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Army.ca Staff Reset

MOOXE

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I understand you George. You are saying visible moderation (no tone down) is effective at keeping the site in order. Its a visible deterrent to potential rule breakers.

Can toning down the public nature of moderation achieve the same goal?  Can it make a positive influence on the site at the same time? Army.ca can look still look and be professional with all the authority backing it up transparently (thanks G2G).

 

Jarnhamar

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Humphrey Bogart] Not exactly said:
Right now there are many red flags (literally) when a user sees this site. If one of the points here is to tone down the authoritative nature of this site here are a couple of ideas. Make the "Member Warnings" forum only visible to staff. Change the visible BANNED user status on profiles. Remove or change the colour of the red highlighting of locked threads. Keep the warning system private.

Disagree with all your points.
Warnings and discipline should be visible to all members,  if anything then as an example that bad behavior isn't tolerated and is addressed. Likewise for future moderators who break forum policy.

We've had some issues with some members being treated unfairly or too lightly (imo) when breaking policy but by and large we don't have the nasty personal attacks and virtol so rampant on other forums.  I don't think your kindler gentler approach would work here in terms of discipline optics.

 

George Wallace

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Well....Thankfully we have not become like some sites that totally purge any dissenting views expressed.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Tanknet was using a generic "Moderator" account to intervene on discussions with no indication of who that might be, my understanding is that the staff would discuss a response and it would be broadcast by the "Moderator" (avatar was the "Eye of Mordor"). This helped removed personal attacks on staff.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Colin P said:
Tanknet was using a generic "Moderator" account to intervene on discussions with no indication of who that might be, my understanding is that the staff would discuss a response and it would be broadcast by the "Moderator" (avatar was the "Eye of Mordor"). This helped removed personal attacks on staff.

I've always taken responsibility for my posts as a member and my decisions as a Moderator. I've never hidden that it was me that made the decision. However, I like that idea. A lot.

I do have one concern with it. Not insurmountable, but might take more time and manpower.

In the beginning, IIRC, we tried that. The problem was there was times when a mod was on their own. While waiting to converse the thread would go wild. If we moved the thread to the admin area, it typically died. We eventually, with more experience, I think we just morphed into what we became. In reality, I think it would take many more staff than we had on Cleaning Day. I'm not married to it though.
 

Fishbone Jones

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I'm going to take a stab in the dark and not speak for other Mods while doing it.

Mike made the right decision.  No question.

Here's some bread.
Some of us got stale, intolerant, biased and overbearing. There's no denying that. It was not something we set out to accomplish. Perhaps it was the years doing it, the gazillion times we answered the same questions on how to shave or if ball scratching on parade is allowed, trying to mind read on whether someone is being sincere and stupid or being a sarcastic prick.

Here's some shit.
Holy fuck, be ready for the shitstorm that's coming because a clique of members don't like your decision against one of theirs. Or the vitriol about to come your way, complete with milpoint deductions and 5% warnings, because someone that doesn't even post, just lurks, doesn't like something you said five years ago. Or the armchair quarterbacks that question every single desicion you made and sometimes even condemning you for another mods decision. No matter what the decision was or wasn't, why it was applied or not, if it met with criteria or biased you are the devil.

Here's your other slice of bread, so it's not an open face sammich.

I'm going to identify what I believe may be a big part of what our problem was. YMMV. Refer back to the filler of this sandwich, after a fair amount of years of listening to this, we went deaf. Rather than put every criticism under a microscope to see if it was valid or not, it was dismissed outright and we moved to the next crisis. Somewhere during that move, we got lost. I think another part, but integral, is that this appears to have happened to the staff around the same time. While we debriefed each other, made corrections to ourselves and even when we were contrary to each other for years, we went sympatico into the twilight, not seeing where we were going.

My suggestion(s):

We always had rules as mods on how we would perform, as we got lost we started forgetting some, remembering others incorrectly and then started flying and forgetting.

The new staff should get what Mike decides as terms of employment, acknowledge to the full membership that they understand and will abide by those rules. Every six months. Do it, it's why we drifted and wandered. They'll never forget.

Sanctions on mods will be established. If required, a tribunal of staff and members, 2 each with Mike participating only in case of a tie. It will all be done in a private chat room and separate interview room to hear from all involved without knowing what anyone else says. Mike will pick the two staff and the two members to be picked at random from those having 250 posts or more and active within two weeks of the alleged transgression and no participation in the thread.

Term limits of four years. The first serial will consist of even numbers where half will only do two in order to stagger sufficient new blood every two years.

Keep the forum warning banners but smaller and less brilliant. Stand them in the corner but don't stick a big dunce cap on their head. We're adults.

Everything above is mine and mine alone. They are my suggestions, not hard or fast. If they are worth consideration, they are yours to do as you wish.

I have a couple(?) of others but I need to drown a headache.

I'm not sure if this was the direction Mike wanted his announcement thread to go.

If not, he'll have to split it off himself, renamed the new thread, put it in the right group, yada yada yada. He's the only one with the power now.  ;D



 

Mike Bobbitt

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Folks, I truly appreciate the discussion and ideas. I have been taking notes avidly, and some changes will definitely be adopted. It may delay things a bit, not just as I draft new policy, but as I try to find a way to 'tame the technology' to behave under the new plan.

Even where there are some misconceptions, it's telling of what the public view was of Staff protocol. As was said above about justice being done and seen to be done, the same goes for Staff action. Moving forward we must do the right thing, and do it in a way that cannot be misinterpreted as the wrong thing.

It is encouraging to see folks putting thought and effort into how we can make this feel like a home for military members again.

P.S. If you have PM'd me and I haven't replied yet, that is not an indicator of anything except my disorganization. :)
 

Mike Bobbitt

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MOOXE said:
Aren't these sites just element appropriate colour schemes on a subdomain, in essence the same as Army.ca?

Yes, while there are minor structural differences in what is emphasized, the various sites are really just window dressing for the same data.

I also neglected to weigh in on the hidden warning proposal. I understand the concept behind it and it makes sense... but the reality is when someone breaks The Guidelines, the Staff will be inundated with repeat requests if users can't tell what (if any) action has been taken. There will also be no clear indication of what is ok and what is over the line. We will be fighting a constant battle of "why did I get dinged when user X posted Y and got nothing for it?" It must be clear that posting "Y" is not cool.

However point taken about warning banners. They were previously made to be as eye-catching as possible, and even the new ones were designed to be highly visible:

2017-Group-Initial-Warning.png
2017-Group-Recorded-Warning.png
2017-Group-CandP.png
2017-Group-Banned.png


I may strip those out, so a user will have a coloured text banner (I.E. where mine says "Army.ca Owner") and no graphic at all.
 

Kat Stevens

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About the warning system.  I know it would only add to the headaches for whoever eventually puts on the mod hat, but perhaps if warnings and bans are to deter others from stepping on their wieners as a side effect, posting why the warning was issued would help.  Because I'm just that kind of guy, when I see a warning banner, my first stop is the persons posting history.  Most of the time, the offending post has been purged, and I have no idea why or when they got the hammer.  If we're going to publicly display warnings, which I favour FYI, we should also post the reason, to encourage the others, as it were.  just my two dinars.
 

Mike Bobbitt

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Sort of like this but actually used?

It's something we looked at with limited success in the past, but is worth revisiting. The main obstacle is the increased amount of staff work required. Applying a warning is already a multi-minute process, having to punch out a justification roughly doubles the effort and reduces our ability (and desire) to respond quickly and efficiently.

With that said, I may try to build a system where Staff can apply a warning and a 1-liner in a single click. The action, including 1-liner should be visible to all, so a history is kept and users see/understand what's happening, without Staff having to navigate around and file a report each time.
 

George Wallace

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Colin P said:
Tanknet was using a generic "Moderator" account to intervene on discussions with no indication of who that might be, my understanding is that the staff would discuss a response and it would be broadcast by the "Moderator" (avatar was the "Eye of Mordor"). This helped removed personal attacks on staff.

However, how fast do they act when something needs immediate attention?  Take for instance the numerous SPAMMERS who have come onto the site spamming sales pitchs for such things as fake documents and several members do a REPORT TO MOD at that time of day when there are NO Mods on the site. The site gets spammed with less than legitimate posts and threads, and a clean up must be made ASAP to remove the offending links that may have Trojans or Phishing software encoded into them.  The first Mod on site will likely have to deal immediately with the 'invasion'.  There should be no need for a discussion and quorum to solve many of the problems, such as this, that the Mods have in actuality already been doing behind the scenes.

When it does come to the Warning System, the Mods have in 99% of the cases recorded all the steps taken with the more serious cases, discussed when necessary, and implemented the Warning.  In many cases of Banning a member, the Mods have had long discussions, and used the steps in the Warning System before going that route with the member.....Not to be confused with Banning immediately Spammers and Trolls who obviously had no interest in following site rules. 
 

MOOXE

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Just to clarify my view on the warning system. If it worked that's good but the colours combined with the amount of warnings made it extremely visible. What would catch someones eye the most? Red banners, red text, red flags. Turn the volume down is what I mean.
 

the 48th regulator

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A proposal I would also like to offer. 

If you want to become member of the staff, Mentor or Moderator, then you MUST be a current paid subscriber to the forum.

Mike, you need support.  Not just the kind where people issues warnings, and lecture the young.  We need financial support, and if people think this place is a free ride, then they just don't get it.

Yes, general membership it does not require a Subscription.  However, after a certain period, or acquiring extra privileges, I think it is only fair to ask for contributions to the site.

dileas

tess
 

dapaterson

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I'm a bit torn.  I like the idea of people showing commitment and support; but I'm also aware that there are folks (especially younger ones) who perhaps can't contribute money, but would be willing to contribute time - time that some of us old farts more mature members who are able to give money perhaps can't give.

Like I said, I'm torn.  I agree that we want to give strong incentives to provide financial support to the site; but at the same time I don't want staff to be limited to old guys like me.

But it is a really interesting idea, that I'm going to have to mull over more.
 

mariomike

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the 48th regulator said:
If you want to become member of the staff, Mentor or Moderator, then you MUST be a current paid subscriber to the forum.

Still only 8 cents a day,
https://army.ca/subscribe/
 

the 48th regulator

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dapaterson said:
I'm a bit torn.  I like the idea of people showing commitment and support; but I'm also aware that there are folks (especially younger ones) who perhaps can't contribute money, but would be willing to contribute time - time that some of us old farts more mature members who are able to give money perhaps can't give.

Like I said, I'm torn.  I agree that we want to give strong incentives to provide financial support to the site; but at the same time I don't want staff to be limited to old guys like me.

But it is a really interesting idea, that I'm going to have to mull over more.

Believe me, there were times I couldnot pay, so I agree with your angst.

However, we are in stringent times, and Mike is making a huge effort in keeping this alive.  He has reset the staff, and wishes to move onto to bigger and better things.  I think it is only fair to ask that if you want the "Privilege"  (Which let us be candid, it is) of managing the site on behalf of Mike, then you should also be able to contribute to it's survival monetarily.

This is the first example of peer support.  Virtual Legion.  Information Library.

The onus is on all of us to contribute, not just posting thoughts and memes.  All clubs do it, so should we.

SeaKingTacco said:
Come on folks! Pony up- Mike should not have to dip into his own pocket.

While I prefer not to subscribe (for my own reasons) to do write a cheque periodically that (at least) equals the cost of an annual subscription.

Maybe you don't have the cost of a full subscription right now- $5. $10. It all helps!

dileas

tess
 

Ayrsayle

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I would agree with 48th Regulator - members who are interested in the long term growth of the site and the value it provides would likely stick around for the long haul (which really, I think Mike is looking for from his "Moderators").  investing your money into a project has a way of making you care about the end product.

Also agree that not everyone can pay the money required for the membership - I think it is one of the greatest things about this site is that those who can/wish to contribute do but that the information is always available to everyone. I'll happily continue to support the site for all that it provides, etc.

It's the classic "people won't know what they had until its gone" scenario - hopefully it never gets to that point.
 

GAP

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That's baloney!!

There isn't anyone out there that can't afford $35.00 a year.

A few timmies, a couple lottery tickets, going to a movie.....
 

Jarnhamar

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dapaterson said:
I'm a bit torn.  I like the idea of people showing commitment and support; but I'm also aware that there are folks (especially younger ones) who perhaps can't contribute money, but would be willing to contribute time - time that some of us old farts more mature members who are able to give money perhaps can't give.

Like I said, I'm torn.  I agree that we want to give strong incentives to provide financial support to the site; but at the same time I don't want staff to be limited to old guys like me.

But it is a really interesting idea, that I'm going to have to mull over more.

I'm going to hop on board and donate.

Personally I would be against the idea of members being required to be paying members to moderate. I think it could take away the impartialaity of being a moderator and be viewed as a sense of privilege or elitism. Really bring attention (and pressure) to subscribers vs non-subscribers.
 
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