Moderators Are People Too
Oct 18, 2017 at 5:21 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Posts
13,315
Likes
24,298
You have to have pretty thick skin to be a Moderator, and I thought I did have - but now I know I'm simply not cut out for the role. To be fair, most of my time on Head-Fi with the Moderator badge has been pretty good. I get to interact with people on the forum I may not have otherwise crossed paths with, and I've also had chances to resolve disputes, get people talking to one another again, and work out issues when it had denigrated to name calling. Those are the fun times, and although it can be quite taxing at times, its worth it.

But those times seem to be getting less and less lately, and I've noticed an alarming shift in attitude - as people seem to think its OK to "tee off" on a Moderator, instead of acknowledging the rules and accepting that on this site, there are certain standards to uphold.

I talked with Jude some time ago about doing a series on Moderation - the highs, lows etc, but TBH I'm really not in the right space to do that now. But I do have to get something off my chest - so if you don't mind, let me give you some insight into what can be at times the hardest, or most rewarding job on Head-Fi.

Note 1 - We Don't make the Rules
Yep - that's right. We don't make the rules on the site. They are there for anyone to go and read them - in fact to be a user of the site, you should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of what is acceptable. Here's a few links for those who perhaps need some help:
https://www.head-fi.org/articles/terms-of-service.6725/
https://www.head-fi.org/articles/posting-guidelines.14048/
https://www.head-fi.org/articles/buy-sell-trade-rules.13274/
https://www.head-fi.org/articles/for-sale-and-trade-forums-faq.13112/

I like the Posting Guidelines the best. It starts out with a most sage piece of advice, and to be fair 90% of Head-Fiers follow it with aplomb
" Be excellent to each other."

If everyone followed that little bit of advice, there would be no reason to Moderate. But anyway - I digress. We don't make the rules - its not our job. Our job is to adjudicate according to those rules, with complete impartiality, and total fairness. And I'd like to think that 99.9% of the time we get it right too. We have our own little private messaging board, and we often discuss what is going on in the forums, and we get advice from each other about what is going on, and swap ideas on how to approach things when there are issues brewing. But at the end of the day - we adjudicate according to the rules, and we are pretty fair about it.
Lesson one - if you are warned for breaking the rules, its not our fault - its yours. We haven't broken any rules - so why get grumpy and argue with us. Its just not fair.

Note 2 - We Are Volunteers
Yep - another revelation. We don't get paid. We give our own time (and sometimes the work load is considerable), and the only thing we'd like to get in return is a little respect. What you guys won't see is that when I (or one of my fellow Moderators) gets home at lunch time - I'll often spend 30-40 minutes just clearing the "flagged posts" queue and tidying up the messes of the morning. When I get home at night its often a good couple of hours. I don't do it for any reward. I definitely don't do it for any sense of power or anything else. I do it because I really like the site, and I wanted to give something back after all Head-Fi had given me.

Want to know how to really push my buttons though? Imagine I get home after a hard day at work. I arrive a to queue of around 10 or 15 flags (usually an hours work - depending on how bad the flag are, and what conditions the threads are in. When rules have been broken, we send a short PM to advise why a post has been edited or removed. We'll often provide a link to the rules which were broken. We're doing this not because we're trying to go out of our way on a power trip "to get you". Remember - we didn't make the flag - we're responding to someone else's. And we don't make the rules to curb you - we're just adjudicating on the rules you've broken. So how do you push my buttons:
"whatever"
"you're just on a power trip"
"well xxx is also doing it so why are you going out of your way to pick on me"

The responses are endless. The correct response is "I'm sorry - thanks for advising me of the rule - I'll make sure I remember this in future"

It costs you nothing - it means everything to us.

We are not here to protect Sponsors
Nope - not our job. Our job (see note one) is simply to adjudicate on the rules. And there is more than one Sponsor I've had to remind of the rules on more than one occasion. So yep - next time you want to go accusing the Moderation team of taking a Sponsors side because your post was deleted in a thread, and you received a warning - try actually reading the rules. You'll find that the reason your post was removed is simply because yours broke the rules. Follow the rules and you can pretty much say what you like - as long as it is respectful.

We are real people
Hi - I'm Paul. I'm 50 years old, married for 25 years to a wonderful woman, and have two growing teenagers who I'm immensely proud of. I hold down a reasonably stressful job - which consumes a lot of my time. I also write reviews, I'm a part time Minister for my local Church (basically I take Communion to our sick and elderly at our local rest home, and help out at services). I'm try to be reasonably active as a volunteer in our community. Where am I going with this? I'm real - just like you are, and Jude is, and all of our Admin and Moderation team. We are not faceless caricatures behind masks. We aren't automatons. We have hopes and wants. We have highs and lows. We have good times and bad. But above all we have feelings. So next time you've had a crappy day, decided to get into an argument with a fellow Head-Fier, posted something snarky and started a fight - when you get a polite PM from a Mod - please don't react badly. Remember - we didn't break the rules - you did.


OK - I think thats enough for now. Feel free to comment, but please note that if the discussion gets too pointed it will be removed. Here's your chance to politely ask a few questions, and hopefully they'll be answered by me, and maybe even one of the other Mods or Admins.

I have to say that 90% of the reactions we get from Moderation are positive, and for that I really thank those involved. But there are still the 10% whose first reaction is to deflect from what they've done, and we are most often the easy targets.

Thanks for stopping by and reading.
 
Oct 18, 2017 at 5:33 AM Post #2 of 7
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Posts
13,315
Likes
24,298
I'm also going to make this official - because it really would be too easy for me to carry on as if nothing has happened, but you won't see the Moderator badge on me for too much longer. And its not the workload. Its not that I hate doing it. Its because of the growing number of abusive reactions I've had in the last 6 months for simply doing my job. Its also because I recognise in myself that I'm getting grumpy, and I have more of a tendency to snap back when someone has a crack at me - and that is simply not a good trait for a Moderator.

I guess the final thing is that the site has changed a little, and we're being encouraged to be a little more forgiving and taking a more softly-softly approach. If we were receiving the same in return from the people we moderate, I wouldn't have a problem with this. My issue is that we're sometimes getting treated as doormats, peoples attitudes seem to have changed, the reactions are more confrontational, and the incidents of abuse (even just little snide remarks) are growing. Its not something I signed up for. As I said to Jude - "it's not you or Head-Fi - it's me".

So when you see me without the badge - just know it was my choice. To those who've treated me with respect - I genuinely salute you. To those who have taken a different route, I encourage you to read this thread, wear my shoes for a while, and maybe come to a new understanding.

You have a wonderful Moderation team. Please make sure you take care of them.
 
Oct 18, 2017 at 5:40 AM Post #3 of 7

jgosroc

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Posts
128
Likes
25
Location
Sydney
Thanks for all your work as a moderator. I know that we have disagreed before but it was a respectful disagreement and I went away thoroughly impressed by your decency. Enjoy a break from it. I think moderators should be paid - even if it’s modest. Anyone can tell that it’s a lot of work. God bless, Brooko..!
 
Oct 18, 2017 at 5:44 AM Post #4 of 7
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Posts
13,315
Likes
24,298
Thanks mate - like I said, the people here a generally really decent (your good self included :wink: ). i thought I might be able to also use this as a bit of a way to gently remind people of a few rules which are often broken - and maybe why we have them.
 
Oct 18, 2017 at 6:11 AM Post #5 of 7

Intensecure

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
Posts
893
Likes
617
Location
All over the place.
You've had to deal with some real stinkers recently, I've seen the posts. :frowning2:
I wouldn't like to have to put up with people who contribute nothing, but who take their tiny, petty issues out on someone who genuinely tries to help. And neither should you.
I've always valued your work as contributor, reviewer and moderator.
Be happy, whatever you choose to do.
 
Oct 18, 2017 at 6:26 AM Post #6 of 7
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Posts
13,315
Likes
24,298
Ok - one rule many people may not be aware of, and we have one particular member who delights in flagging a lot of posts because someone flagged his, and he received a reminder about the rules from me.

So if you post in the classifieds - there are two things you can do to make our lives easier :)

  1. If you've created a classified - never ask for Paypal Gift (friends and family), or ask for the buyer to pay the fees either.
    It is outside Paypal's rules to specifically ask the buyer to pay the fees or to ask for Paypal Gift (Friends and Family). What you can do instead is just up your price to include 3% and don't mention them.

    The relevant rules are here: https://www.head-fi.org/articles/buy-sell-trade-rules.13274/
    Requesting a personal payment is a breach of the PayPal User Agreement, as well as asking members to pay the PayPal fees.

    It is better to set a total price that you wish a member to pay you and not mention fees at all.

    4.1 Receiving Personal Payments. If you are selling goods or services, you may not ask the buyer to send you a Personal Payment for the purchase. If you do so, PayPal may remove your ability to accept Personal Payments.

    [...]

    4.5 No Surcharges. You agree that you will not impose a surcharge or any other fee for accepting PayPal as a payment method. You may charge a handling fee in connection with the sale of goods or services as long as the handling fee does not operate as a surcharge and is not higher than the handling fee you charge for non-PayPal transactions.


  2. Don't chat in the classifieds
    If you want to ask the seller a question - simply PM him/her.

    The only posts we expect to see in the Classified sections are FS / WTT / WTB ads, bumps from the ad creater (and only once every three days), and maybe a post notifying that the product has been sold. Everything else should go via PM.
 
Oct 18, 2017 at 8:02 AM Post #7 of 7

Mython

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Posts
8,760
Likes
3,388
Paul, it was certainly worth your posting all of that, for those who'll read it (although I fear it is the 10% that most need to read it who will overlook it or choose not to read it - not wishing to create uncomfortable cognitive dissonance within their already-unsettled minds).

I read it, and I understand your frustrations and disillusionment, as I have been a moderator on several sites (not on audio topics), over the years. I also understand how it feels to try to help people and get abuse from some of them, as I worked with the homeless for several years, and in mental health. It takes a lot of personal fortitude to weather that kind of abuse, and it is important to know when it is time to remove oneself from such a situation, if one's own wellbeing is suffering. For that reason, I support your decision to step down, even though you will leave a vacuum in need of filling by someone else.

All the best, as you move forwards from here!
cheers beerchug EMOTICON.gif
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top