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Head-Fi.org › Rules etc › Moderation Faq

Moderation Faq  

"Men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by their opinions about the things" --Epictitus AD 55-135

 
The staff, just like members, wish to enjoy participating on the forums in a civil manner and do their best to ensure that they, as well as everyone else are able to do so. The main thing we always ask of people is to keep the quality of what they contribute high and don't get sucked into the temptation to make unhelpful and unpleasant posts. Honestly, there is nothing more unpleasant than to have to read a thread not out of interest in the topic, but to see if it needs to be moderated. 
 
That being said, here are the most common questions asked of us about moderation on the forums.
 

1. I have a problem with something someone posted on the forums (or in a PM). How do I contact a moderator or admin?

 
Please click on the red flag button bottom left of the post and fill in the box that comes up with an explanation of what the problem is. This will inform the moderation team of the problem. You can do this in PMs, reviews and comments as well. We respond to reported posts first. PM'ing a moderator will be slower. Whatever you do, please DO NOT separately PM multiple moderators. That ends up wasting our time. The best and fastest way to contact us is always the red flag button.
 
Important: Moderation staff are either tagged as "Moderator" or "Administrator". No other members are part of the staff. Please make sure a member has one of those tags before assuming that any message from a member, private or public is from staff.
 

2. Why was my post removed?

 
In most cases, where a post breaks our Posting Guidelines, it will be removed and you will be contacted via PM. If your post quoted a post that was deleted, your post will likely be deleted (or edited) as well, as deleting an offensive post is pointless if a post quoting it remains. That is why we ask you not to quote spam or offensive posts, as it makes more work for us.
 
Every day on Head-Fi, 2000-4000 posts are made. Of those, only a handful are ever deleted that aren't blatant spam, so in the rare case your post is deleted, we appreciate your patience and consideration if you don't get notified of the reason. 
 
Deletion isn't permanent, and can be reversed.  It is not unusual for posts to be re-instated, sometimes after being edited, after a major thread clean-up upon further review.
 
Important: Some sponsors, who have their own forum or blog can moderate that forum or blog. If your post was removed from a sponsor's forum or blog, it was very likely NOT done by the moderators.
 

3.  Will I be banned? 

 

The only thing we (the moderating staff) wish of the forum is the same thing that the majority of members do: To be able to enjoy our hobby in a fun way with other people. The only reason we do what we do is that we want to continue seeing Head-Fi as a great place to do that, for everyone. So while breaking any of the rules once is unlikely to get you banned, if members are repeatedly reporting your posts and we repeatedly have to give you warnings, then at some point you're going to find your account restricted or banned for some period of time, if not permanently. We don't like banning people and it is relatively rare, but we're human and we only have so much patience.

 

However, the following will almost certainly result in a permanent and irrevocable ban:

 
  • Spamming, eg: Posting the same thing many times in many threads.
  • Posting highly offensive material, such as pornography.
  • Being directly rude to a member of staff (eg: Replying to a PM from a staff member with "F-off" or the like).  Being rude to the people who work hard to ensure you can enjoy your time on the site is totally unacceptable. 
  • Saying "I'm contacting my lawyer!" or similar legal suggestions or threats. We take such threats with the utmost seriousness (due to the huge costs involved) and have zero tolerance for them.
  • Creating a second account to evade a (temporary) ban, avoid negative feedback from the classifieds, shill or otherwise break the rules.
  • Receiving over 10 PMs from moderators about deleted posts that contained abusive content, personal attacks or were otherwise thread-crapping or trolling.
 

4. Why was a person banned?

 
Excepting spammers, the vast majority of the time, members end up banned for repeatedly being abusive, having multiple accounts to cause trouble and evade bans, fraudulent classified activity (thankfully rarely) or, very rarely, breaking Member of the Trade rules. Since posts of that nature are usually deleted, it may not be obvious why a person was banned. We don't discuss bans publicly, with rare exception. 
 
However, since it is frequently mis-represented by others, the reason NwAvGuy was banned has been posted here.
 

5. I disagree with a moderation decision. Who do I contact?

 
If you received a PM about a post or thread you have made that was edited or deleted, please reply to it and politely ask for clarification or a review. Quite a bit of moderation is done by us using our iPhones and the like on the go, so we sometimes rush and may not get around to explaining a deletion or may fail to do a perfect job removing thread-derailing arguments. While we are usually happy to explain a decision, we wont enter into protracted discussion about it, simply because we'd rather be participating as normal members and not arguing about moderation decisions. 
 
If your content has been removed from a sponsor's forum or blog, please contact the representative(s) from that company about it. 
 
We don't allow discussion of moderation on the forums. Nothing productive can possibly come from it. While 99.99%+ of the thousands of posts made here daily are fine, sometimes we occasionally have to delete as much as a page or more of a thread to get it back on topic, so please understand if occasionally a post of yours is deleted and you aren't told why. In those (rare) cases, it would take more time than there is in a day for us to notify every person of the reason and we'd rather be participating as members than arguing with people who don't understand or refuse to accept the rules. The moderating staff aren't dragons trying to make it hard for people. We are ordinary enthusiasts like you who wish to share our enjoyment of the hobby and have volunteered to help keep the forums in order. 
 
Deleting posts is not a personal thing. Don't make it one. Crying "censorship" and conspiracy theories about protecting sponsors because you refuse to follow the rules only makes you look foolish. Moderators and Administrators are NOT connected with the management or organisation of sponsors and, excepting the site owner, do not benefit financially from their presence.
 
Remember that it is only the internet and if your post is deleted, it wont kill you. However, if you really think it is so important that it needs to be addressed, there is a feedback form available through the Support link at the bottom of every page.
 

6. Moderator and Administrator Impartiality.

 

All sponsorship of the site is managed by Wikia in its entirety. The moderating staff members are not paid to moderate the site, and, excepting the site owner, do not have any involvement in or receive any financial benefit from sponsors. In fact, moderation staff become aware of a new sponsor at the same time members do: When they post or advertise on the site.

 

So you read about a guy who said his posts were deleted by the moderators or he was banned for criticising a sponsor? Really? In every case someone has done that, they were banned for being rude and offensive on the forums, yet don't want to take responsibility for their actions. 

 

Seriously, even despite that, there is no way a handful of moderators can go through the 2000+ posts made daily and delete all those that say negative stuff about the 60-70 companies that sponsor the site. It is not possible and we'd quickly lose most of our membership if thousands of posts were regularly disappearing.

 

So, there is no problem with criticising a company, or its products, sponsor or not, within reason. Posting about an issue you have with a company is fine, but even if you are annoyed, please don't go about spamming it in every thread (or on every page of a thread) that discusses the company, especially in the Sponsor Announcements and Deals forum. Trying to trash a company's reputation over a personal disagreement or vendetta is not OK. Just because you're talking about a company doesn't mean that it is OK to be rude and disrespectful to them. Create your own thread to discuss your issues or concerns. Remember that while you may be displeased, other people are not, and wish to discuss the company and products without pissed-off customers trying to shout them down at every turn. 

 

Very often, in our observation, the accusation that we are just shilling for sponsors is made when someone disagrees with an opinion enough that they are willing to make personal attacks, and then, when those attacks are removed and/or they are banned for it, it is easier to throw mud than take accept that they simply have a different opinion.

 

Note that as per the Terms of Service, libel is not permitted here. If a libellous statement is made, we will remove the offending post and/or thread. This is not "protection" of sponsors, advertisers or members of the trade.  

 

Here are a couple of posts from Jude about it:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aero Dynamik View Post
 

...Absolutely, don't misunderstand me! It's just that I find some Head-Fi:ers to be über credible and you're not one of them as you depend on your sponsors. It may or may not effect your statements and assessments at all, but it really doesn't matter as we'll never be able to tell for sure...

 

I think it's more than fair to view my posts and opinions with some caution, given that I financially benefit from sponsorships and advertising revenue, combined with the fact that you don't know me, and have never met me.

 

Now, that said, I'll make a few points:

 

  • There are currently over 70 companies who directly sponsor Head-Fi.
    • While, of course, we greatly appreciate the support of every single one of those sponsors, having that many sponsors means that the loss of any one (or even any five, any ten, etc.) is not going to swing the reaper's scythe on the site's solvency.
    • When a website with such a tight focus (like Head-Fi) has such strong global reach (around 2M unique visitors per month, with a great deal of that outside of the U.S.) within a pretty finite topic space (premium personal audio gear), it's not surprising that companies whose products/services so directly target that space would want to advertise here for that reach.
  • Today, a few thousand posts will be made by people who aren't me. Contained within many of those posts will be criticisms--some mild, some scathing--of products made by both sponsors and non-sponsors.
  • I do not pay mind to whether or not a company is a sponsor when I try their product, nor does it have any influence on my opinion(s) of a product. I think it fair to say that I have written the vast majority of the Buying Guide that we currently update twice per year (currently read by around 350,000 unique visitors per year), and you'll find many reviews and impressions within it of both sponsor and non-sponsor gear.
  • Being added to the Guide for the Fall 2015 update in November is the Simaudio Moon Neo 430HA, wherein I will state that it is my current overall favorite desktop solid state headphone amplifier (unless something else comes around before then to oust it). Simaudio is not a sponsor.
  • Being added to the Guide for the Fall 2015 update in November is the Astell&Kern AK380, wherein I will state that it is the best sounding portable digital audio player I have yet used. (No, I haven't used them all, but I've certainly used a bunch.) Astell&Kern is not a sponsor (though they have sponsored in the past), and we have several sponsors who do make portable digital audio players.
  • I've stated for years that the best overall current-production headphone in the world (in my opinion) is the Stax SR009. Stax is an enigmatic Chinese-owned Japanese company who has never once shown any interest in sponsoring Head-Fi. In other words, I have, for years now, said that a headphone made by a non-sponsor (Stax) is better (in my opinion) than any other current-production headphone, which would, of course, include every headphone made by every sponsor of Head-Fi who makes headphones.

 

So of all the current-production products I've used so far, the ones I feel (and have stated openly) are the best overall in the key categories of solid state headphone amplifier, portable digital audio player, and over-ear headphones are made by non-sponsors.

 

Now, to make some effort to get this back on topic after all of this, let me add one more point to this discussion, and one more product category to that sentence immediately above this one:

 

  • If you are willing to confer current-production status to the Shure KSE1500, then I have now said that I think the best IEM (in-ear monitor) is made by a non-sponsor (though they were many years ago), and who stopped (around 2008 or 2009) directly marketing to the consumer market in the U.S. We have a lot of sponsors who do make IEMs. Shure isn't one of them, and, given their pro-audio-only marketing for the last several years, isn't likely to be one in the future.

 

I'm not trying to change your mind, @Aero Dynamik, but I did feel like addressing your post.

 

Now, if you want to continue the off-topic bits of this discussion, go ahead and start another thread for it, and/or PM me directly.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jude View Post
 

Sorry to go off-topic for a moment, but...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satellite_6 View Post
 

Yes we all know that this forum censors anything that could hurt its interests with its sponsors - or you should know if you don't...

 

...that assertion is no less absurd than any other time I've addressed it before. Here are a few related posts:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/583950/shure-srh1840-and-srh1440-unveiled/1305#post_8273995

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/572793/thunderpants-t50rp-mod-group-buy/510#post_8112525

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/579472/is-it-worth-it-upgrading-lcd2-to-lcd3/75#post_7891656

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/618255/check-out-the-head-fi-summer-2012-buying-guide#post_8527169

 

As I've said before, on most days, at least a couple-thousand posts are made on Head-Fi. How many of those posts do you suppose criticize sponsor products? And are you suggesting that they're removed? So the only posts having to do with sponsor products are the ones that are positive, all others deleted? Is that what you're suggesting? Really? Look around. It won't take long for you to see how absurd that suggestion is.

 

Now back on-topic.

 

 

And another post from Currawong:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 

 sounds like your first impulse is always to protect advertisers. 

 

The amount I get paid to be here: $0. (I don't own the site.)

 

The amount I get as a result of anything whatsoever to do with sponsors on the site: $0

 

The effect of any company becoming a sponsor on anything I do on the site beyond enforcing the rules: Zero.

 

The involvement I have in the organisation of sponsors: Zero.

 

The amount I care about whether or not a company is a sponsor as a result: Zero*.

 

*Excepting if the sponsor has been involved in undisputed dishonesty on Head-Fi, such as shilling.

 

To be brutal, the manufacturers I've spent time talking to (sponsor or otherwise) I'd say are more honest. They can't afford not to be.

 

If you don't like what I have to say, then don't like it, and make all the excuses you want as to why what I say isn't true, but I call it as I see it and have experienced things. 

 

Head-Fi.org › Rules etc › Moderation Faq