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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Please Read Here First » An attempt to explain how this forum is moderated

   
Author Topic: An attempt to explain how this forum is moderated
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

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As indicated in the registration agreement (which is posted here:

quote:
Considering the real-time nature of this bulletin board, it is impossible for us to review messages or confirm the validity of information posted. Please remember that we do not actively monitor the contents of this BB and are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this BB.

I would like to discuss the above point in a little more detail, and will discuss other points from the registration agreement in subsequent posts.

First of all, while "we do not actively monitor the contents of this BB," I do try to check on what is happening here as often as I possibly can each day.

I have two ways that I do that. First of all, the BB software emails me each a copy of each post as it goes up on the forum, and I usually read through the emails before actually going to the forum website.

Second, if I see a post in email that may indicate a need for a response from me, I will go directly to that topic (the email provides a link), and I may respond to a post before going on to read the rest of the posts in that topic without waiting to read the rest of the emails.

I may then go back to the emails and continue reading them as the posts went up on the forum, or I may move to other areas on the forum and read posts that way. I eventually go back to make sure I've read all the emails, and thereby all of the posts.

One of the things that happens with this way of doing things, is that I may respond to something without having read what others have said between the post and my response. I have recently seen where that can create misunderstandings, so I will now watch out for that before I respond to any post.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

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More from the registration agreement:

quote:
Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by email. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary. This is a manual process, however, so please realize that we may not be able to remove or edit particular messages immediately.

The software for this website is set up so that emails can be sent directly to me, but email is not infallible, nor is software, and there have been people who have not been able to get through to me by email.

If I have not responded to an email (either by an emailed reply or by posting or by dealing with objectionable messages in a topic in some way), please post a message in the topic saying that you've sent email and don't think I received it.

Also, while I have the ability to edit posts, I have only used that to cut "13-lines" that are actually longer than 13 lines. I prefer not to edit people's posts unless they ask me to.

I will delete double-posts as I find them, and I will delete objectionable posts, though I try to warn people first. I have also closed topics that have turned into flame wars and deleted posts in those topics. I really don't like to do this, however, and have probably erred in not deleting or editing or closing when some have felt that I should have done so.

This workshop is for those 18 and older, and I like to hope that people here can behave as adults and not need to have me deleting or editing their posts or closing topics.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Member # 59

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This should go without comment:

quote:
You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this BB to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.

But I have learned that at times people may feel insulted or defamed when that was not the intent, according to my reading at least, of the post.

Again, I may have erred on the side of inaction and have allowed things to get out of hand by not responding as quickly to a situation as some would have liked.

On occasion, I have recruited a First Assistant and a Second Assistant to help me keep an eye on things, and their intervention has, at times, not been appreciated (by others, anyway--I REALLY appreciate their efforts).

Please be aware that not everyone understands what you mean when you post something, and be careful how you post it.

Please also be aware that you may not understand what someone has posted correctly and that what you read was not what they meant. If at all possible, reword what they posted and ask something like "did you intend to say this?" before reacting on a potential misunderstanding and risking turning it into a flamewar.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

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One other thing:

Because of the relative anonymity of the online community, there are those out there who find entertainment by stirring up contention in online discussions. They are known by such terms as "troll" or "energy creature" (as in, one who feeds off of negative energy generated by flamewars).

We try very hard to watch out for potential energy creatures and keep them from participating on the Hatrack River Writers Workshop forum, but there are times when a regular participant has had a particularly bad day, or week, or month, and will take some of that out on others who are also relatively anonymous.

Then, we may see someone begin to "troll" because, as the saying goes, misery often does love company.

Whatever the reason, when you see someone post something that "pushes your buttons" whatever they may be, please stop and think before responding. If you feed an "energy creature" by letting yourself be manipulated into getting angry, you only make the "energy creature" bigger--you are doing exactly what they want you to do.

The best way to respond when you think someone is trolling, is to ignore them, and email me. If you think your email may not be getting through, please post a request for my attention:

quote:
Kathleen, are you reading this?
and I'll be sure to notice.

I appreciate any help anyone can give me in keeping the Hatrack River Writers Workshop an interesting, useful, and helpful place for aspiring writers to learn and grow and share their experiences. Thank you for all you all do to make it that way.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Member # 59

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posting so this topic will be visible
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