Making Discussions Personal

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I'm confused, concerned, discouraged... why are moderators allowing discussions to involve personal aspects of non-members, yet when this is brought up in thread (that people are showing obvious bias towards certain people) and pointed out, moderators step in to say that pointing out such is not allowed? (And I'm not talking about the NuTSR thread, that's a beast of its own.)

Look, I know moderation is hard (I do it elsewhere) and is never perfect. But this is not the first time this type of moderation has happened. And it seems to happen more to a select group of posters from a select set of moderators than being applied more generally.

Is this something we can talk about? Or is it just going to get shutdown because well, it's uncomfortable to talk about.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
You’d have to be more specific. But generally we’d allow people to criticise public figures or comment on published works but not insult each other. Your lines for what falls into what category may vary, of course.
 

I'm really trying not to name names publicly. And I'll admit part of the reason is I fear unintentional/subconscious retaliation. Which makes me sad for myself and the board.

So one example is in a thread I felt a poster was making personal/demeaning attacks on a non-member. So I reported it. No moderation (ok, it was my opinion, not a big deal that mods did not agree).

But much later on I posted in the thread that it seemed like a lot of people were hell bent on demeaning the non-poster (because posts with such obvious biases had continued). I did not name names, I did not attack anyone. Yes, in a way it was dismissive of other's opinions, but I felt it was a valid and relevant observation of the discussion happening in that thread. And I got moderated for it. Yet this same post I got moderated for recieved more than a dozen reactions. Which is a lot of reactions and indicates that there are a lot of other users who felt such a post was valuable.

There are a lot of aspects to that which are interesting to me. Look, I hate spending time bringing this type of stuff up. But it's happened more than once and it quite honestly making me reluctant to spend my time on ENWorld. Yes, I'm only one person. No big deal if I throw a temper tantrum and leave (not planning on it, because quite honestly ENWorld is much more to my liking than any other RPG site I've tried). But am I experiencing this, it is happening to more people? Is it happening enough to be worth considering how things might be improved?

That's your call. Thanks for listening. (Not to imply discussion should be over, but it can be if you desire.)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
@LordEntrails

It has been my experience that while you should never question or quote moderation in thread, if you have a specific question for a moderator, you can PM them. And while they might not respond immediately (everyone has a life, contrary to appearances here!), they do respond.


ETA- I should add that I am NOT saying that people should PM a moderator about every decision! But it seems that you have a specific concern that is hard to discuss in a general forum- even the meta forum. I honestly have no idea what you're referring to.
 
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Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
Since I'm pretty sure I know what the situation being referred to here, I have to say I think that Morrus' response more or less covers it. The person being criticized is a public figure, creating public content about and around D&D and RPGs. People have expressed their dislike or distaste for some of the things this person has said or done, or more accurately I think in this case how they go about saying and doing it. As this is a public figure, none of that is entirely out of bounds.

By calling out other posters (even if not specifically any single one) on being "hell bent on demeaning" this person, you are casting aspersions to the motives of those posters; some people would refer to this as "mind reading" It's not insulting, such as it is, but it is rude, and I have seen similar actions result in red text on this site many times.

Respond to what they're saying, rather than why you think they might be saying it.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'm really trying not to name names publicly. And I'll admit part of the reason is I fear unintentional/subconscious retaliation. Which makes me sad for myself and the board.

So one example is in a thread I felt a poster was making personal/demeaning attacks on a non-member. So I reported it. No moderation (ok, it was my opinion, not a big deal that mods did not agree).

But much later on I posted in the thread that it seemed like a lot of people were hell bent on demeaning the non-poster (because posts with such obvious biases had continued). I did not name names, I did not attack anyone. Yes, in a way it was dismissive of other's opinions, but I felt it was a valid and relevant observation of the discussion happening in that thread. And I got moderated for it. Yet this same post I got moderated for recieved more than a dozen reactions. Which is a lot of reactions and indicates that there are a lot of other users who felt such a post was valuable.

There are a lot of aspects to that which are interesting to me. Look, I hate spending time bringing this type of stuff up. But it's happened more than once and it quite honestly making me reluctant to spend my time on ENWorld. Yes, I'm only one person. No big deal if I throw a temper tantrum and leave (not planning on it, because quite honestly ENWorld is much more to my liking than any other RPG site I've tried). But am I experiencing this, it is happening to more people? Is it happening enough to be worth considering how things might be improved?

That's your call. Thanks for listening. (Not to imply discussion should be over, but it can be if you desire.)
This is all so vague I honestly have no idea how to respond to it. I’m sorry.

But I’ll try to reiterate the policy so you can apply it to whatever it is you’re avoiding mentioning—public figures and public publishings can be criticised. Other members can’t be attacked.

Maybe it will help if I explain what our job as moderators is: it’s not to adjudicate society (we don’t have that power or influence!); it’s simply to keep the peace in our house. We’re not role models, we’re peacekeepers.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
So, a few thoughts.

First off, be aware that while we are all aiming at being fair and just, the primarily mission of a moderator is just that - moderation. We are, first and foremost, control rods that keep discussion from becoming raging arguments and flamewars.

So, interactions between the posters here are usually our top priority. We care more that User X calls User Y a stupidhead, because Y will take offense and respond, and that's likely to become an argument.

If you insult Industry Figure Q, but Q doesn't post on these boards, they aren't going to escalate that confrontation. We don't really like it, but in trying to leave space for folks to express themselves about public figures and such, whether we should act on it becomes a much more grey area.

In general, we have found that broad dismissive pronouncements tend to start or escalate arguments. "They are biased, so you shouldn't listen to them," is putting the speakers into a pigeonhole and dismissing them in aggregate with the word "bias", completely bypassing whether their position actually has some sound basis. That comes off as more than a little arrogant, and kind of insulting, which is why we warn against doing so.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Respond to what they're saying, rather than why you think they might be saying it.

This.

You (generic, not anyone in particular) are not a mind-reader. Your personal assessment of why someone else says a thing is not authoritative, and acting like it is authoritative causes problems. So please don't.
 
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@LordEntrails

It has been my experience that while you should never question or quote moderation in thread, if you have a specific question for a moderator, you can PM them. And while they might not respond immediately (everyone has a life, contrary to appearances here!), they do respond.


ETA- I should add that I am NOT saying that people should PM a moderator about every decision! But it seems that you have a specific concern that is hard to discuss in a general forum- even the meta forum. I honestly have no idea what you're referring to.
I have. And it wasn't unfriendly or uninformative. But in the end my perception of being singled out has not changed because I still see me getting moderated where others are not. I don't see myself as an abrasive or insensitive person, but apparently I come across that way to moderator(s) on this forum and that's part of my concern.

Look, so you can all take a look, here's the post I made that got moderated (and it is linked);
1699040741064.png

Was I really out of line here? Can we not make observations that other seem to be aggressively attacking an RPG person and non-member and that they have colored their views so obviously?

Look, I don't want to get anyone else moderated or talked to etc. But I'm at a loss here as to how to improve myself and why it seems to me I get treated differently. If I'm wrong I can accept that, take a look and tell me if I'm too sensitive or misinterpreting etc:

How is my post less acceptable than these?
1699040925178.png

Or this similar to my response to a similar post that seems more out of line than mine does to me?
1699041006442.png


How is this an acceptable discussion of making something personal, but my unnamed and generic comment is not?
1699041284291.png


I really feel like I'm whining here. I'm going to go have a good weekend and try not to come back to this thread until its over. Time heals all, right?
 


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