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Journal Journal: Moderation philosophy

Recently I have been reading the threads on the Iraq war. One I posted in, another I moderated. A day later I received my email summary of the moderation done to my comments, and it made for an interesting read.

The post in question ultimately reached a score of 5, but I noticed a -1 overrated in there. When I looked at some of the moderation of other user's posts and my own, I had to wonder what people were moderating, the post or the opinion?

This has been a pet peeve of mine in moderation. I see these wonderful "5 Troll" or "4 Flamebait" posts, which tells me that among all the moderators that were moderating properly, one or two were moderating based on their opinions and whether the poster agreed with it or not.

The first time I received moderation points (after getting over my initial astonishment), I religiously read through the moderator guidelines. As a result of reading this, and from what I have seen from other moderators, I now have the following policy:

  • I NEVER mod down.
  • I start modding from the bottom of the page upwards so late-comers get a chance.
  • I pick random posts that appear at -1 or 0 to see if I can mod them up.

The last rule from the above list, when I got around to really implementing it, stunned me as to how many posts out there were really underrated. I even spotted a few cases of a post starting at 0 and modded to -1, but the post seemed perfectly ligit to me.

I do find that the hardest thing about moderation is dealing with opinions that are contrary to your own. When I modded the one Irag thread, I decided to try an experiment: I modded ONLY those posts that expressed an opinion diametrically opposed to mine. I was amazed at how many really thoughtful, insightful posts I found.

I'd love to hear from others that have moderated, and if they have encountered similar dilemmas, or have similar rules that they use in policing themselves in moderation.

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