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How we moderate (Locked)
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Invelos Software, Inc. RepresentativeGerri Cole
Invelos Software
Registered: March 10, 2007
United States Posts: 524
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We strive to moderate as fairly as humanly possible, taking into account that moderation is almost by definition filled with subjective analysis made by as many different judges as we have moderators.

Our moderators post only as an Invelos representative in this forum.  They are not regular customers who post under different names on this forum.

There are no 'special' users who are granted dispensation.  Invelos is wholly owned by Ken and me and has not received investment by anyone.

Over the past 18 months, we've tried varying levels of moderation, so the following statements may be considered our policies going forward:

We strive to allow free discussion as much as possible and in every case we can, give plenty of warning before taking any disciplinary action.

We consider several factors when determining action taken:
- Severity and number of the violations
- Posting history.  A user with 5 posts, all spam gets an immediate permanent ban.  However, this is not a sliding scale - if you're a regular user who posts once in a while, your history is not considered less valuable than one with posts in the tens of thousands.
- Rants vs repeats - if a single post is moderated, and the user subsequently repeats the violation, this is considered a more severe offense than a pair of posts made at the same time before moderation.
- Instigation - is the post in the middle of a back-and-forth, or is one user resorting to namecalling in an otherwise friendly discussion?

If action is necessary, the following bans are the standard progression (subject to modification based on severity):
- 1 day
- 2 days
- 1 week
- 2 weeks
- 1 month
- 3 months

Thusfar we've instituted up to 2-week bans, aside from the few permanent bans to unpaid accounts spamming.  Bans are between Invelos and the user and will not be published.

We also tend to give more warning to users who are facing a longer ban, but are reevaluating that policy.
Invelos Software, Inc. Representative
 Last edited: by Gerri Cole
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantStar Contributorlyonsden5
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Registered: March 13, 2007
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No comments from anyone still?    OK. I'll go first. 

Gerri, please know I respect the position you and Ken are in here. I offer the following comments as nothing more than the opinion of a 7 year user who has been through a lot here as well as at IVS and also involved in every rule writing session we had. I frequent the forums numerous times daily over those 7 years, with few exceptions. I think you for the effort but feel you have a long way to go to get things cleaned up.

Mostly I would like to thank you for the communication here. It is huge if you ask me!

Quoting Gerri Cole:
Quote:
We strive to moderate as fairly as humanly possible, taking into account that moderation is almost by definition filled with subjective analysis made by as many different judges as we have moderators.

Seems to me you need to discuss some of these issues with the moderators. Yes, it will always be subjective but for the most part you should all be on the same page. Of course I don't know the behind the scene stuff but my guess is if a post receives a boatload of red arrows it is considered by the community as offensive. IMO if the community as a whole thinks a post is offensive the moderators should as well.

Quote:
Our moderators post only as an Invelos representative in this forum.  They are not regular customers who post under different names on this forum.

That is a good thing, if they are truly impartial.

Quote:
There are no 'special' users who are granted dispensation.

Then as I said your moderators need to get on the same page. There are multiple instances where sometimes a post will be moderated and others a similar one, or even worse one, will be left alone. This at times gives the appearance of special treatment.

Quote:
Invelos is wholly owned by Ken and me and has not received investment by anyone.

Plans on going public anytime soon? 

Quote:
Over the past 18 months, we've tried varying levels of moderation,

And it is appreciated however as you see the atmosphere has not changed in those 18 months. Unless it has changed for the worst (probabyl due to those pesky spotters )

Quote:
so the following statements may be considered our policies going forward:

If I read this correctly you mean starting today...

Quote:
We strive to allow free discussion as much as possible and in every case we can, give plenty of warning before taking any disciplinary action.

part of the problem (IMO) of the past 18 months was there was too much warning and not enough action. There were also cases where no warning was given and people were simply banned. Again it came across as favoritism whether you meant it that was or not.

I'm all for giving a warning, but just once. It should be followed immediately by action if the warning does not work.

Quote:
We consider several factors when determining action taken:
- Severity and number of the violations

Quote:
- Posting history.  A user with 5 posts, all spam gets an immediate permanent ban.  However, this is not a sliding scale - if you're a regular user who posts once in a while, your history is not considered less valuable than one with posts in the tens of thousands.

If by history you mean the type of posts and the number of times a user is involved in heated discussions then it makes sense. Can you please clarify what "history" you are taking into consideration? Should I post more (or some even) LOLCats? Should I completely avoid and heated discussion, even if it remains civil? Are you sure all of you moderators are aware of the type of history you are referring to?
Quote:
- Rants vs repeats - if a single post is moderated, and the user subsequently repeats the violation, this is considered a more severe offense than a pair of posts made at the same time before moderation.

Quote:
- Instigation - is the post in the middle of a back-and-forth, or is one user resorting to namecalling in an otherwise friendly discussion?
This one is tricky. A simple polite request made by myself was considered by the user as instigating something. This is not the 1st time someone was accused of instigating trouble. Many times a user will overreact and the flame war begins. I urge you and your staff to use caution in determining what is an instigating post.

Quote:
If action is necessary, the following bans are the standard progression (subject to modification based on severity):
- 1 day
- 2 days
- 1 week
- 2 weeks
- 1 month
- 3 months

Thusfar we've instituted up to 2-week bans, aside from the few permanent bans to unpaid accounts spamming.  Bans are between Invelos and the user and will not be published.

Do  those who received bans in the past start fresh? If someone has already acted in a manner where you felt they deserved a 2 week ban according to the chart above 1 month should be next. I certainly hope those who have already been banned multiple times don't get to start over simply because you are clarifying your rules.

Quote:
We also tend to give more warning to users who are facing a longer ban, but are reevaluating that policy.

If someone has repeatedly shown you they cannot act in a manner which you find acceptable then the warning on future behavior should be less, not more. If they are facing a longer ban my guess is they have already been banned for shorter lengths. The simple fact that they are at it again means the ban isn't working for them. A stern warning certainly wont help. I am glad to hear you are reevaluating that policy. I think it's backwards personally.
DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantStar ContributorTheMadMartian
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Registered: March 13, 2007
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Quoting Gerri Cole:
Quote:
- Rants vs repeats - if a single post is moderated, and the user subsequently repeats the violation, this is considered a more severe offense than a pair of posts made at the same time before moderation.

This, I think, is the one that has caused the most confusion.  If I am reading you correctly, multiple moderated posts, when done at the same time, is considered a single offense.  What I mean is, if someone goes on a rampage, making numerous posts over several threads, that require moderation, it is one instance of moderating, not multiple instances.  Do I have that right?
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DVD Profiler Desktop and Mobile RegistrantStar ContributorTheMadMartian
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Quoting lyonsden5:
Quote:
No comments from anyone still?    OK. I'll go first. 

I was going to respond earlier, but my daughter ran over a box of my collectibles and I am still assessing the damage and coming to grips with the loss.  I was looking up the cost of replacing the ones that I can when, out of habit, I clicked on the Profiler link.
No dictator, no invader can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever.
There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom.
Against this power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand.
The Centauri learned this lesson once.
We will teach it to them again.
Though it take a thousand years, we will be free.
- Citizen G'Kar
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantAlien Redrum
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Registered: August 23, 2008
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Pretty much everything lyonsden said (especially the bit about the Spotters. I HATE THEM.  )

There are a few things I'd like to add:

Quote:
Our moderators post only as an Invelos representative in this forum.  They are not regular customers who post under different names on this forum.


Honestly, I truly think you should get a few regular impartial customers on that board. If not to moderate, then at least to give opinion. If current moderators have nothing at stake, they will be impartial, but I also believe they won't see the bigger picture. If they just read the red flagged posts and not what the members are posting as a whole on the rest of the board, they won't get the bigger picture. I believe this has been shown when, IMO, Taro was unfairly suspended (all things considered).

Because if the people moderating only read a minority of the posts (and, really, why would they read more than what they had too for something they aren't interested in), they only get a small sliver of what's really going on.

There are more-than-a-few members on this forum that can do this impartially.

Secondly, I made an off-the-cuff statement as it being 'business as usual' because I miss read your post. I edited it out because of the misreading, and I apologize for jumping the gun.
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DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantMark Harrison
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Registered: March 13, 2007
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Thanks for posting Gerri.  It's good to see you.  It's been too long.

Anyway, it seems to me that you're finally revealing some of the inner workings of the moderation process.  Thanks.  We've been asking for that to be clarified for years.

What I'm not seeing (hopefully I'm just missing it here) is any sort of real response to 81 people who aren't happy today with that process.  That was 91% of the 89 people people who voted in that poll.

Perhaps that's still on the way, so I don't want to make any assumptions just yet.  But I'd certainly like to hear a little more than a description of what many of us believe is a flawed system.
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DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorDoubleDownAgain
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Quoting Mark Harrison:
Quote:
Thanks for posting Gerri.  It's good to see you.  It's been too long.

Anyway, it seems to me that you're finally revealing some of the inner workings of the moderation process.  Thanks.  We've been asking for that to be clarified for years.

What I'm not seeing (hopefully I'm just missing it here) is any sort of real response to 81 people who aren't happy today with that process.  That was 91% of the 89 people people who voted in that poll.

Perhaps that's still on the way, so I don't want to make any assumptions just yet.  But I'd certainly like to hear a little more than a description of what many of us believe is a flawed system.


Agreed!

Having faceless nameless moderators & no information to bans only heightens the sense that nothing is being done.  I also appreciate you speaking up after days of back and forth where it didn't seem as anyone was even paying attention.  While I hope things improve I also hope this isn't the last we hear from you on this matter.  If this was only meant to sweep it under the rug then I fear it won't solve anything and things will continue to be toxic.
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DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorAce_of_Sevens
Registered: December 10, 2007
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Agreed with basically everyone. It may be useful to see how other forums handle thsi sort of thing. Moderators working in public view with the ability to PM them and such is the norm almost everywhere. I can see why you'd want to handle things quietly, but if the problem isn't solved (it rarely is), then handling things quietly looks like doing nothing. The purpose isn't to embarrass people who are being moderated, but to make everyone accountable.
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorCharlieM
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I do not think that making "banning" public would actually serve any valid purpose.  The only view that we need, is that the moderators are moderating, publicly in the forums.

Every post that is moderated, needs to have a reason that it was moderated posted in the forum.

(Foul Language, personal attack, etc).  These also need to be done, immediately or as soon as is feasible.  Unfortunately, that means watching the forums 24hrs a day, and without other help, I don't know the feasibility.

Bans need to be between Invelos and whoever is banned.  But the person needs to know how long he is banned, and the exact reasons for the ban.  To have a punishment and not knowing the reason for the punishment is bad. (especially if the person doesn't think he did wrong).

My opinion..

Charlie

P.S.  Maybe if you want to know something is being done, post a banning count on the main page.
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantMark Harrison
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Quoting CharlieM:
Quote:
I do not think that making "banning" public would actually serve any valid purpose.  The only view that we need, is that the moderators are moderating, publicly in the forums.


It lets people know that real action is being taken.  Most of the other sites I visit put the status next to the users name.  This lets me know not to jump in, the problem has already been taken care of.

There's also the aspect of being humiliated in front of your peers.  That's a little extra incentive for some to behave properly.  I can go for days or weeks without posting here.  If I were banned, no one would know the difference.  If people did know I was banned, the embarrassment alone would make me think twice about my behavior.

Quote:
These also need to be done, immediately or as soon as is feasible.  Unfortunately, that means watching the forums 24hrs a day, and without other help, I don't know the feasibility.


I also disagree with this.  If I know there is fair and equitable moderation going on, and if that moderation is happening consistently, then if I see something bad, I'm not going to jump into the mess.  I'll assume the moderators will be along eventually and if I jump in, then I'm likely to receive punishment myself when the moderators have a chance to handle the issue (a good approach in general I think).  The problem is seeing bad things sit there for days.  Now if the "moderators" are Gerri, or Ken and Gerri, that's understandable as they too have a life.  If there's a team of 10 (for example), then there's no excuse for things going un-moderated for days on end (if ever).  So I personally don't need to see immediate action.  As long as I know that action will come in eventually in a reasonable time frame.

Anyway, we've all been over this many times in the past few days in other threads.  I'm hoping that Invelos will give us something a little more than explaining what I personally consider to be a system that isn't working today.  I really do appreciate the insight!  But I hope to see some additional followup as well.
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 Last edited: by Mark Harrison
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorAce_of_Sevens
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I've moderated before (For IGN a couple years) and dealt with this on multiple forums. The reason bans are normally public is the same reason we don't have secret trials. It keeps the moderators accountable for who they ban and sends a public message about acceptable behavior.
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorWinston Smith
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Quoting Ace_of_Sevens:
Quote:
Agreed with basically everyone. It may be useful to see how other forums handle thsi sort of thing. Moderators working in public view with the ability to PM them and such is the norm almost everywhere. I can see why you'd want to handle things quietly, but if the problem isn't solved (it rarely is), then handling things quietly looks like doing nothing. The purpose isn't to embarrass people who are being moderated, but to make everyone accountable.

Lol.

1) Agenda-driven
2) Bloodsport

Which is what all this moderation talk is about to begin with, fortunately Ace, is hust honest about it.
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Quoting Mark Harrison:
Quote:
Quoting CharlieM:
Quote:
I do not think that making "banning" public would actually serve any valid purpose.  The only view that we need, is that the moderators are moderating, publicly in the forums.


It lets people know that real action is being taken.  Most of the other sites I visit put the status next to the users name.  This lets me know not to jump in, the problem has already been taken care of.

There's also the aspect of being humiliated in front of your peers.  That's a little extra incentive for some to behave properly.  I can go for days or weeks without posting here.  If I were banned, no one would know the difference.  If people did know I was banned, the embarrassment alone would make me think twice about my behavior.

Quote:
These also need to be done, immediately or as soon as is feasible.  Unfortunately, that means watching the forums 24hrs a day, and without other help, I don't know the feasibility.


I also disagree with this.  If I know there is fair and equitable moderation going on, and if that moderation is happening consistently, then if I see something bad, I'm not going to jump into the mess.  I'll assume the moderators will be along eventually and if I jump in, then I'm likely to receive punishment myself when the moderators have a chance to handle the issue (a good approach in general I think).  The problem is seeing bad things sit there for days.  Now if the "moderators" are Gerri, or Ken and Gerri, that's understandable as they too have a life.  If there's a team of 10 (for example), then there's no excuse for things going un-moderated for days on end (if ever).  So I personally don't need to see immediate action.  As long as I know that action will come in eventually in a reasonable time frame.

Anyway, we've all been over this many times in the past few days in other threads.  I'm hoping that Invelos will give us something a little more than explaining what I personally consider to be a system that isn't working today.  I really do appreciate the insight!  But I hope to see some additional followup as well.


I couldn't have said it better.

I don't expect a public lashing by the moderators to the users, but a "suspended" or "banned" under the name lets the others know that, yes, moderation is enforced. It's as Mark said, it may encourage the violator to not be so aggressive (or whatever he/she was suspended for) in the future because everyone can see it.

Like Mark said, if there is a semblance of moderation, speaking for myself, I am very less likely to jump into anything and let the moderators handle it.

*edit*

To add:

Quoting Ace:
Quote:
Moderators working in public view with the ability to PM them and such is the norm almost everywhere.




I don't agree that there should be invisimods with blanket/generic moderation statements, but if that's the route, the moderators should still be directly accessible on some level.
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 Last edited: by Alien Redrum
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Quoting CharlieM:
Quote:

Bans need to be between Invelos and whoever is banned.

Why?
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorKulju
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Quoting lyonsden5:
Quote:
No comments from anyone still? 


It's hard to comment a post that doesn't actually say anything or answer any questions. It's like asking an opinion when somebody decribes a system that everyone knows doesn't work. I would be much more interested to know what are their plans to make this forum a pleasent place for everyone.

So what will CHANGE in future?

I feel that this post is just a "reply something and hope they will forget the actual issue...."
DVD Profiler Unlimited RegistrantStar ContributorWinston Smith
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Kulju:

Because as I have noted., and you are no different, my friend.

There is only one user here that has posted in this thread that does not have a personal agenda. more than one are driven only by sheer hatred, some of the others are me too. In my personal, the moderation of this site has displayed a double standard multiple times and in multiple ways, I think that moderation attempts have not calmed the forums down, but heated them up to near intolerable areas, Geri. Look at some the some of the posts by some of these users and tell me that they are driven a personal agenda and/or vendetta, and further feel that it is perfectly acceptable behavior to set up threads which are nothing more than attack threads aimed at one or more users, such as the last one which was setup by a poll.

Geri I have held my hand out to every user in the Forums, in peace, some may have accepted, I hope so, we will see, more are welcome, but the fact that more have not accepted says more about those user and their personal agendas than it does of me. I think you are only fueling this hatred and feeding it even more, unfortunately I think that Invelos has allowed itself to be put into a no-win scenario. I was reviewing the other site referred to by another user this morning and was observing that one of the posters had actually bragged about his own poor behavior.

I am sorry geri this just all around a bad thing as long as it is fueled by hatred, as it has been from the beginning.
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 Last edited: by Winston Smith
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