Thank you for asking.
I've seen members consistantly insult the other thread participants ("idiot," "moron," etc.) and not get disciplined. Should I bother reporting these? It seems like a violation of 5 & 6, but I hate to waste the mods' time.
I don't want people to be able to insult with impunity, but where's the line?
The reason why you aren't seeing disciplining is because the Mods are doing their jobs properly. Disciplinary actions are confidential. Even people who are being suspended (and sometimes it might be so short that you might not notice, but trust me, the person being suspended does
notice) deserve confidentiality. Hence it can look like nothing is happening when something is. Even if it makes us on the Mod team look bad, lazy or biased, we won't reveal these confidences. Yes, they're that
important to us.
Also, just in general, we tend to discuss a lot of things in ModLand. Hence action may end up being taken later than the general membership might be expecting because we are looking for a consensus and people are at work or hanging around with their families or otherwise offline. Or they're just thinking about things. We pride ourselves on not going off half-cocked when something happens. Hence an acknowledgment type of response might come from the Help Desk (as a for instance), but it doesn't mean we're necessarily done with discussing something. We try to get a quick response out from the Help Desk because our users expect that, but then we take our time to talk and weigh the issues.
Some disciplining is all but invisible to the general membership. A quick pull of an offensive post might, if anything, evoke a feeling that something
was there but it's unclear what that something was. Or a fast lock and unlock to give the topic participants a chance to regroup and cool down would look, to someone who wasn't around during the lock, as if it never happened. A short suspension might just look like someone took a few days off; you wouldn't know they'd been suspended unless they told you.
Some disciplining is more readily apparent. Longer term locks are going to be seen by more of the membership. A lot of pulled posts, particularly if a patchwork of pulls makes a topic lose some of its contextual clarity, is going to be more obvious. Longer-term suspensions are bound to be noticed by someone. Plus, of course, if members talk about their own disciplinary actions, well, we can't prevent that. You won't hear it from us, but you might hear it from them. And, naturally, there's always the rumor mill.
If you see something, report it. We can't be in 1,000 places at once. I wish we could. So we're dependent on your reports. We will look at what was reported, and we will talk about it. By the way, please don't assume something's been reported. I'd rather receive a slew of reports than not get any.
There is no intelligence test to join A2K. There is no political litmus test. There is no test of tastefulness or tact.
There is, though, a lot of balancing that goes on behind the scenes at A2K, between opening the door to as much reasoned debate as possible without shutting off the fun and some of the more freewheeling parts of the site. We tend to lean more towards openness and away from heavy-handedness. We don't like having Mod fingerprints all over every topic, every post and every member of the site. Everyone has differing levels of sensitivity to such things. What bothers one particular person or, alternatively, is acceptable or even desirable to them, may or may not be in accordance with the overarching vision of the site.
So, report. You're not bothering us. We want to hear from you. Not just you, DrewDad, but everyone.
PS I am now locking this topic.