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Is there moderator oversight? Who do we complain to, when moderators aren't doing what they are supposed to do?

    Question

  • I've actually raised this topic before, and one of the regular moderators back then who is a wonderful participant who means well gave the same "look the other way" answer that is indicative of a major problem in that forum.  I'll post a link by another wonderful moderator, also well meaning, but also looking the other way. http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/13875c40-cd42-46d9-9ea6-4a7eaee0ff46

    The person in question (not the moderator, but the person who the moderators do nothing about) is excessively rude, posts rants that get ruder and nastier as the day progresses, and none of the moderators do anything.

    I have to just say as much as I appreciate the moderators, they are not doing their job.  A person who posts abusive posts over and over, with no repercussions should be banned.   The fact that this "noted author" writes about SQL Server makes me wonder if commercial interests are part of the decision to do nothing.

    The lack of action is unacceptable.  I want an answer, and I'll accept a private email from a 'neutral' moderator here, to tell me where to take this.  This problem has existed for years, and none of the moderators in that forum will do anything.  Consider this a formal complaint about that poster, and I expect someone to do something.


    • Edited by johnqflorida Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:32 AM Fixed a typo
    Wednesday, March 27, 2013 9:43 AM

All replies

  • We did discuss that situation among the private group of SQL Server moderators a few times. I personally always try to find some rational in his posts and ignore everything else. Of course, it would be good thing if he can change his style, but that's beyond hope.

    I personally would not want him gone from the forum.


    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 3:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Let me phrase my question differently:  I want to report a problem in a forum where I feel the moderators are not performing their duties. Where do I go?
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:15 AM
  • You may try either forum's issues forum or moderator's private forums (but they are only open for moderators) or you can email to fissues at microsoft dot com or you can also email to edprice at microsoft dot com who seems to be helpful with such requests.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:57 PM
    Moderator
  • I think it is a worthwhile discussion.   I can see Naomi's view as well as yours.  And, I have to admit that I sometimes I enjoy reading Mr Celko's posts to see how abusive he can be.  It is interesting theater!   His usual rants involve the poster not including DDL, sample data, etc, and I can feel his pain with that one.  I have responded to numerous posts....attempting to guess a solution...only to find out 3 or 4 posts down the road that my assumptions were wrong and that had the original poster included some of this info it would have saved a lot of us time.  I have a day job...and I review the forums to see where i can help and give back to the community...because of all the help that others have offered to me....but i could be more efficient helping people here with more info to go off of.   

    I have also been the target of some of his rants and tirades...so I undertand that perspective.  I did get some help from it, and i learned to always post some sort of DDL, DML, etc. 

    And as Naomi stated above, "...would be good thing if he can change his style, but that's beyond hope."  

    Apparently, this style has worked well for him in his life...i wouldn't want it...but then I am me.


    - will

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:13 PM
  • CELKO may be a SQL guru. But lot of people who post questions here are either newbies or people facing problem in getting the right solution. This guy talks about ISO standards etc... Those are good for school. How many companies follow those? The way he expresses his ideas is very rude. May be because he is an instructor and author.

    He can politely ask to post what's required. Forget about ISO standards and missing constraints. The way it goes is very abusive. 

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:57 PM
  • I see the reply is marked abusive, and I would agree that it is. I think that is far as you can go. Hopefully the person will get the message. I try to ignore these things, and certainly never respond.


    Richard Mueller - MVP Directory Services

    Friday, March 29, 2013 1:52 AM
  • If we were talking about a reply (singular), we wouldn't be having this conversation.  We have dozens/hundreds/probably thousands to refer to.  To be fair, they don't all cross the line into abusive.  I would say there's a bell curve, on the smaller left side are totally normal and courteous helpful replies with no rude/insulting/demeaning content, the thickest section of the bell curve contains content that most would consider somewhat rude, but not necessarily crossing the line into abusive, then the smaller right side of he bell curve are the ones that are actually abusive, most definitely enough to warrant corrective action.

    The term "groupthink" applies to the moderators: Above, Naomi acknowledges an ongoing pattern of behavior, yet still thinks the right answer is non-action.  Here's one definition of groupthink: 

    group·think  - /ˈgro͞opˌTHiNGk/ -Noun

    • The practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.

    We also have selective enforcement: When he posts an incendiary comment, there is no action.  On the occasions where the victim of that incendiary comment responds (which they shouldn't, but sometimes they do), THEN there's action.  The fact is, the conversation went off topic at the moment this one poster in question made the abusive post, (typically insulting the original posters skills and abilities), but the moderators do nothing in those cases.  And that's ultimately why I'm bothering with this whole topic.  There's an ongoing pattern of non-action, and it's time for intervention by someone higher up the ladder.

    Examples:  (and look closely at the timestamp of my edit.. it took 5 minutes to find these examples)

    Future exampls will all be more recent:

    • http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/29237ab4-108a-46ee-a7ec-f55a276233c6/#8b5a6b7f-28ce-4faa-a4f7-a5ac7cd05732  (Past day or two)
      A good SQL programmer would not! You never had a basic software engineering course, did you? What is the concept of “cohesion” mean to you? To a programmer (not just SQL! Any good programmer) it means that a module of code has one and only one entry point, one and only one exit point, and it performs one and only one task. It is not the “Automobiles, Squids and Lady Gaga” multi-purpose tool you want to write. 

      The rest of the code is bad. You have no idea of ISO-11179 naming rules, declarative programming, you use the magical over-sized VARCHAR(50) to assure bad data, etc. Did you know that companies are identified by a DUNS? Why are table names in singular? Why it nothing  in ISO-11179 format? 

      Did you know that declarative and functional language do not use local variables? CURSORS are like the worst way to write anything in SQL. It is like eating babies; do not do it where people can see you. 

      Why do you have more LEFT OUTER JOINs than the entire payroll system  of any Fortune 500 company I know? 

      I am telling you that you are doing everything wrong. Look at my credentials; do you think I might have some expertise and you should think about it?
    • Insulting the poster: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/c57d627a-c04a-45d6-b548-8ef62ed55227/#265e9a0c-53fc-4781-be6c-a57036c1a0d4
      WOW! you have reinvented the punch card sorter! We would wire a plug board and these machines would put the cards into two bins, just like you are doing in T-SQL. 

      An SQL programmer would have a column in the table (which might be a view!) that shows the status and never physically move the data from table to table. This is completely wrong and violates the foundations of RDBMS.
    • Insults: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/3c33e396-4db0-4019-bab3-5012180045c0/#049cf125-ff41-4de1-9b50-9d8d196938e0
      The plan stinks and you have no idea what you are doing. You do know that the minimal Netiquette is to post DDL and any DML you have tried? Want to try again?



    Saturday, March 30, 2013 1:10 PM
  • Hi -

    You make some excellent points about non-action.  I always wondered why the targets were always "beat up" when they voiced a strong opinion/response, whereas the initiator rarely received more than wrist slap.  I see that many refer to Celko as a Sql Guru...and one person actually labled him a "Hero".  I haven't seen anything from him that substantiates his knowledge is vastly superior to many, many others on this forum or elsewhere.  He certainly has some great ideas and solutions for people, but guru status...i don't think he's there yet.  Or, we need to call 90% of the folks on this forum "gurus".   And...as far as being a "Hero" as one person suggested...I think that they need to check the definition. 


    - will

    Monday, April 1, 2013 5:18 PM
  • The latest is that Ed Price posted a warning to Joe to answer threads without objectionable content.

    The moderators/answerers are operating the forums at the pleasure of Microsoft Corporation. The best we can do is follow the guidelines. Joe's case is not within the guidelines. He is Mr. SQL. His posts would be great contribution to the T-SQL forum less the objectionable content.

    >I always wondered why the targets were always "beat up" when they voiced a strong opinion/response, whereas the initiator rarely received more than wrist slap.

    I hope that is not true.

    Also note the person who started this thread is using an alias.


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012




    • Edited by Kalman Toth Thursday, April 4, 2013 2:14 PM
    Thursday, April 4, 2013 12:56 AM
  • From what I've heard, Facebook some time ago implemented a policy to require people to use their real names, because (I suppose I should disclose that the following is my opinion) it made it harder for them to sell everything they know about everybody to every advertiser everywhere  (my opinion ends there).  I guess this means I'm not a fan of Facebook and other forms of "so-shallow" media either?   (Heyyyy, I need to copyright that!  :-)

    Anyway, Kalman used an alias himself ("SQLUSA") for quite some time.  It doesn't matter though, because MSDN has no such rule against aliases.  Let me quote... .

    What is a Display Name? How do I edit it? 

    Your Display Name is the name that you use when posting messages to a discussion group and indicates the author of a post. The Display Name that you type in your Profile information is the name that appears in the description of any new posts that you create. You may use your real name as your Display Name, but note that the Display Name is visible to all users in the Forum. You can edit your Display Name by clicking My Profile in the My Links box on any page on Forums, modifying the Display Name, and then clicking Save.

    Friday, April 5, 2013 3:15 AM
  • johnqflorida,

    What you would find if running under your real name that the cyber world is closer to the real world, therefore, the likelihood is high that you would be more cautious with your words.

    You can use alias, and put your real name in the signature block. Thanks.


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012

    Friday, April 5, 2013 6:36 AM
  • >I always wondered why the targets were always "beat up" when they voiced a strong opinion/response, whereas the initiator rarely received more than wrist slap.

    I hope that is not true.


    So what you're saying, is that you hope it is not true, that people who respond negatively to Celko are beat up, while he is not.  Is that what you're saying?   Because you're still praising Celko.  And you're criticizing me.  Has the irony of this sunk in yet? 

    I think you should voluntarily step down from being a moderator.  You are not impartial, and you are personally and directly a big part of the reason Celko was granted impunity for so long.  

    Prologue: At first, I thought to myself that this little debate meant that the post was going off-topic and that I should stop.  Then I re-read the title of this post, and I re-read the content of the first post.  And the post WAS about moderator inactivity and selective enforcement, and the post (even with this new direction it's taken) is STILL about moderator inactivity and selective enforcement. 

    And just for fun, a quote from 8 hours and 42 minutes ago (which I found literally upon clicking the first post I saw by Celko): "This is minimal polite behavior on SQL forums. The vague picture you posted in ASCII instead of DDL was useless. Now we have to guess and type what you should have posted. " [EDIT: Adding URL of post - http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/transactsql/thread/82a54020-5c3b-493e-b2c1-a1d517eecbbb/#e586c447-7382-4743-98c9-29b12f7461a4]  Like my examples before, I could probably spend more time searching for better and more extreme examples, but the fact that I can find a reasonably good example on my first click also speaks volumes.


    • Edited by johnqflorida Friday, April 5, 2013 11:05 AM Added URL of post
    Friday, April 5, 2013 11:02 AM
  • Because you're still praising Celko.  And you're criticizing me.  Has the irony of this sunk in yet? 

    Joe was asked several times to stop posting objectionable content. Ed warned him several times. His great knowledge of RDBMS is praised not the objectionable content. I don't agree with Joe on every database matter, but surely learned a lot from him.

    I am asking you sign your real name to your posts or stop attacking real persons who are not afraid to sign their names. It is immoral to attack people while hiding behind an alias.


    Kalman Toth Database & OLAP Architect sqlusa.com
    New Book / Kindle: Pass SQL Exam 70-461 & Job Interview: Programming SQL Server 2012





    Friday, April 5, 2013 11:21 AM
  • Hello John in Florida.

    Be aware that the forums is done by volunteers. If you have an MSDN subscription you also can be helped by a MSFT which is paid for that but then it can be you have to wait some days. Not including the weekends. 

    Therefore it is interesting to know if you have an MSDN subscription. Be aware a moderator has no official status as a policeman. Non Microsoft Moderators are also volunteers who only try to avoid real improper behaviour. That is in my opinion not the case with the one who answers in that thead. He just behave like a strict schoolmaster.

    Be aware I agree with the one who marked your message for abuse, that your message is a sample of an abusing message.

    Maybe is it better that if you write this kind of messages on Internet not to hide yourself behind a nick but give your full name.


    Success
    Cor

    Monday, April 22, 2013 6:49 PM