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Rule reminder.

For the love of all that is good and graceful, stop deleting/screening comments without mod permission. We have had a rash of people breaking the rules, being given a warning and then immediately deleting their comments, thus breaking the rules again in the process. This is incredibly frustrating for us moderators and gives us more work for absolutely no reason.

We have gotten a lot of new people lately who apparently do not read the rules before participating. I implore all members, new and old, to take a bit of their time to familiarize themselves with the rules listed in the userinfo. In the meantime, I am going to be discussing a harsher punishment with the other mods for people who do what I described above, as it is getting entirely out of hand when we are handing out double to triple warnings left and right from people deleting their comments after being told to stop flaming/using hard to read fonts/going off-topic/etc.

"I didn't know it was against the rules" is not an excuse. They're right there on the info page.

Again, DON'T DELETE YOUR COMMENTS! We have to warn people for this almost every day, especially lately, and that is honestly ridiculous. It is only polite to familiarize yourself with a community's rules before participating in it, so please do so.

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( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 4th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
Ban hammer?
Oct. 4th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
I'm proposing an immediate two-week ban with an attached note to spend at least some of that time reviewing the rules before they participate again when the ban is lifted.

The rules are so easily accessible that there's no excuse for stumbling in without reading them and then promptly breaking them, TWICE in a row. And it's been happening a lot lately.
Oct. 4th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC)
You could create a multiple choice multiple answer quiz you need to take and get 70% or better on to get access to the community again. ;)
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Oct. 4th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 4th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
Not a bad idea. If they can't be bothered to voluntarily read the rules, a quiz will force them to.
Oct. 4th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
No, we turned off moderated membership long ago because it seemed pretty pointless when we also had moderated posts, and we were essentially being spammed with join requests all the time.
Oct. 4th, 2011 06:41 am (UTC)
Well, now you know the point - to moderate your membership! If they can't say "OK, I read the rules and agree to them", they don't get in. ;-p
Oct. 4th, 2011 08:02 am (UTC)
The thing is we don't know if they've read the rules when they pop in to join the comm! LJ's headerbar can make it very easy to join a comm without looking at their policies.
Oct. 4th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
That's my point - if you have them on moderated membership, you can add additional requirements like "you must email X with confirmation that you have read the rules and agree to them". Then there are no excuses.
Oct. 4th, 2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, but no. We already have so much work we do on a volunteer basis in the comm and we had so many membership requests. That was why we turned it off in the first place, we had to investigate everyone that applied and when you were getting SEVERAL people a day, along with all your other duties, along with having a real life... it was just more practical to open membership and have moderated posts and deal with the occasional troublemaker. It's not like having a quiz means we'd never have anyone breaking the rules, and 'I didn't read them' isn't an excuse already.

It's not that it's a bad suggestion, it's just not practical for us. We're volunteers and we already put a large amount of time into AB.
Oct. 4th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
Could you "employ" one more person to work on just the join requests? I'd be happy to do it if it seems a viable decision.
Oct. 4th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
There's just not really any point. We have plenty of people who know better and have been part of the comm for years and still break the rules. Suddenly making it a lot harder to join isn't going to do much of anything but slow traffic and possibly throttle the comm. We still had people doing things they shouldn't when we DID moderate membership, after all.

I just don't see the benefit being worth all the trouble. We've already done it before, and all it did was make extra work.
Oct. 4th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
Not to mention, LJ's PM system is notoriously unreliable, so even if you did go through all the work of quizzing people, there could be additional problems caused by lost PMs.
Oct. 4th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
There's so many pitfalls to the quiz idea.. the heart of the idea is in the right place, but it's just not really viable for the next to no 'profit' it'd provide. We've pretty much decided on a punishment for people who do what I described in the OP and I think that'll help people take the no deleting rule more seriously.
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
We switched to open membership not just to ease the burden on moderators, but also to make it easier to join and read the posts here. The easier it is for people to see the warnings and advice, the better it serves our community's purpose.

The majority of members in A_B don't even comment; it is just a few who jump in without reading the rules (and the occasional experienced member who goes a bit overboard and forgets). It is for these folks that we are making the addendum to the 'punishment' scale.
Oct. 4th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
i like to think i'm strict, but fair -- following the rules isn't that damn hard, lol :3
i honestly love you guys here at A_B -- when i've had to contact y'all, you've been very quick to respond and step into a situation. you're all easy to talk to, and from what I've seen you're more than fair when it comes to the enforcement of community rules. for what it's worth (and in case knowing someone else's process would be helpful in some way), this is how I handle this kind of thing on the websites I moderate:

A user signs up and starts breaking rules. I may warn them in-thread just to nip it in the bud, but for the first serious violation, depending on the severity, their comments are edited or deleted, and they are sent an e-mail explaining the situation and what they can do to avoid having it happen again. this keeps disruption off the mainsite/forums and conversations on-track, and it also keeps the peanut gallery out of the mod/user interaction.

Second violation, again depending on severity of offense, the offending comments are edited/deleted and they are either temp-banned with a note they get to see when they try to log in stating why and for how long (here at LJ you'd probably have to send a note) or they're sent a final warning with sterner language letting them know that they will be banned should they persist.

Third violation, they are banned from posting altogether. They are more than welcome to get in touch with us via the sites' Contact Form if they like to discuss the ban at that point, but as for further interactions with our community, they've proven they can't handle it -- or, they've proven that they just don't check their e-mail! Either way, if they're cool about it when they get in touch we'll unban them but keep an eye out for further problems. If they're jerks about it, though, they can stay banned for all I care. :3

idk, i know LJ has other options available (i think editing comments is out, but freezing threads is a decent alternative i've seen employed here), but i have no problems handing out warnings and temp-bans for people who break the rules. if it were me, i'd say screening would be worth a warning since that's fixable, but deletion would be worth a temp-ban due to the fact that there's no getting half of the discussion back.

Oct. 4th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
I moderate another community and a few years back we had an issue with a member who's attitude was 'if I don't agree with the rule/if I find the rule stupid I don't have to follow it.' He knew what the rules were and just had a blatant disregard for them, quote "because it is a stupid rule." After many issues, warnings and explanations we did eventually have to ban him. I hope the issues you're having now don't lead to a similar conclusion.
Oct. 4th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Nah, it's mostly just people stumbling in to whiteknight for their friends or what have you and they don't bother to read the rules first. Everyone is expected to follow the rules despite whether they agree with them or not.
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:09 am (UTC)
I was wondering if anyone else noticed how many there were of late. Yay mod-post!
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)
Trust me, I noticed. *shakefist*
Oct. 5th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
The moderation on the community already seems to be a huge time sink on a volunteers. I agree with the ban policy, and then maybe sending them a link to the rules and ask them that they read over them in the interim until their ban is up
Trying to moderate membership or send quizzes is just a silly amount of time and effort that most of the volunteer mods could not expend
Oct. 5th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
That's the plan! I'm gonna be announcing what we decided on later today.

I think people would be surprised how much effort we put into AB. They can't really see it because 90% of it is in the background, but trust me, it's a lot more work than occasionally telling someone to not namecall or what have you.
Oct. 5th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Trying to moderate membership or send quizzes is just a silly amount of time and effort that most of the volunteer mods could not expend

This, basically. If A_B was on a private forum rather than on LJ, than I could see quizzes or something working out, as they'd be embedded into the sign up process. Otherwise, unless LJ changes up how the sign-up to comms works... yeah the plan we have is a lot better.
Oct. 20th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
You can do it here too, just set up a post to read through, post your answers to the "rules" thread (have everything screened on that post so no one can cheat.) Have membership set to moderated and if you get the answers right the mods let you in.

Type of thing, obviously it would take a bit to set up but it is possible.

Or have a hidden password....
Oct. 20th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)
Entirely too much effort for something that we'd more likely have to keep POINTING people to, than people finding themselves. As well as issues of being able to quickly and easily pinpoint who has or has not posted to said post and grandfathering...

Its a good idea, but its just not a good one for A_B.
Oct. 20th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
I certainly don't disagree, it is a lot of work. Personally I think the system you guys have atm works pretty well other than the few people for whatever reason break the rules.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


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