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Moderating Political conspiracy threads.


Guest Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner

Gentlemen, and occasional Lady visitor. To prevent topics becoming derailed by moderator adjudications, and subsequant debate, I propose the following. 1, If i feel a member has broken (or severly bent) Forum rules and guidelines I shall, in the first instance, contact them by P/M, offering a chance to either, defend their comments, or self edit them, only on the occasion of neither of these opptions being taken will I edit the post. The last thing I desire is to insert a "politically correct"editorial regime, because without the heat of intellectual debate, topics such as 911, or Apollo become sterile. I shall send a copy of this post to my fellow moderators. Thanks for your time. Steve.

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Gentlemen, and occasional Lady visitor. To prevent topics becoming derailed by moderator adjudications, and subsequant debate, I propose the following. 1, If i feel a member has broken (or severly bent) Forum rules and guidelines I shall, in the first instance, contact them by P/M, offering a chance to either, defend their comments, or self edit them, only on the occasion of neither of these opptions being taken will I edit the post. The last thing I desire is to insert a "politically correct"editorial regime, because without the heat of intellectual debate, topics such as 911, or Apollo become sterile. I shall send a copy of this post to my fellow moderators. Thanks for your time. Steve.

Stephen your proposal seems to me to be quite proper.

May I suggest that prior any editing* that at least three other moderators are consulted, and should there be dissent then John Simkin is allowed a final say? The danger to guard against (not saying it is likely to be a problem) is a subjective editorial regime.

On the other hand these things seem to sort themselves out in time, and mistakes by moderators now and then can perhaps be expected, and need not reflect on the moderator or the system.

*unless there is a clear breach of policy,(obscenity etc) in which case the moderator may take immediate action and perhaps then allow a process of appeal to run its course.

Edited by John Dolva
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Guest Stephen Turner
Gentlemen, and occasional Lady visitor. To prevent topics becoming derailed by moderator adjudications, and subsequant debate, I propose the following. 1, If i feel a member has broken (or severly bent) Forum rules and guidelines I shall, in the first instance, contact them by P/M, offering a chance to either, defend their comments, or self edit them, only on the occasion of neither of these opptions being taken will I edit the post. The last thing I desire is to insert a "politically correct"editorial regime, because without the heat of intellectual debate, topics such as 911, or Apollo become sterile. I shall send a copy of this post to my fellow moderators. Thanks for your time. Steve.

Stephen your proposal seems to me to be quite proper.

May I suggest that prior any editing* that at least three other moderators are consulted, and should there be dissent then John Simkin is allowed a final say? The danger to guard against (not saying it is likely to be a problem) is a subjective editorial regime.

On the other hand these things seem to sort themselves out in time, and mistakes by moderators now and then can perhaps be expected, and need not reflect on the moderator or the system.

*unless there is a clear breach of policy,(obscenity etc) in which case the moderator may take immediate action and perhaps then allow a process of appeal to run its course.

John, excellent points. Therefore, unless the breach is an obvious, and gross violation of forum protocol, I propose that before any editing of questionable comments takes place, other moderators are invited to scrutinise the post, and judge whether removal of offending remarks is justified. Of course John and Andy will always have the last say, they built this house after all.

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I think that moderators with a known bias should not use their "position" to promote

their theories, as Evan Burton has just done on another thread.

He has asked me to change my position because another poster HAS PROVED

his position. No such proof has been offered. Trying to offer research in such an

atmosphere is a waste of time.

The political conspiracy section has become useless since the provocateurs have

been allowed to take over and bully participants. The foxes are guarding the henhouse.

People with research to present will not participate because of the futility.

Jack

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So everyone knows what Jack is talking about:

Seldom have I seen a group of such dishonest people.

The photo which has the anomalous rectangular object HAS NO BOOTPRINTS

WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PRODUCED during the three earlier photos, as

claimed. NONE. REPEAT NONE. Not a one. NONE. They say there are bootprints,

but there ARE NONE.

Those who claim that there are footprints are blind or lying. I don't know

why I bother, but tomorrow I will post evidence of this. Tonight I do not

have access to the computer from which I can post images.

Jack

And this is the photo in question (Jack posted a cropped version that cut out most of the prints):

prints2.jpg

And the mod said:

Jack - Kevin has clearly shown you were mistaken about the bootprints; will you correct yourself?

Jack, Evan did not ask you to dismiss your original theory, he asked you if you would correct yourself about their being no footprints in the picture. There was absolutely no bias involved in the mod's post in my humble opinion, he simply asked you to retract a clearly false statement, that there were no footprints in the picture.

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In the thread in question, Dave Greer and I were the most active participants when Jack said "Seldom have I seen a group of such dishonest people", but there were a few other posters who supported the "it's a bootprint" argument so I can't say for sure how many people he was aiming that comment towards.

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So everyone knows what Jack is talking about:
Seldom have I seen a group of such dishonest people.

The photo which has the anomalous rectangular object HAS NO BOOTPRINTS

WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN PRODUCED during the three earlier photos, as

claimed. NONE. REPEAT NONE. Not a one. NONE. They say there are bootprints,

but there ARE NONE.

Those who claim that there are footprints are blind or lying. I don't know

why I bother, but tomorrow I will post evidence of this. Tonight I do not

have access to the computer from which I can post images.

Jack

And this is the photo in question (Jack posted a cropped version that cut out most of the prints):

prints2.jpg

And the mod said:

Jack - Kevin has clearly shown you were mistaken about the bootprints; will you correct yourself?

...

Well it doesn't seem like Evan was speaking as a moderator, it seems like he was speaking as a forum member participating in the debate. When someone volunteers to be a moderator they don't forfeit their right to participate in discussions, do they?

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Well it doesn't seem like Evan was speaking as a moderator, it seems like he was speaking as a forum member participating in the debate. When someone volunteers to be a moderator they don't forfeit their right to participate in discussions, do they?
My thoughts exactly!
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I agree with Jack White.

The issue of moderators entering into a debate is an important issue and could have potential problems if not properly clarified.

Thanks to Kevin for presenting the issue clearly.

When a moderator enters a thread and requests a correction it will always cause trouble if that moderator is a regular participant with firm opinions about the thread in question. The aggrieved party sees the moderator as his opponent and his umpire. Evan blew the whistle and ordered a penalty against Jack, although it was framed as a question. Football referees can do that because they are not participating as a player in the game. However, Evan is a player with strong loyalty to one side of that debate.

Asking a member to correct himself is different to asking one or both sides to tone down their language, especially under these circumstances, and I can sympathise with Jack's complaint.

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I agree with Jack White.

The issue of moderators entering into a debate is an important issue and could have potential problems if not properly clarified.

Thanks to Kevin for presenting the issue clearly.

When a moderator enters a thread and requests a correction it will always cause trouble if that moderator is a regular participant with firm opinions about the thread in question. The aggrieved party sees the moderator as his opponent and his umpire. Evan blew the whistle and ordered a penalty against Jack, although it was framed as a question. Football referees can do that because they are not participating as a player in the game. However, Evan is a player with strong loyalty to one side of that debate.

Asking a member to correct himself is different to asking one or both sides to tone down their language, especially under these circumstances, and I can sympathise with Jack's complaint.

So you would similarly object if John S. John G., Stephen or any of the other moderators who are partisans of the theory that JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy asked an LNT to correct a claim they had made that he or she (the moderator) believed to have been proven false, even if the moderator seemingly made that request as a forum member and not a moderator?

Evan didn't "(blow) the whistle and order(ed) a penalty against Jack" no threat of sanction was suggested. Though perhaps there should be there is no rule on this forum about withdrawing false claims. Being a moderator is already a rather thankless task let's not make it more so.

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I agree with Jack White.

The issue of moderators entering into a debate is an important issue and could have potential problems if not properly clarified.

Thanks to Kevin for presenting the issue clearly.

When a moderator enters a thread and requests a correction it will always cause trouble if that moderator is a regular participant with firm opinions about the thread in question. The aggrieved party sees the moderator as his opponent and his umpire. Evan blew the whistle and ordered a penalty against Jack, although it was framed as a question. Football referees can do that because they are not participating as a player in the game. However, Evan is a player with strong loyalty to one side of that debate.

Asking a member to correct himself is different to asking one or both sides to tone down their language, especially under these circumstances, and I can sympathise with Jack's complaint.

So you would similarly object if John S. John G., Stephen or any of the other moderators who are partisans of the theory that JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy asked an LNT to correct a claim they had made that he or she (the moderator) believed to have been proven false, even if the moderator seemingly made that request as a forum member and not a moderator?

Evan didn't "(blow) the whistle and order(ed) a penalty against Jack" no threat of sanction was suggested. Though perhaps there should be there is no rule on this forum about withdrawing false claims. Being a moderator is already a rather thankless task let's not make it more so.

As I understand, moderators are only concerned with personal attacks made on others, obscenities, and those gosh darn duplicate posts.

It doesn't bother me what your position on a subject is PROVIDED it is expressed without "bashing" another. What you believe is your belief. That has nothing to do with moderation.

If there is someone who is trolling, I believe we would ask for John's guidance.

You should NEVER have to remove a post simply because someone else disagrees with it. I am sure that Evan did not mean that in a moderating sense.

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Correct. As far as I am aware, I do not hold the authority to remove / censor a remark because it is wrong (unless it is a remark to do with another Forum member). I simply asked Jack - my being a participant in the discussion and in a polite manner - if he would correct his remark regarding the bootprints. I gave no suggestion of any adverse consequence if Jack chose not to do so. So far, as a moderator, I have deleted a couple of duplicate posts and moved one thread to a more applicable sub-forum. I have done no editing, censoring, or deleting of unique posts. I have warned people - in text only, no action on the warning level - to be more civil or watch their remarks lest the debate become too heated.

Moderators are allowed to be just as passionate or polarised in their opinions as any other Forum member; they must however ensure that their standard of decorum and fairness is beyond reproach. I have tried to do this since being appointed. I cannot guarantee that I will not stumble or err in carrying out this function, and if I should I would fully expect another moderator to pull me up on it - the same as any other Forum member.

Now, to vent a little anger from my side: this is the second or possibly third time that Jack has publicly stated his dissatisfaction with my choice as a moderator or the way I carry out those functions. IMO, I have done nothing to deserve any such rebuke. My position on the Apollo debate is well known, but at no time have I ever used the position of moderator to 'promote' my opinion as Jack claims in post #4 of this thread.

I would ask people reading this to review the thread in question and, if they feel I have done as Jack has claimed, make a complaint to the other moderators, John S, or Andy. That, IMO, is the correct way to redress any grievances with regard to moderation.

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No one's disputing the fact that moderators are entitled to express opinions. That's not the argument as I see it. It's the perception that a member will confront a moderator as both an opponent and as a referee.

I've been a member since March 05 and I don't think I've yet seen a member being asked to correct his post. And does one photo constitute sufficient proof to justify a correction from alleged offender? The moderator in this case has determined that it does and intruded into a debate which, imo, had not run its full course.

Nothing personal against Evan, whom I greatly respect. Asking members to correct their posts is a quantum leap in precedent and Jack White is correct to draw attention to this, imo.

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