Who moderates the moderators?

  • Thread starter object
  • Start date
  • #1
1
0
I have sent this complaint as a PM to Greg already a week ago, but since I did not receive any answer, I would like to post it here:

It seems that moderators, mentors and science advisors can get away with anything that violates the forum guidelines, including suggesting to shoot people (https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=60644&page=2 ) , derogatary and insulting language (https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=70227 (post#9)), and to top it all, I receive the warnings for this with the reason that other people would not value my opinions.
If you are serious about forum rules, forum officials should not be exempt from these, and I would therefore very much appreciate if you could see to this. I would also suggest that my warnings are taken off again because I can not be held responsible if other people violate the forum guidelines.

Additional note:

In the meanwhile my account (Thomas2) has actually been suspended without any notice or explanation and subsequently created accounts were deleted as well without any notice. I think these strongly undemocratic practices of moderators and mentors should stop.

I know that the prime purpose of this forum is to help people with their physics and other science problems, which is fair enough, but I would question the role of Physicsforums as a direct extension of the official educational program. It makes no sense to me to confront students with the same representation of science that is causing them problems in the first place. People are not on this forum because they are lazy at school or university and want to make up for it on this board, but in many cases because there are indeed problems with certain representations of scientific issues. It makes therefore little sense to just strictly re-iterate the latter through some appointed 'experts', but what is needed are open scientific discussions with flexible point of views. This is what would help people to understand science better.

In any case, the bullying and arbitrary actions by some Physicsforums officials are by no means acceptable and I suggest that something is being done about this (as it is exclusively them who introduce a bad tone into the discussions). I am not even only speaking for myself here as anything that seems to be unfamiliar to the thinking of the Physicsforums officials is being attacked in an unacceptable way (see for instance https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=71515&page=1 (posts #2 and #11))
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
The moderators are a team and decide together on issues. You can report individual posts after which they will be reviewed.
 
  • #3
SpaceTiger
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,940
2
object said:
It makes no sense to me to confront students with the same representation of science that is causing them problems in the first place.
If your ideas are being rejected by journals (your web site seems to indicate that they are), it is not appropriate for you to be attempting to hawk them on a forum on which many young and impressionable students are trying to learn physics. With all the respect I have for many of the people on this board, it's no substitute for a peer-reviewed journal. Until your ideas gain acceptance in respected circles, I think you should take them elsewhere.
 
  • #4
ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
35,847
4,669
object said:
I know that the prime purpose of this forum is to help people with their physics and other science problems, which is fair enough, but I would question the role of Physicsforums as a direct extension of the official educational program.
And *I*, on the other hand, would seriously question your intention of continuing to invade PF. All I can see is your continuing effort to advertize your website, that is filled with errors and misleading information. You appear to think that superficial understanding of something is sufficient to be considered as mastering that subject matter.

It makes no sense to me to confront students with the same representation of science that is causing them problems in the first place.
While it makes sense to you to have no qualms about claiming to know about something without fully understanding it? You repeatedly apply the wrong thing for the wrong situation. Example: applying the standard photoelectric effect (done on solids such as metals) to photoionization of GAS atoms! Just because the word "photo..." is in there, it doesn't mean the mechanism is identical!

I've just describe only ONE of the errors you have made. This is the rule rather than the exception in ALL of your postings.

PF is a private entity and can make up the rules any way they please. The fact that many people consider them as a valuable resource is a testatement to their ability to stick to VALID and LEGITIMATE physics. Since you simply cannot stay away from PF even after being booted off repeatedly means that you somehow NEED this place to be one of the few places that you can advertize your faulty ideas to people who actually know physics, especially when you cannot get into any peer-reviewed journals. This is sad.

Zz.
 
  • #5
Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,051
18
object said:
Additional note:

In the meanwhile my account (Thomas2) has actually been suspended without any notice or explanation and subsequently created accounts were deleted as well without any notice. I think these strongly undemocratic practices of moderators and mentors should stop.
Thomas2 is a username created by a previously banned member (you). PF bans people, not usernames. If you have been permanently banned, and you sign up with a new username, you will be banned again.

Object, is the same person as Thomas2 (and Thomas3 and Thomas5), and hence will be banned too. Sorry; you've had your chance and you blew it. The moderators here have given you more than enough leeway, but you continue to do harm.
 
  • #6
Tom Mattson
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,500
8
object said:
It seems that moderators, mentors and science advisors can get away with anything that violates the forum guidelines, including suggesting to shoot people (https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=60644&page=2 ) , derogatary and insulting language (https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=70227 (post#9)), and to top it all,
I agree that everyone should be subject to the same rules. This really has been a topic of discussion in the Mentor's Private Forum, and we are sensitive to it. But we are also sensitive to the fact that stubborn, unrepentant crackpottery is frustrating to our more knowledgable members, particularly when they try to explain in detail why said crackpot is wrong.

So while I agree that personal attacks are not acceptable, I would also have to acknowledge that you could have avoided them in the first place. If you don't want to get flamed, don't post flame bait.

I receive the warnings for this with the reason that other people would not value my opinions. If you are serious about forum rules, forum officials should not be exempt from these, and I would therefore very much appreciate if you could see to this. I would also suggest that my warnings are taken off again because I can not be held responsible if other people violate the forum guidelines.
No, you did not recieve that warning for other people's behavior. The warning you are referring to is clearly labeled as a Crackpot Material warning. That's all you, buddy.

In the meanwhile my account (Thomas2) has actually been suspended without any notice or explanation and subsequently created accounts were deleted as well without any notice.
OK, here is the explanation once and for all.

You are a crackpot. I remember your first thread at PF from 2002: "Why Relativity is Wrong". We've been entertaining your persistent misconceptions and ill-founded attacks on modern science that defy both reason and evidence for a long time. We're finished now.

You indicate on one of your user profiles that you are an unemployed physicist and astronomer. Doesn't that give you the slightest hint as to what is wrong here? Hasn't it occured to you that if you really are right about all of your so-called "Physics Facts" that some research group would find you incredibly useful? But that's not the case, is it? The fact of the matter is this:

You don't work because your physics doesn't work.

I think these strongly undemocratic practices of moderators and mentors should stop.
Can't agree with you there. Physics Forums is privately owned. It is not a democracy, and Greg makes no apology for that.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
52
object said:
It seems that moderators, mentors and science advisors can get away with anything that violates the forum guidelines, including suggesting to shoot people (https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=60644&page=2 ) ,
Uh, no, someone else recommended shooting a known crackpot in that thread, and the mentor stated he could NOT comply. Whether or not the person recommending the shooting received a warning for it is not something the rest of us would be privy to.

derogatary and insulting language (https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=70227 (post#9)),
I see nothing derogatory or insulting there. I see two mentors attempting to explain a concept to someone and perhaps getting a bit frustrated that they don't know of any other way to explain it that will help that person understand.

In the meanwhile my account (Thomas2) has actually been suspended without any notice or explanation and subsequently created accounts were deleted as well without any notice.
Ah, I think see the true reason behind the complaint here. If you acknowledged receiving warnings, then you DO know why your account was suspended.

I know that the prime purpose of this forum is to help people with their physics and other science problems, which is fair enough, but I would question the role of Physicsforums as a direct extension of the official educational program. It makes no sense to me to confront students with the same representation of science that is causing them problems in the first place. People are not on this forum because they are lazy at school or university and want to make up for it on this board, but in many cases because there are indeed problems with certain representations of scientific issues. It makes therefore little sense to just strictly re-iterate the latter through some appointed 'experts', but what is needed are open scientific discussions with flexible point of views. This is what would help people to understand science better.
That would all depend on what you mean by "certain representations of scientific issues." If you mean helping explain the deeper complexity of something they've only been taught superficially for the sake of simplicity, then yes, it's sometimes helpful to teach students beyond what they learn in the classroom, as long as it's not going to further confuse them come test time. If you mean feed them crackpot theories because they are easier to understand than science that is supported by direct experimental evidence, then sorry, no go.
 
  • #8
cronxeh
Gold Member
961
10
only those who know the rules really well are allowed to "break" them - this only applies to science, and by 'break' it means suggesting something so extraordinary, that not only fits into the experimental evidence, but also opens a door to new possibilities. This is the string theory. This is the Godel's Universe. These ideas follow standard convention of scientific reasoning, and can be disproven (even if not at the time, but in principle there exists a way). Can your ideas be refuted? Have you tried it?
 
  • #9
120
0
Ive found this thread highly entertaining. :smile:
 
  • #10
Nereid
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,367
2
Thank you for your post Thomas.

Derogatory and insulting language is unwelcome here in PF, and we have a 'Report' button on every post, which any PF member can use to report such unwelcome behaviour. The moderators here at PF can all read these reports, and it is my impression that they are all taken seriously. The action a mentor or administrator takes varies; I'd say most times only the author of the reported post is aware of the action taken - that person will likely have received a warning, a PM, or both. Speaking for myself, I'd like to see more civility from the PF mentors, advisors etc - a higher standard for them perhaps than that applied to ordinary members.

Regarding content: if you've read the lengthy (open) discussions we've had on topics such as what to do about PF's Theory Development board, you'll have learned how we got to be where we are today, in terms of how we treat 'non-mainstream views'.
 
  • #11
3,763
9
Thomas, you shouldn't have asked this question in the first place. "Who moderates the moderators?"...What do you care ??? It is none of your business but the fact that you are wondering really says enough.

marlon
 
  • #12
4
0
Just a few corrections here (I promise they are the last ones unless my account Thomas2 is being reinstated)
Moonbear said:
Uh, no, someone else recommended shooting a known crackpot in that thread, and the mentor stated he could NOT comply.
Then read the thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=60644&page=2 again: Integral said he is sorry he can not comply (obviously for technical reasons), i.e. that he would be happy if he could,( which he confirms then by saying that it would be doing the world a favour).
I can't think of any other public medium apart from Physicsforums where an official 'employee' gets away with these kind of statements.

zapperz said:
Since you simply cannot stay away from PF even after being booted off repeatedly means that you somehow NEED this place to be one of the few places that you can advertize your faulty ideas to people who actually know physics, especially when you cannot get into any peer-reviewed journals.This is sad.
I have heard the suggestion to try to get into peer-reviewed journals now at least a dozen times on this forum. Apart from the fact that some work has been published in peer-revied journals, the problem is that you and others on this forum apparently consider yourselves as peer-reviewers here, applying essentially the same criteria and hence making an open discussion next to impossible. Admittedly, I have been using this forum usually to test out some new developments of my work (if not with regard to journal publications, then for publication on my own website) but I think this is a legitimate use of any forum. It is the circumstance that this seems to be impossible here which is sad. But then again, maybe that I should take the fact that I am being bullied off this forum rather than being convinced in a scientific discussion as an indication that my views are indeed correct and valid.
 
  • #13
Tom Mattson
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
5,500
8
object2 said:
J
Then read the thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=60644&page=2 again: Integral said he is sorry he can not comply (obviously for technical reasons), i.e. that he would be happy if he could,( which he confirms then by saying that it would be doing the world a favour).
I can't think of any other public medium apart from Physicsforums where an official 'employee' gets away with these kind of statements.
With regards to conduct: You are right, and Integral was wrong. I apologize on behalf of Physics Forums for that.

I have heard the suggestion to try to get into peer-reviewed journals now at least a dozen times on this forum. Apart from the fact that some work has been published in peer-revied journals, the problem is that you and others on this forum apparently consider yourselves as peer-reviewers here, applying essentially the same criteria and hence making an open discussion next to impossible.
This is just not true. There have been plenty of open discussions of your ideas over the years.

Admittedly, I have been using this forum usually to test out some new developments of my work (if not with regard to journal publications, then for publication on my own website) but I think this is a legitimate use of any forum.
That is not for you to decide. Greg--the owner of this site--has decided otherwise. Your persistence in using Physics Forums for theory development is patently out of line.

It is the circumstance that this seems to be impossible here which is sad. But then again, maybe that I should take the fact that I am being bullied off this forum rather than being convinced in a scientific discussion as an indication that my views are indeed correct and valid.
Oh, get real!

First, your ideas have been rebutted scientifically, the fact that you have not been personally convinced notwithstanding. Speaking for myself, I have seen where Mentors and members have explained to you in painstaking detail why your arguments against special relativity hold no water. I even participated in some of those early discussions. You simply do not understand the subject, and do not appear to want to. Reports from other Mentors and Advisors bear out the same conclusion with regards to aeordynamics and quantum theory.

Second, surely you are aware of the logical fallacy of appealing to ignorance, ("X hasn't been disproved, therefore X is true"). That's what you are implying here, except for just one thing: All of your X's that I have paid attention to have been disproven. But if you want to regard them as true, go right ahead. You're only hurting yourself.
 
  • #14
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,226
34
object2 said:
the problem is that you and others on this forum apparently consider yourselves as peer-reviewers here, applying essentially the same criteria and hence making an open discussion next to impossible.
This forum does not intend to support open (i.e. unmoderated) discussion. We are thus in a minority; most usenet newsgroups, web forums, blogs, and so on are virtually completely open. Why don't you just post at those other venues, which constitute the majority? Why do you continue to bother us, if you clearly know this site won't permit your behavior?
Admittedly, I have been using this forum usually to test out some new developments of my work (if not with regard to journal publications, then for publication on my own website) but I think this is a legitimate use of any forum.
Since when do you get to decide what's a legitimate use of our forum? You don't run this place. You don't pay for the server. You don't contribute any work. Far be it from you to make any such decisions.

We have asked the membership time and time again to vote on the whole "crackpot" issue. In every instance, our membership has voted to maintain our current policies, including the prohibition of crackpot science. Our policies will not be changed.
maybe that I should take the fact that I am being bullied off this forum rather than being convinced in a scientific discussion as an indication that my views are indeed correct and valid.
From my "12 Step to Becoming a Crackpot:"

"11) Submit your paper to reputable scientific authorities, like PRL and Nature. When no one bothers to even respond with a rejection letter, come to one of two possible conclusions: either that modern science has no rebuttal to your theory, you have shattered their collective scientific ego with your brilliance, and they have chosen not to respond because they are too proud to admit defeat; or that the International Scientific Conspiracy has immediately destroyed your paper because you got too close to the Truth. Either way, your theory is actually strengthened by the silent dismissal, and that's all that really matters anyway. Now you can tell anyone who cares to listen that modern science cannot rebut your theory, so it must be right. You can go a step further, become proactive, and actually solicit rebuttals directly from the individuals in the reputable scientific community. When none of these scientists is willing to waste his time trying to teach you tenth-grade physics, you can proudly announce that science cannot disprove your theory."

- Warren
 
  • #15
DaveC426913
Gold Member
18,975
2,463
"...I have been using this forum usually to test out some new developments of my work ... I think this is a legitimate use of any forum ... this seems to be impossible here which is sad."

It's not your call what is "legitimate use" of a forum - which is why you keep getting booted off. The mandate of this forum is quite clear in that it does not support discussion of personal theories. There are plenty of sites that welcome personal theories, this just doesn't happen to be one. This is not a judgment, it is merely a stake in the ground. A forum must lay down boundaries or it will lose focus. (The forum also doesn't support cooking recipes or fly-fishing techniques.) It is not sad, it is a necessity.
 
  • #16
375
0
I'm surprised this thread wasn't deleted from the start. It seems clear that this individual is immune to logic, therefore responding to him in a logical fashion is a complete waste of time. He's not ever going to be convinced through rational arguments that (1) his theories are BS (2) the admins of the site have a right to do whatever the heck they want w/respect to anything site-related, especially filtering out said BS. I have a feeling he'll be back in one reincarnation or another.
 
Last edited:
  • #17
1,085
6
I agree somewhat. A while back I reported a post of a moderator, and I have not gotten any response, pm, or anything back. Maybe they did not take my report seriously, but I was at least expecting someone to contact me and discuss the report.
 
  • #18
loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,749
5
To answer the original question, I'm pretty sure that, in order to avoid an infinite regress, the moderators moderate themselves. Given that there are about 47 of them, and I would imagine they don't always agree on everything, this should be sufficient. I moderate another forum I post at and that is the way we do it. If a moderator needs to be warned, then another moderator warns him. We've even banned a moderator before. I doubt it's ever come to that here, but if it has to, I'm sure it will.

To insert my own opinion on how this particular matter should be handled, if this poster continues to open threads making the same claims that have already been debunked, just close it, immediately. If he continues afterward, warn him, then ban him. This already seems to have taken place with this poster and it should be the way these situations are handled for all posters. Leaving the threads open for even one response is nothing but an invitation to argument and eventual flaming. Better to not even give it a chance. Arildno and Integral would never have gotten frustrated and said something inappropriate (which we all do at times) if the threads had simply been closed from the beginning.
 
  • #19
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
4,149
64
mattmns said:
I agree somewhat. A while back I reported a post of a moderator, and I have not gotten any response, pm, or anything back.
I looked but couldn't find your reported post among the ones of the last month, reported posts are dealt with internally so we don't always report back to members if there is no need. I can assure you that corrective actions are not restricted to members alone, so definately report posts that you feel are out of line.
 
  • #20
arildno
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
9,970
132
Just a comment concerning my own sarcasms (not only against Thomas2):

Quite justifiedly, IMO, SEVERAL mentors have PM'ed on this issue and asked me to refrain from this in the future. I have resolved to follow this as best as I can; the fact, for example, that I get pissed off at fanciful theories of reality lacking in logical rigour or physical evidence (for example religion and pseudo-science), can be communicated in a more cultivated and less offensive manner, if at all.

As for Thomas2:
Clearly, you are convinced, among other things, that most physicists are idiots who use complicated maths when the math skills of 10-year olds are all that is required to do physics.
Well, feel free to think this way, you can get a lot of new like-minded friends at a forum like sciforums.com
I suggest you go there instead.
 
Last edited:
  • #21
Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,490
52
object2 said:
I have heard the suggestion to try to get into peer-reviewed journals now at least a dozen times on this forum. Apart from the fact that some work has been published in peer-revied journals, the problem is that you and others on this forum apparently consider yourselves as peer-reviewers here, applying essentially the same criteria and hence making an open discussion next to impossible.
People here ARE science professionals, so yes, they are involved in the peer-review process. It would be doing the scientific community a disservice not to be honest and open about flaws in someone's theory, or to permit something blatantly incorrect to go unchallenged thus confusing students who are still learning and cannot yet recognize the errors themselves. Open discussion means being able to be honest, and that means critiquing what is obviously flawed. If you have a theory that can be completely knocked down by pointing out one single critical flaw, then it's time to move on. A serious scientist would be thankful to have this pointed out before wasting a lot of time pursuing something that someone else could have told them wouldn't work long ago.

Admittedly, I have been using this forum usually to test out some new developments of my work (if not with regard to journal publications, then for publication on my own website) but I think this is a legitimate use of any forum.
Others have already pointed out why it's NOT a legitimate use of this forum. If you have your own website, set up your own forum if you want input on your ideas. Then you can allow whatever you want to allow on your forum.
It is the circumstance that this seems to be impossible here which is sad. But then again, maybe that I should take the fact that I am being bullied off this forum rather than being convinced in a scientific discussion as an indication that my views are indeed correct and valid.
If your ideas were correct and valid:
1) you would have no problem getting them published
2) they would be thoroughly embraced here
3) you wouldn't need to post them for discussion.

Even well established scientists make mistakes and overlook something when developing a new theory that makes the new theory wrong. The difference is they recognize that criticism is intended to help, and thus do not take offense at criticism.

There is a difference between rudeness, insults and just plain ordinary critique of ideas. Basically, if you can't handle criticism, or just want pats on the back for a good job, then don't bother posting new "theories" here.

Do the mentors periodically lose their tempers or say something they shouldn't have said or say something in a way that could have been more tactfully done? Sure, they are human afterall; everyone loses their cool once in a while. But for the most part, they are nice people out to help students learn science and maintain a certain level of factual integrity at this site.
 
  • #22
Nereid
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,367
2
Believe it or not, there is at least one person who 'collects' crackpot websites, categorises them, and gives them a 'rank'. It's run by Erik Max Francis, and Thomas' website is listed, with the 'highest' rating ('crankiest'). From the quick look I took, Thomas' website may well have the greatest number of separate entries (Erik cross-references crank websites by topic, so there's an entry for Thomas' site under physics, cosmology, Big Bang, relativity, quantum mechanics, ....).

For the avoidance of doubt, I think Crank Dot Net is an interesting site, helpful in that it gives you a place to look for 'non-mainstream' stuff, and gives another indication of why I think PF's policy on 'alternatives' is a good one.
 
  • #23
Integral
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,201
56
:
It's probably about time to shoot the moron and close this thread.



Sorry I cannot comply with the first part of your request, though it may be doing the world a favor! I can and will comply with the second request!

I agree that this is a dead issue.
Not said out of frustration or anger. I thought I was being funny :rolleyes:
 

Related Threads on Who moderates the moderators?

  • Last Post
2
Replies
29
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
4K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
130
Views
15K
Top