[Meta] Re: Moderation // Re: "The Case for File Swapping"

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Thu Nov 17 20:12:50 GMT 2005

On Thursday 17 November 2005 18:56, Paul Makepeace wrote:
> How's this for an idea. Set the moderation bit for 24h of blatantly
> ranting trolls so that huge flamewars don't erupt, or are at least kept
> to a little winter warming whisper.
> I've started the snowball rolling by moderating shlomif(at)iglu.org.il
> - being democratic 'n all any other admins are welcome to clear it or
> set others.  http://london.pm.org/mailman/admin/london.pm/members
> Or I'll clear it if anyone really objects.

Oh my god!

Is London.pm as bad as many (most?) IRC networks? Where chan ops ban or kick 
or devoice you for not liking your face? I can go on for hours on some of my 
IRC stories, but I just want to say that I recently almost consistently talk 
only on Freenode where:

1. There's a ChanServ and a NickServ, so one can register channels and nicks.

2. People are friendly.

3. Off-topic discussions are acceptable in most channels.

4. Channel Operators know better than to abuse their power. In most other 
networks, chanops don't realise that with great power comes great 

I've only been devoiced in Freenode once during my entire cadence there, and 
it was only because a channel operator had a bad mood.

I should note that I stopped visiting #perl6 there (despite liking some of the 
conversation there), because the people there are extremely karma-happy 
(karma being shlomif++ and shlomif--). A couple of jokes and my karma went 
from above 10 to below 0.[1]

Where was I? That's right - London.pm. Did I spam London.pm? I did not, it was 
not bulk E-mail or advertisements. Did I made some other kind of abuse? I 
don't think so. Did I insult anyone? Maybe. Or I might have got on people's 
nerves, but people do it all the time in mailing lists.

Now here's the 1 Million (or milliard... ;-)) dollar question: was I warned 
before I became moderated? I didn't receive any such thing to my mailbox, and 
my moderation was announced too soon from my original posting for me to be 
able to act upon it.

My original post was perfectly well-phrased, with many relevant links, and 
without any direct personal insult. From my understanding of the channel's 
charter it was also perfectly on-topic as almost everything (up to and 
including Buffy) is on-topic on London.pm. 

My response to Randal Schwartz may have seemed tactless, but it was a honest 
response, in which I advised Randal on a topic that has bothered me and many 
others in his behaviour for countless of times. Someone had to finally say 
it, and it was constructive criticism. I said it in public by choice, so 
merlyn won't be able to ignore it so easily.

Somone told me and noted that I criticised Joel Bernstein there. I 
specifically referred to Daniel J. Bernstein (a.k.a DJB - http://cr.yp.to/ ), 
who authored qmail, and other software, and is well-known for his extremely 
bad attitude. I may have said "Bernstein" alone in one case, but it was a 
reference to DJB, not to Joel B.

So making me moderated was completely uncalled for.

Flamewars will fade in time. I personally find the discussion I sparked as a 
relatively civilized without too many personal insults. You can moderate me 
and half of London.pm while you're at it. But moderating people is annoying 
and should be the action of last resort, after a constant pattern of abuse 
(not a few hours and E-mails of not so abusive E-mails). Otherwise, London.pm 
may turn into the new EF-Net... <shiver />, let's not go there.

"With great power comes great responsibility."


	Shlomi Fish

[1] - Yes, I know I'm lame to care about the silly karma... But I still think 
it shows something about the channel's collective attitude.

Note to moderators: please moderate this on.

Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

95% of the programmers consider 95% of the code they did not write, in the
bottom 5%.

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