Moderator Notes

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Moderator Jane
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Moderator Notes

This topic is where the moderators will share news and information with the community. 

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 04:47

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Moderator Jane
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Setting the Record Straight

For the past several months, the moderators have been dealing with a group of people on the website who determined to take the site over and make it their own. Several of these guys were extremely active in communicating with unsuspecting members of the community, who did not realize they were being used for a greater agenda. This post is to set the record straight (particularly for those members contacted) and provide an overview of what happened.

 
Believe it or not, this all started back in September of 2011, Turd mentioned in a public blog post that he thought that 9/11 was not a conspiracy or inside job. This angered some conspiracy theorists on the website, who felt "betrayed" by Turd's position. Some left the site over this one issue. Others disagreed but carried on. But for a small group of others, this was a turning point that set them at odds with the rest of the website.
 
They wanted the site to be a place for a call to arms, a place to incite revolution. When Occupy Wall Street started up, they wanted to use the main blog as a platform for this and many other issues. Anyone who disagreed with them was potentially a plant, neocon, or sheeple who was too "stupid" to "get" what the "real" issues were.
 
This started a pattern of flames and derision towards new and old members of the website who disagreed with their view.
 
The group decided, at some point, that the site was "theirs" despite the other members, and even Turd himself! They needed to save Turd's website from Turd and the others who "didn't get it." They decided that it would be they, not Turd or the moderators, who would control the site dialogue. 
 
When some of their friends became alarmed at the increasingly militant nature of their private messages, they would turn on this person, threaten them, and then send out PMs (private messages) to larger groups of people in an attempt to discredit their target.
 
They would then PM other people with lies about what happened, in an attempt to sway sympathy for their cause.
 
During this time, the moderators would try to keep peace on the website. Many flames and hit jobs were removed, but the moderators felt they couldn't totally drop the hammer on everyone at once without clear cause, lest they be labeled too draconian. It didn't matter - the site gang would cry foul and victim any time they were moderated. Ringleaders would PM complaints about the moderators to large numbers of people in attempt to get sympathy and stir up resentment and distrust of the moderators.
 
Numerous, outright lies were spread about site members and moderators, sometimes publicly, sometimes to groups in PM, including crazy theories about financial gains to be made...without really questioning why the so-called "heavy" moderation would result in financial gain. (In fact, they would simultaneously claim that the moderators had a financial reason for what they did, while then claiming that the moderators were ruining the site by chasing "good people" off of it.) Further claims were made that Turd had some sort of "contract" he couldn't get out of (not true).
 
What these guys didn't count on, I guess, is that some more conscientious members saw through this drama and alerted the moderators as to what was going on.
 
Generally speaking, I don't like to air dirty laundry, but when we have people actively PMing large numbers of members, individually and in groups, to tear the site down, I think it's better to get it all out in the open.
 
And while I'm not qualified to diagnose people, I would suggest that certain behavior patterns are similar to those of sociopaths:
 
 
Think you can spot a sociopath? Think again. Sociopaths often blend easily into society. They're entertaining and fun at parties. They appear to be intelligent, charming, well-adjusted and likable. The key word is "appear." Because for sociopaths it's all an illusion, designed to convince you to give them what they want.
 
The pattern would be as follows: The "sociopath" in question would try to appear reasonable and nice, even to the moderators themselves, promising to behave, and then turn around and say the worst things to others in PM. They would post on Turd's blog all sorts of nice things to Turd, and even email him that they'd like to get a beer with him, while calling him an idiot in private, plotting to destroy his own website, and working overtime to wrest control of it from him.
 
Because of these guys, we are changing our policies regarding private messages. We also now set new members to moderated, because troublemakers like these guys tend to create new accounts when kicked off the site. You have them to thank for any new restrictions on site access.
 
​Second, if you have been contacted by one of these guys in PM, count yourself in as one of just many people they falsely "befriended" in their attempt to take over the site. And they probably lied and distorted the truth to you. I'm sorry to say, they don't really care about you. They just wanted supporters for their takeover. 
 
I hope this clears the air. If you have further questions or comments, please send me a private message.

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Moderator Calamity Jane helps keep Turdville free of trolls with her digital sharp-shooter!

Moderator Jane
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Moderator Note on Duplicate IP Addresses

Folks, we just want to remind you that having multiple accounts for the same person on this site is not allowed - unless you are a moderator and have a personal account separate from your moderator account.

We have found that someone who was set to moderation due to their role in the "gang" that was going on at the end of last year is sharing an IP address with another user on the site who has been active recently. We were alerted because the second user suddenly started giving shout outs to all the members who got kicked off the site.

I don't like to assume that everyone sharing the same IP address is the same person. After all, there are such things as family members and roommates, and just because a husband may be a jerk, that doesn't mean we need to necessarily penalize his wife who wants to participate here. People also move and get their IP addresses changed.

That said, if we have reason to suspect that someone is using a second account to bypass moderation, then we're going to do one of two things: 1) The second account will be set to moderated (at minimum) and 2) We'll shut down both accounts and ban the IP address entirely.

This is not personal to the person with the second account - assuming they've been behaving. We simply don't want people coming on here under multiple identities for the purposes of manipulating the community.

Thanks for your support and understanding in this matter.  

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Moderator Calamity Jane helps keep Turdville free of trolls with her digital sharp-shooter!

Moderator Jane
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IMPORTANT MODERATOR MESSAGE on "Offensive" Content

Hi folks,

There was a bit of a dust-up in the past few days in relation to some comments that people find offensive on Main Street. It's related to similar dust-ups and debates over what is appropriate and non-appropriate on the main threads here on the blog.

One of the members posted something that was considered offensive by some folks due to its anti-Zionist theme, and a moderator unpublished it. Part of the reason for this is that people have come here in the past with an agenda and have tried to hijack the main forum to push their pet conspiracy theory. However, I am concerned we may veering too far on the side of censorship and therefore here's how I'd like to approach this:

1) I've instructed the moderators to encourage people to post in the forums as a FIRST result, and to even move posts manually if they have to. 

2) You as the site member should ALSO use the forums for off-topic, off-color, or potentially offensive material that is not appropriate for Main Street. This includes:

* Controversial conspiracy theories
* Blatant partisan political demagoguery
* ANYTHING related to Israel
* Humor unrelated to the topics being discussed, i.e., Lolcats
* Music videos and fluff unrelated to the issues at hand
* Anything else that's not relating to the blog topic at hand that really should be placed in the forums.

3) Some folks who have a hard time "grasping" this rule will be put on a lesser form of moderated status where they can post in the forums without prior approval but do not have unfettered access to Main Street blog comments.

To provide an example of this, I have taken Dagney Taggart's moderated post on Israel and created a thread for it so people can hash it out there:

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/forum/4019/zionism-conspiracy-anti-zionism-anti-semitism
 

One more thing: People have been complaining to some of the moderators about the nasty tone infecting Main Street again. C'mon folks, you can all agree to disagree without being assholes about it.

Now. Let's all be adults. We don't want to have to run this place like a kindergarten. I EXPECT ALL OF YOU TO SELF-MODERATE AND START TOPICS IN THE FORUMS AS NEEDED. I am even OK with you linking to your new topic here, as long as you do it tastefully and not as constant self-promotion. The more you self-moderate, the less we'll be inclined to take your PM privileges away.

Thank you.
 

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Moderator Calamity Jane helps keep Turdville free of trolls with her digital sharp-shooter!

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