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be nice

 
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the be nice requirement applies to all aspects of this site,  including PMs.  nice as interpreted by Paul Wheaton.  

It may be that we have conflicting ideas of nice.  The style of nice permies.com uses works very well for most users here.  I don't imagine it is likely to change any time soon.
 
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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.
 
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Happy Christmas everyone.

 
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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.
 
Nicole Alderman
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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.
 
r ranson
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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.  

Re-read this thread.
Read the threads on moderation here: https://permies.com/wiki/34193/permies-works-links-threads

The answers to many of your questions and the reasons why you won't get some questions answered are there.  

 
r ranson
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A reminder, we have at least 50 active VOLUNTEER staff on this website working 24 hours a day to keep permies a happy place.

I think there are people out there who are having a really difficult time lately.  It seems to be these last few weeks are especially tough for them.  

I feel it's very sad that sometimes, a person feels the need to take it out on the VOLUNTEERS who keep permies a safe place to hang out.  Someone recently called permies their 'happy place'.  I feel that way too.  It hurts my heart to see some things - and I am hugely grateful to the volunteers who make sure you guys never get to see that stuff.  

The internet is full of many other communities.  I'm sure one of them can be a happy place for someone.  Permies is not designed to be for everyone.  It's a very specific style of site for a very specific style of person who is interested in a specific flavour of permaculture.  And it is the hard work of the moderators and the style of moderating that gives this website the flavour it has.  What makes it my happy place.

A reminder:
Verbal abuse, insults, harassment, and worse towards the volunteer staff, is not in keeping with the rule of this site.  To refresh your memory, the rule is Be Nice.  Everyone agreed to it when they made an account.  Behaviour on the extreme end of not nice is a quick way to get an account locked.  Continuing that behaviour is not going to get it unlocked.  
 
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After taking an extended absence from permies I have been slowly reviewing publishing standards in case anything has changed. I can't tell you how much smoother my social interactions run because of this thread in particular. So many of these rules work well in face to face interactions. I am better at it online where I have more time to tweak my wording but it is a rare person who will argue with a statement that begins "In my experience..."  

While I am at I should also thank you for how nice it is to be able look for answers and solutions with having to first find a scapegoat.   I love solving problems.  I hate feeling angry. If I had to be angry to look for a solution it usually wouldn't be worth it to me.
 
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I am so grateful for the be nice rule. It's what makes permies a safe haven. Every now and again, I briefly entertain the idea of posting something on other social media. Sometimes, I'll even have written out a thoughtful response to someone. Then I find myself sitting there hesitating to post out of fear of the unkind responses or at best, lack of interest in engaging in real conversation with curiousity and compassion. By that point, I feel all anxious. I almost always decide against it and just end up here, where I know people can treat others with basic human decency and talk about things in a way that leads to deeper understanding, connection and often solutions!

I think it says a lot that most social media makes me feel more disconnected and afraid of people. Kind of misses the point, doesn't it? Whereas permies leaves me feeling calm, connected, appreciated, empowered and hopeful about people and the world! All because of the "be nice" rule. Now if we can just infect more brains with "be nice"! It seems so simple, but it is so important and the effects so profound. Imagine how different the world would be if all people felt safe and assured that other people would be kind to them! Just that alone would change everything. And it would start impacting the ways we relate not only to other people, but to the natural world. It really reminds me of one of my very first introductions to permaculture, this awesome video that is all about the importance of being nice:
 
Enjoy the full beauty of the english language. Embedded in this tiny ad:
Get Paid to Build a Permaculture Paradise at Wheaton Labs!
https://permies.com/wiki/178360/permaculture-projects/Paid-Build-Permaculture-Paradise-Wheaton
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