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All things in Moderation - the ASR approach

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Chief Cat Herder
Forum Donor
Jan 9, 2019
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
Given the sometimes freewheeling nature of this unique forum, the way we approach 'Moderation' is somewhat different than many are accustomed to. It can seem a bit messy sometimes (because it is), it can seem like threads have a hard time staying strictly on track (because they do), and it can seem like there isn't a lot of structure (because there isn't).

So, how can this work?! How does all this get moderated!?

To start, this is a professional forum. That doesn't mean you have to be an industry professional, or even know anything about audio to be here. It means you have to conduct yourself appropriately. Casually mixed in among our members are many (actual) leaders in the audio world, technical experts of almost every sub-flavor, and a broadly well informed membership that generally appreciates actual data and reasoned debate over anecdote and bold type, ALL CAPS and lots of exclamation points!!! What keeps it this way is that our members continue (or start) to act this way. People see the norm and will follow. It is the self-control of the members that makes this place what it is, so first of all moderate YOUR OWN actions and reactions to help facilitate the overall function of ASR as the best place to go for the most reliable information, from a remarkably well informed group of people.

Starting from a place where people are expected to act mostly like grownups, the rest is pretty easy.

The handful of things that we just won't tolerate here is very small:

Anything remotely political.
This is a global forum with members from every corner of the world. Leave your politics elsewhere. This includes things that are meant to be jokes.

Anything resembling racism, bigotry, harassment, bullying or similar.
No explanations needed I hope.

Ad hominem attacks, blatant disrespect or grossly belligerent posts have no place here. You can disagree without telling someone they are a dummy head with a bad haircut like the one you had before you got a job.

Posts in these categories can expect to be deleted.

That's pretty much it.

Our starting premise is that you are here to enter into discussion in good faith. Does that mean you have to agree with any kind of 'party line', or any other line? Of course not. Does it mean you are going to be expected to act like a grown-up when expressing those disagreements? Absolutely. Please remember that thousands of people may be reading your words. Make them worth reading.

Use of the Report button:

First of all, some things NOT to report:
Someone is wrong.
Someone thinks you are wrong.
Someone really bugs you sometimes.
Someone used a bad word.
You're sad because someone said your gear isn't as good as you think it is.

If there is a post that you feel truly doesn't follow expected decorum, or you feel a thread may be going off the rails for some reason, or there is something similar that a moderator really needs to know about, report it. Don't feel that reporting something to the moderators makes you a whiner or a 'narc'. There are far too many threads and posts to be actively 'monitored' in any meaningful way, and when one considers how a thread can explode with 20 new posts in 5 minutes from a new cat fight that is getting out of hand, reports are how we know where the fires are to at least be aware of.

Do we always 'act' on reports? No. That will be up to the judgment of the moderators. Almost always, the self-control/self-moderation of the members can be relied on to keep us from having to do anything.

We are not here to prevent, discourage or adjudicate disagreement. We are here to keep the occasional bar fight (they do happen...) from turning into a knife fight or a gang war.

We are also here to keep the member that constantly pulls out his knife rather than engage reasonably from thinking that's ok.

So how do you know if you're in trouble, and what are the disciplinary actions that are typically taken?

You'll know.
Actions range from a brief PM, to a comment in-thread, to closing a thread, to a temp-permanent thread ban, to a temp-permanent forum ban.
Other than for the most egregious types of offenses/offenders, getting a ban of any flavor is a multi-step process and does not happen without some conscious effort, a lack of self-awareness, and/or a lack of that which is required to start with... Self-control.

Too many view an online forum as a place where they can treat others differently than they would in person, and let the worst of themselves out for the world to appreciate, and we hope to be different. We want your best, not your worst. This has nothing to do with how much you know, or whether or not you are right.

So, now that you know you are indeed an important part of the forum moderation process, instead of wondering 'where are the moderators?!', you can do your part to keep ASR the very special place it is.

Any questions related to forum management or administration should be addressed directly via PM.

Thanks all.
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