Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
What are the qualifications needed to become a moderator?
Thread poster: Martin Wenzel

Martin Wenzel
Germany
Local time: 20:53
English to German
+ ...
Aug 20, 2008

I have been wondering about this for a long time and think I need to give a bit of background information so my questions make more sense.

We all know that it is sometimes difficult to near impossible to give context when we don't have any. From this eternal hassle over the fact that I didn't/couldn't give more context, some kind of personal argument arose between myself and a moderator. He made a point of always referring me to the Kudos rules and kept a hawk's eye on my obeying them. [A former room mate of mine put up some rules on how to use the toilet, first I thought this was a joke, but no he wanted/needed rules for that.]

In the course of time we exchanged several emails where he tried to impress me with his verbosity and the power he has as a moderator. I appologized when I made a mistake, but I noticed forgiveness was not his gift.

As I was fed up with him I launched a complaint form and was referred to another moderator. Since then never a single problem with the new moderator and everything went fine till she was absent...

A couple of days ago I posted a question asking for help with a sentence. I admit I did not count the words, but if the sentence did have more than 10 words, read this rule it says approx. 10 words...

http://www.proz.com/?sp=siterules&mode=show&category=kudoz_asking

The old moderator was back and culled my question without further ado (am I misinterpreting this or was it really personal revenge?). Luckily, I had made a print-out of the answers the day before the question was removed. Let's assume I had desperately needed an answer, I would have had to place my question again and wait for answers.

Would it not have been much better to ask me to reduce my question to the exact number of words (what is the exact number of words by the way?) or changing it, so it would be acceptable, BUT NO, IT WAS CULLED!?

This made me wonder:

On which basis are moderators accepted to become staff members? Is it their training, experience, linguistic competence or are other factors also considered such as team spirit, helpfulness etc.

While reading the Kudos rules again, I saw how much emphasis has been placed by Henry and his team on politeness, professionality and mutual respect. From my point of view, I can clearly say this moderator should not be on the board because proz.com is not a place where you fight personal wars or take revenge.

Do moderators have to go for online interviews or do they have to complete shrink forms as does the rest of the world before they get a[n] [unpaid] job?

Martin







[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-08-21 10:22]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxBrandis
Local time: 20:53
English to German
+ ...
hard job though... Aug 20, 2008

Hi! through a few mails I had recd. in the near past, people seem to cut their hands to pledge to be moderators. That sounded like some japanese tradition. Do you still wish to try, I wish you good luck. BR Brandis

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 15:53
SITE STAFF
Squashing was in line with site rules Aug 20, 2008

Hi Martin, the moderator was right to squash your question, as it was a whole sentence containing 18 words in compact German, expanding in your own translation into almost 30 English words.

You may find the following FAQ helpful:


59. What constitutes "term help" as defined in rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/kudoz_general/1.1#1.1 ?

KudoZ questions can be used to ask for help on terms or idiomatic expressions.

A group of words (up to approximately 10) should be posted in a single question only when they constitute an unbreakable unit, such as an idiomatic expression (e.g. 'a jack of all trades and master of none') that may be several words long and where omitting any part would not formulate the question correctly.

Askers can also post sentences to ask for help in understanding a meaning, word order or a grammatical issue, but this should be done in the corresponding monolingual language pair. Monolingual KudoZ questions can be asked by selecting the same language for both source and target languages.



Squashing was based on rules. Please note that speculating on others' opinions is not in line with forum rules.

Regards,
Enrique


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:53
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Yes, but what does it take? Aug 20, 2008

Enrique wrote:

Hi Martin, the moderator was right to squash your question, as it was a whole sentence containing 18 words in compact German, expanding in your own translation into almost 30 English words.

You may find the following FAQ helpful:


59. What constitutes "term help" as defined in rule http://www.proz.com/siterules/kudoz_general/1.1#1.1 ?

KudoZ questions can be used to ask for help on terms or idiomatic expressions.

A group of words (up to approximately 10) should be posted in a single question only when they constitute an unbreakable unit, such as an idiomatic expression (e.g. 'a jack of all trades and master of none') that may be several words long and where omitting any part would not formulate the question correctly.

Askers can also post sentences to ask for help in understanding a meaning, word order or a grammatical issue, but this should be done in the corresponding monolingual language pair. Monolingual KudoZ questions can be asked by selecting the same language for both source and target languages.



Squashing was based on rules. Please note that speculating on others' opinions is not in line with forum rules.

Regards,
Enrique


Apart from the "squashing" issue in this particular case, it would be interesting to know how people become moderators. Can you tell us, please?
Jenny.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jared Tabor
Local time: 15:53
SITE STAFF
ProZ.com moderators Aug 20, 2008

Hello Martin, Jenny,

You can read a bit more about what moderators do and the criteria by which they are chosen in these FAQs, and also here. Thanks.

Best regards,

Jared


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Are you sure the moderator was right in this instance, Enrique? Aug 21, 2008

Martin Wenzel wrote:

The old moderator was back and culled my question without further ado (am I misinterpreting this or was it really personal revenge?). Luckily, I had made a print-out of the answers the day before the question was removed.



Enrique wrote:

the moderator was right to squash your question, as it was a whole sentence containing 18 words in compact German, expanding in your own translation into almost 30 English words.


Whilst posting a question containing 18 words is obviously against the rules, I was under the impression that a question could not be squashed if it had received an answer, and Martin clearly states that he had received some.

I have "squashing rights", but if a question has received an answer, the "squash" button disappears. Could you, therefore, explain why it was OK for Martin's question to be squashed after it had received answers (hardly fair to the people who have spent their valuable time replying), when this is generally not only not allowed but not even possible?

And where are the rules for squashing questions please?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 15:53
SITE STAFF
On deciding when to squash a question Aug 21, 2008

Nikki Graham wrote:

Whilst posting a question containing 18 words is obviously against the rules, I was under the impression that a question could not be squashed if it had received an answer, and Martin clearly states that he had received some.

I have "squashing rights", but if a question has received an answer, the "squash" button disappears. Could you, therefore, explain why it was OK for Martin's question to be squashed after it had received answers (hardly fair to the people who have spent their valuable time replying), when this is generally not only not allowed but not even possible?

And where are the rules for squashing questions please?


Hi Nikki,

When a question has received at least an answer the KudoZ editors can't squash it, but moderators and staff still can do it.

There is an article by Henry about the issue of deciding when to squash a question.

Regards,
Enrique


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Still need more clarification Aug 21, 2008

Enrique wrote:

When a question has received at least an answer the KudoZ editors can't squash it, but moderators and staff still can do it.

There is an article by Henry about the issue of deciding when to squash a question.


The article stresses (as I thought) that questions cannot be squashed when they have received answers. Then it states:

Does it matter whether or not answers have already been submitted?

Once answers have been submitted for a question, only a moderator may remove it.


I'm afraid I do not find this very enlightening. Why can a moderator remove a question that has been answered when this is otherwise frowned upon? Why should the answerers be penalised (and their time and efforts wasted) due to the asker's mistake?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:53
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
My personal opinion Aug 22, 2008

Dear Nikki,
I am not writing as a moderator here; I am just stating my personal opinion. If a KudoZ question is against the rules, the answerer is also supposed to comply with those rules. As an answerer myself, why would I answer a KudoZ question that violates the rules? Both, an asker and an answerer should know the KudoZ rules before they decide to participate.

In my language community (Albanian,) there was a thread long ago, which talked about some of the KudoZ violations and how we should not bother to give an answer, if a KudoZ question is already in violation with the rules. It helped us to become more conscious of what we could choose to answer and what we shouldn't.

In my personal opinion, both, the asker and the answerer are responsible for complying with the KudoZ rules, which have been put in place after several years of experience.

Have a great day everyone,

Monika



Nikki Graham wrote:
... Why should the answerers be penalised (and their time and efforts wasted) due to the asker's mistake?






[Edited at 2008-08-22 15:06]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Still no answer Aug 22, 2008

Monika Coulson wrote:

If a KudoZ question is against the rules, the answerer is also supposed to comply with those rules. As an answerer myself, why would I answer a KudoZ question that violates the rules? Both, an asker and an answerer should know the KudoZ rules before they decide to participate.


I am not disputing that. I have been answering KudoZ questions for years and regularly squash those that are against the rules (hence my knowledge of them). In case there is any doubt, I do not think the person who started this thread was right to ask a question with so many words in it. Nor do I think that the people who answered the question should have done so.

The point I am making, however, is this: the system gives the impression that a question should not be squashed after it has received answers, otherwise, why can moderators only do this? If a question is against the rules regardless of whether it has received answers or not, then why can't those of us who are KudoZ editors squash them if it is so clear cut? Why can't I go through the glossary and squash any question that violates these rules? Yet a moderator, as in this case, can come along and squash the question, even though it has answers without any explanation other than the usual "against the rules" discourse. Why is this question with answers any different from the thousands of others in the glossary already that are against the rules?

So, I repeat: why can a moderator remove a question that has been answered when this is otherwise frowned upon? What are the criteria for this? Only when this question is answered will we know whether the moderator acted in the case in question within certain established guidelines that are the same for all moderators and followed by all or whether this was indeed personal.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:53
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Different rights of KudoZ editors and of ModZ Aug 23, 2008

Hi Nikki,
Now, I think I understand your question. Thank you for making it clear.

the system gives the impression that a question should not be squashed after it has received answers, otherwise, why can moderators only do this? If a question is against the rules regardless of whether it has received answers or not, then why can't those of us who are KudoZ editors squash them if it is so clear cut?


I think site staff would probably be in a better position to answer this, I just want to give you my view on this.
The thing is that when a question that already received answers is squashed, the answerers will not get a chance to receive points. I think you mentioned this in one of your earlier postings: it is a situation where somebody (the answerer) would be "penalized" for somebody else's (the asker's) mistake. Therefore, this should be avoided as much as possible, and done only ofter careful consideration of all circumstances.
As you know, there are different roles in administering the various areas of the site, including KudoZ. There are many KudoZ editors (many more than ModZ, I think), selected based on a certain criteria, and given certain administrative rights. The next layer is the Moderators' group, a smaller group, selected on a different set of criteria (already discussed), and given a different (broader) set of administrative rights. The top of the hierarchy is the site staff, an even smaller group, with all administrative rights. The responsibilities are proportionally increasing, too.

I do not know the history of this, but I assume the difference between the extent of squashing rights is due to the increased responsibility that comes with squashing a question with answers, and the fact that Moderators have more tools to see whether a certain behavior is a one-time case, occasional, or quite frequent. In addition to squashing, Moderators can initiate other administrative actions, which is sometimes necessary for repeat offenders.

You had a half sentence that caught my eye, let me copy it here:

if it is so clear cut


You see, the thing is that very often the situation is not so "clear cut", especially at first sight.
Sometimes it is better to not squash a question, if it already received answers, for example when it is a novice asker, making a genuine mistake, and others already took the time to answer. If we only looked the exact letter of the rules, the question would be squashed, the asker would not get the help, and those who tried to help out, may get irritated seeing their efforts vanishing. In such a case, it may be better to use another method of rule enforcement (for example, a public note from the Mod at the KudoZ question, or a private email to the "offender" with explanation). Repeated violations of course would result in more serious actions, such as squashing. Moderators have the tools that allow the more thorough analysis that may be needed to make the decision about squashing or not. Often times it is only the squashing that the community notices, they may not know about the history and the previous steps the Mod of the pair or other Mods have taken towards the person to encourage observing the rules.

Another type of case would be when the rule violation is not visible at first sight, for example when an asker repeatedly violated the rules, but in different language pairs, or over a longer period of time. Focusing on the activity in a certain pair at a certain time would not show any specific pattern. Since Moderators can see further and deeper than KudoZ editors can see, they are in a better position to make the call in the "not so clear cut" cases.

It also happens sometimes, that certain cases are really so much "not clear cut" that they get escalated from the ModZ level to site staff, for the final decision. They have the ultimate say, and they have all the possible administrative tools to make the decision.

So again, I think the general idea is that squashing a question that already have answers submitted must have a very good reason behind it, and therefore it is better if it is squashed at the Moderator's level (one up in the hierarchy, so to speak), so more information could be collected and appropriate follow-up could be ensured.
If KudoZ-editors kept squashing such questions, repeat offenders may not be handled effectively in a timely manner, plus, the KudoZ-editors would have to take all the responsibility, and field the responses to that action (publicly or privately).

If a KudoZ-editor squashes a question by mistake (for whatever reason) when there are still no answers, the consequences are somewhat less damaging, and it is easier to rectify the situation, compared to a mistaken squash when there were answers.
So, I think there is a level of protection built into the system this way: potentially damaging decisions can only be made one level up. This protects the KudoZ-editors, and similarly, when Mods cannot do certain things, only staff can, that is also a protection for the ModZ in that sense. I have a feeling that the distribution of rights and responsibilities this way is pretty common in organizations - at least this is what I think based on my corporate and non-profit experience.

I am sorry that this turned out to be this long - I hope it makes things a bit more clear.

[Edited at 2008-08-23 02:26]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 20:53
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
nothing personal Aug 30, 2008

Just my opinion, regarding the moderators: I had a problem with one of them but each of us are a different person. The problems always can be solved by way of discussion. As I know, the moderatos have no money for their efforts, so, I think I should look at them as at the people who sacrifizing their time for free to make/keep the site "clean". In some case I agree with them, sometimes not, but I think there is no place to look at each other as at enemies. I had few posts from moderators as sometimes I used KudoZ not according the rules, mostly the "Ask asker field" ( i put many too personal cmments). Bit this is right: KudoZ is not a chat forum. As for the questions, I knew in Russian field an asker who posted whole sentences and articles for translation, I send him a public post with my opinion he is continually misusing the site and uses his colleagues as proofreaders for free. After it he changed his modus, he put some*** , bolding a phrase to seem "nice user", but still asked regarding whole sentences. Finally, I simply flagged him and do not read his questions anymore. If somebody is not sympathetic, you can simply ignore.
Back to the topic: I think the staff's right/will whom they trust.

[Módosítva: 2008-08-30 23:11]

[Módosítva: 2008-08-30 23:12]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
Still no answer part 2 Sep 1, 2008

Thank you, Katalin, for taking the time to explain your view, and my apologies for not responding earlier, but I have been away on holiday.

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

I think site staff would probably be in a better position to answer this, I just want to give you my view on this.


I note that nobody has bothered to clarify the issue "officially" here. Disappointingly, this is not the first time I have asked for clarification in the forums about various site rules and regulations and been totally ignored.


You see, the thing is that very often the situation is not so "clear cut", especially at first sight.


Yes, I know it's not clear cut. But Enrique's initial response to this issue seemed to indicate that it was:

the moderator was right to squash your question, as it was a whole sentence containing 18 words in compact German


Yet this question had received answers. Not so clear cut. Why do some moderators squash questions with answers and others don't? What are the official guidelines/rules they follow to squash questions with answers? If there aren't any, then I think some should be drawn up and the community should be informed of them. Otherwise, the situation that we have here will be repeated and a moderator will be accused of squashing a question for personal reasons.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What are the qualifications needed to become a moderator?

Advanced search






memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs