2011-08-08

Moderation in action!

A site I frequent is self-defined as 'A friendly place to read, write, and discuss Trans-gender fiction.' And that's what it is. It doesn't happen by accident, or just by everyone naturally keeping on topic, however. It takes careful moderation.

Case in point. Poster A posted a link to a BBC article and an article in The Guardian, both discussing a research report on the NHS (National Health Service). Several responses were made. Then poster B started a new thread, destructively critiquing the report and the coverage, and taking a swipe at poster A. Again, several responses were made. Indeed, I myself prepared a response (comparisons were being made to the US healthcare system by Poster B). When I went to post my response, lo and behold I couldn't. Access was denied. I looked, I was logged in, why couldn't I post?

I couldn't post because the thread was gone. Both threads were gone. Poof, vanished as if they had never existed. I sat back, aghast. Shades of 1984! Liberal Librarianship front and center! This is censorship! This is restraint of freedom of speech! This is... all sorts of things the American Library Association is against.

Actually, it's quite proper moderation. The threads were becoming contentious, and had absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of the site. And thus, to promote the friendly atmosphere and to keep the site properly focused, they were removed.

I thought of making a thread commenting on this, and how well done it was, but realized that such a post would be unacceptable, because it would have nothing to do with the purpose of the site, and would be a potential source of contention. So, practicing restraint and self-moderation, I didn't.

But I can post here, on my own blog, can't I? Yes, I can. Here's to Erin Halfelven, site owner and moderator, for a job well done.friendly place to read, write and discuss Transgender Fiction.A friendly place to read, write and discuss Transgender Fiction.A friendly place to read, write and discuss Transgender Fiction.

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