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Old 06-26-13, 03:47 PM   #1
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New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

In order to ensure there is a check and balance system in place for Administrative action we will be implementing the following adjustment to the Standard Operating Procedure for mods and admins:

A moderator will contact a suspended user to let them know they've been suspended & why. This communique should occur within 1 hour of the suspension. Where possible, the suspension will occur only after the mods have conferred and the member has been notified. But if disruptive behavior is continuing, the mods have the ability to suspend, then notify***.

The suspending moderator will confer with at least one other moderator and decide together the details of the suspension, and endeavor to message that to the member within a reasonable amount of time; in most cases this will be 24 hours, pending multiple moderator availability. This message will include the suspended member and both presiding mods.

An appeal can then be lodged by the suspended member by contacting BOTH moderators involved in the suspension decision, who will deliberate (perhaps involving other moderators, but not necessarily) and render a decision on the appeal. After this, the decision is final. The member is encouraged to refrain from further appeals that may prove to be a distraction to the moderator team; severe examples may be met with further disciplinary action.

DVDTalk will continue to refrain from discussing/posting anything about disciplinary action in the public forums.

The moderators will maintain a record of any previous infractions &/or interactions with the suspended member, and include reference to any in-thread warnings, emailed warnings etc. Due consideration will be paid to mitigating factors, previous warnings/suspensions, length of membership etc.

***Please note: It is vital that you keep your user profile updated to include an email address where you can be contacted. There have been examples where a user has been notified of a suspension but claimed it never happened, due to an out-of-date email address.

Please refrain from:

• Ignoring or arguing with warning posts a moderator or administrator makes in a thread. If you think the warning is unjust please email them or another moderator to discuss it.
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Old 06-26-13, 07:23 PM   #2
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Maybe a link in your post to this page would be nice:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showgroups.php
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Old 06-26-13, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd B. View Post
Maybe a link in your post to this page would be nice:

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showgroups.php
Thank you. I think since you posted it within the thread (and it is a sticky) we should be covered.
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Old 06-27-13, 12:59 PM   #4
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

respect to the mods for addressing what was an issue to some members, and to the admin for the changes made in the last few days. keep up the good work.
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Old 06-27-13, 01:12 PM   #5
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Was it discussed, since you mention that there is one and only one appeal request allowed, that the appeal request go to a mod or mods that weren't involved in the original decision? This might alleviate any issue where a mod/admin feels that the appeal is nothing more than an attempt to further frustrate them.

Example.

User A makes a post that is against DVDTalk policies. Mod B warns User A and after conferring with Mod C, they decide to suspend User A for 3 weeks. User A feels this is unfair/unjustified and appeals the decision to Mod B and Mod C. Mod B and Mod C alert Admin D and Admin E. Admin D and Admin E reviews the chain of events then rule on the appeal.

Ok.. looking at it, that sounds a bit complex.. but there are times when appeals are heard by parties not part of the original punishment. Hopefully that makes sense.

All in all, its nice to see some positives come out of the events of recent.
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Old 06-27-13, 01:33 PM   #6
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vryce View Post
Was it discussed, since you mention that there is one and only one appeal request allowed, that the appeal request go to a mod or mods that weren't involved in the original decision? This might alleviate any issue where a mod/admin feels that the appeal is nothing more than an attempt to further frustrate them.

Example.

User A makes a post that is against DVDTalk policies. Mod B warns User A and after conferring with Mod C, they decide to suspend User A for 3 weeks. User A feels this is unfair/unjustified and appeals the decision to Mod B and Mod C. Mod B and Mod C alert Admin D and Admin E. Admin D and Admin E reviews the chain of events then rule on the appeal.

Ok.. looking at it, that sounds a bit complex.. but there are times when appeals are heard by parties not part of the original punishment. Hopefully that makes sense.

All in all, its nice to see some positives come out of the events of recent.
That's pretty much the process we are envisioning. Having more than one mod in the email chain ensures that you're not being singled out by one mod who may have a personal grudge against you. If you appeal, the mods are supposed to go back to the admins and give them the argument for the appeal.

Sometimes it may be difficult to find a mod who was not involved in the original decision especially if say 6 mods gave their opinion on the original course of action, but ideally, you'd want someone with a fresh take to look at the appeal. We don't close a suspension thread after only 2 people have commented on it though. So I'm not sure how you would codify the appeal process without getting to procedural.
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Old 06-27-13, 02:39 PM   #7
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Has there been any discussion regarding suspension length? Three months is absolutely, unfathomably, fucking retarded.....
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Old 06-27-13, 02:51 PM   #8
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

bye MT
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Old 06-27-13, 02:56 PM   #9
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Why? I simply asked a question.....
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Old 06-27-13, 02:59 PM   #10
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minor Threat View Post
Has there been any discussion regarding suspension length? Three months is absolutely, unfathomably, fucking retarded.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Music View Post
bye MT
Hopefully it's more of a 'welcome back MT!'

Two weeks of pent up frustration can be forgiven in this new gentler DVDTalk, right?

Fwiw, I also feel that three months is too long in almost any case.
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Old 06-27-13, 03:27 PM   #11
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minor Threat View Post
Has there been any discussion regarding suspension length? Three months is absolutely, unfathomably, fucking retarded.....
There has been discussion. The 3 monther is free. I emailed him today to let him know.
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Old 06-27-13, 03:46 PM   #12
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Avatars, name changes, more PMs, but shilling is ok?

Three steps forward, one step back....
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Old 06-27-13, 03:47 PM   #13
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
There has been discussion. The 3 monther is free. I emailed him today to let him know.
I haven't logged in here in over a week seems like there are some changes going on; too little too late. IMHO the damage has been done.

And I doubt he will be back.
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Old 06-27-13, 10:18 PM   #14
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

To me it looks like some positive changes have been made in my absence. Sad to see some folks leave recently and hope they will return. Pleased with avatars (though I used to hate them) and the recent mod appointments and policy changes/clarification.

My name looks dumb now but I'll keep it.
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Last edited by Th0r S1mpson; 06-28-13 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 06-28-13, 06:27 AM   #15
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Avatars, name changes, more PMs, but shilling is ok?

Three steps forward, one step back....
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Old 06-28-13, 11:41 AM   #16
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

If the appeal is to the same Moderators then it is meaningless.

You need to make sure the appeal is to different people who have the power to overturn the suspension.

In the case of a tie the person should not be suspended and in the case of a tie the appeal should be successful.

Also can people see their own "Record" of infractions that are being maintained against them or things that might already be in their file?
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Old 07-06-13, 12:36 PM   #17
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcribbs View Post
You need to make sure the appeal is to different people who have the power to overturn the suspension.
I agree with this - in fact, while not overwhelmingly the case, there have been people suspended or banned from this site that - if you asked the vast majority of DVD Talk members - should not have been suspended/banned...and more than a few who should have been that no action has been taken on.

DVD Talk should be a fun place to visit, but I know a lot of people have left here because they don't feel the freedom that most other forums provide. Instead of correcting some of the moderation issues, the new changes now give the impression of over-moderation. Time will tell if that's the case, but that's the feeling I've been getting chatting with others over the past couple of weeks.

Instead of banning certain types of posts, why not just provide a forum section (or at least one thread) where it's allowed (sans illegal, adult, or spam content, naturally) - then users will have the choice whether to visit that part of the site or not.
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Old 07-07-13, 02:50 AM   #18
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
I agree with this - in fact, while not overwhelmingly the case, there have been people suspended or banned from this site that - if you asked the vast majority of DVD Talk members - should not have been suspended/banned...and more than a few who should have been that no action has been taken on.
I'm really not sure that anyone can speak for the vast majority of DVDtalk members but, even if that were so, I think the mod team would be curious as to who you (or the vast majority) consider should have been suspended or [BANNED] but was apparently overlooked. Even before this SOP was formalised, reported posts rarely went uncommented even if mods occasionally - individually or collectively - used their judgement to determine that no action was required or that an email/PM would suffice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
DVD Talk should be a fun place to visit,
I agree.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Instead of correcting some of the moderation issues, the new changes now give the impression of over-moderation. Time will tell if that's the case, but that's the feeling I've been getting chatting with others over the past couple of weeks.
The SOP was part of a package of direct responses to issues raised by members. I regret that the rollout seems to have stalled temporarily but as a team we're in contact with IB to ensure the momentum is not lost. And I think it would be reasonable to give things time to bed in rather than writing anything off after just a couple of weeks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Instead of banning certain types of posts, why not just provide a forum section (or at least one thread) where it's allowed (sans illegal, adult, or spam content, naturally) - then users will have the choice whether to visit that part of the site or not.
I had a lengthy response to this part based on what I have seen over the past decade but I think it is best left to the Other Forum mods. What I would say is that experience has shown that what you are suggesting does tend to take up a disproportionate amount of moderator resources. When mods are thin on the ground and tending such a thread falls on just few pairs (or even one pair) of shoulders is when you can end up with "burn out".
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Old 07-07-13, 10:19 AM   #19
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by benedict View Post
I'm really not sure that anyone can speak for the vast majority of DVDtalk members but, even if that were so, I think the mod team would be curious as to who you (or the vast majority) consider should have been suspended or [BANNED] but was apparently overlooked.
Well, since we aren't allowed to talk about banned members here, this seems to be an impossible request. But if you really want to know, go visit the new forum for a bit. There is a group of posters over there who have been permanently banned, all with the same story. They dared to question the judgement and authority of one particular admin, X.

I'm not saying all of these posters were angels, as some of them admitted they could have handled it better, but to permanently ban someone based on "daring to question authoritah!" is ridiculous. And since no one can ask questions, or even mention these posters, it gets swept under the rug. That was until this same admin very publicly did the same thing to Tarantino and Minor Threat. The cat is out of the bag now it seems.

And while you're right, it is fair to give the new rules some time to see if they work. I honestly dont see how anything has been put in place to prevent the same thing from happening again and again. It would also be nice to have at least one person admit what the problem was, and maybe reach out to some of those affected by it over the years.
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Old 07-07-13, 10:42 AM   #20
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

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Well, since we aren't allowed to talk about banned members here, this seems to be an impossible request.
I'm somewhat curious as to how you so badly misread my post.

I was asking about the members whom Shannon Nutt (and perhaps even the vast majority of DVDtalk members) considered should have been suspended or BANNED but against whom he feels that no action has been taken.

FWIW I also alluded to the fact that no-one but the recipient would necessarily know if a mod or admin had decided to send an email or PM rather than take more visible action.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave-o View Post
I honestly dont see how anything has been put in place to prevent the same thing from happening again and again.
We disagree about the impact of the SOP. Not sure why you'd try to say it is flawed but that is your choice.
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Old 07-07-13, 10:59 AM   #21
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

My reading of comments in the "other" forum is that most (all?) of the long-banned people have no intention of returning here. But if there are people who feel like they were unfairly banned, and would like to return, I invite them to reach out to me (I am on both forums) and I will raise their case in the Mod forum as a neutral party.
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Old 07-07-13, 11:02 AM   #22
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

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Originally Posted by benedict View Post
I'm somewhat curious as to how you so badly misread my post.
I did misread it, I apologize. I must have put a "not" in there where there wasn't one. I do think it brings up an issue that has not been addressed yet (that I am aware of). Because of the total ban on talking about banned or suspended members, and because these members are unable to post, how are we to know that anything at all is changed? What I mean is, most of the members I've alluded to, just disappeared. We are only now finding out how pervasive the problem has been for such a long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benedict View Post
Not sure why you'd try to say it is flawed but that is your choice.
I think I've made my feelings pretty clear already. But I'll give this example again. When Minor Threat was suspended, it happened out in the open for all to see. It was absolutely ridiculous and an obvious abuse of authority by an admin who doesn't like being questioned. I find it hard to believe that other moderators or admins couldn't see how inappropriate this use of power was. But not one single admin or mod spoke out and did anything about it. Not one single mod or admin has even admitted what the actual problem is. Yet, you expect us to believe that this won't happen again. Why?

Nothing in the new rules will prevent this, if mods and admins are unable to stand up to the admin who is running around with his own personal ban hammer (and I have no idea why this is, fear, respect, something else?). If they were unable to stand up for what is right before, and unwilling to even admit to the problem, what will be different now? You have to recognize what the problem is before you can fix it. Anything else is just window dressing and blowing smoke up our asses. Just my 2 cents on this whole ordeal.

At this point I'll stop repeating myself, as it's obvious nothing will be done and I don't want to continue wasting my time and your time. I will say this though, thank you for at least being the only admin who is willing to dialogue with us about these issues.
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Old 07-07-13, 11:05 AM   #23
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave-o View Post
[...] It would also be nice to have at least one person [...] maybe reach out to some of those affected by it [...]
This thread is supposed to be about the SOP, so I'll pose one rhetorical question and then we can maybe agree to keep things entirely on topic.

If, say, half a dozen mods and admins were involved in a lengthy discussion about a particular repeatedly-warned and repeatedly-suspended member who in email after email to pretty much all of us refused to accept that the rules applied equally to him, was consequently BANNED by universal agreement and who subsequently repeatedly tried to sign up again under new names, and which member now lays the blame for his fate at the door of one admin, can you think of a good reason why anyone in authoritah would want to have anything more to do with the guy? Ever?
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Old 07-07-13, 12:59 PM   #24
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
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I think the mod team would be curious as to who you (or the vast majority) consider should have been suspended or [BANNED] but was apparently overlooked.
There is a short list of members in the religious or gay threads who I consider contribute to a general unpleasantness in the forum - although whether you suspend/ban them or not depends on what kind of place you want this to be or become. It is not that they disagree with most other members (or myself), but there is a certain nasty tone to their posts, and it gets old and tiring after a while.

With regards to the SOP, I think it's a good thing that you establish or clarify rules so we all know how to behave around here. That said, I would say that the problem prior to this last month hasn't been a lack of clear rules, but the adversarial relationship that sometimes existed between users and admins. I have seen a marked change recently, and I thank you, VinVega and the new mods for that, but the change I appreciate most is not what's in the new SOP, but the way you deal with us, on good days and bad days.

And so I hope "the elephant" doesn't come back
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Old 07-07-13, 01:49 PM   #25
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Re: New Moderator SOP regarding Suspensions/Bannings/etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
My reading of comments in the "other" forum is that most (all?) of the long-banned people have no intention of returning here. But if there are people who feel like they were unfairly banned, and would like to return, I invite them to reach out to me (I am on both forums) and I will raise their case in the Mod forum as a neutral party.
Thanks Groucho, I think that's a cool move.
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