You know, I’m actually a great believer in transparency.  On The Great Orange Satan I’m the one you turn to to explain how things really work and here I am not merely an Admin I am a-

Super Admin!

Super Duck

That story will be the punch line at the end.

Before this blog opened it was clear to me and several other Admins, Contributing Editors, and Guest Bloggers (afterwards referred to as Board Members) that we needed a private forum to discuss things like scheduling and site financing and discipline for dishonest posters and general nonsense.  While several others were more familiar than I with free forums it fell to me to set us up and I think it’s been fairly reliable so far.

As for private, squabbling is considered noise by many people; though like a mentor of mine, #933, I consider it just as much signal as anything else.  Unless even the stupid people can speak, how are you going to hear what they think?

Still, I am number nine and I saw most of it.  If you care to do the research you’ll find we did a fair amount of fighting in public before we decided to set up a room and let the heavyweights duke it out.

It’s not at all like a Swedish Knife Fight where there are two people linked at the wrist and there’s only one knife because that’s all you need (a metaphor for a flame thread if you are challenged).  This is a bloodbath.

You see I know what you want to hear about- discipline.

My name’s Zute, just Zute.

Some people will be surprised to find out that the most popular and contentious forum is scheduling.  Let me post the rules of the scheduling forum.

Please check here before publishing. Please leave a note that you ARE publishing. Please be ready to tend your essay for 90 minutes. Please give the previous author at least one hour at the top of the Front Page. If you have committed to a time please publish on time. If you are promoting an essay please note the time of promotion in the promotion comment. If content is lacking (especially morning/noonish) please consider the 9 am or noon Pony Party for promotion. Maximum Graphic Width 500. NOW WITH TIMED PROMOTION!

Today’s schedule-

6:00 AM Morning Muse (Robyn)

7:30 AM Docudharma Times (mishima)

8:00 AM

10:00 AM

12 Noon

2:00 PM

3:00 PM (exmearden) (tend)

4:00 PM 4 at 4 (Magnifico)

6:00 PM (Robyn)

8:00 PM (Nightprowlkitty)

9:00 PM

10:00 PM

12 Midnight (mishima)

3:00 AM (exmearden) (tend)

After that Board people are expected to announce their times or make their marks and you know what happens when they don’t?  Or when they don’t obey the rules for posting to the Front Page?

The Earth plunges headlong into the Sun and we all die while the Devil eats our souls.

Each Member of the Board has committed to publishing one piece of original content here per week.  That’s not the only qualification, but it is about the only obligation and we are in fact very willing to give people mulligans.

But nooo… you want spanking.

Board Members are not at all obligated to participate in discipline nor are any Users although they may.  Users are empowered through Community Moderation to control what is too hateful to be displayed AND regulate who is allowed to make those decisions (for the most part).

Still there is no denying that Board Members have a huge influence.

Let’s divide the process into software and wetware.


For comments there are 2 methods of removal- hiding and deleting.  Deleted comments are gone.  Only Admins can do this.  Hidden comments have an average rating of < 1.00.  This means they must have been rated at least twice and with at least one TRUSTED_PEON or above thinking they should be hidden.

Essays can be deleted or hidden by anyone with editing privileges which includes both Board Members and Authors.

Only Admins can suspend users.

Users can be temporarily or permanently suspended (no posting or rating) by two procedures-

  • You can edit their role to BANNED (preferred)
  • You can change their password


Regular Users and TRUSTED_PEONS should give hateful comments the lowest possible rating they can and contact a Board Member and alert them to the situation.

Have a nice day Mr. Hate Speech.  You are done.

And so are you brave Dharmaniac.  You have performed your civic duty and helped us take out the trash.  Want to ‘educate’ a little?  Be my guest but you’re on your own.

What Should Be Hidden

What kind of content do I think should be Hidden?

  • Hate speech, fighting words, comments intended to incite and inflame, either the Community as a whole or an individual User.
  • Visual obscenity, dirty pictures, pornographic images, racist iconography.
  • Pointless disruption, filibustering, Diary hijacking.

budhy says hiding should be very rare and it is.  A Hide should never be used for something that is just Wrong! and merely makes you question a poster’s motives or intellect.  Hiding is based on content, there are other penalties for ‘bad action’.

Responsibilities of Board Members

On receiving a complaint you should communicate it to the Board using the private forum.  There are subcategories for Discipline, Suspension, and Deletion.

If a Board Member sees someone who posted something hateful, you have a positive obligation to search the private forum in the subcategories of Discipline, Suspension, and Deletion and determine if there is already a Case File open on that user and read what it says.

If there is not a Case File open you should create one.

What Is A Case File?

Good question.  Literally dozens of people post here every single day with no problems at all.

I’m going to stop a moment and let you contemplate that…

Some people have problems adjusting, and you get marks in your record.

If you have a problem we start a file.  At mildest it goes in the Discipline folder, but rapid graduation to Suspension and Deletion is not unheard of depending on the severity of the offense.  Suspension and Deletion are ACTION! folders.  Admins are supposed to monitor them for problems that require Administrative power to correct.


If someone is having problems and posting hateful and damaging things, the very best thing to do is prevent them from doing any more damage to themselves or others.  This is what I call an Administrative Suspension, but you can call it what you want.  Any Admin (Software) can change your user role to BANNED and temporarily suspend your privileges to post or rate.

Even though they don’t have the physical ability so can any Board Member and Admins are supposed to follow the same procedure-

If you see danger of a very serious nature you post the problem in the Suspension folder or wherever the case file is.  Links are very helpful.  Admins have the additional responsibility of immediate software response while the situation is evaluated.  They are expected to act first and think later and post the action they have taken.  I’ve been overruled many times and I don’t resent it.

Temporary Suspension can last up to 24 hours as all 30+ (or whatever subset choose to act) express their opinion and work out their recommendation to budhy.  This debate is a consensus not a democracy- there is no vote, budhy makes his choice and that’s it.

Frequently budhy will make additional attempts to work out disputes using email.  Anyone under current banishment has in fact resisted several overtures.

We have moderate sanctions here, when possible all exiles are temporary in the sense they can be reversed.  The preferred procedure for Admins is Manage Users/Search Users/Edit.  I’ve tried to encourage Disciplinary Suspensions of timed durations (2 days or a week), but frankly the  only candidates that turn up are those who have rejected almost every offer of mediation.


We do almost everything possible here to avoid deletion, because it is very permanent.  With a stroke (and there have been mistaken ones) I can easily delete everything you’ve ever written here.


Well, I do to my stuff that’s not up to snuff if no one’s paying attention to my spelling errors but, perks.


Super Admin!

Super Duck

Anyone with Essay Editing and Promotion privileges (which includes all the Board Members), as well as the Author have the ability to delete an Essay and turn off the comments.

Turning off the comments temporarily hides all of them (which may not be the intended effect), but prevents any future one (which probably is).  Deleting the diary puts it on the ‘Deleted Essay’ list FROM WHICH IT CAN BE RESURRECTED!

Hallelujah brothers and sisters.

Deleted Comments are dead Jim dead Jim dead.

We empower our Board here at DocuDharma-  If a whole damn Essay is so heinous that it needs to be hidden you go.

Post your outrage in Deletion (with link please) and the Board will decide how unhinged you are.  We can always change our collective hive mind.

Only Admins can delete comments.

Sadly the comments are dead Jim, which means that Admins SHOULD MAKE COPIES OF THEM IN DELETION unless of course they are too heinous.  I recall a picture of someone shitting and pissing at the same time I saw on dK.

If that should happen here Board Members should capture the link and post it to Deletion.  Admins taking action should copy the content and links (within content) and then delete.


The preference is for hide.  By posting to the User’s Case File, wherever it is- Deletion, Suspension, or Discipline, a Board Member can easily recruit at least enough Board Members to hide while consideration of their concerns take place.

Hides can be reversed and deletions can not.

This is why ‘moves’ are discouraged, however perfectly you duplicate the contents, even with no responses, you can not duplicate the threading.

Best to call for help in Discipline and wait for the cavalry to hide, but if you can’t the preferred place to paste is in Deletion for all content except that which reveals personal information.  For that your word is enough.

Posting content considered for deletion (NOT HIDING!  It’s worse than that, he’s dead Jim dead Jim dead) is in itself enough to nominate you for suspension, but not sufficient to require it without consensus.


Super Admin!

Super Duck

Well perhaps you have suffered enough.

For now.

Since the upgrade to Beta Soapblox we haven’t had to worry about discipline much at all.  Community Moderation was well able to handle most normal tasks.

When people began to take offense at words and feathers we discovered that our normal tools were not available.  As part of the diagnostic I boosted my role to SUPER_ADMIN.  Yup, I can do that.  Goku got nothin’ on me.  I can report with confidence that it has exactly two obvious effects- I get a button that goes nowhere  that says “Super-Admin” and I disappear from the list of Admins.

That’s it.



Skip to comment form

  1. Super Admin!

    Super Duck

    Posts again.

    Please read carefully.  I’m happy to answer questins.

    • pfiore8 on December 1, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    a little like the Board’s tantrums were like those on Mt. Olympus, back in the day… before everybody left there and went to another blog, i mean god

    btw… i love a man in tights

    ::: swoon :::

    • on December 1, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    I’ve tried writing nihongo. In the preview it shows as written but once posted it turns into gibberish.  

    • plf515 on December 1, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    I forgot (if I ever knew) that I was supposed to announce before publishing on the FP, and whatever else I’m supposed to do.  And, though I remember going to the forum a couple times, I haven’t been there in a long time.  

    ek, can you send me an e-mail describing what I should be doing?


  2. My mother used a wooden spoon. Some favor belts…

    You look suspiciously like a well known Duck in your Super Admin capacity but I won’t tell anybody.

  3. that there are only 14 files for over a 1000 users. Most of them were from the days of the opening of the site, when folks were testing the limits here.

    I don’t want to leave the impression that we have filing cabinets or anything! You have to be a seriously bad actor to have a file opened on you and I am pleased to say that several of the files have been resolved with no actions necessary.  

  4. … to thank you, ek, for all your work on this.

    I am technically clueless most of the time and am astonished at the great infrastructure that has been built up here.  You’ve done a lot of work, along with OTB, on making sure the site has some consistency to it both technically and as far as rules are concerned.

    As long as I’m gushing, I’ll also give credit where credit is due to those CE’s who have provided the good base of regular content here, day in and day out — robyn, the Pony Party folks (pfiore8 posted the first ones, I believe, and they’re a great crew!), ek, magnifico, everyone who has the stamina to provide all of us with content every day — that’s a lot of hard work and I appreciate it.

    • oculus on December 1, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    No resolution yet, I gather on whether the powerful ones may continue to move comments between threads?

    Would you consider identifying by screen name the persons in each of the catagories you described in your post?  

  5. heh – pacified hasn’t built any advanced functions for SAs.   But your outfit is very cute!  So there is that…

    • oculus on December 1, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    is it “O.K.” copywrite-wise and ethically to post editorial cartoons direcctly on the front page?  

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