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Old 2013-02-08, 09:00   Link #1
Ledgem
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Let moderators and site staff have two accounts

Our moderators and site staff are all volunteers, made up of regular users who wanted to help maintain the site and community. Yet there's a bit of a problem: many of the site staff end up sacrificing their normal user activity for moderator activity. This isn't entirely their fault, either. We got rid of the reputation system because of concerns that users with many green blocks under their name were intimidating users with less, which was disrupting conversation. How can a user title in boldface with a unique group tag not do the same thing? Additionally, over time many moderators are going to have run-ins with forum members, issuing bans, infractions, deletions, and warnings. This creates resentment, and may result in the moderators being treated more coldly by members of the user base. As moderators become distanced from the community, it creates an "us vs. them" mentality - the idea that moderators are no longer close to regular users, and that site policies may favor moderator activities rather than user activities.

In summary, two problems are occurring: moderators are giving up their old activities and connections within the community even as they're trying to do something for the greater good; and there's a rift forming between those who volunteer as staff and those who are here as users. Based on my experiences, this isn't uncommon in forums where some semblance of moderation is performed.

What I propose is to have all current moderators' accounts returned to normal user privileges, and to have them each create a new account that will be granted moderator powers. (If they prefer, allow them to keep their current accounts as moderator accounts, and allow them to create a standard secondary account.) If new moderators join the staff in the future, don't announce it, and have the user create a new moderator account.

There would still be moderator accountability with this system, because each moderator would have their own account, and the staff would know whose account corresponded to who.

Current moderators wouldn't be unknown to current members, but they would still be able to rejoin the community fairly easily. People would no longer know who was performing what action, which would spare them from further resentment. Without the boldface user name, they would also slip into conversations much more easily.

We would lose the ability to announce new moderators, as we always did in the past, but that's not a big deal. Moderators were never elected by the user base, nor did the user base have a say in whether someone's moderator "promotion" should not go through; it doesn't really matter if we know who's moderating or not. In fact, it might be better if we don't (hence the proposal).

The benefits would be that moderators could fully rejoin the community, embracing it and being embraced in turn as they were before; with the moderator account separate, moderation would no longer become such a personal thing; and lastly, presuming that moderators were long-standing members of the community who were still out there among the community would help to close the rift in the "us and them" mentality.

Thanks for reading - thoughts and suggestions welcome.
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Old 2013-02-08, 09:16   Link #2
MeoTwister5
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I don't think I've actually ever encountered a situation where having high rep made you... uh... intimidating to converse with here.

At least I've never found myself in a similar situation in either end of the rep spectrum (but that's probably because I had a relatively higher one comparatively).

Same way for speaking with mods, I don't think I've been intimidated by one. The only situation I can think of that could qualify is if it's in a discussion where a discussion misstep can get you moderated. I don't think any mod would abuse their authority like that.

Spoiler for Spoilers:
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Old 2013-02-08, 09:20   Link #3
Om Nerabdator
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they know what they were getting into before volunteering so just let it be
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Old 2013-02-08, 09:26   Link #4
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeoTwister5 View Post
I don't think I've actually ever encountered a situation where having high rep made you... uh... intimidating to converse with here.

At least I've never found myself in a similar situation in either end of the rep spectrum (but that's probably because I had a relatively higher one comparatively).
I agree, but then IIRC, a big part of the rationale brought up for scrapping the old reputation system was that members with high rep could be seen as intimidating to new members (partly since the high rep user could just about destroy the new member's rep with a single neg rep).

Well, if a high rep user is intimidating this way, then I would think that someone who can ban you would be at least as intimidating. So I definitely see Ledgem's point there.

I'm still working out how I feel on Ledgem's overall proposal though.
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Old 2013-02-08, 09:28   Link #5
MeoTwister5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I agree, but then IIRC, a big part of the rationale brought up for scrapping the old reputation system was that members with high rep could be seen as intimidating to new members (partly since the high rep user could just about destroy the new member's rep with a single neg rep).

Well, if a high rep user is intimidating this way, then I would think that someone who can ban you would be at least as intimidating. So I definitely see Ledgem's point there.

I'm still working out how I feel on Ledgem's overall proposal though.
Then it's one viewpoint into an "apparent" problem: that supposedly, a subset of people exist as users who treat mods differently due to fear and threat of authority.

Again I have to ask, does that really exist here?
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Old 2013-02-08, 09:35   Link #6
milan kyuubi
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Imo even if the mods create an alias which they were to use and pose as normal users and post. I would still recognize some them (James and Hunter) duo the way they write their posts.
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Old 2013-02-08, 09:44   Link #7
Kudryavka
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While I know your heart is in the right place, Ledgem, I am not sure that mods really need "more personal freedom", etc. If they want to be free of this supposed rift, then they can just retire from being a mod at their own discretion. The fact that they are mods means that they accept any sacrifices such as friendship, integratibility in the forums, or whatnot. If they feel so deprived of worthwhile social interactions as to allow your request, then they should just quit being a mod instead of resort to sockpuppetting.

Also, in a situation where mods have two accounts, one for talking and one for moderating, I can only see two outcomes:

1) Everyone knows who's a mod and has a mod account, so the situation won't change from what it is now. e.g. if Kitsune was a mod before, then downgrades her Kitsune account to regular member and gets a new mod account called Foxtail. She will have to say somewhere that Foxtail is Kitsune and Kitsune is Foxtail, so people will know that Kitsune is Foxtail and still be intimidated by her.

2) The mods will hide the connection between their normal account and moderating account, and act like some sort of hidden police, which seems very sneaky and untrustworthy. I don't think a lot of members here would like being moderated by faceless members. One of the things I like about Animesuki is that all of the moderators are nice, trustworthy, and have integrity and are well liked here; that's what makes me like respecting their authority. So having them mod through a faceless account would make me uncomfortable.

I personally have not seen such a rift, and imho you're supposed to feel intimidated by mods' power to infraction/ban you. Otherwise what will keep people from ignoring the rules all the time?
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Old 2013-02-08, 09:50   Link #8
james0246
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Bearing in mind that I've never had any problems with regular discussions or conversations, even amongst the few (the proud few) that I've had to infract upon, let's just set that aside and accept that some individuals may be intimidated in any discussion with a mod no matter how banal. So, if there are people out there that actively fear (or at least censor themselves because of) moderation, wouldn't Ledgem's proposal just create a sleeper agent scenario where everyone distrusts each other because anyone could be a moderator in disguise? Personally, I greatly dislike the thought that I could be bad mouthing a mod to a friend only to find out later that they were also a mod.

Additionally, the added layer of anonymity seems a little silly. We are not super heroes. We do not need to wear a(n extra) mask in order to protect ourselves, families and friends. There is already enough distance created via usernames and avatars that extending it further to our very activities seems not only disingenuous but down right mean (to the posters). Everyone deserves a chance to confront the person bringing charges against them (though not necessarily the person leveling the charges in the first place).

Also, it is really hard to write in other characters voices (especially if you are switching back and forth frequently). Would all of Monir's secret identity posts suddenly be uber serious lacking any of his wit or charm ? Would Hunter's secret identity posts be bubbly and super fun? Would Relentlessness' posts contain only one sentence texts that have little bearing on the discussion at hand? Would I have to give up my parentheses and ellipses? No, "regular" posters would be able to figure out who we are fairly easily, to the point where the secret identity becomes meaningless.

(And this isn't even getting into the issue of rigging the polls and other issues dealing with having the ability to post twice under a different name. All of which are reasons why we prevent others from having duplicate accounts.)

What little intimidation or disconnect may exist due to our bolded names and little moderator tag is not worth the hassle of a duplicate account, especially since we can retire at any time (and change our names in the process).

edit: Don't think of this as the official moderator stance on this issue. This is my personal stance first and foremost.

edit 2: It seems much of what I have written has been touched upon by other posters whilst I was writing. C'est la vie...

Last edited by james0246; 2013-02-08 at 10:00.
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Old 2013-02-08, 10:04   Link #9
Masuzu
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^ The 'few'? I didn't think there were so little of us.

You know, what with you floating around the Naruto sub-forum I thought we were more like a sea of many.
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Old 2013-02-08, 10:07   Link #10
White Manju Bun
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This is my personal opinion but Im happily going to decline this "offer". One reason a lot of members are approached as mods is their posting style, the can offer help in situations while maintaining a good report on the forum. I was recognized before I ever had a bold name as someone who could possible help with the running off the forum and I plan on keeping my bold name while I post whether it be as a "mod" or not. I personally have never had any issues with members who I hold conversations with about anime, does that mean I always agree with someones opinion, no of course not, that would be boring.

Maybe you see it as an "us vers them" issue but thats you and something you have to deal with, I don't. And this isnt going to help. More it sounds like an idea to get mods in trouble since you think they won't have a bold name to hide under. Youre wrong, if you feel a mod is doing something to damage the forum then bring it to the staff's attention. Having a "regular" account won't change anything and I agree with james on the possibility of rigging polls and whatnot. Duplicate accounts are against forum rules and that applies to mods as well.
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Old 2013-02-08, 10:37   Link #11
Solace
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I'm not myself today....maybe I'm you?

I appreciate the idea, but I signed up knowing that people would see the title before the person. I do grumble about it occasionally (who wouldn't?), but I fear having a second "non mod" account would do much more harm than good. We already get accused of being Nazi-mods...I'm really not interested in adding rumors of KGB-mods to that too.
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Old 2013-02-08, 10:44   Link #12
SaintessHeart
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Our mods are run by the KGB? Since when did GHDPro become a Russian spymaster?

Actually, no. The mods still post regularly like other members, but they do so less so as to maintain a form of impartiality. I think that is absolutely fine and warranted for.

But I am sure the still succumb to their perverted desires; otherwise why is CrowKenobi frequenting the Dog Days threads to look at pictures of candy-haired sweet-tasting doggy girls and wonderful bombers?
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Old 2013-02-08, 10:53   Link #13
totoum
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Quote:
We got rid of the reputation system because of concerns that users with many green blocks under their name were intimidating users with less, which was disrupting conversation. How can a user title in boldface with a unique group tag not do the same thing?
The big difference between high rep posters and mods is that the alleged "fear" of high rep poster came from the fact hat they didn't need a valid reason to hand out neg rep while in theory a mod shouldn't be able to ban you even if you tick him/her off as long as you don't break any rules.

The other thing is that if someone got handed out neg rep after just joining the forum then that member had to carry that red bar and the stigma that came with it while there's no public records (to the average user) of who got banned and when once the ban is over.
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Old 2013-02-08, 10:59   Link #14
Kudryavka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
The big difference between high rep posters and mods is that the alleged "fear" of high rep poster came from the fact hat they didn't need a valid reason to hand out neg rep while in theory a mod shouldn't be able to ban you even if you tick him off as long as you don't break any rules.

The other thing is that if someone got handed out neg rep after just joining the forum he had to carry that red bar and the stigma that came with it while there's no public records (to the average user) of who got banned and when once the ban is over.
iirc weren't red bars ditched? Or at least you could only get up to one red bar no matter how low your reputation?

I agree with what you're saying though.
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Old 2013-02-08, 11:02   Link #15
totoum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kudryavka View Post
iirc weren't red bars ditched? Or at least you could only get up to one red bar no matter how low your reputation?.
They weren't ditched,I know there was someone with two red bars when the system was "retired"
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Old 2013-02-08, 11:13   Link #16
Kudryavka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
They weren't ditched,I know there was someone with two red bars when the system was "retired"
Hm, ok. Back in late 2011 the lowest reputation I could find through search was one bar, on the whole site. Maybe they brought back multi bars between then and the retiring.
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Old 2013-02-08, 11:21   Link #17
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Our mods are run by the KGB? Since when did GHDPro become a Russian spymaster?
Snake hides in a cardboard box to evade enemies. GHD scribbles on a piece of cardboard: "I am a box", and holds it up.
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Old 2013-02-08, 11:50   Link #18
Hunter
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As was already so eloquently said by all those tagged people whom I've never seen I don't think having mods forced to hide from the community would be a message the staff would like to send. Beside it'd be redundant with our shadow-mods who're already tasked with spying on you all in secret.
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Old 2013-02-08, 12:08   Link #19
milan kyuubi
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Seriously there is no need to be afraid of mods. As long as you follow the rules. You can disagree with them. Hell you can even annoy them , and they'll still be good to you. Hell I remember when I came here, I annoyed James and other mods (mostly James and Manju) in Naruto request for new threads thread. I remember it reached a point where xris (btw where is xris? And why is his name still bold when he doesn't have moderator tag under his name anymore?) contacted me personally about this. And even after all of that I didn't even get an infraction. What I am trying to say is there is no need for alias accounts. Mods will be good to you even if you cross the line (but not to much ).
Imo this will just create more job for mods since they'll have to check both accounts every day. Especially mod accounts since many members will be contacting them.

Tho monir will give away himself with his famous birthday presents anyway.
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Old 2013-02-08, 12:36   Link #20
Ledgem
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Just some quick replies to address some ideas that I'm seeing repeated in posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Om Nerabdator View Post
they know what they were getting into before volunteering so just let it be
This is about changing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
Imo even if the mods create an alias which they were to use and pose as normal users and post. I would still recognize some them (James and Hunter) duo the way they write their posts.
It's a possibility, but I suspect that people are putting too much stock in their abilities and desires to deduce who's-who.

I'm speaking from my own experience and bias, but it seems like many users who become moderators slowly experience a shift in their posting activity. It becomes more "professional," less casual and "fun." It may not be a shift that occurs due to moderator status, but I've noticed it on other forums as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kudryavka View Post
If they want to be free of this supposed rift, then they can just retire from being a mod at their own discretion.
Certainly. But why does it have to be one way or another?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kudryavka View Post
I personally have not seen such a rift, and imho you're supposed to feel intimidated by mods' power to infraction/ban you. Otherwise what will keep people from ignoring the rules all the time?
Having separated moderator accounts does not mean less moderator activity or moderator presence. It just means that moderator accounts would be used purely for moderator activities, while their user accounts would be used for engaging the community.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Manju Bun View Post
More it sounds like an idea to get mods in trouble since you think they won't have a bold name to hide under. Youre wrong, if you feel a mod is doing something to damage the forum then bring it to the staff's attention.
I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly - is this an accusation against me, claiming that I've come up with this idea in an effort to somehow get moderators in trouble? My suggestion recognizes that moderators are (or were) regular users of the forum before they were moderators. It's an effort to remove an "us vs. them" scenario. Further, get moderators in trouble with whom? As a group, moderators are not held accountable to anyone but themselves - and perhaps, GHDPro. It's a self-regulating club, which is a setup for distrust and division.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Manju Bun View Post
Duplicate accounts are against forum rules and that applies to mods as well.
This rule is what the thread proposal is about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
The big difference between high rep posters and mods is that the alleged "fear" of high rep poster came from the fact hat they didn't need a valid reason to hand out neg rep while in theory a mod shouldn't be able to ban you even if you tick him/her off as long as you don't break any rules.
I take it you have not received an infraction or been banned for reasons that you disagreed with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
As was already so eloquently said by all those tagged people whom I've never seen I don't think having mods forced to hide from the community would be a message the staff would like to send.
This is not about forcing dual accounts. While it would be more useful with more moderators doing it, I have proposed it to be optional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milan kyuubi View Post
Seriously there is no need to be afraid of mods.
This is not about "fear of mods." If it were, this proposal would likely only worsen the fears that anyone had.
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