The culture of over-moderated forums
Posted by xsplat on November 28, 2013
Maigo commented: “Some people out there are weird and broken. And they teach being weird and broken as a way of life.”
I’ve come to realise that this is essentially humanity in a nutshell. All the systems, religions and beliefs we have are just a handed down insanity that not enough people question.
Hard to argue with that, actually. I said something similar to 18 recently, regarding her parents and their parents teaching how to be afraid of their own fears through believing in ghosts.
Indonesia is so child-like. Everybody here is afraid of the dark and afraid of being alone. They equate being alone with the ghosts getting them.
And yes, their entire religion seems to be similar – a bunch of superstitions passed on to vulnerable children, who never grow up to question their beliefs.
The Catholic evangelists have a saying that goes something like; “give me a child before he is older than 4 and he is mine for life”
I’ve tried to explain to people that “just because you learned it when you were four doesn’t make it true”, but the “Jeesus loves me yes I know, cause my Mommy told me so” logic seems irrefutable.
However there are systems of thought that attempt a constant self corection. The scientific method is an example. Humans are capable of teaching habits of openness, curiosity, and constant revisioning of their mental maps to align with truth and beauty.
Mentors should be happy and truthful to a fault; even at the expense of comfort of others precious sense of group cohesion.
You’ll see moderation policies that lead to a Pinterest level lack of contentiousness destroy forums over time. People prefer the comfort of pleasantries and conformist group think to expression of opposing views, as it’s inevitable that a genuine expression of dissent will appear abrasive. People even label honest dissent as “trolling”, rather than deal with it. I’ve seen this ruin more than one forum.
And the funny thing is that those who remain in an over-moderated forum are happy with it. Even as the quality declines, they are happy to be insulated from abrasive contentiousness, and don’t seem to notice the decline. Even while others who prefer a free expression of interesting thoughts have been kicked out or silenced through intimidation or moved elsewhere.
The thaivisa.com forum was famous for this, and stickman of stickmanbangkok.com pointed out how that forum was so over-moderated that it was completely useless. The moderators there had a habit of kicking out the smartest people. And yet those that remained praised the moderation.
Happy sheep. Thank goodness the rabble rousers are gone! Now we can be dull and pleasant and polite in our peaceful bubble of wilful ignorance!
And the same thing happened to the Rooshvforum. I took a look for the first time in four months yesterday and it’s not the same place it was. Its as contentious as Pinterest over there now, with the level of discourse having dropped to gif images of smileys and grapes and trolls and whatnot. Very little creative insight over there any more. Those that remain don’t seem to realize that the place is already all but dead. The life of it has been moderated out. All that is left are over-moderate people happy with over-moderation. Yes men so pleased with their straight jackets that they consider them to be fashionable. Sheep who are happy being sheep. People who value getting along above refining ideas to the point that they all agree to agree and exclude the non-believers with snark. Male feminists, in a way. Group mind as a culture of how to not-think.
For instance criticism of the moderation policy could not be openly discussed over there any more. All people would do is reflexively accuse of sour grapes and trolling. Or shut up for fear of being banned. No, there is nothing wrong with over-moderation! It’s being abrasive and not fitting in to the group-culture that can’t be tolerated!
It’s instructive to compare the forum now to about six months ago. Instructive as to what humanity in groups does to itself, in the name of group cohesion. It becomes wilfully dull. And RVF is further stamped by the moderators ill conceived and emotionally stunted views on intimacy.
A cult of dark triad people leading each other on in emotional deadness and group mind. It was also once more than that – there was much value shared there, and men acted as men do – with debate and spark and aggressive dissension.
I can’t see men acting like men there now. That’s not allowed.
And those that are left are happy with that state of affairs. Perhaps they are happiest with that. As most of humanity usually is. People like to follow and not be allowed to dissent. They call that culture.
A handful of my male readers often ask why I don’t moderate comments, or that the message of Rational Male would be better served if I banned certain commenters. I’ve mentioned on several posts and threads as to why I won’t ever do that (except for blatant spamming), but in a nutshell it’s my fundamental belief that the validity of any premise or idea should be able to withstand public debate. People who aren’t confident of the strength of their assertions or ideas, or are more concerned with profiting from the branding of those weak assertions than they are in truth, are the first to cry about the harshness of their critics and kill all dissent as well as all discourse about those assertions.