Administration & Moderation is not designed to be an exercise in tyranny...

Discussion in 'FAQ & Rules' started by Semper Fidelis, Oct 12, 2008.

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  1. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f31/mono-vs-bi-covenantal-view-38084/index2.html#post475082

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f58/one-inconsistency-regarding-pb-rules-38312/#post476090

    I'd have trouble finding all the other places simply because there are so many threads here. I really can't count the number of times I've openly repented of things written - including not a few of those weighing in here like Pergy and J.D.
     
  2. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Thank You Rich. My main concern is that there not be the creation or the allowance of a sort cabal among the moderators and administrators whereas moderators come to the defense of other moderators when they act in an unbecoming manner. That the mods be willing to publically police themselves.
     
  3. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Well, I believe that was covered in the OP. I can't find the specific threads but there are occasions when Mods are moderated within a post and told to tone it down.

    There is certainly no "cabal" and, knowing the personalities of the Admins/Mods, the thought is somewhat amusing. I've even had to apologize to some of the other Moderators in certain threads for getting too heated with them.

    One of the detected problems at a certain point was an inequity in Baptist representation. Nobody asked me but I added a good number of Baptist moderators to help keep some of us honest in the Baptism debates that tend to generate the most heat. It's been a good balancing effect though we don't always agree on approach because we have some pretty staunch defenders of orthodoxy on either pole of the issue on the mod team.

    As stated above, it's impossible to remove all doubts about certain practices especially since some doubts are about a basic disagreement on standards - they'd run the board differently if it was theirs. Every moderating decision is a subjective application and some would allow far greater freedom in one area while being more restrictive in another. Some apply didactic principles and wisdom literature in a differing fashion to conclude that something is either appropriate/inappropriate or sinful/not sinful. You just can't always get people to agree. In spite of our best efforts if somebody cannot abide our approach/tone here then I'm OK with that in the final analysis.
     
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    WHAT! NO cabal...not even a secret handshake?!?!?
     
  5. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Of course there is a secret handshake! What do you take us for...Christians? Oh no, we are practically Masons when it comes to secrecy and cloak and dagger stuff...isn't that right, Rich? :p
     
  6. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Lane! You've taken vows! Don't release the secrets of the fraternity to the uninitiated!
     
  7. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Oops, sorry. I repent in dust and ashes. There, Benjamin: a complete apology in front of everyone for wrongdoing!
     
  8. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    There is that secret initiation dance that is a bit humiliating.
    :banana:
     
  9. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I do not find this issue as comical and amusing as some have shown.

    My apologies for being serious.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  10. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not making fun of you, Benjamin. Honestly, I'm not. I would never do that. However, joking about something does not mean that I don't take it seriously, either. I think I know why these questions are coming from you. It's very understandable. The joking has a purpose: the idea that there is a cabal is laughable. I stake my ministerial reputation on it: there is no cabal. We have many disagreements about moderation.
     
  11. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Forget the CFR and the Build-a-Burgers, watch out for that secret cabal of PBers...out to spread theonomy and tyranny in their wake. Their symbol will be the dancing banana and all their memos will be in red.

    First they came for the Arminains,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t an Arminian.
    Then they came for the Evangelicals,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t an Evangelical.
    Then they came for the Non-Epers,
    and I didn’t speak up
    because I was an EPer,

    .........Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me.
     
  12. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    without your pants!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree and neither was I insinuating that there was a cabal of sorts, but was cautioning against even the appearance of such a thing.
     
  14. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Hmmm. Niemoller was an Arminian, Evangelical non-Eper ;-)
     
  15. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    I confess to having little patience for pinheads and persons with too clever screen names.
     
  16. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Of course. How is making fun of the idea even giving the appearance of such a thing? Of course, one could argue that I didn't make the light-heartedness of my post clear enough.
     
  17. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Maybe I have read books like Fahrenheit 451 and A Brave New World too many times who knows...

    :handshake:
     
  18. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    HEY - WAITAMINNIT , is this a personal attack? :eek: :confused:

    I mean, I know the baldness sometimes makes for an optical illusion of pointiness and I thought my screen name was thought provoking...hmmm - seems like a clear case of...

    MODERATOR ABUSE!!

    :lol:
     
  19. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Dennis, lose anymore of that stubble on top and you may qualify for the former. :lol:
     
  20. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    Dennis "Zippy" McFadden? ;)
     
  21. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    Prior to becoming a mod, Ben, I sometimes felt some mods were toilet trained a little too soon. I believe you would be pleased at how much dialog goes into moderating. LOTS of hours, scrutiny and second guessing.
     
  22. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    ...and extra toilet training.
     
  23. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Dennis,

    The fact that you wear adult diapers is inappropriate for open forum. :judge:
     
  25. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Moderator Staff Member

    [​IMG] Now that's the funniest thing I've read in quite a while! [​IMG]
     
  26. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    *bump*
    Moderators,
    Feel free to bump this for a few days for a week or two; folks see Rich's top post; below is simply a cliff notes edited down "highlights" version, headings my own.
    Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis
    I hope I get a pretty wide readership of this post. In light of many recent frustrations over decisions made on this board and things said or implied about the moderators of this board, I thought it might be good to give some insight about the back end of this discussion board.
    ...

    Some Board Stats.
    First, some statistics. In the last year, the Puritanboard has had 859,355 visits, 5,750,275 page views, with 364,504 unique visitors. The board has 37,629 threads, 464,620 Posts, 1,985 Members, and 636 Active Members. In the last year alone there have been 164,500 posts. I am a senior Marine Officer with more than a few responsibilities, I have a beautiful wife and four kids including two that are home-schooled, and a house that has a lot of stuff that needs to be put away at the time of writing this post. Many of the moderators are ministers or elders or leaders in their respective Churches with many responsibilities as well. I mention these statistics that you might get a sense of the scope of activity that occurs here.

    ...

    Moderating.
    Let me just make something clear: unlike some places on the net who only allow comments and participation from sycophants, the Mods at the Puritanboard are top notch. We don't yell at each other in back channel or call each other idiots but clear disagreements arise at times. Every moderating decision is seen by every Mod and questionable calls are evaluated. If anybody is challenged it is usually me. I don't like "Yes men". I want counselors around me who are true friends and, I have to tell you, I've got the best. The ministers on the team are among those I would love to sit under and I'm privileged to call them all friends. The others are exceptional in their own right with an even temper and theological insight.

    Infractions.
    If you haven't taken a look at the infraction system then check it out in the upper left corner on most pages. Most of you have never even had to think about it. Of the 2000 members of the board (that number is up from about 1000 since 2006), we've only had to suspend about 40 members in the last 2 years. When an infraction is levied, however, that infraction is vetted with the entire moderating team to ensure no abuse of the system is occurring. No correspondence occurs with a member unless it is out in the open with all the Mods and Admins. No unilateral actions occur where tyranny by a single person rules the day.

    Here's the thing, though. When it comes to the Moderators, the first rule of leadership is that you back your folks up. This job is not easy and we simply don't have the time to sink into every person that demands a full Church discipline process. I'm sorry we just don't. Some people treat being moderated as if the most wicked thing that could ever happen has just happened to them because somebody else viewed what they wrote as not tactful or inappropriate.

    Members.
    Keep this in mind: we are not your judges before the Lord but we will give our opinions about the propriety of your comments at times and may even give our opinions about whether or not we think your approach is sinful. The members who are willing to accept criticism, even if they don't agree with it, and move on do just fine. Nobody says you have to agree with our view of the situation or how we enforce what we believe is appropriate conduct. Others might have different standards but we set the standards here.

    Moderators Don't "Go Public" or "Do" Blog Wars.
    It doesn't mean that we believe you are not saved or cast out of the Church if you can't color within the lines that we've set for this board. In fact, a policy of this board is that it doesn't engage in tearing down those it has suspended or infracted. We do not discuss the details of the infraction/suspension for the reason that we protect the person involved. That has not stopped several former members from leaving while telling me or others that they are absolutely convinced we're not saved or that we're wicked men. We don't respond in kind to blog articles or forum posts that call us a bunch of dictators. In fact, the next time you see a few people having a party trashing the moderation of this board, you might want to ask yourself: "I wonder why this place allows that kind of uncharitable behavior and the mods at the PB give no answer?"

    ...

    To those who are moderated at times: even as we need to be careful to leave our egos at the door as mods, usually what amplifies a moderating decision is the indignation of those that ought to be a little more self-deprecating. We don't wantonly give the opinion that we believe a particular attitude or post is sinful and it might be good to just take a deep breath (especially during the 24 hour appeal process for an infraction) and examine your heart about why somebody telling you that you've sinned is so obnoxious. Spend that time reading the Sermon on the Mount before you put your flame throwers on. You can be sure that the other moderators and admins are throwing water on any fires that are raging in any of the moderators' hearts that are too close to a situation. I hope you have people around you that are willing to be honest with you about your own heart and not simply flatterers.

    I'm not certain if this will help any in the final analysis but I leave this out here to help those that might not understand the reasons why things are done nor may they ever agree with particular decisions. I simply want to remind all that things are never as easy as they appear from the outside. Remember that and pray earnestly for your ministers in your local Church - you are duty bound to make their arduous task a joy and not a burden. Here, the consequences are not so dire as we're just talking about the right to post on a discussion board. Even if we part ways on the PB, that's no reason to assume we're not still one in Christ.​
     
  27. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    I would like to tell everyone that we have some very Godly wise ministers who follow Christ First and Foremost. They are not yes men but are very humble and obedient to their callings and structures of authority. They are not responsible to Rich as much as they are responsible to their Presbyteries, Assemblies, or other structures of authority. They are willing to call each other out and do so. Christ is theirs and my King. Seeking him is priority in our lives. And we don't always agree. But we are always expected to be humble and responsive to authority and each other.

    I appreciate having the opportunity to be edified and to edify the body of Christ. May we all honour his Name.

    Thanks for posting this insightful behind the scenes picture Rich.

    For Christ's Crown and Covenant.
     
  28. Blue Tick

    Blue Tick Puritan Board Graduate

    :agree:
     
  29. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Did you guys know that the Mods and Admins go on secret Club Med vacations together? And extended trips to Vegas? And that they're allowed secret super-discounts on books they buy at Westminster Seminary Bookstore? And that they all drive new Lamborghinis (Rich's has military insignia on it, of course)? And that Bill Brown, as PB treasurer, has *somehow* managed to build himself a palatial estate (560,000 sf) in Malibu?

    This is some gig these guys have got...:lol:
     
  30. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    I think they finance all that with some Bailout money. Got connections with Cheney....:eek:

    :p
     
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