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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Anonymity and Site Staff

  1.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #1
    Didn't try, Succeeded Fay V's Avatar

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    Jun 2012

    Anonymity and Site Staff

    I want to make it clear that this is purely for discussion and I'm not representing the staff in any way. At this point in time there are no plans for staff anonymity on Weasyl

    So I wanted to have a discussion about website admins and moderators working anonymously or under false names. I was curious to see how you guys feel. Please keep the conversation civil and avoid bashing anyone or other sites.

    For my part I don't think it's a problem as long as you're not using it to hide anything unsavory. For instance when I was an FA admin ages ago, I asked to make a separate account to do my job. I didn't want admin work mixing with commission work, for instance in the past I've had users come into an art stream I'm doing and complain about a warning they got on the site I was moderating, even though I wasn't the one to work on the ticket. Again in a stream another moderator popped in, I asked how things were going, they blithely mentioned they'd been dealing with some cranky users that didn't like some ticket action, I said that sucked. No names, no way to tell who it was. Said users later came in to yell about it and finally dragging me away from the stream to address their original complaints about the ticket. Less dramatically, you get a lot of notes and messages as a moderator, people don't separate you from the site. It happens, nothing you can really do to stop it, but at the time I simply wanted to keep that sort of thing away from my work.

    At the same time I didn't want to deal with pissy users on my page. People get mad on FA. They leave nasty notes (dunno why, it just gets you into more trouble) and they assume the worst. This was worse on FA because there is a stigma, I won't comment on the cause or if it's deserved, but it is there.

    So I used an alias. I think it was the right decision. There is still a name to track all action back to me so no one is simply getting away with things. It was fairly common knowledge that I was an admin at the time, so that is not a concern.

    In the interest of fair discourse, the shortcoming I could see is that, if I went power mad and nasty at people it would be harder to link my name to those actions, so even if I got fired I could still go off and get onto a staff somewhere else to be nasty. I don't have a good response to that, it's a fair point, though sadly it happens anyway.

    So opinions, is it fine? not okay? why? why not?

  2. #2
    Regular Sonata's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    I don't see making a separate account as a "fake" identity. I see it more as an organizing thing, so certain tasks like commissions cannot coincide with staff work. I think that as long as it's mentioned that I am actually this user or that user, then it's all good.

  3. #3
    I agree. It's like... Separating your jobs. Just makes sense to me as long as it's transparent.

  4. #4
    Senior athdaraxen's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Lady Dragon
    As long as it isn't abused its fine to me. I wouldn't blame anyone for doing it. Keeping your two jobs separate is never a bad thing.

  5. #5
    Queen in the North Chuchi's Avatar

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    Jan 2014
    For what it's worth, and being purposefully vague to avoid naming or causing a hype or whathaveyou, but my husband is a mod for a site and when a big issue rose up, a bunch of people came to him for help. Which, that is totally understandable and what they should have done, and he helped the best he could within the capacity of his position. However, when people became dissatisfied with how things were being handled, they began to pin blame on my husband, who is just a mod, to the point that it spilled over onto his personal FA. And then it spilled over onto mine and I wasn't even involved in the shitstorm, but I had people note me saying unnecessary things about my husband and the site. I bring it up because he was acting under the same name so it was easy for people to find him, and then they branched out and starting harassing me because of my association.

    Long story short, I think having a separate name for work and staff is a good idea just to separate the two, organization, as was mentioned. And, like Sonata mentioned, I also suggest identification between the two accounts, just so people know that one is for work/personal (and is not to be blasted for staff related things) and one is for official business (where they can blast awaaaay).

    Just my two-cents.
    Something interesting about myself.

  6. #6
    How it works on Gamefaqs:

    The mods are mods, the admins are admins, they have magic powers. HOWEVER, their board jurisdictions and who works on what tickets are entirely anonymous, as are infarctions. You can appeal moderations to another mod with you plea for a second opinion, and then appeal again with another plea to an administrator, but each time it is kept 100% anonymous who is viewing and deciding what. Plus there are dozens if not hundreds of mods on the site, so there's no way to trace any action back to a single staff member.

    Now I'm not saying Gamefaqs has the best system, but it's kept them sane and well managed with high forum traffic for almost 20 years so it has to be doing something right.
    Get a loada this guy here.

  7. #7
    Nope, sounds fine to me. I haven't experienced being part of that kind of administration yet, but I'd have no qualms as long as there existed some level of accountability between two accounts (at least on the administrative side of things. On the site where I did quality control (mix of a mod/ferret-like position), it was easy to contact me and everyone knew that I did what I did. Yeah, sometimes you'd get the stray user giving hell, but most of that was in private. We just have to remember that it goes both ways; not everyone who is a moderator or admin actually should be, and they should be held accountable like regular users are beholden to the ToS.

    This does remind me of a Futurama line, though:

    Leela: But you never wore a ring, I didn't know you had a wife.
    Ipji: And my wife doesn't know I have a job, I keep my personal and professional life separate.

  8. #8
    Premium User FishNChips's Avatar

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    Jul 2012
    I like it, because if I were a moderator/admin, I'd be able to do moderating duties and keep my "life" as an uploader/watcher/commenter separate.

    I prefer the idea of a false name over something like a tag that says "Anonymous", however. Code names, if you like. That way if an admin is misbehaving or abusing their power, they'd be able to say "Yo, one of the moderators called Totallynotgibby is being a massive prick, pls deal w/ it."

    Also the moderator's "civilian" account can be dealt with by other admins if the moderator who owns it steps out of line, because who infracts themselves, honestly? And as far as I'm aware, the only person who can deal with a mod on a website is a super-mod.

    Besides, if I could keep my civilian account a secret, I can actually catch a break when I want to do my stuff.

  9. #9
    You guys take being a mod way too seriously. It's a furry forum not the Library of Congress.
    Get a loada this guy here.

  10. #10
    Premium User QT Melon's Avatar

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    Dec 2013
    Working a different account isn't a big issue. If it is being abused the users can report that account and the administration can deal with them, since they know who is operating that account.

    However, it is a bad idea to make an anonymous account that can be used by multiple staff at once since tracking who operated it at the time can be a hassle.



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