A Discussion of Moderation

There have been more calls than usual for more moderation (most likely as a result of there being less moderation than usual), and so I’m creating this thread to make those calls a bit more specific. It’s easy to say that “someone should do something about this”, but much harder to pin down the referents of “someone”, “something”, and “this” in a way that is palatable to anyone other than the speaker.

So I’m hoping to get input on three specific-ish questions:

[1] Who among current active users would you trust to act as moderator, and why? (feel free to recommend yourself or to reject someone else’s recommendation – in either case I’d still be interested in the why)
[2] What kinds of interventions should moderators be empowered to take?
[3] What problems should moderators be trying to solve? (specific posts are useful, but more to the point are general statements that you’d trust a likely moderator (i.e. not necessarily your preferred user list in response to [1]) to act on)

I wouldn’t be starting this thread if I weren’t open to changes. That said, this is as much a discussion of the philosophy of digital polity as it is a discussion of ILP. I’m not committing ILP to any actual changes in staff or policy; I don’t take as a given that moderation does what it pretends to do, nor that its benefits outweigh its costs. If sentiment seems to lean towards more moderators, and there’s a compelling case around interventions and problems, I’ll refer to the responses to [1], but this isn’t a primary.

…unless there’s a compelling case made that this should be the primary. Feel free to go as meta as you want.

[This will be pinned to the top of every forum for a few days, and then moved to the top of Meta until it stops being relevant.]

That is a limited selection of things to discuss. I understand why you are being that specific. Perhaps someone should start a separate thread about things like “water off a ducks back”, “take something with a grain of salt”, “sticks and stones”. You know all that good stuff. No doubt there is a bunch of other stuff that should be discussed in such a thread - I have to laugh though because I can imagine people turning such a thread into a farse.

. . . oh yes - perhaps that thread should also be a reminder as to how powerful the imagination can be toward understanding others through the humoring of their ideas for a short time.

Provoking thought to me is about activating all of our faculties, not just the faculty that is attracted to plain facts.

A sense of humor is also helpful.

Identifying different personality types…yada yada yada…all things that adults used to be able to do before the world became desensitized to the important things and sensitized to childish things.

if im being honest, i think that this is probably the most open environment for conversation that i have ever seen here. all the people who would cry and moan and not just get over it have either left or adapted to a more grown up way of getting along, (as in, you can’t just tattle, you have to learn to get along). i don’t see any problem with the site as it is, and i think that in general, the majority of “moderation” that some will be looking for basically amounts to making it the case that someone gets in trouble, or punished over something that they don’t like, when in reality the person could just mute the user that they don’t like and move on. the problem of not having to deal with someone is already solvable in the user’s settings. the only thing that it seems a moderator could do really would be to punish someone for something and that just seems silly.

for as long as i have posted here, i dont look at the sections on the site as rigid. this is a philosophy forum and anyone can argue that anything can go anywhere, and everything could be seen as being more or less on or off topic depending on who is deciding where that line is. for organizational purposes, i think it could be helpful to have someone move some things around here and there, but again, this isn’t something that is presenting an issue as it is now. i have never understood why some people get so upset about where a thread is. i just dont get it.

all that being said, the clear choice for moderator is me, but im really too lazy and probably cant commit enough time to really do the job in good faith. also i would probably never ban anyone, or do the other thing where they can’t login for a few days or something, and i would be in and endless state of debate with myself about which posts should be in which sections, so however much you might want me to be, i cannot be the moderator. i’d give it to prom.

or zinnat. i just saw that he was logged on and thought about it and i think he and prom would be a good team.

Yep, that is sensible. Agreed!

sensible is my middle name. mr sensible reasonable is my full name

We don’t have any fair, modest, or objective philosophers around here to warrant a new Moderator position.

They would quickly abuse their status and censor/ban opposition who confront them.

zinnat and Prom would be horrible moderators, as well as any other suggestions from smears

How many days was WWIII issuing death threats against Conservatives, and were actions taken? Nobody knows.

This forum is a pathetic fucking joke, and no way earns any serious merit to Philosophy.

This forum on the surface does not present itself to be a hardcore philosophy forum. It has been a while since I checked any rules or guidelines so I do not remember if it presents itself as such there either.

As far as I can tell, this forum is for discussion, which only tells me that it is for: writing about different ideas at such a level that anyone taking part in it is to take into account the various opinions presented with each topic.

There is a dedicated section for debates and that is presented in such a way to suggest more formal activity.

Otherwise, we are generally free to talk about whatever it is that relates to each of the categories and the underlying guidelines related to those categories that are already presented clearly in plain English.

I have no idea how Prom or zinnat would be like as moderators, I would have to reserve my judgment upon seeing them in action(I doubt that zinnat would be interested). I am not sure what you mean by smears.

If I were to make a suggestion for moderators it would go like this: first, we make our nominations and then we make our votes…simple.

Carleas mentions that he is open to changes and for the time being he is interested in three specific questions. It also seems like he is wondering about the relevance of added moderation.

It’s little fascists like Urwrong who have turned this site into a cesspool and who are thereby the sole good reason for the increased call for moderation.

As for promethean, whatever you do don’t give him the ability to delete the site. :mrgreen:

My intent was to structure the discussion rather than to limit it. Great Again’s poll (for which I am sincerely grateful) shows 11 people think we need some kind of change in moderation, but the discussion that follows does not get into specifics. The specifics are the rub.

It also helps to put differences of opinion more squarely against each other. Two people might state their general views very differently, but still agree on how those views cash out in specifics. If I want a moderator to clean out the trash and you want anarchism, we might be able to find a trusted anarchist user who will do nothing more than move meme threads to Rant that will satisfy us both.

I think this can be translated into responses to the questions I posed; roughly:
[1] No one
[2] Nothing
[3] Nothing

I don’t mean that as a criticism. Anarchism produces a certain kind of discussion, and if that kind of discussion is ILP’s niche, that may be the right answer. And I’m absolutely sympathetic to permitting words and ideas that are hurtful, offensive, even insulting, and putting some onus on the person who’s hurt etc. to toughen up. I just don’t think that has to be the whole answer, or that there’s no limit.

One idea I’ve toyed with is giving most or all long-time users the ability to do very light moderating, e.g. move threads. That solves the lazy-and-time-strapped problem (but not the good-faith problem).

as I have noted over the years, I am not a fan of moderation…

there are some here who wouldn’t know a philosophical debate
if it bit them on the ass…they are here for the polemical side of
discussion… I couldn’t even say philosophy there…and we know who they
are…and to be honest, I don’t mind them that much if, if they would
actually engage in some philosophy at some point…those are the ones who
bring down the level of conversation on ILP… but that is the point…

to have a conversation about, what is philosophy? Is polemical babbling
about “lost elections” really philosophy? I don’t think so…

I have made it clear over the years I am engaged in thinking about
what it means to be human and what does it take to go from animal,
that we were, to partly human, that we are, to becoming fully human,
that is to come…the pointless discussions about “stolen elections” don’t lead
me to better understanding what it means to be human and what the next step should be?

and If I were to censor, not really my thing, If I were to censor, it would be based
on the idea of “is it philosophy or is it polemical babbling?”

so, I will hold to very “light” moderation to no moderation and let the chips fall
where they may…but that is me… not necessarily what should happen…


I believe there have to be some rules…as there are in greater society. Thou Shalt Not Kill…etc. Of course, for a forum, it is a little different.

Sure man. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for majority rules.

I am under no such delusion that I will have my ideal come to fruition.

My biggest hope is that a lot more people take part in this discussion so that we end up with the most accurate representation of the outcome…

…that is, the outcome represents the wishes of the majority…

I’d be happy to help moderate this place and purge the liars, naive guillble deluded maniacs, fake news pushers, and all others that would be better off with a hole in their head…

see this is what im saying. making the statement that someone would be better off with a hole in their head is not a death threat. wanting or wishing for someone to die is not the same as threatening them. even if you just straight up said, “im going to put a bullet in your head”…if the person that you are talking to is across the country or world and there is no possibility of you shooting them, then it isn’t an actual threat either. snowflakes dont get that sort of thing. especially ones who lack an ability to see and understand nuance. if it were me as moderator i would take no action on a post like that.

That’s the spirit WW_III… great insight on how best to progress the motion/discussion :open_mouth:

If there are any new moderators being hired… I propose that we, the members, should pose them questions on their vision for here and their intended moderating manner.

Well that ilk of fascists magnify any threat or perceived wrong against them X a million, while downplaying everything they or their side does to the least trivial nature they can. Just all part of their decadent hyper biased polarized nature.

Until WWIII and his ugly ass Meth-addict face is removed from this website, Carleas you have no credibility.

That’s not what he said in January, you fucking liar

Leaving WWIII on this forum is equivalent of saying we should allow somebody to speak freely about:

We should start rounding-up and killing Liberals in mass, beginning with WWIII. And I’m serious about this. We need to start discussing this prospect rationally.

That’s what this fucking ugly ass meth-addict said repeatedly for months. While Carleas jacks his faggot micro penis off, impotent.