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On one of the answers made by a moderator to a question on Parenting.SE, I made the following comment. I highly recommend reading the question and answer for background. For those who don't follow the link, the answer is given by a moderator and ends with the following sentence: Sorry if this sounds like a rant. It's not..

This might be better suited for meta, but I'm having difficulties with the following combination: Sorry if this sounds like a rant. and the diamond next to your name. Don't take this personal, but shouldn't moderators avoid posts which can be considered (within reasonable terms) a rant? Disclaimers don't cut it IMHO.

The moderator responded and agreed this should be posted on Meta. I raise the following questions:

  • What's the general opinion about answers of which the author suspects it might be read as a rant?

  • Are disclaimers enough or should they such answers be rewritten?

  • Should moderator status be considered in such?

I've said this before and I'll say this again: this isn't personal.

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    This is an opportunity for members to discuss what you expect from a mod, as well as comment on a mod's behavior. I was surprised at being viewed this way. I'm hoping this will encourage more people to comment if there is agreement that I need to tone it down/other. – anongoodnurse Apr 21 '15 at 7:38
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    This is a wonderful question. I love that @anongoodnurse and the OP have created a discussion about something without turning into the most vicious and anonymous online versions of themselves. Kudos! – Brian Robbins Apr 21 '15 at 14:15
  • I have edited the answer (Thank you.) For users wanting to see the original, they will need to click on the 'edited by' to view the original. – anongoodnurse Apr 23 '15 at 22:41
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If you read her entire post it is well balanced, definitely not a rant in any way.

She was obviously sensitive enough to others that she was worried in case it did come across that way, hence the disclaimer.

I'd suggest the post could be improved simply by removing that last line - it isn't a rant, and in fact is a well thought out post.


Excluding the post, though, I'll answer your 3 specifics:

1 and 2 - if the author suspects it may be read as a rant, but it isn't meant as one, a disclaimer is fine, and useful, in my opinion. Remember, some people need guidance - as the internet is an easy place to read incorrect inferences into things. Signposting is a good thing.

3 - moderation and posting answers can be completely separate. Someone may have excellent answers, but be bad mod material. Or vice versa. When posting answers, a mod should certainly uphold our requirements for a good post, but remember, we're all human.

  • It's indeed not about the post itself. It's about posts which might be considered a rant, in this case indicated by the author self. As in "If you know the current way of writing it down might not be according to standards, why are you posting it anyway" . We'll see what the community thinks about it. – Mast Apr 20 '15 at 7:31
  • Ahh - you misunderstand my point- I meant that the OP knows it is written according to standards, but is allowing for the vagaries of human interpretation – Rory Alsop Apr 20 '15 at 7:34
  • In other words, the disclaimer is for those thinking it's not up to standards while the author made sure it is? – Mast Apr 20 '15 at 10:02
  • In my opinion, that example is fine, yes. – Rory Alsop Apr 20 '15 at 10:05
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    Your point regarding 3 is what my entire answer would have been. – user11394 Apr 24 '15 at 1:52
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I think in that particular case, the purpose of that line wasn't to suggest it might not be a good quality post - that poster is very well aware of what makes a good quality post. The purpose of that line was to make sure the OP didn't take the answer as an attack on the original asker.

Posting a question "This seems weird to me, is it okay for X to do this?", and then seeing an answer (one of many like-minded answers) saying "It's absolutely okay, and the fact that society makes it so X feels it might not be okay is abhorrent", can come across as an attack on the OP - "How dare you ask that question". I think it was intended to avoid that.

As for the general case, I mostly agree with Rory, but I would say that there is a bit of expectation on my part (and, I think, generally) that mods pay a little closer attention to posting etiquette and avoid overly-antagonistic posts, but on the whole there isn't a big difference here. Mods are volunteers, after all, and human. Whether or not it's a fair expectation, though, it's something mods should (and do) take into account. The better ones are self-aware of when they're treading close to that line, and past evidence suggests that the mods here are.

  • Thanks, Joe. I do want to be receptive to criticism from our community. And, alas, I have put my foot in my mouth much more often than once. Since this has been around now for a while, I'll edit the answer. Again, thanks for your response. – anongoodnurse Apr 23 '15 at 22:27

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