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  • Unmoderated

    Is an unmoderated forum the best forum?

    I've seen on a few areas of the net completely unmoderated comments, and the activity on these sites is huge, therefore probably explaining the reasoning behind no moderation.

    But is just starting out without moderation good? Should we just fire all mods and say whatever happens is cooz? Because most people when they get interested in a topic or debate don't care about moderation, and actually start to straighten themselves out. In order to win there argument...

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    You should probably talk it over with a lawyer cause it may potentially open yourself to some liabilities for not keeping an eye on things.
    ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
    Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ManagerJosh View Post
      You should probably talk it over with a lawyer cause it may potentially open yourself to some liabilities for not keeping an eye on things.
      As long as you are not housing anything illegal, you can set forth a disclaimer that you are not responsible for any of the content on your forums. People might try to hold you liable, but if you didn't say or write it, you are not responsible.

      As far as running an unmoderated forum, it might generate more activity because users can run wild, but those sites are generally worthless. Content is worth nothing to me if its all a bunch of "omg luk at dis wbsite." It might look like your site is important, but its really not, unless your goal is high stats. I would moderate your site and keep content of very high quality. It will pay off in the end.
      Trent Gillespie Mod Theater Gillespie Photography

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      • #4
        That's true, but I suppose it's also you need to look at the laws to a certain extent. In general ISPs in the US aren't held responsible for the action of members, however I think that courtesy goes away when it comes to libel and defamation or privacy violation matters.
        ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
        Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

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        • #5
          Law is one question. One very important question actually.

          But you should also look at the QUALITY of the sites. Just because someone has a few spamming, flooding, cursing members, it doesn't mean the site has good quality. When new members see the site, they will leave, if cusring and spamming is not what they are looking for. And most people are not looking for that.
          Queosia - Hódító - Hódító fórum - Spirituális fórum - Spirituális oldal

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          • #6
            On an old site I use to help run, we use to have a "free zone" so to speak. After a while though, everyone started posting in it and the rest of the site's activity died, so we pulled it. After, people got extremely angry (mostly all the kiddies), and the entire site activity dropped.

            They even went as far as to create their own forum through InvisionFree so they could have their own free zone... which inevitable people stopped going to and they soon started trickling back. I'd think real hard before putting one in. It's a double-edged sword; you'll get activity, but that could also end up being your only activity.

            Perhaps you could create a usergroup that users get promoted to after the amount of posts or something, and don't add to post count in that forum. Then every once in a while increase the post count (say, the highest poster in your forum has 50 posts, well set it for 55. Then when the highest poster has about 100, raise it to 100. Eventually you'll get to a "max" of posts and just keep it there (maybe at 250 or something)).
            Congratulations on the death of vBulletin, Internet Brands.

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            • #7
              I don't think I made myself entirely clear with this.

              Examples of sites with little to no moderation and incredible traffic:

              Youtube comments

              http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/8...-keep-heads-up

              Fox sports comments on like any article, but can't find one at the moment that is huge yet.

              It's as if the "mark as inappropriate" or report post function is good enough and it seems like a community moderation system.

              Obviously the content is great but even with loose moderation it works pretty good.

              -------------------------------

              As far as issues of law I've read that courts have upheld the fact that the website organization cannot be held responsible for what others post on there website. There is no way to control simple text that is typed and therefore there is no liability. The only way to control would be to not allow commenting which defeats the purpose entirely.

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              • #8
                Youtube is actually heavily moderated due to active and pending lawsuits totaling damages over 15 billion dollars. Youtube's traffic comes from being owned by Google, word-of-mouth and free publicity from media exposure.

                There comes a time when a site reaches critical mass and just lives on its own. However if your site becomes known as a haven for spam and other trash, that is what you will get while legitimate customers/users will look elsewhere for information. Moderation is not a bad thing and you can do it without stifling conversation or input from legitimate users.
                Translations provided by Google.

                Wayne Luke
                The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
                vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
                Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by legionofangels2 View Post
                  Youtube comments

                  It's as if the "mark as inappropriate" or report post function is good enough and it seems like a community moderation system.
                  I strongly disagree. The Hungarian comments I read on YouTube sometimes make me want to deny I'm Hungarian. 95% or more is nothing more than cursing the video, or the other posters. Nothing that I want to be part of.
                  Queosia - Hódító - Hódító fórum - Spirituális fórum - Spirituális oldal

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                  • #10
                    unmoderated is not smart.

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                    • #11
                      But there is no way however heavily moderated youtube is that they can both moderate all the videos, which is the most important thing, as well as moderate every single comment out there quickly.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icD3J...2639-rain.html

                      Check it out.

                      Comments on that page, middle part of comments there. 5 days old 2 members having a go at one another.

                      Perhaps it's humanities desire for confrontation or something but I think that some people and probably a majority come back to sites like that, because they either want to win the argument, trash talk someone out, or because they feel if they don't they're being shown up.

                      Granted you tube is succesful for it's videos, but I don't think there comments are moderated that much and they still have tons of comments and people there.

                      I understand bad users could ruin boards, but still, I'm betting really low key moderation would work fine as well, including report posts system only.

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                      • #12
                        Google sometimes uses other means that you don't know about to moderate it's content

                        Like it's Copyright-ID
                        ManagerJosh, Owner of 4 XenForo Licenses, 1 vBulletin Legacy License, 1 Internet Brands Suite License
                        Director, WorldSims.org | Gaming Hosting Administrator, SimGames.net, Urban Online Entertainment

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                        • #13
                          ok, no one else seems to have a lot of experience on this subject so I am going to put a bit of info in on it...

                          I happen to run a site with very limited moderation...

                          here's the key... you have to keep it un-personal... make sure it isn't about anyone's personal feelings...

                          you set 2 very basic rules...

                          1: no bots... you dont have to outright say that it's ok for people to spam, but make it clear that what you are looking to ban when it comes to spam is the bots... bots are always easy to tell the difference of and with proper setup and email banning you can often keep them to a low-trickle in general... I typically just edit the posts of my bot's, ban them, and then move the thread to a section that is called "the dump"

                          2. make it clear that you cannot risk being held accountable for legal action. that you will first put any message that could get you in trouble legally into moderation then decide later if it's actually a risk... explain that along with the freedom that you are giving your members that you expect them to help you protect that freedom by not trying to break the law on your forum...

                          these 2 basic rules are often enough to keep the garbage out... what it does is it creates a realistic yet non-restricting environment...

                          it does indeed encourage activity the way that not moderating at all would... but at the same time there arent the risks...

                          another key is if you drop your mod's dont drop them all the way... make them your team that you would discuss if the illegal stuff poses a risk or not with... also ask them to be discussion leaders...

                          the idea is if you have social leaders (as opposed to technical ones) you can actually guide people into that right direction...

                          you only would actually need a couple of people to keep track of things with limited moderation...

                          the only thing is... at first it is tough, because people will try to push you into it... not only will some people take advantage but others will critisize you for your choice to let everyone loose (kinda the way that the above people have said some very out-of-line and completely inexperienced comments about forums without moderation)

                          you will have to defend it... because it's not good to go back and forth... you have to stand your ground if you decide to go with a looser environment...

                          the people who take advantage tend to get dealt with socially... the other members will chase them off... it's happened time and time again on my site...

                          just remember you need a core group of social role models, you need to stick to your guns, and what little rules that you do have you MUST inforce...

                          that means the moment you even question the legality of a post you have to put it in the moderation que... then if you are wrong you can release it later...
                          §èè¥ä§;
                          Sykko

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                          • #14
                            I had a free speech anything goes forum. There were moderators, but, they were there to stir things up rather than moderate. It had a very active userbase and was well trafficked. The problem with it was other than paid subscriptions there was no way to monetize it. IMO those types of sites are more trouble than they are worth. I had disclaimers that I had an attorney look at to make sure I was covered against any liability and I was still threatened with lawsuits. I sold the site just to get rid of the headache.
                            I still have a very large anything goes controversial community and because it is private by invite only with member screenings by a committee I have no problems.

                            My only advice, if you choose to create such a forum, is to make it private. The headaches ust aren't worth it if it's public.
                            Admins Zone - Resources for Forum Administrators

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AWS View Post
                              I had a free speech anything goes forum. There were moderators, but, they were there to stir things up rather than moderate. It had a very active userbase and was well trafficked. The problem with it was other than paid subscriptions there was no way to monetize it. IMO those types of sites are more trouble than they are worth. I had disclaimers that I had an attorney look at to make sure I was covered against any liability and I was still threatened with lawsuits. I sold the site just to get rid of the headache.
                              I still have a very large anything goes controversial community and because it is private by invite only with member screenings by a committee I have no problems.

                              My only advice, if you choose to create such a forum, is to make it private. The headaches ust aren't worth it if it's public.
                              I dont know... I think perhaps if you and your members are committed you can keep out the legal problems...

                              alot of the "anything goes" issue can be protected against by letting that same committee that would potentially block out members or let them in and all that... perhaps have the power to decide if someone should be banned or if changes should be made to the site in general...

                              that's essentially the other safety feature as far as my open-environment goes...

                              you cant have staff who would be in charge too much in a situation where you have freedom going on because they will eventually feel that they can talk you into tightening up the rules...

                              no one has threatened any legal action against me... and I find it odd that the whole legal issue is what some people are afraid of here...

                              I know I have threatened legal action against another non-moderated board... but that was for copyright... and I was kinda talkin out of my rear on that one

                              then again my board isnt even a year old yet...
                              §èè¥ä§;
                              Sykko

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