Hey Newschoolers. How's your day going? Mine's fantastic. Okay, enough small talk.
Our very dear friend Mr. Chris Macmahoon has been taking on greater and greater responsibilities for Newschoolers. So, instead of bugging Chris with your site moderation questions, you can now e-mail us instead, which I'm sure will come as no small relief to him. To that purpose we have set up a gmail account at email@example.com, which is where you should direct any inquiries. I will do my best to answer them. But first, just PM - usually one of the mods will answer your questions if they know the answer. Or, post in this thread.
Speaking of this thread, on to the real point. Since I'm making a sticky, I might as well make it have a topic. So the topic is this: suggest how moderation could be better. Usually, my response to such suggestions is "piss off, we'll do what we want", but in this case, I am actually asking. It seems to me that half the people want this to be 4chan (I'm not down) and the other half want everyone who trolls, hates or posts something nonsensical to be permanently erased from the fabric of the universe (I'm not okay with that either). But either way, or some way in between, post it up, how would you do things differently. This thread will be in site discussion stickied as the Transparent Moderation Discussion Thread, where you can ask questions about why X was done or why Y was done and you may - or may not - get an answer. No promises, but we'll try.
Here's how I look at it. I was going to post this in a certain recent thread in site discussion talking about moderation, but here works just as well. I find NS has a really ... unique... attitude towards moderation. People take this stuff personally. Every other forum I am on there is a certain respect for the fact that people take the time out of their day to make the site better and clean out the trash - and trust me there is a metric fuckin' ton of trash that you guys don't even see. If your thread was deleted, suck it up, it doesn't hurt you, no one stole your crayons or tripped you on the playground, so get past it. There are pretty solid odds it wasn't done as some "screw you", but because someone looked at it and thought "this forum would be better if that post wasn't there". Everyone has had posts deleted, myself included. There are a bunch of guidelines posted in site discussion that are loosely called "rules", but what it comes down to is, we have a bunch of people whose judgment we trust to make the site better and if they think something should be deleted then they're going to delete it. There's no handbook.
Here's an analogy, because every time a moderation discussion comes up it seems like we need to offer clever new ways of saying "just don't be an asshole". Think of Newschoolers like a pub. I know a lot of you are probably too young to spend a lot of time in pubs but you know the basic idea. There are a bunch of tables of people chillin, drinking, eating delicious pub food. Some are quietly talking about politics, some are laughing at each other and generally having a good time, some are being drunken (but harmless) idiots, another table is arguing intensely about whether the olympics are a positive or negative force. On the whole, everything's pretty pleasant. Then someone walks into the bar and starts being an asshole. Dude is yelling and shouting (who knows why), wandering around to tables trying to sell random people his screenprinted t-shirts and hanging up naked pictures all over the walls. The bar staff tells him to chill the fuck out, and he responds by screaming at them and making rude comments about their sexual orientation (which, by the way, offends the gay dude who's quietly enjoying a beer and watching Setanta at the bar). What do you expect is going to happen in this situation?
There is a point to this by the way - TWA and Elgato are doing such a kickass job we've decided why stop there? We want more new mods. The catch is we need some from different time zones, so we're looking for a couple of European mods, or Aussies, or Kiwis, or if you're in Japan, we are a cultural mosaic here at NS as you can see by the rainbow colours on the online list. If anyone has any good ideas about Member XYZ from Peru who'd totally be a great mod, please let me know. Or post about it below. Or both. Or neither. No, wait, not neither. Definitely do one of those things.