How the Mirror forum mods were selected

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How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Rocky » Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:54 am

Are you sitting comfortably?.........Then I shall begin....

Once upon a time there was a forum that started (To the best of my knowledge) in March 2007 on the Daily Mirror website and only had roughly about 3 or 4 threads but mainly one about relationships, one about sports and one entitled 'What are you talking about'.

It was in the latter forum that all discussions regarding Madeleine took place. The forum was never harmonious and highly unmoderated but posters ambled their way through varying opinions. Until one day a group of people decided to infiltrate and attack said forum with the most vile and disgu sting porn that I have ever witnessed or indeed knew exsisted :oops: :shock:

This attack took place over two weekends when there were no internet Mirror staff on duty (so I was told) to deal with the matter as promptly as was needed....... Oh but wait.....I correct myself.....there was a moderator around because he so helpfully started a thread during this time asking FM's what they thought about the weather :shock: :shock:

After the now infamously dubbed 'pornfest weekend' the Mirror decided that it would be a maverlous idea to appoint some of it's forum members as moderators.

But did they tell the rest of the forum of their idea? In a word no they did not. It came to light as FM's just happened to see a name of a FM listed at the top as a mod and who apart from being quite abusive at times had just wished ill of other FM's children and thought that it would be 'hilarious' if something happen to one of theirs.

As you can imagine, this did not go down too well with the other FM's and to say that there was 'uproar' would be an understatement. But how was this mod chosen I hear you cry? Well straight from the horses mouth it was because 'we have been recieving a lot of calls and correspondence (complaints) from certain FM's on a regular basis so we thought that it would be a good idea if they became involved' :shock: :shock:

Was the Mirror aware of the posting history of the FM they had just made a mod? No they were not :shock:

Surfice to say the newly appointed mod was swiftly removed but they appointed others and were 'to see how it went over the weekend' and from there the 'Hunting for Maddy' forum was born.

So there you have it. That is the template of how Mirror mods were chosen and it was at that point that I became a lurker and infrequent poster. How mods were selected after this I don't know but if the Mirror's logic is anything to go by it is anyones guess.

With the above in mind it is of no suprise to me what has recently come to light regarding the resignation of a certain Mirror Mod. However I would like to point out that I think AureliusMod has done a sterling job and was not only a fair poster but is a fair mod too IMO.

There have been certain people that have wanted the MF closed from as early as the 1st week of May and I take my hat off to all the decent posters that have not allowed their voice to have been stifled and have continuned to voice their concerns in a reasonable manner despite many adversities.

But unfortunately it would seem that the minority finally got their wish and the moral of the story to me is that he who shouts the loudest and stamps their feet the most, seems to get just what they want :evil:
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Michael » Fri Jan 25, 2008 5:50 am

Hi Rocky

Thank you for that and taking the trouble to outline what really happened.

I was there for the pornfest weekend, I was also shocked to the core at a certain poster's "self-promotion" to moderator, the person in question said some extremely cruel things to other posters regarding their children.

You are right Aurelius Mod was a decent and overworked moderator who tried to keep an even keel. The other "mods" were either non-existent and two were certainly HTFM members and posted under other pseudonyms.

When this was raised with the forum admin, the posters who raised this issue were banned and later became targets for the fanatical pro's.

It is with hope that this new platform will never become like that again. It was awful to see posters being stalked, ridiculed and insulted.

We may not all agree with what each other think or say, but the vicious attacks were completely unjustified. Yet strangely these people were not warned or banned.

It is a great shame that the Mirror Forum was closed down.

The majority of posters just said their bit, maybe enjoyed a bit of banter, and read other's viewpoints which gave food for thought and further discussion.

I was banned, no, not even a warning, for asking if Moderators were allowed to post (it was becoming startlingly obvious in one case). Apparently you were not allowed to question the integrity of the self-styled mods.

Thanks again Rocky, I look forward to more of your posts.
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby SCS2007 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:22 am

Very informative posts, thankyou, both of you :D
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby peacelover » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:08 am

Actually that's not quite what happened.

I know because they asked me to be a moderator and I refused.

They didn't at that point even know if I was a poster on the board at all.

I had emailed in to complain about the porn situation and had not mentioned my forum nickname or even that I might or might not be a regular poster.

All they knew about me was that I had emailed in as I was concerned about the porn situation not being handled properly and my email address and the name at the end of my email.

They asked me to be a mod on the strength of that alone :shock:

Given they were so ready to ask me knowing nothing about me, I sort of suspected they might not be very rigorous in the chosing of the other mods as well, and didn't want to be involved - so I 'made my excuses'.

Hence why I never took anything very seriously by the mods - as far as I could see, the Mirror organisation just wanted scapegoats and a cushioning layer between them and the forum members and weren't too fussy who they were.

Free help is free help after all and you get what you pay for in this world :o Certainly if you ask complete strangers to do a difficult task for no money - you have to wonder why they would say 'yes'?

Some might be naive enough to believe they could help, but I would say most would have their own benefits in mind.
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Michael » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:16 am

So peacelover what are you saying is not what happened?

Chair/Rhodes was allegedly asked, so was Gypsy Bear.

There was uproar.

Gypsy Bear was considered as I remember an acceptable person to moderate, but not the other Chair/Rhodes one.

I remember that weekend very well.

I didn't post much after it because certain posters were blamed for things they were not guilty of, who shall remain nameless here.
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby peacelover » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:27 am

I am saying they didn't necessarily choose them from the list of forum members.

They asked me without even knowing I was a forum member just that I had seen the porn threads once when on the forum once.

So they couldn't have just chosen from the list of members - as they had no idea who I was.

I suspect they offered the mod jobs to anyone who bothered to email in and complain - so if someone was the sort of person to complain a lot they had more chance of being asked than a forum member who just kept their head down.
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Rocky » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:41 am

Michael wrote:Hi Rocky

Thank you for that and taking the trouble to outline what really happened.

I was there for the pornfest weekend, I was also shocked to the core at a certain poster's "self-promotion" to moderator, the person in question said some extremely cruel things to other posters regarding their children.

You are right Aurelius Mod was a decent and overworked moderator who tried to keep an even keel. The other "mods" were either non-existent and two were certainly HTFM members and posted under other pseudonyms.

When this was raised with the forum admin, the posters who raised this issue were banned and later became targets for the fanatical pro's.

It is with hope that this new platform will never become like that again. It was awful to see posters being stalked, ridiculed and insulted.

We may not all agree with what each other think or say, but the vicious attacks were completely unjustified. Yet strangely these people were not warned or banned.

It is a great shame that the Mirror Forum was closed down.

The majority of posters just said their bit, maybe enjoyed a bit of banter, and read other's viewpoints which gave food for thought and further discussion.

I was banned, no, not even a warning, for asking if Moderators were allowed to post (it was becoming startlingly obvious in one case). Apparently you were not allowed to question the integrity of the self-styled mods.

Thanks again Rocky, I look forward to more of your posts.



Hi Michael and thanks a lot for your kind comments :D

I have seen it being said on many occassions now that some HTFM members were in fact Mirror Mods too and not that I disbelieve this but I would like to know how this information came to light and can we be sure?

However if it is true and the issue was raised with Mirror admin I can not say that I am not suprised with the way in which they apparently dealt with it given the fact that they don't exactly seem to be thorough as highlighted in my initial post and I would beg the question just exactly who is pulling whose strings here??

I suspect that you like me, enjoy a good discussion regardless of whether we agree with other opinions and would be quite capable of expressing them without the need for utter vermon, personal attacks or ridicule. That in itself is completely unacceptable but what I find more unacceptable is the bias and deliberate blind eye that has been displayed in dealing with these issues.

Time and time again I have seen the same posters say the most atrocious things to other members and I am left to assume that they have gone unchallenged as they were there night after night with the same levels of toxic. And to my mind this reached a peak about 2 days before the forum closed as I witnessed sheer and utter nastiness leveled totally unwarranted at another members children by poking fun at what they may of fed them for dinner that night and that the children in question and whom they had never met, were brats :shock: :shock: :shock: yet you get banned for asking questions :!: :?: :?: :shock:

Doesn't seem right to me and maybe we are best off out of it Michael :) Don't know about you but i tend to avoid cesspits and that is exactly what I think that the MF had become.

Anyway I quite like it here :D and at least it has got me posting again as I have very much missed being part of a reasoned and healthy debate.
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Rocky » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:43 am

SCS2007 wrote:Very informative posts, thankyou, both of you :D


And thank you SCS2007 :lol: Cheers :D
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Rocky » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:02 am

Hi Peacelover,


Perhaps I didn't make myself clear or narrowed it down too much but the point I was trying to make is that they offered mod jobs to people that were the most vocal and consistant in making complaints and that certainly the impression given to me at the time of my discussion with them.

As they offered mod jobs to people that they had not even checked out or at least taken the time and trouble to read some of their post history it comes of no suprise that this remit extended beyond forum members only.
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Michael » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:22 am

Hi Rocky Peacelover

Read Sofacleese post now about getting banned.

And about Marquee Moon / MazMod's resignation.

I got banned for the same reason accusing two of the mods of posting as militant pros.
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby scylla » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:58 am

Interesting to read the history. Thanks for posting it.

It's rather appalling to see such amateurish organization behind the forum of a group the size of the Mirror. I can understand how individuals who start a new forum without any experience can make such errors, but for a 'commercial' forum to have conducted itself in such a manner is ... well ... ludicrous.

I agree about Aurelius -- s/he's one of the good ones.
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Rocky » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:26 pm

scylla wrote:Interesting to read the history. Thanks for posting it.

It's rather appalling to see such amateurish organization behind the forum of a group the size of the Mirror. I can understand how individuals who start a new forum without any experience can make such errors, but for a 'commercial' forum to have conducted itself in such a manner is ... well ... ludicrous.

I agree about Aurelius -- s/he's one of the good ones.


I totally agree Scylla and I could not believe what I was hearing. I had to ask Steve Purcell if he was joking he said no and it is now for all to see that he so obviously wasn't.

The strange thing was that at that time I also know that their Legal Team were working away in the background on issues that he could not discuss with me. Fair enough. But you would of thought that the Legal Team would of been available and at hand to advise on how to run the forum? Mind you I don't think you have to be a legal wizard to know that for a Newspaper website of it's size and the level of passionate debate created about the McCanns, there should of been professionals at the helm.

And I say that with no offence intended to the voluntray (decent) mods that are there as being upaid it must of been or is a rather thankless task.

I mean it was the Mirror that extended the Forums for godness sake! More forums were being added on a weekly basis depending on the news. What did they think would happen? Did they seriously think that the unpaid and voluntary mods could cope with this given the fact we are now told that there was no system or shift patern in place?

I really do wonder what the Mirror is playing at. At first I was grateful at being allowed to have a voice as forum after forum were closing their doors to any discussion regarding the McCanns. But now they just appear to be cowards that have given in to the minority and the worse thing of all they never gave it a chance realistically as they didn't put their hand in their pocket to begin with or ensure that it was handled properly at the very beginning.

Not checking posters history and offering them a Mod job and a an exsisting moderator starting a new thread asking what people think about the weather when there is a major sick porn infiltration going on on the very forum that they were supposed to be moderating says it all really. Not to mention closing the forum and leaving it to the unpaid mods to face the flak! Why did I expect any better :roll: :evil:
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Rocky » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:30 pm

bebe2002 wrote:I remember the horrible weekend of porn...the most disgusting stuff Ive ever seen :evil: , and I remember when Chair was made a mod...there was no warning, no discussion, just a name suddenly appearing at the top. I actually beleive that the majority of the mirror mods were Pro,s, and probably DID post on the forum under aliases, just like mazmod did.

The only mod I ever felt was totally neutral was aurelius-mod, he (Im sure he was a he) was always very fair, and very kind to me in his pm,s over the MP fiasco, and also told me if I ever had any problems (after I complained about Carina) not to hesitate to pm him. I always felt althemod was a pro though, maybe Im wrong but I thought the moderation from them was heavy-handed and biased.

Im glad Im out of there tbh :)


Hi Bebe,

Aurelius-mod is definitely a she :D
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Rocky » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:40 pm

[quote="bebe2002
Oh is he? I mean she? :mrgreen:

:( I SO wanted her to be a him....I think I might even have flirted a little bit!!! :shock: :oops: :lol:[/quote]

I wouldn't worry Bebe :D and thanks for the chuckle :lol:
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Re: How the Mirror forum mods were selected

Postby Ricado » Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:36 pm

Thanks to all the above for the explanation. I missed all the earlier problems, but I did notice that some apparently sensible threads were disappearing without warning, and I concluded that the posters were stating some 'home truths', if not actually getting too close to the truth.

I was very puzzled how the Mirror was pleased to pay for the hosting costs, yet let some threads go on and on, with completely pointless and repetitive discussions. Also the amount of obvious chimping on some threads, making the vast number of posts on such threads quite uninformative and unproductive. Why the chimps attacked certain threads wasn't always entirely obvious to me, but clearly some chimps were happy to have conversations with themselves under various usernames, and each other, to the point where sensible discussion was thwarted.

Whilst I didn't witness the earlier stuff, either because I wasn't a member / poster, or because I just wasn't watching closely in those days, I did notice an upsurge of activity just before the plug was pulled: certainly a lot more insults were being traded than usual.

I am certain in my own mind beyond any doubt, that whilst the Mirror forum might have become the best place (despite the problems) for sensible discussion about Madeleine and her disappearance, by CHANCE, it was not permitted and encouraged by the Mirror simply on a whim. The Mirror newspaper wasn't even reporting on the case objectively, and was only ever quoted occasionally on the forum. A racist / insulting article by one of its journalists coming to mind. Clearly, there was a reason why our discussion was permitted, and one can but speculate as to what that reason was.

The newspapers in Portugal were clearly following OUR lead on many occasions; taking up subjects introduced in OUR threads; making it difficult at times to know whether what we were reading (in those excellent translations by certain forum members) were actually leaks from the PJ, or our own speculation echoed back at us. This has been a unique case (so far) in the investigation of any kind of crime. As another forum member said (sorry I forget whom that was); "This is the first interactive crime investigation in history" (or words to that effect).

Irrespective of whether mods were chosen at random, or were cunningly chosen for their allegiances, the Hunt for Maddy forum came to exist for a reason, and I'm still a little unclear what that reason was, or whether we'll be inadvertently furthering that obscure cause through our discussion here.
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