Garrgon wrote: A flag only draws our attention to the flagged post.
Actually, I was completely clear on the process. I know that not every flagged post generates a warning or an edit. I think that this is actually what I take most issue with. I believe that more should be looked at than simply that flagged post. The entire thread should be taken into account and the words on the screen should be taken at face value. Assumptions and 'reading between the lines' should not play a part in determining if a warning or even an edit is issued. Is it a lot of work? Yes. But, I think if a fair, full picture view is to be gained, then that is really the only way.
For instance, I started a thread recently on my other forum regarding emotional responsibility when dealing with submission. It was a rather heated topic with varying opinions and examples were brought into play, though no specific names were used and a lot of the examples could likely apply to a lot of people across gor and even those involved in the topic, myself included. The discussion remained entirely "academic" and no one, at least openly, assumed that an example used was specifically about them. I have no idea if they were or were not, but the point is that if someone were to have flagged that post as offensive because they recently split with their Master and felt that someone was specifically targeting them in an example used (even though no names or identifying info was provided), as a moderator, I would have gone back, read the whole thread and told them that while I'm sorry they feel that something was targeted at them and I can see how it might be easy to feel that way, from an outside view, it doesn't appear that way and no one would even know.
My point is that when assumptions are used as a basis in moderating posts and we don't just take a look at the words for their face value, I actually think it generates much more "drama" because it then becomes a game of "I wasn't even talking about that example" and the retort is "Well, it seemed like you might have been" and back and forth with escalation ensuing. The person may or may not have been using that specific example, and honestly, even if they were, if it contributes to the post, then it is a relevant example. Often, it's the subject of the example that "outs" him/herself and turns the thread into something personal.
ETA this: So, if flags are used to determine if someone gets edited or ultimately warned/banned, then I think there needs to be a more objective approach to what actually is considered against the rules when posting. It just seems like in some cases, it's perfectly okay to post that example, as long as the other person involved doesn't get butthurt about it. How many times do we see full RP logs or chat logs posted? But yet, in other cases, it's no longer allowed to use actual RP/RPers as examples or even use a similar example because someone has been so butthurt by it that they can't even see it in a thread. It's confusing.
The goal of moderation should always be to neutralize any kind of escalation that is destructive to a thread, not encourage it. By editing a perfectly relevant post based on an assumption and someone's hurt feelings because they think it just might be about them actually escalates a situation instead of diffuses it. This is, of course, just my opinion, and Ceri and the mods will always have my support in doing what they see fit on their forums, but I think that it is a relevant criticism of a current moderation practice to look into.