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How we moderate threads

Discussion in 'Moderator Discussion' started by Aeolus, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Aeolus

    Aeolus Bag
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    I'm of the opinion that the most important aspect to consider when determining whether or not to lock/delete a thread and infract the user who posted it is the amount of effort put into the construction of the thread. If the user presents an idea in a clear, cogent fashion while employing all the conventions of written English in addition to adhering the extensive rule list we've provided... I think they should be left untouched by the infraction system.

    If we run into a case where a user, while following all the rules, presents a bad or stupid idea in a clear way, I think it would be best for us (instead of infracting and deleting the thread) to post in it and tell them why their idea sucks. If we get into the practice of judging which ideas are good and which are bad and punishing those with whom we disagree, we run the risk of being perceived as unfair, closed-minded, and elitist (sorta sounds like some of the most common complaints about this great site).

    I know there are those who disagree with me and think that thread content is the only thing that matters... but I think that leads to a mentality of "damn the rules, we'll infract whomever we please!"

    I bring it up because I think we might be able to chill just a little when it comes to how we manage the users. Note, I'm not talking about the rule breakers... infract them to hell... it is the other 90% that concerns me.
  2. Synre

    Synre
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    I'm obligated to post I guess but I mostly disagree -

    I am of the opinion that the jobs of moderators of any forum is to root out the bad threads(and at times bad users) to improve the quality of the forum.

    I don't think presenting an idea intelligently is enough if the idea itself is not intelligent. If the idea itself is boarderline I would definitely be less likely to want it infracted and/or deleted if it is presented in an intelligent manner, but at least IMO a bad thread is a bad thread regardless of how it is presented. If a thread is awful because it has an average idea that is presented poorly or a thread is awful because it has a poor idea that is presented well it is still an awful thread and I think it should still fall under the category of 'threads that should be deleted.'

    Additionally since you blew me off in the PM before I could find it this is what I had been referring to - http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24344


    Also I still find it really amusing to toss the word 'elitist' around, I'm pretty sure I have the quote saved somewhere but I'm almost positive I have a oneliner of chaos saying we're proud of being elitist on IRC and I think that is true. There is nothing wrong with being elitist. I'm not saying we should go out of our way to be perceived as such because there's not any real gain in that but it's not something I think we really need to go out of our way to avoid been seen as either. We aren't GameFAQs, we aren't Serebii, and there's no need for us to be accepting of every random idiot's terrible moveset. I'm not saying everything posted needs to be the new standard but when it's obvious a moveset is doomed to failure from the moment it is posted I don't think we should be thinking twice about deleting it either.
  3. Phuquoph

    Phuquoph
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    I've started leaving threads open if they're well written, regardless of how poor the ideas in them are. The reason I'm loathe to post in them and point out the flaws in their ideas is this - it's a waste of time.

    User posts thread with "awesome new idea".
    Mod tells user the flaws in his idea.
    User refuses to accept the criticism, continues to tell us how great their idea is. Replies to every single post so they can keep their thread alive as long as possible.
  4. Synre

    Synre
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    That is a lot of why I think we should be infract and deleting - they can send me all the annoying PMs they want but those threads die slowly(while it isn't really as bad as the threads in question here look how long the growthtran topic for an example) and shit up the forums for a long time since the original posters tend to be reluctant to let them drop. I would much rather have users sending me a bunch of annoying PMs than posting a bunch of bad posts in a bad topic that can be removed at the click of a button - there's no real benefit to keeping bad topics on the forum and there is a benefit to removing them since while it doesn't 'hurt anything' exactly it doesn't do a whole lot for the average intelligence of the forum either.
  5. Misty

    Misty oh
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    There are two ways to improve the quality of the forum. One way is to remove the bad... the other is to capitalize on the good. A person who puts forth effort and follows the rules is never a hopeless case, unless they're just a jackass. I think people deserve the benefit of a doubt. You should really only resort to the infractions when you get to the "refuses to accept criticism" stage. I know that 90% of the time this happens anyway and it's easier to just take the direct route, but I really kind of wish we could be more nurturing with users rather than just knocking them down :/
  6. Hipmonlee

    Hipmonlee Have a rice day
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    If someone is trying, I usually wont infract, but I will close their thread if their idea sucks.

    I do try to reply explaining why I am doing it when I close a thread, but on the other hand I dont moderate as much as most of your guys, so it is easier for me to put more effort in when I do..

    Have a nice day.
  7. Aeolus

    Aeolus Bag
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    Ok, I really didn't mean this to be personal Synre. I didn't take issue with your actions in the #smogon chat nor that of #insidescoop... I didn't even mention your name here. I PM'ed you so that we could discuss it without me calling you out in front of everyone... but now that you feel that you were "blown off" instead of being shown respect... I'm at quite a loss for words. I have the log of our conversation saved. I read it 4 times and I'm quite sure I have no idea what you are talking about when you say you were "blown off." In fact, I would not have made this thread if your case was the only one... this is a larger debate that needs to be had if we wish to continue to be a successful community.

    I think there is some misinterpretation of the word elitist going on here. If chaos said this, I can't imagine him meaning anything more or less than we are proud of being the best and that we hold ourselves to high standards. Even if that isn't exactly what he meant, I'm quite sure that he didn't intend that statement to be a license for his staff to treat users who have signed up for his site (and attempted to contribute) with disrespect.

    I don't disagree that it would be quite a bit easier to simply lock and delete the sort of threads we are talking about... but at best that is a short term solution. I think it would be better if we tried to identify users who have potential and cultivate a contributer out of them. I'd also point out that chaos and tenchi took the route I'm advocating here in that Leafeon thread. The guy posted a bad set... tenchi and chaos told him it was bad, why, and suggested a good set and reasonable advice. They did not infract the guy and delete his thread.

    I dunno, either way, I didn't mean any personal offense to you, Synre.
  8. chaos

    chaos
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    Don't infract people who put effort into threads and don't break rules...

    As for locking, these are my personal opinions and not necessarily official policy.

    I don't think we should lock or discourage people from posting their movesets or really... much of anything. Obviously, nobody gives a shit about your Pokemon's IVs, and questions that can be answered by a Pokedex or an analysis should not be asked simply because you're too lazy to do your homework but...

    if we don't allow people to post about Pokemon from an uneducated perspective, what on earth are they going to post about? There is very, very little that we don't already know. If people want the rock solid, educated advice, the peer edited analyses and other such information exists. I don't even see the point for having a D/P forum if we can't use it as a method to actually teach people about Pokemon. People should do their homework, no doubt about it. But if someone does their homework and wants to suggest an idea or discuss something in general for further understanding, who are we to destroy them? They aren't going to automatically understand Pokemon from an analysis and I guess the the obvious answer is "practice" but if we go that route, what the hell is the point of the forum anyway?

    We should never encourage stupid thinking, but we should nurture new users, teach them Pokemon through criticism of their ideas and discussion as well as analyses and other peer edited articles, and make them proud to be educated members of Smogon.com. It's an impossible ideal, but I think it's better than locking everything and denying someone learning.
  9. Synre

    Synre
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    Using the Leafeon thread as an example...

    I don't think infracting/deleting is inherently more disrespectful than than this type of thing:



    Everything they said is true, obviously, but I'm pretty sure that's going to piss the person they are talking about off just as much if not more as if we'd just deleted the offending post to begin with and it gets the crap off the forum. As far as explaining why stuff is terrible I think that can be done just fine in a PM(or infraction message where applicable). As I recall, using this as an example again, that user did not improve and instead got banned almost immediately.


    I just don't see the benefit in keeping obviously shitty threads and moveset ideas around.
  10. Mekkah

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    I'm gonna go ahead and mention Dragontamer's 32 turns of Stallrein/Walrein/Wallrein/Whateverein thread.

    http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28213

    The idea is creative, the thread doesn't break the rules in any way (except his occasional double post, which I infracted him for)...but what bothers me about it is two things:

    1) he replies to every single post opposing him, and hardly admits he is wrong. Of course, in a lot of cases he isn't and this is in no way breaking the rules, but it does irk me. Then again, if Chain Chomp was being questioned while I was on the forums I would probably reply as well. But it also seems like a half assed attempt to keep the thread alive.
    2) he repeatly uses his own attack/defense tier system which just completely fails to take typing into account and he is the only person in the world who actually does this.

    I think it is a perfect example of a rather bad thread with too many annoying things about them to fix (making posting in it usually rather futile, or as Phuquoph put it, a waste of time), and locking of course wouldn't be a solution either.

    The same, to a lesser extent, goes for that Growthran thread (boy I do hate cheesy names). The idea was good, but for some reason I am just annoyed by how the creator keeps bumping it only to update us with "I like Power Whip better than Solarbeam actually".
  11. Hipmonlee

    Hipmonlee Have a rice day
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    Yeah the reason I close these threads it not to punish the poster in some way, but more to protect them from potential flames..

    Possibly to discourage other members from taking potentially awful advice.. Perhaps if they overlooked my reply or something.

    If you explain why you think the set is poor before closing you sorta have a win win situation.. The OP learns, nobody gets mislead, and you arent infracting just for being new to pokemon. If they have more questions, you could advise them to PM you or something.

    Have a nice day.
  12. david stone

    david stone Fast-moving, smart, sexy and alarming.
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    I don't like to make a substantial post and immediately lock the thread without giving anyone time to reply. I mean, I don't have a problem with it if it's like "Not going to work because you got X mechanic wrong", but for anything beyond that, I think people should have a bit of time to reply. If the post ends up being futile, sure, lock it and say the reason you're locking.
  13. alex

    alex the best stuff on earth
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    I usually don't infract for the dumb threads that people put a lot of work into. For the most part, I close and delete then PM them... or just post in the thread after locking and delete it after a while.

    I don't think there should be any sort of "official policy" other than "deal with it on an individual basis" because there is most certainly a line between tolerable ignorance/being new to pokemon and having a bad but understandable idea and suggesting Dig on Leafeon and then following up with outright aggressive and obvious refusal to accept criticism, blindly defending something with no facts or experience, etc. which should of course be infracted the vast majority of the time.
  14. Carl

    Carl or Varl
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    As much as I've been told to "give an infraction every time", like LordS I tend to use personal discretion and assess the situation before pulling the trigger. I will not hesitate to lock/infract/delete a thread like "check out my 29 iv gastly" but for other threads that suggest say a Choice Scarf for an otherwise standard set I think it's just best to close it and state that it's pretty much not worth discussing. If a thread doesn't necessarily break the rules I don't see why someone should still get an infraction for it so I usually won't give one out.
  15. chaos

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    "give an infraction every time" refers to rule breakers. putting effort into a thread that is subpar isnt breaking a rule.
  16. Kumar

    Kumar
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    Yellow cards could be useful here
  17. chaos

    chaos
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    how would they be useful? these people dont need warnings. warnings are 1 point infractions.
  18. Kumar

    Kumar
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    nevermind, same thing can be done by a PM..

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