Support » Requests and Feedback » Seemingly Rude Moderators

  • Resolved AK Ted


    I’m fairly new to WordPress and these forums. I hope my short time here thus far is not indicative of the normal Mod attitudes. The post I’m referring to is here.

    The first Mod says:

    Decapped. Seriously, do not post in all caps again it’s considered rude.

    Some might consider that statement, especially using a near-entire sentence as a link, to be rude. Now, if the poster had the habit of posting in caps then this might be appropriate, but a first-offender should be prompted a little nicer, maybe something like:

    Decapped. Please do not post in all caps, it’s against this forum’s policies.

    The second Mod uses a form response to someone else asking, “Is there any solution to this?”, telling them to start their own post. In most cases, that would be appropriate, but in that thread (which is now closed) there is no valid answer. That someone else then replies “Thanks but it is exactly the same…”, to which second Mod states (again a form response):

    Are you using the same version of WordPress on the same physical server hosted by the same hosts with the same plugins, theme & configurations as the original poster?

    No? Then your problem – despite any similarity in symptoms – is likely to be completely different. So please help us to help you and post a new topic when we ask you to.

    It appears that second Mod did not even consider the original question OR the fact that other’s, including myself, have the same problem, and the fact that the post has been marked “Resolved” even though it clearly has not been. If that thread was still open, I would have responded the same, and probably been told to start my own thread as well. In fact I did have to start yet another thread on this exact same (unresolved) problem, instead of keeping it in that thread where it would seem to belong.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Hey,

    Not entirely sure this all counts but it might be worth checking out the vid in this post on SmashingMagazone. It’s of one of the top forum mods talk’s at a WordCamp.



    Forum Moderator

    Try reading the Forum Welcome. All of the moderation actions you describe were correct.

    I already have read the Forum Welcome. Here are some excerpts:

    Please play nice.

    This only applies to posters, not Mods, it would seem.

    Many of the questions that are posted in the forums have been posted many times before, and get the same answers each time. Before starting a new thread, please try searching the forums.

    I’m fairly certain that those many questions were not posted by people with “the same version of WordPress on the same physical server hosted by the same hosts with the same plugins, theme & configurations”, so it would seem that those with the same problems should post in the same thread until said problem is resolved.
    Ironically, in the thread I first mentioned, the first response by a non-Mod hijacked the thread and was answered by a “Plugin Contributor”, but did not address the OP’s problem. If any Mod intervention were necessary – apart from the “all-caps” dress-down – then those instances seem likely candidates.

    Unless you’re having 100% without any doubts or variation, the exact same problem, do not post in someone else’s thread.

    Which, at least to me, says by all means do post in someone else’s thread if you are certain.

    And for the record, this thread, although marked “[resolved]”, also clearly is not.

    Moderator Jan Dembowski


    Brute Squad and Volunteer Moderator

    AKTed I’m sorry you’re not happy, but as Esmi pointed out all of those moderation actions were correct. And while a couple of those replies may have been a little cheeky, they’re not even mildly approaching the level of being rude.

    In addition to that first link try giving this a read too.

    It’s a good read and may make for better support requests.

    Also keep in mind that moderators are volunteers just like you except they get to go behind the scenes and help out. If a moderator was actually rude then at a minimum they’d get a shoulder tap and a talking to. Just like regular users they do and have to play nicely with the other members or their back stage pass can be revoked.

    And for the record, this thread, although marked “[resolved]”, also clearly is not.

    It’s your topic, feel free to use the drop down on the right and switch it to not resolved.

    Jan, thanks for your civil response, and the link. I’ll be sure to read it. As for you and Esmi saying those actions are correct, I’m not a Mod so who am I to disagree? (Although I do, based upon my interpretation of the Forum Welcome)

    I’m aware that Mods are volunteers, and I am also aware from my own personal experience with helping others that it can often be a mostly thankless job, with little reward other than the occasional (much less than deserved) thank you and the self-satisfaction of helping others. But, also from experience, it is easy to forget that forum users are unique individuals with pressing problems just trying to find solutions so they can stop figuratively pulling out their own hair. It is also easy to slip into “robot” mode when moderating because of the never-slowing conveyor belt of posts to be handled. One should always consider their tone, not just their intent, in their curation of threads.

    While thread hijacking does pose problems, overall it seems better to allow forum users to put their seemingly same 2 cents in even though they do not have the same exact server, themes, etc. Many, if not most, problems can be solved that way, by narrowing the parameters of the problem until the exact cause is determined. Overzealously monitoring a thread for “me too”ers actually hampers the collaborative process of finding causes of – and solutions to – problems.

    Going by the “same server, same configuration” concept, without exception, would mean that users shouldn’t bother searching the forums for a solution before posting since the likelihood of them having the same “everything” as the people who’ve had similar or identical problems is so low. Obviously that is absurd. Each post should be considered on its own, with obvious hijackers notified. But it would be better to err on the side of caution and allow a “me too” post to go through, without said poster having the same “everything”, than to shut it down preemptively with zero consideration of its merits in finding a solution that will apply to many, regardless of their configurations.

    Thanks, also, for pointing out where to “unresolve” a thread. I missed that. I’ll leave it as “resolved”.

    Thank you, Esmi, for your dedication to these forums. Thanks as well to all the other Mods.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    Lead Plugin Wrangler

    FWIW: Mod or not, everyone has and deserves a say 🙂 Never think otherwise.

    While thread hijacking does pose problems, overall it seems better to allow forum users to put their seemingly same 2 cents in even though they do not have the same exact server, themes, etc.

    Our experience has shown otherwise. Historically it makes it much harder to help the OP, which annoys them and makes them feel like they’re not getting the help they deserve. This is especially true with major upgrades (like the upcoming 3.5), where people have very similar problems caused by myraid plugins and themes.

    Put it another way: If you went to a coffee shop and everyone shouted their orders all at once, the coffe you’d get would probably be wrong. When you hijack a post, you’ve just done that. So in the effort to help your fellow users, don’t hijack posts 😉

    It’s okay to make your own topics 🙂 We’d give you cookies for it if we could.

    Thanks for your perspective, Ipstenu. Your example of upgrading shows how unique setups necessitate unique threads to be started. But the original post I alluded to illustrates the opposite: people with the same “problem” – be it unwanted “functionality”, a flaw in execution, or simply a misunderstanding of the way the plugin is supposed to work – trying to find a solution. The topic of that post, Jetpack showing in the dashboard of your subscribers, is easily replicable regardless of external configurations. If that thread wasn’t prematurely closed, and others allowed to “me-too”, the problem might have been able to be resolved without other threads (like my as-yet unanswered post) being created.

    P.S. – would it be possible for you or another mod to remove my second post in that thread? I’d forgot to ask how to remove this “functionality” and mistakenly posted that to the thread instead of editing the original post. So now the thread isn’t shown with the “No Replies”.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    Lead Plugin Wrangler

    Done 🙂

    And that’s one of the exceptions to the rule we have. Keep in mind, you’re asking about a specific plugin, on the weekend. Jetpack is supported by Automattic (who does not unilaterally ‘own’ WordPress, just FYI), and they don’t work weekends generally speaking. So a question best posed to the plugin developers has to wait on them :/ Plus side? They do usually reply promptly on week days 🙂

    Thanks again, Ipstenu. Your help and insights are much appreciated.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    Lead Plugin Wrangler

    Not a problem 😀 Getting used to how each community works is always a bit of cognitive dissonance and remembering how horrid text is as a means of communication!

    I know how you feel. I am reading the FAQ of proper etiquette now. 🙁

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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