Hinesy, I found some of the things you said in this thread a but curious. I'm responding to them with the intention of giving another perspective, not to single you out. I hope my comments are taken in the spirit they are intended.
1. We don't allow dissent from some sort of official rosy view.
My thoughts are:
1. That has always been wrong. What we've never allowed is mindless abuse, calling for manager's and player's P45's and insults.
To me, that's a total contradiction: You've conflated 'mindless abuse and insults', which should rightly be moderated, with criticism of players, managers and calls for their positions. That is clamping down on dissent. It's exactly
the sort of alternative view that gets quashed based on another person's dislike of the content.
Questioning the position of Dalglish or Benitez or Hodgson (two men for whom I have the utmost respect, and one called Roy), is entirely legitimate support. It's just a different type of support. I could make a sound argument why Kenny shouldn't be the manager next season. I support the football club, not just the manager; sometimes the two things conflict. The club will always win.
People just have different views on what it means to support this football club: Some say 'back the manager, give him your full throated support; back the players and sing their name. It'll all come right in the end'. Some say 'if the manager isn't doing a good enough job, and if the players aren't good enough to wear the shit, they need to go. We need to be ruthless in the support for the future success of this club'.
You might view one perspective better than the other, but neither should have a default 'correct' position based on nothing more than the perspective of a moderator. Now, I'm not advocating the 'Rafa/Dalglish/Watson should just fuck off' type post, but not allowing people to share their opinions on the direction their football club is being taken by the manager backwards thinking. It's akin to those calling Noam Chomsky 'un-American' for his criticism of American military forces. He's probably more patriotic than those shouting him down, he just has a different view on what his country should be doing.
Well, some have a different view on what this club should be doing. As long as they're honest and good intentioned posts, without one line 'he's fucking sheeoite' posts, those views should not only be deemed acceptable, but are required for any sort of debate. A good editorial process shouldn't just be about what to take out, but what to leave in to avoid groupthink. Once groupthink sets in, the entire forum goes stale very quickly.
3. Each mod has their way of moderating and we may be guilty of locking first, thinking after
Again, it's probably done out of an honest desire to see the forum operate in a way that represents their own perspective on what the forum should be discussing, but moderators shouldn't, in my opinion, censor what the entire user-base can talk about. That's what closing threads does.
A moderator's role should be to decide on the manner in which something should be discussed, not what should be discussed
. That's for those wanting the discussion; the users of the forum. That's a general principle, from lowly forum moderators right up to high-court judges.
The moderation team's time would be far more wisely used creating a respectful environment where all views can be heard. One view isn't more valid than another just because a moderator doesn't agree with it. Only fair, varied, and open debate will result in the best viewpoint.
Bollocks, why not? You really telling me you can't smile at your custom title? Most people think its an honour to have been recognised by the staff. And after all, you're the king of the Gods, where's your humour?
Maybe this just struck a cord with me because I'm an egalitarian, but what!? Why would it being an honour to be recognised by staff? It's my assumption that 'staff' are just posters with a slightly different set of permissions on a web forum. Aside from respecting the time a moderator takes out of their own life to help with the website, why would they be worthy of any more honour than any other poster?
As my Mum once asked me, 'do you think your shit doesn't stink'? She had a way with words, my Mum, but as far as I'm aware, you're no different to any other poster on the forum. Aside from, presumably, being more accountable and having a different set of permissions, being a moderator doesn't mean you're more or less knowledgeable, or worthy or reverence, than anybody else. Only your level of debate and the way the userbase sees you can dictate that.
If it was up to me, and it clearly isn't, I'd make all moderators anonymous, all post counts disappear, and all moderation actions accountable to the userbase. Then again, that's probably the rampant, chippy egalitarian in me again.