Sunday, September 02, 2007

All Things in Moderation

In a surprising development, Top Mud Sites has become my preferred MUD forum hang-out as of late. After many years of The Mud Connector being the premiere gathering of the genre's great and good (and me), signs are pointing to this challenger having a legitimate chance of reaching those heights.


For me, personally, the change has been a result of the recent and noticeable increase in moderation there. The folks at TMS have been more visible, more hardworking and to be honest seem to care more. Of course, this may be an illusion: TMC's staff probably care just as much, but have decided to sit back and let everything pass in its own time. As a result, the moderated forum has become noticeably less full of trolling, flames, arguments and all of the other ills that seem to plague so many forums.

The trade-off, of course, is that some people don't like this: there isn't freedom, there's a perceived unfairness and of course those who find themselves at the wrong end of the stick do their best to stir this up and make themselves out to be victimised - similar to most parts of life, really. I've never been one to have a lot of sympathy for those who knowingly do things to upset those in charge, and then claim that the situation is unfair. There may be a place for crusaders for free speech, but I'd rather they found someplace else where it wasn't so obviously self-serving.

Of course, TMC has stayed the same as it always has been, which is excellent - those who can tolerate the back-and-forth quarrels (or even revel in them) can enjoy that atmosphere, whereas others who would quite happily trade a little enlightenment for a lot more civility, have such a place as well. I have found, though, that rather than stifling creativity in a web of censorship, the moderated forum has allowed more to voice their opinions, to take part in worthwhile discussions and share information, without fear of attacks either to them or to the train of thought in the threads.

It is often forgotten that all should have freedoms in equal measure, rather than the loudest individuals having them all.

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