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Old September 10, 2008, 08:47 PM   #51
OuTcAsT
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Quote:
+1 jimpeel, You express what I am thinking much better than I could.
As much as I hate the ubiquitous "+1" post, this time I must agree.
While I generally post in other sections of this forum,and restrain myself, for the most part, from posting in L&P, I generally come here to read the political discussion first. Even though the debate is sometimes "spirited", it represents (to me) a diverse cross section of political views by folks from all walks of life. Just look at the plethora of professions, cultures, religions, oreintations, and backgrounds represented here. And most all share at least a passing interest in firearms. It gives me a window on the world that the broadcast media can never accomplish, because they are not focused toward firearms enthusiasts. I fail to see how free spirited debate can be considered "noise" as compared to the "signal" that the TV and radio spew. I fail to see why grown adults would be embarassed to have our views ( and differing opinions) open to public scrutiny.

And does it really change the "signal to noise ratio" that much to shut off political and legal debate while allowing unending numbers of caliber debates, platform arguements, and tacticool mall ninja scenarios?

My suggestion would be to continue business as usual, and stop making much adoo about nothing.

P.S. read my sig line closely.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dan Bruner
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Old September 10, 2008, 09:12 PM   #52
jimpeel
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If at all possible, why not simply change the color of a poster's handle from the current Blue ala jimpeel to a lovely shade of Red when they are in peril of being expelled from the board for misconduct. It would be a flag to all of us that this person is on "probation". I know that I would not be pleased to log on and find jimpeel on the left side of the page.

The next step would be the simple disappearance of the poster from the board and all of their posts becoming the one word BANNED.
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Old September 10, 2008, 09:14 PM   #53
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Mal H
FireMax - you've got mail!
Got it. Thanks Mal H.
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Old September 10, 2008, 09:41 PM   #54
MeekAndMild
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Quote:
Anyone want to get back on topic and suggest some viable alternatives to the morass that L&P had become?
To make things interesting:

1: Allow posting of threads which are closed to comment until the moderator has reviewed their subject material.

2: I've seen the three strike rule in other forums. In the header are listed the names of offenders with 1 or 2 strikes and then the offender is banned on the 3rd strike.

3: Add to the number of moderators. (Heinlein pointed out a half century ago the best way to stop the wolves was to make them into sheep dogs.) Or if you don't want to do that, start another class of user, the assistant moderator who has a half vote in closing a thread, or make all the senior users "junior deputies"...three junior deputies can vote to close a thread and its closed.

4: Allow users to "vote users off the island", ten votes gets a user banned. To make it more interesting votes could expire after 2 weeks and user-incited bans could expire after a month.

??
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Old September 11, 2008, 12:00 AM   #55
Buzzcook
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Not sure how this software works, but with http://www.dcscripts.com/ these guys a member can be put on probation. That means their posts do not go through untill approved by a mod.
It works as a way of cutting back on squirrely posts.

There is the problem for boards such as this that specialize. People that might be perfectly agreeable on firearms could be pretty nasty on political issues.

The idea of limiting the number of posts per thread strikes both ways. It limits the amount of drive-by one liners, but it also hobbles people who are making a genuine contribution to the thread.
This is another place where, if the software allows, more senior members would not have the three post limit.

More mods wouldn't hurt but they won't be needed after the election.
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Old September 11, 2008, 06:45 AM   #56
Brett Bellmore
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You want more civility? Require posters to L&P to use their real names.
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Old September 11, 2008, 06:58 AM   #57
Mal H
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jimpeel - Not a bad idea at all. We'll see if it's doable with the current vbulletin software.
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Old September 11, 2008, 07:17 AM   #58
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First...I would just like to say I am sorry for...

being someone who got a little carried away on a couple of occasions. I have not been posting here all that long but I can say I thoroughly enjoy TFL and the folks here. I agree with Musketeer that the election has brought things to a boil. I believe we are facing a crucial time in our history in this election. And until it is over I do not think we will be able to have legitimate conversation on these topics. They are simply too volatile. I would like to see this opened back up in the future...perhaps around February of next year when hopefully things have settled down because it is a very stimulating place to engage in exchanging ideas and views.

Moderators...I respect your decision and as I had already told the Bluesman I decided this week to stop posting in this area due to the very things that have led to it being closed. I am ashamed of the way I have gotten carried away a couple of times and allowed the emotion to get in the way of sound judgment. To this end even if you choose to keep it closed permanently this will still be a place I come to for advice with rifles etc.

Thanks,

Melvin Gilliam

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Old September 11, 2008, 08:19 AM   #59
Musketeer
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Quote:
You want more civility? Require posters to L&P to use their real names.
Please NO.

There are posters who, while not doing anything illegal, may be violating a company policy and discussing it here.

There are posters who may be bringing up a subject and inadvertently find out they did something illegal (example: "You mean I broke the law giving my father who lives in FL a handgun!?!?"). While illegal behavior is NOT condoned here we all can understand that firearms laws have gotten confusing enough across this nation that someone could violate them and never know.

There are people who are located in very liberal areas and industries. The last thing they need is a string of firearms posts attached to their names. Is such persecution right? No. It happens though.

I am smack dab in liberal land and do not need some busybody coworker, child's teacher or other person running my name in google and finding a host of posts on everything from my political leanings to the proper selection of ammunition for use against people in a defensive shooting.

There are entirely legal and moral reasons to allow anonymity on the board. At the same time I can see the site owners knowing the EXACT name of the posters to assist with tracking down those who are willful criminals and keeping out the trash who might create name after name. In that spirit perhaps something like Gunbroker where a credit card is run but never charged to verify the real existence of a bidder can be instituted for those wishing to post in L&P. Even a simple $5 a year contribution to post in L&P seems reasonable to me to

1. Keep out the drive by posters.
2. Somewhat compensate for the added effort the mods must put in for L&P.
3. Provide a link to a REAL NAME so that when someone is banned they are REALLY BANNED.

Al,

Thank you for the modification of the post on L&P's future. I too was very put off when I saw it at first.

Robust political debate is a healthy thing. I use this forum and some others to test my positions and look at them in the mirror. Perhaps I am wrong, in which case I can learn that by analyzing opposing posts which make logical sense to me. I have learned much in L&P forums and hope others have derived the same benefit.

That said I still think restriction to solely 2A, shooting & self defense issues political and legal is warranted until November. Too many trolls have slunk out and tempers are too hot right now for the current systems to handle. Perhaps with some changes come 2012 such actions will not be needed but I think they are now. In the meantime shutting down discussion on the 2A L&P issues before an election stinks of McCain/Feingold (I know this is a private forum and what that entails.)
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Old September 11, 2008, 08:34 AM   #60
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I'm not sure why the L/P form requires policing, but as a guest I'm not challenging the protocol. We have an ignore feature. It works well, although a button under a username would make using the ignore feature easier.

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Old September 11, 2008, 11:30 AM   #61
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Originally posted by Antipitas
Quote:
Let me start off by saying that the Legal and Political forum, in all probability will not be resurrected, in its current form. Politics has always been somewhat of a bane to the forum. This has been made extremely clear over the last year and a half.
I would have to agree that politics is somewhat of a bane and seems to digress quite quickly in many cases. Honestly, I've probably posted in L&P more in the last couple of months more than I have during the rest of the time I've been a member here. While I think that I usually try to keep my posts at least civil, I freely admit that when I see a statement that I strongly disagree with, I am likely to argue to beyond the point of being productive. In noticing this about myself, I became more observant of the posts of other members who are usually more reserved. This leads me to believe that Politics, like religion, is probably a subject that doesn't have a place on this site. I do however, hate to see L&P closed altogether as there is a lot of very valuable information to be gleaned from it. My suggestion would be to change it from "Legal and Political" to simply "Legal". This would still allow productive discussions (such as those seeking to learn about the firearms laws of a state that someone is considering traveling or moving to or the current state of a Supreme Court case) while eliminating much of the heated, and frankly counterproductive political bantering. I would also suggest that it be strictly enforced that posts in such a forum stay objectively on topic (i.e. answering the question at hand rather than going off on a tirade regarding the stupidity of whatever state's gun laws or simply providing information about the progression of the case without interjection of opinion). I would also suggest that such legal discussions are probably best limited to laws regarding firearms.
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Old September 11, 2008, 12:00 PM   #62
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Over at m1911.org, they also run vBulletin (not sure which version, though) and they have a point system where if a mod warns you without assigning you points or if you earn points, you have a tally kept underneath your user name in the upper right corner. The warnings disappear after however long the moderator sets it for, the points are permanent. You're the only one who sees it, so others don't automatically shun you, but it is a sobering reminder to tone it down when someone says something to get your blood pressure up. I think knowing how close the mods are to banning you would improve discourse here. Also listing a problem child as "Permanently banned" vs. still listing them as a Member would show people what kind of behavior is not tolerated. While Rule #3 is clear in the minds of most members, some may not be so clear on what is acceptable and what is not. A way to see what is unacceptable may help them tone it down or decide to take their poisonous behavior elsewhere. Leaving up posts that caused a member to get banned with a note in bold red letters from the mod that that post had caused a member to get banned would also probably help. I mean, to this day, I have no idea why Handy got banned and he was a very knowledgeable member when it came to the design and functioning of firearms. Without knowing what he got banned for, it looks like a huge loss for the forum when it was probably for the best, but we have no way of knowing.

I must say, I joined right after the 2004 election and the quality of debate in L+P and the quality of posts as a whole on the forum has taken a nose-dive in the last year or so. I admit I have lowered myself to other people's level at times, but it is difficult to stay on the high road when you see others taking the low road with no obvious repercussions, especially when you are being ganged up on by a bunch of low road posters because your opinion is in the minority.
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Old September 11, 2008, 12:22 PM   #63
Mike Irwin
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Don't take this the wrong way, Blues Man, but in reading your closing announcement, this struck me...

"The signal to noise ratio in L&P has been going in the wrong direction for quite some time and no amount of rule changes, punitive actions or mass bannings will fix the problem permanently."

To me that says one thing, and one thing only... the moderators aren't willing, or able, to devote the time necessary to make an L&P forum work.

If they're not willing, then the forum needs new moderators.

If they're not able, then the forum needs more moderators.

To be perfectly blunt, four moderators for a L&P section on a board as active and as well known as TFL isn't enough. It's especially not enough if life committments keep most of the mods away for large chunks of time.

I'm one of the admins on a board that was spun out of Oleg Volk's The High Road. About a year ago we launched a Politics section, knowing full well the dangers of doing so and the massive amount of baby sitting that would be required.

In doing that, though, we installed a core group of moderators and admins who share similar views on how a forum should be moderated, the commitment it takes, and how to deal with disruptive and/or trollish members. Some emphasis was also placed on breadth of coverage. I'd say it's a pretty good bet that we have moderator/admin coverage close to 18 hours a day, sometimes longer.

A lot of people predicted anarchist riot in the monkey house. I'm sad to say that some of our members even seemed to be making book and rubbing their hands gleefully, waiting for our experiment to fail. I'm happy to say, though, that at this point we've proven them wrong.

A year in, Politics Place is going strong. More than a few of the posters there consider it to be one of the best run politics boards on the net.

Yes, there have been problems. We've banned a number of members permanently, and there have been some dust ups, and we close any number of threads during any given period. But overall, it's been very gratifying and proof that a forum for general politicial discussion can work.

I think a lot of people find it to be a bit shocking that NO subjects are taboo -- religion, abortion, etc. -- NONE are off limits as long as there's no advocating anything illegal and the tone of discussion remains level. Once it becomes too emotional, members get warnings and the thread may, or may not be, closed.

And it is all due in large part to the mods and admins, all of whom are empowered to deal with problems as they happen.

Last input...

This entire thread is, I think, in some ways indicative of the problems facing L&P. Personally, I'm not one much for making an announcement of the kind that was made, and then inviting everyone (likely including many of the people who were causing the problems in the first place) to "come on in and talk about it."

You're not going to find any solutions from those people. Just vultures waiting to jump on a fresh carcass.

Oh well, my two cents.
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Last edited by Mike Irwin; September 11, 2008 at 01:26 PM.
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Old September 11, 2008, 12:53 PM   #64
Wildalaska
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Quote:
This entire thread is, I think, in some ways indicative of the problems facing L&P. Personally, I'm not one much for making an announcement of the kind that was made, and then inviting everyone (likely including many of the people who were causing the problems in the first place) to "come on in and talk about it."

You're not going to find any solutions from those people. Just vultures waiting to jump on a fresh carcass.

Oh well, my two cents.
You know Mike, I hope you are including yourself in that because there is not one person on this Board who has not, at some point(except Dave and Antipitas) spewed vitriol in L&P...and as one who is banned from L&P, I have no bone in this dogbowl, except my desire to see this place thrive since it is my social life, especially when its -20

I do agree with your solution to add mods, since folks do have lives outside the net.

There have been some excellent suggestions here, especially the point system.

Maybe I'll take a run over to the Politics Place (if I could remember my password).....

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Old September 11, 2008, 01:05 PM   #65
Mike Irwin
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"You know Mike, I hope you are including yourself in that because there is not one person on this Board who has not, at some point(except Dave and Antipitas) spewed vitriol in L&P"

Did I give any indication that I was holding myself above and beyond anyone else?

That question asked, I'll make a pointed distinction.

Yes, otherwise sane, lucid, and valuable members can, will, and have gone into assault mode. I'll freely admit and stipulate that I have done so, and that I tend to have an extremely prickly nature.

But...

There's a crucial difference between someone who goes into assault mode once in a great while but who otherwise makes valuable contributions and those who either enter in, and stay in, full assault mode while offering little else (they generally get booted pretty quickly) or those whom I prefer to call stealth trollers.

Stealth trollers are those who make a habit out of stirring the pot just enough that they get others cranked up but at the same time its hard for mods/admins to point a finger and say "troll, thou art banished!"

Unfortunately, stealth trollers are, by and large, responsible for most of the problems on just about every forum I've been on. It can be tough to deal with them. We've had our problems with stealth trollers at APS, and it can take some time before all of the admins and mods agree that yes, he's a troll and needs to go.
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Old September 11, 2008, 01:16 PM   #66
Musketeer
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In the long run, and I understand that is NOT between now and November, I would like to see a free wheeling L&P forum where the ONLY restriction is on personal insults, racist statements and homophobic rants.

For that to happen you need what Mike Irwin described, more mods dedicated to keeping L&P running.

I think some clarification is needed on that point though, what is really needed are more mods dedicated to keeping L&P running and who want to do it.

It is clear I think that some of the current mods are simply fed up with L&P, which is perfectly acceptable. Modding L&P is very different than modding C&R. Just because someone wants to Mod a shooting site does not mean they have an interest in the L&P world.

Perhaps dedicated L&P mods can be found who the the current mods believe have demonstrated from their past conduct an levelheadedness to both advocate a position and fairly enforce the rules. Then they can approach those people to see if they are interested. Such people would WANT to mod such a forum, which is half the battle.

Spirited debate and discourse is the lifeblood of freedom. I hate to see it squashed here if it can be saved. I really prefer going to one site to see my two main interests, shooting and politics.
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Old September 11, 2008, 01:41 PM   #67
Wildalaska
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Quote:
There's a crucial difference between someone who goes into assault mode once in a great while but who otherwise makes valuable contributions and those who either enter in, and stay in, full assault mode while offering little else (they generally get booted pretty quickly) or those whom I prefer to call stealth trollers.
Agreed and distinction understood and apologies if I pricked your prickliness

Quote:
It is clear I think that some of the current mods are simply fed up with L&P, which is perfectly acceptable. Modding L&P is very different than modding C&R. Just because someone wants to Mod a shooting site does not mean they have an interest in the L&P world.
I'm not going to speak for Al and Dave but I would note that if anyone here have shown an interest in L&P AND expertise, it's those two.

In fact, and not to be a buttmunch, as a law school grad, former bottom feeder and one who has briefed constitutional issues, the breadth of Als knowledge on constitutional issues is astonishing. I would add that several other members here, for laymen, are well learned in the substantive law (more on this at a more appropriate time)...

Thats what L&P needs...more law, less rhetoric....

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Old September 11, 2008, 02:08 PM   #68
Playboypenguin
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I am on the fence on whether a L&P section should even be part of a gun board. I almost think it does way more harm than good.

Ninety percent of the people on here can have a discussion or even an argument on valid topics and it does not go any further than bickering. It often ever goes from challenge to chest thumping and ends in light hearted banter. People do not take it too seriously and they realize it is not the goal of this board to be a political discussion group. They argue and bicker in L&P and at the same time interact happily in the other gun forums. That way the L&P part of their relationship is a small one.

Then you have the people who almost exclusively post in L&P. You start to wonder why they even visit a gun board since they never discuss firearms. These people are harder to deal with because you have no relationship with them outside of L&P. They tend to lurk and just wait to pounce on anyone that falls into one of their traps.

I personally have tried to turn several friends onto this forum and all have ended up saying "thanks, but no thanks" after lurking for awhile. They get turned off by the image that all gun owners are right wingers. It gets a bit trying to hit that "new posts" button each visit to the gun board and have yourself bombarded with "Obama eats babies" threads when you just wanted to discuss firearms. It is really not hard to see the slant since I get accused of being a "nazi" on the comics boards and the Disney boards but here I find myself always having to defend the person on the left from brazen attacks.

I have even sold guns to people on here who say they never post here because of the rampant right wing mentality.

It comes down to whether this is supposed to be a gun board where everyone is welcome or is it a place where only certain people are welcome and others can stay as long as they keep their mouths shut and do not respond to the rhetoric.
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:33 PM   #69
Bruxley
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TFL's L&P forum is/was among the top of the line in political forums on the net IMHO. Closing it is a mistake in my opinion. It is a lose irrespective of opinion. I have not found a better place to discuss politics on the web. Political forums on other sites are either blatantly vitriolic scream feasts because of a sense of no boundaries or a big '+1 I agree 100%' back patting party with any opposing opinion immediately resulting in a ban.

Sure there are the bad actors. Oh well. Expecting human beings to behave in a pseudo virtuous and uber polite and respectful manner when discussing politics is a recipe for disappointment before the forum program is installed and the URL registered. People hold politics as their personal futures being at stake and will get personally invested in the topics they find important.

TFL's L&P board is an environment that promotes intellectual growth. It has the benefit of bringing people with a strong bond of almost brotherhood in our views on the 2nd amendment and our perception that there are forces that will, unopposed, erode that right. That bond fortunately doesn't fall in lockstep with the rest of our political or social perspective. That is the beauty, not the bane of L&P. It is quite frustrating for sure to either have another person not be open to your point of view or to have a long held belief be challenged. But in the endeavor to influence people to your point of view or in the realization of the flaw in one's one perception is where the intellectual growth happens. Rejecting the environment because of the traits that make it intellectually stimulating in preference of comfortable subdued discourse is a lose in my view. Most special things and forces are double edged. The benefit has a burden. At L&P the benefit is a strong common belief that bonds us together combined with the differences those with that bond bring with them to the community, burden is the bad players.

There will always be people that are unwilling or unable to influence people without resorting to force or refuse to accept the flaw in their preconception despite the preponderance of reason and information presented. But I find the in the unique environment of TFL's L&P many many more people DEVELOP those skills here them don't. Those that won't/can't become obvious over time and are discounted to the point of them resorting to repeatedly starting 'flamboyant' threads to get a rise are ANY attention. Soon after they either evaporate on their own or a mod gets their fill and shows them the door.

The new person is the other factor besides the unable/unwilling bad player. The common course of the new comer is that they are APPALLED that these contrary perspectives are present and their fight surfaces quickly. I have experienced that with some of the topics. I myself was pretty surprised about he existence of 'stormfronters' and 'new confederates'. The new comer then (I assume) gets a message from a mod and cools it. And if they want to continue their discussion they MUST develop the ability to engage a opposing perspective within the noise level or become a discounted party as described above. The thing about TFL is MORE people develop those skills given the special environment at TFL's L&P then do ANYWHERE else on the web in political forums with as diverse and populace group of people. I again attribute that to the common deeply held belief about the 2A that is our bond.

I hope that the burden end of this double edged sword that is TFL's L&P doesn't permanently end the benefit it brings to the ability of gun owners to develop the ability to influence people without their 'fight' coming out.

I am happy to help in any way I can with the burden in order to see this unique place continue.......
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Old September 11, 2008, 02:34 PM   #70
Glenn E. Meyer
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I wouldn't miss L and P personally.

THR works fine without it.

I'm mainly interested in techy gun talk.

I don't care about politics on the coin collecting forum.

I do understand that discussion of gun rights and legislation is relevant but that opening can lead to the noise problem. However, if having such here leads to moderator problems - the core techy stuff suggests we let the politics migrate elsewhere.

IMHO - the core problems are folks who just want to fight in a rude manner and/or folks who assume gun forum political discussions must entail buying to an entire political agenda of one party. If you don't you are not worthy of being a gun person.

I try not to respond to L&P things unless I get outraged with things like:

"Why do you liberal )%)#(# like guns!"

"Why don't you Jew )_%(#+_% support the RKBA?"

or similar.

Realistic discussion of gun legislation and how to make gun rights party neutral is ok with me but I'm afraid the discussion would be hard to limit to such.

I'm ok with ditching the forum if need be.
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Old September 11, 2008, 03:49 PM   #71
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Note, I am not saying the mods running L&P at present are not knowledgeable about it. I am not even saying they are not interested in it.

I am suggesting though that as much as they personally may know about L&P and as much as they may want to discuss it PERHAPS they simply do not want to Mod it?

You may like swimming. You may even be an Olympic swimmer. That does not mean though that you want to be the lifeguard at the community pool.

The same goes with modding. I am also speculating here so feel free to rebut. If the Mods do not enjoy modding L&P (which seems obvious given the situation) then perhaps looking for people of the proper mindset and inclination would be better. The L&P Mod need not even know how many Amendments are in the Bill of Rights as far as I am concerned as long as they recognize a personal attack against another poster, racist slur, or homophobic rant and stomp down on all equally no matter what position the poster is on and the mod prefers.
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Old September 11, 2008, 04:09 PM   #72
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Quote:
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I don't care about politics on the coin collecting forum.
The right to bear coins is not under assault. The right to bear arms is.
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Old September 11, 2008, 04:55 PM   #73
Ben Swenson
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It is very disappointing to see that TFL is losing its L&P forum.

Honestly, I was amazed to see that it was kept around as long as it has been. As forums get larger it is not unusual for them to start shedding the more controversial sections, or alternatively appoint extremely ... zealous moderators, which can be as bad or worse.

The techniques that are often applied to keep controversial subjects more or less civil on large boards (i.e. limiting access to members known to be decent, ban-crazy moderators, zero-tolerance policies and so forth) seem to bring problems of their own.

If I had my 'druthers I'd pick more moderators with the time, patience and inclination to discuss infractions with problem members before resorting to going nuts with the ban stick and arbitrarily locking threads that they don't like. The downside to that technique is that finding moderators who are able and willing to do that without abusing their moderator power can be very difficult. I tend to think that the ones we have here are very good in that respect, but finding enough of them to make that kind of one-on-one moderation possible would be an absolutely monumental task.

Mike,

I think your perspective on how APS is moderated is interesting. No offense to you, but I think the success of APS's various forums is due more to the vastly smaller size and relative manageability than to the moderation techniques in use (except, perhaps, the various invite-only sub-forums - an idea I think has served well).

TFL has over 30 times the number of members, 20 times the threads, and a good bit more than 10 times the number of posts. On the other hand, TFL has about 20 staff which is only a few more than APS does (depending on who you count somewhere around 14 to 17). Of course, some of those stats are thrown off by the length of time TFL has been operating, but just looking at the number of currently active users: TFL has more than 13 times the number APS has.

The more favorable ratio of users to moderators is a big part of what makes things work smoother, I think. And honestly, I enjoy APS in spite of the moderation styles that a few moderators - yourself included - tend to use, not because of them.
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Old September 11, 2008, 05:01 PM   #74
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
originally posted by WildAlaska
...because there is not one person on this Board who has not, at some point(except Dave and Antipitas) spewed vitriol in L&P...
I would not be so quick to say that. I have made a point of trying to be a peacemaker in any discussion I have been involved in. I have 800ish posts and would venture that I have not made a single inappropriate comment in ANY forum of TFL. I can think of 2 posts that were misinterpreted by a moderator and deleted without clarifying context.

Trouble makers are well known on the board. They should be dealt with accordingly. Most of the trouble makers would have themselves banned in days and everyone else would be happier.
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Old September 11, 2008, 05:55 PM   #75
Mike Irwin
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"but I think the success of APS's various forums is due more to the vastly smaller size and relative manageability than to the moderation techniques in use (except, perhaps, the various invite-only sub-forums - an idea I think has served well)."

There is a single invite-only sub-forum at APS that is hidden from the general membership. The support forum is visible to members who request membership.

Their status is not relevant to the nature of this discussion.

ALL members of APS can see, and post in, Politics Place. It is not a hidden forum.

But, what you are saying is that even if you had 20 moderators on a TFL L&P section who were able to provide more or less round the clock, active moderation, it would still have spiraled out of control, just because TFL is... bigger?

Come off it, you know that's crap, Ben.

Control takes time, it takes bodies who can provide that time. If you have only a few bodies who can't provide a lot of time, what's that give you?

HUGE gaps in coverage when the monkeys can riot.

When you have an large, active, growing board you don't stick a couple moderators in and hope for the best.

There have been times when I have been logged on to TFL for hours at a clip and during that time no moderator has logged on. That's not really a rare occurrence, either. It's also not a particularly rare occurrence for a thread to start going bad, and continue to go bad, for hours at time before any of the moderators have a chance to intervene.

Why is it? Because moderators, like the rest of us, have lives to which they must attend on a regular basis.

I just get REALLY REALLY ****** when I hear about another board or another forum collapsing because of unrestricted bull****tery by members.

Someone was on APS just the other day crying about how bad members were probably going to shut down the FAL Files site.

My first question was, and remains, what were the moderators doing?

I'm sorry, moderators have ultimate power on a board such as this. They can edit posts, delete posts, lock threads, and ban members from either a board or the entire forum. The key is having the people who have the time to do that sort of thing.

I've got something of a reputation as a hardass at APS, and for good reason. I won't tolerate the kind of crap that reflects badly on me as a moderator, on APS, or on Oleg Volk. People know I and the other mods will kill messages, threads, AND accounts if someone is not adding value to APS.

Want to cry about your First Amendment rights being violated? My response is always the same -- Understand the Constitution before you try invoking the Constitution. When you understand why it doesn't apply, you're free to come back.

This sounds like a screed against Blues Man, Antipitas, and the others, and IT IS NOT.

I fully recognize how difficult it is to mod a political forum. More than a few people told me I was nuts when I floated my proposal for a politics forum at APS so soon after THR pulled the plug on theirs.

But I had absolutely NO illusions about what would be required or the amount of work it could potentially take. Anyone who is either can't or isn't willing to make that kind of commitment shouldn't be modding, or they should be calling for more troops.

Sorry, Ben, I absolutely and categorically reject your theory that the only reason Politics Place works is because it is small, and L&P failed because it's big.

If you want to get a good look at just how much time I and some of the others dedicate to making Politics Place, and the rest of APS, work, take a look at the amount of time some of the moderators have been logged into the system.


Finally...

"And honestly, I enjoy APS in spite of the moderation styles that a few moderators - yourself included - tend to use, not because of them."

Good, I'm glad that you enjoy APS.

But please remain clear on one thing.

We don't answer to you, or any of the other members save one -- Oleg Volk -- and as long as he is fine with how APS is run, there is no problem.
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