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Re: Aroid-L Moderation

  • Subject: Re: Aroid-L Moderation
  • From: Steve Marak <samarak@gizmoworks.com>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 22:57:33 -0600 (CST)

Good comments, Harry. As you obviously know, maintaining any sort of forum 
is more work than it appears on the surface even if you choose a complete 
laissez-faire approach, and - in my opinion at least - that tends to work 
no better here than in many other places. Those few lists I'm still on 
which do let anyone post anything any time tend to have a very high 
noise-to-signal ratio, and lots of vitriol and bad feeling. Most lists now 
have been forced by the spammers to restrict posting to members only, but 
even there it is a well-behaved group indeed that does not require the 
occasional intervention.

A few other comments, which may (or may not) be of any interest to anyone, 
about the group in general and about my "policy" - if something as vague 
as what I have merits that word.

This is a very well behaved group, and most often moderation comes into 
play for the reasons I mentioned - the odd spam that somehow gets through 
despite the only-members-can-post setting, or something someone posted 
unintentionally, or someone who has "poster's regret" (the lesser known 
cousin of "buyer's remorse"), or, in a few cases, because the message had 
some other problem - formatting, etc.

When something does make it to the list, it's always as the sender sent 
it, i.e., I never ever edit something someone else sent and then send it 
on as their words. I may ask people to rephrase something, corect 
formatting issues, or even ask them if I may discard a post rather than 
posting it, and - in very rare cases - I may choose to unilaterally 
discard it. But if it comes through, it's as they sent it. (In theory, I 
could edit something and send it on as though it came from a list member; 
in practice, I haven't even investigated how one might do that on this 

I do reserve the right to not post anything I choose, for any reason I 
wish, and for obvious reasons I make no promise that I will filter out or 
not filter out anything, on any particular criteria, or that you won't (or 
will) be offended by something you see here. That pretty much has to be 
every listowner's mantra these days.

That said, and because it is so much easier to be misunderstood in e-mail, 
I do make an effort to catch things I think might be inflammatory or 
offensive, and usually my first reaction is to ask the poster if they'll 
rephrase it. As another sign of what a good group this is, people are 
almost always willing to do so. 

Usually, the touchiest area is inflammatory vs. controversial. The former 
is not OK, the latter is, but discriminating between the two is hard, 
because both tend to have high emotional investment and they're not 
mutually exclusive.


On Thu, 3 Jan 2008, Harry Witmore wrote:

> We finally made changes and it has not been near as much work. But, I can
> also say we do not even attempt to moderate what members post since we also
> moderate members and it's a very well behaved group as this 'seems' to be.
> Could be there is a great deal of work to make it appear that way.
> It's also been the holiday season so that could also have something to do
> with it.
> Harry Witmore
> Cloud Jungle Epiphytes
> HYPERLINK "http://www.cloudjungle.com/"www.cloudjungle.com

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com
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