I see that the chat "Mos Eisley" was canceled due to a few users. But what concerns me is the language of a mod for the site, namely Shog9. Being that I was I banned at the time (I have been banned a few times) I was not able to voice my concerns.

But I am extremely offended by the language that was used by a site moderator. I post this with utter disbelief that a moderator was allowed to conduct themselves in this manner.

Was Shog9 reprimanded for this gross infraction of the "be nice" policy?

Here is the link to the issue, Mos Eisley

enter image description here

  • 5
    If he's an employee, then he's surely answerable to his employers, or other employees? Surely they should be held to an even higher standard than Community Moderators who are volunteers?
    – Sava
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 13:13
  • 6
    @Sava, Or... Be granted special treatment. I am guessing that he was or is. For a web site that consistently bans people for bad language as offensive, I don't see any repercussions for Shog9 and his language.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 13:16
  • 14
    @Sava The context (as best as I understand it, having never participated in chat on any SE site) is that our chat room was known across the entire network for being problematic. Moderators weren't able to stop the behaviour, so CMs and other SE employees were required to step in (on more than one occasion, I think). It looks like shog9 had - I would say justifiably - had enough of it. Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 14:18
  • 8
    @AnthonyGrist Exactly, just reading the linked Meta post will give you a flavor of the issue. A single epithet from someone clearly at the end of his (long) rope is hardly worthy of a "reprimand".
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 14:31
  • 13
    I think context is taken into account. For instance, a simple search of the current chatroom turns up 63 uses of the same word, with little or no reprimand.
    – Alex
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 15:44
  • 6
    @AnthonyGrist - there are far more problematic chat rooms on the network. But their political bent is in sync with SE powers that be so flags get ignored and violations of Be Nice rule are OK Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 15:11
  • @DVK-on-Ahch-To, but yet, some users are persecuted all the same.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 15:14
  • 3
    I think it's important to note that reprimanding is also based off previous cases. If reprimanded for something as.. tiny.. as that; the reprimand would be quite small than if, say, the user had already shown a previous history of being banned and coming back without any change to their behaviour.
    – Gnemlock
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 0:27
  • 4
    Some terrible misconceptions here. Our chatroom wasn't known across the network for being out of hand. It was known in the moderator only chatroom and my certain CMs, and most of the major issues resorted from a couple individuals, a total lack of unbiased moderation and often any moderation, and a heavily condescending perception of the active members stemming from constant discussion and rehashing of negative incidents instead of focusing on the positive.
    – user31178
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 6:50
  • 3
    The final result is proof of my words: Two chatters with storied disciplinary histories crossed the line because no moderation was done, despite constant moderator presence, and as a result the entire chatroom was punished for something they had no real control over and we were all blamed for being the cause of it. Nowhere outside of chat does the community get blamed for inappropriate users, yet many of us were labeled and dehumanized as bad crops (potatoes, even) because of the problem causers.
    – user31178
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 6:51
  • 4
    Wasn't this incident over a year ago now?
    – Kwola-T
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 16:49
  • 1
    @Kwola-T Yes, this occurred on May 12, 2017, a year and six months ago. Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 17:46
  • @WebHead Potatoes?! I will not hereby stand for such language!
    – Misha R
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 6:27
  • @MishaR Actually, it was blighted "tomatoes". I misremembered the exact produce.
    – user31178
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 15:22

3 Answers 3


Let's add some context.

He also renamed the room to several offensive things, referencing rape and various other atrocities, then held a separate room wherein he implied vaguely horrible things and stated intents which would get any other blue canned.

We spoke with the other CMs, who agreed his conduct was off the rails, but Shog retains his employment only through his employer's good will and Stack not being a publicly traded company.

There is no justice, the Be Nice policy is a lie, and life has been much better since leaving this heap.

  • 4
    I agree with you that the be nice policy doesn't work. People are held to different standards.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 9:18
  • Sorry about this Slacklord the Terrible, it looks you have attracted some down-votes due to me accepting the answer.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 6:18
  • @KyloRen This is Meta, up- & downvotes don't affect reputation.
    – Filnor
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 8:09
  • 8
    @KyloRen I'm reasonably sure the downvotes aren't due to you accepting it, but rather due to people disagreeing with the answer. Not everything is about you.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 8:43
  • @Randal'Thor, when it comes to down-votes its all about me.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 12:42
  • So I asked on SE meta.. and there is no reputation requirement to post on the overall Meta. You are making up excuses for posting questions regarding SE on a more localised meta.
    – Gnemlock
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 22:08
  • @Gnemlock, ever heard of a question ban? stackoverflow.com/help/question-bans So please do not comment on something you clearly no nothing about.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 0:07
  • @KyloRen, We did ask if that was the case (you stated 'not having the rep' as the reason you were asking your questions here, which is entirely unrelated). If your vanned" from asking questions, that's another story. One you should probably consider looking into, based off your recent question history, here.
    – Gnemlock
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 2:39
  • @Gnemlock, which is rep related. A bad received or down-voted question on any other meta site does not incur the question ban, but it does on the main meta site due to there being rep attached to the user account. So YES it is rep based question ban.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 3:55
  • 1
    There's no such thing as a rep based question ban. (Or a rep based answer ban.) Whether you've been automatically question/answer banned simply has no relation to your rep. Question and answer bans are incurred from many low-scored, closed, and/or deleted posts, regardless of rep. You can be automatically Q/A banned even if you have 1k+ rep. Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 11:41
  • @doppelgreener, so on any meta site you you can get a question ban?
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 12:39
  • 2
    @KyloRen I think per-site metas don't have question bans, only main meta. However, a) I'm not sure, and b) this has gone way off-topic. Choose one issue to complain about per meta post, please.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 15:06

Pedantic answer: we don't know.

Reprimanding normal users for bad behaviour might take place in public or in private chats/messages.
Reprimanding moderators for bad behaviour would usually take place in private chats or emails.
Reprimanding Community Managers ... I don't know where that happens, it's above my pay grade. Maybe in company meetings? Not in front of volunteer moderators or community members, that's for sure. So technically we don't know whether Shog9 was reprimanded or not, because we wouldn't have seen it anyway.

Practical answer: almost certainly not.

Use of swear words is, in itself, not cause for reprimand for anyone. Some chatrooms ban swearing, but Mos Eisley was never one of them. Swearing at someone, or in an offensive way, is never acceptable, but that wasn't what was happening here. So I see no reason why Shog9 would need to be reprimanded for his use for bad language in this context.

Context is, of course, important. There was a lot more going on here than that single swear word, or even that single conversation. For one thing, Shog9's outburst marked the termination of a chatroom which had caused a lot of headaches for multiple SE employees; when his colleagues became aware of what he'd done, I suspect their reaction was more along the lines of "thank God we don't have to worry about that room any more" than "oh no, he said a swear, we should reprimand him". For another thing, more problematic than saying "shit" was his renaming of the room to "The SciFi / Valorum / Himarm molestation room"; he himself thought better of this and changed it to "Valorum / Himarm poisoned this room; it is defunct" an hour later, and after some private discussion another CM changed it to "Poisoned room; it is defunct" a fortnight later. Whether any "reprimanding" went on around that is, again, something we don't and can't know. But I'd say it's still highly unlikely: at least from the company's point of view, Shog9 is not a community member throwing around random swearwords, but a company employee doing his job, and any apparent lack of professionalism was probably excused on the grounds that he (and other employees) had had to deal with a lot of shit relating to this room in particular and had simply had enough of it.

  • Lets be clear, I up-voted this answer on its content and b/c I like you Rand, you are actually very neutral when it comes to things like this. But I have served several bans due to a single out-burst which included a single swear word that was flagged by someone. Why am I held to a different standard? I am rather (p̶*̶*̶*̶e̶d̶) annoyed that I was banned so many times due to this. What is your answer to this question?
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 14:08
  • 21
    @KyloRen I'm aware of your chat ban history, and I can tell you that your bans (at least the long ones) weren't just for using swearwords. As I said in this post, context is important. You've fallen into the common fallacy of trying to figure out which specific words got you banned, rather than looking at the bigger picture of attitude, intent, and overall behaviour patterns. (Also, please don't keep pestering people for a reply - answering your queries is not the most important thing in our lives.)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 15:31

It about a situation as much as the wording.

Quite frankly the Mos that was, was a mess. Folks made a lot of attempts to fix things and it failed.

It's about intent and to an extent how we deal with folks as much as what's said.

I've said I have has enough of, well, that word.

If you consider the names of the room, it was the very incidents and personalities that resulted in it's downfall.

Mos is dead. It wasn't Shog or the mods that killed it.

It's folks constantly doing things they probably should have known better than to do. I don't know what good reprimanding Shog would do. If a mod on SE lost his cool once or twice, I think we would get a polite talking to but not much else. In fact as a mod, my typical response to sporadic bad language is a gentle reminder and making things go away.

I don't see any benefit in going further unless there was a pattern of behavior.

  • 4
    Well Shog and the other CMs handle hundreds of sites with ... Lots of users. He lost his cool over a place that was causing a lot of trouble and users who weren't exemplifiing the best of what SE could be. It's not the same when someone has a moment of sheer annoyance against someone who keeps doing stuff that annoys others just cause. Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 7:57
  • 1
    Hey, I don't disagree with you that he has a big job,but the fact that it is his job ,should dictate that he remain processional. As for me, I am an idiot who has to much to drink and fires back at people b/c I have lost a lot of self control over a situation that annoys me. Obviously, this has got me banned several times on many of the Stack sites. Is that an excuse? absolutely not, but I am not an employee and I am on the site voluntarily, which the other users are too. Bottom line is, Stack has issue and it is "If you don't agree sit down and be quiet", which is what frustrates.
    – KyloRen
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 8:05
  • 8
    Sorry, no. This is the biased opinion that happened after a few users soured some network mods on Mos Eisley, and they started looking at Mos and its regular users through crap-colored glasses. We weren't "causing a lot of trouble", those heavily-complaining visiting mods, local mods, and CMs merely completely failed to handle problematic users consistently, fairly, and with proper escalation (as opposed to the slap on the wrists followed by explosive punishments). There was a clear bias happening against the whole room, compared to other problematic chats on the network.
    – user31178
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 13:24
  • 8
    The revisionist history here wants to paint all the old Mos Eisley users as tainted and failures of self-moderation, but many were chatting in good faith, appropriately, and took the only actions they could do without help from those with more authority: Ignored the problematic users and conversations. As much as the gossip of the TL and heavily jaded opinions of CMs on the matter would like everyone on the network to think Mos was really a hive of scum and villainy, it was in fact a place of camaraderie and community building that was failed by the SE network.
    – user31178
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 13:28
  • 1
    It has come to my attention that my comments above may come off as accusatory of moderators, or ignoring my own presence as an off-site moderator that frequented Mos Eisley (well, a frequent that became an off-site moderator). I want to be clear that I believe there was a total lack of structure and not enough guidance for moderation of chat, stemming from SE's inability to realize it hasn't scaled up its practices and expectations, issues which have led to the new "aggressive enforcement" of self moderation of chat (AKA refusing to fix the root problems) and even a new theory of moderation.
    – user31178
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 19:35
  • 3
    Lots of rooms self regulate well. I hardly if ever need to deal with users with moddy powers. 'not all of us' clearly didn't work. When the very first reaction I got coming on was toxic and no one said anything.... Just cause I was a mod somewhere.... I don't really think it's a few bad hats alone. Evil prevails when good people do nothing. I have always been a proponent of local moderation first but here it failed. Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 23:22
  • 2
    This comment discussion was getting pretty long and off-topic, so I've moved it to chat. I tried to leave enough comments here that nobody should feel silenced.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 10:03

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