Moderating r.a.p and r.a.s. Was: Absolute lowest altitude you can fly (legally)
Michael Rhodes wrote:
Is there a particular reason why r.a.s and r.a.p are not moderated?
I currently moderate or co-moderate 5 newsgroups and have acquired some
small insights on moderation; here's what I think I know or have learned:
First, I'm not 100% sure what the current policy is, but I believe that
proposals to change an unmoderated group to a moderated group would be
discarded as contrary to Big 8 Usenet policy. This is because the few times
that unmoderated groups have been changed to moderated in the past have
lead to considerable strife.
But it would be possible to propose parallel groups; e.g.
rec.aviation.piloting.moderated - but you'd have to find moderators willing
to plow through submissions several times a day, everyday, indefinitely.
Moderation definitely slows down the dialogue. The pay sucks (did I mention
it requires unpaid volunteer efforts?) and borderline and rejected posts
(which pop up more often than you'd think) seem to consume most of the
daily effort. Great diplomacy and the patience of the biblical Job are
needed if moderation is to be effective.
Secondly, if the proposed moderated groups adopt charters similar in scope
to those for r.a.p and r.a.s then IMHO most of the posts by mxsmanic would
still be on topic, while a non-trivial number of the follow-up messages
others have posted in response appear to be off topic or inflammatory and
therefore subject to rejection. And strictly speaking much of the other
off-topic threads that long-time regulars sometimes start would have to be
nipped at the bud. This all assumes of course that the moderators are
adhering strictly to charters set up for public access discussion of
aviation and not set up like clubs with access restricted to "members."
Lastly, moderation doesn't really eliminate strife - it merely moves it
partly out of sight to e-mails between moderators and posters whose posts
have been rejected. And did I mention how much moderators get paid to keep
newsgroups "clean" for the benefit of readers?