Discussion about mods closing threads

Regal

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I could not agree more.

I understand that threads need to be searchable by topic but veering off topic here and there is how a conversation works. What I find to be rude (maybe the wrong word) is for a moderator to join in a debate, state their opinion as if it were fact and then close the thread when someone disagrees with them. Yeah the person closing the thread gets to have the last word but what's the point in discussing something if we only hear the moderator's opinion. Often the person that just joined Fishlore has a ton of experience that we could all benefit from.
 

sirdarksol

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I could not agree more.

I understand that threads need to be searchable by topic but veering off topic here and there is how a conversation works. What I find to be rude (maybe the wrong word) is for a moderator to join in a debate, state their opinion as if it were fact and then close the thread when someone disagrees with them. Yeah the person closing the thread gets to have the last word but what's the point in discussing something if we only hear the moderator's opinion. Often the person that just joined Fishlore has a ton of experience that we could all benefit from.
Interesting. I'm curious as to when you've seen this happen. I know that there is an opinion among some people that this is happening, but that isn't our intention. When we close threads, it's because people can't stay on topic or can't discuss something without getting belligerent. I've never seen a thread closed merely because someone disagreed with anyone, moderator or otherwise.
 

Meenu

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Interesting. I'm curious as to when you've seen this happen. I know that there is an opinion among some people that this is happening, but that isn't our intention. When we close threads, it's because people can't stay on topic or can't discuss something without getting belligerent. I've never seen a thread closed merely because someone disagreed with anyone, moderator or otherwise.
As far as an example of what Suemvb's talking about, I can give you an example: it happened in a thread by cichlidsyay about whether the fishkeeping hobby should be regulated. You made your point, told us to stay on topic, and we didn't. So you (or someone else) went in and deleted threads. The conversation that was deleted (that we saw) was not rude or inflammatory. The next day, Ken went in and closed the thread. I actually talked about it with Lucy, and she explained that there were other things said that made it so that you guys couldn't keep the thread open. But that isn't how it came across to the rest of us who were not "in the know." How it seemed was that you posted your off-topic opinion and then told us we weren't allowed to, and then soon after, you guys closed the thread.

I know that isn't what's really going on, but it is how it looked in that thread, and it is how it was perceived by at least me until I spoke with Lucy about it.

I know you guys have a job to do, and it is not easy and pretty thankless. But I'm glad you're willing to put some thought into the suggestions here because I think it would go a long way in alleviating some frustration that some members feel.
 

sirdarksol

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As far as an example of what Suemvb's talking about, I can give you an example: it happened in a thread by cichlidsyay about whether the fishkeeping hobby should be regulated. You made your point, told us to stay on topic, and we didn't. So you (or someone else) went in and deleted threads. The conversation that was deleted (that we saw) was not rude or inflammatory. The next day, Ken went in and closed the thread. I actually talked about it with Lucy, and she explained that there were other things said that made it so that you guys couldn't keep the thread open. But that isn't how it came across to the rest of us who were not "in the know." How it seemed was that you posted your off-topic opinion and then told us we weren't allowed to, and then soon after, you guys closed the thread.
Suemvb was talking about us closing threads when we disagreed with a point. That wasn't what happened in that thread. As you said, that thread was closed because people couldn't keep the discussion fish-related. Mike has said that the only Hot Topics discussions to be allowed in the forum are going to be aquarium-related.
I just read through the thread, and I never registered an opinion on other animals. I gave an explanation to someone who was asking why the government kept coming up in the discussion. In all of my posts where I registered my opinion, I registered it on aquarium fish.

After my "let's get this back on topic" post, seventeen hours or so passed, during which time only one person made an on-topic post. Everyone else wanted to argue about other animals (one person even acknowledged that they were bringing the post back off topic), or to rag on a member for an issue that had already been brought up and dealt with. That's why the thread was closed.
 

Meenu

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When we close threads, it's because people can't stay on topic or can't discuss something without getting belligerent. I've never seen a thread closed merely because someone disagreed with anyone, moderator or otherwise.
Okay, I wasn't going to say it, but I changed my mind. If you really, truly believe this to be true, can you please explain why my betta poll was closed? There was no discussion in that thread because Ken wouldn't allow it. So it wasn't closed due to off-topic or belligerance.

Suemvb was talking about us closing threads when we disagreed with a point. That wasn't what happened in that thread. As you said, that thread was closed because people couldn't keep the discussion fish-related. Mike has said that the only Hot Topics discussions to be allowed in the forum are going to be aquarium-related.
I just read through the thread, and I never registered an opinion on other animals. I gave an explanation to someone who was asking why the government kept coming up in the discussion. In all of my posts where I registered my opinion, I registered it on aquarium fish.

After my "let's get this back on topic" post, seventeen hours or so passed, during which time only one person made an on-topic post. Everyone else wanted to argue about other animals (one person even acknowledged that they were bringing the post back off topic), or to rag on a member for an issue that had already been brought up and dealt with. That's why the thread was closed.
I know! I talked it over with Lucy. I'm just telling you how it was perceived. By me. You asked for an example, and I gave one. I'm not saying I was right, I'm just saying that maybe what you guys see and what we don't see make our perception of your decisions skewed.
 
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Regal

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Perhaps the person moderating the thread should not participate in the discussion. Imagine if that happened in political debates or even high school debates? In the thread that Meenu is referring to I'm guessing, correct me if I'm wrong, that Ken was asked to close the thread. I say that because Sirdarksol just said he realizes that people have the impression that mods are closing threads because someone disagrees with the mod's opinion.

I don't know what makes a person want to be a mod. I would not want to be in that position and I suspect that it’s not a paid position right?

In the thread about the ASPCA I asked Meenu to explain to me how such a group may or may not have the authority to act in cases of abuse. Meenu is an attorney and as a paralegal myself I thought we were lucky to have her expertise in the discussion. I valued her personal knowledge on the subject. I have to assume that the OP, having asked if we need an ASPCA for fish, did too. I already know that dogs are terrestrial animals.
 

Jaysee

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I also recall the betta thread being closed, though there were no posts.
 

btate617

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Perhaps the person moderating the thread should not participate in the discussion. .

That may be the single best thing ever said by a member on this forum.

I said mods are also members, but being one or the other in a single thread would be an improvement.


Brian
 

sirdarksol

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Okay, I wasn't going to say it, but I changed my mind. If you really, truly believe this to be true, can you please explain why my betta poll was closed? There was no discussion in that thread because Ken wouldn't allow it. So it wasn't closed due to off-topic or belligerance.
No need to be afraid to bring it up.
That one was a very difficult decision. It was thought about for several days before it was actually closed. The problem with it was that it wasn't objective. This was not your fault. It's the nature of a poll that made it pretty much pointless for its purpose. That's the reason I started the discussion thread. Because people on the forum were insisting on using horrible logic in that entire argument, we needed a good, logical discussion (which went very well, with only a few hiccups).
 

allibobs

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Perhaps the person moderating the thread should not participate in the discussion

A very well made point.
 

allibobs

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Originally Posted by Meenu
Okay, I wasn't going to say it, but I changed my mind. If you really, truly believe this to be true, can you please explain why my betta poll was closed? There was no discussion in that thread because Ken wouldn't allow it. So it wasn't closed due to off-topic or belligerance.

I now know what happened to this. I personally found it to be most interesting and I myself was following this post with great interest, I could not understand where it had gone!
 
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Regal

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Suemvb was talking about us closing threads when we disagreed with a point. That wasn't what happened in that thread. As you said, that thread was closed because people couldn't keep the discussion fish-related. Mike has said that the only Hot Topics discussions to be allowed in the forum are going to be aquarium-related.
I just read through the thread, and I never registered an opinion on other animals. I gave an explanation to someone who was asking why the government kept coming up in the discussion. In all of my posts where I registered my opinion, I registered it on aquarium fish.

After my "let's get this back on topic" post, seventeen hours or so passed, during which time only one person made an on-topic post. Everyone else wanted to argue about other animals (one person even acknowledged that they were bringing the post back off topic), or to rag on a member for an issue that had already been brought up and dealt with. That's why the thread was closed.
Wow! I better go back and read that thread again. That's not how I remember it at all. There was arguing? I asked about the "government" and I think someone else did too. I was hoping for an answer from the person or people who mentioned government. I don't know how anyone could expect you to be able to explain what the person who first brought up government was thinking.

The original poster asked specifically about the ASPCA and fish. The ASPCA looks out for terrestrial animals, that's what they do. How do we discuss the ASPCA without saying the word dog?
 

Meenu

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From what I understand from being on this site for almost a year (and being obsessively frequent in my posting), the moderators are pretty close-knit and work as a team rather than individuals. And so although a mod may be participating in a discussion, it seems to me that in the highly contested sort of threads we're talking about, these decisions are group decisions rather than one mod deciding on his/her own to shut down a thread. So I'm not sure how practical it is to ask a mod who is part of a team to step out of a group decision.
 

sirdarksol

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Well, considering the fact that the moderators moderate all discussions, I don't think that the "moderators can't take part in discussions they're moderating" would ever work out.

However, something that you aren't going to see, because it happens in PM or in the Mod section, is that, when we're needing to moderate something in a thread we're also debating in, we will almost always get the opinion of another moderator before taking action. I get and send several messages a day that are something like "My opinion of this thread is this, am I off base here, or does it need to be fixed?"
Ninja'd by Meenu.

Lastly, in the thread we're talking about, no, Aquarist wasn't asked to close the thread. It was his decision, backed by another mod, to do so.
 

JRDroid

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I do not think we should ask mods not to participate in discussions. Mods are not assigned specific threads. They are on this site for their enjoyment and are mods as a service to keep things running smoothly. If it was a paid position it would be one thing, but its not. It is a service, not a paying job.
 

btate617

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From what I understand from being on this site for almost a year (and being obsessively frequent in my posting), the moderators are pretty close-knit and work as a team rather than individuals. And so although a mod may be participating in a discussion, it seems to me that in the highly contested sort of threads we're talking about, these decisions are group decisions rather than one mod deciding on his/her own to shut down a thread. So I'm not sure how practical it is to ask a mod who is part of a team to step out of a group decision.
I don't think it is unreasonable to ask them to stay out of it. Or if they join in have another mod close it if it needs to be closed and or edited. Because sometimes they too make the mistakes we make which cause the thread to be closed.
I think that is where a lot of the frustration comes from when a mod does what we are expected not to do then the thread is closed.

They are members also but I think if they contribute as a member in a thread then someone else can wear the mod hat for that thread to avoid any misunderstandings.
Just my opinion.


Brian
 

jclee

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No need to be afraid to bring it up.
That one was a very difficult decision. It was thought about for several days before it was actually closed. The problem with it was that it wasn't objective. This was not your fault. It's the nature of a poll that made it pretty much pointless for its purpose.
I kind of wanted to sit on the sidelines for this discussion, but I feel too tempted to react to this. I kind of feel like the objectivity/relativity of a poll is up to the posters in question. Otherwise, it seems a little bit like mods making a value judgment about a posting's quality or purpose, rather than letting members bring it up in their own time and way. Had the poll been allowed with commentary to go with it, and had the merits of the poll been questionable, another member may have brought that up in time. (And if comments weren't allowed because it had all been done before, then why was the poll allowed?)

I guess I don't really mean to critique the mods -- you guys have a seriously difficult job -- but I do think that part of the value of forums comes from members' freedoms and interactions, even if/when that's the freedom to make a mistake or call someone out (politely) on one. Bypassing the possibility/likelihood of error by closing or deleting a thread can raise more questions and problems than it solves.

Again, all of this is said with the kindest of intentions. I really do dig this site, partly because I feel like I can write responses like this without fear of being banned, mocked, publicly reprimanded, or cursed at, which, frankly (and sadly), cannot be said of all forums.
 

btate617

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Well, considering the fact that the moderators moderate all discussions, I don't think that the "moderators can't take part in discussions they're moderating" would ever work out.

However, something that you aren't going to see, because it happens in PM or in the Mod section, is that, when we're needing to moderate something in a thread we're also debating in, we will almost always get the opinion of another moderator before taking action. I get and send several messages a day that are something like "My opinion of this thread is this, am I off base here, or does it need to be fixed?"
Ninja'd by Meenu.

Lastly, in the thread we're talking about, no, Aquarist wasn't asked to close the thread. It was his decision, backed by another mod, to do so.
I do not think we should ask mods not to participate in discussions. Mods are not assigned specific threads. They are on this site for their enjoyment and are mods as a service to keep things running smoothly. If it was a paid position it would be one thing, but its not. It is a service, not a paying job.

My above post is about this...... like sds said they do talk in pm quite a bit. So if you do participate in a thread how much trouble would it be to pm another mod and let them moderate that thread?

mods, like us make mistakes, but also like has been said it sucks when a mod makes a "mistake" while participating as a member then 8 posts later gets onto a member for making a similiar mistake that a mod has made in the same discussion.
 

Meenu

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I kind of wanted to sit on the sidelines for this discussion, but I feel too tempted to react to this. I kind of feel like the objectivity/relativity of a poll is up to the posters in question. Otherwise, it seems a little bit like mods making a value judgment about a posting's quality or purpose, rather than letting members bring it up in their own time and way. Had the poll been allowed with commentary to go with it, and had the merits of the poll been questionable, another member may have brought that up in time. (And if comments weren't allowed because it had all been done before, then why was the poll allowed?)

I guess I don't really mean to critique the mods -- you guys have a seriously difficult job -- but I do think that part of the value of forums comes from members' freedoms and interactions, even if/when that's the freedom to make a mistake or call someone out (politely) on one. Bypassing the possibility/likelihood of error by closing or deleting a thread can raise more questions and problems than it solves.

Again, all of this is said with the kindest of intentions. I really do dig this site, partly because I feel like I can write responses like this without fear of being banned, mocked, publicly reprimanded, or cursed at, which, frankly (and sadly), cannot be said of all forums.
In that thread, responses weren't disallowed because it had been done before. They were disallowed because Ken didn't want to deal with people flaming one another, which happens with that topic A LOT. At least, that's what I got out of it. And then, when the results started rolling in, and responses hadn't been allowed, I think the mods realized that the results were VERY skewed in one direction, and decided to open a heavily-watched and controlled discussion on the subject so that there would be explanations, and my poll would not be misleading (the results were highly in favor of successful betta communities).

All of this is just my take on what happened, not anything the mods have told me in particular.
 

btate617

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Originally Posted by sirdarksol
No need to be afraid to bring it up.
That one was a very difficult decision. It was thought about for several days before it was actually closed. The problem with it was that it wasn't objective. This was not your fault. It's the nature of a poll that made it pretty much pointless for its purpose.


I agree with jclee.

Tough to make a poll objective when no discussion is allowed. She made the poll with the rule of no discussion will be allowed, as she was instructed perhaps who knows.

Meenu took the time to make a poll so to say her time and effort is pointless is a tad harsh. Pointless to you maybe but how do you know there was no meaning for her?
I don't think anyone broke a rule in that thread, as I don't recall any discussions being made maybe I am wrong. But if she made a poll and said no discussion is allowed and none was, why is her gathering information or whatever Meenu's point of her doing the poll in the first place pointless. Or maybe I have it all wrong.


Brian
 
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