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

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ServantofGod

Puritan Board Junior
Thank you Mods for your devotion to the Lord, His Word, and His people. Ya'll have proved and are continuously proving your "Espirit de Church".:cheers2: May the Lord continue to bless you and yours.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
I think all the mods do a great job making this board a place where even a housewife can profit from charitable, confessional (and very hilarious :) interaction. From what Ruben tells me Rich sets the tone for that with his own fairmindedness in the process and charity in wanting to extend as much grace as possible.
 

21st Century Calvinist

Puritan Board Junior
For some bizarre reason I never noticed this thread until now. Sorry about that.
Thank you Rich for you gracious words in the OP, they are very helpful.
Thanks to all of you admins and mods for the PB.
As fallen sinners we don't always play well in the sand box together. "But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day..."
 

Calvinist Cowboy

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, thanks very much Mods! Where else can you find strong Christian leaders who are both serious and at times hilarious, who can take a joke as well as hold the Word of God in highest esteem?
 

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.​
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
.
*bump
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.​
 
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