One thing to note here, too, is that staff have a lot of experience in seeing things go downhill from a post. We've gotten a good feel for things that can easily turn discussions off topic or into flame wars or cider press stuff. So, we often nip things in the bud, things you might not expect to be bad. You might think a post is perfectly nice, but moderators can tell that it will bring a lot of not-niceness. So we deal with it before we have 20 not nice posts to delete and then we have to lock a thread or something because people just wouldn't stop being not-nice to each other.
As for giving explanations for moderation decisions, we have the ability to do that through "Almost-a-Post"... but, a lot of people don't respond well to that. Instead of going "Oh, okay, I'll change that, thanks!" They go "THAT'S WRONG and YOU'RE ALL HORRIBLE and I WILL NOT CENSOR MYSELF and YOU EAT BUGGERS FOR BREAKFAST!!! And your feet smell, too!" So, when people don't respond well to moderation, we don't even try to Almost-a-Posting their stuff.
I have, personally, had people blow up in my face countless amounts of times for very nicely, politely worded Almost-a-Post messages. It's extremely disheartening and feels like a slap in the face. And, often those people storm and make a larger fuss and leave the site far more than when we just silently delete their post. So, I don't try them nearly as much as I used to. I think a lot of staff are burnt from such reactions in the past as well, too.
So, if we do use Almost-A-Post and give reasons for our moderation, it's only for really great posts that need small amount of tinkering, and only when those posts are written by people who seem like they're respond positively to it. Otherwise, we just delete.
As for knowing who did the moderating, I don't think it should matter. We staff stand beside one another and spend hours a day discussing moderation decisions. We work very hard to support and help each other make the best decisions, and we're not throwing someone under the bus by letting people know who did the moderating decision. That would not be nice. This site would be a whole lot worse if we staff weren't nice to each other.
Also, there's been a few times when someone decided they "knew" who did the moderating (and they're almost always wrong in who they assume did it) and they go send their chosen staff member nasty PMs. No staff member needs that. Telling people who did the moderating decision would only make this far, far worse. Staff work really, really hard as volunteers to make this site lovely. There is a LOT of stuff we do behind the scenes. So much so, that when we bring on new staff, they usually have deer-in-the-headlights look on their faces because they had no idea how much we do, and it's overwhelming. We work really hard to support them and train them (and we do it entirely unpaid), and we don't need them burning out because people send them nasty PMs.
Nicole Alderman wrote:As for knowing who did the moderating, I don't think it should matter.
It only should matter if it's the same person moderating a poster over and over again. It does feel that some of my posts that are innocent (seriously, the two lines that rhyme? How was that not nice? Or, posting that people shouldn't be fired over what they write online?) are much more heavily moderated than others in the same threads, but that do not take a different view than the mod. I get that it's subjective. However, when the subjective is noticeably biased, it's not right; it's just not. Thanks for replying, Nicole and Raven. I appreciate it.
Well, I went and took a quick look, and I can see at least 12 different moderators who've moderated your posts, and I haven't even looked at the ones who've joined in discussions on your posts.
So, no, there is not one person "out to get you"! We all work together to fairly moderate your--and everyone else's--posts.
In fact, in all the people we have here on permies, I have never once seen one moderator be the only one moderating a person. Moderator actions are taken by various people, and we moderators usually avoid moderating where we get personally involved. We work really, really hard to be fair and nice in our moderating to keep permies a place that is safe and lovely to share their knowledge and experiences and help one another.
It worries me that you are having trouble seeing how those didn't fit publishing standards. Paul has gone into great detail on this subject over the years. I reviewed the decisions and they seemed clear cut to me. The more you push the edge to find out where it is, the closer that edge gets. Like the cliff that crumbles a little bit each time a person walks too close.
For some reason, you want to spend time here. Permies is the kind of place it is because of the way we moderate. If we changed how we moderated, it wouldn't be as pleasant a place to spend time - for those who like this style of community.
But not everyone likes the way this site is moderated. For them, I present the rest of the internet. Each site has different publishing standards. There is something for everyone. Some people left to make their own forums. It might be a good time to reflect if you can adjust to the moderation standards. Because quite frankly, complaining isn't going to win you any favours with the staff.