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Looking for a few good moderators

One of the nice things about Disqus is that it makes moderation relatively easy.

Anyway, if anyone wants to help moderate the comments, just shoot me an email (or leave a comment).

I know some of you want an official commenting policy. Me, I’m not so sure—I enjoy a certain amount of chaos. What I’d prefer is something akin to what Bunny tried to do in season 3 of “The Wire,” i.e., give the more excentric sorts a place to be themselves so that normal commenters can feel safer. How one goes about creating a blogging Hamsterdam, though, I have no idea.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    One of the things I really love about this site is the lack of interference by mods. I’m sure we can all think of a few Korea-related sites where that certainly isn’t the case. The last thing this site needs is a Bluelake or Sara to start fucking around with posts to compensate for intellectual cowardice.

  • wangkon936

    Well, it could be very simple:

    1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
    2. No excessive profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
    3. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked.

    You wanna comment here, then adhere to the aforementioned rules.

  • wangkon936

    “People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked.”

    This would probably ban “Q.”

  • wangkon936

    I also don’t like outrageous and broad claims that are highly critical of people or countries without any sufficient evidence. That’s probably the source of at least 60% of the vitriol spewed on this blog.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    I can think of some heavy-duty wankers who would use such guidelines to do a lot of things you wouldn’t like? “Joke about tragedies”? For some that could mean joking about Romney’s election loss.

  • wangkon936

    Then we would need to have some good moderators and trust Rob’s choices, wouldn’t we?

  • Yu Bum Suk

    Indeed, but I’ve seen a good site owner end up the victim of terrible mods.

  • Mr E

    how bout yer expected to be and act like an adult in here, and deguello.

    if you require protectionism on the web in order to ensure your electronic survival, then i’d say you really aint doing the gene pool much of a favor anyway.

  • bumfromkorea

    As much as I agree with you, I think that is too subjective of a standard.

  • Matrix

    I disagree. I’ve read more than a few threads on this blog that were trashed by whining commenters that did not like being edited out though they certainly like throwing shit around and acting like an anonymous ass. If anything, this blog could use more consistent low key moderation.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHnYntZzaiQ iheartblueballs

    Not surprised in the least that a call for mods for this blog would turn into a competition to see whose ideas could destroy it the fastest. Some real fucking beauties so far.

    Robert’s track record on drawing lines has been outstanding for a long time, so I would hope that he doesn’t turn this place into an overly moderated shitfest with newly hired personal attack police and the sensitivity gestapo.

  • bumfromkorea

    Of all the people here, you are literally the worst possible person to advocate anything about comment moderation.

    Well, you and Q. And pawi, sometimes.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHnYntZzaiQ iheartblueballs

    That personal attack just hurt my feelings. How do I contact a moderator to report it?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHnYntZzaiQ iheartblueballs

    I also feel like that was an overly broad and outrageous claim that was critical of this person without any supporting evidence, so I will likely file a second report.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHnYntZzaiQ iheartblueballs

    Now that I think about it, you were also uncivil and likely harassing toward me. I hope you know a good attorney.

  • iwshim

    happy birthday Robert

  • Anonymous_Joe

    1. (In serious discussions) Intellectual Honesty.

    …that’s about it.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I appreciate the lowercase ‘A’.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Thanks, sir.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Actually I’m a Silver Rule guy. I amend #1 to No Intellectual Dishonesty

  • que337

    Isn’t about 50% of comments here about joke/derision about Korea’s failure or misfortune? Think about gbevers, IHBB, Sperwer, etc. etc.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I hear what you’re sayin’. What we need is a moderator to moderate the moderators. One who wears the one ring to rule them all. A watchman to watch the watchmen.

    …I think I have someone in mind.

  • R. Elgin

    Regarding some of these commentators; consider that it is quite bitter to witness some of the debacles in South Korea that could have been avoided, knowing that this country has so many good qualities that could be ruined to easily.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    What is the job of a moderator?

    Oh No, Robert, This is terrible.

    I believe in absolute freedom of expression (yes, even Psy’s friend’s lyrics). I remember an incitement to violence by a certain commenter from down under on this blog once but even then I didn’t want anybody including him banned. Where I draw the line is snuff videos and such.

    The reason I believe in the freedom is beecause it exposes people for what they are and everybody can judge.

    The reason I also believe in those choosing to keep the relative anonymous status is that people wear a veneer of decency with their social standings which is a false censor.

    True, I sometimes look at the comments and it makes me go, “meh, humanity!” and go into hiatus, but then I always come back.

    Now, this Disshite thing, with its like and dislike buttons, which will create a completely heinous atmosphere where people curry favours, I finally signed up to even though it makes me very depressed.
    What’s happening Robert?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    I guess, what I am saying this blog is already a kingdom of a benevolent autocratic rule which is why I like it. I don’t want it turning into some vigilante police state with a classroom popularity contest atmosphere.
    Also, nested things are terrible. Blockquoting worked fine.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I certainly don’t intend to get all fascist. At the same time, I don’t want to lose commenters because of the nastiness. Frankly, I don’t mind the vitriol so much as long as the flames keep to themselves and leave the civilians out of it. And this is where threaded comments might help.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    So then let me rephrase my question, what power does a moderator have? Can he edit another’s comments and/or delete them? If he did would there be something left that says “comment removed by moderator?”
    Can he ban commenters altogether?

  • one more kick at the can

    but you’re willing to lose them because of a terrible and repeated choice of a comment system?

  • http://twitter.com/whirlyshirly s-girl

    Actually I preferred this blog when it was about Robert’s photography and daily life. The comments the last few weeks have been interesting, somewhat informative, but increasingly angry. I think I’ll just follow Rob on Tumblr and Twitter .

  • wangkon936

    Agree 100%.

  • wangkon936

    That also applies to your Fukushima jokes/comments that I (and others) find extremely distasteful.

  • wangkon936

    Yes Elgin, but that’s not why many of these commenters make light of Korea’s failures. Many do so (or at least it sounds like they do) to grind some sort of axe and to delight in the failure of others to validate or improve their feelings about themselves. How do I know? I know because nothing they say offers any meaningful analysis or lessons. It’s just bitter whinging. If so, does it have the kind of value that you indicated in your comment above?

  • wangkon936

    Back in 2006-2008, when I was a mod for a Singapore based Chinese history forum we had a system that I thought worked well. Specifically, I was a mod for the Asian History forum during the time when Chinese and Koreans were debating the ethnic origin of the Koguryo kingdom. Wow, those were some wild times.

    Any ways, the system we had was to give people four warnings before they were banned. Personal attacks (ad hominem) and arguments made from logical fallacies (non sequiturs) were grounds for warnings. If a commenter showed improvement and a noticeable move away from ad hominems and non sequiturs, then their warnings were rescinded.

    It worked well, but it did exhaust the mods. I got burned out and resigned.

  • wangkon936

    From my experience, mods have the ability to issue warnings, but only the blog’s owner has the right to ban. We never tampered with comments, but we did delete and add “deleted due to off topic comment or violation of user agreement” to particularly vicious comments.

  • cactusmcharris

    Q,

    And on the other page, we have pathologically-hating-Japanese Koreans such as yourself – don’t you think that balances things out?

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Issue warnings? That’s just terrible. It’s not some Smurf’s playground.

  • wangkon936

    Sounds like the reasoning of the typical bully. The value of free speech diminishes when only those most interested in commentary of the lowest common denominator get the most protection by virtue of their inherent ability to intimidate others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.koehler.98 Robert Koehler

    Yeah, I’d say if photos and daily life are what you want, my Tumblr, Facebook and photoblog are probably the way to go.

  • que337

    Yes, Newton’s third law – action and reaction. It is a ping pong game with gbevers and his colleagues.

  • que337

    I apologize for that. Japan’s disaster is not mere a Japan’s problem. Korea is neighbor nation, and directly and indirectly affected by it, not only environmentally, but also in terms of diplomatic and political perspectives. Japan’s resurging revisionism gains momentum from the serious internal crisis. It’s not a joke.

    My comment on Fukushima might take less than 0.1% of comment box, whilst the counterpart comments would probably take at least 50% of comments of MH.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    What we’d be talking about is somebody with the ability to zap comments that go over a certain line.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    PS: As nobody has actually volunteered yet to help moderate this blog, I’d say Yuna has nothing to worry about.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    PS: Regarding Disqus, the primary reason for this—other than I like its functionality—it that it lightens my server load.

  • Yu Bum Suk

    The problem with that system is that a heavy duty jackass can make 20 posts before he gets banned, whereas someone who’s usually reasonably but occasionally – say 1 out of 200 posts – gets carried away but who makes a lot of posts can banned for five questionable posts out of 1,000.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    I do tamper with others’ comments to fix HTML, and once I did delete one of Gerry Bevers’ Dokdo comments by mistake. Luckily there is a limitless supply of those, so no great harm done except to cause suspicion of motives.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    This reminds me of my time as 반장 (class president) in my 4th or 5th grade in Seoul. Our class teacher went to the staff room and told me to stand in front and write in the corner of the blackboard the names of the children who made noise/misbehaved in the classroom, as was a common practice then. When she returned she said she could hear the noise through the speaker but I hadn’t written any names. I think I could never bring myself to write any names.

    I think she hit my palms with a ruler as an example.
    I thought the people who always go on on this blog about how it should be moderated more would be the automatic volunteers. Have they gone all shy/silent?

  • Adams-awry

    Elgin, you have long moderated comments on your own posts. In that spirit, I recommend you go back an edit what you’ve written above. It’s fucking unintelligible.

  • cactusmcharris

    Well, admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, so good on ya.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    As guest bloggers we already have the right to zap comments in our own posts, so are you talking about somebody who would be doing this across others as well?

    Anyway, if you need help with the sheer volume of work like fishing comments out of spam filter that get stuck for no reason etc. then I could help but I would not be writing any names on the blackboard so I would be useless even if I wanted to help.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    Sometimes a guy just wants to be asked.

  • robert neff

    Several years ago we had moderation – but, I don’t remember it working very well. If so, I don’t know why it is still not used. If it is implemented then it should be done fairly. My own opinion is that the post author should enforce his/her own threads – we all know that I have occasionally deleted some comments when I thought they went overboard.

  • Sylvain

    Hamster-dam? I thought we went for a different species of rodent here :D

  • http://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

    Basically, assholes don’t want to be moderated. That’s why they’re assholes. Assholes get their jollies by bullying others into submission, forming a comment board of nothing but assholes. Tone down the assholes a bit, and the comment board doesn’t stink so much.

  • http://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

    Disqus is considered one of the best comment systems. It’s like complaining if Dave ever bothered to upgrade ESL Cafe out of the 1990s. I think Robert is moving past the Marmot’s Hole nickname of “Dave’s for Ajosshies.”

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    That’s actually a pretty good subtitle for this blog. “The Marmot’s Hole: Dave’s for Ajosshies”

  • wangkon936

    Well, we weren’t all ajosshies back in 2003, but we, er… “grew” with the blog.