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Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

Raise issues with Admin (Stooz, Clariman, Redsturgeon) e.g. alert to something important on the site or ask Admin about a moderation decision. You will be answered, but there is no response time guarantee.
PhaseThree
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Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

#388539

Postby PhaseThree » February 21st, 2021, 9:10 pm

So we have now had two threads killed by the the same moderator for the crime of suggesting that the post Brexit situation of Northern Ireland might be non-ideal. From my position this is looking like political bias on behalf of this moderator.

Explanation please.

Itsallaguess
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Re: Anti-Nothern Irland Moderation Bias.

#388543

Postby Itsallaguess » February 21st, 2021, 9:23 pm

PhaseThree wrote:
So we have now had two threads killed by the the same moderator for the crime of suggesting that the post Brexit situation of Northern Ireland might be non-ideal. From my position this is looking like political bias on behalf of this moderator.

Explanation please.


My explanation was in the posts I made each time the threads were locked -

Itsallaguess wrote:
Moderator Message:
Another thread that would have been best on the Polite Discussions board, I'm afraid. As that option is no longer available, I think the best thing to do is to lock the thread to avoid it delving any deeper into Polite Discussions territory - Itsallaguess


https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=27852&p=387557#p387557

https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=27974&p=388535#p388535

When the Polite Discussions board was closed down, Clariman made this absolutely clear statement in the thread discussing the board closure -

Clariman wrote:
We want to re-focus the site to become a community with a shared interest in personal finance and a mutual desire to help each other, by sharing our wide collective knowledge and experience.

We want to rid the site of invective and rid it of argument for argument's sake. If you want to argue about politics, from left or right, brexit or remain, then go and find somewhere else to do it.


https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=27405&start=60#p379028


Most posters are happy to abide by the owners wish as stated above, but it seems that some continue to think that they are free to carry on the types of arguments typically seen in that now-closed area elsewhere on the site...

If you're unhappy with this situation, can I please ask that you contact Clariman via PM to discuss the issue with him.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess
Last edited by Itsallaguess on February 21st, 2021, 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PhaseThree
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Re: Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

#388553

Postby PhaseThree » February 21st, 2021, 9:56 pm

"We want to re-focus the site to become a community with a shared interest in personal finance and a mutual desire to help each other, by sharing our wide collective knowledge and experience"

If this site wishes to move to be wholly financial then I am happy to support this and abide by the rules - However I can see 30-50% of the posts are not financially based. (@itsallaguess I fail to see how your recent posts on wind tunnels or vaccines have a financial focus).

Trying to pretend that tunnels to Ireland are just amusing stories that have no barring on the current political situation is naive in the extreme. - and insulting to the people who live here - If you are going to allow political postings you need to expect responses in kind.

csearle
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Re: Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

#388579

Postby csearle » February 21st, 2021, 11:48 pm

PhaseThree wrote:So now we have political posts that are fine right up to the point where I provide a Northern Irish perspective at which point they are immediately locked. This happened twice within the space of a few days and looks an awful lot like bias from where I'm sitting.
The way I see it is that in the past we used to move overtly political posts to Polite Discussions to be enjoyed by the robust debaters there. This was often done to prevent divisive political issues from sidetracking topics. That avenue has been removed from us. So there really are only two things to do with overtly political posts, to delete or lock them.

As almost everything can be regarded as political in some way or another it is quite clear that not all political posts can be deleted as there would be none left.

So the trick is to save overtly political posts for other debating chambers and leave them off The Lemon Fool. If you don't like this then by all means plead your case to the site owners here (or privately).

Chris

Itsallaguess
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Re: Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

#388594

Postby Itsallaguess » February 22nd, 2021, 6:10 am

PhaseThree wrote:
My view :-

The "funny tunnel" stories are political postings - I answered them as such.

If the threads themselves had been pulled for violating a "no politics" policy then I would be fine - but they weren't.

So now we have political posts that are fine right up to the point where I provide a Northern Irish perspective at which point they are immediately locked. This happened twice within the space of a few days and looks an awful lot like bias from where I'm sitting.


As I said earlier - following the closure of the Polite Discussions board, I am trying to moderate the areas under my responsibility with the following very clear message from Clariman in mind -

Clariman wrote:
We want to rid the site of invective and rid it of argument for argument's sake.

If you want to argue about politics, from left or right, brexit or remain, then go and find somewhere else to do it.


https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=27405&start=60#p379028

Since Clariman posted the above on 20th January 2021, there remains a small number of posters who feel determined that this instruction from the site owner somehow doesn't apply to them, and they seem to think they are free to continue the politically-motivated arguments in the more general areas of the wider site.

The reason that I locked both the political threads that you've highlighted, rather than simply delete them, is in the hope that by doing so they will continue to act as a visual deterrent, to help steer those posters towards Clariman's quite clear 'no politics' instruction...

I considered that simply deleting the threads would clearly then act as less of a visual deterrent, and so chose to lock them and hope that those posters who currently feel that Clariman's 'no politics' instruction somehow doesn't apply to them will learn to follow the rule that the vast majority of posters on this site are happy to abide by.

I hope you might agree that many of those rule-abiding posters might also have lots of political points that they might wish to make themselves, but are happy to abide by Clariman's wishes for the wider benefit of this online community....

As I said earlier - I would please ask that you contact Clariman via PM if you feel that you've been treated harshly over this or any other moderation issue.

I am absolutely sure that Clariman would wish to hear from you or any other poster if this is something you feel strongly about, but I would please ask that you provide a link to this thread if this is a path that you consider taking, so he is brought up to speed as quickly as possible regarding the underlying issues.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

Clariman
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Re: Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

#388618

Postby Clariman » February 22nd, 2021, 9:05 am

Moderator Message:
Please note that Room 101 is the place for users to raise an issue for the attention of Admin/Owners, so that it can be answered directly. It is not the place to engage in a general discussion so I have deleted a number of posts. Please do not take this personally - I appreciate that you were trying to help. It is helpful and relevant that the Mod who was involved in the issue has responded to those posts remain.


I will respond to the OP's post later this morning.

Clariman

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Re: Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

#388649

Postby Clariman » February 22nd, 2021, 10:20 am

PhaseThree wrote:So we have now had two threads killed by the the same moderator for the crime of suggesting that the post Brexit situation of Northern Ireland might be non-ideal. From my position this is looking like political bias on behalf of this moderator.

Explanation please.

Hi PhaseThree,

You have had explanations from the relevant Mod but I am happy to give my perspective too. I have read both topics in their entirety, so will give you a short and a longer explanation. I have not discussed it with the Mod, so this is my completely impartial view.

Short Explanation
Your final post on each topic was overtly political on a board where politics has never been allowed. You gave the moderator no option but to act on it. With the Polite Discussions board out of commission at the moment, the mod could either delete your post or lock the thread. They chose to do the latter. That is perfectly appropriate. Once a topic starts heading down that route there is little that can be done to salvage it.

Longer Explanation
Having read every post in the 2 topics I'd like to make a couple of observations and express some personal opinions.

  • In the earlier and longer topic you posted 5 times and the first 4 were not overtly political, even though they expressed opinions about the proposed scheme and how things are today. Quite rightly those posts did not prompt any moderator action. Your 5th post, however, was overtly political and it led to the topic getting locked. I don't see any moderator bias in those actions.
  • You might feel aggrieved - feeling that you were singled out for moderator action. I can understand why you might, but that is not how I read the two topics. The first one was teetering on the edge of being political from the outset. In my experience, the longer a topic like that goes on then the more likely it will become political and degenerate into immovable opposing views - there is almost an inevitability to it. That topic certainly fitted that model and if I had been moderating it I would have been keeping a close eye on it. It is a difficult balance to strike - allowing freedom of expression when it is on the edge. When do you choose to act? If it had been me moderating it, the only thing I might have done differently would have been to post a Mod box warning earlier in the topic to say that it was going to get locked if it became more political. However, your overtly political post would have prompted me to take action too.
  • Your post on the second topic was identical, you knew that it had prompted the earlier one to be locked so there should be no surprise that the same thing would happen. From a Moderator's point of view, one thinks "Here we go. If I don't nip this in the bud, this topic is going to go off the rails".
  • I don't see any political bias in the moderator actions. He was following the rules. Don't take it personally.
  • I say all the above as someone who has a lot of sympathy with the view you expressed. I'm not going to say anything further than that, so please do not use that as an excuse to reply in a political way. I just want to make the point that I would have moderated in a very similar way to the moderator who acted, yet I have sympathy with your view. Would you have accused me of bias?

PhaseThree wrote:If this site wishes to move to be wholly financial then I am happy to support this and abide by the rules - However I can see 30-50% of the posts are not financially based.


Perhaps the words of mine that the Mod quoted were not explicit enough. We do allow posts on all sorts of topics outside of finance, but we do not allow any overtly political posts. The full words that I wrote were:

Moderator Message:
We want to re-focus the site to become a community with a shared interest in personal finance and a mutual desire to help each other, by sharing our wide collective knowledge and experience. We want to rid the site of invective and rid it of argument for argument's sake. If you want to argue about politics, from left or right, brexit or remain, then go and find somewhere else to do it. That is not core to the purposes and nature of this site.

TLF inherited some great things from TMF but some negative stuff too. It is time to leave the negative behind and focus on the great community that this is. Whether we do this by closing PD permanently or re-opening it with a regular purging of all posts is yet to be decided, but the fundamental aim is as described above.


The "mutual desire to help each other, but sharing our wide collective knowledge and experience" was saying that is the style of site and posting that we want. "Wide" meant we can help each other on topics that are not purely financial too. But no politics please unless we decide to reopen the Polite Discussions board.

Thanks for raising your questions and I hope that this gives you some reassurance and a fuller explanation.

All the best

Clariman

PhaseThree
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Re: Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

#388758

Postby PhaseThree » February 22nd, 2021, 3:10 pm

Hi Clariman,

Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful response to this issue. On reflection I am happy to accept that this not a question of bias but a question of perspective (my apologies to itsallaguess for suggesting otherwise).

The current situation of the relationship between Northern Ireland and GB is the political hot topic here, with politicians of most persuasions desperately trying to find a away to avoid a return to the past. Against this deteriorating back drop, and from my perspective, I saw the Irish sea tunnel discussions as being "overtly political" right from the start. I was therefore surprised to find that my overtly political response to an overtly political topic elicited the moderation response it did.

If however your perspective is that such topics are non-political and just a suitable target for some light banter then my response would seem to be out of place.

We clearly have differing perspectives as to what constitutes a political post, and equally clearly there is no way of squaring this circle.

Best Regards
PhaseThree

Itsallaguess
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Re: Anti-Northern Ireland Moderation Bias.

#388790

Postby Itsallaguess » February 22nd, 2021, 4:29 pm

PhaseThree wrote:
On reflection I am happy to accept that this not a question of bias but a question of perspective (my apologies to itsallaguess for suggesting otherwise).


A gracious response that I'm more than happy to accept.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess


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