1. Would you like to join the IL team? See open jobs!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Liked anything that you read here? You may nominate it as the Finest Posts!
    Dismiss Notice
  3. What can you teach someone online? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

When Moderating becomes Censorship...

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Malavika81, Mar 11, 2010.

Do you feel Moderating in some IL sub forums is tuning to Censorship?

  1. YES

    37 vote(s)
    52.1%
  2. NO

    34 vote(s)
    47.9%
  1. Malavika81

    Malavika81 Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    I want to address one of the key issues I have noticed in IL and want to get your opinions and the issue being 'When does Moderating cross the line and become censorship?'. I personally feel some of the IL moderators are going overboard with the moderating and start censoring and deleting posts indiscriminately for some really trivial reasons. I can understand the need for moderators in an online forum but it does not have to act as the Politburo of the communist party in censoring every little trivial thing or deleting and editing posts for silly reasons.

    I understand the need to help the original poster and focus opinions on their problems but some of these threads do veer off and take their own course sometimes depending on the topic. This is an online forum and for the most part, people offering opinions are not psychiatrists, marriage cousellors, psychologists or relationship gurus. And nor can the thread practically and realistically stay 100% focused on the OP. And whatever opinions offered on the thread are just opinions and not the gospel. In the end, the OP has to make that life decision for themselves and take the opinions offered with a discerning mind and discretion.

    Come on, if you are going to start a thread in Relationship issues asking ' I just poisoned my husband with cyanide because he did not say hello to my mum. Is that wrong?' OR 'I am flying to India with my husband and MIL. Advise me if I should sit next to my MIL or far away from her in the aircraft?' in In-law issues, do you really expect the responders to take the OP very seriously and give them very serious opinions? How much OPcentric can you be in those threads and for how long? So if someone cracks a joke in one of these threads, should the moderators immediately intervene and delete that post and any other posts that remotely referenced that joke? Or if someone offers a really absurd opinion, people should not question or challenge its merit and rationale? People who come and visit online forums eventually come there for some fun and to kill some time and have a laugh or two to unwind from their long day in the real world. They don't come there with the sole purpose of offering marital and relationship advice to strangers on the internet.

    I can see the need for moderators to intervene on occasions where something veers off towards malicious personal attacks or racial and ethnic epithets but for a joke or some anecdote? Are we not taking the Moderator task to the extreme and start indiscriminately censoring and editing people's posts for really silly and trivial reasons just because we can? So how much freedom of speech and levity do responders really have on IL if every third thread is getting censored or posts getting deleted and edited for trivial reasons? And every post being put under a microscope to examine if it passes the Politburo seal of approval so it can come out as daily news on the XinHua daily or the Pravda.

    I for one, strongly feel the moderating part is crossing the limits and venturing into the realm of capricious censorship in certain parts of IL. It seems anything that does not align with the school of thought or personal ideology of the moderator will be immediately put to the axe or have red ink strewn all over it and that is a travesty to free speech on the internet. Ironically, in everyone of these threads where posts are arbitrarily deleted or edited for trivial reasons, the moderator sees it fit to post their half page personal opinion on the subject unfettered which brings me to the question.... Who moderates the moderator and what makes the moderator think their opinion is the gospel and the ultimate expert opinion on the subject?

    I urge the powers that be of IL to take notice of this censorship issue and act appropriately. Moderating is supposed to act as a checks and balances mechanism and intervene in circumstances where the topic is degenerating into sensitive areas such as race/ethnicity or personal attacks and not as some omnipotent Orwellian entity. Curbing freedom of speech and editing and deleting people's responses like the communist party's carefully selected propaganda material does not reflect well on IL

    Feel free to post your opinions and thoughts if fellow ILites share the same feeling as me with regards to moderator censorship or otherwise.

    EDIT/ADD: And if you are a Moderator of this forum, I request that you please not vote in the poll as we are primarily trying to get the feedback of the members who are NOT Moderators. Your opinions and feedback however, is welcome and feel free to post them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
    Loading...

  2. SR09

    SR09 Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    524
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Yes Malavika, (Since I still had time to edit I tought just to post it here)
    I mainly dont agree with some thread being closed , recently I noticed a couple of thread being closed just because the moderator thought the OP can be sensitive to the responses. Come on...this is a public forum and one should expect various replies. Another thread was closed recently as the moderator felt the OP has received enough opinions and its time for her to make a decision on her own. I just dont agree this part. A thread should be left open and why close something that is of interest to many ?(If the topic is deviating may be just drop a comment but dont close the thread).
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  3. Malavika81

    Malavika81 Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi SR09

    Its not just the threads being closed but individual responses being indiscriminately edited or deleted for trivial reasons. Yeah like you said if the OP is so sensitive or touchy about the responses, then maybe they should think twice about posting a thread asking for opinions. I feel the moderating team is going overboard with some of these egregious deletions and edits and its not moderating but blatant censorship.
     
  4. raagini

    raagini Silver IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Gender:
    Female
    let me respond to a couple of queries raised : Moderators do not delete the posts permanently .
    the posts are just made invisible ; & they are reviewed by a super moderator / an administrator .

    in general moderators do not intervene with the posts unless there is a complaint ! Moderators
    also follow a set of rules & regulations . if we follow forum etiquette - then there will not be any
    need for moderation . & we can find that most of the moderator actions are transparent here .

    Moderators actions are not final and they are moderated by Administrators ...
     
  5. bhuvnidhi

    bhuvnidhi IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    3,273
    Likes Received:
    1,905
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Gender:
    Female
    Malavika, I know we have already had heated arguments before in another thread.But I voted in this thread and it became irreversible.

    Here are my thoughts on this:

    I have seen several forums but I keep IL at a different place than the rest.

    This forum is WELL-MODERATED and the moderators are doing a great job which gives us a feeling that "Yes, we are in a right forum and we will not be misused".Probably I did not write it in a proper way.What I want to convey is that this is not a aisa wisa forum but a very decent forum where noone can fool around.

    I think the moderators opinion is not final and it is being monitored by super moderators as well.I have seen some actions in few threads which makes me think so.

    Let me tell you , there was an IL who is just brilliant and very good in providing suggestions but she was pretty rude in her words inspite of moderators warnings and got into picking members as well.Though I miss her a lot in Relationship forum these days, I respect the moderator's decison as few actions are neccessary to preserve the sanity of the Forum.

    And it is not that you cannot opine against any moderators.There is a big thread in the past where all the ILs gave their honest opinion.And a lot were against the super moderators decision.But still none of us were banned and we were given explanations too.So there is nothing personal here when it comes to moderating.We are encouraged to have healthy discussions but when we cross our limits we are moderated.When it goes beyond that we loose our privileges to post or reply.

    Whatever I have stated above is just my opinion.
     
  6. sridivya

    sridivya New IL'ite

    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    I love this site and I am addicted to this. I for one am very strict with my daily routine and nothing has put be off track more than this website. I just love hanging around here. These days I spend so much time being on these online forums that my family has started noticing the difference too. I keep housework pending for too long. But, Hey! I love and enjoy being here. I can look forward to excellent, unbiased opinions and some great tips and recipes too.


    Now, for the poll. Yes, I agree with Malavika 100% and I feel the same as her. Come on! Recently in one of the threads, Malavika, I guess that's what partly made you start this poll, I just cut pasted a short story which you can relate to the OP's case in a lighter vein but that was deleted and the reason given is absurd. You can read the moderator's comments in my user CP.

    I mean, can't there be little humor amidst sorrow. I understand if we are totally forgetting the OP's problem but it was in response to some poster who was asking Malavika about the story she mentioned and I went that extra mile and cut pasted it for her. And, what do I see later.....it is gone and I am warned!!!


    Don't we quote proverbs to some serious issues in life but the proverb sounds humorous?? Don't we all have such idioms in our native languages?? So, if something like that is quoted here, I fear that will be plucked off and thrown in trash saying it is distracting the OP??

    I will accept my fault if I am shown that the OP complained to the moderator about the short story I pasted there. I will definitely apologise and I consider that my duty if and only if the OP feels I have made fun of her sorrow and not if the moderator feels so.
    Please let me know if there is anyway to know what the OP feels about it, like a link or something to her complaint. I will not hesitate to apologize once I see her unhappiness over my particular post.

    Thanks Malavika for giving me this platform to vent out. I seriously got disturbed when my post was deleted.

    sridivya
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  7. Sunny3

    Sunny3 New IL'ite

    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    I kind of agree with you Malavika. It was not like this earlier. But these days, I personally feel the moderating is going overboard. And the reason is not very clear too. For one of my recent posts the poster who brought up the whole religion issue in a very blatant manner was excused but my response to his post was deleted stating that the OP ignored it so should I.

    If a post is misleading and you feel so and have no freedom to bring it up bluntly then what is the whole point??
    I tried bring it up but in couple or 4 hours I see the comments strewn in red ink and my post deleted. Also, the justification was the poster next to me with similar comments was let go because she/he belonged to the religion being targeted by the earlier blatant poster.......isn't that ridiculous??? T
    That says directly to me to look the other way even if I see something wrong happening to some one just because that someone does not belong to me or my kind???

    Can I not voice out my opinion to the other poster?
    We reply and try our best to advise or suggest to the OP but why are we being kept in a box and asked to speak only to the OP and not to other posters??

    Can't we have some short talk with some other poster and be warned intermittently by the moderator if at all we are going overboard and distracting the thread without deleting our entire post itself??

    I don't mind being warned if the moderator feels I am distracting the thread but please DO NOT delete the entire post. You can add your comments in the end and we are all sensible adults to consider them seriously.
    Please do not make it moderator's monopoly here....after all we are on public forum.


    Sunitha
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  8. Malavika81

    Malavika81 Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Bhuvnidhi, I am not sure what 'well moderated' means but what you feel as well moderated, me and some others feel it is censorship. To me, well moderated means judiciously moderated and moderators intervene only when things have gone out of control or things are escalating to very sensitive areas that might easily offend people. Not when someone quotes an anecdote or story or cracks a joke or use their own style of writing with analogies or sense of humour and those posts are immediately deleted or sanitized by the moderator for really silly and trivial reasons. In those cases, the responder feels like their freedom of speech and freedom of expression is violated when a moderator acts on their personal whim and deletes half their post and sanitizes the other half. This is an online forum and most if not all of us are from countries with freedom of speech. This is not a communist party newspaper where some bureaucratic committee is poring over every single word and sanitize the material before public release. And at the end of the day, this is a place where people come to unwind from their long day and have a laugh or two while offering opinions.

    Sridivya, that is a classic example of a moderator going overboard and indiscriminately deleting and editing posts. That story meant no harm to anyone and hypothetically, even if the OP felt that it is offending them and reported it, I'd expect the moderator to use common sense and wisdom to determine if that post is really offensive. Not just go and delete and edit a bunch of responses because someone decided to report it. How difficult is it to report posts just for no good reason? If the moderator cannot act judiciously and discern if the reported post is really offensive or not, then they are throwing common sense and rationality out the window and just acting impulsively on every bloody post reported. I feel violated when a moderator deletes or edits my post for some really trivial reason and I imagine you felt the same.

    Sunny, I know exactly which one LOL And all you did was question someone's rationale behind their wildly speculated conspiracy theory and they offered that as an opinion. So people post barmy opinions in response to the OP's question and someone cannot question the merit or logic behind that and if you do, your post will be deleted because you quoted someone else's post besides the OP? Where is the common sense in that? Yeah and the whole 'you cannot question the other poster's rationale' is so kindergardenish.
    I had half my post deleted in that thread and I did not even quote anyone. I felt violated that a moderator would just go arbitrarily delete half my post for no good reason or some silly reason they conjured up, because THEY CAN. And that to me is a moderator going overboard and censoring people's posts because they feel they are empowered and entitled to do so. Several posts in that specific thread were deleted for absolutely no good reason.
     
  9. Tara09

    Tara09 New IL'ite

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Malavika, I am with you. I have already cast my vote on this.

    Hey! One fine day I see that my thread is closed. I agree the heated argument in that. If you remember that thread that I started.
    Isn't there any freedom of speech? How can we nod our heads to all that we disagree with the other posters.
    I understand that the thread was taking a detour from the original post but hey I was the OP there and I did not mind it going offtrack. Then why should the moderator take offense. I haven't reported it to the moderator.

    We start thinking on a topic and then slowly our mind drifts away in different directions sometimes totally away from our original thought. Is that wrong?? Something similar happened in that thread. I started off keeping in mind a particular query but it drifted off because the other posters were coming up with different inputs and obviously they all will justify their stand and there was some heat in that.....so what?

    You close the thread and ask us to shut our brains!!!
    Over enthusiastic moderators!!!.....I will say at least seeing how the whole issue was dealt.


    Thanks Malavika for the poll. The results as of now shows how unhappy members are with the moderators.


    Tara
     
  10. sillygurl

    sillygurl Senior IL'ite

    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    I feel marriage - relationship forum moderators are doing an awesome job , but am afraid i can't say the same with "one other" section . In tat section, i find it's kinda a monopoly of one person and doesn't feel like visiting that forum at all. Good thing is that for that particular topic google returns lots of results. While the advice and warmth that you get in relationship forum cannot be found else where! - JMO
     

Share This Page