JBoard Moderation Discussion

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alietr
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JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by alietr »

I wanted to bring up for the discussion the level of moderation that takes place on JBoard. It has been my belief that open discussion and a light hand on censoring posts has been the best policy. I tried to make clear in my "Read this First" post that this policy does have limits. I (and the other moderators) don't really want to get into a situation where we're constantly weeding out posts because we don't like what someone is saying or how they're saying it.

BUT, I did receive a message from one of the BotD players saying that to that person's knowledge, quite a few contestants and champions have stayed away from JBoard because of a reputation of posters being unnecessarily mean to people who have been on the show. A few exceptions aside, I haven't felt that to be the case, but that's what the comment was. While obviously we're no TWOP, I don't like that people would feel that way, or would want to stay away from here.

So I would like to solicit comments from JBoarders -- should we be using a heavier hand in moderating? Or are things fine the way they are? Would heavier moderation dissuade people from participating, or would it improve the JBoard experience? I don't want specific people singled out; I am instead interested in what other people think about the tone of our board and whether it should be changed at all. Thanks.

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zakharov
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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by zakharov »

One man's opinion: I think the rules could stand to be more clear with regards to spoiler rules. I ran afoul of the spoiler policy once by accident and was flamed to a crisp. Not that I didn't deserve it, but it might help future newbies avoid the same mistakes I did.

I think mods could be a bit more proactive in stepping in when discussion goes off the rails (see: the atheism trainwreck, people calling Roger stupid, people reacting to people calling Roger stupid, etc). It's way too easy for a thread to get derailed and stay that way, and moderation can help there.

As far as being mean to contestants...I'm not sure how much moderation can help there. You're not going to want to hold back people from expressing their opinions, and contestants making mistakes is fair game. Maybe we could all do with a reminder that everyone who gets up there passed two really hard tests to make it, and that people staring into cameras for the first time in their lives may make mistakes. One of my favorite things about the board is contestants showing up to provide perspective, and it's a real shame if the tone of discussion is scaring them off.
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ihavejeoprosy
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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by ihavejeoprosy »

Did the contestant say what the supposed cause of the vitriol was? It could well be a misunderstanding. Ive found everyone to be very respectful of contestants and each other.
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Golf
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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by Golf »

alietr wrote:BUT, I did receive a message from one of the BotD players saying that to that person's knowledge, quite a few contestants and champions have stayed away from JBoard because of a reputation of posters being unnecessarily mean to people who have been on the show. A few exceptions aside, I haven't felt that to be the case, but that's what the comment was.
In my opinion, the level of moderation is fair. For the most part, posters self-police each other quite well.

Contestants know when they get the call that everything they do will be dissected, both good and bad. If not here then in living rooms across the country and on other forms of social media. Do you think Facebook and Twitter is worrying that contestants don't want to take part because of what is being said? If they don't want to be under the microscope while fulfilling a dream they they should stay home and continue to insulate themselves.

Occasionally people are scolded here for being "too mean" when a contestant makes a mistake, but are people ever scolded for being "too nice" when a contestant does something well? Nope. It's a two way street, we discuss everything here, can't have a good and fair discussion if we're only allowed to be happy happy joy joy. If a contestant can't handle a fair discussion then they probably shouldn't be here, and if that's the case it's not a big deal.

Arthur Chu has handled everything well, he's taken both the good and the bad and discussed it all. He realizes two things, that what he did was strategically correct, and that a lot of people would not care for his style of play. He hasn't lost sleep over the haters. Perhaps more people should have that attitude.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by dhkendall »

[mod hat off]
I like that this place is at least intended to be a friendly place but, as has been pointed out, things do get off the rails here. I remember the old Sony board had about the same level of moderation this place does (only with more spam) but if the moderators have the ability to clean the place up to make it nice, I say let's use it!
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cf1140
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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by cf1140 »

I would have thought a discussion about posters being mean would be about users posting about TPH.

I :roll: at all of them, and I don't think a game discussion needs to go off topic because TPH got a difficult FJ right. (The Book of Mormon)

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by Vanya »

Ironically, it seems to me that, if a contestant posts here, people are less inclined to be mean to them. Anyway, I believe that, when it comes to moderation, less is more. A mod's judgment of what is "mean" would be subjective. I really don't think more moderation would make any difference to how many contestants participate here. Except maybe in the case of mbclev :) .

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by Vanya »

Sage on the Hudson wrote: After my initial thought of "who knows this kind of stuff about Secretaries of State, anyway?" rational analysis of the clue took over, quickly leading me to "who's the most prominent lifelong bachelor in the history of U.S. government?" At that point I felt it didn't matter whether I had any idea if Buchanan was ever secretary of state or not. Rice took longer; though I've actually met her (long before I had any idea that she'd go on to become an agent of the Devil), I had to do the math once I'd settled on Buchanan.

I do agree with those who feel that the clue was somewhat misleading: "never married" more than implies that the books are closed on both secretaries and that, as with Buchanan, marriage at a later date is forever an impossibility. I suppose there might still be somebody out there who likes the soon-to-be-sixty-year-old Rice's piano-playing.
Now this is an unnecessarily mean post. I'm still not in favor of moderation. Posts like these reveal the character of the poster.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by Mathew5000 »

zakharov wrote:One man's opinion: I think the rules could stand to be more clear with regards to spoiler rules.
Opusthepenguin posted some useful guidelines about spoilers a couple of months ago. I can't find the post now but it should probably be stickied.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by harrumph »

With the BOTD tournament we've had a large influx of new posters that will ebb now that it's over, that influx temporarily changes the feel of the place.

I agree with Golf's point that it's a two way street here, we can't be a smiley face board if we are to seriously analyze the topics that arise. A lot of the fun of Jboard is that we have a lot of very intelligent posters who can discuss almost anything at length, and in that free flowing atmosphere subjective opinions of contestant's gameplay are broached; we would be diminishing the conversation if we were to make it nicey nice to avoid contestants being potentially offended.

It's already understood here that remarks on the physical appearance of the contestants, positive or negative, are not what we're about. At most we might have a few complimentary remarks here and there, and it's done with decorum and not excessive.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by dhkendall »

Personally, I don't foresee too much difference from the way things have been, I for one have always been in favour of alietr's light-handed approach, and intend to keep it that way regardless of any outcome change here. (Perhaps maybe a discussion among moderators before something is deleted might be appropriate?) But I think one of the impetuses, in addition to the BotD contestant's admission to alietr, is the thread hijacking in the Friday thread by mbclev. While allowed under the "light-hand" policy, I personally don't like seeing the conversation derailed and degraded into troll feeding (but then, I've always expressed as much), and feel a slightly more heavy hand, or at least discussion among mods before agreeing on deletion, would make this place brighter and cleaner.
Vanya wrote:
Sage on the Hudson wrote: After my initial thought of "who knows this kind of stuff about Secretaries of State, anyway?" rational analysis of the clue took over, quickly leading me to "who's the most prominent lifelong bachelor in the history of U.S. government?" At that point I felt it didn't matter whether I had any idea if Buchanan was ever secretary of state or not. Rice took longer; though I've actually met her (long before I had any idea that she'd go on to become an agent of the Devil), I had to do the math once I'd settled on Buchanan.

I do agree with those who feel that the clue was somewhat misleading: "never married" more than implies that the books are closed on both secretaries and that, as with Buchanan, marriage at a later date is forever an impossibility. I suppose there might still be somebody out there who likes the soon-to-be-sixty-year-old Rice's piano-playing.
Now this is an unnecessarily mean post. I'm still not in favor of moderation. Posts like these reveal the character of the poster.
Ah, but one has to consider is it mean only because he's bashing "your side". Sage might very well call this post of yours mean, and revealing of your character:
Vanya wrote:
seaborgium wrote:Another detail that helps the FJ make sense, if you know a little more than just "bachelor" about Buchanan's biography, is that he was pretty old as president (he was in his 70s when he left office, I believe; by contrast, Lincoln was 52 when he took over). This gives him plenty of room in his pre-Presidential career to, say, hold a cabinet position. I don't think knowing that would have helped one guess Buchanan, but if I had settled on him, I would have used that knowledge to justify him as a response.

(He was the last president born in the 18th century, and the last former SoS to become president. One of these may change.)
Nah. Hillary has brain damage from running into brick walls.
This is what I always consider before getting into political debates, despite being a liberal (capital L and small l) I know that if I bash their guy, they more than likely can bash my guy, and it solves nothing. I am convinced my taunt is "correct", but I also realize that they are just as convinced theirs is too.
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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by Fishercat »

If I can be honest, I get the complaint that's being made...but only when the person doesn't show up to discuss the game. I've been as guilty as anyone, but as a collective, I feel this place can be hard on contestants, especially those who do not follow more aggressive strategy lines with their wagering and clue selection choices. One of the more memorable reactions I can remember was the end of the most recent college tournament when Terry O'Shea declined to make the shutout bet on FJ and gave her opponent (Tucker I believe) a shot to come back.

http://www.jboard.tv/viewtopic.php?f=1& ... t=o%27shea

They did come to post here, but it's also worth noting that this generation grew up more used to be talking about, to, and by people online in some aspect, so they may be less sensitive to it than other adults are.

However, when the person starts posting here, the tenor changes 180% and the people are (perhaps overly) nice and conciliatory. It's kind of two-faced. Human nature yes, but I totally understand the BotD comment.

Not sure how much of a way there is around it to be honest. If you want to be a haven for Jeopardy contestants, cracking down on any comments about the contestants themselves may help but that may have the negative impact of diluting potentially positive discussion. I'm as guilty as many of being excessively mean, so it's a lot of mirror reflecting here, but I think you decide what you want jboard to be and go from there.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by yclept »

I mostly love how the board runs now, which is why I started posting after years of lurking.

I can do without comments like "Now back to the girls on Monday" made by one poster in the Friday game discussion, however. It is fine, in my opinion, if one wants to critique the current champ's style of play, even if her style has been wildly successful. But it is not quite as fine when her gender is criticized, or when Roger's semi final win is met with a post about him beating "diversity contestants". That is the kind of stuff I personally think is unnecessary.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by lieph82 »

yclept wrote:I mostly love how the board runs now, which is why I started posting after years of lurking.

I can do without comments like "Now back to the girls on Monday" made by one poster in the Friday game discussion, however. It is fine, in my opinion, if one wants to critique the current champ's style of play, even if her style has been wildly successful. But it is not quite as fine when her gender is criticized, or when Roger's semi final win is met with a post about him beating "diversity contestants". That is the kind of stuff I personally think is unnecessary.
If you're referring to my post, it was a parody of the sexist "outchange" thread's original post from a while back, but I apologize if it bothered you.

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Rex Kramer
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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by Rex Kramer »

alietr wrote:BUT, I did receive a message from one of the BotD players saying that to that person's knowledge, quite a few contestants and champions have stayed away from JBoard because of a reputation of posters being unnecessarily mean to people who have been on the show.
It is hard to evaluate the significance of this message without more information, information I am sure you cannot provide. This could be read as just one person's gut feeling based on personal experience and rumor, or a well-supported conclusion based on a great deal of specific feedback. My interpretation would be different if this message were from Colby Burnett, who was roundly mistreated during his appearances on the show because of his misperceived attitude, than if it were from Ken Jennings, who is not only generally well-liked but who also runs his own website and message boards on which he could collect opinions from many other contestants.

In any case, the message doesn't say that people are staying away because Boardies are unnecessarily mean -- it says they are staying away because we have a reputation for being mean. This sounds like more of a PR problem than an actual problem. While it is certainly true in an absolute sense that there is unnecessary meanness on the Boards to people who have been on the show, it is usually quite minimal, and compared to a lot of other venues it is usually practically nonexistent. If the Boards have a general reputation for being unnecessarily mean, we are not going to change that reputation by being "less mean", because we don't really have much wiggle room there. I wish people would be less condescending in their discussions of betting strategies -- a point that was well thrashed-out in the recent "Vikings" thread -- but otherwise I do not really see a lot of room for realistic improvement. A better way to address the problem would be to specifically invite contestants who never or rarely post here to participate and interact with us, and so hopefully come away with an improved opinion of us. (And is it possible that there is some confusion between us and the official Sony boards?)

This is not to say that there isn't criticism. Even a very successful player like returning champion Julia has been criticized for not seeming exciting enough and not making optimum bets. But such criticism, while sometimes blunt, is not unnecessarily mean; it is merely the germane (though not necessarily correct) opinion of seasoned viewers. If a contestant who makes an unwise bet stays away from the J!Boards because he doesn't like the fact that someone pointed out that he made an unwise bet, that is like when a diner stays away from a Thai restaurant because he doesn't like spicy food. Should the restaurant owner remove all chilies from her recipes?

I think that, on the whole, we are pretty good at self-policing when it comes to posters who are unnecessarily mean to contestants. I have no objection to having moderators step in if some people (particularly new and/or one-shot posters) say something totally rude and inappropriate, but generally I don't see the need.

On the other hand, we do have a small problem with being unnecessarily mean to people who have not been on the show. With one exception -- a former contestant whose performance almost none of us has ever actually seen -- the people we are unnecessarily mean to have never been behind the podium, and we therefore are not mean to them because of their performances on the show. Clearly these people have been put on these Boards to test us and to force us to grow into our most humane and fully-developed selves, but, being human, we sometimes fall short of that ideal. Or maybe that's just me. In any case, if we can't find ways to respond to those who test us with good humor, the resulting posts may seem harsh and uninviting, even to those (like contestants) to whom they were not addressed. I can see that contributing to a reputation for being unnecessarily mean. Perhaps it would be helpful to our reputation for the moderators to snip away the internecine sniping that sometimes predictably follows certain pronouncements by certain posters. Of course, it would be similarly helpful to snip away those certain pronouncements as well, so that they do not generate such sniping. Now we are getting into the realm of censorship, of some very loyal Boardies (on both sides of that particular aisle), so that step would have to be taken very carefully and evenhandedly. It's a separate issue from that of being "unnecessarily mean to contestants", but really the only realm in which I think increased moderation might make a difference.

Rex

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Leah
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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by Leah »

While I think more moderation would be good-- perhaps in the form of a warning protocol if comments are too rough-- to me the downside is that it would take up even more of the mods' time, with which they are already very generous.

It's my belief that criticisms can be stated politely, without ad hominem nastiness. Whether every poster has the ability to do that is the question. Maybe one or two paragraphs suggesting how could be added to the board instructions, and sent to the non-compliant when they post, with eventual barring after too many infractions. Accepting a double standard in which casually insulting non-boardie contestants is OK but telling them if they show up on the board they'll be discussed civilly is not a good option, in my opinion.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by Bamaman »

I agree the people here are, for the most part, nice people. I do think some people (myself included) tend to criticize people's wagers too much. But that is an important aspect of the show and I think it is fair game. I do try to avoid calling people stupid for not getting something right on the show as what is simple for me may not be simple for someone else and vice versa.

I do wish we could know exactly what the person said (without revealing their name) so we could better address their concerns.

I do not want this place to be all sunshine and roses. But I don't want it to be the wild west, either with vicious name calling of everybody who misses a clue we think is easy. There is a fine line there and I think for the most part, we don't stray too far.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by dhkendall »

Leah wrote:While I think more moderation would be good-- perhaps in the form of a warning protocol if comments are too rough-- to me the downside is that it would take up even more of the mods' time, with which they are already very generous.
[mod hat on]
But that is part of the problem though. I agree with the posters here that overall we're pretty good, but I have been known to put this hat on before to tap the "Do Not Feed The Trolls" sign and am regarded about as well as a substitute teacher (well, worse so, since my wife is actually one and I don't hear the stereotypical complaints from her). I guess what alietr is concerned about is the times that we tap the sign and we are ignored - and I personally find that usually by the time it gets to sign tapping, I can almost expect to be ignored by then.

This is why I'd kind of like to take a weed whacker to the entire Friday thread, the off-track discussion head-bashing activity (*someone*'s going to have to pay to get that hole in the drywall fixed!) is not what jboard is about, and since I noticed a lot of first-time posts in that thread, due to the game's notoriety (day 2 of the final of a well-publicized tournament with some must-see and must-talk about moments) that really should show our public face more.

We should always be concerned about our public face - jboard has a character all of its own to it. Generally we show that character, for good and for bad, but I think alietr is asking for a little more of a heavy hand when we diverge from that character.
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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by jpahk »

i used to be a regular game thread participant. what has driven me away is not the negativity towards contestants, but what i perceive to be a drastically reduced signal-to-noise ratio in the discussion threads. there is a great deal of infighting, sniping, and effective trolling (intentional or not). even some of the more level-headed boardies seem to be unable to just let the unconvinceably wrong posters continue to be wrong. there's always been a little of this, i guess, but at least my perception of it is that things are getting considerably worse. even as few as two or three fairly active posters who—not even necessarily with malice aforethought—are unable to leave disagreements alone can make a thread painfully unreadable. i tried to give jboard another go during the decades tournament, partly because i was so excited about the matches themselves, but the situation was as bad as ever. as ben franklin said, three stubborn people can have a civilized discussion on the internet if two of them are dead.

i do think that the situation could be improved with heavier moderation. however, that is not to say that i think alietr (or anybody else) should be moderating more heavily. it's a lot of work, after all, and is also not without its own negative side effects which other might weight more heavily than i.

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Re: JBoard Moderation Discussion

Post by countyguy »

If they are so worried about this meanness, then they should just not read threads discussing games in which they miswagered. Maybe some people may be offended in threads in which we discuss the mishaps by past champions (there are a lot of those too). That does not stop them from reading discussions from other games, playing in TDs, or anything else.

We do not really need more moderation. I am fine with what we have. I am sure Mr. Gefen has other things in his life, and JBoard would not be fun if you were not free to discuss more things and the moderators were just weeding out posts because they did not like them.

Our most unnecessary meanness is that toward TPH, and he has not been on the show.

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