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"Forum Moderation: What Should Be Changed?" Topic

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Action Log

14 Jan 2019 11:17 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

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Featured Hobby News Article

2,511 hits since 26 May 2016
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Pages: 1 2 

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian27 May 2016 10:26 a.m. PST

In a recent poll – TMP link – 44% of you were content with forum moderation as it is, and 32% of you felt more needed to be done.

As specific as you can, what do you propose that the moderators should do which they are not doing now?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse27 May 2016 10:32 a.m. PST

I don't agree to add the two days of weekend when you made a fault.


Winston Smith27 May 2016 10:46 a.m. PST

There's a problem with "Politics".
This happens a lot.
An argument breaks out between two people. One gets sent to the DH but you "have a talk with" the other guy and he skates free.
Usually the guy who is punished expresses a left wing opinion, and the guy you "have a talk with" is a righty.
Punish both or neither. This gives the impression that you play favorites.

In my previously stated opinion (voted on in a poll and rejected grin) Politics should be allowed, but only punish the folks who get out of line.
You can always ignore poll results and do it that way.
But as I said above, punish both idiots. Not just the lefty.

Winston Smith27 May 2016 11:21 a.m. PST

Since the Dawghouse is the topic du jour, why not put a visible counter by it on the masthead? grin
That way those who go to taunt the inmates can see if there's anybody home.

tbeard199927 May 2016 12:30 p.m. PST

Given the subjective nature of many offenses, it seems to me that you might consider issuing a warning before DHing someone. I also think that a shorter punishment period would be a good idea.

Also, your definitions are often very dubious. For instance, I recall that "advocating war crimes" is an offense. The problem is that there is considerable disagreement over whether many actions are "war crimes". Using nuclear weapons in a preemptive strike against enemy forces massing on your border is not a war crime. Using nukes on an enemy city that contains a munitions plant *could be* a war crime, but then again might not be. Etc.

So fewer designated offenses with tighter definitions would be a good idea.

Toronto4827 May 2016 12:54 p.m. PST

100% ban on politics on Message Boards you raise it you do the time

Legion 427 May 2016 1:19 p.m. PST

Usually the guy who is punished expresses a left wing opinion, and the guy you "have a talk with" is a righty.
I'm not a "Lefty" but I get frequently DH'd … Might be more like I demonstrate hubris, I'm out spoken, opinionated, hard headed, and can be a curmudgeon … old fart Or I'm just an Bleeped text ! huh?

Weasel27 May 2016 1:29 p.m. PST

My recommendation, for all that its worth (which may not be much) is to can politics, period, and stick to it.

No fussing about with it, no letting it slide to see where it might go.

Keep talk strictly and specifically to tabletop gaming or military concerns.

All exceptions get a 1 day suspension. Nice and simple.

If someone can't post without moaning about the president, "people nowadays", the lost cause or people of a religion, mindset or orientation they can't stand, they take the day off.
Use it to think about what "appropriate context for a conversation" is.

That goes for posting news stories too, I might add.
40 news stories a week about how ISIS has captured the third rock along Nowhere Highway leads to exactly and precisely zero discussion that is relevant to gaming, so don't permit it.

The only posts that ever get posted in response is generic "kill them" and "america did it first" nonsense. 1 day suspension to everyone involved.

If someone wants to talk about GAMING involving ISIS, then have it be an actual gaming topic.
Talk about TO&E's, how to model insurgent warfare or how to rate troops in a gaming scenario.

F35 plane in Bumville Alaska has a screw not tight enough?
Don't post it unless you actually have something to say about it in a gaming context.

My couple of cents.

(Oh, and lose the word filter)

Winston Smith27 May 2016 1:54 p.m. PST

What Weasel said. Sort of.
Either no politics whatsoever, or free range food fights. You can't be just a little bit pregnant.

Weasel27 May 2016 2:21 p.m. PST

I'll deny this when I sober up, but agree with Winston.

Free fire or no guns in the house. "Just the tip" leaves neither party satisfied.

Sundance27 May 2016 2:21 p.m. PST

You can't be just a little bit pregnant.

True. But you'd amazed at how many women don't know who the daddy is.

RavenscraftCybernetics27 May 2016 2:26 p.m. PST

Im still too upset about National Geographic doing a Star Trek issue to comment..
The Flat Earthers have won.

jeffreyw327 May 2016 2:35 p.m. PST

Agreed with Winston. It's erratic…for example, I had no idea why kyoteblue was dh'ed for something I saw as completely innocuous.

Mute Bystander27 May 2016 3:10 p.m. PST

Nuke 'em, it is the only way to be sure.

Okay, here is my loony (wait I am not a leftie…) idea. Okay, how about ridiculous right wing idea?

Zero, Nada, Zilch, No politics. None. Ever, ever, never.

This crap about "You can't leave politics out of ultramodern (or whatever)" is just that. Pure and simple nonsense. I enjoy a political brawl like any other American (and many other nationalities I suspect) else I would not have asked to sit next to the self-proclaimed feminazi at work. Has nothing to do with her skill set at all… But I digress.

I would add a wrinkle. Newbies (none of us who have been here more than a month or so,) get one (1) "warning" if it is not gratuitous. That is it.

One non-warning eligible offense = one day. Second time = three days. Third time = one week . After that it seems to me to be habitual and intentional. And that I leave to your imagination.

You want to have a blue fez type forum (and you may have one that I don't visit) that is your call but let me leave this caution sign some loose screws might result in 'radiation leaking.'

I joined for a miniatures forum, to see what manufacturers create, to see what retailers sell, and to see [the far too infrequent] AARs/BATREPs/rules reviews. I can go read Drudge or Jewish World Review to find things to wind up "Ruth Ann" at work, I do not need TMP as a source…

When Winston, Weasel, and I agree to a large degree you might consider that a second sign of the Apocalypse and think deeply about the sins of TMP.

Now as to religion… Just Kidding! For now.

Mute Bystander27 May 2016 3:22 p.m. PST

And skill set does not refer to her physical attributes. She is a damn fine analyst and a great grammar nazi. Those traits kept me out of excessive hot water with PC management more than once.

She just is consistently wrong about real world stuff outside of work… wink

Weasel27 May 2016 3:49 p.m. PST

Mute – Maybe we got a bit of bipartisanship going on in here :D

Mute Bystander27 May 2016 6:32 p.m. PST

Yeah, that damned lockout thing! Grrrr!

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2016 7:08 p.m. PST


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse27 May 2016 9:25 p.m. PST

Imho it's much more important the Timeoutlockfileof Doom that any other "problem" to talk in TMP…

It's really kill the site…


Mako1127 May 2016 9:32 p.m. PST

Ummm, I've been DH'd a few times, and doubt anyone will seriously say I'm a lefty, so your premise is severely flawed, Winston/John, and Kyote.

Appears there are many "exceptions to the rule".

Personal logo PrivateSnafu Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2016 10:29 p.m. PST

I think things are a bit overly moderated when it comes to people pushing back against piggish behavior. Seriously?, press the "!" and leave it in the editors to deal with is not a way for lasting stability.

I think public admonishments within the offending threads would be better than all the DH'ing. What's up with all the deleting of people's posts? So many lost opportunities to admonish people and have others see what is considered bad behavior. Locking threads that go awry would be better than trying to sanitize them.

Actually replying to some of these concerns rather than wasting a bunch of time on some worthless poll would go a long way. You asked, so give us the courtesy of engaging in the discussion rather than shot gunning out some other inane poll.

Polls are stupid. Many other sites users can create them. Editors are consistently setting up 3-5 per day! I know they are fun at times but we all could spend a bit more time doing other miniature related things, like playing a game or painting more figures, than gloriously wasting time on the Internet. It begs the question how much time is wasted by the editors messing with them and how does that take away from fostering a better site, engaging with the members, or conducting more thoughtful moderation?

KTravlos28 May 2016 2:25 a.m. PST

I propose something different. Adding a dedicated Politics board in each period boards. For example Ancient Politics, Medieval Politics, 19th Century Politics etc.

Like it or not war is politics by other means and many of our discussion of military aspects of history will spill over to the political aspects which more often than not will spill over to modern politics.

Examples: GUnfreak's "Who was the worst colonial power", my own post on "Lee vs. Johnston" are all discussions of politics deep down (the first explicitly, the second unavoidably becomes it).

Having a board for discussion of political aspects for TMP each era will i) impose some discipline ii) be fair to the ultramodern people who will pretty much have nothing to talk about with a categorically no-politics rule, as their scenarios are based on current politics. iii) provide some good (and a lot of bad) topics.

Add to that a zero-tolerance attitude to malicious insulting (which is not as subjective as offense) and there you are.

KTravlos28 May 2016 2:27 a.m. PST

also maybe ostracism polls? :p People can get there frustration on other people out that way. (half seriously)

snurl128 May 2016 3:05 a.m. PST

The 44% who like things the way they are must work harder to stifle the efforts of the malcontents. Otherwise we'll be banning flags and getting dawghoused for offending 15mm gamers.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP28 May 2016 3:08 a.m. PST

Appears there are many "exceptions to the rule".

Are you suggesting that if someone claims a case to be the overwhelming majority of the time (Yes, you can say "all" in casual conversation and people realize you mean "very nearly all".), they should actually have something like … I dunno … numbers?

That's just the type of heresy that needs to be quashed by the new Stossbearbeiten!

Winston Smith28 May 2016 5:01 a.m. PST

also maybe ostracism polls?

Good Lord no!
We had polls like that directed at the OFM (me!) back in the Fall of 2011. Again due to horrible moderation. SOMEONE thought that running "Should The OFM …) polls was funny. The OFM felt otherwise. Bad times. Bad times.

Weasel28 May 2016 6:39 a.m. PST

I disagree that you can't talk about ultramodern scenarios without talking politics.

When someone sets up an Austerlitz scenario, they don't have to dive into a dismissal of monarchies or a condemnation of Revolutionary France.
They just lay out the troops and whether the French get +1 or +2 to everything.

The ultramodern board is politics because the topics that get posted are news stories intended to spur political debate.

Oh Bugger28 May 2016 7:41 a.m. PST

Ban politics and we will have a happier environment and a clearer focus on miniatures and gaming.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse28 May 2016 9:59 a.m. PST

Believe it or not … According to statistics of the last 100 people in Dawghouse … only 23% were because of "Ultramodern" and politics….

So, the 67% of people at the Dawghouse were for other reasons…

Ultramodern have only bad press…


Mako1128 May 2016 10:28 a.m. PST

Yea, I'm far more concerned about the time/lockout bugs, and far more frequent two-topic under one header crosspostings than the forum moderation issues.

Weasel28 May 2016 10:45 a.m. PST

The bugs are worse but they're also not going to be fixed.

GarrisonMiniatures28 May 2016 11:51 a.m. PST

Problem with politics is the definition – seems to relate to Western politics, lots anti-Iranian/Russian/etc (yes, including ISIS) seems to be allowed.

GarrisonMiniatures28 May 2016 11:52 a.m. PST

Frankly though these don't bother me as much as everything going offline during UK breakfast time or the problems caused by the various bugs.

Goonfighter28 May 2016 12:29 p.m. PST

No politics. Too many strongly held views and moderation that is frankly unreliable.

Even with reliable moderation, this is a wargaming site not a political debating society.

To avoid doubt – no politics.

Winston Smith28 May 2016 6:29 p.m. PST

And if you want to go along with no politics, it means NO POLITICS. Even if Dear Editor agrees with those politics.

It should be pointed out once again that there is a Statute of Limitations of 10 years on Politics discussion.
Thus, for instance, George W Bush and his motivation for post 9/11 actions are ok for "discussion" up to 2005. Barack Obama is immune and protected from "political discussion" since he falls within the 10 year rule.
Bear that in mind, and you should be ok. grin
No need for separate boards allowing political discussion on Abraham Lincoln. He certainly falls outside of the 10 year rule.

Rod I Robertson28 May 2016 7:26 p.m. PST

War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means.

Politics is the womb in which war develops.

The political object is the goal, war is the means of reaching it, and the means can never be considered in isolation from their purposes.

Quotes from Carl Von Clauswitz.

The inclusion of politics in any discussion about war or it's simulations is inevitable. War does not occur in a vacuum which removes it from politics. War is politics, with a lethal and bloody-minded resolve. To believe otherwise flies in the face of much of human (and inhuman) history. To deny this is also a willful political act, for to divorce war from its political context and its consequences is a political decision to portray war as something other than what it really is. If you embrace this hobby and its attendant interest in war and matters military then can you (and should you) ignore the politics and the consequences of war? Are we children playing toy soldiers secure in our blissful ignorance or are we adults with a shared love of miniatures, models, terrain, military history and the military modus operandi, warts and all? It may be comfortable to live in denial, but is it healthy?

Rod Robertson.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2016 7:37 p.m. PST

Take away any political discussions. There are plenty of other places to go discuss them. Then all the editors can work on updating TMP.

Rod I Robertson28 May 2016 8:24 p.m. PST

Dawg-housed over a discussion about wigs being mind parasites? You've gotta admit, that's pretty funny! Now if they had said "Whigs"….
Rod Robertson

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse28 May 2016 9:47 p.m. PST

You are right my dear Kyote… but you are not the only one who came to prision… they were others with other "crimes"… (smile)


Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP29 May 2016 3:00 a.m. PST

Believe it or not … According to statistics of the last 100 people in Dawghouse … only 23% were because of "Ultramodern" and politics….

So, the 67% of people at the Dawghouse were for other reasons…

Believe it or not, according to the statistics page, the ultramodern board only generates about 1.8% of the new topics monthly across the Message Boards (based on average new monthly posts, ignoring Plus, Sponsors' Forums, and the Exchange/Marketplace).

There's just a bit more than an order or magnitude difference between UM's contribution to topics at large and the Dawghouse.

Weasel29 May 2016 3:55 a.m. PST

Rod –

Here is a selection of topics related to warfare that can be discussed without uttering a single political opinion:

*A wargaming scenario.


*A review of a rules set.

*Photos of painted figures.

*Talking about the TO&E of a particular force.

*Discussing the characteristics of a vehicle, weapon or gun.

*Discussing how to model a particular phenomenon in game mechanics.

*Discussing camouflage schemes.

You may recognise these as the type of topics that napoleonic, american civil war, ancients, fantasy, renaissance, caveman and world war 2 gamers discuss every day :)

At a larger holistic level, sure, rejection of politics is in itself a political act but in the end, we're all here because we've made peace with the fact that we're modelling the murder and dismemberment of our brother man with dice and toy soldiers.

So I may turn it around:

What gaming-related discussion is it impossible to have without talking politics?

Winston Smith29 May 2016 4:56 a.m. PST

Is lese majeste in making fun of someone's hair now a DH offense?

Rod I Robertson29 May 2016 6:57 a.m. PST

Two main points to be made. First to answer your question and I will use your list as the basis of my answer. The second more abstract but I believe far more important.

A scenario is a snap-shot of a war, a moment in time pulled out of that war. In setting up that scenario all sorts of political decisions are made. The choice of scenario, the pretext of the scenario, the special rules of the scenario, the objectives of the scenario, the ROE's of the scenario, the victory conditions of the scenario and the rules you choose to play the scenario are all political decisions. Why? Because they reflect on how you portray a military conflict and by extension a political event. I have often read here that some refuse to play games past a certain point in time or that they refuse to play certain types of troops (the one that most often comes up is SS troops). These too are political decisions which inform and colour a scenario.

An AAR/Bat Rep. reports the outcome of a scenario played out as a discreet piece or as a part of a longer serialized campaign. Implicit and often explicit political decisions are made in reporting an AAR. For example the justification for the conflict itself, if included in the AAR is a political choice and if not included may likewise be seen as a political choice to remove the conflict from its context in order to sanitize it or make it less controversial. The very act of playing the game is an act of politics as it describes a human conflict and lends a degree of affirmation or legitimacy to that conflict by its playing. I remember not long ago a poster wanted to create and report on a very controversial scenarios involving the modeling of death camps and wartime atrocities in the first half of the 20th Century. The scenarios which he envisioned and the AAR's which could have flowed from such scenarios enraged many on this forum who shut this discussion down rightly so in my opinion. But these were political choices made by the members of this forum.

A review of a rule set involves evaluating how well the rules model war. This requires the reviewer to make political decisions about what aspects of war are important and what aspects are less important. For example the Napoleonics boards have recently been consumed with a lively debate about the nature of canister shot vs. grape-shot and how these types of ammunition performed in combat. This evaluation requires a political decision to discount the value of human life in order to justify the use of these types of weapons. Rules model war. War is a political act. Therefore rules model a political process. The very act of promoting or rejecting rules is also a political act as it strives to affect other's perceptions of the validity of those rules given the context of the war which they are designed to model. The evaluation is based on the convictions and biases of the reviewer. The evaluation is an attempt to persuade others to accept those underlying convictions and biases a political act.

Miniature choice and miniature painting/modification can be a political choice. I have an Early Imperial Roman Army in 15mm. Within that army are stands depicting what others might very well consider objectionable figures such as mercenary Equites Singulares with rhomphias holding severred heads aloft as they ride into battle and artillery loading incendiary pots onto balistta. These were political statements made by me when I chose to model the Roman Army in a certain way. My Skythian/Sarmatian armies have considerable numbers of female warriors in them, a political decision to accentuate the martial roles of women in these nomadic horse cultures. I refuse to explicitly model certain types of modern military formations because I do not want to glamorize their symbols and icons a political decision. The choice of a scale is a political act within a wargaming community which disputes the merits and demerits of various sizes of figures. This is odd because we all know that 15mm is by far the best scale! Photos of miniatures convey the political choices we make while choosing, modifying, painting and basing the figures.

Discussions about TOE's and discussions on the capabilities of certain troop or vehicle types is yet again a political choice. If a TOE contains units which are controversial or if a discussion revolves around troop types or vehicles which may provoke contraversy then politics becomes involved. Promoting or down-playing aspects of TOE's, or troop types or vehicles is also a political choice. To discuss how flame-throwing tanks performed in WWII or how the Modern IDF has reorganized itself to better perform against irregular threats in asymmetrical warfare is a political discussion.

Game mechanics legitimize or delegitimize certain kinds of behaviour being modeled on the table. The choice of a morale level or a training level for certain types of troops is an implicit evaluation of their military worth and is therefore coloured by political presuppositions and biases (intentional or otherwise). Modeling set piece battles vs. more fluid skirmishes is a political choice because it shifts the emphasis of the rules from a battle being a controllable orchestration of focused violence by large numbers of people into the chaotic aggregate of many local clashes all occurring simultaneously and in close proximity but essentially isolated and uncontrollable after initial deployments.

Camouflage can be political. Is it legitimate for foreign special forces to dress like local civilians in order to avoid detection or must they wear uniforms which clearly delineate their status as foreign and hostile combatants to all? The role of camouflage in ambushes by guerrillas and the hiding of them within a civilian population is the other side of the same political coin. These are all political choices and thus cause political discussions.

At a larger holistic level, sure, rejection of politics is in itself a political act but in the end, we're all here because we've made peace with the fact that we're modelling the murder and dismemberment of our brother man with dice and toy soldiers.

I have not made peace with the consequences of war and I support an effort to have wargames illustrate as clearly as possible the consequences of war as much as the process of fighting.

The second point I want to make is that removing politicas from war misrepresents war as something which it is not. War is not a medieval tournament held on a grand scale to promote, practice and justify military might. War is the use of organized violence in order to create the conditions necessary to forcefully impose political decisions and choices on a target population. War is vicious, violent, dehumanizing, destructive and oh so seductive. War is the femme fatale (once again the ladies get tarred with doctrine of original sin sorry about that) which seduces humanity into grisly orgies of willful and wanton killing and destruction. To try and divorce the brutal and bestial aspects of war from the simulation of war is manipulative and ingenuous and is a political choice to make war appear more palatable and acceptable than it really is.

Today, when the lines distinguishing between war and peace are blurring and with the marketing of war as a legitimate business model gaining legitimacy (with the attendant commodification of human life as a consumable resource), the accurate and unvarnished portrayal of war becomes more important with each day that passes. The decision to down-play or conceal the terrific realities of war becomes a more and more significant political decision for states, media and even wargamers and military miniature enthusiasts. We do not live in a bubble removed from the human condition. We are the human condition. We are peace and we are war. We should be honest about that.

Rod Robertson.

Weasel29 May 2016 9:27 a.m. PST

Having Rob write "ASL" scenarios would be depressing indeed.

I'm feeling lazy and my hands kind of hurt from too much work yesterday, so I am going to be brief.

You present a lot of examples of how a given topic COULD be political, however take a look at any of the boards here, save the ultra-modern ones and you'll see people accomplishing to discuss them without getting into politics whatsoever.

If we look at history, most of the people we portray on our gaming tables were basically terrible people.
In plenty of cases, both sides were terrible.
Heck, the Nazi's were so terrible that they basically became the cultural definition of pure evil, yet we have plenty of world war 2 games.

My comment on "making peace" is simply that we can either accept that for the purpose of an interesting game with toy soldiers or we can not, but the latter leaves very little room to actually play a game.

Realistically, if we replay a ww2 operation and the Nazi's win, that would mean another Ukrainian village brutally exterminated.
Do we need to put that into every WW2 scenario we write?

I'd wager that no, we don't.

If we want to make another great war inevitable, that battle is fought in the media and in politics, not in a discussion about whether Battlefront and Quick Reaction Force figures mix easily.

Rod I Robertson29 May 2016 10:59 a.m. PST

D'oh! Discrete not discreet. Sorry for the error. (Sheepish look).

Ottoathome29 May 2016 1:39 p.m. PST

This is a board about Miniatures, war games, the hobby and craft of the same. It's about toy soldiers, rules, historical works, and discussion. It's about a game. If you want to improve the moderation and prevent this "That dirty liberal stuck his tongue out at me! Well He dunked my pigtails in the inkwell!" which it always degenerates into the ban ALL talk of presentist politics. There are hundreds of other lists and forums to go to beat your breast and trash the people you don't like. We should be able to meet over the game and have the enjoyment of each others company in the pure pleasure of the game and politics should take a back seat to the human pleasure of friendship, company, and common interest. War games has nothing to do with presentist politics.

If you don't want arguments about it, don't bring it up, and don't attempt to bring them in. If you do you're only doing it to hurt others feelings and score points. Don't be surprised when people shoot back. You got what you came for.

Ottoathome29 May 2016 1:44 p.m. PST

In reviewing the past posts again I see that I am in agreement with both Winston and Weasel. That pretty much squares the circle doesn't it?

I don't want a donnybrook, so I don't want it all one way or the other. This is a terrible world and war games is our refuge, our hobby, our passion and a source of pure enjoyment. Therefore my solution is simple, all politics is out. I like to talk about games with fellow people who are interested in the hobby. For those who can't drop their snide comments about politics at the door my question is …

What, is there not misery enough in the world for you?


Winston Smith31 May 2016 4:57 p.m. PST

Don't take it too badly Otto. A stopped clock is right twice a day. I'm sure we cannot agree on which one of us is the stopped clock, though.

Legion 402 Jun 2016 12:48 p.m. PST

Once again I have been released from the TMP version of Mordor ! 3 times in in May … I think that is a personal best !!!!! LOL ! evil grin

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jun 2016 4:23 p.m. PST

"A stopped clock is right twice a day."

Not a 24-hour clock.

A stopped digital clock isn't even right once a day…

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