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Author Topic: Questions about Forum policy  (Read 5154 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 14, 2010, 12:31:54 PM »

We are currently consolidating the rules of the site to make them more straight-forward and understandable. Please post questions you have about forum policy here. We will not answer them in this thread, nor do we want to have discussion in this thread. But we want to allow people to post questions about things they are not clear about. If you prefer not to post here, please private message Fr. George, who is compiling things. We will then update that tab at the top that says "RULES" and make an official notice. Our goal is to streamline things and make things more understandable and fair.

Thanks,

Fr Anastasios
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010, 01:43:49 PM »

Here's a question, not so much about forum policy as forum practice. Why do the mods and admins say things like "Contact so-and-so" to newbies, without giving any further assistance? It would probably take a regular a minute or less to figure out how to contact the person, but it might be difficult for someone new to the forum to figure out how to get in contact with so-and-so. Would it really be that hard for the mod/admin to look up the profile of the person that needs to be contacted and link to it?
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010, 02:55:21 PM »

I always wondered if it's an actual RULE that we have to quote things that we say, (like from the fathers and etc.), or if it's just something that we EXPECT as a community, and exact from each other...?

Also, I always wondered if there's a policy as to how long we should wait for a response from a moderator in regards to a notice we make, or an official request.  Just another curiosity. 

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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 03:37:41 PM »

I always wondered if it's an actual RULE that we have to quote things that we say, (like from the fathers and etc.), or if it's just something that we EXPECT as a community, and exact from each other...?
We also sometimes put the words of the Saints/Bible in italics, but quoting seems better. Doing it to a member's post will help people who just saw the thread catch up with it faster. But it's not a rule.
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010, 07:47:54 PM »

I don't have a question per se so much as a couple of suggestions;

1. We're constantly being asked to use the 'Report To Moderator' button when we have concerns about a poster or content.  In the 3 years that I've been a member of this forum, I've used this button about 5 or 6 times.  Only once did one of the Moderators bother to respond to let me know that my concerns were received.  I think it's just common courtesy for someone to let us know our concerns are under review.

2. The Moderators are an integral aspect of this forum; they "keep this place running tidy" as the RULES state.  I've noticed over the recent months that a number of Moderators seem to always be hidden.  Why?  Unless there are some ongoing security concerns that we're not privy to, I would like for all of the Moderators to be and remain visible when they are logged in. 

Thanks,

GtC   
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2010, 03:45:16 AM »

I wouldn't mind if the mods/admins definitively spelled out what exactly the purpose of this forum is supposed to be, and what place non-Orthodox posters have. Over the years there have been several threads on this subject, and to their credit mods/admins have chimed in. Yet things still seem hazy to me. I have seen people say that this is not an Orthodox forum (despite the name), that it is an Orthodox forum, that the purpose is for Orthodox Christians to have a place where they can discuss their faith without fear of being challenged, that challenges to the Orthodox faith are fine as long as they are respectful, and so forth.
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2010, 04:24:45 PM »

Sparrow, join the ACOE (Assyrian Church of the East). The Church which speaks Jesus's language, Aramaic and the Orthodox New Testament (the Peshitta, see my avatar ).
Rafa999, you do realize that attempts to draw persons into your jurisdiction are forbidden on this forum?  If not, I recommend that you read the following policy statement to this effect:

Proselytism and Forum Plugging hereby banned (created "NC" Nov 24, 2003) - UPDATED BELOW! - See Reply #1
Friends,

From now on, banners in signatures to other forums are not allowed although you may link to another forum or website in your signature, without comment.

From now on, you may not advertise your other web forum on our forum.  Links to threads on other forums are allowed, however, if they are pertinent to discussions here.

Proselytizing people to your jurisdiction is no longer allowed.  I don't care if it is the GOA or the ROAC, we don't exist to give spiritual advice, but rather to discuss spiritual matters. There is a healthy distinction.  If you feel the need to plug your group then do it by private message.

You may not private message others to solicit them to join your forum, however.  We have the ability to read other people's private messages (this is disclosed in the member agreement you sign when joining the forum) and we don't do that usually, but we can, and we will, if we think you are trying to lure people away from our site.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.  From a human standpoint I would be lying if I said that some people in particular did not precipitate this action BUT at the same time there have been others over the past 1.5 years who have done this as well, so it is not just based on a knee-jerk reaction.

Stay tuned for an even more indepth statement on proselytism to be issued soon by all of us Admins.

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This seems slightly different to me as it is not a matter of intra-communal jurisdictional quibbling but rather inter-communal. Has that been addressed before, inter-communal proselytizing?
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 01:04:50 PM »

Please, I need a favor.
When -in a discussion- you're quoting someone else's post, don't go much far and quote EVERY SINGLE POST it has been made; just include the last one (or two) posts, as it is much tiring (and anti-aesthetical) to fill your posts with stuff we can read just by scrolling up the page...
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2010, 07:24:26 AM »

Prohibition against informing other members of Forum Policy?

I have been told by a Moderator that I should not inform another member about Forum policies but that I should report the member to a Moderator.

In this instance I was asking the member to provide substantiating evidence for something he had said and I mentioned that this is standard practice and forum policy.   I certainly did not want to report him to a Moderator for such a minor thing.  I simply wanted him to follow through and provide his evidence.

So my questions:

~~  is it prohibited for members to inform other forum members about forum policies? 

~~  is it forbidden in general to refer to forum policies?

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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2010, 12:40:27 PM »

Few gripes....
                               Roll Eyes

 What gets me upset to no end ,is when a moderator Stalks/bates our good Fr.Ambrose till a slip up is made ,then he steps in as moderator and moderates.... Grin

The Appealing process falls on deaf ears...everyone sticks together there...
That's a quick way to lose posters..... Grin

When one is put on moderated by moderator He/she should have nothing to due with a posters post being posted during ,the moderation period ,because the moderator is biased at this point.... Grin



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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2010, 12:51:43 PM »

Afew gripes....
                               Roll Eyes

 What gets me upset to no end ,is when a moderator Stalks/bates our good Fr.Ambrose till a slip up is made ,then he steps in as moderator and moderates.... Grin

The Appealing process falls on deaf ears...everyone sticks together there...
Thats a quick way to lose posters..... Grin

When one is put on moderated by moderator  he/she should have nothing to due with a posters post being posted during ,the moderation period ,because the moderator is biased at this point.... Grin


I agree with the above.  As a Union Steward, I know what arbitrary and capricious enforcement of policy looks like when I see it.  I win a lot of arbitration cases because of it.  I do not have a problem with the rules of this forum.  I deal with rules every day, most of them that make a lot less sense than anything here, and that have far more serious consequence than a little green ink.  What I do have a problem with is arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement of rules.  I really do not care what rules and policies are made here.  It is your forum.  As a matter of fact, I think the rules are pretty reasonable (with exception of the moratorium against discussion of a certain vice).  All I would ask - since our opinion is being sought - is that the rules are consistently and evenly enforced.   
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2010, 03:39:00 PM »

I think moderators should either be posters or moderators..Its confusing when they post and write in response to a post and then revert to being moderators when they get their hackles up..I think a moderator should not moderate a thread he is posting in because he may be biased
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2010, 04:21:57 PM »

1.  Is there an actual rule on replying to old, dormant threads?  On numerous occasions, I've seen people get quite bent out of shape, asking "Why did you reply to such an old discussion?"  If such a thing is actually verboten, then the thread should be locked after a given time, perhaps.

2.  Is there a rule on the type(s) of questions that are not allowed on the forum, but which should be referred to a priest?  Too frequently (in my opinion), a response to a given question is "Go ask your priest."  This is a discussion forum, so if there are topics which are not to be discussed here, I'd recommend they be stated as such in the forum rules.

3. I don't understand the "we already have a thread on that" replies.  A discussion forum is a metaphor for "real-life" discussion, and in real life there is nothing unusual about a group of folks resurrecting a topic that's been discussed for thousands of years.  What is the actual expectation of the "check before you post" rule, and what is the consequence of violating it?

4. I realize that moderator decisions are not debatable within the thread they are made.  However, is there a place where moderator decisions, or more generally, forum policies, can be openly discussed and debated?

5. I agree with the previous post.  I realize the green letter moderatorial posts are a compromise, and think I understand the reasons and logic behind it.  However, on more than one occasion, I have found myself thinking "that's not fair" when a mod has been debating with someone, things get heated, and then the "someone" finds themselves getting warned or worse.  It can leave a very distinct (and not fond) taste.  Are there alternative methods under consideration for moderator participation in discussions?
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2010, 04:53:51 PM »

I think moderators should either be posters or moderators..Its confusing when they post and write in response to a post and then revert to being moderators when they get their hackles up..I think a moderator should not moderate a thread he is posting in because he may be biased

I agree with this Above... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2010, 04:58:52 PM »

I  tried appealing a moderation ,To Fr. Chris that Peter put me on ...
All i got in responds From Fr. Chris was How Bad My Grammer is ,and How awfull my spelling was and that was it... Grin

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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2010, 05:03:30 PM »

chrevbel: these are not the laws, but logical and fair rules that regulate posting on any forum. What is more if I remember correctly such comments were posted in black by mods, what means that they acted then as regular posters and these were advices, not mods' requests (could be ignored).

On the other hand a rule that mods are not allowed to act as mods in discussions they take part in (unless all mods are involved in the discussion) is a good idea.
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2010, 05:17:18 PM »

On the other hand a rule that mods are not allowed to act as mods in discussions they take part in (unless all mods are involved in the discussion) is a good idea.

The problem with that is that mods are typically chosen to moderate a section in which they are knowledgeable, and it makes sense that they will be quite active within that entire section as a poster.  Every action a moderator takes is discussed by the collective, and desicions can be overturned if it is viewed to be erronenous.
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2010, 05:24:47 PM »

The problem with that is that mods are typically chosen to moderate a section in which they are knowledgeable, and it makes sense that they will be quite active within that entire section as a poster.  Every action a moderator takes is discussed by the collective, and desicions can be overturned if it is viewed to be erronenous.

Is it forbidden to moderators to moderate discussions outside their playgrounds?

There are not many discussions that mods lost temper (or seem to look so) or engage in arguments with users and IMO the others exceptionally could take over the control on that particular thread. I suppose it wouldn't change much in your internal discussions, policy and mechanisms but it certainly will look better for regular users.

edit:

I have also a question about:
Quote from: Fr. George

What will NOT be accepted:
(...)
2) Private message to forum members:
    (...)
    b) advertising other websites/fora
source

Does it mean that we are forbidden to post any links via PMs?
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2010, 09:46:01 PM »

I  tried appealing a moderation ,To Fr. Chris that Peter put me on ...
All i got in responds From Fr. Chris was How Bad My Grammer is ,and How awfull my spelling was and that was it... Grin



I was told that I tell people too much about myself and that I am seeking sympathy- basically that I have to get a thicker skin. I don't intend to change who I am as an individual because some mods/admin on a site dislike me (or an aspect of my personality). So I just try to post very little now and avoid certain posters/mods entirely.

The admin think the current state is fine, they aren't likely to change anything. And I sincerely doubt that the mods think anything is amiss either. We should just try to enjoy the site as is stands and be appreciative. The fact that this site has been around as long as it has means something Grin
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« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2010, 10:04:52 PM »

Forum Policy on Personal Comments and Attacks by Moderators?

Quinault raises a point about personal comments by mods to which I can relate.  For example, two days ago I was told by a mod to "Quit your disingenuous whining."  I was shocked. Not only was this out of place to an Orthodox priest but simply out of place no matter whom the mod was addressing.

So, my question is:  Are Moderators permitted to make such personal comments and attacks on forum members?
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« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2010, 10:36:26 PM »



The admin think the current state is fine, they aren't likely to change anything. And I sincerely doubt that the mods think anything is amiss either. We should just try to enjoy the site as is stands and be appreciative. The fact that this site has been around as long as it has means something Grin

Odd you should say this, since I have this thread open to get feedback for possible changes and clarifications Wink
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« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2010, 10:37:04 PM »

I tried appealing a moderation ,To Fr. Chris that Peter put me on ...
All i got in responds From Fr. Chris was How Bad My Grammar is ,and How aw full my spelling was and that was it... Grin



I was told that I tell people too much about myself and that I am seeking sympathy- basically that I have to get a thicker skin. I don't intend to change who I am as an individual because some mods/admin on a site dislike me (or an aspect of my personality). So I just try to post very little now and avoid certain posters/mods entirely.

The admin think the current state is fine, they aren't likely to change anything. And I sincerely doubt that the mods think anything is amiss either. We should just try to enjoy the site as is stands and be appreciative. The fact that this site has been around as long as it has means something Grin

I really wasn't looking for sympathy by posting this...I really tried to contest the moderation it didn't work...  Grin


I sure would like to know if anyone on this forum has actually  succeeded in contesting being moderated and  getting it reversed....Inquiring mind wants to know... Grin
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« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2010, 10:38:54 PM »

I don't think the admin/mods are likely to make mods not post as regular users anymore. And I am sure that the personal insults from mods to posters won't stop since no one in the mod/admin think it occurs.

I have never successfully contested anything. For the most part, in my experience, you just end up being insulted further.
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« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2010, 10:43:05 PM »



I sure would like to know if anyone on this forum has actually  succeeded in contesting being moderated and  getting it reversed....Inquiring mind wants to know... Grin

That's taking this beyond the scope of this thread. Let's try to keep this general.

For the record, yes, we have overturned moderators' decisions before if we felt they were not fair or appropriate. We have even relieved some moderators of their duties in the past.
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« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2010, 10:44:16 PM »

I don't think the admin/mods are likely to make mods not post as regular users anymore. And I am sure that the personal insults from mods to posters won't stop since no one in the mod/admin think it occurs.

That's not true.
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« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2010, 10:46:47 PM »

Well, I hope if the mods/admin are aware of the insults they will stop soon. But I won't hold my breath Wink
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« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2010, 10:49:42 PM »

It would be nice to be able to search the site without having to sign in to the site if that is possible.
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« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2010, 10:51:47 PM »

Forum Policy on Personal Comments and Attacks by Moderators?

Quinault raises a point about personal comments by mods to which I can relate.  For example, two days ago I was told by a mod to "Quit your disingenuous whining."  I was shocked. Not only was this out of place to an Orthodox priest but simply out of place no matter whom the mod was addressing.
Fr. Ambrose, that was a small part of a much larger private message, which itself was part of a lengthy exchange of private messages.
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« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2010, 10:52:31 PM »

I don't think the admin/mods are likely to make mods not post as regular users anymore. And I am sure that the personal insults from mods to posters won't stop since no one in the mod/admin think it occurs.

That's not true.

I concur.

The moderation staff is not some homogeneous juggernaut and we do nothing without building a consensus, the discussion of which can get heated...just as heated as the posts that are reported usually by your non-mod peers.  I know I, for one, welcome days when nothing gets reported and I can just read the board and possibly participate in a discussion or two.
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« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2010, 10:54:07 PM »



I sure would like to know if anyone on this forum has actually  succeeded in contesting being moderated and  getting it reversed....Inquiring mind wants to know... Grin

That's taking this beyond the scope of this thread. Let's try to keep this general.

For the record, yes, we have overturned moderators' decisions before if we felt they were not fair or appropriate. We have even relieved some moderators of their duties in the past.



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« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2010, 10:55:48 PM »

Ok, I will bite.

Why is a mod allowed to stay a mod when they insult other posters? Awareness of the insults is one thing. I am aware by scent when my son has a soiled diaper. But unless I do something about that diaper, my knowledge of it is useless in regard to improving how he smells.

And please, don't say that we as regular posters just don't know what happens. I have been a mod AND an admin on a number of sites. I am aware of how things work. But it seems whatever slap on the wrist you give isn't effective since it doesn't stop the behavior long.
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« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2010, 10:56:03 PM »

I'd like to keep this thread open to allow further questions to be posed.  But I'm not interested in allowing the thread to become a grounds to start opening up personal disputes of the past or current issues of moderatorship.  If we can keep the questions/comments general then I will keep this thread open even if the questions are uncomfortable or critical.
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« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2010, 10:56:49 PM »



I sure would like to know if anyone on this forum has actually  succeeded in contesting being moderated and  getting it reversed....Inquiring mind wants to know... Grin

That's taking this beyond the scope of this thread. Let's try to keep this general.

For the record, yes, we have overturned moderators' decisions before if we felt they were not fair or appropriate. We have even relieved some moderators of their duties in the past.

Thank you for the response!
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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2010, 11:00:50 PM »

Why does Forum Policy not allow Private Messages?

There are no private messages on the forum since any of the Mods are able to access and read and share what are misleadingly labelled "private messages."  In fact they are not private messages.

My question is:  Should Forum Policy ensure that private messages are just that, private messages?
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« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2010, 11:03:41 PM »

Ok, I will bite.

Why is a mod allowed to stay a mod when they insult other posters? Awareness of the insults is one thing. I am aware by scent when my son has a soiled diaper. But unless I do something about that diaper my knowledge of it is useless.

It's a fair question.  We have disciplined moderators and we have removed moderators for misconduct in their official capacity. We allow moderators multiple chances just like we allow posters multiple chances (we are one of the most lenient forums around when it comes to policing, actually).

We also have addressed problems with moderators who in their unofficial capacity have done misconduct.

We do not always make the target though, and for the times we've missed it, I apologize.
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« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2010, 11:05:25 PM »

Why does Forum Policy not allow Private Messages?

There are no private messages on the forum since any of the Mods are able to access and read and share what are misleadingly labelled "private messages."  In fact they are not private messages.

My question is:  Should Forum Policy ensure that private messages are just that, private messages?

I am the only person who can read private messages, and this is made clear in a sticky disclaimer that that is possible:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17634.0.html

I only read private messages when someone complains of abuse via PM.  It requires me to manually go in to the database and do individual searches. It's very time consuming.

I need to have access to private messages because people sometimes report messages with claims of verbal abuse.

No one else--even Fr Chris--has direct access to PMs, although I would share with him any PM that was reported for the purpose of deliberation.
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« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2010, 07:28:25 AM »

I'll attempt to answer a few of the questions posed.  This thread will remain locked until Fr. Anastasios unlocks it.

Prohibition against informing other members of Forum Policy?

I have been told by a Moderator that I should not inform another member about Forum policies but that I should report the member to a Moderator.

In this instance I was asking the member to provide substantiating evidence for something he had said and I mentioned that this is standard practice and forum policy.   I certainly did not want to report him to a Moderator for such a minor thing.  I simply wanted him to follow through and provide his evidence.

So my questions:

~~  is it prohibited for members to inform other forum members about forum policies? 

~~  is it forbidden in general to refer to forum policies?

I suppose it boils down to intent (real or apparent) in referring to the policies.  Our forum has been a meeting ground of "good neighbors" for awhile, and I can think of a number of instances where folks have been saved from running afoul of our rules thanks to a heads-up given by another user.  In those instances, assisting through the statement of board policy is welcomed and even encouraged.  If, however, a non-moderator is stating forum policy in an attempt to influence the course of discussion to their benefit, then the issue becomes a bit dicey; on the one hand, as long as the policy is stated correctly, there is no lie and certainly no deception involved - on the other hand, the rule isn't being properly applied (i.e. by a moderator, GM, or administrator), giving the person to whom the comment is directed a false impression that the rule may indeed be applied to them when it may not actually be.  Usually, in cases where someone feels that a rule should be brought up to a user, but the bringing up of the rule may be perceived as undue influence by the person making the observation, the "report to moderator" function should be used instead, allowing the reporting person to remain in the discussion without seeming like a bully, and allowing the moderator to engage in the difficult discussion viz-a-viz the forum rules.
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« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2010, 07:31:56 AM »

All I would ask - since our opinion is being sought - is that the rules are consistently and evenly enforced.   

This is indeed what we strive for; however, as human beings, we are not always perfect in our attempts.  If you feel that the rules are not being enforced consistently and evenly, then by all means, PM someone "up the food chain" - the GMs who oversee the moderators, or the Admins who oversee everyone.  Sometimes the punishment for breaking the rules takes into account a user's previous history of infractions, but we try to not allow that to influence the actual enforcement of the rules.

I think moderators should either be posters or moderators..Its confusing when they post and write in response to a post and then revert to being moderators when they get their hackles up..I think a moderator should not moderate a thread he is posting in because he may be biased

Generally, we try and recuse ourselves from moderating in threads in which we are actively involved, and from moderating in situations directly involving ourselves (e.g. when we perceive an ad hominem against us).  Sometimes, this general principal is not followed in cases where the infraction is particularly egregious and obvious (i.e. anyone would likely make the same decision), but on the whole, there are plenty of times when a moderator will bring up a situation to the attention of the others with the caveat, "I shouldn't act - I've been too involved in this discussion."

However, this does not mean that our judgment is sound 100% of the time - if a user feels that a moderator is using the enforcement of the forum rules to hem in an argument to their favor (i.e. conflict of interest), then they should report the post (either via the "report to moderator," or a PM) to the GM's or Admins.
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« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2010, 07:53:31 AM »

1.  Is there an actual rule on replying to old, dormant threads?  On numerous occasions, I've seen people get quite bent out of shape, asking "Why did you reply to such an old discussion?"  If such a thing is actually verboten, then the thread should be locked after a given time, perhaps.

No, there is no rule that prohibits one from resurrecting old threads.  I think people only respond negatively to the practice because (a) it seems, sometimes, like someone is attempting to pick up the conversation from where it left off with the people who were originally involved - some of whom do not post here anymore, or (b) sometimes questions asked in older threads with no resolution have been answered in newer threads.  In any case, if you feel like resurrecting an old thread, go ahead.

2.  Is there a rule on the type(s) of questions that are not allowed on the forum, but which should be referred to a priest?  Too frequently (in my opinion), a response to a given question is "Go ask your priest."  This is a discussion forum, so if there are topics which are not to be discussed here, I'd recommend they be stated as such in the forum rules.

There is no general rule about what kinds of questions can be asked here.  Usually, suggestions to "go ask a priest" are made in order to acknowledge that the answer may involve pastoral sensibilities (i.e. the answer is either difficult to hear, or involves personal information), or because the person feels that a priest is uniquely qualified to answer.  So yes, this is a discussion forum, and we promote discussion.  We only encourage those who have questions that involve deeply personal information ("I have slept with so-and-so," or "my parent x beat and molested me") to seek professional advice in a private setting (priest, counselor, etc.) rather than post that information on the forum.

3. I don't understand the "we already have a thread on that" replies.  A discussion forum is a metaphor for "real-life" discussion, and in real life there is nothing unusual about a group of folks resurrecting a topic that's been discussed for thousands of years.  What is the actual expectation of the "check before you post" rule, and what is the consequence of violating it?

Yes, we discuss many things here on the forum that have been discussed before (some would say ad nauseam).  Sometimes, though, a question posed in a thread has been sufficiently answered elsewhere, which makes the reference to an old thread useful.  It would be akin to bringing up a topic that's been discussed for "thousands of years" in real life, and having someone refer you to a book that was written 100 years ago about it, saying, "I think that book sufficiently answers your question."  Only when a particular topic of discussion dominates the forum unduly (like the subject under moratorium at present) will the moderators step in an instruct people to read old topics first before posting new ones. 

4. I realize that moderator decisions are not debatable within the thread they are made.  However, is there a place where moderator decisions, or more generally, forum policies, can be openly discussed and debated?

Well, this thread was specifically created to discuss forum policies, so yes, there is one place.  As to a place to discuss moderator decisions - no, not really.  Our moderators are volunteers who give of their time, talent, and energy to help facilitate good discussions here.  We all make mistakes at one time or another, which is to be expected.  When moderator mistakes are made, however, we do not allow public discussion of that, since we do not want to encourage a witch-hunt mentality on the forum, and we want to protect the volunteers from undue criticism which may arise out of such conversations.  Additionally, it would be nearly impossible to recruit new moderators to fill vacancies if they knew that any little slip-up could become a 20-page thread about them on the forum.  We do not want to quash legitimate discussion of a moderator's actions - we only ask that those conversations happen one-on-one with the moderator themselves, the GM that oversees them, or the Administration.

5. I agree with the previous post.  I realize the green letter moderatorial posts are a compromise, and think I understand the reasons and logic behind it.  However, on more than one occasion, I have found myself thinking "that's not fair" when a mod has been debating with someone, things get heated, and then the "someone" finds themselves getting warned or worse.  It can leave a very distinct (and not fond) taste.  Are there alternative methods under consideration for moderator participation in discussions?

We have seen the models used by other fora (including forcing the moderators to post under pseudonyms different than their moderator user ID), and have concluded that our model works best for us: it forces the human person behind the keyboard to be accountable to the forum and to the administration for all their comments, both official (mod) and unofficial (user).  Our mods are selected in part because of their good history on the forum as participating members - we want that to continue while they are moderating.
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« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2010, 10:05:39 AM »

Dear Forum Friends,

I had originally intended this to be a thread where questions of forum policy could be raised, as we are editing the rules to make them more understandable and comprehensive. Yes, it has taken several months. Things move slowly around here, and that's not something I foresee changing any time soon given our current staffing level.

At any rate, I originally did not intend to respond to any questions posed here, but I felt I had to say a few things last night because pending administrative deliberations were being brought up to highlight questions and because statements were being made as to what we admins (which includes me) think.  Since I didn't feel the analysis matched what is inside my mind, I felt I needed to clarify some things.

I would like to leave this thread open for another 12 hours or so to give people a chance to continue to ask questions about forum policy, which I hope will not require my response. I do not want anyone to think they can't ask a question because I will chomp down on them.  At the same time, we have to be careful not to use this type of venue for individual concerns instead of for general questions of order, etc.  I don't mind tough questions though, as I have nothing to hide, and I certainly don't think that I or anyone else here is perfect or beyond criticism. I am cognizant of the fact that one day I will have to give account to Christ for my actions here--a scary thought.

I am therefore reopening this thread to allow more people the chance to post their questions or requests for clarification. I don't intend to respond to anything, but will if there is anything along the lines of what I have mentioned above.

After about 12 hours, I will lock the thread, and we will begin the work of updating the forum rules.

Thanks to everyone for your participation.

Fr Anastasios
OCnet Founder & Co-Administrator

PS I have only deleted one post from this thread, because it wholly touched on personal assumptions about a moderator's interior emotional state, which I did not think was helpful to the purpose here.
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« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2010, 10:15:13 AM »

So I ask for clarification of that:

Quote from: Fr. George

What will NOT be accepted:
(...)
2) Private message to forum members:
    (...)
    b) advertising other websites/fora
source

Does it mean that we are forbidden to post any links via PMs?

We are allowed to post links to other sites in posts (sometimes we are ordered to by mods) and in certain circumstances we are allowed to post links to another forums. As I understand in PMs we can neither.
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« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2010, 10:25:39 AM »

For clarification purposes, the intent of the PM rule was to avoid having people sign up for the forum with the express purpose of PMing people to "go join my other site."  It was not geared towards friends sharing interesting links.  We will clarify this. Thanks!

(here I go again, answering. Sorry. I can't help myself).
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« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2010, 05:43:15 PM »

It would be nice to be able to search the site without having to sign in to the site if that is possible.

Is having the site un-searchable a forum policy? Or is that just the way the site is set up?

(don't mean to be a nag. We can find posts on the site via a google search whether signed in or not. It would be nice to be able to search even if one isn't signed in)
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« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2010, 05:54:16 PM »

It would be nice to be able to search the site without having to sign in to the site if that is possible.

Is having the site un-searchable a forum policy? Or is that just the way the site is set up?
Most of the discussion forums I've visited outside of OC.net don't allow searches by those who aren't logged in.  I think this is a standard practice.
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« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2010, 05:54:50 PM »

It would be nice to be able to search the site without having to sign in to the site if that is possible.

Is having the site un-searchable a forum policy? Or is that just the way the site is set up?

(don't mean to be a nag. We can find posts on the site via a google search whether signed in or not. It would be nice to be able to search even if one isn't signed in)

It's by design because searches put a large load on the site's database and so by only having searches available to logged in users, it keeps the database from getting too stressed out.
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« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2010, 05:55:42 PM »

It would be nice to be able to search the site without having to sign in to the site if that is possible.

Is having the site un-searchable a forum policy? Or is that just the way the site is set up?

(don't mean to be a nag. We can find posts on the site via a google search whether signed in or not. It would be nice to be able to search even if one isn't signed in)

Having to sign in to search helps prevent trolls who search sites looking for specific topics.
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