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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 10, 2011, 09:16 AM

16. I've been trying to figure out why people seem so concerned about the Hosts.

Last edited Tue Oct 28, 2014, 11:29 PM - Edit history (1)

Because it seemed utterly baffling to me. As I've said many times, Forum Hosts can do only one thing: lock a discussion threas that goes against the Statement of Purpose of a particular forum. To me, it seems self-evident that it will be apparent if a Forum Host abuses their power. If they lock a discussion thread that is on-topic for their forum, then they have acted inappropriately. Sure, there will be plenty of times when a thread is borderline, and the Host has to make the call. As long as the Host is doing the job in good faith, and trying to do the right thing, then I think it's okay if they make a different choice on a borderline case. So why does this system seem to scare so many people?

Last night, in my bed, it hit me. You are all used to how we do things on DU2, our old software. On DU2, a moderator can lock a thread for almost any reason. They can -- and do -- routinely lock perfectly appropriate discussion topics because some asshat showed up and deliberately disrupts in the replies. We have so many rules, including arbitrary rules against posting stuff that is "inflammatory," to the point where nobody has any clue what the rules are. In short: On DU2 a thread can be locked for any reason or no reason at all, and many people have no clue why it happened. That confusion could potentially provide cover for moderators who abuse their power. No wonder you are so worried -- you know how the system works on DU2.

What you don't know -- and you won't know until we move into DU3 -- is how the system will work on DU3.

DU3 is designed to eliminate all those problems. All the vague civility rules from DU3 are gone -- replaced by our juries and community standards. On DU3, the Forum Hosts can't pull some random rule out of their backside to justify locking anything. They get only ONE rule to enforce: The Statement of Purpose of their forum. That's it. If they lock for any other reason they have overstepped their authority.

So, in practice, you could throw up the most offensive, most inflammatory piece of garbage, and if it was on-topic for the forum the Host could not legitimately lock it. Now, it would likely get alerted as a community standards violation, but that goes to the randomly-selected jury -- not the Hosts.

DU3 is designed to deal with actual disruption. It is designed to keep good discussions open, so bad actors cannot get them shut down by throwing a fit.

The job of the forum hosts is so narrowly defined that abusing power would be very difficult to do without being detected.

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Skinner Dec 2011 OP
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LineLineLineLineReply I've been trying to figure out why people seem so concerned about the Hosts.
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