An Insider's Look
As with any other position of even minor authority, the decisions of the Administration of WoV are often questioned, so I am opting to offer this Article (which I think might largely apply to many message boards, regardless of topic) in an effort to answer how and why we do things the way that we do. This Article is essentially going to be a culmination of many questions I have seen posed for Administrators over my three-and-a-half years (that long already?) here, as well as some other questions I have not fielded previously.
Are Administrators of WoV Compensated?
If any of the Administrators of WoV are compensated for Administration activities, then I need to have a talk with Zuga!!!
In short, Administration of the WoV website is a volunteer position that is made up of individuals who only Administrate the site and other individuals who have other paid roles for the site. For example, Wizard is the head of content for both the WoO and WoV sites, and while I have no idea what his salary is, I do not believe he is paid for Administration.
For my part, I am paid to write content (like this) for both the WoV and WoO site, but the vast majority of my content can be found here at the WoV site on the Articles page. There are also a number of Administrators (Green Names) that have come over from LatestCasinoBonuses.com and do various things for the site, but I have no idea what they do and only rarely do they take any kind of role in the day-to-day Administration of the Forum. To wit, I think Zuga is the only one among these people to have ever banned someone.
In terms of the Green Names with whom you are more familiar, such as BeachBumBabs and Face, generally speaking, I do not think the work on the other aspects of the sites very much. I know BeachBumBabs has done some Editing of different writings for the site, but I have no idea whether or not she was paid for said Editing. I believe that Face only Administrates over here and on DiversityTomorrow.com and otherwise does not do anything else on this site.
Simply put, nobody is compensated for any day-to-day Forum Administration activities. We do it because we thoroughly enjoy the Forum and try to take the actions (pursuant to Forum Rules) that we think are in the best interests of the Forum.
Are There REALLY Secret Administrators?
I said that I wouldn't answer this again, but I'm going to make an exception because I am the one asking. Yes, there are.
What is the Purpose of a Secret Administrator?
I cannot claim to know every possible purpose of Secret Administrators, (you would have to ask the Wizard) but I can certainly name a few:
A.) Forum Presence
Basically, 'Green,' Administrators are simply not going to be on the Forum at all times every day, but if there are Secret Administrators and nobody knows who they are, then I think that people are less likely to attempt to flagrantly break the Rules and then Edit the posts later. Furthermore, we don't really have a formal schedule as Administrators, (that whole volunteer thing) so it also helps for other people to have Administrative powers in order to be able to combat Spam. There is really no reason for an obvious Spam post to remain in place until a Green Administrator happens to be on.
With exception to the guys from LCB, Wizard and JB, every name that you see in Green was a Secret Administrator at some point. The reason for that is because the process of transitioning from a Secret Administrator to a Green Administrator is so that the decision-making of the Secret Administrator can be vetted as well as the individual's initiative. On rare occasions, there has also been question of whether or not an individual would conduct himself/herself in a manner becoming a Green Administrator of this site. There have been people removed from being Secret Administrators for that reason, or also for reason of deliberately outing themselves as Secret Administrators.
C.) Getting to Know You
I may be the only Administrator for whom this was ever the case, but I actually would have likely went straight to Green (understaffed at the time) except for the fact that I did not have much of a tenure as a Forum Member. I certainly posted a good bit, but even when I officially became Green, I believe I was only a Forum Member for three months, or so.
Do You Guys Hang Out in Real Life?
I don't know if anyone has ever actually asked this, but it seems like an interesting enough question. For the purposes of this question, I'm going to restrict the answer to Wizard, BeachBumBabs, Face and myself:
I believe that Wizard and BeachBumBabs have hung out on more occasions than any other pair of Administrators.
I have personally hung out with Wizard on three separate occasions over the two trips that I took to Vegas, although, he was busy doing something for a TV show the second time I was out there, and it ran over, so I didn't really get to talk to him much that time. I have spoken to Wizard on the phone, but I would suggest that has been on fewer than ten lifetime occasions.
I have hung out with BeachBumBabs on one occasion, and that was during my second trip to Vegas on the day that Wizard was going to otherwise be hanging out with all of us. I was also supposed to party with BBB the night before, but due to an unfortunate series of circumstances, she arrived at her hotel very late and, despite her protestations, I made her take a rain check on hanging out with RudeBoiOi and myself. I speak to BeachBumBabs on the phone fairly regularly, I would say that we are good friends.
I have never met Face in person nor privately communicated with him by any means with exception to PM. I certainly have a very high opinion of Face, however, given our PM discourse and from reading his posts on the Forums.
How Often Do You Discuss Your Decisions?
It is fair to say that we do not discuss our decisions very often, but that is because we tend to be in general agreement on our interpretation of the Forum Rules. I would say that the only aspect that varies is our degrees of strictness with respect to one Rule as opposed to another Rule. For example, I might read something that I recognize as an offense, but choose not to ban the person because I think it is a very light form of the offense. However, if another Administrator comes in and bans the person, I have no objection because a Rule was clearly broken.
To a certain extent, I also try to prevent decisions from being made for some of the more minor things. I usually offer someone (via PM) an opportunity to Edit an offending post, if it wasn't too egregious, as long as it has not yet been quoted. That is probably more true for profanity or Keep it PG (which I'll often Edit myself) than it is for Personal Insults. I've got a pretty itchy trigger finger with respect to Personal Insults.
We discuss what we would consider Major decisions or Forum Policy sometimes, or at least, we'll make the others specifically aware of what might be a controversial decision via PM. In many cases, if someone has been Banned and is not on the Suspension List, then two or more of us might be conferring on how long we think a Suspension would be proper. In other cases, we are sometimes discussing whether or not a Member should be Nuked or merely Suspended.
Do You Have Favorites/Is Everyone Treated the Same?
I cannot speak for the other Administrators on this subject, but I will say that I do not necessarily treat everyone the same in terms of application of the Rules. There are a number of factors I take into consideration when I am deciding whether or not to Ban someone and, if so, for how long. Among these factors is the tenure of Membership for the poster in question, previous infractions, and that concept of, 'Value,' to the Forum.
What, 'Value,' to the Forum means, in all honesty, is the degree of thought-provoking gambling conversation that the person provides. If a given individual is a wealth of gambling knowledge, or at least has interesting stories, then I am going to err on the side of not Banning such a person. I might send PM's suggesting the person Edit a post, or in some cases, (Hi, MickeyCrimm!) I'll even take the liberty of Editing a post myself and send a PM after the fact.
Is it because I don't want people with strong gambling knowledge to get banned? Well, yeah, should I want them to get banned?
With that said, I do not believe I apply the Rules unevenly in favor of Banning someone that I don't like, and I also try to avoid Banning people for arbitrary reasons or reasons that cannot be proven. If you have a newish Member who comes on and cusses someone out or Personally Insults someone within the first couple hundred posts, then yes, I'm definitely going to ban that person without hesitation. I would say that they haven't, 'Earned,' any freebies yet, in a manner of speaking.
Anyway, such is the way of life and I would be curious to hear the counterargument if anyone disagrees. If you're an All-Star salesman who has been with a company for five years and you come in from lunch fifteen minutes late, you're probably not going to hear anything about it from anyone. If you do, it will probably be phrased as a light jab. If it is your first day on the job, though, then you can likely expect a write-up (assuming you still have a job) and the bosses are going to be watching you closely for the next several weeks.
Do You Like Banning People?
Yes, it helps me compensate for the fact that I have a small penis.
The truth is that I don't like Banning people because it means that the people in question have committed infractions for which they should be Banned, pursuant to the Rules. In a perfect world, all posters would post in good faith and nobody would commit any infractions. If nobody committed any infractions, then I would not have to Ban anybody.
Why Do You Give Trolls/Multi-Accounters So Much Leeway?
This is actually a loaded question because it assumes that we KNOW that a given Member is a Troll. When it comes to a Ban for Trolling, that would usually require someone to ignore Warnings about behavior that does not fall under the purview of any other Rule and to continue committing the offense. Alternatively, we would probably require proof.
That's also the same way with Members who are alleged to have Multiple Accounts. We basically need, if not indisputable proof, then proof based upon a preponderance of the evidence to what we deem a 99% degree of certainty.
The result of that is that Trolls and individuals with Multiple Accounts occasionally seem like they are running around freely making the Administration team look like idiots. Personally, I would argue that they are running around making the Administration team look like reasonable people for not Banning them because we lack the proof.
Furthermore, we are completely unanimous in our opinion that to lose one legitimate Member due to our over-zealousness in going after Trolls or Multiple Accounts would be nearly unforgivable. This is a site that is open to all people who agree to the Terms & Conditions of the site, and we want to keep it that way. We want to give Members a chance to establish themselves within the community based upon the merits they are assumed to have by way of their posts.
Finally, the Multiple Account people can essentially IP mask and come back anytime they want, anyway. To be honest, I personally cannot think of a good reason to be overzealous in Banning people for Multi-Accounting without proof just so that we can do the same inevitable dance over and over again until the Banned individual finally gets tired of it. With proof? Yes. Why? Principle alone. Without proof? No, because I would not want to put off a legitimately new poster.
With IP masking, there is almost no such thing as actually getting Banned from a Message Board, and that is something that a good many Trolls are aware of. Any action that we take against such suspected Trolls would be both speculative and arbitrary, though we do take such action at times on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, it becomes too ridiculous and something needs to be done. I personally would prefer post deletion so that the Trolls see that all the time they spend typing is a complete waste, but I don't think there are any other Administrators who agree with me on that strategy.
Some people think Administration is a thankless job, but personally, the thanks I get is being able to help Mike. Even more importantly, there are occasionally several weeks at a time where the Forum is running smoothly, most of the Threads are topical and nobody gets Banned for anything. In other words, there are occasionally several weeks where our vision for the Forum and what the Forum actually is are almost synonymous. Those weeks are the best thanks of all.
If you have any comments about the above questions/answers, or if you have any more questions about the general Administration of this Forum, please post them in the Comments section below.