To save time, I'll just quote the PM that I first sent to Mike to ask about this, because I did not want to act too hastily. The response was essentially "Why don't you start a Senate thread?"
So here we are:
First off, this is pretty long and reading it will take a while.
I wanted to bring up something private that has concerned me for a while. While there is a problem with the Senate and its sluggishness and unwillingness to act against its members, there is another serious problem that has been festering for a long time.
Namely, with certain moderators. I suspect that a great deal of the defense of Stark in the Senate can be traced to moderator actions. Mr. Bean and fgalkin gleefully took your instruction to nuke Testing and went ahead with it. They did not bother to announce this change in longstanding practice, even if nuking Testing was something that mods were allowed to do without any real requirement. Then, after they had done that, they gloated in front of everyone and are on record as saying they didn't bother to inform anyone so they could get more laughs out of the consternation (warranted or not) they caused.
RedImperator actually pointed his out in the Senate thread. It's classic trolling, with the added bonus of the miscreants being in a position of power. I'd not be so concerned with it, if this was was an isolated case. It's not. Both Bean and fgalkin have been moderators for a very long time and this is far from the first time they have done something like this. There have been repeated instances of similar actions, using their position as a moderator to do something, then twisting the knife and gloating afterward. You have actually chastised both of them over something or other repeatedly in the moderator forum, usually in the User Rants threads.
Both of them have contempt for anyone who doesn't fall in line with their views, especially if they consider the other person to be their inferior in some way. Bean particularly, and if he gets told something he doesn't like, he usually doesn't accept it at first go. Not unless threatened. Several instances of him being told by other mods or even Dalton that he's absolutely in the fucking wrong and it's been like talking to a brick wall until you personally tell him to shut the fuck up and get with the program.
I've not said anything publicly, including the moderator forum, beyond that they seem to have a tendency to act precipitously, which then causes confusion and backlash that other mods have to clean up. It's mostly gone unnoticed.
It does not help that Mr. Bean uses the Mess as his private grousing ground and rustles up support there, so if something does not go his way and he wants change, he'll try to instigate and organize something that way. I don't remember whose idea it was originally to try for a concerted effort at stacking the Senate with Mess members to gain a solid voting block in board issues, but it's never been actually buried. My own nomination of Tiriol, who is a Mess member, went through and he is a Senator, but I would not have nominated him if he weren't a solid good poster to begin with.
What with the Mess being out of bounds for non-members, including other moderators, it becomes a serious problem if it's abused to enable behind the scenes machinations. It gets frustrating when some people simply don't think and get caught in some bullshit. There have been serious suggestions of abusing e.g. Senatorial positions in relation to AFD pranks and other similar things and I've had to come down on them like a ton of bricks to make sure any sich stupidity stays at the level of idle talk.
I took the liberty of asking RedImperator for his opinion and shared my concerns with him, since he was a very long term moderator before he resigned. Part if the reason he did so, beyond RL concerns, was those two.
Our email conversation is quoted below:
I don't really feel too good about essentially sticking a knife into fellow moderators, but when their bullshit causes problems and I have to try and clean it up and maintain some coherent staff unity in face of the ordinary board denizens they provoked, fuck that. Especially when there are other aspects to this that you probably have not been aware of.RedImperator wrote:The hilarious part about this whole thing is that I think you could make a case for removing Stark. I don't know if I'd buy into it (I admit, I like the guy and I think his mockery of the Senate before the Testing/HoC blowup was spot-on), but it could be made. However, Bean, Coyote, and now Shep have made such a bumblefuck of the entire thing, I think Stark will cruise through his expulsion vote. Even if there's a large contingent who simply hate Stark and would vote to remove him if Bean had accused him of witchcraft, I don't think there's a supermajority to remove anymore.Edi wrote:Hi,
Wanted to talk to you about the recent goings on at SDnet. I saw your post in the Senate regarding Stark's removal and why you're opposed to it. I know I supported removing him and I think there are valid reasons for that even aside from the whole HoC blowup.
Nonetheless, I do not at all like the direction some of this shit is going. You did a very good job of reaming Mr. Bean a new asshole, which brings me to the meat of the matter.
Irony bonus: From what I can gather, Bean was actually planning to carefully build a case and compose a home-run proposal to remove Stark. Now, while I doubt Bean is actually competent to do that, it's an absolute riot that Shep blew up his entire plan by jumping the gun....exactly the same way the mods who despise Shep inadvertently gave him immunity by constantly jumping the gun trying to get him banned.
LATE EDIT: Mike may have possibly saved their bacon by actually making the arguments they should have five pages ago. But still, I take some satisfaction in knowing that Big Daddy had to come in and rescue them. No doubt, if Stark goes, they will gloat and dance and act as if they actually had anything at all to do with it.
I'll go one further on you: I think Bean is a terrible mod and should have been removed years ago, and fgalkin should have been instantly fired for his role in the DataPacRat debacle. The both of them have a raging case of "Big Fish in a Little Pond Syndrome" and have repeatedly abused their powers, and it's gotten to the point that I'm a hair's-breadth from just walking off SDN entirely.Edi wrote:It seems to me that every time there is some shit going down on the board, if it's not the usual Testingistan suspects stirring it, it's a certain cadre among the moderators. Namely Mr. Bean and fgalkin, sometimes supported by Beowulf when he's around. And now that he has been made a full mod due to the ascension of the History Forum, Shep.
He seemed to slip into Mr. Bean's and fgalkin's company before the ink was dry on his promotion, as if he had always been there, forming some kind of triumvirate with them. In any case, Shep is tangential to this. The main problem I'm seeing is Bean's contempt of anything and everything that doesn't go his way where those he sees as inferior are concerned. Fgalkin is much the same and they both have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later, which usually just leads to a bigger mess. Their unholy glee at sticking it to people they dislike and provoking shit is at least as serious as any provocation from the spammy, chatty crowd. More serious, if you ask me, because it feeds the division of the board and people can't help but notice the double standards being applied.
Frankly, you want to know who was most responsible for the animosity between Testing and the staff? It was Bean. It started with him repeatedly trying to get Testing oppressed (with a different reason each time), and then, when he didn't get his way on that, posting a big, butthurt "Don't expect help in Testing!" announcement in Testing. You're dead right in your assessment of him: he's a total crybaby when he doesn't get his way and he pretty much holds everyone who disagrees with him in total contempt. And since he's a shitty debater and a worse liar, he resorts to using his mod powers and his behind-the-scenes influence to get back at them.
Bean and fgalkin both need the shit slapped out of them. They're undermining the entire staff with their antics.Edi wrote:In a word, they're loose cannons. It also seems to me as if there are not enough levelheaded mods to balance them out, since most of those have a lot of other things to do and have less time to spend on the board, so putting out the fires while striving to maintain a semblance of unity among the staff is more fucking trouble than it's worth. It was a bad day for the board when you resigned, my friend, but I'm not blaming you. In Bean's case what makes the loose cannon bit worse is that he gets some background support from several members of the Mess, most of who are regarded as being in good standing and serious people. And for some reason Coyote and a few of the others just don't seem to see his mistakes or turn a blind eye on them.
I would like to hear your opinions on this in depth, because I'm starting to get to the point where if I see any more shit coming from the moderator side, I'm going straight to Mike with this and asking his opinion. If I get tossed as a mod, fine, but some cleaning house is long overdue.
Please consider my opinion as a current moderator and RedImperator's as a former moderator (a top-notch one at that too), before doing anything as radical as shutting down the Senate. In their place, I'd probably be circling the wagons to stick it to Bean and fgalkin too, since most people there are anything but blind to the double standard that is going on, even if it is not your intention that there be one.