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Journal Journal: My own private moderation guidelines

Some thoughts on moderation, and a reflection on my own past practice:
  • As a reader, my threshold is 3. As a moderator I therefore pay special attention to "borderline 3" comments. Why 3? Some comments start out with a basic score of 2, so a threshold of 3 guarantees that I'll only see comments that someone else has found worth paying attention to. As a casual reader, I can't be bothered with the rest. For moderators things are obviously different. One thing I do as a moderator is watch for comments with a score of 2 that need be elevated to at least a 3.
  • I generally don't feel obliged to mod down those AC comments that are just plain off-topic, trolling, or moderately offensive (I make an exception for highly offensive posts, though). I thought about setting a default -1 penalty for AC comments, but that would punish the good contributions by ACs who maybe post anonymously for Good Reasons. I do try to scan for worthwhile posts that start out with a 0 score, though the good ones are easily obliterated by the Sheer Volumes Of Utter Crap At Threshold Zero Or Below (SV/UC@T0|B).
  • I try to moderate for diversity. There is often a tendency of an early insightful post focusing on a single aspect of a story and generating lots of follow-ups on the same aspect. In those cases I try to encourage worthwhile posts on other aspects of the story.
  • Humor is tricky. As a reader I often would need an "explain this joke" link. More so for facetious comments, less so for unintentional humor (which I strongly encourage).
  • Moderation reasons that don't exist but should:
    • -5 Plagiarized
    • -2 Obligatory (In Soviet Russia etc.)
    • -1 Wrong (but it could still be funny)
    • +0 Insightful Random Thought
    • +0 Autobiographical
    • +1 Weird

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