« on: March 21, 2012, 01:39:46 AM »
Well if it makes you feel better I can confirm that the censorship (euphemised as "moderation") activity on this site is actually well into the severe side of the scale. And I say this as someone who has not only participated in but run sites orders of magnitude larger than this.
Running a site like this, you are a beggar for content every single day. Any post that:
1) is provocative (whether snarky, oir challenging, or just exasperating)
2) is on topic (and not an ad-hominem...who cares about the personalities of the miserable users)
3) is _arguably_ true (subjective, objective, or otherwise)
...you not only NEVER censor, you put it on the FRONT PAGE!
It is a serious challenge to recruit competent moderators...it's a thankless and miserable chore. Very often this is the first power they have held over other people and they become enamored and over-enthusiastic about it. They fail to understand that a dialectical argument is the lifeblood of online fora...one absolutely needs the wrong to elicit the right, the noise to make the signal feel safe and wanted. Generally the proprietor of a successful site at least understands this much though, which is why I recommend a counter-signed moderation system, where anything censored must be confirmed by the site proprietor within a given window.
As for karma, negative karma is an awful precscription, an allowance for drive-by negativity that invites retaliation against the non-perpetrator. Flagging a post for moderation is as far as an ordinary (or even "trusted") user should be allowed to engage; too often the role users embrace is that of voluntary stormtrooper, scaring off your budding talent. Positive karma only; and if your programmers haven't cottoned onto this yet, slap them.
The calls for the precious "civility" should be interpreted as yearnings for provocative content; those users will want to slap down things they find too provocative, resulting in beaucoup pageviews and continuous refreshes. Ganbatte!