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Old 01-27-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,269,967 times
Reputation: 606

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While I understand the role of moderators in public forums as well as the reality that politics often turns quickly into a name calling stereotyping crapshow, I wonder how that topic is supposed to be avoid while still providing answers to the most common questions here in the Vermont forum.

In other state forums there appears to be a longer leash with regards to discussion of state politics and their impact on the state.

In Vermont, there is obviously a large gorilla in the room when someone asks an innocent question about moving to VT, the economy or the employment situation in the state. This forum is comprised of a large number of threads that fall under this type of inquiry. I don’t think people are able to truly get the answers and deeper understanding of the current Vermont environment without a little latitude to dive into some of the “issues” and history a little deeper than is currently allowed.

Granted, politics bring out passion in most people and especially New Englanders and that is no excuse for juvenile blanket statements and insults and shouldn’t be tolerated, however I think by not allowing these types of discussions on some levels provides for less than complete/honest discussion of Vermont.

Am I the only one that feels this way?

 
Old 01-27-2010, 10:10 AM
 
Location: The Woods
16,955 posts, read 22,268,498 times
Reputation: 9066
Politics and the reasons people leave the state, why the economy is how it is, etc., are inseperable.
 
Old 01-27-2010, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,307 posts, read 11,223,308 times
Reputation: 14186
I haven't noticed excessive moderation here. I will often say something about the political scene when I'm responding to a question about moving here and what it's like, and i don't think I've had those comments blocked. I haven't been proseletyzing for my own views in those posts, however.

I know I have been blocked when I've tried to provide a link to my own blog, even when I've thought it was a relevant response, but I can understand why they do that.
 
Old 01-27-2010, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,269,967 times
Reputation: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
Politics and the reasons people leave the state, why the economy is how it is, etc., are inseperable.

That is the point I was getting at.

It appears that when a thread starts even heading down that road with mention of political influences it gets locked with an abrupt halt and what was possibly a good discussion is stifled. I have noticed it a handful of times in this slow moving VT forum much more than others.

Is there a litmus test that VTer is using to moderate those or is it just a blanket rule?

I’m not new to forums, but I am newer to this one and I have been in some very moderated oppressive forums before and this has that same feel sometimes. Especially when it comes to VT as much of its more recent history and back-story on its current situation has to do with Vermont politics and their influence on the state. Without allowing for some robust discussion on the topic this Vermont forum is left with providing people an incomplete picture which is disingenuous in my opinion.
 
Old 01-27-2010, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Rutland, VT
1,822 posts, read 4,529,826 times
Reputation: 772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logs and Dogs View Post
Is there a litmus test that VTer is using to moderate those or is it just a blanket rule?

VTer has been abiding by this forum's Terms of Service (TOS):

"Threads dealing with controversial topics that often degenerate into flame wars, such as politics or religion, may be moved, closed, or deleted by moderators at their discretion without any warning to the participants."

The political posts I've seen here rarely offer new information or insights. Instead, they are usually redundant rants by the same few posters, stating opinions and observations as if they are universal facts.

When OPs start threads with, say, real estate or job questions that have been discussed previously, members usually refer them to those earlier threads. But when it gets political, there's no end to the repetitious posting of the same tired ideas. These posts often include generalizations and stereotypes, which also violate TOS:


"This is not a chat room - when people hi-jack threads by posting messages that are of interest to only few people, the threads often stop being useful discussions of initial topics."


To me, such posts add nothing to the conversation but they do contribute to uncivil exchanges. I'm glad the moderator freezes or deletes them.
 
Old 01-27-2010, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,269,967 times
Reputation: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherylcatmom View Post
VTer has been abiding by this forum's Terms of Service (TOS):

"Threads dealing with controversial topics that often degenerate into flame wars, such as politics or religion, may be moved, closed, or deleted by moderators at their discretion without any warning to the participants."

The political posts I've seen here rarely offer new information or insights. Instead, they are usually redundant rants by the same few posters, stating opinions and observations as if they are universal facts.

When OPs start threads with, say, real estate or job questions that have been discussed previously, members usually refer them to those earlier threads. But when it gets political, there's no end to the repetitious posting of the same tired ideas. These posts often include generalizations and stereotypes, which also violate TOS:

"This is not a chat room - when people hi-jack threads by posting messages that are of interest to only few people, the threads often stop being useful discussions of initial topics."

To me, such posts add nothing to the conversation but they do contribute to uncivil exchanges. I'm glad the moderator freezes or deletes them.
I understand the theory…………and I agree that these are slippery slopes.

I will say I don’t agree with the wholesale shutdown of a topic when in most forum software a moderator can prune out the offending posts and notify the children that flame wars aren’t tolerated in a forum intended for mature discussion. That being said sanitization by “the man” is another whole issue for many people.

Just my opinion.
 
Old 01-27-2010, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,329 posts, read 8,784,746 times
Reputation: 1996
Sherylcat explained it well. Discussing politics inevitably disintegrates into flame wars/personal insults/rants that have nothing to do with the question the original poster asked. If a new poster asks about politics-fine. But please keep it on topic and answer the questions.
This is certainly not an easy job!
Thank you.
PS - As a side note-discussion of moderation in the public forums are against the Terms of Service as well, but we'll let this one slide as you asked a very good question.
If anyone has any questions feel free to DM me.
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