Question 12: Proceedures

Old Nov 7, 06, 4:47 pm
Founder of FlyerTalk
Original Poster
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 6,538
Question 12: Proceedures

This question was submitted by Elmhurst Nick:
My understanding is that member suspensions are given for 7 days, 30 days, then an undetermined period. If a TalkBoard member is suspended for a period of 30 days or more, what do you believe should be the the appropriate measures to ensure that the TalkBoard functions with nine active members. And how would your measures differ if the unscheduled absence was due to other unforseen issues such as illness or a work situation?
Randy Petersen is offline  
Old Nov 7, 06, 5:06 pm
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Glasgow, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Priority Club RA, Lots of other cards
Posts: 3,093
Thanks for another interesting question

Well I am not sure how TalkBoard run on a hung vote. If there is an even number of folk but if it is run like any other board/business/committee/society etc, it still has to function and usually if someone is off for some reason and a vote is hung i.e. 3 in favour 3 against then the casting vote would go to the chairperson or in his/her absents the vice chairperson.

I donít see why such a thing would not happen in TalkBoard as itís a very successful thing in other organisations.

Radioman is offline  
Old Nov 7, 06, 5:55 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 44,653
Given that Talk Board members are often well known longtime members and are elected by the membership, if he does something that would warrant a suspension, Randy should be the one to investigate & give it.

He should also make the decision if a member becomes ill and will be missing for several votes. A suggestion would be to have an alternate, perhaps the #6 vote getter, who is able to step in and vote instead of the missing member.

I don't think this would be an undue burden on Randy. We're not talking about a whole lot of people getting into a whole lot of trouble.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Nov 7, 06, 6:07 pm
formerly known as Frugal Travel Guy
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Programs: AA Exec Plat, UA Gold, HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Silver, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 1,914
If proceedures for such occurences are not already in place, the board should establish them. If they exist already, I will support the wisdom of my predecessors.
ingy is offline  
Old Nov 7, 06, 8:11 pm
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Yiron, Israel
Programs: Bates Motel Plat
Posts: 61,766
I don't believe that one moderator should have the right to negate the votes of hundreds of members -- and that is exactly what happens when a TalkBoard member is suspended.

Unless that TB member is removed by Randy personally, I think that any TB member should be allowed to continue to be active on the TB private forum, and to vote there, even if he is unable to access any other forum.

Indeed, I know of at least one instance where Randy enabled just that. I would like to see it become an automatic procedure.
Dovster is online now  
Old Nov 7, 06, 9:43 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Dec 1999
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Titanium (but still missing SPG)
Posts: 14,170
Randy should be the only one to be able to suspend a TalkBoard member for more than a 24 hour cooling off period.

And if that suspension is for more than seven days, the TB member should be replaced with the next highest vote getter.
RichMSN is offline  
Old Nov 7, 06, 10:23 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Greener Pastures
Posts: 10,495
This is an interesting question.

Personally, I don't believe that someone who is capable of getting themselves suspended for 30-days is someone I would vote for for TalkBoard. But that's my thought.

Now, should a TB member get suspended for 30-days - or be sick or unavailable for a period of time where we know they are coming back? I think the rest of the TB should be able to vote on the issues without the missing TB member. Of course, I think that if a TB member doesn't show up for an extended period of time regardless of reason (maybe 60 days or something), the TB should have the right to do an "impeachment" vote and replace the TB member with the next member that got the next closed number of votes.
bhatnasx is offline  
Old Nov 8, 06, 1:24 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: back to my roots in Scotland!
Programs: Tamsin - what else is there to say?
Posts: 47,845
I don't think it's good to create an 'untouchable' class of posters on FT, who only Randy can suspend. TB members are only the elected representatives of the other FTers, they are not above the TOS, they are not above other members - we serve, we don't rule. If a TB member is disruptive, then they should face the same chastisement from mods as any other member - they're elected, not perfect.

Look at the submissions of many FTers here. Most of us claim part of our worth as TB candidates are our FT contributions and our work in this community. If one of us chooses to break the basic TOS, we cannot be properly discharging our duty on TB either. TB is part of FT and as such is bound by the same rules and TOS too. If anything, ensuring TB members must face the same suspension policy should be an added incentive for them to follow the TOS and show appropriate respect for the rules - those that really care about their TB role will be even more careful not to fall foul of TOS violations elsewhere - personally, I've found it relatively easy never to be suspended (I know, I'm tempting fate now ).

From what I have read, there is a procedure in place for removing people who miss a certain number of votes. The procedure should be followed. If TB cannot at least attempt to follow its own rules, then how could those proposing to amend the TOS to control moderators, expect any respect from the mods? As children, I'm sure we all hated it when our parents came out with "Don't do what I do, do as I say"

If illness or work were to intervene, rather than suspension, then the TB member would probably have a little bit more control over the situation, and it would be down to their conscience whether they could remain on TB or not. It may be useful to look at creating a leave of absence system, for when people have very short term problems. But really, if it becomes a medium to long term problem, then it would not be appropriate for them to continue, and I hope they would themself realise that.
Jenbel is offline  
Old Nov 8, 06, 4:51 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Yiron, Israel
Programs: Bates Motel Plat
Posts: 61,766
Originally Posted by Jenbel
I don't think it's good to create an 'untouchable' class of posters on FT, who only Randy can suspend.
Then I presume that are against the situation which currently exists: Moderators are an "untouchable class of posters on FT, who only Randy can suspend."

Some history is required here. For years, moderators did not moderate each other. It was not an official decision -- more of an unspoken agreement.

At the first Mod Do, a little over a year ago, the moderators decided to change this. They would, they decided, start to moderate each other. There was a question of the software allowing this but that was solved by having senior moderators do the actual suspensions.

At least two moderators that I know of were suspended. After that, it stopped. Moderators today -- even senior moderators -- can no longer suspend moderators. Only Randy can.

I have to believe that this is because moderators realize that the system is not perfect. It can't be when you have 70 people, each with his own opinions and views on moderation, involved. What will get a suspension from one moderator will earn a "LOL" from another.

My answer, as I said elsewhere, is not to return to having moderators being suspended by each other, but to afford all FlyerTalkers the same protection --suspensions (with the exception of very new members) being given only by one person, preferably someone at HOM. Moderators would make the recommendation but it would require the approval of this person before going into effect.

This would have the additional advantage of reaffirming what Randy has always said, "Moderators are first and foremost members" and should be treated like all other members.

Last edited by Dovster; Nov 8, 06 at 5:56 am Reason: clarity
Dovster is online now  
Old Nov 8, 06, 6:09 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Greener Pastures
Posts: 10,495
Dovster, I'd like to correct you on your misconception.

Moderators do have the ability to suspend another moderator. A senior moderator is the one that actually has to do the suspension - but any moderator can suspend another moderator & just ask the senior moderator to do it. That said, any moderator who receives a suspension above 30 days loses his or her moderator status.

Randy does not have to approve a moderator suspension - nor has he ever asked to do this. Though I'm not going to discuss the particular indicident out of privacy's sake and respect for a fellow FlyerTalker & moderator, I have suspended a moderator before just as I suspended other members due to the moderator, who was acting as a member, posting things that were inappropriate. Several members were suspended too. This suspension, like many others, were done in consultation with my fellow forum mods.

Please correct your post above as there are statements that are simply just not true.

I'm offline for the majority of the rest of the day (travel day today) - but I may get back online at the MLL in YYZ this afternoon if I have time.
bhatnasx is offline  
Old Nov 8, 06, 6:27 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Yiron, Israel
Programs: Bates Motel Plat
Posts: 61,766
Samir, the statements I made were based on the following:

In a recent TalkBoard Topics thread, Cholula twice stated that he wanted to create a situation where non-mods would be subject to discipline only by Randy. In one case, he referred to non-mod candidates running for TalkBoard. In the other, he referred to non-mod members of TalkBoard.

After the second such reference, I asked why he was restricting this kind of protection only to non-mods. I wondered if moderators already enjoyed it.

The thread was locked before he had an opportunity to answer but another moderator sent me a PM saying that the short-lived policy of allowing senior moderators to suspend moderators had been cancelled and that it now requires HOM approval.

Of course, this explained why Cholula saw no need to give this protection to the mods in those circumstances.

I am familiar with the situation in which you suspended a moderator -- in fact, it was one of the two to which I referred -- but it was explained to me that this was during that short period between the First Mod Do and the now-current policy.

(Whether the information I received is right or wrong, I still believe that all suspensions should be approved by HOM, be they for moderators, TalkBoard members, or ordinary members. It is the only way to ensure uniform application of the TOS.)
Dovster is online now  
Old Nov 8, 06, 6:35 am
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: TX, USA, Earth, Milky Way
Programs: 2008 FT1 Fantasy Football Champion
Posts: 9,688
Jenbel has adequately summarized my position on this subject, so I am not going to rehash it.
empedocles is offline  
Old Nov 8, 06, 9:27 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: back to my roots in Scotland!
Programs: Tamsin - what else is there to say?
Posts: 47,845
I think the question is about TB policies in the event of one of their members going AWOL (by suspension or other causes), not about who should be able to suspend moderators (although I think bhatnasx has also answered that question from his own experience). I'm impressed though, at the idea that mods are disbarred/de-appointed if they get a 30 day suspension - that's the kind of rules I would expect TB to be considering for its policies regarding such matters, and perhaps that one should be 'acquired' from the mods?
Jenbel is offline  
Old Nov 8, 06, 12:24 pm
Original Member, Ambassador: External Miles and Points Resources
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Digital Nomad Wandering the Earth
Programs: UA 1K/MM refugee to cheapest business class fare, SPG Lifetime Plat, CBP Global Entry, #datelife
Posts: 48,767
I think the entire policy regarding suspensions needs to be re-thought.

As I've said, other than spammers and wack-jobs, WE ALL LOSE when someone is suspended.

If elected to TB (ah, who the heck am I kidding, I'll agitate whether I am elected or not) I'd advocate that we put the jackboots away and focus not on punishment but on rehabilitation. Not on exclusion but on inclusion.

People are respectful when they have a pride of ownership.

I fear that the current path of moderation is creating a sense of us vs. them on the part of both some moderators and some posters. This whole moderators as schoolmarms thing is, as I said, not only annoying but disruptive and destructive to our communities.

So the answer to the question is: I find 30-day suspensions ridiculous whether one is a TB member, a poster OR a moderator.

As for being sick or away, I am always sick or away. But here I am!!!
kokonutz is offline  
Old Nov 8, 06, 2:11 pm
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Louisville, KY
Programs: Wild Wild Life, TSA Disparager Diamond (LTDD)
Posts: 57,262
Moderation is beyond the scope of TalkBoard.

If a TalkBoard member is unable to participate for disciplinary reasons, he/she may be removed by a 2/3 majority vote by the TalkBoard or by the owner of the board. The next highest vote recipient in the most recent election would then serve out the term of the removed member. In the event that a member is unable to serve on a temporary basis, the TalkBoard, like most advisory boards, can function well enough temporarily with 8 members. There should be no temporary TalkBoard replacements.

The same is true if a member is unable to serve for personal reasons. If she/he does not step down voluntarily or ceases participation, the above process should also be applied.
Spiff is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread