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Celebrating one month under moderation

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Togo1
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Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Togo1 » October 22nd, 2015, 6:17 am

Hi, I'd just like to share with you an exciting milestone - my first month as a member of the boards!

I'm still under moderation, so while I've been trying to participate in some of the philosophy discussions, people don't see my posts. They appear a few weeks later buried in the archive, of course, but I might as well be talking to myself.

My thanks go out to Belinda and other contributors who can see unmoderated posts, and have thrown me the occasional reply to keep me going.

I now have 8 approved posts under my belt, so just under halfway there. By my calculations I should gain the ability to participate in conversations some time in the first two weeks of December. Unless the boards slow down for the Christmas period, in which case I guess I can start in the new year.

Anyone have any ideas about what to do in the meantime? I estimate I have more than 12 posts in various queues, so I don't need to write anything more. Should I just go away and come back next year?

What do people normally do in their 2-3 month initiation period?

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Empiricist-Bruno
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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » November 2nd, 2015, 12:07 pm

Togo,

Would it help if, when your posts finally come up, a note be posted to inform that an earlier post has just been approved, and is being reposted (maybe by the moderator) at the current page?
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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Togo1 » November 9th, 2015, 10:50 am

I'm not sure. On a very slow moving board it might work, but then those are the boards where it would make the least difference. While the extra attention would of course be nice, the reposted item would be totally out of context, and there would still be no way of carrying on a meaningful dialogue with any other poster.

I guess it depends if the aim is to post statements at each other, or to have a discussion.

Meanwhile what price is the board paying for reposting random comments from a week or two's previously? Posts that not even the original poster might feel is appropriate to repost?

I appreciate the idea, but I'm not sure it's the right solution. I suspect the actual problem is that the threshold of approved posts (20) is now too high, considering that, judging from archive threads, approving a post involves a longer delay than it used to.

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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Toadny » November 30th, 2015, 10:21 am

Empiricist-Bruno wrote:Togo,

Would it help if, when your posts finally come up, a note be posted to inform that an earlier post has just been approved, and is being reposted (maybe by the moderator) at the current page?
Is Togo's description of the situation accurate? Are new members' posts really moderated for a month, and do they take weeks to appear? If that is the case, it seems a completely unreasonable way to treat people.

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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Togo1 » December 4th, 2015, 7:07 am

I'm still under moderation, and it's now been over two months. Based on the rate at which my posts are being cleared from the relevant queues (remember forums like this don't count for the total), I should be out from under moderation some time in late January, roughly 3.5 months after first joining.

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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Scott » December 6th, 2015, 4:24 pm

Hi, Togo1,

I'm sorry for the delays you have experienced in getting your posts approved.

Unfortunately, reading and approving the posts is very time-consuming.

When the forum started almost 10 years ago, posts were always published immediately. Then, if the post was in violation of the forum rules, a moderator would need to delete it (and often a lot of replies to it) after the fact. Unfortunately, this particular type of forum seemed to attract a lot of people who disregarded the forum rules. Perhaps, it is something about a philosophy and debate forum that attracts rebellious people and/or people whose passionate argumentativeness sometimes gets the best of them; I'm not sure.

Hopefully, in time we can discover some sort of system that balancing all these different factors to better achieve the goal of the forum: to have a forum to discuss and debate even the most controversial topics in a civil way free of ad hominem arguments and derailing off-topics.
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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Greta » December 6th, 2015, 8:35 pm

Maybe it's worth trying the open system again? Maybe those previous problems won't resurface? The culture of the forum seems largely fairly peaceful of late.

I like that this forum is moderated. I've checked out another philosophy forum (not sure it's good form to name names) where there's seemingly no moderation at all and there is much pointless trading of insults that attracts no penalty, other than wasting server space and undermining everyone involved. Still, it's clear that there's some angst amongst new members with the current system and it's no doubt turning some good people off.
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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Togo1 » December 7th, 2015, 7:26 am

I suspect the answer is simply to raise or lower the post threshold - the number of posts that a new joiner needs to post before they escape the need for all their posts to be moderated.

Judging from archived posts, this used to be 5 posts and was then increased to 20. I'd suggest the limit be raised or lowered depending on the state of the queues. The queues are busy at the moment, and even if they recover, they're likely to be become busy in the future. That kind of flexibility is going to be needed, assuming that new people joining is something that is seen as desirable.

Removing the posting requirement would also work, but I assume it was put in for a reason. Given the prevalence of bot-checkers, posting checks, and other obstacles for newcomers on other boards, I'd assume this was a fairly common problem, and thus likely to reoccur. So simply switching off the threshold might be a bad idea. But between that, and making me wait until next year before being able to carry out a conversation, there must be some middle ground.

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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Scott » December 7th, 2015, 2:40 pm

Unfortunately, if the needed level of moderation isn't there, it isn't there. Lowering the post count threshold or removing it all-together doesn't solve that problem. It would just mean instead of sitting in the queue the rule-breaking posts would be sitting publishing publicly on the site. I do not feel comfortable being the one to publish unmoderated material from strangers. I have had members tell me they reported the website and me personally to the FBI because of posts by other members I chose to allow. I shudder to think what would happen if I was held similarly liable for material I did not really allow by published by default.

I deeply appreciate your feedback. I spent hours yesterday reading through new topics to approve or disapprove them. I think disapproved roughly half. I hope in time we can find a solution in time and make it easier for new members to get into the unique swing of things here. I will put up the announcement asking for moderators again. Hopefully, that will help.
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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Togo1 » December 8th, 2015, 6:50 am

Scott wrote:Unfortunately, if the needed level of moderation isn't there, it isn't there. Lowering the post count threshold or removing it all-together doesn't solve that problem.
Surely it mitigates the problem? If a new poster, with 10 approved posts, doesn't have all their new posts pushed into a queue, then the number of posts in the queue would be smaller, and there would be fewer posts to moderate.
Scott wrote: I do not feel comfortable being the one to publish unmoderated material from strangers.
By that logic, all posts would be moderated all the time. Presumably what you mean is that you only want to publish unmoderated material from those who have a track record of not publishing unsuitable posts. The only point of disagreement is how long that track record should be. I'm suggesting that almost 4 months is too long.

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Re: Celebrating one month under moderation

Post by Scott » December 8th, 2015, 9:42 am

Hi again Togo1, thank you for your continued feedback. :)
Togo1 wrote:
Scott wrote:Unfortunately, if the needed level of moderation isn't there, it isn't there. Lowering the post count threshold or removing it all-together doesn't solve that problem.
Surely it mitigates the problem? If a new poster, with 10 approved posts, doesn't have all their new posts pushed into a queue, then the number of posts in the queue would be smaller, and there would be fewer posts to moderate.
No, because the posts need to be moderated regardless of whether they are held in the queue prior to moderation or published by default and moderated after publication.

The queue doesn't change the number of posts that need to be moderated. It just keeps the backlog of unmoderated posts from being published before moderation.
Scott wrote: I do not feel comfortable being the one to publish unmoderated material from strangers.
Togo1 wrote:Presumably what you mean is that you only want to publish unmoderated material from those who have a track record of not publishing unsuitable posts. The only point of disagreement is how long that track record should be. I'm suggesting that almost 4 months is too long.
Yes, that is what I mean. Once I have published 20 or so items by somebody, I am more comfortable publishing their material by default rather than checking each item before publication.

I agree that 4 months is too long. 4 months isn't the threshold per se, however. The threshold is 20 approved posts. 20 posts can be made in a single day by some. The problem seems to be a lock of resources to achieve the goal of this forum in a way that makes it easier for new members to get into the unique swing of things.

I put many hours into working down the backlog greatly yesterday. I'd estimate I disapproved about half of the new topics and maybe about 20% of the new posts. I didn't see any from 4 months ago, and I started with the oldest. Unfortunately, I can't do that every day. My time is limited. I have kids to feed.

I put up the announcement asking for help moderating to hopefully speed things up for new members. I hope that helps. :)
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