Late posting due to being on holiday. Apologies, my response will probably be a light version; not quite my normal essay! (Yay?)
- A very valid image so no fear of it being removed as spam. Memes are a convenient way to spreading information! Unfortunately it seems that good cannot always act when there is evil; good plays by the rulebooks while evil does whatever the hell it wants. The cunning and Machiavellian good is there, but not always noticed because it is so subtle!
- A 3 mod policy seems a bit unrealistic/unfeasible with the current 5 mods. Not because we cannot reach a decision, but personal commitments would mean decisions would have a lag time. The type of delay which only makes flame-wars worse!
- A 'No personal drama' rule is a good rule; easier to have on DU if other members highlight personal drama and misbehaviour. It wold greatly help if non-Mod members were able to highlight problems and calm things down: this is however an internet issue that just hasn't been solved. Currently, there has to be moderators and ranks and reporting in order to police the internet.
The bystander effect may have a lot to do with this: basically the idea that 'someone else will speak up' rather than being the voice needed.
I understand that not everyone will have the courage or knowledge of how to step in; simply being longer on DU does not guarantee a wise calm voice either.
- Gang mentality is not always crystal clear to us Mods: our neutral stance sometimes means we do not see the 'jets and sharks' as other members do. When we do act it will not always be obvious, as a list of public enemies is not posted; again a problem of playing by the rulebooks and aiming to be decent human beings in our actions as Mods.
- Blocking on DU still allows comments. I can see people running through their list of curses guessing/knowing the target has blocked them. Although nice to be oblivious, the hate and intolerance would still remain there. The cause, the underlying behaviour needs to be addressed. Again, somewhat why this thread was made.
- Having anonymous Mod accounts has its benefits and disadvantages. Anonymous accounts are impersonal, and also less accountable: any Mod could start a vendetta using the cloak of being anonymous. A better presentation of the Mods would help: how we are seen and how we are expected to act. It seems rather hypocritical to have Mods have 2 accounts, personal and Mod-related, while discouraging multiple accounts. Multi still leaves room for bleeding over: personal drama crossing over to Mod stuff, and Mod stuff making its way into scathing poems.
Water under the bridge: Sky, Johnny, Ahavati
- From your comments here, you do not seem to be at war; a full account block seems to remove the possibility of a reconcile such as happened for you three. Full block almost seems to further entrench people into their teams and groups; less likely to have to make the effort to get on with each other because they use a mutual platform (website).
- There is nothing absolutely stopping you from starting a thread with the moderators as the topic. However, it is a delicate topic: not just a way to bash those in 'power' and the topic has not always been treated by respect. So there are some caveats and 'encouraged hints' for a mod topic thread (as in not just a thread to air personal grievances).
- Locked threads are this and nothing more: a thread that no new comments can be made on; an archive version.
When a member is permanently removed/ leaves DU, there is no 1 rule for what happens with all they have done on DU. For some they remove their poems, they clean out their desk, and leave. For others they request threads to be locked: a way to close the chapter. Some even ask for the thread t be removed, as in these cases it is a thread or the recent events that left a bad taste (or worse) so they want to close it all and move on without it be an archived reminder.
The Moderators. https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/moderators/
- Currently there are 5 Moderators. Recent events points towards this number not being a good number to cover the size and complexity that DU has reached.
Instructions on how to become a Mod are also somewhat hazy: great for having the air of mystery but not so great for being crystal clear!
We the Mods are currently discussing this issue. However the Webmistress has the final say. At the end of the day DU is her site: the rest of us are visitors. Meaning it is not 100% democratic: and democracy is probably not 100% the answer or aim!
Not trying to shift the blame or point fingers here, but having members and ranks promote the atmosphere they want and that is good, would help. -> By having behaviour set out and discussed, it would make it easier for anyone and everyone to deal with misbehaviour.
- There is an issue/disparity with where responsibility and power lies on DU.
Some things are the Webmistresses domain (coding, layout, appointing Mods final say). Some are for Mods (reporting investigation, multimedia approval). Some are all members (behaviour, competition descriptions). And some fit into one thing or cross all bits: too much to detail properly here!
Nice & Tolerant
- By and large us poets/writers are prone to accept others and be on the open side of thought and things. However as humans we are prone to forming cliques and building up like-minded groups; natural and not in itself harmful. This sometimes means we as poets can write for all, but have harsh words for those we do not get on with.
The answer to this, kind of relies on changing all human behaviour one website at a time!