Moderation [was RE: [uf-discuss] Andy Mabbet's moderation]

Benjamin West bewest at
Thu Feb 1 11:38:46 PST 2007

> Moderation is a form of punishment, whether it is seen that way by the
> cabal or not. It ostracizes the moderated and prevents them from
> participating in the community like everyone else. In this case, it has
> made Andy a second-class uF citizen whose posts are censored in an
> ill-defined, unchecked process run by unnamed moderators.  I say unnamed
> because although we know some of the moderators, unnamed others have
> apparently joined the effort as a means of spreading the governance
> beyond the founding cabal. That's progress, but these new volunteers
> have remained anonymous.  Kind of like the secret police, really.

Joe, I'm having trouble gauging how serious you are, because this
interpretation of events is so different from how I, and I believe
others, percieve the same events.  The -admin list discussed what to
do and the proposed actions were disclosed to the public.  The fact
that he was moderated instead of banned was due to community input.
All actions taken were clearly taken by Tantek, who has always been an
influential leader in this community.  What part of this is secret?
The community did have a say in what happened, and Tantek executed
exactly that plan.

> Since this censorship judgment was issued by dictatorial fiat at a point
> when Andy was agitating over governance issues, I found it particularly
> disingenuous.

Again, this is an interesting interpretation.  The actions were
discussed on the -admin list by a worldwide group of volunteers.  The
results were disclosed on the -discuss list.  The community gave
feedback on the results.  This didn't happen because Andy disagrees,
it happened because of his behaviour while disagreeing.

That it has continued as long as it has only buttresses my
> concerns about governance.  Obviously, the cabal has the power to do
> this thing.  However, I remain unconvinced that this instance is not
> simply an abuse of that power.
> I would appreciate it if someone could forward me the "bad" posts that
> have justified Andy's continued moderation. In the face of the good
> posts, there needs to be some non-zero level of bad posts to justify
> continued moderation.  Perhaps there is merit to the moderation.  If so,
> I think it is appropriate for evidence to be shared with those in the
> community who care to review it.
> Or, if taking Andy off moderation has simply been overlooked, ok.
> Mistakes happen. In which case he should be allowed to post normally and
> we should remember as a community that we don't have the wherewithal to
> manage fine-tuned corrective procedures.

Again, Andy has been extremely helpful during his moderation, and the
posts that cause negative influences in the community, personal
attacks, and list membership to drop have ceased entirely.  There was
a limit set on the ban, but no such limit was proposed for the
moderation.  All evidence suggests that moderation is working.


PS.  There hasn't been many formal announcements regarding "governance
issues" for several reasons.  One reason is that the group is fairly
conservative about making changes and being an "official" voice.
Another reason is that we are simply more interested in doing actual
work and making progress than dealing with meta-discussions about
governance.  While I expect this is an area we might improve in, if
you are interested in finding the list of admins, you can deduce this
list by looking at the admins in the IRC channel.

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