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Everything Is Better In Moderation... Have Your Say!


Guest JL

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Greetings to all members!

First, let me start by thanking our team of moderators for their great work in general on this forum and that in both languages, and also for coming up with this idea and working at putting everything together. You are the best!

The purpose of this thread is simple: to inform all members on the topic of moderation and to encourage open constructive discussion on the matter. While it might not always seem that way on the surface, we respect and value the contributions of each member here. Have a question about the forum rules? Want to know why certain posts are deleted? Feel that there’s a way for us to be more effective in doing our job? Then this thread is for you.

Ground rules for posting in this thread

1. Respect

When it comes to feedback, moderators aren’t different from other members. We’re perfectly happy with constructive criticism, expressed in a respectful manner. We dislike sarcasm, personal attacks, swearing, mockery, and veiled insults. If you have a problem, question, or concern, please express yourself in a civilized manner. Failure to do so will mean trouble for you, so just save us all the headache and be courteous.

2. No names, please

This thread is not an invitation to air personal grievances in public. If you have a problem with a particular moderator, the best thing to do is to PM him or her and resolve the issue in private.

3. Be part of the solution

As much as possible, we encourage you to offer practical solutions to any issues or problems you bring to our attention. Who knows? Your solution may be better than anything we’ve got! ;)

4. Catch up on your reading

Before you post anything in this thread, we strongly advise you to read this site’s official Code of Conduct first. If you’re still confused or upset about something, come back here and post. We expect all members to be familiar with the Code of Conduct, so please don’t clutter this thread up with questions that even a brief glance at the Code of Conduct would answer.

5. Remember who owns this site

We’ve said it before, but we can’t stress it enough: this message board is owned and operated by the Montreal Canadiens. It is the official message board of the most storied franchise in hockey. Consequently, we have an obligation to monitor these boards more closely than we would if we were moderating your average online forum run by a private citizen.

6. Warnings Are Private

If you have been banned, you will be told the reason, you will have received warnings, and therefore appealing to the moderators for more explanation in this thread is not useful (please PM the moderator who issued the warnings to discuss personal warnings). If someone you know has been suspended, asking the moderators to reveal the reasons or justify the suspension is not useful either, since we do not discuss one member's status with other members. However, if you have broken a rule and would like this rule clarified, this thread is a great place to ask.

7. Rules Still Apply

While this thread exists as a place to comment on the moderation of this forum, all forum rules still apply. If you are unsure if something you wish to post in this thread is against the rules, please PM a moderator first.

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Rule Clarification: Constructive Criticism vs. Bashing

We all love to criticise the players, coaches, managers of our favourite team. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be posting here. After all, this message board is an outlet for fans to speak their mind about their passion: the Montreal Canadiens. A hockey message board without criticism is like an empty plate: it looks nice and clean, but really has no use unless you put food on it. If you feel a player hasn’t given his best on a particular night, you’re perfectly entitled to make your voice heard. If you dislike an element of the team’s on-ice strategy, you’re free to share your opinion with your fellow members. If you think a player should be traded, or a coach or manager fired, you have the right to say so.

So why, you might ask, do we delete certain posts because their content constituted an “attack” on a member of the Habs organisation? You may have received a warning for “bashing” a player. You might be confused about the difference between constructive criticism and player bashing. Or you might have seen us delete a post you thought was perfectly reasonable, and now you’re worried about the content of your own posts. Relax — we’re not out to get you! In fact, we hope the following exercise clears the issue up and ensures that we never have to send you a warning about your behaviour. Trust us, we don’t like issuing warnings anymore than you like receiving them.

Constructive Criticism: What you should strive for

Constructive criticism focuses on perceived problems or deficiencies without becoming personal. It is thoughtful, engaged, and respectful. When you offer constructive criticism, the tone and wording of your posts lets everyone know, implicitly, that what concerns you is the issue at hand, not the player, coach, or manager himself. You do not use race, nationality, or language as a tool to belittle the target of your comments, nor do you engage in unnecessary personal remarks, (e.g. making fun of the person’s appearance). While frustration is sometimes an unavoidable part of criticism, especially when the team is losing or the player is in a prolonged slump, you should never let your frustration lead you to substitute insults and sarcasm for informed, level-headed criticism.

An example of constructive criticism:

"I do agree with you in that, being Guy's first season behind the bench, we can't really tell what he's made of yet. But we got a good look at how he handled adversity, and the rest of the league just rolled past us while we were still trying to command the locker room. He was a player long enough to know these things are inevitable, and that he would need a plan to handle them. My worry is that we may have seen his "plan" in full. And the results speak for themselves....a team that STILL, for no good reason, is the most inconsistent thing I have ever seen on skates! "

In the above example, the poster has doubts about the coaching, but never degenerates into personal attacks not relating to hockey. He’s open-minded enough to acknowledge when the other person makes a valid point, and doesn’t fly off the handle or become sarcastic because someone happens to disagree with him. There’s no mud-slinging or name-calling, but he’s gotten his point across loud and clear.

Another example:

"Maybe if he actually EARNED his keep and played up to his talent but he has not. He only skates when he wants to, I was looking at the highlights of the last game he played in yesterday on TSN and on one play he coughed up the puck in the neutral zone and instead of coming back in the play to help out the defence he just coasted behind the play and we got scored on... pretty sad if you ask me and he's being paid top dollars for what? If I was him I would keep quiet."

The preceding example is more animated. Frustration is evident, but the poster sticks to the subject matter, using specific in-game examples to support the argument. There’s no rancor, gratuitous insults, or obscene language.

A Third Example:

"I agree to an extent.

The flu has hurt this team a lot. It's been going around for months now.

The whole Sammy situation has hurt the team as he is a good player and both sides have made bad decisions this year.

If the team had Huet right now they might be in the playoffs. It's a big if, but it's very possible that he would have stolen some games like he did early in the season. He seemed to be playing better when he got injured.

With all that said I agree that this team could probably do just as well playing a more aggressive system that takes more risks. As Rivet said he is allowed to pinch in and take risks there. The thing is I doubt Carbs believes in such a system. I think he believes in what hes using now and thats the way he has played hockey his whole career. I doubt he is experienced in the use of an offensive system enough to employ one and I also doubt he believes a system like that would win the cup anyway. Right now he is the coach though and the players will have to listen to him and do what he says."

Once again, the member debates the point without getting personal or degenerating into non related attacks.

Bashing: What you should avoid

Bashing takes many forms, but the key ingredient in any type of bashing is a lack of respect. The tone of the post is usually scornful, sarcastic, and contemptuous of the player or coach in question, yet the poster doesn’t bother to provide any kind of support for his position. He’s already made up his mind about the issue, and he’s just looking to pick a fight. He doesn’t mind using obscene language and derogatory terms when talking about the object of his ridicule, and if you happen to disagree with him, he has no problem using the same language to attack you. A basher loves making unsubstantiated generalizations about large numbers of people, based on nothing but his own personal likes and dislikes, and then using his self-made evidence as the basis for unwarranted personal attacks. Once he’s decided he dislikes a player or coach, he uses every available opportunity to poke fun at their expense, regardless of whether he’s off-topic.

Some examples of Bashing:

While we can't post any true examples, as these break forum rules, here are some general ideas of what constitutes bashing:

  • comparing players to non-hockey players, animals or inanimate objects
  • referring to any players as "pathetic", "terrible", etc. (calling a single game or skill by a player "terrible" is fine, but not the player in general)
  • any other insult that becomes too personal against the player.

In short, bashing is often a brash commentary that attacks the character of an individual, rather than a comment that critiques the play or performance of that individual.

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Rule Clarification: Attacking Other Members

Just like attacking members of the team is against the rules, so is attacking other members of the forum. A forum is always going to have lots of debates, that's what makes it interesting (we certainly don't want everyone to agree on everything). However, members must stick to the subject matter and debate it appropriately, not let the debates become personal.

Some examples of personal attacks that are against the rules and may result in warnings:

  • Give your head a shake
  • Open your eyes
  • Those who disagree don't know hockey (or what they're talking about)
  • Get a life
  • Are you drunk (or on drugs)?

All of these types of comments can only draw a negative response and are against forum rules.

Furthermore, if someone insults you, let a moderator know and we'll be happy to delete the message. What you should not do is quote or even respond to the message. This leads to a lot more work for the moderators, and may start what is known as a "flame war" (members constantly personally attacking each other). Even if someone insults you first, you may receive a warning as well for retaliating. Avoid back-seat moderating, or acting as a moderator. This only adds to the problem instead of helping fix it. Using the "Report Post" button (p_report.gif) or the Private Message system solves the problem much more efficiently as opposed to attempting to take matters into your own hands.

Because this site is part of the public "face" our team presents to the world, we do have to be careful with the kinds of expressions people sometimes use to express criticism. Things that could be offensive to a portion of our membership cannot be allowed. So for example, it is inappropriate to describe something or someone as "retarded" when there is quite a good chance that some of our forum members have family with special needs or challenges. Remember that many of our forum members are NOT just like you. Try to respect everyone, and to stay away from language that insults or ridicules identifiable groups.

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Explanation: Warnings

Warnings are just that ... warnings. Receiving a warning is not the end of the world, it's only a way to inform members that they've crossed the line. Repeating the offense becomes more serious. Many good members have received warnings, some have even gone on to become moderators after showing an improvement in their posting. However, a warning is a sign that you have broken the forum rules and need to be more careful in the future. If you read the rules and are more careful in the future, that warning isn't going to hurt you at all. Essentially, warnings are encouragement to change your personal behaviour for the betterment of the forum; for yourself, and for others.

Members also need to be aware that contributing members who have been permanently banned have already received ample warnings and likely a temporary suspension. We realize that once in awhile everyone makes mistakes, and so the moderators are cautious with giving bannings, although sometimes it becomes necessary.

By respect for our membership, warnings are being issued by Private Messaging and only the moderators and the member in question know about it. We are expecting that members will use the same method to discuss warnings, as going on the open forum afterwards being critical about it could be perceived as showing off or under-mining the efforts of the moderator(s).

To summarize: A warning is YOUR chance to step up and improve the forum by setting an example and making hockey discussions pleasant and civilized.

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Guest spankydriscoll

i don't see how saying something like 'give your head a shake' can be construed as an attack on another member. i see your point, but that's just going way too far.

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Guest RadioGaGa
i don't see how saying something like 'give your head a shake' can be construed as an attack on another member. i see your point, but that's just going way too far.

I think that phrase (and ones like it) needs to be taken in context...it isn't really fair to just blanket say that phrase isn't allowed. You can make a very well thought out, constructive, yet entertaining post that uses a phrase like that without it being an attack. If you resort to just "Give your head a shake" or follow it with "dumbass", you've probably crossed a line.

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I think the reason we find "give your head a shake" problematic is simply that it refers to the person, not to the person's point or claim.

If you disagree with something that is posted, why imply that the person who made that point is somehow "out of it," mentally unfit, or whatever "give your head a shake" is supposed to imply about the brain within the head? :shock:

We want people to argue about questions of hockey, not about each other's mental states or intellectual capacities.

The test should be: am I criticizing the person who made the post, or am I debating the post?

At least that's my take on it.

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I think that phrase (and ones like it) needs to be taken in context...it isn't really fair to just blanket say that phrase isn't allowed. You can make a very well thought out, constructive, yet entertaining post that uses a phrase like that without it being an attack. If you resort to just "Give your head a shake" or follow it with "dumbass", you've probably crossed a line.

I agree. Big difference between a slash, and a say, a rap on a padded ankle to send a message with no intent to injure.

Playful razzing is fun and "entertaining"; and actually can serve the purpose of creating comraderie on the Board.

For instance, I don't know poster Kindred personally, but respect his posts greatly- and enjoy exchanging friendly barbs. I mean him (her?) no disrespect-So yesterday when he posted "I don't know why no one listens to me?'- I replied- someting to the effect- "well isn't it obvious" - That wasn't disrespectful, it was attempted humor- and I'm sure Kindred got a chuckle.

But, that post was deleted.

Which brings me to a respectful suggestion to the Mods- if a Mod does delete a post, then the Mod should PM. I've had posts deleted, and don't know why. The poster should no why, so that s/he wouldn't repeat the same offensive conduct. I'm confident that most of the Board don't intentionallly look to draw misconducts

With all due respect, too much restriction is like playing the "Carbs defensive system"- it may make for order, but it's BORING!

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For instance, I don't know poster Kindred personally, but respect his posts greatly- and enjoy exchanging friendly barbs. I mean him (her?) no disrespect-So yesterday when he posted "I don't know why no one listens to me?'- I replied- someting to the effect- "well isn't it obvious" - That wasn't disrespectful, it was attempted humor- and I'm sure Kindred got a chuckle.  

But, that post was deleted.

Your right. But I think you also need to look at it from our perspective. When you post on the internet, you don't convey tone easily, we also don't know your relationship with other posters. For all we (or whoever deleted your post) knows, it could have been an insult

Which brings me to a respectful suggestion to the Mods- if a Mod does delete a post, then the Mod should PM. I've had posts deleted, and don't know why. The poster should no why, so that s/he wouldn't repeat the same offensive conduct. I'm confident that most of the Board don't intentionallly look to draw misconducts

That's a nice idea. Unfortunately, the administrators don't have time to program it to do it automatically, and the mods don't have time to do it manually. If you get a warning, you are always informed. However, there are many more posts deleted without warnings given. They all are breaking one rule or another, but often not to the point where a warning is necessary. Sometimes, posts are also "mass deleted" (all at once). It simply comes down to, there's no time to inform every member.

That said, we do try to communicate when we feel it's appropriate. Also, if you have a question about about why a post of yours was deleted, send a (friendly) PM to any mod with the topic name, approximate location in the topic, and the subject of your post, and we'll attempt to explain what happened. I can't speak for the others, but I'd gladly look into it for you.

With all due respect, too much restriction is like playing the "Carbs defensive system"- it may make for order, but it's BORING!

It's more complicated than just keeping "order" though. True, part of it is this is a huge forum, and things need to be organized; part of it is this is a family friendly forum, but a huge part of it is look at who owns it. The Canadiens don't want to fund a forum so that members of the organization can be compared to inanimate objects.

If you want a more "exciting" place to post, there are others. Here you can have a civilized conversation with a lot of Habs fans. You take the good with the bad.

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I think that phrase (and ones like it) needs to be taken in context...it isn't really fair to just blanket say that phrase isn't allowed. You can make a very well thought out, constructive, yet entertaining post that uses a phrase like that without it being an attack. If you resort to just "Give your head a shake" or follow it with "dumbass", you've probably crossed a line.

To add to ryderfan's post, we have to ask ourselves: "What does this add to the discussion on hand? What can come out of such comments?"

Someone, as you mentioned, could have the best message but by adding "Give your head a shake" turns the message personal. The member at the receiving end of that message is very likely to not see this as a positive remark.

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Which brings me to a respectful suggestion to the Mods- if a Mod does delete a post, then the Mod should PM. I've had posts deleted, and don't know why. The poster should no why, so that s/he wouldn't repeat the same offensive conduct. I'm confident that most of the Board don't intentionallly look to draw misconducts

In addition to Graeme's answer, which goes along what I'm also thinking, many of the posts being deleted, especially in game threads, could very well be because the original post had to be deleted. So if someone puts something down that we feel should be deleted and you quote it and reply, you're post may be totally fine, but we can't just leave it there on its own. The mass-delete and the time restriction that Graeme mentioned are also huge factors.

By the way folks, this is exaclty what we want from this thread. Don't be affraid to put your ideas here as we're not here to judge or punish, simply to answer questions and even take ideas... :thumb:

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Guest spankydriscoll

Which brings me to a respectful suggestion to the Mods- if a Mod does delete a post, then the Mod should PM. I've had posts deleted, and don't know why. The poster should no why, so that s/he wouldn't repeat the same offensive conduct. I'm confident that most of the Board don't intentionallly look to draw misconducts

absolutely !

over the past couple weeks i've been getting pretty ticked at all my deleted posts.

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i think that the mods here are 'on topic hounds' way too much. its natural for a topic to go off hand and branch off into differnt ideas. that isnt to say that the streit thread will turn into the bonk thread. it just means that people can have side convos about a topic. for a mod to say keep on topic, it means that theyd have to move the conversation to the other more relevant thread. i wouldnt say that helps the flow of the boards.

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With all due respect, there are those out there that choose to read certain topics to simply read about the topic at hand, whether it be an issue, a player, or anything else for that matter. Especially in the instances of 'Depth Charts' and 'Players', it really is not difficult to switch to the appropriate thread. They're remarkably easy to find--so easy, that it would often take less time to find and open the thread than to write the post, so not a lot of time is being wasted in the transfer.

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i think that the mods here are 'on topic hounds' way too much. its natural for a topic to go off hand and branch off into differnt ideas. that isnt to say that the streit thread will turn into the bonk thread. it just means that people can have side convos about a topic. for a mod to say keep on topic, it means that theyd have to move the conversation to the other more relevant thread. i wouldnt say that helps the flow of the boards.

Very good point and you're absolutely right about the flow. There are topics that are very much borderline and even we as moderators find them hard to keep on topic. Topics such as "If I were GM" or the "Bob Gainey" thread, the "Carbonneau" or the "lines" thread, the "If I were GM" and the "Rumour Mill (with links)" thread...

With the exception of the goalies threads, when it comes to the players, it's a bit more black and white. The Aebischer thread, the Huet thread and now the Halak thread, add to that the "Battle between the pipes" thread... Imagine how redundant, how repetitive it would be to have the same discussion in 3 or 4 seperate threads? I feel at times that from reading a thread, I have no idea which thread I'm in as it's so all over the place.

Same with the forwards thread being confused with the "lines" thread. I have no problem with someone suggesting that he/she would like to see Samsonov playing with Koivu and Kovalev. But if someone puts all four lines in there, it turns into a posts that belongs in the "lines" thread.

Does my explaination make any sense?

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When we remind members to stay on topic, we are definitely privileging ease of use over digressions and tangents. Like Jet says, lots of members only have an interest in certain threads, so it's just a way of organizing the information, and those threads really aren't hard to find. Perhaps we do lose a bit of spontaneity and conversational 'improv', if you will, but I think the tradeoff -- a clean, organized forum without the same conversation going on in 20 threads -- is worth it.

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Is it a bannable offense to call someone mad?  It happened to a friend and he got banned.....just wondering.

From the initial post in this thread:

6. Warnings Are Private

If you have been banned, you will be told the reason, you will have received warnings, and therefore appealing to the moderators for more explanation in this thread is not useful (please PM the moderator who issued the warnings to discuss personal warnings). If someone you know has been suspended, asking the moderators to reveal the reasons or justify the suspension is not useful either, since we do not discuss one member's status with other members. However, if you have broken a rule and would like this rule clarified, this thread is a great place to ask.

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Is it a bannable offense to call someone mad?  It happened to a friend and he got banned.....just wondering.

Not if you're talking to me, I guess.

One of the things I think you guys take too seriously is talking about other games in the game thread. Knowing that most people will probably no go to the Out of Town Scoreboard during a game, I think it's good for people to know what's going on in games that affect the standings and such. Even though it may be less of a problem now, I don't get why it's a problem in the first place.

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Not if you're talking to me, I guess.

One of the things I think you guys take too seriously is talking about other games in the game thread.  Knowing that most people will probably no go to the Out of Town Scoreboard during a game, I think it's good for people to know what's going on in games that affect the standings and such.  Even though it may be less of a problem now, I don't get why it's a problem in the first place.

Thanks for bringing this up. Game threads are the busiest threads in a very short span. Most game threads reach well beyond 1000 posts (granted they include Miltie01's GO HABS GO posts ;) ), but it's by far the most difficult to moderate, especially when we are losing. We as moderators have to take quick action to prevent bad posts from spreading, being quoted or replied to in order to keep things clean and avoid members to be drawn into receiving warnings.

I personally don't see a problem with someone giving a quick update on scores. Where it gets more difficult is when you have a group of members starting to talk about those games instead of our game taking place. Also, we have to remember that several members participating in the game threads rely on the thread to keep them updated on what's going on in the Habs' game and it gets quite confusing when you have members talking about 2 or 3 different games at the same time.

What I normally suggest is to open the "out of town scoreboard" thread in another window or in another tab and a member can post in both at the same time. I do that quite often.

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Is it a bannable offense to call someone mad?  It happened to a friend and he got banned.....just wondering.

As weeping said, warnings are private. However, let me highlight something from one of the first posts: "contributing members who have been permanently banned have already received ample warnings and likely a temporary suspension."

But if you call someone mad once, it's your first offense, and you are otherwise a great poster, let's just say that alone isn't going to get you banned. ;)

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Guest vegasrick

JL, I've opened the out-of-town scoreboard thread during a Habs game a few times, and needless to say, the activity is....well, rather slow. Nobody updated the scores for several minutes. I closed the window, as it was nowhere near as helpful as keeping a browser window open with Yahoo! Sports or NHL.com. And most of the time, I just want to know the other scores, not discuss them. I'm busy with the Habs game.

As far as mentioning other scores being confusing for people who use the thread to keep up with the Habs game, my take is this: I use the game thread because I don't get Canadiens games on TV very often. (We get mostly western teams out here, like the Kings, Ducks, and Sharks.) Even listening to CJAD is a bit delayed, so I keep refreshing the game thread to read what is about to happen on the radio. And yet, I get a lot more confused when I see a post that just says "crap" or "damn" or "that was lovely" as opposed to "Caps 3 Pens 2". I'm usually wondering if the Habs got scored on, but I don't know until someone actually says what happened.

Especially at this time of year, SOME of the other games are very important to the fate of the Habs. But I've seen mods warn the entire thread to keep it on topic after someone posted an out-of-town score, without even discussing it. Why not wait until it's obvious that there is debate or discussion about another game that should be done on a different thread? Just mentioning the scores is not debate. It's like the players on the bench, they look up at times to see how the other games are going.

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