But the post was removed from OS. The admins of the page didn't like the blog because they thought it painted them in an unfavourable light. Okay, I might have made a comment about there being control freaks at the helm of the ship with their whips of censorship lashing out at whoever disobeys their commands. It made for colourful writing, but it was a side point to a much bigger issue - body-shaming, both doing it and condoning it. After over seventy comments on my blog, I came to realize a lot of people felt the way I did, and I was pleased to provide a platform where people could openly communicate without suffering the consequences of warnings or being banned.
Now, I could be irritated about having my blog removed and an important discussion being thrown out because of someone's ego, but that isn't how I roll. Instead, I've come up with a how-to for anyone interested in perfecting the art of terrible internet moderation.
So, here they are, five steps to being an atrocious administrator, as learned by a couple of the Outlander Series moderators:
1. Make it personal!
It is unacceptable to allow comments, posts or people who disagree with the admins. If you don't like it, delete it! This is a dictatorship, after all, and the only thing that matters is the opinions of those in charge. Discussions are only healthy and encouraged if they aren't showing you in an unflattering light. Instead of fixing the problems and striving to resolve issues that crop up, it is best to ignore, ban, and block. Appeal to the masses, remind them how much 'crap' you put up with, and ensure they stay in line. If they step out, eradicate the weed before it spreads.
2. If you are having a bad day, take it out on unsuspecting strangers.
Long week? No patience? People annoying you? Just delete them! As an admin, it is your God given right to delete whoever you want, whenever you want. Someone is arguing with you? Remove them. Don't like someone's comment? Delete it. Patience running thing? Ban the next person who talks back to you! The beauty of being in control is you can do whatever you want, no repercussions!
3. Be deceitful.
It is perfectly okay to lie, cheat, and participate in trickery. First, start out by asking people to come to you if they have any problems or concerns. When they do, disagree with what they tell you, and ban them. Then, ask other people if they have the same issues as the person you banned, try and trick them into being open and honest with you, when they fall for your trap, give them the boot! This way you can eliminate anyone who doesn't think and feel as you do. They say variety is the spice of life, but when controlling the masses you want everyone to obey and conform. Don't worry if this seems like a childish antic, in the end you will be more powerful.
4. Reiterate the rules.
There are rules for a reason, to make your life easier. These rules are subject to change at your whim. It is not okay to talk poorly about an admin, but body-shaming a celebrity is perfectly acceptable. Make it clear who is in charge. The minions are nothing. Keep them underneath you. Bowed and broken is the only way you will successfully manage a group of heathens. Remove anyone and anything that contradicts the rules of the group and your own personal rules. If you let one person stand up to you, they all will stand up to you. The first warning should always be the last as well.
5. Restrictions. Restrictions. Restrictions.
The last rule of Moderators Club is to not let anyone talk about ... well, anything you don't want them to. Restrictions are the key to a complacent crowd. Discussions should include limitations on things that annoys you, opposing opinions, disagreements about the way your page is being run, off topic remarks, hijacks, cute animals, weather reports from Wisconsin, Outlander drinking games, uncertainty and past members. Once a member is booted or banned, they are basically dead, so you must ensure they are never brought up again. Ever.
All kidding aside, when you opt to become a moderator or administrator, all personal beliefs and thoughts should be put to the side and governing should involve a modicum of rationality. There is a certain objectiveness needed to fulfill your all and powerful duties. Take my blog for example. Yes, this is MINE, but I encourage people to discuss and interact, I like others to disagree with me, because Devil's Advocate is my best friend, and sometimes I want to be proven wrong. Yes, OS has a fan page of over thirty-four thousand people, but out of all those followers there are only a hundred or so who are regularly active. For the most part, the majority doesn't interact, which is probably a relief for them right about now.
Still, there are those who considered this place a community,who were there from the very beginning, and were mistreated by those 'in charge'. They suffered abuse, then were booted, often for nothing more than disagreeing with someone or voicing their concerns. When it comes to the management of the OS page, it's clear at least two of those in charge are suffering from a mad case of the power hungries. But why am I saying this? After all, I am not in the boat, I don't want to be in the boat, and I will, most likely, never be accepted into the OS boat. Because I am tired of seeing people abusing the system and mistreating others, especially when they are supposed to be setting an example. I am saying this because a friend of mine has been punished for being a good person. Because this sort of controlling behaviour is ridiculous and unacceptable. Keeping people in line by threatening to get rid of them is a fear tactic.
Granted, this does bring up one interesting question, what can you do when the moderators become the trolls?
Laugh. Shrug. And leave the group, I suppose. In the end, you can shout, complain, and bitch, but it's all up against a brick wall, and the brick wall just doesn't care. Always remember, everything you say is saved on the internet. Just because you delete it doesn't mean it goes away. Between caches, screen shots, and transcripts, you truly can't get rid of the stupid things you do, drunk or not. The internet is public domain.