As an internet denizen, I am frequently found on forums. Sites where folks post back and forth from various and sundry places all over the world. Different sites have different policies when it comes to how moderation works. Suffice to say that I have certain issues with one particular site.
I'm not going to name names here, but anyone who is reading this who knows my posting habits can probably figure out where I'm coming from.
Across the internet, standards vary in terms of what's acceptable to post. Some sites don't give a damn about what kind of language you use as long as you're polite and aren't actively insulting people. Some sites (Something Awful) don't give a flying shit about language or insulting other people so long as you're legible and not being an idiot. And even then sometimes that's cool. Some sites aren't moderated at all.
And then there are...other sites. Sites where all discussion of politics and religion are flat-out banned, and any topic so much as trending towards there are locked.* Where absolutely no foul language is tolerated. Where, apparently, you aren't so much as allowed to criticize another poster. Where my calling out of another poster for his overly negative comments (admittedly, something of an overreaction on my part) earned me a warning.
Look, this is not the way to establish a productive discussion, single moderator who oversees the whole damn board. If you're not allowed to establish an antagonistic dialogue with someone, you cut off a fuckton of options for discussion. Fundamentally, a board is supposed to be about a bunch of people getting together to shoot the shit. When people shoot the shit, they're occasionally going to disagree. If they can't at least talk about disagreeing directly, if they've got to pussyfoot around each other like bulls in a china shop for fear of offending precious mod sensibilities, they're not going to be able to have a productive dialogue. They're just going to passive-aggressively snipe at each other and build up resentment. Fortunately, that hasn't happened with me too much- most of the folks there are surprisingly nice, but it doesn't work. It's not dialogue, it's canned, sugary bullshit.
And another thing! The policy of "infractions" building up to a ban is so goddamned retarded it makes my head spin. Functionally, it's 3 moderations means they think about banning you. Now, that in and of itself seems reasonable. It's not that reasonable when the moderations stick with you for two years each. Let's take an average- I post about 3.25 posts a day on the site in question.** Which means that if roughly one out of every 900 or so posts I make gets called out for flaming, I'm going to be looking at a ban. And you know what? What I've been modded for isn't fucking flaming. Nor were the people I was arguing with! It's disagreeing! Calling someone out! Disturbing the peace of the perfect little world that the mods have set up. It's like fucking Hot Fuzz- any and all deviation from the perfect facade is wiped out in the name of "The Greater Good". It's like they can't tolerate any sort of disagreement- everything's got to be picture-perfect and happy or else...what? People's feelings will be hurt? You won't be able to brag about having the "friendliest" community on the net? It's goddamned retarded.
And you know what it means when bans build up? Prolific posters get shafted. Not for blowing up and actively going off on a bender, but for stupid things that add up over time, things that wouldn't even be fucking noticed on other sites. And since another thing that's banned there is discussing banned posters, well, it's like they just drop off the face of the earth. I've seen several quality posters get banned, and never heard a reason, nor a justification.
And the site does not appear to be looking to change anytime soon, which means I can apparently take my problem and shove it up my ass, as I have no doubt that attacking the moderation policies like I'd like to (kind of what I've got here, but more respectful and with less profanity) would get me another warning and not accomplish anything.
Seriously, this is the worst- modded site on the internet. If I didn't have this safety valve to rant in, I'd be tempted to just go suicide by mod and send the main moderator a ridiculous hate-filled invective.
So I'll just say it here.
Go fuck yourselves.
*If you didn't know what site it is before, you probably should now.
** Which I very nearly typed out just now.