2011-03-26 17:50:28Thinking about new moderation rule - moderators can't delete comments in discussions they've involved in
John Cook


This has come up as a suggestion in the past so I think it might be worthwhile making this an official rule and announcing it on the website. I often get emails complaining that they're being moderated, suspicious its the person they're arguing with that is doing the deleting. So I think its a fair rule, that moderators don't moderate their own discussions. Any objections?

2011-03-26 18:18:19
Glenn Tamblyn


Absolutely agree John. Impartiality is a precious commodity and like Justice it not only must be done, it must be seen to be done. And one important aspect of that might be a policy restriction on moderators making any sort of comment that is a contribution to the debate from within the moderators 'added comment'. Strictly moderation only. And maybe a cooling off period. If you have moderated a thread, you shouldn't comment on it. Ask someone else in the forum to step in instead.

Another suggestion. Currently the deleted comments thread is only visible to authors. Perhaps make it visible to the general public but not the 'email commenter' link. People can see why something was moderated off. And Moderators must always give a reason, perhaps from a standard list of predefined reasons.

Something else that might be useful in dealing with the likes of PopTech or Gilles - a bandwidth restriction. If someone is hogging a thread, they are restricted in the number of posts and length of posts they can make. Not shut out, just muted down. Apply this on a per thread basis so we aren't targetting anyone too much - who could we possibly want to target anyway?


2011-03-26 18:50:46Making the deleted comments public
John Cook

We've discussed this before, always arguments for both sides. I'm ambivalent, it's impossible to predict what the effect will be but my suspicion is it'll become a distraction. Remember, climate denial is at it's heart cognitive dissonance, utilizing every psychological device available to ignore the uncomfortable evidence of AGW. Getting into distracting spats about the deleted comments would be a welcome relief for many. So I'm happy to leave it as is for now, unless there's a strong movement to do it.

I must confess, a bandwidth restriction sounds awful high maintenance and complicated. If we can keep it as simple as possible, would be good.

2011-03-27 00:55:52Poptech proves otherwise
Dan Friedman

I disagree; moderators have been more than fair.  Some threads go on so long that it is impossible to avoid participating and eventually having to moderate.  Some posters will simply not follow rules (see Poptech). Some posts are so insulting that they must be taken down by whoever sees them first.  Can we guarantee that there will always be more than one moderator available?


I think it would be far more valuable to have a warning (perhaps a snipped comment) prior to deletion.