Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Moderation Vs. Censorship

In the four months I've been playing EVE, this is about the saddest thing I've ever seen:

An excellent discussion thread about the possibility of having a regular "State of the EVE Universe" statement locked for being necromancy. Perhaps, had it A) not been interesting or relevant (in my opinion, it was and is both) or B) been old enough as to be no longer in concert with current reality, I could see it, but neither was the case here. In fact, the last post in the thread before the latest ones was just a mere five weeks old.

How very sad...but then, unnecessary censorship always is. This is what happens when you place power in the hands of too many increases the chances that someone is going to use that power simply because they can.

In my opinion, that's clearly the case here. There was just no valid reason to lock this thread. The discussion was good and positive, the topic fresh and relevant. Speaking as both a present and former forum moderator, if I ever tried to do something like this on the forums I've had mod status on for a reason this lame I'd have had my head handed to me and rightly so.

The purpose of any discussion forum, the sole purpose, should be to foster and facilitate quality discussion about the topic or set of topics the forum is designed to cover. If the discussion taking place is an interesting and productive one, there's no reason why chronological time should have any bearing on it at all. There are plenty of good reasons to lock a thread, not the least of which is the quality level of the discussion. Simply being a few weeks old just isn't one of them. It is at precisely this point that such an act is no longer that of a moderator and becomes that of a censor.

If that's what CCP wants on their forums, that's's their forum. However if that's the case, then they should be up front about that. Let them call these folks what they are, censors, not moderators, and be honest about the kind of sanitized content they want there. That way, those who prefer a less restrictive discussion environment will know up front that they need to look elsewhere for it.

Personally, I'm very disappointed. I was actually considering applying to ISD to become a moderator, but I've now reconsidered because I refuse to be a censor. I've got far better things to do with my time than look for ways to prevent my fellow pilots from talking freely, openly, and honestly about this game we all love.

I'm sure I'll continue to drop by to read announcements and such, but I doubt I'll be wasting my time composing posts there anymore. Frankly, it just seems pointless now. Anything I have to say I'll say here, unmoderated and uncensored, or in the relevant unofficial forums.

What a pity that a game that's as open to unconventional play and variety of playing style as EVE suffers under such antiquated and restrictive policies on their discussion forums.

How very sad indeed...


Graham D Pilling said...

Start a new thread and link to the old one.

In writing about it you've given far much of your time to a 'problem' which is very easy to solve. :)

Enjoy EVE!

Bekka Jae said...

Perhaps I could have done that, but the reality is that I'd just spent about 30-40 minutes composing a response and frankly, I had neither the time nor the inclination to do it a second time.

Easy to solve? You bet. I'll now do my posting in discussion spaces where the "moderation" is far less heavy-handed.