Moderation 101.1.2

2006-7-16 19:21:00

Dean Writes:

The negative points for a moderated list as well as the positives.

He gives perceived negatives alright, but no positives.


1. Repressing jokes that others may find funny.

I do not recall even one joke ever being rejected from this list because of moderation. I know a funny one has not been.


2. Judgmental and bias moderation by moderators that dictate the messages.

Bias does not really enter in to any significant degree. What does enter in are pre-established rules. Moderating on something pre-established is much different from bias.

If the rules of a Spanish list specify that no posts teaching Algebra are allowed then the rejection of a post teaching in such a disruptive direction has nothing to do with bias.


3. Repelling useful people because of artificial created restrictive environment.

The truth is the other way around. When we had no moderation many useful people were repelled and flatly stated they were quitting the list because of lack of moderation. Other good people threatened to quit. I do not recall anyone ever quitting the list because of moderation. You quit for a week over it but came right back so this does not count.


4. Creating unneeded boundaries.

Completely untrue with no basis of fact. The boundaries are needed to create a stable list. We've seen it both ways and you have not. When the list was created we were determined to have an unmoderated list as long as possible. This we did for several years. During this time period we had many complaints from members because of disruptive posters. We continued until the problem became so great that we were forced to moderate for the sanity of the group. At that time I would say that about 95 percent supported going the moderation route. It became very difficult to teach and much of my time was spent putting out fires.

After we began moderating we found that people who did not want to learn but had their own agenda and just wanted to cause trouble just stayed away. It turned out that when moderation began that we only had to reject a few posts because people made a greater effort to moderate themselves.


5. The illusion of dominating truths that have not being challenged because of bias moderation.

There has been complete freedom to challenge anything I have said as long as such challenges are not repetitive and interfere with the free will of the group by force feeding them something completely off the course agenda.


6. A resulting repression of overall progress because of filtered messages.

There is absolutely no evidence that any progress has been repressed. Are you just trying to make noise here?


7. A lack of opportunity to overcome negativity or unwanted opinion.

The opposite is true. We know from experience (not theory as you work from) that negativity is increased with no moderation.


8. Attempting to improve the classroom environment at the incredible expense of the basic freedom of speech.

You have the wrong definition of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech means that you can say or write whatever you want. It does not mean you can say whatever you want wherever you want. You can't shout fire in a crowded theater, but you still have the freedom to shout it many other places. A student can't teach algebra in a Spanish class but he can teach it many other locations. Thus he still has freedom of speech to teach algebra.

You are only allowed to go so far off course in this class but that doesn't mean that you can't teach whatever you want on your own list, should you close to create one.


9. Restricting everyones learning potential because of the created boundaries.

Again, the opposite is true. The learning potential was hindered before we moderated, but afterwards we were able to concentrate more on learning and less on threats, strange off course rambling and arguing.


You have not stated one drawback to moderation.

The only drawback I can think of a just moderation is that it takes extra time to moderate and some posts are delayed a while before appearing.

Dean makes a feeble attempt to be fair by pretending to give the other side.

Dean speaks:

The positive points or point of a moderated list:

1 - Spam may get filtered out. (but we also have a delete button)

This is a slight benefit, but we only get a Spam or two a month. I think Yahoo filters most of them out. It sounds though as if you do not think this is a benefit because of the delete button.


2 - The opinion of the author of the list is expressed and taught very clearly. And gathers like mindedness. (but also fragments and repels unity through the inherent diversity of approach from others of different vibration that may also contribute valuable lessons to truth seekers.)

You placed this in the wrong category. This should be your tenth reason against moderation.

If you had been here from the beginning you would know from experience that moderation (as we do it here) does not "repel unity."

You have virtually given no reason why moderation would be a good thing.

That said, let me make my list as to why a reasonable moderation is a good thing.

  1. This is a class and as such moderation is necessary to insure that the class topic can be appropriately presented. As it is, many have complained to me that we do not moderate enough and do a better job of keeping us on topic. Any class in the universe needs to eventually moderate out distraction.
  2. It limits personal attacks, which are a big distraction when they occur and lead to hurt feelings and people leaving the list.
  3. As I said, just the fact that people know we have a moderated list causes them to be more polite and seek to conform to the rules of the list.
  4. The moderation has produced a much more stable list with fewer complaints than when the list was not moderated. Members, as a whole, are happier here.
  5. It encourages more positive and creative people to join and stay with us.

That said perhaps some do not know that all are not moderated. Here is how it works.

When a person joins he is automatically placed on moderation. If he doesn't post at all nothing changes. If he does post for a few months and it looks like he is harmless, as far as disrupting the course goes, then he can be taken off moderation. Every few months I take a look at the posters and take some off moderation. I am about ready to do this again. If any think they should be taken off moderation e-mail me personally and let me know why you should be taken off.

One additional thing to note is this. Some of the old timers, who are not moderated, are not perfect and once in a while one of them will make a post that would be rejected if they were on moderation. There is not much we can do about this. If they attack some moderated member and then he attacks back it becomes a judgment call as to whether or not to allow the counter attack. If we reject a negative response I must admit it is a little unfair to him (or her), but no system is perfect and we must proceed with the highest judgment of which we are capable.

Overall, our policy is to allow maximum freedom of expression and this results in maybe one post a month on the average of being rejected. The rejection rate is so small that Dean is the first person to complain in over five years.

We've had several others complain about posts being rejected when they were just lost or delayed somewhere in Yahoo, but that is not our fault.

When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900)