Explanation of the "Moderation Bot" Purpose

Forum registration problems? Need help with creating a post? Want to send suggestions of improvements to Blur Busters Forums? Tell us here!
Locked
howiec
Posts: 196
Joined: 17 Jun 2014, 15:36

Explanation of the "Moderation Bot" Purpose

Post by howiec » 06 Jul 2024, 14:33

So clearly this is not a simple problem to solve but I fear that depending on how well-defined the rules and criteria are for locking a thread are, any thread where a sole bad actor enters can too easily get locked.

This results in a situation where topics are more fragmented / scattered / suppressed due to recreation of threads to continue legit discussions or awareness.

For example, I might decide that it's not worth contributing to any meaningful discussions or details because I know the thread's going to get locked and ended anyway and to just stop participating overall.

There are always going to be bad actors or stubborn people who may be misinformed (or lacking in discernment or knowledge or openness or EQ, etc.) which will lead to contention.

How exactly does the Moderation Bot evaluate and then adjudicate locking any thread discussion with consistency?

User avatar
Chief Blur Buster
Site Admin
Posts: 11775
Joined: 05 Dec 2013, 15:44
Location: Toronto / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Explanation of the "Moderation Bot" Purpose

Post by Chief Blur Buster » 07 Jul 2024, 12:03

The Moderation Bot isn't automatic, but triggered when too many people complain ("Report Post") then one of the moderators check it. Then sometimes the human moderator will lock the thread through the Moderation Bot.

Image

Yes, you too! You can be a volunteer and help report posts that are too toxic for this forum.

It also prevents instantly identifying the unpaid volunteer moderators who have a thankless job of "lose, lose" and "Damned if we do, damned if we dont". We've had moderators leave in the past, or threaten to leave in the past, because forum moderating is a thankless job.

Remember, moderators often get hate mail & angry forum members. The forum is essentially a hobby part of the business, and the revenues of the forum doesn't even cover the cost of operating this forum. It's here as a passion project and as a service for users to collaborate.

Also, to repeat: Our forum, our rules.

There are many other forums (4chan, 8chan, etc) if you would like fewer rules. We welcome you to partake that avenue, if it should be your preference instead of a more-moderated discussion forum such as this one. Sorry not sorry.

--> TIP: Want to help? Help Blur Busters succeed by reducing distractions by toxicity. Report Posts please. <--

In this hobby-turned-business, the forum side of things is still a hobby. I'd rather focus on some important work than to be distracted by a forum going out of control. Moderation is fully at Blur Busters' discretion, and anybody who has tried to change this -- are no longer forum members.

I am a human too, my mother passed away last month, and I don't want my business to become a business that I hate operating. When you complain to a faceless post on the Internet, remember there's often a human behind it, and sometimes we're tired of the toxicity that goes on the Internet.

As a minor public personality going Real Name on the Internet, I am also a minor target too. I am also accountable for my moderators' actions sometimes, and even when it is somebody else who did the moderating, I'm still complained at. I can't operate the human brains of all my volunteers, you see...

Addressing Inconsistency: Sometimes forum moderating feels random. Unfortunately that's the way it is. None of the moderators (not even myself) here read every single post on the forum, and we rely on volunteers to highlight the problem posts. Sometimes software will flag them for manual inspection too (spam filtering mainly). When they have a pattern of large number of reports, a human evaluation by one of the moderators will inspect things and take action (either directly or via the Moderation Bot). One can complain about the moderation inconsistency until the cows come home, but the bigger the forum becomes, the scientifically statistically the moderation feels more random.

Sadly, places like Facebook/Twitter unfortunately go to algorithms and AI because it's so big that no humans can pay attention. We pride ourselves in not using any AI for automated moderating (and hope we never have to). Even if there's an AI spam filter (necessary) to preemptively block the Nigerian Princes or the Vi@gara Adbots who use GPT spam, or whatever, we don't use AI for moderation portion.

Regardless, at least you know humans are behind the moderation decisions, even if we use the Moderation Bot to prevent militaristic targetting of human volunteers. I'm trying my goddamndest best to not need an AI-based moderator, so it is muchly appreciated if you all do your little bit to help us keep things that way.

While not everyone agrees -- but if you look at 100 other random discussion forums (not cherrypicked, 100 true blind-picked random), you can see how degraded discourse is, and that we're way better than average.

I also remind that one of the forum rules is no-arguing about forum rules. However, your post is just a simple inquiry that suggested an unawareness of the process -- so I have merited you this detailed reply (and for the public record).

I hope it's sufficient and tells you how badly a lose-lose proposition operating a forum is, and why many websites have shut down their comments sections. I persist however. Please respect the (imperfect compromise) balance chosen. Some business models (e.g. Facebook, X) thrive on controversy attracting audience by encouraging people to post controversy/bait/etc, but that is not how Blur Busters Forums operates.

Have a good day and follow the published forum rules you agreed to when you registered this forum, please...,

Cheers.

P.S. To all the wonderful forum members being respectful (At least most of the time): I profusely thank you!
Head of Blur Busters - BlurBusters.com | TestUFO.com | Follow @BlurBusters on Twitter

Image
Forum Rules wrote:  1. Rule #1: Be Nice. This is published forum rule #1. Even To Newbies & People You Disagree With!
  2. Please report rule violations If you see a post that violates forum rules, then report the post.
  3. ALWAYS respect indie testers here. See how indies are bootstrapping Blur Busters research!

Locked