……. have to come to an end.
Sadly, on the eve of our third birthday, i’ve had to end the external moderator experiment. Thanks to all those who did it, gave up their own time in the interests of the community, and tried to make it work.
The minority let you – and us- down.
The experiment came out of the “blank page” idea, which was to involve the community more while we (the WHYS production team) weren’t around. It meant a greater online democracy and transparency for the community and – to be honest- it meant the blog was active even we weren’t.
We then started granting moderation rights to more of you which meant you could access the blog at anytime, not just in the evenings our time and at weekends.
Again, it worked for a while – your dedication was impressive ; Ros and i would get international calls from some of you fretting over whether to approve a comment or not. It was clear you took your responsibilities seriously.
I had to ban one moderator who “lost it” one night, but overall the trend was good. Despite some (understandable) pressure from people higher up the BBC food chain than me, it was worth holding out.
Gradually – and despite several warnings from me and Ros which got a little less friendly each time- things deteriorated.
I spent too much time sorting out petty disputes and boring bickering. Newcomers to the blog (and last Friday was a record for hits) complained of feeling intimidated. The last straw for me was a blindingly idiotic dispute which saw one of our valued newcomers clear off in disgust.
Great message to send to the community, i thought. So that’s it i’m afraid. It was a bold experiment and i’m glad we tried it. In the end, it fell because of people with a myopic , paranoid world view and i’m happy for you to peddle those views on your own blog, not ours.
It doesn’t mean that we’re not interested in your shaping and developing WHYS- it only exists as a forum for you to discuss world events anyway - but we’ll need to think of other ways of doing it.
Again, thank you to those who went the extra mile (you know who you are !), i’m indebted to you.