Sphene

The Admod "Higher" Standard

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Sphene

NOTE: This is stupid Admod political bullshit, so if you hate that, it's best to click away now.

Given that this thread was locked before anyone could get a chance to respond or give feedback (because who wants that! feedback = drama = evil) I guess I'll have to make a fresh thread. This is not a direct continuation though because I want to talk about the "higher" standard and the question of whether it exists in general.

Here are some questions I'd like the Admod Team to answer! Please don't lock this thread until you give honest answers to them all.

A. Members can be nudged. If a member receives a nudge and then repeats similar behavior, they will be warned.

Admods can be nudged. If an Admod receives a nudge then repeats similar behavior, can they be nudged again for the same thing?

B. Can Admods insult members in Admods and still not face consequences for that?

C. If a member makes a lot of good posts and does a lot of good for the community, does that exempt them from getting warned if they do something wrong? If an Admod does the same, does that exempt them from being demodded?

D. If Admods can, in fact, receive multiple nudges for similar behavior while members cannot, can insult members without consequence and are more exempt from the rules if they contribute more, then how can you seriously argue that Admods are held to a higher standard? How can you even argue that Admods are held to the same standard as members?

Now then, this post.


In that situation, an admod that was not the chat admin had chat banned somebody and the chat admin unbanned that person. This was not an action that the team had voted upon, but was a solo action done by a team member that was undone by an admin due to the action being deemed a mistake.

This is completely and utterly wrong.

What actually happened was that a mod banned someone from chat. While the discussion on what to do was ongoing, the chat ban was taken off by the chat admin. That's not what is supposed to happen. Chat bans from mods stay on until a decision by the Team is reached and then any subsequent chat ban is added on top of that. It could not have been deemed a mistake because the decision was still in the discussion stage hadn't even been voted on yet! However, the discussion on what to do had to end because the chat admin decided the action for the rest of the Admod Team.

Now, compare that the situation Cosine posted about here. Cosine sent a chat ban with a huge mistake in it. I advised Cosine to immediately take the chat ban off because of the mistake. I was nearly demodded because I decided on an action for the rest of the Team and that's a huge no-no, unless you do it beforehand apparently.

Seriously, what's the difference between the two? In both cases a chat admin took off a chat ban without the rest of the Admods' permission and decided on an action for the rest of the Team. Why, in one case, is it perfectly acceptable and in the other almost worth demodding over? Where's the consistent standards?

If you're wondering why so many mods have quit lately, it's due to crap like this and this is only the tip of the shitberg.

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ThaHoward

In theory I suspect it is the good answers. But how is it in practice? No idea, no access to the backroom. So all I can is to assume the admods are up to higher standards. But would be nice to hear from former admods and their perspective.

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Sphene

Unfortunately, I've seen all those things happen and I'm sure former Admods would back me up on that.

It's a really sad state and not one that I think can really be fixed anymore. The rules are there, but when they get ignored (or made up on the spot in some cases), there is nothing much that can be done.

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.Lia
Former Admod here, jumping in because I've watched the team fall into the 7th pit of hell it seems in the last few months.


There are, absolutely, members of the Admod team who have received more than one nudge for the exact same infraction of rules. That infraction would have earned a "REGULAR" member (see my next point) a warning. But, because the Admod had been on the team "for a long time" and "has done a lot for AVEN/the asexual community!", they were allowed to break the rule with a "reminder" at least twice, if not more. It's happened. I watched it. I was outvoted in all of these cases.


There are, absolutely, members of AVEN (not the Admods) who are given far more leniency than another member because "they have done a lot for AVEN/the asexual community!". There have been posts brought up for discussion in the back room that clearly violate the ToS and I have watched Admods argue IN FAVOR of NUDGING the member because "Well I'm sure (MEMBER) didn't mean it that way!" or "It was a heated conversation and they don't usually act like that." or "They're under a lot of stress right now". And the other members of the team who are arguing on the other side of it (there are some)? They're out-voted and there's nothing they can do. Nothing. However, when a member who might be newer, or who doesn't post much, says the EXACT SAME THING (okay, different words because all situations are sort of different), then it's WARN ALL THE PEOPLE! because, you know, rules. And when someone points out the inconsistency of it all, they're usually ignored and again outvoted.


There are, absolutely, members of AVEN (not the Admods) who are "targeted" by some of the team. These AVEN members might post out there things, or be a general pain in the ass by riding that thin line between rule breaking and being a pain in the ass. And sometimes they do break the rules. But these members have received warnings, suspensions and been banned because their posts were kind of close to that line and some of the Admod team (the majority who voted in that particular poll, because not all Admods vote in all disciplinary polls) decided the member isn't worth the trouble and may as well just get rid of them so that we don't have to read reports on them anymore. Think I'm lying? I was brought up on review for posting things that didn't toe the line and that made many Admods uncomfortable.


There is a forum in Admods Only that is used for fun banter between the Admods. It's not official anything (honest to God). Except when there's something going on with a member that is frustrating to Admods and then an Admod goes into that forum to "rant" and it winds up on the other side of the Terms of Service. But fear not! That Admod was only blowing off steam, they weren't actually insulting the member (because, you know, the member can't see the forum. So is it REALLY an insult if the member doesn't know it's there?).

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ThaHoward

Hm interesting about the Last part. As a normal member may get nudged or warned if they talk about another member in a private convo. And really, being up to higher standards do involve being profesional and not "blowing out sream" about other members. Thats a dangerous attitude that would been harshly cracked down on in public service. Perhaps this thread should be made public for all to see.

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Splatacus

A part of the reason I stood down recently was because of how unfairly the rules are enforced at times. As I left Admods I posted explaining why I was going. I was not trying to cause drama, just leave knowing that I'd said my piece. Many of the current Admods ignored that part of my post, one of the few responses I did get basically told me that I "couldn't handle" being a mod.

The current atmosphere in Admods is toxic, it's unpleasant and it needs to change. I'm sure that Pook and I will incur the wrath of the current team, but that won't solve the problem.

If picking and choosing when to enforce the rules, giving some people a free ride while absolving others of all wrong, accusing mods of backstabbing for using the report system, having no issue with Admins or Mods not doing what they were elected for, being accused of being a "flying monkey" whenever you happen to agree with someone the team doesn't like, and just generally being unfair is what it takes to be an Admod, then no, I can't handle it, but that's fine. What concerns me is that others can...

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rinnie

I am guess that if an admod had incentive to take actions into her own hands because the discussion was taking too long. then perhaps it should instead be policy that each admod is responsible for their own decisions, but must allow at least two other admods to offer advice before taking the actions. this way, it is a team collaboration - each admod is heeding the advice of others before taking the action, but it is also a quick process - no need to wait for cumbersome voting.

maybe this would only need to be a process for certain actions, or for unusual cases that are taking too long or are too controversial but need a resolution.

discussing about member priviledges verses admod priviledges. if anything admods should in one sense be held at a higher standard than members. but in another sense it is important to not kick all the admods out of their volunteer position because that just introduces unecessary stresses. I don't know what the current standard is or what the standard should be. but to answer the questions -

A.

i don't see any reason why nudging and warning should be different for admods than for members. the only difference that would make sense to me in this comparison, is if current warnings disqualify members from running for admod, and if receiving a warning revokes admod role perhaps, or maybe to be less strict if recieving a nudge or warning after the first warning revokes the role.

B.

insulting anyone in a community has negative affects. but in a specific occurrence, are there site policies that apply? if an insult does not violate TOS for some reason. then handle it like adults, right? I don't understand why this question needs asking tbh.

C.

for "good community member" privileges. it seems reasonable, altho potentially controversial. it is fair to completely ignore the quality of posts when looking at ToS violations. but if there is felt a need to be more forgiving towards members with strong representation of healthy behavior? I don't think it makes sense to prevent warnings and demoddings. but it might make sense to allow one extra nudge, or to reduce the warning duration given continued positive presence. actually it might even make sense to reduce warning duration by a month if any member is showing positive presence, however tracking this might be harder for someone with a bad record than with someone with a good record.

D.

if in the case of nudges, admods have extra priviledges that no other member has. then what matters on if it is a higher standard or not. is if nudges and warnings are the only thing that might be concidered a priviledge on the site. is having the power of being an admod not a privilege of it's own? even if all of the official punishment systems for ToS violations are more lenient for an admod. there is still the social priviledges and expectations. standards don't need to be officially reinforced to exist.

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.Lia

I am guess that if an admod had incentive to take actions into her own hands because the discussion was taking too long. then perhaps it should instead be policy that each admod is responsible for their own decisions, but must allow at least two other admods to offer advice before taking the actions. this way, it is a team collaboration - each admod is heeding the advice of others before taking the action, but it is also a quick process - no need to wait for cumbersome voting.

maybe this would only need to be a process for certain actions, or for unusual cases that are taking too long or are too controversial but need a resolution.

But then those who now have all the power (those who strong arm other Admods into voting their way or risk being accused of not being a team player and therefore targeted for being reviewed) won't have the power anymore! Nope, can't have that at all!!

discussing about member priviledges verses admod priviledges. if anything admods should in one sense be held at a higher standard than members. but in another sense it is important to not kick all the admods out of their volunteer position because that just introduces unecessary stresses. I don't know what the current standard is or what the standard should be.

There is no standard. Literally. Unless an Admod comes on the open boards and directly calls a member an asshat, or breaches specific details to someone who is not an Admod, then there is nearly NO risk of an Admod being removed. I'm not even exaggerating.

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Splatacus

Duplicate Post

Edited by Splatacus
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Splatacus

discussing about member priviledges verses admod priviledges. if anything admods should in one sense be held at a higher standard than members. but in another sense it is important to not kick all the admods out of their volunteer position because that just introduces unecessary stresses. I don't know what the current standard is or what the standard should be.

There is no standard. Literally. Unless an Admod comes on the open boards and directly calls a member an asshat, or breaches specific details to someone who is not an Admod, then there is nearly NO risk of an Admod being removed. I'm not even exaggerating.

Agreed, the standards don't exist. An Admod went into chat (not the open board, but the same thing in my eyes) and was calling their friend names. They were joking, but that wasn't apparent to the people who witnessed it. Despite the language being a clear personal insult to anyone who didn't know the two were friends, this person is still an Admod. Meanwhile, In Pook's above example, people wanted to oust two good Admods over an honest mistake.

Edit: I love AVEN's formatting issues :mellow:

Edited by Splatacus
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Sphene

Meanwhile, In Pook's above example, people wanted to oust two good Admods over an honest mistake.

People only wanted to oust me over it. Cosine was never really in any real danger to be demodded. It honestly felt like people were using it as an excuse to try and get rid of me or at least to muzzle me. That especially became clear after the same thing happened and it was met with a "no big deal" from the very people who were so adamant about getting rid of me.

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Nevyn

Are we we going to lock all the threads that have been answered in site comments or only the embarrassing ones?

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Sphene

Are we we going to lock all the threads that have been answered in site comments or only the embarrassing ones?

Well I'm pretty sure this thread will get nuked from orbit rather than locked.

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SkyWorld

Former mod as well here. Honestly, I don't even know why I'm getting myself involved in the flames like this because I just wanted to leave my previous modship behind and not talk about it. Sometimes I'm even uncomfortable being titled as "former mod" or "ex-admod" because I just want to be a member.

I can imagine how bad this looks to the public with what has been happening lately, with so many admods/pt stepping down at once and especially mostly from former admods/pt speaking up (which makes it interesting I guess, because that really says something). I don't even know why I'm getting myself involved, when it's only causing people (not just admods, but members as well), to be upset with me. When in all honesty, I really do not care if I get in trouble, yet despite that, I seriously fail to see what I have done wrong (ToS breaking that is) in the first place, so if I do get in trouble, at least I know how to write a good appeal.

Basically, I meant what I said and I said what I meant, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Well, except for the way it has been interpreted, but other than that, no. That aside...

I'm interested in the admods' response to those questions myself. Admods are very poor on consistency, heavily on the whole "higher standards" thing where it's mostly pick and choose on who's who. It often makes me question what does being held to "higher standards" even mean, because apparently many people seem to have different interpretations of it. Yeah, this is one of the reasons why I stepped down. Admods is seriously stressful and toxic that it's just not worth how unhealthy it is. Really, I just wanted to be a member again, I really missed just being a member, and just continue to help AVEN in other ways in volunteer groups.

Oh, but sometimes even admods would insult fellow admods... and yet not face any consequences for it. It's funny how some are expected to just deal with it, unless they report said admod who insulted them, but then there would be reporter shaming for "causing drama" or "backstabbing" a team member. It's funny how the ones accused of starting drama are only trying to bring forth an issue by addressing the elephant in the room and fix the problem, and yet somehow the other one who would try to cease the drama... is only causing more drama (and this happened a few times with different people, so I'm just generally speaking here).

I want to add more, but honestly, I think a lot of points that I wanted to bring up has already been addressed, so I'll just nod to them.

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Chihiro

NOTE- I dunno how admods work, but here is my viewpoint-


In that situation, an admod that was not the chat admin had chat banned somebody and the chat admin unbanned that person. This was not an action that the team had voted upon, but was a solo action done by a team member that was undone by an admin due to the action being deemed a mistake.

Since this particular issue has come up in two threads, was the Admod's action of un-banning the member, discussed?

My point is, this is democracy and majority wins. If majority voted for something bad, its nothing to be surprised about. Because 'Democracy is where 51% of the people rule over the 49% of population'. There is always going to be inconsistencies because we are humans and everybody uses different judgments.

Some solutions to think of in such situations-

1. Do what pook did, i.e. question the policies.

2. Looks like some admods abstain from voting. Educate them about importance of voting and encourage them to vote in. Maybe they can change the decision in your favor.

3. I see quite a lot of unhappy admods here. But I feel only you guys can bring in change. As bystander I have no say in this. When elections come, I will have no idea if an ex-mod was rightful or not. Also, campaigning is not allowed, so you guys can't tell me. But you guys can re-participate in elections and encourage people you know are 'fair' to participate. You guys can change the admod team composition perhaps.

Also, I can imagine certain situations where a behavior can be excused because of all the contributions a person made to the community. Again, such decisions have to be voted on by the team.

If picking and choosing when to enforce the rules, giving some people a free ride while absolving others of all wrong, accusing mods of backstabbing for using the report system, having no issue with Admins or Mods not doing what they were elected for, being accused of being a "flying monkey" whenever you happen to agree with someone the team doesn't like, and just generally being unfair is what it takes to be an Admod, then no, I can't handle it, but that's fine. What concerns me is that others can...

This highlighted part looks like bullying and is very unprofessional. I am shocked that such things happen among a group of people who have a greater responsibility to this community.

Questions for ex-mods. I see a lot of questioning, and venting in this thread. But do you have any suggestions to improve or change this?

Again, as an 'admod outsider', it is difficult to follow the in-fights (especially because of anonymities), but easier to understand solutions you guys suggest.

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Sphene

Questions for ex-mods. I see a lot of questioning, and venting in this thread. But do you have any suggestions to improve or change this?

Again, as an 'admod outsider', it is difficult to follow the in-fights (especially because of anonymities), but easier to understand solutions you guys suggest.

There is no real solution I can think of short of a massive turnover of the Admod Team and throwing out every scrap of policy and starting over from scratch. Basically burn it all down and try again. That's never going to happen though so expending the effort trying to fix it seems so pointless. A big part of me doesn't even want to try anymore, but I can't stand to see the team I spent years of my life trying to improve spiral into the dumpster like this. It's too heartbreaking to see. If I see misuse of power I have to call it out (and yes I consider locking Cosine's thread like that a gross misuse of power). Maybe, just maybe, if there is enough outrage people will change and things will improve, but I doubt it.

At the very least, I want potential new mods to know exactly what they are getting into.

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SkyWorld

Questions for ex-mods. I see a lot of questioning, and venting in this thread. But do you have any suggestions to improve or change this?

Again, as an 'admod outsider', it is difficult to follow the in-fights (especially because of anonymities), but easier to understand solutions you guys suggest.

Admods has had the same problem for years, and it really seems to be hopeless to try to fix it. Admods is general is very resistant and there is little that can be done. Maybe admods have tried and tried to fix the problem, but it only comes up again and again. It feels like it doesn't matter what the rules are or how it's worded, it's still not going to fix it and seems as a waste of time. I hate to sound so pessimistic, but seriously, the same problem for years? Several admods in the past with the same intention of trying to improve, they were unsuccessful, it really does seem hopeless. If this ongoing problem is to be fixed, there would need to be some serious major changes, but with admod resistance to change, that is not an easy thing to do. It'll quiet down for sure, but it only keeps coming back up.

Part of me still hopes for a chance for change, but please excuse my lack of enthusiasm.

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.Lia

This is how Admods works:

An experimenter puts 5 monkeys in a large cage. High up at the top of the cage, well beyond the reach of the monkeys, is a bunch of bananas. Underneath the bananas is a ladder.

The monkeys immediately spot the bananas and one begins to climb the ladder. As he does, however, the experimenter sprays him with a stream of cold water. Then, he proceeds to spray each of the other monkeys.

The monkey on the ladder scrambles off. And all 5 sit for a time on the floor, wet, cold, and bewildered. Soon, though, the temptation of the bananas is too great, and another monkey begins to climb the ladder. Again, the experimenter sprays the ambitious monkey with cold water and all the other monkeys as well. When a third monkey tries to climb the ladder, the other monkeys, wanting to avoid the cold spray, pull him off the ladder and beat him.

Now one monkey is removed and a new monkey is introduced to the cage. Spotting the bananas, he naively begins to climb the ladder. The other monkeys pull him off and beat him.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The experimenter removes a second one of the original monkeys from the cage and replaces him with a new monkey. Again, the new monkey begins to climb the ladder and, again, the other monkeys pull him off and beat him – including the monkey who had never been sprayed.

By the end of the experiment, none of the original monkeys were left and yet, despite none of them ever experiencing the cold, wet, spray, they had all learned never to try and go for the bananas.

The metaphor and the lessons that apply to work are clear. Despite the exhortations from management to be innovative and collaborative, cold water is poured on people and their ideas whenever someone tries something new. Or, perhaps worse, the other employees suppress innovation, and learned helplessness spreads throughout the firm.



The Admod's favorite saying is: "This is how it's always been done!!!" therefore, nothing will change.

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Tripp

This thread's gonna get locked isn't it?

ce2.png

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Steph Ace

Cosine was never really in any real danger to be demodded.

Not sure if we're recalling the same Report Thread (I was DRC at the time) but Cosine was certainly on the chopping block too for being removed from Chat Admin 4 days after their election.

Unfortunately we can't view the declassed thread to clarify this point since it was rejected.

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Chihiro

Ok, based on what you guys have said this will just lead to fingers being pointed. Either one of this should happen-

1. Current admods should change certain rules and behaviours

2. Change the composition of current admod team. So you guys will have to rerun, and encourage other people who you think are fair and considerate to run too.

This seems to be just politics and hence influence or do lobbying or something like that do bring about a change.

Regular avenites like me can't do much. If anything it only scares us from running for mods, which isn't good. Because we need mods without which AVEN can't function very well.

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.Lia

Ok, based on what you guys have said this will just lead to fingers being pointed. Either one of this should happen-

1. Current admods should change certain rules and behaviours

2. Change the composition of current admod team. So you guys will have to rerun, and encourage other people who you think are fair and considerate to run too.

This seems to be just politics and hence influence or do lobbying or something like that do bring about a change.

Regular avenites like me can't do much. If anything it only scares us from running for mods, which isn't good. Because we need mods without which AVEN can't function very well.

Neither of these things will change things if they were to happen, which they won't. It's not about pointing fingers. It's about bringing this to the attention of the general membership, since the Admods count on them being left in the dark sometimes.

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Larien

I don't have a lot to add here because Pook, Lia, Sky and Splat have covered things beautifully. This wasn't every member of the team but without pointing any fingers it was certainly enough of them to make the "higher standard" implausible. I was there to see those things happen - the inconsistent application of the rules towards certain members, the favoring members of the team when they acted inappropriately (sometimes more than once), the insulting other members in the backroom, being called a backstabber because of trying to get Admods to hold themselves to that higher standard - basically everything Splat listed above. I stepped down (gave up) because after a while trying to stop it felt like trying to stop a boulder from rolling by smashing my head into it repeatedly.

Yeah, the best way to try to solve the problem, since I can't see a revamp ever actually happening, is probably to stick around and try to fix it (something about power-in-numbers) but after a while it stops being worth the effort, makes you bitter and kind of ruins AVEN for you.

I would love to hear from the current team though, as I quit sometime in June (although given that Splat has only recently stepped down it seems like none of this has drastically changed since June). I hope this is taken less as an everybody-hates-the-Admods conversation and more as a what-we-should-pay-attention-to type discussion. I look forward to the rest of the conversation brought about in this thread.

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Chihiro

Neither of these things will change things if they were to happen, which they won't. It's not about pointing fingers. It's about bringing this to the attention of the general membership, since the Admods count on them being left in the dark sometimes.

By general membership, you mean us right (or did you mean others in admod team who aren't aware of this! If so, ignore below post)?

Right now, I still don't see what I can do now that I am aware of these issues? I can't report them because I don't even know names.

Even if everyone on AVEN knows this what could possibly happen? Mass revolt? Seems unlikely unless there is a good V for vendetta kind of plan, LOL. (jk about V movie) Embarrass the admod team? I don't see how embarrassing them will do anything either!

I am just frustrated that there is no solution (as pointed out by some of you guys) and this whole thread/discussion seems pointless. The best you can expect here is that the admod team will agree that they are being biased and rude and it will just validate what you guys had thought about admod team all along.

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okir fokir

Never having been an admod, I don't have much to say that hasn't already been brought up. I don't want to parrot anyone. I do have a question though. Is there any form of impeachment process within admods? Not that I have any faith it would work from my little understanding of the inner workings...

It sounds to me - and I don't claim to know this - as if there are specific admods controlling AVEN like puppet masters and the marionettes are putting on a shit show. I've noticed things like overuse of power like locking what appears to be any thread they don't like or don't want to deal with. I feel like we're left with little to no notice of changes made. There's an apparent bias as well. If things are bad enough for members to spot, I can't imagine what it looks like behind the scenes. If there is no solution, where does AVEN go from here?

Notice how everyone's waiting for this to be shoved under the rug and locked... Again.

Edit: I realized this is kind of derailing... So I'm going to rephrase my question. If there is no solution to fix the issue of admods holding themselves to a higher standard, where does AVEN stand as a community?

Edited by Graceful
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SkyWorld

Most people think that admods only is fine and dandy, but I say give it about 3-6 months in admods only and see for themselves.

And yes, obviously not all admods behave like this, but it's a minority. And no, I'm not hating on admods just to hate them, I don't have anything personal against them, I just very strongly dislike their actions and behavior.

I am just frustrated that there is no solution (as pointed out by some of you guys) and this whole thread/discussion seems pointless. The best you can expect here is that the admod team will agree that they are being biased and rude and it will just validate what you guys had thought about admod team all along.

I don't know, admods apparently seem to be really responsive to anything that blows up since if it's kept under wraps, nothing really happens. Such as how the Declassification Team came to be and the World Watch scandal last year. It's a shame it has to be taken so far, but apparently that's usually what it takes for things to change. So maybe... *shrugs*

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Sphene

I am just frustrated that there is no solution (as pointed out by some of you guys) and this whole thread/discussion seems pointless. The best you can expect here is that the admod team will agree that they are being biased and rude and it will just validate what you guys had thought about admod team all along.

I understand your frustration and I share them. Myself and others have tried and tried and tried to improve things back there and it all seems futile. Maybe this thread is pointless, but doing nothing will just enable things to further decay. Maybe public outrage and shaming will cause some to see why their decision making has been flawed.

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.Lia

"General membership" always refers to members excluding Admods.

Is there any form of impeachment process within admods?

You can report an Admod. However, that means that the Admins (or 4 of them if you report an Admin) will review the report and discuss whether it's "good enough" to be brought to the team It's done this way because when an Admod is reviewed, they're not allowed to see the Admods forum so it can be a bit of a pain. If it is (it rarely is), then the team discusses it like any other disciplinary case. Most of the time, nothing comes of it. I can think of 2 instances where something did happen. Out of 2 years being back there.

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CosineTheCat

I use to train a lot of new admods, and I often said to them:

Admods is not what you think it is, beware of that. It take normally 2 - 3 months for people to fully realize how corrupt it is.

And if you think we haven't tried to change it in some way, you're very wrong. Honey and I (and others), worked tirelessly for 4 or 5 months compiling a list of all of the reports in admods to create an average of how long it takes to complete a report on a member. It was appalling the answer, I stepped down in May so I don't know if things ACTUALLY got better or not.

There has been so many underground movements, people that despise the roles that some groups play. It could be described as a chess match, and no one ever won and the members suffered a lot because of it. :/

(I left being an admod for it, and I left being PT for other reasons)

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Kyon.

I'd like to be on the staff. It seems fun.

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