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Approach to Moderating

by Brett Green

I just wanted to make a few points of clarification, and to explain my approach to moderating.

Firstly, HyperScale’s Forums are a community. They are defined and largely shaped by your postings. The moderator is not a policeman, nor is he your mother. You cannot expect that the moderator will read and surgically act on every post that is made on HyperScale – it is just not practical. Like any community, it is expected that people will generally understand and respect the rules; and action taken by a moderator – deletion or banning – is a relatively rare exception.

Having said that, when a post clearly has gone bad, it will be deleted. The most likely reason for any post or thread being deleted is when the focus of the discussion has shifted from the plastic to the person. Recently, it has become more common that, rather than expressing an opinion about a kit, some posters will simply resort to name-calling, implying or specifically stating that a person with a different opinion is stupid or worse.

There has been a lot of reference to “rivet counters” vs. “box shakers” (and equivalent descriptions) lately, especially in the sometimes heated arguments about Eduard’s comments in their recent newsletter on their forthcoming MiG-21 bis. I have no problem at all with people expressing their opinion about the concept or the plastic, one way or the other. Insults and name calling, however, will not be tolerated.

I do not really see this as a difficult distinction. The guidelines are quite clear:

“All contributions are welcome but please refrain from political or abusive comments, racially or religiously offensive remarks, insulting language, swearing (including the thin disguising of swear words with asterisks and other characters), and crude metaphors. Please do not use Plane Talking as a public platform to complain about retailers or manufacturers (about issues such as broken or missing parts) before you have followed all normal channels to resolve any grievance. Plane Talking is not the place to conduct personal feuds or for posting personal attacks.”

I should point out that modifying or deleting threads is still quite rare. Out of the hundreds of posts every day, action on a post might only be needed a couple of times a week or less on average. Moderating is not (and, indeed, should not be) a major factor in the direction and tone of HyperScale’s Forums. It is tidying up around the edges.

You, the Forum poster, are the one responsible for the tone of HyperScale’s Forums. If everyone were to consider the guidelines and re-read their postings before hitting the “return” key, we might have less need for moderating.

I do not claim a perfect moderating record. I do the best that I can given time limitations, but I can assure everyone that moderating is done with the intention of maintaining an welcoming, inclusive and helpful atmosphere in all of HyperScale’s Forums. There is no conscious bias or favouritism to individuals nor to any particular side of an argument.

However, if I have missed a post that you feel is insulting or inappropriate and should be deleted, you can always drop me an email. I am very responsive to any such direct requests.

In summary then, I would simply ask HyperScale’s community to refrain from personal comments and insults, and public responses of outrage and indignation (which are also becoming more common), which in turn will mean less moderator intervention. Believe me, I would be delighted if there was no moderator action required at all!

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2011 by Brett Green
Page Created 28 November, 2011
Last Updated 28 November, 2011

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