ChristianForums: Moderators and the rules


Categories: Religion

One of the standing policies of CF for a long time has been that moderators are not exactly subject to the rules. In principle, moderators are expected to follow the rules. In practice, it is not always the case that they do.

The problem is that, when a user violates a rule, responses can be quick. A post can be edited or deleted, for instance.

When a staff member violates a rule, [b]even if it is agreed that a rule has been violated[/b], nothing can be done quickly. Posts can stay up for weeks.

For instance, consider the rule that one may not call other users non-Christian:

Not only is what Spurgeon preaches Biblical Christianity, by juxtaposition it exposes your beliefs as mere humanistic relativism cloaked in a particular religion.

How about the rule against derisive or hostile language? This charmer is from a politics thread; it was in response to a 2004 election query about whether Republicans felt that Bush should concede gracefully if he lost the election:

Ho ho ho ha ha ha ho ha ho ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!

This is just too funny!! Oh my goodness!!

(Wiping away the tears), Yeah, well, it was the Dems who started the plan of hiring 10000 lawyers and declaring victory on election night no matter what the vote is, and throwing the whole thing in court right away. That’s how your side plays, honey.

Feel the love, no?

Or how about this charmer from one of the marriage icon threads:

You are right I do not consider you validly married

One of these was edited substantially quite some time later. One was carefully edited in a way that preserves the insult, but allows some small plausible deniability about it being a personal remark. Another is still there.

Even when their posts are edited, staff are not affected by them. There was at one point an official staff disciplinary system, a counterpart to the “warning and suspension protocol” covering users. So far as I can tell, it was never actually used; it was scrapped, months later, because staff couldn’t use it.

Members generally get edited first, then offered some possible chance to argue that their post was misread. Staff posts are not edited without talking to the staffer first, and going through a procedure. Why?

Staff are presumed to be acting in good faith and to be clear on the rules; it is assumed that a staff post does not violate any rules, even if it blatantly does, because to assume otherwise would be to question the credibility of staff. Why is this bad?

You certainly are very free to live as you will , and the owner of this site is free to make membership and participation rules for himself.

As a Priest do you not believe that all authority is ordained of God (Romans 13) and that we are to be subject to that authority ? Or is the Bible subject to your interpretation to be truth?

Simple! They’re ordained by God. They have divine authority, and if you question them, it’s like you’re questioning God.

CF politics are dominated by people who seek power to rule. The people who are there to serve are more numerous, but they lack the killer instinct to seek out power. So, of course, the power-seekers tend to be the most powerful. There are ways to gain power at CF without being too political, but it’s very hard, of course; the competition is fierce and cutthroat.

The problem is just that, well, what do you do about people who do not wish to serve, but rather to rule?

This is my best answer:

The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Chapter 18, Verses 15-17

   Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

They have been told in private, and they have been told with witnesses. They continue.