Here we have the third installment of B.Z.’s series of quieries to the blogospheric community. In this case, we are asked to consider the nature of forum or blog management.
Interacting with others on forums or blogs its commonplace for a moderator or team of moderators to edit or delete your contributions (perhaps even with consequences to you) based on their subjective judgment. A guideline of what is allowed may range from specific to vague or even nonexistent and how close those guidelines are followed ranges just as greatly. Favoritism may be granted to some, and harassment (perhaps one of the things moderation is trying to prevent) towards others.
It makes sense to try and tone down things we would find unacceptable in any other social setting, such as harassment in any form. Poorly executed interaction should be prevented to ensure that people want to continue to interact. Complications arise due to the content of what we are sharing. Is it fair that people complain about bugs in software on the publisher or developers message boards only to find that their posts are deleted minutes later? Is it fair that a creationist posts their beliefs on an evolutionary theory blog, only to find their posts removed?
In both of these scenarios, no it is not fair. A company who makes profit on products preventing discussion about issues in their products does differ from a community not wanting misinformation propagated however.
When hitchhiking around the Internet, is it any surprise to find the adage: “life isn’t fair” to be any less true? What is the ideal approach to moderating a blog or a forum? Are you familiar with specific examples of either well executed or poorly executed moderation?