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Ralph new moderator


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Well I don't mean to offend anyone, and I've only read a few of his entries, but I'd be a little concerned about booking a moderator that is still in the danger zone of relapsing into his stoner/drunk ways. Seems a little premature to me. I said over a year ago, that Victim was an ideal candidate and I'd still pick him over Ralph. {I don't mean to offend you Ralph, but I'm being considerate of everyone's wellbeing on this forum}

 

IrmaJean is a great Mod.

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Mods are there to provide the illusion of security, rather than actual hands on involvement which as Malign demonstrated over a year ago, fuels the situation and leaves everyone bitter. IrmaJean has left an almost perfect blueprint IMO which would have me select the following criteria:

 

●Interact with members

●Express your opinion but don't assert/debate it

●Less is more: Only use your powers to ask people to take it down a notch, add trigger warnings, or at worst lock threads.

●Live by example

 

Now, the latter doesn't mean to be some life loving hippie. Rather, live a clean life and prove to be a functional human being. I don't know how well Ralph would do with the other criterion but the last one worries me. I know it's wonderfulfully romantic that he seems to have overcome adversity and could be a shining beacon of hope to us low lives. But alcohol/substance addiction has high relapse rates and will severely impair his judgement to mod/fulfill the other criterion.

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1 hour ago, Small said:

 the following criteria:

●Interact with members

●Express your opinion but don't assert/debate it

●Less is more: Only use your powers to ask people to take it down a notch, add trigger warnings, or at worst lock threads.

●Live by example

live a clean life and prove to be a functional human being

Oh, wow. So you expect us to lead an exemplary life. What am I doing here then? :huh: :lol: (I don't want to mock at you, I'm just a bit stunned.)

Moreover, I haven't read the SPS forum many months already and even in the past, I posted there very rarely. Aren't we allowed to keep some personal boundaries? I think I'm still able at least to delete some spam (you would be surprised how flooded by spam the site becomes sometimes (you don't know because it's visible only to moderators and admins)) and to approve posts written by new members...

I expect Ralph will deal with "moderating" better and contribute helpfully with his insights, judgement, time, ... As for his personal problems, I'm not sure how to react to what you wrote because I find it prejudicial and a bit offensive and I don't want to offend you in return. Emotions aside: I think it would be possible to write a long rational argumentation explaining why the issue that Ralph has been struggling with (and mostly very admirably successfully!) is not in any way a reason to suppose he would not be "suitable" as a moderator of a forum like this. But I'm sure it would be unnecessary because Ralph will prove it himself by his actions :) .

 

 

 

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@Klingsor

I didn't say he needs to be a healthcare professional. All I'm saying, and pardon me for saying this colloquially since nobody seems to have registered my point, is that a moderator here needs to have his shit together. I think it's a warranted evaluation, to be concerned about his alcohol and substance addiction since relapses are dangerously common in this area, especially since its in his recent past. He has relapsed before. I am only thinking about the welfare of this community.

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just to chime in here; i don't have any beef with victim, but i agree with klingsor. a moderator needs to be at least somewhat neutral and perceived to be objective. and many of us don't meet that criterion. idk how--positively--effective ralph will be (i guess time will tell), but i don't recall him being involved in any altercations around here.

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I have also mentioned that criterion and fair enough. This isn't about Victim, it's about having a reliable moderator that sets a reasonably good example for everyone. We all respect Beth because of her values and to a lesser degree malign, which is most of the reason they're able to contain altercations. Should Ralph have another relapse he is in danger of posting out of turn, not to mention the immediate loss of authentic authority/respect. But hey, let's all jump on the moral-centric bandwagon and sing kumbaya whilst running this forums reputation into the ground; or at least risking it.

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I appreciate that everyone cares so much about the community. Moderating may at times involve choices and decisions that aren't clear cut or black and white. This type of choice is no different. There are no specific written requirements to be a moderator.

In this particular case, I did my best to choose from the community several members who I felt would be assets to the moderating team. There are certain qualities that I personally look for. Ralph is calm, intelligent, open minded, even, and insightful. He has a strong and steady voice and I think he will be a wonderful moderator. All of us here have our own struggles, triggers, imperfections...myself included. I don't intend to be here on site any less than I have been and most decisions that are made (unless other mods are not available) are made together as a team. As always, decisions and choices are made with the best interests of the community in mind.

I hope we can welcome Ralph. He has volunteered to offer his time and assistance to help our community.



 

Edited by IrmaJean
Adding, wording, typos
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Small, I'm not here to set an example. I just want to help out in whatever ways in which I may be able. I hear the concern that, as someone with a substance issue, I may be impaired and on the site at the same time, which would affect my judgment as a moderator, or even as a participant in forum threads. I assure you I have awareness around this and have no intent of coming on this site unless I am sober at the time.

However, what I reject is the implication that, as someone with a substance issue, my credibility must be suspect, even when I am not using, because of the danger that I may relapse at some point in the future. This is a non-sequitur as far as I can tell, unless there is a tacit assumption that all people with substance issues have poor judgment, even when they are not actively participating in their addictions. My life experience has provided me with evidence to the contrary, so I cannot accept that assumption. It seems clear that you would prefer someone who has his or her "shit together," but I would submit that in this world there is not one person who truly meets this criterion. No matter how much one may appear to have their shit together on the outside, you can always find struggles if you peel back the veneer. It's the human condition.

I did not ask to be a moderator, I was asked.  I accepted on the grounds that this site has helped me in the past, so if I can offer some assistance back to the community, then I want to do that. I am not active on the forums right now because of where I am at in my journey. I don't need help with my own emotional issues right now as I have been self managing successfully, yet I do not feel I am far enough along to help someone else, so I keep quiet. In accepting to be a moderator I want to help support the team that keeps this community up and running. If I am successful in this, then you will hardly even notice I'm here.

At least, that is how I view things. If the community desires something else from a mod then I will adjust my behavior accordingly, or happily step aside for someone more skilled in the role. I hope that offers more clarity about who I am and why I accepted to be a moderator, and I am glad for this discussion as it shows people care about the community.

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  • 3 weeks later...

And honestly, it's doubtful whether I would qualify for the "shit together" criterion now, much less when I was first offered a post as moderator.

I was then actively picturing my own suicide.  I would have refused possession of a firearm, if someone had offered me one, because I knew my judgment was impaired.  But only on that topic;  I continued to hold a job and treat others fairly and so on.  And it's possible that refusing a gun would have been a sign of good judgment, the same as knowing that one has an addiction is at least a sign of awareness that some people never achieve.  So there's also degrees of shit-togetherness to be considered.  {And again, we face the question of who judges how together is enough ...}

Seriously, moderating a place like this is, to a large extent, by common consent, as Small points out.  In the extreme, if the actions of a moderator are not accepted by the membership and not corrected by the rest of the moderator staff or the administrators, people will simply leave, or attempt to overwhelm the staff with unacceptable content which might force a site shutdown.  Those scenarios are possible;  they have occasionally occurred on other sites on the web.

We haven't had to resort to such means in our history, largely because most people here, including the staff, realize that any community is established by the consent of the governed, as Thomas Jefferson might have put it.  We realize that it is to our common advantage to relinquish some part of our freedom in exchange for the social benefits.

For instance, freedom means being able to rant like a child, abuse your neighbors, and generally make a nuisance of oneself.  But it also means having to accept the consequences, by which I don't mean "punishments" meted out by authority figures, but the natural outcome of losing the company of people who will allow that behavior to continue.

So, I agree that the appointment of anyone as a moderator involves some risk of abuse of the position.  One might even make the point that selecting moderators from among people who have chosen to come to a mental health site greatly magnifies that risk.  Of course, those are the only people we have to select from.  But if you don't believe that the inmates already run the asylum, you haven't dealt much with politics.  Personally, I don't think there's anyone better qualified than the inmates, for better or worse ...

And I don't think there's anyone better qualified than Ralph.  By that, I don't mean that there might not be other candidates as qualified as Ralph;  we didn't run some sort of competition and award the job to the winner (or loser, as he might begin to feel.)  We reached out to someone who has contributed to the site and who we believed would be able to contribute even more as a moderator.  That's the process by which both Beth and I became moderators, back when the Ages were Dark, and it's the one we'll use in selecting future moderators as well

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And as a further note, which I felt would be better separated from the rather lengthy post I just made:

One of the major contributing factors to the site needing more moderators has been my own inactivity here for the past few months.  Beth has done a heroic job of keeping up with the day-to-day maintenance (and that upkeep is substantial, however it may seem) despite having a considerable load of responsibility in her private life as well.

I ... haven't managed to be heroic.  I've been going to my shit job (speaking of shit being together, at least the job is all in one place), coming home, and falling asleep, pretty much.  My days off, never two in a row because retail doesn't work that way, or so they tell me, are mostly spent trying to recover so that I can do another stretch.

With that, I've been unable to keep up anything remotely like moderating.  I cannot, as I once did, read every post that hits this site;  I'm lucky to have read a few this entire month.  I'm sure it's obvious that it's even harder to keep up with content that's unpleasant or with which I may disagree.  Yet such content, I hope, should make up the bulk of this site, because my idea of what's pleasant isn't what most people here are experiencing, and what I agree with is precisely not the criterion for publishing posts here.

Even a disagreement like the one in this thread is what being a community is about, though.  In fact, I'm glad that Small felt secure enough to bring up his concern.  We're here to discuss what bothers us in a civilized way, and look -- we're doing it.

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I'm late but it's looks like everything has been said.  I feel certain that Ralph will do a fine job as moderator. Before I read all the posts I was prepared to write something sarcastic and mean to small but it's true he should feel free to express his concerns.  I feel free to disagree. I've never seen Ralph post anything on here in an "unstable " fashion.  And it's been a lot of years,  I think.  Any way good luck Ralph,  I'm sure you'll do a good job.  Thanks for helping. 

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Thanks, smallstar and sed.  Yes, I have been around a while. I think I started here around 2010. I do come and go, as sometimes I feel like I need support, and it helps just reading other folks' posts, but then other times I want to push my mental health problems into the background and pretend I am doing fine.

I have made a ton of progress in the past couple years or so. I'm just not sure how to help others with what I've learned, so I continue to study. More on that in a soon to come blog post.

What this has to do with moderating is that I'm going to experiment with being more active. I'll probably make some mistakes along the way. My ask of the community is for charity (give me the benefit of the doubt when interpreting what I say), but with feedback.

Please understand I'm just a neurotic human being like anyone else. I am no better or worse and hopefully I don't come off as making myself out to be any better or worse. If I say something that comes off as aggressive, harsh, or judgmental, then let me know.  If possible I would prefer feedback that focuses on the behavior rather than on my inherent traits as a person, but I don't demand that.

I hope everyone who reads this has a good day.

Edited by Ralph
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13 hours ago, Ralph said:

I'll probably make some mistakes along the way.

We all do, I suppose (I know if for sure about myself).

Quote

My ask of the community is for charity (give me the benefit of the doubt when interpreting what I say), but with feedback.

This should be a general request of us all :) ...

 

 

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13 hours ago, Ralph said:

I'll probably make some mistakes along the way.

We all do, I suppose (I know if for sure about myself).

Quote

My ask of the community is for charity (give me the benefit of the doubt when interpreting what I say), but with feedback.

This should be a general request of us all :) ...

 

 

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