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given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior.

synonyms: fickle, inconstant, changeable, variable, mercurial, volatile, unpredictable, temperamental; whimsical, fanciful, flighty, quirky

So I finally got around to reading Kos' Ask Me Anything diary from yesterday and noticed in the comments threads there were a lot of questions as well as anger over some recent site moderation and administration actions and decisions. In particular, without getting into the specifics of any of the arguments that lead up to theses actions and decisions, I noted complaints that admin and enforcement of rules is not fair, not consistent, and that the rules and potential consequences are not clearly spelled out in advance, nor are they necessarily explained after the fact.

This is all true. Completely correct. I learned this myself here in 2010, when I got caught up in a situation where I had rec'd a comment that contained a line near the end tht included a word that someone deemed an "insult" that could not be rec'd, and decided to send me a warning that locked me out of the site until I acknowledged this "rule violation" and the threat that any such violation in the future would result in being banned. I didn't even know what comment it was talking about!

I remember the year and know it in the weeks before the Arizona senate primary for our 2010 challenger to McCain, because when it happened I was involved in a fun and active discussion with some other BajaAZ Kossacks one evening about the upcoming primary and our candidates of choice. I think it was the night of a debate and we were all quite involved in the conversation. No one was insulting anyone, it was a great community spirit kind of discussion. Suddenly, my page locked up and I got this big red warning notice! To say I was shocked, hurt, angry, and upset would be kind of an understatement.

Below I will explain what happened, why I got the warning, what I learned from it, and how the experience effected my subsequent involvement and participation here. It's kind of a long story and I don't know that anyone will be interested, but even though it was four years ago it's not something I've forgotten - so here's the story for what it's worth.

My first feeling when I was suddenly removed from my discussion with other Baja Kossacks and allies about the senate primary and Rodney Glassman's insulting performance and what were the chances of beating him and who we liked instead, to find myself instead reading an admin warning that I had done something so terrible that if I did it again I'd be banned ... was shock. Confusion! What. The. FUCK?? Then... denial. This can't be right. System glitch. Log out, log back in. Still there. Shit. On to bargaining... it must be a mistake or misunderstanding. I'll go see if I can track down what this about and try to get it resolved. (Forget my political discussion now, it's about survival first.)

So first I had to acknowledge the warning. This got me back in to the site. I could have, I suppose, just gone back to my discussion and moved on - but I felt it was vital to discover what rule I had broken and how, so as to not accidentally get myself banned. I could not imagine it was anything in the current discussion, which was more than civil, there was camaraderie. So I had to go back further... I finally found the offending comment by the reply threads which included Meteor Blades saying that the rec'ers would be sanctioned, because near the end of the several-paragraph-long comment (from earlier, it might have been that morning or the previous day maybe, I don't recall exactly but it was not a current comment at the time I got the warning) the writer used the word "firebaggers" in reference to a certain subset or mindset of some progressives. Now mind you, had I noticed that I most likely would not have rec'd it, I think my rec was for some other part of it, and I hadn't read it that closely. That was not a good thing to do, but such is life, it happens.

I also had no idea until that very moment that rec'ing a comment that "contained an insult" was against the rules! Given that a huge number of comments here are or contain comments that someone, somewhere would certainly consider an "insult" and are rec'd with abandon all day and night every single day, this was quite a surprise to say the least. I had been here a couple of years at the time, and had managed to stay mostly out of trouble until then. I read the FAQ carefully, and I lurked for a long time to get a sense of the community and where the lines are. I do try to both know and respect the rules of the place.  

I engaged with Meteor Blades in the comments, telling him that I had removed my rec, that I had never heard of this rule, that I hadn't even noticed the insult, that wasn't why I rec'd it anyway, and that I felt it was extremely unfair and wrong to issue such a sanction for something that 1. was a mistake and 2. I didn't even know was against the rules. He was nice enough to respond to me and explain his actions, but he was 100% unsympathetic to my complaints.

I asked when and where did this "rule" come from, and where was the list of forbidden words? He said the rule had been announced in a diary at some point. Well, I thought that alone was unfair and wrong. I don't have time to be here 24/7 or read every diary. How is that a reasonable way to communicate new rules? That's how it's done, he said. And people learn the rules just like you did here: by running in to them. Oops. This is how "community moderation works" I was told.

Hum. OK then. So I asked where is the list of forbidden words, so we can know which comments cannot be rec'd? There are no forbidden words, he said. Just that rec's on "insults" are subject to harsh sanctions. Like pornography, they cannot define this, but know it when they see it. I pointed out that countless insults are written and rec'd every day with no such consequences. I said that inconsistent enforcement of subjective rules is unfair and not user friendly. That's the way community moderation works, he said.

I told him that I felt I was treated unfairly. I was not flame-war regular, I was not participating in any flame-war, in fact I was actively talking local politics with other uses here, and this sudden warning for something in an earlier diary that I'd long since moved on from was a hurtful and disruptive action that made me feel like this was not a safe place to come and discuss things. (Note that I'm paraphrasing all this from memory of the message I received in the discussion.) He said essentially that he understood my feelings, but it was the only way they could do it, there's no way to read everything so enforcement is random and yes, sometimes unfair. Getting a warning isn't the end of the world, just move on. I felt he could have looked at my comment history and what I was doing currently and made a fair decision instead of a random one, but I see how that was probably unreasonable given the volume of shit he had to deal with.

To my defense that I hadn't even noticed the insulting line at the end, he was particularly harsh. He called it my "actual behavior in rec'ing an insult" and said that was all that he went by, and it was my responsibility to read each comment I rec in detail, and be more careful in what I choose to recommend. Got it!!!

Well, I was steamed. Hurt. Really annoyed. It all went down like a very bitter pill. I felt unfairly singled out and attacked for a mistake and breaking a rule I didn't know existed and that the moderation methods, such as they were, were bullshit. But at least it was all out on the table, take it or leave it. I stayed. I am to this day much more careful about what I rec and let many comments go without one, because of this experience. I guess that was his point.

It gave me much amusement and a sense of satisfaction when only a few weeks later, Meteor Blades himself added a rec on a lengthy comment that included near the end a reference to Barack Obama as Stepin Fetchit, and when called out for it, he said he hadn't read the entire comment and wouldn't have rec'd it if he'd noticed that. hahahah... I felt vindicated! He gave himself a pass for his "actual behavior" of rec'ing this racist insult because of not reading carefully enough, an error that could get me banned if I did it. Oh the irony!

I don't know why, but this somehow made me realize how silly I was being in hanging on to my anger over what had been "done to me" with my unfair sanction and warning. MB was human too! He did as great a job as anyone could with moderating this massive place, but I do think it's better off with no designated "authority" figure other than Kos, and we probably couldn't get anyone other than maybe Zaphod Beeblebrox to do it now anyway.  

Since then I have made it more of a point to try to read more of the meta and Ask Me Anything diaries and at least scan the comment threads on popular diaries, looking for other announcements of new rules or new interpretations or whatever. I still try to keep up. But I also know by now that is hopeless and I will miss things and maybe stumble on them one day again. I also know to stay the fuck out of flame wars and I do, almost always, and I try to tread carefully if I do wade in on "hot" topics. It put a damper on my participation - but I think that's what it was intended to do.

Kos has said quite unapologetically that he is capricious regarding community rules and enforcement. He may let things slide and slide and slide until he loses his patience one day and suddenly goes purge mode. He might issue bannings and whatever other sanctions he feels like when that happens, and it ain't going to be pretty. It's happened a few times. It does reinforce the risks of participating in the flame wars, in any capacity. It's easy to get caught in the hurricane even if you're mostly on the sidelines. For those who fly into the center of the storm, you must realize what you're doing and what you're risking.

I think "rules" that are based on entirely subjective criteria like "don't be a dick" are ridiculous. Like an "insult" this is in the eye of the beholder and undefinable. However, Kos explained it quite well one time, when he said if you are getting into frequent arguments and getting frequent HRs in multiple diaries, you're being a dick. You might be right, but you're still being a dick. That really stood out to me, being right is not a reason to keep harping on something beyond a certain, subjective point. You can be right and still just drop something. Wow, what a concept!

So now we have some people who seem very upset and confused about why there is unfair, capricious admin decisions and sanctions. And seem to be stuck on this and going back to it on multiple threads and diaries. Some have seemed very insistent that someone "admit" that the rules are random and have a personal touch to them sometimes, for better or worse depending on which side you're on. So that's partly why I wrote this, to "admit" that is completely true. I thought it was well-known in fact. Not a secret. And it's not going to change. So I think we all have to make the decisions I faced back in 2010, to either move on to acceptance, adapt and cope with it as it is, or leave and try to find a place better suited to your desires and preferences.

I chose to stay and to adapt. I had to confront my feelings and the reasons why it had hurt and angered me so much to be "unfairly" sanctioned, even though it was in one way mild, just an admin waring ... but it carried the threat of banning for even one more inadvertent infraction, so it felt very serious to me. In the following weeks there was a diary about teachers and early school and authority figures and I was reminded of a terrible incident in my first grade class where the teacher humiliated me in front of everyone in the class, for accidentally breaking a rule I didn't know existed. I was six years old and I learned it was very important to know the damn rules and follow them if you didn't want such treatment. When I got that warning, I felt the same way all over again. I had to think about that and put it into perspective. That was then, this is now. I'm a grown up and this is a private website, run by a person who makes his own rules. Stay or go. I stayed, and I'm happy I did. I hope everyone can find peace with whatever decisions you make for you.

Originally posted to Arizona Sunshine on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:18 AM PDT.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good to "see" you again CS. (6+ / 0-)

    We'll probably live-blog the primaries again this year.
    P.S. - We'd love to have you at one of our meet-ups.
    P.P.S. - I don't usually rec meta.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:34:24 AM PDT

    •  Thank you Azazello - good to see you too! (6+ / 0-)

      Thank you for everything ... you were among the group that was in the discussion that night I got booted out with the warning! arg, what a memory.

      As for meet ups - thanks as always for the invitation. Sometimes I seriously consider taking you up on it ... but to be honest I have not gotten to the point of being ready to give up my anonymous identity here by meeting locals in person. I sometimes talk about very personal stuff here that most people how know me don't know. Ironic, I guess. I will think about it... seriously.

  •  I recieved one of those red warnings once, too, (8+ / 0-)

    and never could find the comment that was supposed to be over the line. I've certainly crossed it a time or two, most of us have. When I complained about it in a diary, I got another one basically telling me to shut up about it.

    Community moderation is not perfect, however I think it is preferable to the way some other sites are moderated.

    Daily Kos is like any community: people tend to figure out how to conform. Just wait and see how much sanctioning and banning goes on when the Hillary wars re-ignite (it's already starting.)

    Like you, I spent a lot of time lurking here and getting a feel for the community before creating an account. The community, like all communities, changes over time.

    By the way, the original "pie fight"? Markos started it. Go to the dKospedia page and look up "pie fight" or do a search of the words "sanctimonious women's studies set" (Markos' words) for the history.

    All in all, however, it's Markos' personal blog and he has the right to make the rules.


    by commonmass on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:42:52 AM PDT

    •  Thanks commonmass (9+ / 0-)

      I read about the Pie Fight history when I was new here... important Daily Kos lore. I can only imagine the atmosphere during that. I came here in spring 2008 in the wake of the "writers strike" over the Hillary/Obama wars.

      I agree about the moderation here, it's not perfect but works pretty damn well overall most of the time. Yesterday, Wee Mama posted a hilarious diary about a flame war in a Cake recipe blog of all places -- that devolved to the point where not only were they arguing about liberals and feminists but a man actually said to a women commenter "shut your dick sucker you kunt" -- really! And he got upvotes! I thought oh man, at daily kos you would never get away with that! He would be shredded. It's good we have lines and means for the community to enforce them. That those line are blurry and subjective and open to misuse and problems is a given, but this place would be intolerable without it.

      •  I'll have to seek out her diary. (4+ / 0-)

        To our credit, our Daily Kos cooking diaries remain extremely "safe" places without flame wars. Instructional and fun, too, as a sometime contributor and frequent reader of "What's for Dinner". Which, speaking of Daily Kos lore, is the longest-running community diary here. Kossacks like to eat, and having been to many meetups and to Netroots Nation, I can attest to that!

        A couple of years ago I wrote a Daily Kos history diary which talked about things like the original pie fight and the writer's strike and why we call cats pooties, and other Daily Kos lore.

        I think I may do another one this summer.


        by commonmass on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:30:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I call it the (5+ / 0-)
      Mostly because whomever writes the notes is annoyingly condescending

      I need your support, my paypal is:

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:42:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is how it made me feel too, at the time (4+ / 0-)

        I'm not entirely sure they intend for it to be that, but it certainly did feel that way to me when it appeared on my page. I know some people don't care about them at all and get them over and over without really caring much. That's probably a better attitude overall.

        •  Well... (4+ / 0-)

          Some people act as though they don't care about warnings, because they apparently aren't receiving enough of them to inspire a change in behavior that should, in theory, come as a result.

          A warning shouldn't necessarily be something to get overly upset about, but having been the recipient of a couple myself, I can agree that they are, indeed, a bit unsettling when you get one, especially if you don't know what, exactly the behavior was that caused it.

          It's one thing to be warned about "wrongful" rating of a specific comment, if, in fact, a link to the comment in question is provided in the warning message itself. At least one can work with that.

          It's another matter entirely to receive a vague "tone-nanny" type of warning that comes out of nowhere, has no link to the offending comment, and even after having not had a hidden comment in months, leaves a person paging through their recent comments trying to figure-out for themselves what they did wrong.

          And what makes it all the more troubling is the uncertainty about how many warnings one can withstand before the next infraction results in banning. If such a number exists, is it constant, or variable, depending on the case at hand?

          Since these warnings go on a person's "record" and can impact his/her membership here, a little more transparency doesn't seem like too much to ask.

          (This comment is a more of a "rant" and not specifically directed to you, of course, CZ)

          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

          by DeadHead on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:51:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hear you... it's frustrating and disconcerting (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Free Jazz at High Noon, DeadHead

            and the answer is, of course, there is no defined number of allowed infractions. It's capricious! My warning said that any further incidents would result in banning. That's one reason it troubled me so much, as that seemed very harsh for a first offense of an unknown rule! And indeed, being kicked out of a good discussion and having to go paging through my pervious comments looking for my offense was really annoying to say the least.

            I do think asking for it to change is asking too much though ... that was kinda the point of my diary, it is what it is. You have to either learn to adapt, or decide to leave. Or, obviously, you can complain and try to get things changed... but I'm fairly certain that will only lead to frustration, and possibly worse.

            For me, I had to decide it was ok, not to expect fairness and realize it was on me ... I had to be a lot more careful and circumspect in what I write and what comments I recommend and what discussions I participate in. I took it pretty seriously. Still do.  

  •  I cannot judge for myself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, CS in AZ, hnichols

    I cannot judge the severity of the "transgression" without the context of the comment that you recommended. Sometimes the rules around some websites are enforced in a very capricious way. Disagreeing with John Aravosis about the non trans inclusive ENDA bill of 2007 got me banned at Americablog after years of participation, though I violated exactly zero rules. On another occasion, a long time participant got banned from there after disagreeing with something Andrew Sullivan had said. I have not noticed that phenomenon here though. I disagree with the blog masters/mistresses here frequently and often vehemently but have never received so much as a warning. Again, without the exact context of the comment, I have no way to judge this event for myself. I, myself have been accused of being a "firebagger" here, as I was a regular at Firedoglake for years and I've had some pretty vile things said to me in that context but I don't know that any of those exchanges led to the offending party being sanctioned. I have no advice, this comment is only meant to convey why I can't render an educated opinion on your particular case and to say that out of all the blogs I have spent any amount of time on at all, "capricious" wouldn't be the word I'd choose to describe the moderation here.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:58:05 AM PDT

    •  That's quite all right MargaretPOA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, hnichols

      I'm not asking you or anyone to either judge my personal experience or to offer me advice. I've dealt with it, as I said.

      I do obviously disagree with you about enforcement and moderation from Kos being capricious, as I think it's a perfect word to describe it and I believe he's said as much himself. He's said that he is not necessarily predictable or 'fair' in his decisions and that's how it is here. I'm not complaining about it at all, just 'admitting' it for those who seem to be asking for that, and reminiscing about how I learned to deal with it here.

  •  As long as you understand this site is run by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    those with a maturity level of drunken frat boys you can navigate fairly easily.

    At least that is how I've gotten along so far.

    I need your support, my paypal is:

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:39:08 PM PDT

    •  Oh my... I can't rec this comment, you know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Horace, your comments are often so funny and sharp ... and sadly among those that I often feel I have to let go by without a rec, because your blunt style could often be interpreted as "insulting" so it's off limits to rec them. I see of course that many do, with no consequences ... but I still try follow the rule to be best of my ability anyway.

      In this case I don't really agree completely, but I do understand the feelings.

  •  After reading the diaries that precipitated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wordsinthewind, hnichols, PhilJD

    this latest flame war and wading through kos' diary and the responses to questions about insults and moderation, I have to agree that moderation here is capricious. I found some of kos' responses quite offensive but not at all surprising considering this is a man who thinks that calling anyone a "dick," or telling someone they are acting like one, isn't sexist.

    Not only that, moderation appears to be quite partisan and arbitrary depending on which side of the fence you sit, critic or supporter of this administration. In plain English, there are essentially no rules.

    As a woman, I no longer feel comfortable or safe commenting  here and will do so in the future with extreme caution.

    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

    by SamanthaCarter on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:23:34 PM PDT

    •  and that is how (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SamanthaCarter, hnichols

      drunken frat boys control the conversation, it works just like it always has. I have never felt safe commenting here and I do not wish my skin to be so thick that I can stand it. I'd have to become a wannabe frat boy and that's not even remotely appealing to me.

      When you're swerving on life's highway you're running someone off the road - Robert Earl Keen

      by Wordsinthewind on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:28:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's apparent that is how kos (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        wants the conversation controlled.

        Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

        by SamanthaCarter on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:44:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand many people are still upset and angry (3+ / 0-)

          It is how it is... sometimes I agree with Kos and find his comments perfectly on-target even if rude and dismissive - other times I think he's off base.

          But really the point is, this is his place and he gets to do that. I also do happen to agree with his observation that people who are really unhappy here would do better to go somewhere else. That seems like a completely reasonable position. It was a decision I had to make and for me it was not leaving, but adaption to the realities because the benefits are worth it. Staying out of the flame wars isn't that big of an imposition, and there's lots of worthwhile content and discussions here. It's a matter of focus. Staying but constantly complaining how terrible it is doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

          I haven't developed a thick skin, so much as just learned how to stick to discussions that don't get into that kind of territory. I don't pretend to know what is best for anyone else, like I said I just hope for everyone to find peace with either staying as it is, or going elsewhere.

          •  Yes, precisely, what he wants (0+ / 0-)

            for those who disagree with his POV, or expect some sense of unbiased in moderation, to just go away.. The only thing that accomplishes is an echo chamber, a no debate zone. Not very liberal or democratic, so be it.

            I can only imagine how ugly this site will get if Hillary declares her candidacy. I plan on silently watching that with a great deal of amusement.

            Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. Dalai Lama

            by SamanthaCarter on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 02:10:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some would agree with you. I don't. (4+ / 0-)

              Probably because if it were my website I'd be far less tolerant than Marcos.

              Of course it would likely be a far smaller website as a result. Fortunately I don't have to bear that responsibility.

              To be frank, I'm not sure that feeling safe has any applicability here. I'm not even certain what that would mean in the context of commenting on an internet blog. If safety were my overriding concern, I wouldn't post online to begin with.

              Maybe I'm just calloused. Or maybe it's easy for me to take this attitude because, in the nine years I've been here, I've never received a single warning. Whatever the reasons for this, I can assure you it's not because I'm the soul of tact or diplomacy. Nor is it because I've shied away from expressing blunt, even acerbic, opinions.

              Or perhaps, present company excepted, it's that the people I've seen most actively beating the drum about alleged capriciousness and bias in the enforcement of site rules have, IMO, been those whose behavior would have justified showing them the door long since.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:53:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I like - well, respect - that the top level of (4+ / 0-)

    "moderation" can be capricious. Gaming any particular system is an addiction for many people (me, I just like to watch the games, mostly).

    Put down a new rule, and watch the gamers swarm. It's like a brand new box of chocolates for a chocolate lover. Given how good some of them are, having a top level that is almost impossible to game in the long run because it doesn't follow any rules - well, that's a likely candidate for the reason why the discussions here are, relatively, fairly civil.

    I'm certain that if I get caught the way you were, I'll have the same indignant, and hurt, response. Hopefully I'll also cope with it as well as you have.

    Thanks. T&R.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 03:38:53 PM PDT

  •  Well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    over a year ago, many of my friends and allies left DK in disgust over this very issue- the very capricious moderation and felt that many of the worst offenders were being given passes for their behavior over and over again. They got fed up, and so did I. I also left for a while, but eventually came back.

    There was one specific instance where Kos banned someone, and in the same exact thread there was no sancton against one user who was making dickish remarks.

    Another instance was a user who was NR'd for doing the same thing she got NR'd for before. Guess what, also in the same thread, another user was given a pass for doing the very same thing that got her banned before.

    Capricious moderation? You bet your ass.

    At least two people wrote diaries mocking those who left. And you know what many of them said?

    Moderation is working just fine, it's working the way it was meant to.

    Many of the comments were made by the very same people now complaining about moderation.

    Now the shoe is on the other foot...shrug.

    When two frat boys have a kerfuffle, it's a brohaha. Bubbanomics

    by raina on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 05:49:21 PM PDT

    •  Hi raina. Thankfully, I don't really have any idea (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of the specific situation you're referring to, as I do stay mostly out of the bad flame wars. But I'm sure that most people who've been regular participants here for any length of time have seen and/or experienced similar feelings and events at some time or another. No matter which side of a particular fall out anyone is on.

      I certainly respect the choice of anyone who decides to leave for other frontiers. I tried that too, a couple times, but found it worse everywhere else ... most sites are either echo-chambers with a smallish club who pretty much always agree, or places where there are no rules, and over-the-top vitriol overruled discussion.

      Whatever the issues here, it does work better than most other places for online discussion in my experience. Which is no doubt why it continues to be very successful and many of us keep coming back. Learning to understand and adapt to the environment here has made it more fun, more rewarding, and less frustrating for me.

      •  I wasn't talking about you specifically (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CS in AZ, WB Reeves

        just the current crop of people complaining about moderation.

        I agree moderation here is so capricious, even Kos admitted that.

        I'm sure to kos/admin, some users are more valuable than others, via their contributions to the site, and will be given more leeway than others. Unfair, yes, but this site is not a democracy. I've learned to just shrug it off and go with the flow. I

        When two frat boys have a kerfuffle, it's a brohaha. Bubbanomics

        by raina on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:09:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Many of the comments were made by the very same people now complaining about moderation.

      Now the shoe is on the other foot...shrug.

  •  If I didn't teach, I'd agree (4+ / 0-)

    I'd agree that the moderation here is capricious.

    However, I sometimes end up teaching classes full of brand spanking new freshmen in college, many of whom have no concept of boundaries and limitations and the need to respect the rights of others. And sometimes, a coach will decide I'll be an easy A for their star athletes who haven't cracked a book or turned in an original essay their entire time in college. Ugh. Try teaching that class. Lots and lots and lots of F's at the end of the semester. I imagine it's a lot like trying to moderate DKos and doing a mass banning.

    And I know from my experiences that it's often impossible to enforce the rules squarely across the board.

    I also know that, more often than not, I have to pick and choose my battles. And I see the same thing going on here.

    I've gotten warnings here before and been NRed. It didn't really bother me because I knew I'd been skirting some boundaries, but I'd skirted those boundaries anyway because I felt it was the right thing. Or I'd had a glass of wine. Or two.

    •  Well, it sounds to me like we do agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, serendipityisabitch

      At least, I don't disagree at all with anything you said here. I don't think capricious is necessarily a bad thing, just what it is. As you said, it's pretty much impossible to enforce rules squarely across the board, and Kos never said he would. In fact, he said he will do whatever he feels is necessary or wants to do to, if in-fighting pisses him off one too many times, or maybe just on the wrong day. I don't really think it's a matter of opinion, that is capricious and he makes no bones about it. It's a reminder that he will let things go for so long, but if he starts swinging the ban hammer or other sanctions, don't be surprised and don't expect fair weighing of objective criteria, because it's not happening.

      •  Yup. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CS in AZ

        Operates exactly like a classroom.

        For example: if I have the occasional student cheating or plagiarizing, I'll have a talk wih them and with the class.

        If it's rampant, however, and if it occurs repeatedly, there is no discussion, just lots of F's and lots of students turned in to Higher Authorities on Campus, if you catch my drift.

        Same thing.

  •  This (4+ / 0-)
    was shock. Confusion! What. The. FUCK?? Then... denial. This can't be right. System glitch. Log out, log back in. Still there. Shit. On to bargaining... it must be a mistake or misunderstanding. I'll go see if I can track down what this about and try to get it resolved.
    Combined with your last few stages, reasoning, anger, realization; read like the internet moderation version of the 5 stages of grief.  I'm glad I sprinted through my journey through those stages in like 20 minutes before I hit the "Jesus I did an incredibly shitty thing" stage.

    The thing about the moderation here being capricious is it's also incredibly lax.  That may not be completely good given that it tends to cause the receiving end of the bad behavior to feel picked on and victimized which in turn causes resentment and bitterness to grow.  But it does mean that you have to work really hard to get nr'red, timed out or bojoed.  

    I would wager a million pies that, except for some really rare cases, anyone who's been sanctioned has broken the rules multiple times and the latest one is the last straw or just the first to be noticed.  They should just take their medicine and be grateful that the last 100 times they've uprated an insult, or spotted a poster and brought in an unrelated argument from another diary, or were just being a dick, they got away scott free.

    And for the love of all thats holy stop whining about how unfair your side is being treated.  For every instance you felt was unfair, the other side has one too.  Get over it and just be grateful that there's a well trafficked web site that lets you reach a rather large web audience for free and has an owner that treats you like an adult and only punished you when you behave like a child.

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