Community: The Dynamics of Banning

Mam

Aspirant
Joined
Jul 5, 2004
Messages
36
Mam submitted a new Article:

Community: The Dynamics of Banning

One simple thread posted in our forum, turned into a flame war, dividing our popular cat-related board and resulting in a major overhaul of our rules and guidelines. The result of this post forced several moderators, including myself to look at our actions closely, examining the reasoning behind our intentions. It brought into focus a discussion of the staff as to what would be an appropriate way to handle the banning of problem members and caused us to formulate a new set of guidelines. These guidelines enabled us to deal with future problem posters while leading to a broader understanding among a group of weary, dedicated moderators and the forums owner.

Had you surfed in to read the post back then, the post may have seemed simple and unassuming to some of you. However; the post dealing with issues of cat welfare struck a wrong cord in the hearts of members and moderators alike. The post brought to the attention of the moderators within the Mod Lounge prompted several moderators to respond publicly and unfavorably within the thread. This unplanned action looked contrived to some of the members, who considered the responses a “ganging up mentality” and said so.

A few days after we thought the dust had settled, the member, who claimed she had been attacked mounted her soapbox and posted a long tirade in our Feedback Forum about “being targeted” by the moderators. This post led to a flurry of replies (many siding with the self-proclaimed victim). The board became divided over this issue, with several members threatening to leave the board. The moderators, overwhelmed by the venom being directed at them withdrew from any moderating activity and met in the Mod Lounge to discuss the ongoing situation.

Leaving the original post on the board during this time of crisis, with the absence of mod intervention turned out to be a major mistake on our part. Disgruntled former members returned, coming back to post about their grievances. The thread grew into a major bashing festival toward the moderators, and the webmaster. Several of our members chose to leave the board. They posted their goodbyes within the thread. We did not move the posting off the board, mistakenly respecting the wishes of the original complainant who repeatedly claimed that the moderators were heavy-handed and would remove the posting. So the posting intact and online,grew into quite a ball of snakes.

Because of the targets painted on the backs of the moderators, the...

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Infamous Flame

Ewan McLean
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
186
Excellent post Mam, great read and some very useful ideas. Going into my bookmarks for future reference. Thanks again.
 

Alex Apple

Lord Snowblood Apple
Joined
May 26, 2004
Messages
1,420
I agree with most of your points, Mam. Our "SuperMod" persona is used infrequently now as people prefer the human touch. And it's always been our policy that if anyone has issues with the way our boards are run, it's done privately and never in public - any negative posts will get moved somewhere else for discussion amongst the mod team. And all PMs or emails from staff pertaining to administration matters are matter-of-fact, stating the case plainly and clearly before informing the member of any decision reached, in a completely impartial tone.

Sorry it seems you learnt this the hard way. Good post!
 

comperr

Master Admin
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
1,124
You handeled the situation well, despite some mistakes it seems that overall, in the end you came through. If my experience is anything (which is not much compared to all of you) - I would have done the same things.
 

IFC

Fan
Joined
May 29, 2006
Messages
573
I prefer to berate members in public. Slap them around, put the boots to them.
 

ircher

Neophyte
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
9
nice; I'm not popular but I've started a thread with rules; I'll give most offenders up to 7 chances to fix behavior before a pernament ban; of course, some things like Bots and hacking come with a final warning/pernament ban tag!!!
 

NickCF

I come from a land Down Under...
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
710
Sorry you had to learn it the hard way, but great that it helped your forum for the best in the long run.

We haven't had this kind of problem, at least not in a long time. Here's some snippets of our ToS, to help prevent this from happening, or escalating.



1.4: Christianforums.net reserves the right to respond to the violation of any of the ToS with any of the responses available to our Leadership at its sole discretion. Furthermore, any action taken against offenders and their status within the community is considered private and confidential and will not be shared with the public. Christianforums.net also reserves the right to remove any content which is considered to be disruptive to the Community, at the sole discretion of christianforums.net Leadership.

The Leadership of christianforums.net are authorized to use all available actions in dealing with violations to these rules. These actions include (but not limited to) editing or deleting of posts or threads; locking threads, warning or issuing infractions to members; suspending or permanently banning members’ accounts, email addresses and/or IP addresses. In addition repeated severe violations may result in a report being generated with one's Internet Service Provider.

2.5: Respect each others' opinions. Address issues, not persons or personalities. Give other members the respect you would want them to give yourself.

It is a violation to misquote or misrepresent another member.

Any personal problems with another member, then deal with it through private messages. No harassing members via PM. No public posting of PMs. Publicly announcing who is on a member's Ignore list is prohibited.
Respect where others are in their spiritual walk, do not disrupt the flow of discussion or act in a way that affects others negatively including when debating doctrinal issues, in the defense of the Christian faith, and in offering unwelcome spiritual advice.

2.15: Please do not use the message board to air your grievances against other fellow members. If you have observed a violation of the Terms of Service please let a Moderator or Administrator know. (This includes violations or allegations of inappropriate actions by the moderators and administration.) If the grievance is with a staff member please contact them privately. If you deem it necessary to go beyond that then take it to the next level of Leadership authority.

 

morrobay

Neophyte
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
6
But how are the moderators moderated ? What action do owners/admin take if a
moderator is out control ? If they are following guidelines - fair enough.But what if
they are not ?
 

SportsBomb

Adherent
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
387
But how are the moderators moderated ? What action do owners/admin take if a
moderator is out control ? If they are following guidelines - fair enough.But what if
they are not ?

The worst impression your forum can give members is that staff are somehow above them and not subject to the same rules. Staff should, in fact, be held to a higher standard than the membership. If you have a moderator who is off on a tangent you should remove that moderator. It will hurt your forum to retain a moderator who has given membership the impression you allow staff to play by different rules.
 

NickCF

I come from a land Down Under...
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
710
But how are the moderators moderated ? What action do owners/admin take if a
moderator is out control ? If they are following guidelines - fair enough.But what if
they are not ?
As the above poster said, staff should be held to a higher standard.

The action to be taken against a bad staff member would depend on what they did, and how severe it was. If it was leaking private information, then perhaps a straight out dismissal, but if they were rude to a member then I'd send them a PM about it.
 
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