Who moderates the moderators on here?

Hi everyone,

First off, thank you to everyone who contributes to this forum. It has helped me immensely over the years.

However… Some of the … erm … “more respected” members on here, are clearly extremely intelligent and don’t have a lot of patience for those less intelligent than them. Their sarcasm and disdain is often really not nice. I am a sensitive person, and some of the comments (whether relevant to my question at the time or not) can ruin my day just because I saw them. It keeps me away from the forums. I will often rather struggle for ages to get something right than ask here because I don’t cope well with being spoken to by someone who is not big on respect.

Please don’t be a venomous arrogant snob.

Thank you.

Moderation action: please, use the retag link under your question to replace common tag by meta since the question is related to AskLO site (this tag is the official tag for questions about the site).

This is exactly the type of behavior I commented on here . @ajlittoz, you were also party to the issue in question. Do you know what happened? After being insulted repeatedly by a certain esteemed member here, the entire issue got deleted. I even wrote the administrators regarding the issue and am still waiting for any kind of response. That is the reality of the site’s moderator and regularly contributing members.

@gtomorrow: I thought I had a comment here but not sure it was really posted because I experience frequent “glitches” with the site. It looks like your linked question has been deleted. Could you remind me the topic? Eventually, if this was publicly offending, we can continue on private mail.

@ajlittoz, I realise you field a lot of questions here so you probably wouldn’t remember this particular incident two weeks ago offhand and you are frequently an asset to this site. The deleted question (“Today is 9/21 but no daily Windows 64-bit build since 9/16”) itself wasn’t, as you put it, “publicly offending” but the unprovoked comments were exactly the type @mrjjacobs is describing here. Unfortunately, due to the mysterious deletion, the only record of the exchange that remains is three brief 80-character summaries from my account’s Activity page. It’s possible that you may have some remnant on your account Activity page as well. In any case I would be more than happy to discuss the matter at hand privately.

@gtomorrow: it has scrolled past the end of my activity page.

Contact me on ajlittoz (at) users (dot) sourceforge (dot) net. After an initial mail exchange, you’ll get my real @ddress.

Who moderates the moderators on here?

You do.

The activity in this place is peer support. Generally you earn respect, represented by “karma points”, by giving good (correct, useful, nice) answers, and by asking interesting or well formulated questions. You receive those karma points when an answer is marked as correct, and when question or answer is upvoted.

Peers can downvote questions and answers, which will detract from the poster’s score. Peers with sufficient karma can also edit and delete postings from others. This is rarely used for answers “within context”.

In some cases, uncivil responses are met with a comment. It is worth noting that English is not the first language of many respondents here, so when a comment or answer appears as rude, it may not be meant that way. Also, this is something we do in our spare time, and if we have little time to spare we prioritize reaching a solution before respecting social conventions. Of course, sometimes every human will lose their temper, often over a tiny annoyance on top of the rest they have had to face that day, and perhaps resulting in a response out of line.

So, next time you face a less than polite answer or comment, consider that the respondent also may struggle, with time, or language, or their own emotional luggage. Don’t take it personal (unless it is useful).

This is the internet. There are assholes out there. They are less frequently seen in here :wink:

With all due respect (and I mean that sincerely), the contributors here are neither forced by obligation nor stipend to answer any questions nor are they under a time constraint to answer in a civil, informative manner, even considering language barrier. The impetus for answering questions here is to be helpful with the added side-effect of evangelizing further the use/adoption of LibreOffice, not to treat people who have questions, basic or unclear as they may be, in the condescending, pedantic manner in which these contributors regularly respond. If I were so inclined, I could compile a list of how many questions go unanswered yet these regular contributors never miss an opportunity to castigate about how to use this site “correctly”. With the same effort, they could have just answered the question or not…but where’s the schadenfreude in that? You say “They are less frequently seen in here.” I beg to differ.

We are interested in providing a solution to the people who ask. We are also interested in enabling those solutions for the next visitor so they don’t need to ask. The search should come up with the solution first, so they don’t create a new question when it is not needed.

For this to work, the questions and answers need to abide by a certain structure and regularity. If more users can be guided towards this, there is less need for the “power users” to adjust other users’ post.

This type of guidance about “correctness” is not condescending in nature, nor castigation and arrogance, nor snobbery. It is attempts to make the system work better. “Help us to help you”.

You may refer to something else.

I am a frequent visitor here and read many questions and answers, and learn something every day. I honestly cannot see where you observe that schadenfreude objective. I see many comments that “you did this wrong”, but usually in a constructive context (albeit at times bluntly delivered).

albeit at times bluntly delivered

That’s an understatement if ever I’ve heard one.

This type of guidance about “correctness” is not condescending in nature, nor castigation and arrogance, nor snobbery.

That train left the station years ago. Why do sites like askubuntu.com or stackexchange.com work and ask.libreoffice.org doesn’t? If this site was properly designed to begin with, how many times would you see…

Do not answer a question unless you give a real answer
Please edit your question to add information
…but until you ask a good question…
Please do not post answers if you actually don’t answer a question on this site.

The regular contributors revel in adding these useless comments instead of taking a stab at an answer or just walking away. No wonder this site has hundreds of one-time users. They’re being scared away! Look at any of the questions I’ve answered. I’ve been at least nice to the submitters and usually the comments reflect that. - cont -

  • cont -
    My point being, there’s no way to get people asking questions here to “follow the rules.” Throw that concept out of the window. Most think AskLO is in a far more familar forum format (alliteration city!). Just deal with it, regular contributors. Slide. Don’t take your frustration out on the new submitters. Answer a question if you feel like it and don’t be a jerk. Is that so much to ask? Thanks for listening.

I understand why you take offense from what you quoted, and similar responses . I also tried to explain why you shouldn’t. I failed, or you chose to deem the explanation insufficient.

I agree that the “askbot” platform is a wrong choice, but it is the one chosen, so it is what we have. We can use it or not. I also agree that some of those responses can easily be taken offensive. My point was to state that they are usually not intended to offend or denigrate, only to educate and improve.

We can also choose not to strive for the optimal information flow in this askbot. This could make the place friendlier on the personal level, perhaps at the expense of usefulness on the technical level.

Our difference of opinion may stand unresolved. Sorry! I’ll walk away now…

@keme, I think our difference of opinion is actually very slight. Have a nice day (no pun intended, considering the topic :laughing:) and please continue to enjoy, learn and participate here at AskLO!

I appreciate the support and the input @gtomorrow. You have hit several nails on the head.

@keme: “It is worth noting that English is not the first language of many respondents here…”

Some people are terrible searching through FAQ’s. I am… well, from the point of view that “my question” is seldom one that is in the FAQ’s, it doesn’t matter what web-site I am on.

It is usually because I have a good question that isn’t answered or fully answered in the FAQ’s.

The other times are because of lingo, in the most surprising ways, because US English is not the same as UK English is not the same as South African English. One can have “an excellent command of the English language” in ANY English language and still miss a FAQ search on a point of lingo.

So in the same spirit in which you plead language-barrier answering questions, I plead that FAQ’s have many problems and treating any FAQ with reverence is not appropriate. Discussion forums like this are even worse. Have a heart?

When people who use LO/OOo come to this site for answers, it is because they use LO/OOo.

They are more likely to be technically inclined, into writing macros and interactive documents.

Therefore they are more likely to try thrash something out by trial and error before conceding they need help, because there’s a deadline looming and they have lots of work they need to automate.

By this time, they are frustrated, anxious and desperate. In mental pain, I daresay, and an inch away from cracking. They require empathy and they require a genius, and this should be where they find all that.

Hitting them with regimental rules &regulations, and telling them to be quiet and read The Rules and search swathes of forum threads on a site they have probably never used before until they are absolutely certain their question isn’t their is unkind.

Thank you, thank you, THANK you to @keme and @ajlittoz for your invaluable contribution. You are both also hereby taken to task to be nicer please.

This is difficult to answer.

To the least, this site is not managed. By that, I mean I know nobody who is the site administrator and this explains why sometimes the site remains in a stray state for long.

If you look at the 20 top users list, only two of them are “Administrators” (@qubit and @manj_k, this latter one not having shown up since 2014). I think this role was perhaps meaningful when the site was created but is no longer now.

Moderators are self-elected. When you contribute, you earn karma points. The higher the score, the higher privileges you get. Beyond a certain threshold, you can edit any question/answer and close/delete whatever you fancy. This is not really moderator role where a moderator would be in charge of etiquette, politeness, …

I personally apologise if I offended someone with a harsh answer or comment. But sometimes it is quite bitter to note that the answer is really close at hand, would a newcomer had taken the time to read at least the built-in help. It is an often neglected source of information. The next pieces of information are the various guides. Both pieces are available for free and extremely valuable. I admit that I’m frequently aroused by the laziness to not press the Help button present in nearly all dialogues.

For “respected” contributors defence, I want to specifically emphasize that many questions are simply “I have a problem” as if the author thought that we can see his screen and read his mind to grasp his goal. A lot more questions lack elementary information such as OS name and LO version. This is important because LO is constantly evolving and its UI changes from time to time. This kind of information outage and absence of description is prone to cause an avalanche of sarcasm.

Contributors must be humble and tolerant but askers must also help themselves to get help by acknowledging that every case is unique and need to be clearly described to be understood.