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Perceived regional bias in the model thread - an open letter


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Posted
  • Location: Pershore
  • Location: Pershore

    I sent this pm (I've edited a couple of bits for grammar, clarity etc) to some members this morning, discussing the perceived regional bias in the model thread. And, as it's something that some who were not part of that discussion, I thought it would be an idea to publish it publicly. 

    This thread is locked for replies, but if you wish to discuss it further with me, please feel free to pm. 

    Paul

    Quote

    Firstly, there really is no deliberate bias in the model thread, the team are from all over the country and have to be honest would have no reason to look at where someone is from before deciding whether to moderate their posts. 

    The truth of the situation is that the population of the community does mirror the country, in that there is a large concentration of people who are based in and around the SE. So, there will be more posts made by people from that area, who are likely to be at least a little focused on their region. On top of that, the model thread isn't just about individual posts, it often has a flow, or I suppose you could call it a mood. And that mood is obviously strongly influenced by the outlook for where the majority who are posting live. It's been quite noticeable recently as there has been a north-south divide in the weather, many further north have enjoyed a much snowier winter than recent years, but even so, that mood has often been quite downbeat because of the numbers of people who live further south. 

    So, what should or can be done about it? Firstly, this is one of the reasons we have the regional threads, to allow people to chat specifically about their areas without interruption. But, that's not to say the model thread can't be made a bit more balanced. What's difficult sometimes from a moderation perspective is when the flow of the thread is in one direction and one or a few people are trying to swim against that tide. Last night was an example, where one or two were having a bit of a moan about things, whilst everyone else was quite excitable about the upcoming weather, and that created tension, which ultimately then begun a bout of imby wars.

    What I think, we as a team can do better is be more tight on moving moans / ramps and very local 'will it snow' stuff to either the chat threads or the relevant regional threads, regardless which way the tide is flowing in the thread. That should keep things on a more even keel, and hopefully make the flow a bit more neutral if there are large regional variations in the outlook. 

    At the same time, those posting obviously need to do their part in trying to make sure they post in the relevant place, and although some of you may be uncomfortable using the report button, there's no need to be. If you report posts rather than responding to them, it is so much easier to deal with issues - as one iffy post can quickly end up with 10, then there are responses to that and so on. It's very difficult to keep up. 

    Finally, I'd also ask that if you have an issue, an idea or a question about the moderation, forum layout etc, then please pm me or a member of the team. There's also the private team contact forum in the help area. That's the best way to try to have a constructive discussion, rather than taking to the regional threads to have a moan when you're maybe annoyed with something, as again that can just escalate. 

    This has become a long message, apologies for that. But, hopefully it gives you an idea of the way the team are seeing things currently, and obviously if you want to discuss further, please feel free to reply. 

    Thanks
    Paul

     

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