Re: Call for a vote of nonconfidence in the moderator of the AmSci Forum

From: Jan Velterop <openaccess_at_BTINTERNET.COM>
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 08:22:24 +0100

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Apologies for the lateness of my comments on this matter. Stevan has my full
support. He is fully entitled to post on this list what he wants and to
withold submissions if he deems that right. Those who hold the view that a
list such as this one should ? or indeed can ? be run 'objectively' and
according to some pseudo-democratic rules are, frankly, a bit na´ve. Those
who don?t like Stevan?s judgement with regard to acceptance of submissions
can always start their own list.

That said, Stevan hasn?t made it easy on himself, combining the task of
moderator with that of host. Other lists separate these roles, and he may
wish to consider drafting someone in to help him run the list and do the
same (Stevan being the host; someone else being the moderator, I would have
thought, given the definitions of the roles, see below).

The definitions that, for instance, the BBC uses for the two roles are along
the following lines:
A host's job is to encourage interesting discussions and to help resolve
disagreements. They post regularly on the lists, start discussions or reply
to questions. Hosts do not reject messages.
A moderator's job is to reject messages that break the ?House Rules?.
Messages will not be rejected for any other reason. Moderators do not post
messages on the lists.

Among the BBC ?House Rules? are the following (there are more).
Messages are rejected that
?Are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise
objectionable
?Contain swear words or other language likely to offend
?Break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity.
?Are considered to be off-topic
?Are considered to be ?spam?, that is posts containing the same, or similar,
message posted multiple times.

Apart from the possible problem of finding such help, the only difficulty of
my suggestion that I can foresee is perhaps dealing with the last house rule
mentioned. But then again, Stevan is free to set his own house rules.

Jan Velterop
Received on Mon Oct 13 2008 - 10:04:37 BST

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