How to moderate this Forum?
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Thread: How to moderate this Forum?

  1. #1
    kwchang Guest
    I wonder if any of you realise that Qubex was suggesting that we be quick executioners? Perhaps some of you are thinking that we would (or should) become such axe-bearers.

    On reflection, I realised that we do practise an Asian way of give-and-take. More so to give face to our guests. For example, if your foreign guest was to walk into your house with his shoes on, would you immediately shoo him off and reprimand him for being so insensitive to your culture by wearing shoes in your home? I know I won't. I will first teach him our culture.

    Similarly, in this case, we did try the soft approach first. Maybe the laid-back Malaysian style did not work here. Maybe some people do deserve to be shown the door the moment they walk in. I hate to be a judge. I always think wrong-doers could be shown the right way. Maybe I was wrong.

    You tell me where to draw the line.

    By the way, since I am on this BANning-spree, I have taken the liberty to ban Osama and Aragorn in another thread where they were putting up questionable comments about Tun Mahathir. We hope people realise that this is a community website for community issues. We don't think hard politics is in our agenda. There are other forums for that.
    Last edited by kwchang; 10-02-2004 at 12:44 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I am not advocating that you be "rapid executioneers" - if that is the drift you got from my correspondence then I gave you the wrong impression. I am advocating that you be timely executioneers. (Incidentally, banning is not the only avenue of punishment open to you - several others, such as temporary suspension and the repealing of posting rights should also be available in your administrative toolkit).

    For example, there is a time when inevitably, something turns from acceptable to unplesant. It is when this threshold of unacceptable behavious is reached that administrators should (in my view) sweep in and take action. To be specific, given the case history of Dr_Luv and his multiple threats to various members of the board, it was blatantly obvious that his poem was an open insult and a challenge to the board as a whole - comprised of victim, other users, and especially to the authority of the moderators themselves. He relied upon a notional pattern of subdued response knowing full well that he would at the very least get a chance to kick up considerable controversy before any action were taken against him... if any at all.

    For the sake of those who are not privvy to my personal correspondence, I have exchanged a couple of PMs with kwchang, where I mentioned that I am too (despite being "gweilo" and thereofe alleggedly "foreign") a moderator on a large Malaysian-based web forum. How large? 5058 members and counting, at a rate of about a dozen a day. That's five thousand teenage wannabe hackers prancing around a computer-security-oriented forum, and yet my team and I are capable of keeping them in check through the mere threat of action, as opposed to action itself. Posts are routinely removed (or, better still, moved to a hidden "Trash" section where they are kept for future reference). We have any amount of spurious traffic, including "how do I hack such-and-such a website?", "how do I hack hotmail?" and assorded software-piracy-centred posts. And yet, despite the onslaught, we rarely ban anybody, preferring instead to remove offensive or off-topic posts and warning the users that they will be banned if they persist. Since we have, in past, followed up on our threat, and since this has become a sort of local folklore, most users faced with such a warning choose to either fall in line or cease participating.

    This is not to say we are not "laid back" in our style. Intransigence and order need not go hand-in-hand. Provided that there is mutual respect amongst users, and a prevailing respect for the rules of the forum, we allow all to contribute, comment, and on occasion err as they see fit. The few times I have actually had to ban somebody, I have usually been met by applause or at the very least a grudging acknowledgement that the person I banned had overstepped some critical mark. I have learnt that there is no way to keep everybody happy all the time, and most mature members will instinctively acknowledge this fact. It's all about maturity: once a user, such as Dr_Luv, demonstrates his immaturity by disregarding all conventions of civil society, then alas he is scheduled for a rapid demise. One cannot afford to sit around and procrastinate: once a member has shown himself to be unworthy of the privilidges of membership, then upon the next violation he must be promptly stopped by any means necessary. Other members have an implicit trust that the moderators will keep discussions orderly and respectful while not abusing their power. This is a difficult balance to strike - I know this from experience.

    In closing, if I may be so brash, I'd like to post a link to the rules of the forum I administer so that everyone may view the simple and yet fairly effective nature of these rules. If I am not mistaken they should be viewable without needing to register (but please alert me if this is not the case). http://forum.hackinthebox.org/viewtopic.php?t=1756

    Believe me, once every potential troublemaker has it clear in their mind that the rules you lay out are backed up by a plausible threat of force, they will bring themselves in check. The end result will be a happier place that will only very occasionally need that threat to be put into action - but when need arises, the action must be swift. Give warning, but once met with continued defiance, strike rapidly and effectively. No-one will fault you for dealing promptly with twaps who ruin everybody's fun.

    Regards,
    An asianised gweilo who has learnt a thing or two about Malaysian society.
    Last edited by qubex; 10-02-2004 at 02:06 AM.
    "The only thing more dangerous
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    root account is a programmer with
    a soldering iron.
    "
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  3. #3
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    kwchang, thanks for opening this page on suggestions, though i must warn you i'm quite critical about certain things (as you already know).

    for one, i have a feeling you would not mention this "asian values of give and take" thing if qubex was not a foreigner. i would have to say that i honestly expected better from you. i have always taken offence in that "east is better than west" line because i think that as human beings we should be striving to look at ourselves as global citizens and not hang on to labels.

    that multi-racial rumah buka thing is not a "malaysian only" thing, if it was exclusive to just "melayu-cina-india-dan lain-lain" then i guess we shouldn't bother to brag about being "truly asia", multi-racial, yada yada.

    it really did come across as sounding that you're practicing a higher form of value system than he is. good or bad values are not exclusive to any particular race. as an asian and malaysian i can say i'm embarassed you suggested that... it was wreaked with arrogance. westerners are not barbarians.

    it's like someone coming up to you and saying you don't practice "english manners". (though there is such a term coined, i think it's silly, just like "asian values"). it's like saying other cultures have no manners. i'm sure you'd balk if an english person told that to your face, the suggestion would be quite obvious that you have no manners as an asian, only the english do. likewise in this case.

    whilst "Asian values of give and take" relate to tolerance and issues which are non-disturbing in nature, this is an entirely different scenario. with regards to dr luv, he has been a bully, harasses people (not only myself) and causes a stir of trouble. it has become an indignity to post in this forum because of him and the other ruthless people who go on a big bully spree.

    thus tolerating his nonsense, sexual taunts, harassments and death threats do not fall within the sphere of "asian values of give and take". if that were the case we would let criminals walk lose more easily than westerners do, and yet it is known we have a much more demanding penal system which includes the death penalty, a concept most western nations have eliminated due to it's vile nature.

    hence we are not as "tolerant" or "forgiving" in that slant.

    at the same time, taking that level of rubbish from dr luv is not the same thing as having tolerant values.

    nor is anyone suggesting going on a "banning spree".

    when i would have personally drawn the line with dr luv? when he made those death threats, which are not only morally wrong, but is a criminal offence too. by not banning him in that instance it sent a clear message out that violence was tolerated.

    and he went on and on and on about rape, his sexual fantasies and other deeply disturbing violent posts and thoughts with hardly any sanction. that sent a clear message out to everyone that these things are not only tolerated but administration approved.

    and true enough, other degenerates came in and posted their "happy thoughts" on sex, violence and the lot.

    if i ran a forum i would not take that kind of nonsense. i don't accept that line, "just leave him be and live life". it is equivalent to the malaysian attitude of "Tidak Apa" which is something that should be detested and eradicated.

    if you have a problem, or a problematic individual, do something and get rid of it, even if it means getting in with the mud.

    other than dr luv...

    there is a term called "trolling". when a member starts bashing another member for the heck of it to initiate a response, which the person would undoubtedly get.

    this forum has practiced a gross amount of tolerance for trollers, right to the extent that other people who respond to them have been told off for "Feeding the trolls".

    if we had no trolls to start with we would not have this problem.

    why do we have so many trolls? because anarchy has ensued. there is a very big difference between allowing free speech, and allowing rubbish and insults to float freely.

    i can personally name you 101 instances in which people have made taunts and insults about my background, what i choose to do with my life, the fact that i live abroad, even my western fiancee, or about myself in general or my mannerism. (not very "typical malaysian woman", yes i am strong minded and i make no apologies for it) why should i or anyone have to put up with that level of rudeness?

    in this forum we talk so freely and openly about criticising the government and coorporations, we talk about effectiveness and efficiency, complain about all sorts of issues from schools to traffic lights and how they don't change fast enough for our liking.

    but let us reflect it upon ourselves for a moment. has this become a place where it is alright for people of all walks (and races) of life to mingle and express themselves freely and disagree with each other in a polite manner, or do we hide behind shadows, come online to take pot shots at each other and sulk later in the night?

    another thing kwchang.... i don't think people know at this point where to draw the line. there is a certain degree of inconsistency here.

    for instance, politics has always been allowed in this forum, from small talk (ahmad fuad or khir toyo's latest fashion statements) to big stuff, many of which is initiated by the forum administrator himself.

    in fact i remember several months back jeffooi initiated a debate on malay special rights, which is far more sensitive than tun mahathir, since it concerns not one man but a few million. it is a policy that is deeply ingrained in the constitution even... now that issue i consider serious in nature, "hard politics" as you put it.

    it was not only allowed, but encouraged, with calls for research and even voting for the "best debater" at the end of the debating period. (which was incidentally never announced)

    (i tried to source the link and post it, but i can't find it, i guess it has been deleted for posterity... though i'm sure many can still recall)

    to hear that osama and aragorn are banned because of their topic of choice (politics) is confusing, because apart from that, this forum has always been about free-ranging issues. i read the article posted, it was well articulated and well written and it would have been a worthwhile debate.

    hence i don't think it's qubex whose quick to draw the line and "execute", i doubt he's advocating banning people based on topic choice as much as he (and i and others) means to say that people should be banned, permanently or temporarily on their mannerism and how they interact with other members.

    i don't think i'm qualified to draw the line for administrators, i've never administrated or moderated a forum, though the 2 forums i enjoy frequenting are www.hackinthebox.org as well as www.auspet.com .

    very well moderated, usually there are one or two trolls but they never survive.

    ///ej
    Last edited by empress_julz; 10-02-2004 at 05:28 AM.
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  4. #4
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    ENCORE TO THAT QUBEX!

    HI GENTLEMEN,

    THIS RESPOSE GOES TO SHOW, IT TAKES ANOTHER FELLOW ADMINISTRATOR(WITH BALLS) FROM ANOTHER "OPEN" WEBFORUM SITE, WHO COULD GIVE A LESSON OR TWO TO THIS COMMUNITY WEBSITE HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE RAN FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.

    THIS IS VERY MUCH SO WHEN WE KNOW COUNTLESS OF FELLOW MEMBERS WITHIN THIS COMMUNITY HAS JUMP FROM THIS COMMUNITY BOAT TO ANOTHER WORTHY ONES.

    ONLY IF THE EXISTING MODERATORS OF THIS COMMUNITY HAVE NOT BEEN SLEEPING(HELL EVERYBODY IS BUSY WITH THE KIDS & WHAT NOT).

    YOU HAVE EVEN BEEN LOOSING WORTHY MEMBERS FROM OTHER COMMUNITY SOLELY BECAUSE OF YOUR SELFISH & STUBBORN WAYS NOT TO SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOSING THESE FOREIGN MEMBERS, AS THEY COULD OFFER OR GET FROM YOU A BETTER INSIGHT OF EACH OTHER'S COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES & GOING ONS.

    USJ.COM.MY WAS MY FIRST EVER, I LEFT IT BEHIND WITH HEAVY HEART BECAUSE OF YOU STUBBORN MODERATORS WHO ARE LIVING IN YOUR OWN WORLD..AND BEEN MADE MOSTLY BLIND FROM THE REALITY BY YOUR OWN SELVES.

    HOW COULD YOU EXPECT TO HAVE MORE MEMBERS WHO COULD BE JUST MOVING INTO THIS COMMUNITY, WHILE YOU ARE LOOSING A WHOLE LOT OF GOOD MEMBERS.

    WINNING AWARDS ARE GREAT ACHIEVEMENT, BUT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO MAINTAIN IT, WHAT GOOD WOULD IT MAKE OF YOU, BEFORE YOU LOOSE EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAD WORKED HARD FOR ALL THESE YEARS?

    YOU MAY HAVE ALL SORTS OF EXCUSE FOR YOUR MISTAKES, BUT YOU SHOULD REALIZED ALSO THAT MANY IS SICK, AS THE RESULT OF YOUR MISTAKES.

    MAY BE IT IS HIGH TIME TO MOVE ON YOUR OWN (GETTING OLD) WAYS, AND BE LACKING OF THIS OR THAT NONSENSE.

    YOU ARE DOWN RIGHT INCAPABLE NOW, AS THE MODERATOR.

    OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO DEFEND YOUR SELF SO MUCH IN COMPARISON WITH THE OTHER MODERATORS WHO SHOULD BE TELLING YOU HOW YOU SHOULD RUN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY WEB, IF YOU KNEW HOW TO MAINTAIN IT WELL FROM THE BEGINNING.


    VOUNFAIR1.

    BY THE WAY, I POSTED MY CORRECT AGE, YOUR SYSTEM TOOK ME FOR PLENTY OF YEARS YOUNGER. HOW THAT CAN BE POSSIBLE?
    Last edited by vounfair1; 10-02-2004 at 02:32 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Moderators at usj.com and at any other forum sites based in any country are all doing their best and they learn as they go along just as any one of us using the computer and internet. They are not gods and never claim to be. They can only "TRY" their best. Criticism from any one of us visiting or frequenting these sites are usually taken in constructively and noted. Whether anything is done about it is up to them. After all, they are the ones who started the website and they are the ones running it. If anyone here is paying a fee to stay at this website/forum, then of course u wil want your money's worth. Unfortunately, none of these moderators are being paid to maintain the site./forum, and they do so while having a 'life'.
    If anyone does not like this forum or does not like what is going on here, u can voice your opinions in a more constructive manner instead of PM'ing to one another and bad-mouthing the moderators. Chang, Jeff and the rest are not unreasonable. They dont play god here, and they are still learning as they go along.

    True that Dr Luv and some others hv been downright rude and even 'sick' in their comments, and Chang has had his hands full recently, (the start of a new year is never easy for any parent or working person) so possibly more admin people should be recruited to help out with the workload here? As a site grows, more people are required to help out. So what say you, Chang? time to recruit?
    Insecurity is unattractive. Smile and the whole world smiles with you.
    IP

  6. #6
    kwchang Guest
    vounfair1
    Why the numeral 1? Do you expect to be suspended sometime in the future so that you may come back as vounfair2?
    Am I correct to say that you were once christopherngg?
    IP

  7. #7
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    kwchang..... you could be wrong there, the i.ps are not consistent between vounfair1 and christophernng, though the mannerisms may be identical.

    but i think since we're telling all, you should inform the forum the two (one) characters who had been using i.p. number 202.75.160.230 , just out of fairness to vounfair1 who could or could not be christophernng.

    ///ej
    Last edited by empress_julz; 10-02-2004 at 09:15 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Well said lady-o.

    In every forum, forum owner(s) set their own rules and guidelines which they consider suitable or appropiate in order to determine how strong the presence of the moderator should be.

    Eg. A forum for a teen audience, firm moderation and frequent moderator presense may be necessary for the enjoyment of all members.

    Therefore I think it is a bit too much to expect one forum to follow another forum rules and guidelines.

    So, Jeff, Kwchang and co. do what you THINK is right and appropiate.
    IP

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    My half sen worth:

    I have been a member of this forum since its early days. I lament at the way this forum has changed. From my own experience (virtual or otherwise), this is unavoidable. MBAs will probably tell you in more scholarly terms about organizational behaviour and evolution - but I'm not an MBA.

    Yes, we had self censorship in the old days. Yes, it was easier to moderate. We cannot expect this forum to remain the same. Things change and will continue to change (sorry for using cliches).

    Even in the real world, we have to re-assess and re-policy and re-strategise on a regular basis. We need to apply this to the forum.
    (one size fits all never ever does).

    Our policies may not be applicable anymore. I used to have a quotation in my email signature that says "The challenge today is to unlearn and relearn". And I believe that may be true for us now.

    Chang, I do not blame you for your alleged inaction over the situation. I, for one, can fully understand how much it takes to be a working parent, a good spouse, a good child, a good sibling ..... It's good that action has finally been taken.

    Having read qubexs' comments, I believe he has brought up very good points for consideration. I hope the moderators can have a look at it and consider those that apply to us. I doubt what works for their site will work for another in toto. It probably would need to be adjusted. While we are at it, we should study other successful forums as well. I think it's a good practise to keep doing this - to unlearn and re-learn from other people. This way, we benchmark ourselves against the best - not the rest.

    I doubt this task can be taken by one person alone - esp when we all have other priorities as well. Form a committee like we used to in the old days. It's not fair that it should fall on one person's shoulders only.

    Then these policies will have to be applied with no fear and favour and you will always have the policy to refer to. If forummers want to make this into something that was never meant to be, they should learn that there are other forums where the posts are applicable.

    Chang asked "where to draw the line?" - when it starts getting personal. And yes, when an argument starts getting out of hand and under the belt, I think both sides should be sent back to their corners. Boxing rules, I believe.

    Humble rambllings - hope it helps.

    (edited to correct grammar mistakes - at least those that I found).
    Last edited by ginaphan; 10-02-2004 at 09:58 AM.
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  10. #10
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    I'm with you Jericho. If there are people here who find this forum not 'run' in a manner like some other 'joints', too bad for you, my friends!! You just gotta live with the house rules as long as you are here.

    This is just like when you join a new company and on the first day, you walk up to the MD of the company and tell him that he is running the comp-any the wrong way and his ex-boss was doing it like this and like that!! Kerja bodoh, isn't it?!!

    The other thing is, like most Malaysians and their high mannerism, you never walk into a neighbours house and tell him how to decorate his 'shag-pad', right?!!

    So, Jeff and KW, go ahead and do what you think us right. Well, you started this forum the way you wanted it to be and it should stay that way!! PERIOD! If people wanna join, they will do so for what this forum represents.
    To Fly Like An Eagle
    You Cannot Think Like A Turkey
    IP

  11. #11
    jeffooi Guest
    Chang... I am regurgitating what I said elsewhere in
    this forum.

    I have briefly followed several inflamming threads and
    feeback from several writers in this e-space.

    There are people who mistook your magnamity for your
    weakness.

    For a start, I strongly suggest you consider the option
    of sending the three parties - namely dr_luv,
    christophernng
    and EJ - on a holiday, and save this
    community forum from further agony of having to put
    up with their squabbles - however valid theymay be.

    I respect some of our neighbours qho have sounded
    their concern over the serenity of this e-neighbourhood
    being threatened and shattered.

    The trio, whom I considered joint-and-several contributed
    to the ruckus, have to determine for themselves whether
    they would like to ride on a one-way ticket or otherwise.

    We should take cognizance that this community may not
    be compatible with their moral standards, hence their
    criticism.

    But it's entirely their right to freedom of expression
    and it's their choice to come in or to leave this e-space.

    But, while they are in, they need to respect the sanctity
    of our little village here. They can't come in, throw a noisy
    party and blame the entire neighbourhood for staring at
    them.

    Chang, we are sorry we have put you in such a thankless
    position. So, you owe us no apology.

    In fact, you own the infamous trio no apology.

    As for qubex, whosoever logging in from Guangdong
    and whosoever proclaimed to be an Internet forum
    moderator, you may like to offer him your appreciation
    of his opinion, but let him be known that you are not
    beholden in whatsoever way to his moral yardstick.

    Most of all, tell him we just need level-headed
    neighbours in our community.

    We don't need a pope.
    IP

  12. #12
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    I truly believe the onus on censorship in a forum lies with the members or else the moderators will have to sit by the computer 24x7.

    I found this is on the net which worth a reading by all members :

    Play Nice

    As long as there are message boards, there will be flame wars. A rude comment here, a snide remark there, and suddenly you are public enemy number one. Your reaction? Self-defense and an offensive attack? Maybe a dramatic "I'm never coming here again!" farewell? Whatever your motive, agree to disagree and move on. Your community will be a better place for it.
    IP

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Hi EJ,

    I don't know what you are implying by mentioning my previous ip address 202.75.160.230.

    Did someone else post from this same IP? If yes, I would be interested to know.

    Anyway I'm in new company now. Hence IP changed.

    Cheers
    IP

  14. #14
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    After reading some of the posts in another thread (the poem one) I was thinking to myself that I would not like to be in the moderators' shoes. As Jeffooi has mentioned, you guys are in a thankless position. Like sports referees or umpires - there is always someone unhappy with their decision. Person A says something, person B is not happy with it, and says something back, and it turns into an arguement (debate?) between camp A and B. Some neutrals, camp C, are unhappy that there is a debate in the first place, so everyone is unhappy. So what should be done? I don't know, but I would leave the situation as it is, make the people work out whats best for them, a little 'passive parenting'. But a line should be drawn, but where? I say, where camps A, B and C meet. (Probably easier said than done though).

    But for now, I am going with kwchang on this one, I am not for quick executions. Just because someone says something that isn't popular with everyone else does not necessarily make that person bad/good. Just different. And we should not punish different.

    Qubex, I am not particularly receptive to rules, and it seems to me your 'govern with an iron fist' method is only effective when dealing with kiddies. Or hormone driven teenagers. I am not saying this forum is devoid of this class of people, but I would like to think that this is an 'adult' forum, even though the evidence may sometimes show otherwise.

    Vounfair1, it takes more balls to stand up for yourself in the face of intense pressure than to openly criticise someone. And by the sound of it, usj.com.my is a better place without you around.
    IP

  15. #15
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    How this forum is run is at the sole discretion of the Administrator.

    Please do not let your Asian Values get the better of you by having to explain and defend yourself.

    At the end of the day, you can debate until you are blue in the face, where to draw the line still rests with the Administrator. Just stick by your principles.

    Do not let anyone cow you into submission.
    Live long and prosper - Tuvok
    Live in USJ23 - Robert
    And that's the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so!
    IP

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