Yesterday there was a thread called "What happened to Ehell" (I forget the exact title). Now, it's gone. Some legitimate issues were raised in the thread but because it challenged the status quo, it was erased.
Pretending that the problems don't exist is not going to help. This is exactly why I, and perhaps others, are dissatisfied with the board. I know it's hard to moderate a board this size but sweeping issues under the rug is not the solution.
The people who were dissatisfied are still dissatisfied. Why delete the thread? (Granted, I have no idea what happened after my last post in that thread but that's another reason not to delete a thread; no one can learn from it.)
I think there needs to be some clarity brought to the issue.
1.) There are no mass deletions of posts. I scoured the Moderation Logs and Report to Moderator Logs for the past 30 days. Of 14,328 posts made to this forum, a mere 42 or .29% were deleted and most of those were initiated by their creator. It has always been standard practice of this forum that threads under dispute were moved to the Staff folder for further discussion.
2.) Over a 30 day period, 18 of 379 *new* threads were locked. 4.7% locked. But one must remember that the mods are not prowling through the forum looking for threads to lock. If they are locked, it has been almost entirely at the request of your fellow forum members.
3.) There have been no mass bannings. I am aware of three posters recently banned for referring to another person as a "c*nt" or inferring that I encourage trolls to increase forum traffic and therefore revenues. Trouble no matter how you spin it and good riddance.
4.) There is definitely favoritism by me. I highly respect members who have the courtesy and discretion to privately message me with their specific concerns in a cogent presentation. They are invested in the forum's operation and demonstrate that with active participation in reporting questionable posters, posts and threads. I pay close attention to their opinions. I do not, however, have much respect for people who publicly complain about the forum who couldn't be bothered to use the "Report to Moderator" link on each post. They decline to be part of the solution and instead become part of the problem. In the past 30 days, 167 different members reported more than 200 posts and threads. Nurvingiel, aventurine, madhatter and Spoder are not among the 167 members who utilized this feature to aid the moderators in policing the forum yet all four have been at the epicenter of three recent threads complaining about the moderation. I can't think of a faster way to get on the mod radar than to publicly gripe about the moderation while having no interest in using the "report to moderator" utility.
5.) With the upgrade to the forum came some pretty sophisticated moderation tools. We've been experimenting with one for a few months now and a few people have been the test subjects. I think we're about ready to roll it out. It's a warning system that assigns a value per warning and then keeps track of how many warnings have been given. Example: You might get warned 4 times for snarky behavior. When the poster reaches the limit of warnings pre-determined to trigger banning or gag, the software automatically bans or gags. It automates the process of remembering who got warned and who needs to be whereas previously we had to rely on memory (Did someone warn that member? How many times? can't remember....). It removes a lot of subjectivity inherent to moderation by humans but I can predict that some people will not like the mechanical "feel" of this new feature. But it should reassure people that even if someone is being snarky, they cannot be snarky indefinitely and the warnings give some benefit of the doubt that the person was simply having a bad day but has been alerted to the fact that they cannot act this way regardless of how bad their day was.
The mods are currently discussing what offenses are warning worthy, the values to be assigned per warning, etc. Look for an announcement in the next few days as to the implementation of this moderation change.