I forgot to mention that staff-mod has its own suite of tools that regular users can at most approximate, but never truly do the same.
How would you moderate a board where the users were truly anonymous (e.g. a site allowing Tor or I2P posts)?
Even in those cases there's still some sort of connection you can ban, right? Are we talking about something that refreshes with every post? I'm not that technically literate. Aside from that there's blacklists and to block posts from being made in the first place or delete them as soon as they're made, otherwise no idea.
>>100059>Even in those cases there's still some sort of connection you can ban, right?
Not that I know of, without banning all of Tor.>Are we talking about something that refreshes with every post?
I thought people had in the past been figure out who posted what even through tor based on the node they were using or something like that. How does that work?
There's a limited amount of ways to detect posters on Tor. When it comes to Tor/Tor Browser you don't have many options.
Screen size fingerprinting doesn't really work with how the browser is designed, everyone has the same local IP. All you're left with is pretty much hoping they are very recognizeable in some way how they speak or behave, user registrations, and a cookie that can only do so much since the user will generally clear them through restarting their browser to get a clean slate.
The other option is doing a sybil attack on nodes to control the entire network and attempting to deanonymize users. Not feasible unless you have five eyes and a lot of money to burn.>>100058
Depending on the type of site, invite-only or post delaying.
You can delay all people from opening the site for 2-3 minutes (or longer if it's a desireable high use site) and then use that same cookie they need to access the site to block them from spamming. It's not perfect, but it works okay. Another option is captcha, my preference a PoW captcha that the user can let solve itself. It's not such a big deal to wait 1-5 minutes to post if you can do something else in the meantime. Of course that's not feasible for sites that require maximum security like high crime sites so they usually just do various types of no-js captchas like clicking the images that match the text or typing in numbers and letters. I'm assuming they still have to do a lot of work to delete spam created users somehow.
Blocking someone by exit node would only work on a clearnet site being accessed through Tor and not on, for example, an .onion site, and it would only work until the user pressed the "new identity" button which also clears cookies etc.>>100063
Behavior does go a long way. But it's sort of like being limited the same way a user mod would be; you can make reasonable guesses a set of posts are the same person, but you can't check stuff like IPs to confirm it.
Not very easy then, alright.
Trained neural network.
I'm cool with most philosophies as people will use what they like, but to me moderation hinges on both parties acting in good faith.
Like, if a poster is making bad contributions, that that is done because they're not very smart rather than to shit up the board. They can be taught rather than banned or shooed away.
Same with moderation, but on most sites bad faith moderation isn't an issue because of the passion for the community (with certain exceptions), only on larger sites is it observed
>>100069>Like, if a poster is making bad contributions, that that is done because they're not very smart rather than to shit up the board. They can be taught rather than banned or shooed away.
To some extent, but some people really do just live to shit things up. If someone's entire post history is posting ugly drawings as a this is you gotcha and quoting your text it's obvious there's no good faith stupid involved and you may as well go from a 30 day ban to a permaban if it happens after a warning because you can't teach someone to behave if they ignore explicit warnings.
I agree that general bad behavior brought from other communities can be resolved through teaching though, but only if the community manages to teach faster than it grows. Grow too fast and the new begins to try and teach the original as they feel safer in numbers and mistakenly believe the larger group is correct and that the original is misbehaving or somehow in the wrong for telling them something acceptable where they come from is not acceptable where they've arrived. Queue that old image of some hobby slowly degrading for the founders and practically kicking them out eventually.
In scenarios like this it helps to have an older authority figure that understands the original userbase (as they are part of it) and attempts to control the herd somewhat by issuing public warnings. The new users can then either adapt or perish.
>>100073>rules must be as comprehensive and objective as possible
agreed. Internet message boards don't have judicial bodies that can enforce accountability and punish a higher up when they don't follow the rules, rules for a staff member are a suggestion and a token of goodwill on their part. They always end up declaring a state of emergency at one point or another, to ignore whatever other users say.
What objective rules do
get you is rule lawyers, people who cause trouble for no other reason than to stick to what's written, or who try to wield them as weapons whenever it suits them.
Serious rules can work in sites where there aren't as many wackos, but in imageboards you're just asking for trouble.
You didn't understand what I said.
Site owners make the rules, and they have the absolute authority to change them or clarify what are the correct interpretation of them. They can declare "state of emergency" whenever they want and revise the rules to ban all possibilities to take advantage of them.
Moderators on the other hand should only enforce whatever site owners want.
I find your definition of community to be lacking. The topics a community allows is not the defining feature of a community. A community is more than one person and what defines a community is many people with some set of shared qualities. It’s crucially not what is allowed or disallowed between members that defines communities but what is shared between members.
Also the topics a community allows is different from the topics that follow the site owner’s rules. And the same can be said for the types of posters the community wants to attract vs what the owner wants to attract. A site owner is not a community and does not solely define a community.
This view is too admin-centric. >>100036
compared the structure of a site's staff to a feudal model, which still holds up. Kings used to be higher up in the hierarchy than nobles, but that didn't mean they could push them around however they pleased, they still depended on the nobility and their support. Look no further than this site with its requirement of consent for decisions and the presence of a benefactor.
Hell, in cases where the board owner is not the one with control over the server (as it happens with reddit and redditchan, or discord) it's even possible for the owner to resign, even be kicked out, and for one of the mods to take their place.
What I wrote before was about how the staff as a whole relates to rules and the community, where they do have a lot more power.
>>100094>A community is more than one person and what defines a community is many people with some set of shared qualities
So basically you think "some set of shared qualities" defines a community. What is that exactly?
In terms of anonymous imageboards, the observable qualities of posters is defined by the qualities of their posts. No one knows what other qualities they have which they choose not to talk about, nor do they really matter because it's only the shared parts of qualities that keep them together.
And the qualities of posts that will stay on the site is determined exactly by "the allowed topics and the allowed manners of discussing these topics".>Also the topics a community allows is different from the topics that follow the site owner’s rules
Correct. And what will happen in this situation is that the community will move away from that website to a new one, or create their own - this is exactly what happened with 4/qa/. >>100096
My view doesn't preclude the model you described. The site owners can take suggestions from moderators or communities if they want, and sometimes it's of their best interest to keep the communities to their sites. But ultimately it's impossible to please everyone, and the decision to incorporate which of the suggestions into rules will be made by the site owners.
It does preclude it. My point is that no, owners don't get the last say, and that the rest of the staff has more power than just being limited to making suggestions. The fact that mods and users can leave or act out at any time effectively constrains the owner, they are not free to do whatever they want because of the consequences. This isn't about enforing rules either, it's about the actions that an owner can take.
Going back to what you said before,>Moderators serve to enforce the rules>should only enforce whatever site owners want>should
That's how you want things to be, not how things are. Owners aren't gods, and rules aren't divine law.
>>100102>That's how you want things to be, not how things are.
And yet, right here on kissu the decision to curb loli contents was unpopular outside of site admin who decided it despite moderators' opposition.
Yeah, because of the threat of the feds. It's actually a good counter example, because mr. owner wasn't exactly acting out of his own volition.
As far as I remember, the owner had repeatedly posted his personal disdain over these "loli posters" back when these loli contents were widespread on /megu/ and long before he mentioned that Canadian law.
Verm was one of the main perpetrators of the content he deleted.
I am aware of it, and he deleted them by deleting /megu/, because of the legal threat. Still he thought these "loli posters" had some kinds of bad qualities he didn't want.
Honestly, I know vern very
well and even I'm confused on his position. Attemtping to infer anything about his thought process on the matter from his public posts is probably a bad idea.
Now that the dust has settled, let's review what's been discussed in this thread.
The overwhelming opinion is that, for better or worse, rules as they are literally written come second to moderator discretion. It was said that the staff can ultimately do whatever they want without being limited by rules, and so these are at best seen as guidelines, or at worst as inconsequential. >>100073
is the exception, speaking in favor of objective rules for everyone but the admin.
When it comes to hands-off versus hands-on, the general stated idea is that different communities require different approaches. I think that's a truism, though, which doesn't address the fact that mods will have to make their own choices when deciding what's best for a community.
On the second paragraph of the OP, the general criticism is that the staff continues to be the one defining the criteria for what constitutes "good people", and so its bias is unaffected. I'd add that since the users are not informed of what it is exactly that the staff sees as good, it's not possible to act accordingly, which may lead to a mismatch. Like the filtering of 'ϙuean, which I personally enjoyed.
>>100241> the filtering of 'ϙuean, which I personally enjoyed.
You liked the word itself or the filtering of the word?
I like word filters because they're entertaining when they're unexpected and it's a type of "passive' moderation that the poster is aware of, but not necessarily the viewer. It's not directed at anyone, but instead a word.
The word itself.
Most filters on kissu are definitely aimed at specific people, singling them out as outsiders and discrediting them. I'm okay with that. 'Kweaning, on the other hand, is more of an inside joke, and I'm not so okay with trying to kill it.
I think it's important to understand that moderating is about more than just deleting posts. The term is often used to describe people who go through report queues and delete rule-breaking content, especially on large sites with fragmented communities, but post deletion and user banning are measures of last resort when an element of the site cannot be reconciled with the health of the larger community. Good moderation engages with the community is other ways to prevent things from reaching that point as much as possible and to solve the problem when they do on a higher level than direct, per-post/user intervention. It can be indirectly through things like the UI designs or FAQ/News pages that tell people what the site is meant to be about or through direct means like highlighting good content or making announcements when some trend has gotten out of hand. You could also consider events or "happenings" a part of their role to keep the community engaged and provide unifying moments.
So I guess what I'm saying is that good moderation should be hands-on, but they shouldn't be ban-happy. There should be rules, but they should only be an indication of the spirit of the community. They shouldn't be the centers of attention, but they should be known and understood presences.