Giving admins formal moderation power

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Giving admins formal moderation power

1timspalding
Ene 30, 1:22pm

I am committed to allowing at least some groups to moderate themselves, beyond the minimum moderation available to LibraryThing's relatively few closed-membership groups.

There are a few high-level questions here:

* Who should be able to moderate? (I think group admins only.)
* Should moderation be available to all group admins, or only in some groups?
* Should admins be accountable? To a policy? To members?
* How much hammer-power should admins have? (Ban users? Remove members? Delete messages? Hide messages? Warn?)

Whatever we decide the solution:

* Must be as simple as possible. Less is more. If necessary, we can add rules and features, but it is very hard to take such things away.
* Must not involve staff in endless, complex and contextual disputes.

Here's a proposal for discussion. I am not saying this is "my" proposal. I'm saying it's an idea. I would welcome others.

1. Group admins be given the ability to speak ex cathedra, marking a message as from the admin. So, for example, an admin could write a message saying "This is a quick note to say that discussing hamburger recipes is forbidden on the Vegetarian Cookbook group." The admin could warn that, if they don't shape up, #2 or #3 will happen.

2. Group admins be able to mark messages as hidden by the admin. This would function like the ignore feature--you could click to see the message if you want, but it would be hidden by default. I understand the advantages of true deletion, but deletion without any ability to check the message will, I think, raise issues of transparency. And deleted messages will actually get amplified as people say "Hey, why was that message deleted?!"

3. Group admins of groups that require membership to post be allowed to remove members. This power would not be available to groups that do not require someone to be a member to post. My thinking is that the groups that really want this power would go member-posting-only; others could do with #1 and #2 only.

4. Admins are all equal. I'd love a system where, if there were multiple admins, they had to agree, but I think the practical obstacles are too high.

What do you think? Please respond to the proposal above, or propose your own proposal.

2amanda4242
Ene 30, 2:09pm

>1 timspalding: I'd like to suggest adding the ability to close threads to new posts. I'm thinking about this specifically for the Name that Book group where people will post to old threads looking for an entirely different book; it would be a great benefit to that group if admins had the power to close threads where the OP's book had already been found.

3lilithcat
Ene 30, 2:19pm

>2 amanda4242:

I would add to that that it would be helpful if the admin could edit the subject line to add {FOUND} or {CLOSED} so people don't bother opening the thread.

4lilithcat
Editado: Ene 30, 2:28pm

>1 timspalding:

Who should be able to moderate?

Just admins. Isn't that the point (or one of them) in having admins?

Should moderation be available to all group admins, or only in some groups?

I was back and forth on this, but, for practical reasons, I've come down on the side of all group admins. I initially thought, well, there are only a few groups that seem to have problems so limit it to those. But then it seemed to me a bit unwieldy and impractical for the admin of another group to have to wait for a problem to arise, and then contact staff to say, "Hey, let me moderate".

marking a message as from the admin

Are you thinking something like the way staff, when posting as staff, have the "L" in front of their name?

Admins are all equal. I'd love a system where, if there were multiple admins, they had to agree, but I think the practical obstacles are too high.

So who wins if the vote is 1-1 to take a particular action?

5timspalding
Editado: Ene 30, 3:13pm

I'd like to suggest adding the ability to close threads to new posts. I'm thinking about this specifically for the Name that Book group where people will post to old threads looking for an entirely different book; it would be a great benefit to that group if admins had the power to close threads where the OP's book had already been found.

I would add to that that it would be helpful if the admin could edit the subject line to add {FOUND} or {CLOSED} so people don't bother opening the thread.

I get it, but both seem like a lot of work to put on someone. I don't want to create an expectation that admins need to be doing such actions for the convenience of members.

Just admins. Isn't that the point (or one of them) in having admins?

Well, we could have some sort of member flag system. But, yes, I prefer a simpler, admin-based approach.

Are you thinking something like the way staff, when posting as staff, have the "L" in front of their name?

Yes, although it would mark the message, not the person.

So who wins if the vote is 1-1 to take a particular action?

Well, I'm not thinking the system would enforce any voting system, or whatever. All admins would be equally potent, and not require both commit to something, like keys at a nuclear-missile silo. Clearly there could be disagreements, but, well, there are social means of working through disagreements.

I was back and forth on this, but, for practical reasons, I've come down on the side of all group admins. I initially thought, well, there are only a few groups that seem to have problems so limit it to those. But then it seemed to me a bit unwieldy and impractical for the admin of another group to have to wait for a problem to arise, and then contact staff to say, "Hey, let me moderate".

Would you extend that to banning members, or shall we restrict that to groups that have join-to-post requirements?

6southernbooklady
Ene 30, 3:41pm

>1 timspalding: If you do give admins moderator powers, I think it would be a good idea to require commenting or messaging be enabled on their profiles so a decision can be appealed or at least discussed off-thread.

7proximity1
Editado: Ene 30, 4:20pm

"Should admins be accountable? To a policy? To members?"

as for the matter of to whom group administrators ought to
be "accountable," I can only tell you to whom, as a practical matter, they're going to be accountable:

to the person or people who choose or appoint them. This is "politics 101" stuff. If you have admins chosen by the group members themselves, then in such cases, the majority of the group shall see its consensus on any given topic defended and protected against any and all critics and criticisms which rise to the level of that majority's threshold of intolerance--which, of course, one should expect to vary from topic to topic and from one group majority.

The general tendency shall be that discussions shall tend to follow and conform to the limits of the groups' majorities patience for criticisms and for critics if groups select their own admins/moderators by popular vote. Therefore, the majority gets someone who is either going to cater to protecting their sacred cows, or they're going to get someone else.

For example: Majority-feminist groups are going to be places where tghose who aren't die-hard feminists get a hard time or, more likely, aren't tolerated at all--because feminists aren't at all tolerant of those who aren't squarely in their camp.

Given my experience at this site, this leaves me anything but optimistic about the prospects for airing minority views.

Look back over history if you like, to the 17th, 18th or 19th centuries and consider which views, over that span, were ruled out as unpopular to any typical majority. THOSE are the ones which, had this technology and these modalities existed then would be censored as unwelcome.

From century to century, generation to generation, lessons are shrugged off, neglected and left unlearned and untaught.

When it comes to protecting free expression, people have a miserable record-- excepting in forgetting how to adequately pass on a living, working respect for the importance of defending the expression of "dangerous" and unpopular opinion.

Fashions in opinion come and go but the unpopular is always under attack by the petty-minded and defending the unpopular is the surest way to be placed in the category of the unwelcome.

8lilithcat
Ene 30, 4:12pm

>5 timspalding:

Would you extend that to banning members, or shall we restrict that to groups that have join-to-post requirements?

I think that's fundamentally different from moderation. It's extreme, and so I do think it should be restricted to join-to-post groups.

And I agree with >6 southernbooklady:, moderators should allow commenting/messaging so they can be contacted.

9timspalding
Ene 30, 4:17pm

You make a good point about contacting. We could require it, or we could provide a “contact admin” button that bypassed it. But yes.

10amanda4242
Ene 30, 4:26pm

>5 timspalding: I get it, but both seem like a lot of work to put on someone. I don't want to create an expectation that admins need to be doing such actions for the convenience of members.

Actually it would be more than a convenience: it would be removing one of the major headaches of Name that Book.

11John5918
Ene 30, 10:57pm

Name that Book gets a lot of attention in this conversation because presumably it is a heavily used group and it is often (usually innocently) misused, causing annoyance and inconvenience. I think moderating such a group is more a matter of convenience, and is a different animal from the instances which have been raised of deliberate obnoxious hate speech and incitement posts.

12timspalding
Ene 31, 12:32am

Come join this group that requires you to be a member to post, post something, and maybe you'll be the first members to be kicked out of a group!

https://www.librarything.com/ngroups/23266/Group-with-a-Dyspeptic-Admin

13AndreasJ
Ene 31, 5:02am

Re locking threads, if admins are given the power to lock threads, it'd be nice if the subject line was automatically prefixed with "{Closed}" or similar.

It's unclear to me what removing someone from an "anyone can post" group would do. Merely make it not show up in their "Your Groups" view? Seems pretty pointless. Prevent them from posting when no longer a member?

14timspalding
Ene 31, 9:20am

Re locking threads, if admins are given the power to lock threads, it'd be nice if the subject line was automatically prefixed with "{Closed}" or similar.

Or a lock symbol?

It's unclear to me what removing someone from an "anyone can post" group would do. Merely make it not show up in their "Your Groups" view? Seems pretty pointless. Prevent them from posting when no longer a member?

No, I was thinking that the admin could ban the member.

I think members have persuaded me otherwise, but I am worried. I don't want to get into a situation where admins have no recourse other than going to members-only settings to shake a disruptive member. This would prove, I think, a one-way ratchet.

15timspalding
Ene 31, 9:27am

>12 timspalding:

I have expelled members gilroy, r.orrison, anglemark, 2wonderY,rodneyvc, MrAndrew, aspirit, rodneyvc from the Group With Dyspeptic Admin. Begone!
https://www.librarything.com/topic/329309

I think that removal needs to involve a notice. And I need to think of a better message for the group and/or topic pages of groups you've been expelled from.

16gilroy
Ene 31, 9:34am

Darn. What a pity...

172wonderY
Ene 31, 9:45am

18proximity1
Ene 31, 10:20am



"This would prove, I think, a one-way ratchet."

A most apt image and metaphor for our times. It wasn't for nothing that, in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the dictatorial head nurse in the asylum goes by the name of "Ratched", a name which at once evokes both "ratchet" and "wretched."

19harrygbutler
Ene 31, 11:08am

>1 timspalding: I've noticed there's not been much discussion on the accountability of admins. Can you offer more details of your thinking?

I'd certainly prefer that admins be held accountable both to explicit rules for the group, as determined (through voting) by the group, or by the person initially establishing the group when it is first set up (but later changes requiring member approval), and to the members, with the potential for members to remove appointed admins (not the person who first set up the group, as it is *that person's* group) or override admin decisions (again, presumably by voting).

The rules I expect would differ for different groups, at least in their details. For example, I know at least one group has a policy against discussion of politics and religion, and I would expect the admin to have the ability to deal with posts or people intruding those matters. In other groups, such as the 75 Books Challenge or the Category Challenge, individual members "own" their own threads and may set similar ground rules for their thread, which at present are unenforceable but could, with the new admin structure, give such an individual member an opportunity to ask for an admin to hide a post. However, I would not consider it appropriate in such a group for an admin to intervene in an individual thread unless requested to do so by the "thread owner."

More concerning for me is the lack of a mechanism for appeal of admin decisions, particularly those so severe as banning a person. Is an appeal really only possible by contacting LT staff?

>14 timspalding: I absolutely think that banning should be restricted to members-only groups. If the group desires that degree of control over posters, then they should be willing to add what is, after all, a usual requirement for discussion fora elsewhere.

Relatedly, are you planning to allow admins to take existing groups to members-only posting without member input?

>5 timspalding: So who wins if the vote is 1-1 to take a particular action?

Well, I'm not thinking the system would enforce any voting system, or whatever. All admins would be equally potent, and not require both commit to something, like keys at a nuclear-missile silo. Clearly there could be disagreements, but, well, there are social means of working through disagreements.

So if one admin hides a member's post, and the second admin disagrees, can the second admin open the post back up?

I think that if you are going to give admins these sorts of powers, then there should be a requirement that there be an odd number of admins, so that there are no ties.

20SandraArdnas
Ene 31, 11:32am

I assume the procedure to ban members from groups would include one or more warnings about unacceptable posts, so the issue of admin accountability for it is pretty much covered. If you've been warned but don't care, it seems to me you forfeit the argument about random admin decisions.

21timspalding
Ene 31, 4:54pm

>19 harrygbutler:

So, I'm afraid I don't think we can enforce any sort of accountability on admins in the software, or by having admins review decisions. The accountability needs to be social.

I suppose there might be some sort of extreme example--an admin who bans dozens of people on a whim. But mostly the whole point of this is to let groups run themselves. Short of establishing a whole clanking machinery of representative democracy, I'm afraid you're going to have to trust your admins and, if you don't like them, stay clear of the group.

As for rules, I think it would be good if admins have some rules. But, again, I don't want to have site administrators deciding hard cases when people disagree on the rules.

More concerning for me is the lack of a mechanism for appeal of admin decisions, particularly those so severe as banning a person. Is an appeal really only possible by contacting LT staff?

Members want the ability for groups to police themselves. I'm really don't want a situation where admins have site admins looking over their shoulder.

Relatedly, are you planning to allow admins to take existing groups to members-only posting without member input?

This is already possible. It has always been possible.

I assume the procedure to ban members from groups would include one or more warnings about unacceptable posts, so the issue of admin accountability for it is pretty much covered. If you've been warned but don't care, it seems to me you forfeit the argument about random admin decisions.

I think we should encourage this, but we aren't going to have site staff sitting on top of group admins, telling them what to do and not to do.

22southernbooklady
Ene 31, 4:58pm

>21 timspalding: I think we should encourage this, but we aren't going to have site staff sitting on top of group admins, telling them what to do and not to do.

Aside from requiring admins be reachable, you could also require that groups have a posted Group TOS

23timspalding
Ene 31, 5:02pm

>22 southernbooklady:

No, I see your point. But I worry about how it plays out. As stated before, we've seen some disruptive members--more, I think, than members who disagree with the idea of a group. I'm worried that a TOS insisting by the basic tenets of feminism, or the authorship of Shakespeare, will not be broad enough to cover disruption, etc.

But… IDK. I can see your point. I'm undecided. But I'm wary of systems that tie the hands of admins—and involve staff in group choices.

24proximity1
Ene 31, 5:03pm



So, as I suspected. Mob-rule in the form of Group's membership.

In any controversial topic, you can forget about getting anything interesting from such an arrangement.

You'll get lots of lessons in our contemporaries' penchant for censorship.

Some people are going to find that interesting. But I'm already familiar with this to the point of boredom.

25timspalding
Editado: Ene 31, 5:08pm

>23 timspalding:

Another point. I need to think about "requiring admins be reachable." It's my feeling that people who are concerned about being attacked generally DON'T want to have absolutely anyone able to communicate with them. So I think it has to be mediated through group membership, and go to "admins" in a general way, rather than requiring admins to open themselves to comments generally.

(Nobody has made this point yet, but I think someone will, and I think they'd be right.)

26Crypto-Willobie
Editado: Feb 1, 8:51pm

Este mensaje ha sido reportado por varios usuarios por lo que no se muestra públicamente. (mostrar)
>24 proximity1:

You should change your handle to victim1.

27timspalding
Editado: Ene 31, 7:54pm

Un mensaje del administrador de tu grupoOkay, this message is now marked as a first draft of what I described in >1 timspalding:, namely "2. Group admins be able to mark messages as hidden by the admin."

This feature is now live for group admins generally. Under the message there's a new option, "Mark as Admin Message," viz.



Questions:
1. What do you think of "A Message from Your Group Admin"?
2. Does the color call it out right?

28southernbooklady
Ene 31, 7:54pm

>25 timspalding: when you implemented moderation on the Feminist Theory group the subject came up, but since it was an experiment in moderating groups, my sense was that developing lots of extras wasn't in the cards. I think I was given the power to hide/unhide posts, block members, and unblock members. I agree that having some path within the group to appeal an administrator's decision would be ideal, but not if creating that path causes the whole thing to be delayed indefinitely. I think anyone who accepts an administrator/moderator position (assuming these are the same thing?) is in some sense "public" and should be accessible, at least within the LT universe.

I'm worried that a TOS insisting by the basic tenets of feminism, or the authorship of Shakespeare, will not be broad enough to cover disruption, etc.

make them one of those EULA pop-ups the administrator can enable for a problematic poster, so they have to click them to post anything! :)

There will always be people who test the edges of any policy or agreement, but having them visibly posted at least ensures everyone starts by acknowledging the same set of policies.

29timspalding
Ene 31, 7:58pm

>27 timspalding: I think I was given the power to hide/unhide posts, block members, and unblock members.

Thank you for reminding me. I did not remember that you had the ability to hide/unhide posts. I will work on that next.

Are you okay with a "hide/unhide" that can be clicked through to see, or do you think you need a true hide?

block members

Are you cool with the current solution—removing members?

not if creating that path causes the whole thing to be delayed indefinitely

I'm working fast on this, as I think you can see. I will slow down on Monday, because I have a lot to do, but this is a priority for me generally.

There will always be people who test the edges of any policy or agreement, but having them visibly posted at least ensures everyone starts by acknowledging the same set of policies.

I am in agreement over this. But I don't want to make a separate Group-TOS field and, if it's not filled in, people will claim they can do whatever they please and the admin can't touch them. So I'd make this a strong recommendation, not a requirement.

302wonderY
Ene 31, 8:01pm

At present, blocking/removing a member is one way. Is it forever, or is redemption possible?

31southernbooklady
Editado: Ene 31, 8:07pm

>29 timspalding: These are the options currently available to me as a moderator. The top two are status, the next three are possible actions. All actions are reversible, I believe.

Member is not banned.

Message is not hidden.

Hide this message

Ban and hide this user

Ban and remove this user

Oh, and ETA: I think a "true hide" is preferable if I had to pick one. Presumably, any content the moderator decides to hide is in violation of the group's TOS, and making it something group members could click to see sort of defeats the purpose?

32timspalding
Editado: Ene 31, 8:33pm

>30 2wonderY:

At present, it's forever. I think I should at a minimum add a way to un-ban a member.

This reminds me I need to give admins a list of banned members. Nothing is simple… sigh.

>31 southernbooklady:

I'm going to need to review the code you got. The Talk code was very thoroughly rewritten recently, so I don't know if it all works.

Oh, and ETA: I think a "true hide" is preferable if I had to pick one. Presumably, any content the moderator decides to hide is in violation of the group's TOS, and making it something group members could click to see sort of defeats the purpose?

Yeah. I hear you. Above I wrote:
"2. Group admins be able to mark messages as hidden by the admin. This would function like the ignore feature--you could click to see the message if you want, but it would be hidden by default. I understand the advantages of true deletion, but deletion without any ability to check the message will, I think, raise issues of transparency. And deleted messages will actually get amplified as people say "Hey, why was that message deleted?!"


Is it a true hide now?

BTW: Checking the DB I can see this feature was used once--one banned member, no banned messages.

33amanda4242
Editado: Ene 31, 9:26pm

>27 timspalding: I think it looks fine. The color, boldness, and centering of "Message From" makes it stand out from ordinary messages.

>32 timspalding: I have no strong feelings about how hidden a moderator hidden message should be, but I'd prefer having the option to see it for the sake of transparency.

34timspalding
Editado: Ene 31, 10:09pm

Group admin has hidden this message. (mostrar)
Okay, I'm going to hide this message in a moment.

35timspalding
Ene 31, 10:09pm

Group admin has removed this message.

36timspalding
Ene 31, 10:11pm

Okay, >34 timspalding: and >35 timspalding: are examples of hiding and removing.

37timspalding
Ene 31, 10:50pm

I think I'm going to stay with the group-ejection logic implemented, rather than using the "ban" logic used before by southernbooklady. The latter allows an admin to ban a user, causing all their old posts to disappear. I think it's probably better to allow to eject a member and delete posts as needed.

38SandraArdnas
Feb 1, 12:10am

>21 timspalding: I think we should encourage this, but we aren't going to have site staff sitting on top of group admins, telling them what to do and not to do.

Yes, I meant in the sense of general and common sense practice, not as staff supervised involvement. It stands to reason to point out what's unacceptable in a certain group to the offender, and if s/he disregards it, it is a choice not to be a part of that group then.

In general, I think groups can handle their own business without the need to codify rules and procedures on site level in any detail. Aside from official site groups, no one really needs to be a part of any group. The rest of the forum is like a sizeable city with various things going on in different buildings, so if you don't fancy a cocktail party, go to the debate club, or rock concert or whatever or set up your own event. You don't crash a cocktail party and insist it be something else. *shrug*

39timspalding
Feb 1, 12:34am

>38 SandraArdnas:

The problem is that these are new rules. It would be one thing if these were alwasys the rules, but members get upset at changes. Or, really, potential changes, since my guess is that few groups ever use their admin powers, except perhaps against obvious spam.

40MarthaJeanne
Editado: Feb 1, 4:20am

I would prefer any solution that allows groups to stay open and still ban LT members who repeatedly overstep group limits to one that requires a join to post to get rid of such people.

41anglemark
Editado: Feb 1, 6:37am

Currently, removing a member has no intermediate "Are you sure? This is irreversible" dialog, which I think it should have. And admins can remove themselves from their group.

In other news, I am no longer a member of the group I tested this in. No biggie, it was a one-person group that I created years ago but never got around to using. But I think that this behavior is problematic.

42mart1n
Feb 1, 5:58am

How about a one day/week/month ban as a final warning type of thing?

43civitas
Feb 1, 9:10am

>35 timspalding: Admin has removed this message.

Should be: "Group's Admin has removed this message."

Otherwise, people will think it was done by an LT site Admin.

44timspalding
Editado: Feb 1, 9:40am

>40 MarthaJeanne: I would prefer any solution that allows groups to stay open and still ban LT members who repeatedly overstep group limits to one that requires a join to post to get rid of such people.

We are talking about join-to-post where joining requires nothing--you just click join. Same sentiment?

>43 civitas:

Yes. Thank you. Will change later.

45MarthaJeanne
Editado: Feb 1, 10:20am

I won't join to post. There are several groups I actually read, and now and again reply to posters on their profiles. There are other groups I ignore although I might otherwise be active there. It feels unfriendly. If the group wants to be closed down and not let everybody post, then I accept that I am excluded.

(I have on occasion joined to flag spam and immediately left again.)

46proximity1
Editado: Feb 1, 3:02pm

(Citing, as a reply to >24 proximity1:)

>26 Crypto-Willobie: "You should change your handle to victim1."

TOS: "LibraryThing prohibits personal attacks, name-calling, commercial solicitation and spam, but not much else." (emphasis added)

No one flagged this (AFAIAA) before I did, no one posted any objection, no "moderator" commented--if any such noticed this.

There you are; If one's comments are safely within the bounds of the majorities' prejudices, bigotries, favored views, they're allowed a pass. That is my point and this demonstrates it.



... "Self-righteous progressives believe they put up with and suffer on behalf of us—and thus their irrational fury and hate for the irredeemables and conservative minorities spring from being utterly unappreciated by clueless serfs who should properly worship their betters." ...

---Victor Davis Hanson, "Why Are Progressives So Illiberal?"
Progressives adopted identity politics and rejected class considerations because solidarity with elite minorities excuses them from concern for, or experience with, the middle classes of all races. | (in American Greatness) January 31, 2021.

47lorax
Editado: Feb 1, 2:47pm

SandraArdnas (#20):

I assume the procedure to ban members from groups would include one or more warnings about unacceptable posts

I think this would probably be based on the severity of the offense, and that we should trust the admins to judge that (and the group membership to squawk if they abused it). Posting book reviews to the Cat Photos Only group? Warn. Posting violently anti-Catholic statements (example chosen since Tim is about 1000% more sympathetic to that than to complaints about homophobia) in the Catholic group? Ban and move on.

48Crypto-Willobie
Editado: Feb 1, 8:56pm

>46 proximity1:

You're kidding! Boy oh boy, will you also take it as a personal insult if I say you seem to be oversensitive here? Can't take a little ribbing?

OK, how's this... you should change your name to Marmaduke MacGregor. Is that better?

49SandraArdnas
Feb 1, 9:08pm

>48 Crypto-Willobie: Please don't, we're in for another dozen of essays now *sobs a little*

50Crypto-Willobie
Feb 1, 9:25pm

OK, I'll stand down...

51timspalding
Feb 1, 9:46pm

Okay, I'm changing course. I'm going to implement the logic that allows admins to ban a member from a group, rather than requiring any such groups to be post-to-join, and allowing the admin to kick people out.

My logic is that post-to-join turns people off. I've run the numbers and a lot of people contribute to groups without joining them. I think some of this stems from wanting to contribute on occasion, but not have them show up in their group lists.

That said, I am NOT going to have the banning either hide or remove a user's contribution to the group, as before in the Feminist Theory group. The user can continue to delete their posts individually, if they wish. And the admin can hide or delete them, again individually.

I'll be implementing all this soon.

52anglemark
Feb 2, 4:12am

>36 timspalding: Now you have committed one of the classic localization sins: for the admin button "Removed" you are reusing a string that elsewhere is used in plural. As you know very well, many (most?) languages inflect adjectives with number ....

53anglemark
Feb 2, 4:15am

BUG: Even though I have been booted out from the Dyspeptic group, it still shows under My Groups on the Groups page.

54MrAndrew
Feb 2, 5:44am

Not for me. Only shows in "Groups and Posts" in Talk, because of, well, posts.

55anglemark
Feb 2, 5:49am

>54 MrAndrew: It doesn't show there on this page? https://www.librarything.com/ngroups/yourgroups Interesting.

56MrAndrew
Feb 2, 5:52am

Nope. Maybe they want you back.

57anglemark
Feb 2, 6:37am

>56 MrAndrew: Of course they do. Everyone wants me back, who had me and then lost me. But I can't join. The bastards, toying with my feelings like that.

58MrAndrew
Feb 2, 6:46am

They don't deserve you!

59timspalding
Feb 2, 9:59am

>52 anglemark: Yeah. Well, the translate phrase is just "Removed." Indeed, depending on context that could be singular or plural, or indeed masculine, feminine or neuter too in some languages.

This appears to be the other usage. I suppose it's plural by implication. https://www.librarything.com/gallery/flagged/removed

60anglemark
Editado: Feb 2, 10:20am

>59 timspalding: Yes, the Swedish translation is the plural form of it. But knowing the other place where it is used, I can apply a workaround, so thanks!

61timspalding
Feb 2, 11:13am

I'm thinking I should change the other to "Removed Note: Removed Pictures." What do you think?

62anglemark
Feb 2, 11:38am

>61 timspalding: Splitting it into two strings is the most important part. As for how the note should be phrased (and I love the translator's notes, they are underused), I'm not sure what's best. "Removed pictures" sounds as if the translation should translate both words.

63timspalding
Feb 2, 11:51am

Sorry, the [s got lost. In such cases, it reads:

Removed [Note: Removed Pictures]

And there are directions not to translate the note.

64anglemark
Feb 2, 11:55am

Yes, I realised that the brackets were eaten by the touchstone mechanism. Well, I guess it would be fine, and that nobody would include the "pictures" part in the translation.

65timspalding
Feb 2, 1:37pm

>64 anglemark:

I did the changes.

66anglemark
Feb 2, 3:00pm

67Stevil2001
Feb 2, 6:42pm

I don't know if it's too late to make this point, but I find the use of the term "admin" confusing. In most sites, I feel like the site is run by admins, and individual fora by moderators.

68timspalding
Feb 2, 7:20pm

I hear you, but "moderator" has problems too. Moderators don't necessarily create groups and change their basic parameters.

69anglemark
Feb 3, 1:43am

Group owner? Well, "owner" isn't much better. I think the problem arises because just Admin is often used instead of Group Admin. OTOH, I don't think this will create much of a problem. Some minor newbie confusion, but no real problems.

70MrAndrew
Feb 3, 4:00am

Group Overlord?

71rodneyvc
Feb 3, 6:02am

>70 MrAndrew: Group Manager?

72MrAndrew
Feb 3, 7:05am

Group Herder?

73John5918
Feb 3, 7:28am

>72 MrAndrew:

It would probably turn out to be like herding cats.

74AndreasJ
Feb 3, 7:35am

Group Grand Poobah?

But if we're about to give them moderation powers, there's some logic to "moderator".

75gilroy
Feb 3, 7:35am

>73 John5918: so instead of admin or moderator, call them cat herder?

76proximity1
Feb 3, 7:52am


"Hauptsturmführer"

or, "Hstuf", for short. The only "merciful" aspect of it.

Bitte schön.

77anglemark
Feb 3, 8:21am

>76 proximity1: Surely you mean Herr Hauptbahnhof!

78ulmannc
Feb 3, 3:08pm

>75 gilroy: I agree! Meow

79melannen
Feb 3, 3:46pm

I think it's more "admin" in the sense of administrative assistant: not technically in charge, but does all the dirty work and can totally deal with anything if they have to.

80kiparsky
Feb 3, 3:52pm

I'd suggest "Janitor"

81MrAndrew
Feb 4, 4:25am

ooh! Sanitation Engineer!

or, similar local vernacular, "Garbo".

82aspirit
Editado: Feb 4, 10:40am

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

83timspalding
Feb 5, 1:50am

Moderator is good in many ways, but it doesn't quite imply that they can change the group. So I think you'd need "moderator and manager" or something. This is not an easy call. But I think both answers are good enough.

84Ennas
Feb 5, 4:43am

>83 timspalding: How about modager? (wo)manarator? Thingarator? (Wo)manathing? Thingistrator?

852wonderY
Feb 5, 5:08am

I like Thingistrator, if I can’t have Emperor.

86Ennas
Feb 5, 5:27am

>85 2wonderY: You can't have emperor. ;p

87MarthaJeanne
Feb 5, 6:05am

>84 Ennas: >85 2wonderY: Yes, I could go with Thingistrator.

88Crypto-Willobie
Feb 5, 6:17am

Overthinking.

'Group Admin' is good.

89MrAndrew
Feb 5, 6:42am

Sold.

Let's move on to the design of the badges that Group Admins will inevitably get. I'm thinking two crossed spanking paddles.

90proximity1
Editado: Feb 5, 8:23am

As long as we keep everything in its proper perspective. For example, discussions of the minutiae of censorship should be done flippantly, casually, without any concern for an inherent gravity in the matter of determining the circumstances in and by which others, hoping to express their views, especially those which are hated and despised by the comfortable, self-satisfied majority, are to be kept from doing that, given a more arduous set of barriers to the expression of their opinions than is set for the popularly-viewed opinions.

That would be Priority #1 always to be borne in mind: "K.I.S.S."--
as the glib William Jefferson Clinton liked to say: "Keep it STUPID, simpletons." Where, in the present case, stupid is understood to mean
snide, sarcastic parry-&-thrust, no seriousness granted to a matter which, kept to a trivial confine, can the more easily be given the short-shrift those for whom censorship is really just "no biggie."

91jjwilson61
Feb 5, 9:51am

>90 proximity1: Free speech doesn't mean that you can speak whatever you want wherever you want. But LT isn't limiting your speech rights since you will be able to start your own group on any subject where hatred and lies will be welcome.

92SandraArdnas
Feb 5, 10:32am

>90 proximity1: OMG, the drama ... Outside official site groups, groups are like houses or clubs you visit. Free speech never comes into it. Your manners do. We even have a group where 'no speech' is the policy https://www.librarything.com/topic/160609 . Create your own pulpit and preach whatever you want. Insisting that people must read and/or discuss whatever it is you want to say or discuss at any given moment is not free speech, it's entitlement.

93aspirit
Feb 5, 11:15am

>89 MrAndrew: I'm thinking two crossed spanking paddles.

I'm guessing this was meant as a joke, but corporal punishment is not funny.* Maybe someone can change my mind when paddles are no longer used on children by school administrators.

(*Generally speaking. BDSM comedy might exist.)

94kiparsky
Feb 5, 11:28am

>94 kiparsky: BDSM comedy might exist.

I can assure you it does, in great profusion and variety.

95aspirit
Editado: Feb 5, 2:03pm

>94 kiparsky: Yeah, I just saw one in a Netflix trailer. I realize I wasn't thinking about a bunch of existing works.

I still don't think the imagery fit wells with the Homeschoolers group, for example.

96SandraArdnas
Feb 5, 2:06pm

>93 aspirit: Maybe someone can change my mind when paddles are no longer used on children by school administrators.

This sounds like a time capsule post from 1960s. Seriously, where do school administrators still use corporal punishment?

97aspirit
Feb 5, 2:37pm

>96 SandraArdnas: Wikipedia says corporal punishment in schools is legal in all but two states in the USA, and it's used in public schools in fifteen states.
(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_corporal_punishment_in_the_United_States)

An overview: "Corporal Punishment in U.S. Public Schools: Prevalence, Disparities ..."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5766273/

An example of use in one state, for the 2018-19 school year:
https://www.11alive.com/mobile/article/news/verify/verify-is-corporal-punishment...
"According to state date, corporal punishment was administered 4,701 times last school year, with 37 percent of state school districts and charter schools reporting at least one incident of corporal punishment (79 out of 213)."

11 Alive reported that the state says parents can opt out, but that's misleading. Opt-outs aren't allowed in all Georgia's school districts. Children are forced to witness the punishment of classmates in some cases.The escalation process doesn't always involve parents until after the punishment, either. This was one of many reasons I pulled my child from public schools. We've had to work through trauma from it.

And, yes, paddles are used in some of these administrations.

98aspirit
Feb 5, 2:43pm

We can move to a group for discussion about the actual politics.

Back on the topic of badges, I don't think one is needed at all. We could have a different-colored box like the LT team uses on official messages.

99JacobHolt
Feb 5, 2:58pm

>98 aspirit: Why do admins need different-colored boxes for their posts? I assume most admins will be active members of the groups they administer, and it would be strange to see a non-admin-related post highlighted in importance just because the member who posted also serves an administrative function.

More generally, as I read through these discussions, I start to worry that admins will think that because they have new moderation capabilities, they will need to use them--a solution in search of a problem, as it were. As a pacifist/anarchist, I think the real solution is for people to be polite and kind, and you can't force that on anyone. Based on my reading (and occasional posting) in these groups, I think people on LibraryThing already generally choose to be polite and kind, but I'm not very confident that people on LibraryThing will choose to use moderation power well.

100JacobHolt
Feb 5, 3:01pm

>99 JacobHolt: And I should clarify that my last sentence is not directed at anyone in particular, and it's not even specific to LibraryThing. I'm just generally skeptical of any use of "force" (i.e., removing, hiding, or editing others' speech) when persuasion and friendship could work instead.

101SandraArdnas
Editado: Feb 5, 3:53pm

>97 aspirit: I'm speechless. I thought the examples can only include a country that's not a signatory of the Declaration on Human Rights.

>99 JacobHolt: Call me naive, but I expect the self-regulation of groups to work well. I don't expect admins who are generally kind and polite to get drunk on power, and in the odd case that they over-moderate, following some personal agenda rather than group spirit, I'd expect their membership to dwindle because the group would change in character. In general, the free structure of the forums on LT make it possible for anyone to create any group they want and gather like-minded people there, so moderation and in particular kicking someone out of the group doesn't have the same weight and repercussions as in forums with a limited set of groups, where if you want to talk about something you have to be a part of that limited set. Anyone can set their own playground here.

102aspirit
Feb 5, 4:52pm

>99 JacobHolt: Why do admins need different-colored boxes for their posts?

To highlight a post is from the administrator speaking from that role, instead of as a regular member. Ideally, use of those specially marked posts by group admins would be rare.

It's already been mentioned in one of these recent discussions about group moderation tool as a possibility.

103JacobHolt
Feb 5, 5:14pm

>102 aspirit: That makes sense--I think I misunderstood your initial comment. Thanks for clarifying!

104Maddz
Feb 5, 5:25pm

>102 aspirit: Speaking ex cathedra, as it were?

105aspirit
Feb 5, 5:30pm

>103 JacobHolt: You're welcome.

>104 Maddz: Yeah, from the chair and with the fancy headgear. 👯‍♂️

106John5918
Feb 5, 11:44pm

>101 SandraArdnas: where do school administrators still use corporal punishment?

It's still widespread in Africa.

a country that's not a signatory of the Declaration on Human Rights

But note that the USA has signed but not yet ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Back on topic I tend to agree with those who say that the Group Admin does not need a lot of punitive powers. The role is to assist in administration, not policing. But I also don't expect there to be a spate of Group Admins abusing their position. In the occasonal instances where powers are either needed or abused, I suspect LT staff can be informed and can step in to mediate without it becoming a regular nor major burden for them.

107anglemark
Feb 6, 8:57am

Bug 1: Even though I am on the Swedish site, the profile message when someone tries to join a group I admin, links to the English site.
Bug 2 (l10n): The string "Joined" is used both on the button with the meaning "(you have) joined (this group)" and in contexts where it means "(the member) joined (on this date)". That will work for very few languages.

108Karlstar
Feb 7, 3:18pm

As a recent group admin, I think group admin is fine.

109timspalding
Feb 7, 9:23pm

Bug 1: Even though I am on the Swedish site, the profile message when someone tries to join a group I admin, links to the English site.

Your main site/language is, however, set to English. It's based on that, not what site you are on at the time, because the message is fixed, not context-dependent.

Go to https://www.librarything.com/settings/account to change your language. It won't change older messages.

110anglemark
Feb 8, 1:20am

>109 timspalding: Thanks. I had no idea!

111amanda4242
Feb 9, 12:25am

I still really want the ability to close threads. See message 3 of https://www.librarything.com/topic/329521 as an example of why.

112John5918
Editado: Feb 9, 12:47am

>111 amanda4242:

Why would you want to close that thread rather than simply hide the erroneous post(s)?

113MarthaJeanne
Editado: Feb 9, 6:20am

Yes, if you could just hide the post. It was things like that that made me give up being admin. It just got too frustrating. I think the final straw was some kid starting a topic 'This is where you should post your question'. That topic should have been closed.

Anyway, I think there have been a few edits to the group description, and of course there was something there when I started, but most of that description was mine. Glad you think it was helpful. Or would be if people read it.

114aspirit
Feb 9, 8:42am

>113 MarthaJeanne: We have the ability to hide posts now.

Though, I understand wanting to close the thread. More people will likely post there about books if they can. Name That Book looks like one of the roughest LT groups to manage.

115MarthaJeanne
Feb 9, 8:50am

Most of those posting new topics are not only new members, but also fly-bys. They are barely interested in coming back to look for an answer. But I know I got several answers back when I was new. (That wasn't ever why I was here.) I check in now and then to see if any topic subjects call out to me. Looks like most of the posters don't read the description.

116amanda4242
Feb 9, 12:46pm

>112 John5918: Hiding the post won't stop people from posting there.

117amanda4242
Feb 9, 2:21pm

>113 MarthaJeanne: You're the author of the tips? I read them and found them very helpful.