Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dicks?

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Azrael » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:30 pm UTC

I always liked Plato's response.

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:42 pm UTC

I can't speak for the rest of the internet, but here, the moderators do an excellent job.

Some of them are dicks sometimes, but this is the internet. Most of us are dicks all the time. No, they're not perfect, but I would buy any of this forum's moderators a beer.

Well done, kudos, etc.

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Link » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:52 pm UTC

From my experience with forums, the overwhelming majority of moderator actions are completely justified. There are at least 4 forums I frequent enough that I have a fair understanding of the internal moderating policy, and all in all true abuse of power appears to be exceedingly rare, and even then it tends to be dealt with swiftly enough. If a moderator's action seems harsh, look at it from their perspective (and this is experience speaking, since I'm a retired moderator on another site): on a busy forum, you often deal with the exact same kind of infraction several times a day. Things that are clearly stated in the rules, and that fall within the realm of common sense for all but the most severely cognitively impaired. At some point, you will have dealt with that exact infraction so many times that you would sell your first-born child for a stab-people-in-the-face-over-the-internet machine. If, then, someone comes along, posts another such bout of idiocy, and then has the cojones to call you biased/stupid/evil/whatever for deleting their post or closing their thread, it takes an ungodly amount of effort not to explode at those people. Then, you go to sleep for the night, and when you wake up the next morning, you find five more such infractions to be dealt with in the report centre, and you pray to whatever deity or substitute thereof you might subscribe to that dealing with any of them doesn't raise another flame war before you've had your first coffee.

If a moderator goes apeshit on you, but not on "the other guy", that moderator, in all likelihood, has good reason for doing so. If, then, you downright call into question the aptitude of that moderator, who has already made it clear they don't particularly like you, you are essentially bullying them whilst saying "you can't do anything because you're the 'bigger man'/'bigger woman'!" - and at some point they will have had enough and snap back. If you feel you've been banned unfairly, take it up with an administrator. If they don't think it was unfair, then suck it up. Contrary to popular belief, the internet is not a democracy.

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Lounge » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:15 pm UTC

You are going to dislike some moderators; you are going to like some. Just as you are going to like and dislike some people.

The best thing you can do when you do something that a moderator disagrees with is figure out

1) Why are they taking action? - What did I do that caused this?
2) What do I need to do so this doesn't happen again?

Oh, and 0) Take a step back and calm down. I'm guessing as soon as you got chewed out you went after the moderator. That's not the greatest idea.

Nowhere on this list will you see

A) Make sure the other guy I was with is getting punished too!
B) Try and find a loophole in the rules where it turns out I was right!
C) Complain about what happened to anyone that will listen.
D) Make generalizations of the entire internet because of how I was treated.

I'm not saying everything Mods do is right and amazing and you should mindlessly obey them, but judging by what few details of your case you gave: Both people got reprimanded but you just wanted the other guy to get a tougher punishment, so you kept pushing it instead of dropping it. (Which is probably why they took action to begin with, both of your refusal to drop whatever it was.)

EDIT: Really sloppy, trying to work and post. Fixed it up some.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Me321 » Sat May 01, 2010 4:31 am UTC

Absolute power corrupts absolutely

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby JayAr » Sat May 01, 2010 6:12 am UTC

Me321 wrote:Absolute power corrupts absolutely

I have no knowledge of a forum which is an autocracy. Even so, if a admin had all the power on the forum and abused it completely my logic states for me to leave that forum. So I see no backing behind your statement whenever it comes to the internet. (Certain countries I see your point, and yes I know the quote)
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby kernelpanic » Sat May 01, 2010 12:52 pm UTC

I think that the smaller the power someone has, they will abuse it much more. If there is a policeman on a hallway whose only (and I mean only) job is to make sure no one smokes there, he will say "no smoking" if you even think of taking something from your pocket.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby gmalivuk » Sat May 01, 2010 1:53 pm UTC

JayAr wrote:Even so, if a admin had all the power on the forum and abused it completely my logic states for me to leave that forum.

Actually, davean has physical access to the servers this forum is on. If he wanted to delete the whole thing, he could. If he wanted to reset everyone's passwords to "password" and turn it into a free-for-all, he could. So you could say he has de facto absolute power over this board, and yet he tends not to fuck with it too much.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby crowey » Sat May 01, 2010 2:08 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote: If he wanted to reset everyone's passwords to "password" and turn it into a free-for-all, he could. .

Nominate this for next years mod madness...

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Sat May 01, 2010 2:49 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
JayAr wrote:Even so, if a admin had all the power on the forum and abused it completely my logic states for me to leave that forum.

Actually, davean has physical access to the servers this forum is on. If he wanted to delete the whole thing, he could. If he wanted to reset everyone's passwords to "password" and turn it into a free-for-all, he could. So you could say he has de facto absolute power over this board, and yet he tends not to fuck with it too much.

Hmm, I learned something new today. I knew davean had root access, but I was under the impression the server itself was stitting in the data center of some company (although I'll be damned if I can remember that companies name now).
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby JayAr » Sat May 01, 2010 3:11 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
JayAr wrote:Even so, if a admin had all the power on the forum and abused it completely my logic states for me to leave that forum.

Actually, davean has physical access to the servers this forum is on. If he wanted to delete the whole thing, he could. If he wanted to reset everyone's passwords to "password" and turn it into a free-for-all, he could. So you could say he has de facto absolute power over this board, and yet he tends not to fuck with it too much.


Which seems to prove that he isn't corrupted with the absolute power :) , if he did would we leave XKCD (excluding the webcomic) if say all the words and images get turned into binary and that is turned into hexadecimal?

EDIT: Was the OP's IP banned or just his account?
Last edited by JayAr on Sat May 01, 2010 4:13 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Mother Superior » Sat May 01, 2010 3:13 pm UTC

"Anyway, I banned the guy."
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby phillipsjk » Sat May 01, 2010 8:21 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:Of course not. Knowing that there are seven hashmarks reduces the number of possibilities to a paltry 1,123,206 posts.


Um, your instructions seem to imply that it is a six digit post. If I had to guess, I would choose the number '981471'. (I think you may be referring to item number 12).
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Felstaff » Sat May 01, 2010 11:38 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:
Felstaff wrote:Of course not. Knowing that there are seven hashmarks reduces the number of possibilities to a paltry 1,123,206 posts.

Um, your instructions seem to imply that it is a six digit post. If I had to guess, I would choose the number '981471'. (I think you may be referring to item number 12).

Interestingly, all letters after 'J' appear to have two digits in them. So... if you were looking for 6 mistakes, and there are seven digits, that would imply that one mistake is a letter higher than J. The rest must be A-I.

For example, if the missing letters were A, A, A, A, A, Z, then the corresponding digits would be 1 1 1 1 1 26

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Low Caliber » Sun May 02, 2010 3:55 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Low Caliber wrote:Waaaaaaaaaah

Hammer.

You got a problem with that?


One of my biggest problems with the interwebs is that I can never tell whether people are joking or actually angry at me. To clarify that had not actually been directed at this forum, but was more generally directed at forums in general.

innumerable apologies if it were taken as an attack on this forum

Spoiler:
Also the biggest problem I have with Plato's response is that it is extremely difficult to guard against yourself. The problem, in my mind, is that telling the guardians they are better then other people might cause them to view the lesser people as expendable and worthless, like instead of being a parent figure who takes care of the lesser people, they become more like a rich slave owner. Although this is rather counteracted by the assertion that they must be instilled with a dislike of their role as guardians, and make them want their shifts to be over.

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Cloud Walker » Sun May 02, 2010 6:06 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:
Felstaff wrote:Of course not. Knowing that there are seven hashmarks reduces the number of possibilities to a paltry 1,123,206 posts.

Um, your instructions seem to imply that it is a six digit post. If I had to guess, I would choose the number '981471'. (I think you may be referring to item number 12).

Interestingly, all letters after 'J' appear to have two digits in them. So... if you were looking for 6 mistakes, and there are seven digits, that would imply that one mistake is a letter higher than J. The rest must be A-I.

For example, if the missing letters were A, A, A, A, A, Z, then the corresponding digits would be 1 1 1 1 1 26

Man, do I have to spoon-feed you guys everything?


Or it just means that there's one spelling mistake he didn't have to touch, but six he had to insert himself. Dunno, though. I don't have enough time to figure it out.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Tue May 04, 2010 12:10 pm UTC

What I've noticed is moderators overwhelmingly appoint people they like as other moderators, regardless of whether that person would be any good for the job and/or whether there are other people who would do be better suited but whom they don't know as well.

Based on this, a fairly simple theory arises: jerks get kicked out of the community they're in for being jerks, or raegquaat. They start their own, befriend other jerks, and appoint them moderators. If they're not big jerks, this community can get popular, and there you go.

What's really annoying to me online is not when you get banned just because a moderator is a jerk, but that bans are often permanent, issued by one person at their sole discretion, and never reviewed. This is extremely common on IRC. Op gets pissed off, bans someone, never lifts the ban. Privilege levels are not fine enough to limit the length of a ban they can issue, the ban list is never looked at, the person has no chance to appeal, there is usually no punishment for unfairly banning someone, there is no record other than the channel logs that other ops can monitor, and often there aren't even any others in the channel if it's a small channel. So anyone with IRC op privileges can ban anyone forever on a whim. Really a broken system.
Then, in systems where there are limitations on their power, they generally just complain to someone who has more power but knows nothing about the event in question, tell a one-sided story, and convince them to permaban.

IRC is somewhat archaic but surprisingly many modern systems even have this problem - Second Life (any group staff can ban you from every area the group owns), most forum software, nearly everything that has the concepts of volunteer moderators and user bans. A similar problem exists on a personal level with things like IM, where you block someone's screen name/phone number/etc, never look at the block list, and forget about it.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby SecondTalon » Tue May 04, 2010 12:14 pm UTC

PhoenixEnigma wrote:Hmm, I learned something new today. I knew davean had root access, but I was under the impression the server itself was sitting in the data center of some company (although I'll be damned if I can remember that companies name now).
I'm pretty sure it is, if by "some company" you mean one that has server hosting as part of their business plan. I don't believe the servers are sitting on the floor of davean's apartment.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby phillipsjk » Wed May 05, 2010 4:10 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:What's really annoying to me online is not when you get banned just because a moderator is a jerk, but that bans are often permanent, issued by one person at their sole discretion, and never reviewed. This is extremely common on IRC. Op gets pissed off, bans someone, never lifts the ban.


I don't frequent IRC too often, but most IRC channels I have seen tend to ban people for ~5 minutes, and only make the ban permanent in the face of persistent trolling. I have even seen somebody come back after several months with a sock-puppet and respectfully asked for a ban to be lifted. The response: ~"I don't remember you, so I am going to say (the reason) was a connect/disconnect flood. (ban lifted)."

I realize not every board or IRC channel has nice moderators, but my view is if they don't want you, there is no point wasting your time.

Edit: PO'd moderators deleting 1000's of posts without warning do worry me though. (I have not backed up my posts locally yet :mrgreen: )
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Aaeriele » Thu May 06, 2010 2:10 am UTC

There's also plenty of IRC channels. Getting banned from one isn't exactly the end of the world.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Dave_Wise » Thu May 06, 2010 9:49 am UTC

I always liked Plato's response.

I'm intrigued. What was Plato's response to the question of why moderators are such dicks?

My response, having briefly been a moderator on another board is this: You would be too if you had to deal with hundreds of the kind of little snots that populate message boards.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Aaeriele » Thu May 06, 2010 9:51 am UTC

Dave_Wise wrote:
I always liked Plato's response.

I'm intrigued. What was Plato's response to the question of why moderators are such dicks?


The essential problem was posed by Plato in The Republic, his work on government and morality. The perfect society as described by Socrates, the main character in this Socratic dialogue, relies on laborers, slaves and tradesmen. The guardian class is to protect the city. The question is put to Socrates, "Who will guard the guardians?" or, "Who will protect us against the protectors?" Plato's answer to this is that they will guard themselves against themselves. We must tell the guardians a "noble lie".[1] The noble lie will assure them that they are better than those they serve and it is therefore their responsibility to guard and protect those lesser than themselves. We will instill in them a distaste for power or privilege; they will rule because they believe it right, not because they desire it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custo ... ustodes%3F
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Dave_Wise » Thu May 06, 2010 10:00 am UTC

You're right, that does explain it. I tend to find that plato makes more sense if you view it as a piece descriptive of various human ideas and a testing ground rather than a prescriptive recipe. It probably wasn't intended as such, but if you take it at face value, you quickly develop a real loathing for Plato.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby gmalivuk » Thu May 06, 2010 3:47 pm UTC

Aaeriele wrote:There's also plenty of IRC channels. Getting banned from one isn't exactly the end of the world.

There are plenty of people on Earth. So getting kicked in the face by me won't bother you, right?

In other words, I suspect the negative reaction was more about the act of banning itself, rather than the general fact of no longer using one IRC channel out of millions.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Ixtellor » Thu May 06, 2010 4:40 pm UTC

I give mods a pass. They are dealing with hundreds(thousands?) of anonymous posters who can quickly make thousands of posts per day and I can't imagine how difficult it may be to keep up with it all. In addition all these forums are private institutions and they have the right to run it how they see fit.

I am happy to call out a mod when they are being... not good. But feel their decisions at the end of the day are basically justitified.

This includes mods who mod in a strict and narrow philosophical ideology. I have been banned from many libertarian and christian (and 2 Islamic) websites, and thats fair, because I don't hold their views and people don't log on to hear things they are not comfortable with.

I think many mods are dicks, but its all anonymous and the rules of the internet are different.

I appreciate everything they do even if they scold me or delete my posts. Its a hard job.
I don't take any of it personally.


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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby gmalivuk » Thu May 06, 2010 5:04 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:I appreciate everything they do even if they scold me or delete my posts.

Man, if only it were still Mod Madness. If it were, I would promptly delete that post, and also ban Aaeriele from a random subforum. (After all, there are plenty of xkcd subforums, so getting banned from one isn't exactly the end of the world, is it?)
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Kewangji » Thu May 06, 2010 5:56 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:A similar problem exists on a personal level with things like IM, where you block someone's screen name/phone number/etc, never look at the block list, and forget about it.

How is that a problem?
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Felstaff » Thu May 06, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

King Author wrote:tl;dr. As a result, user was banned for this post. ~~Fatstaff

I can't believe no-one's called me out for being a dick for banning this guy. Check his last login date.

Where's the hate, denetizens?
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Lounge » Thu May 06, 2010 8:35 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:
King Author wrote:tl;dr. As a result, user was banned for this post. ~~Fatstaff

I can't believe no-one's called me out for being a dick for banning this guy. Check his last login date.

Where's the hate, denetizens?


Well, you gave a pretty valid reason.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby JayAr » Thu May 06, 2010 8:38 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:
King Author wrote:tl;dr. As a result, user was banned for this post. ~~Fatstaff

I can't believe no-one's called me out for being a dick for banning this guy. Check his last login date.

Where's the hate, denetizens?


Honestly I was going to call it as a humorous coincidence, but then I was afraid of the taser...

EDIT: And I was going to call you a d**k for not allowing this guy for not being able to reply. Also the fact that in his eyes we are just proving his point farther. :roll:
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Cynical Idealist » Sat May 08, 2010 10:54 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:
King Author wrote:tl;dr. As a result, user was banned for this post. ~~Fatstaff

I can't believe no-one's called me out for being a dick for banning this guy. Check his last login date.

Where's the hate, denetizens?

You banned him for making a post that was too long?

You're such a dick.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Fat Zombie » Sat May 08, 2010 11:52 pm UTC

I think that's less respect for the mods (although there is most likely lots of respect for the mods, given their responsibilities) and more fear of the mods. People are less likely to insult someone who has the power to ban them from a forum they frequent.

Re: The "there's plenty more forums" thing. That is true, but then again, like a lot of things, there might be a lot of something but it's not that you just want a thing, you want that thing. i.e. You frequent a forum because you've invested time and you have relationships, however vague, with the people who are on it. Banning someone from a forum can sever those connections, like running a guy out of town.

Anyway, in summary I just wanted to raise those points. No offense to the mods, you do a great job please don't ban me I like this forum
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Aaeriele » Sun May 09, 2010 11:44 am UTC

Fat Zombie wrote:Re: The "there's plenty more forums" thing. That is true, but then again, like a lot of things, there might be a lot of something but it's not that you just want a thing, you want that thing. i.e. You frequent a forum because you've invested time and you have relationships, however vague, with the people who are on it. Banning someone from a forum can sever those connections, like running a guy out of town.

Most of the time, people who frequent a forum know how to not get banned from it.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby PM 2Ring » Sun May 09, 2010 12:38 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:
King Author wrote:tl;dr. As a result, user was banned for this post. ~~Fatstaff

I can't believe no-one's called me out for being a dick for banning this guy. Check his last login date.

Where's the hate, denetizens?

I wasn't sure whether you were just giving a summary & telling us that he was banned on that other forum, or that you were saying that you essentially agree with the mods on the other forum and that he also deserved banning here.

Personally, I must admit that I never liked his abrasive style, but if you let him back on if he promises to play nice, I won't complain.

I mostly stick to the Science & Computer forums, so I don't know all the xkcd mods, but the ones I do know are all excellent examples of what internet moderators should be, IMHO.

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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Fat Zombie » Sun May 09, 2010 1:17 pm UTC

Aaeriele wrote:
Fat Zombie wrote:Re: The "there's plenty more forums" thing. That is true, but then again, like a lot of things, there might be a lot of something but it's not that you just want a thing, you want that thing. i.e. You frequent a forum because you've invested time and you have relationships, however vague, with the people who are on it. Banning someone from a forum can sever those connections, like running a guy out of town.

Most of the time, people who frequent a forum know how to not get banned from it.


You make a good point. If you did like a forum, you probably wouldn't act like a berk on it.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby DecemberSoul » Sun May 09, 2010 4:00 pm UTC

In general I've never had any problems with forum moderation, except in the forum for a society at university. It's tiny forum and everyone knows everyone IRL. There is no chance of threads spinning out of control and going crazy, there's barely any regular users! But the moderators seem to think the forum is bigger than it is, and anything not strictly on topic is jumped upon as 'spam', ignoring the nature of conversation. :roll: Ego has a lot to do with it.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby LuNatic » Mon May 10, 2010 8:09 am UTC

Aaeriele wrote: because they're not going out of their way to say "HI, I'M MODERATING YOU BUT I'M BEING REALLY, REALLY NICE ABOUT IT"


Maybe this is the problem. What if every Xth post without coloured text were to become some variant on this?
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Felstaff » Mon May 10, 2010 8:29 am UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:
Felstaff wrote:
King Author wrote:tl;dr. As a result, user was banned for this post. ~~Fatstaff

I can't believe no-one's called me out for being a dick for banning this guy. Check his last login date.

Where's the hate, denetizens?

I wasn't sure whether you were just giving a summary & telling us that he was banned on that other forum, or that you were saying that you essentially agree with the mods on the other forum and that he also deserved banning here.

I'm just kidding. He's not really banned. It's complete coincidence that this was his last post/login time, so I thought I'd be a dick about it and make the topic title a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don't ban people without a damn'd good reason, for the most part. Also there's the fact that I can't ban people outright. Only the prelates/admin/davean have those particular, highly-coveted keys.

I added 'for the most part' because I'm sure there's been the odd occasion where the bannee has been banned for being 'a complete ninnyhammer' rather than any professional, reasonable reason.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Mon May 10, 2010 8:44 am UTC

Felstaff wrote:reasonable reason.

That's a funny word wordage.
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Re: Why, around the whole internet, are moderators such dick

Postby SecondTalon » Mon May 10, 2010 2:12 pm UTC

There's a reasonably reasonable reason he used it.
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