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Moderator ChirsW is exhibiting following behaviors which might be detrimental to the site:

  • Always has my way or no other way attitude (Most content on Meta is evident of this)
  • Pays little attention to the opinion of others in many cases (Most content on Meta is evident of this)
  • Disagrees for the sake of disagreement for show of power and ego (Most content of Meta is evident of this)
  • Jumps to a decision and stands on the ground regardless of benefit to the site or users, always argue to preserve status quo than weighting benefit the site of the users (Most content of Meta is evident of this)
  • Always finds clear way to justify initial decision than make the best decision
  • Total lack of empathy in moderation issues
  • Inclined to delete content than improve and produce more good quality content (does not play by the same rules or not willing to play by the same rules for own content)
  • Prone to listen to one set of users than another set of users
  • Many meta arguments are not based on how it would benefit users or the site
  • Only accepts options of an inner circle than the community at large, or only when also told by a close associate.
  • user the opportunity from one slip of word sway arguments

For this reason I feel unless ChrisW amends his ways, something be done about it.


Also for new users on a bit of history how ChrisW came to Mod position. ChrisW was recommended by Ven. Yuttadhammo. At that time ChrisW was supporter of Ven. Yuttadhammo on where I raised issues of asymmetric moderation (more strict on one set of site uses and less strict on another set of site users - posts by one set of moderators being more closely scrutinized while similar quality posts from other were not. Also some of the less closely scrutinized happen to be students of the Ven. Sir), thus gaining the Ven. Sir's trust. My perceived motivation is that he was taken aboard because this would mean Ven Sir would command more support from ChrisW than independent party. Also the thinking would have been, it would be easier working together than have "outsiders"/ independent moderators or people they find easy to work with and implement what they wanted. (By implementing Vetoing of possible moderators they did not like or did not want to work with or even keep power and control in an inner circle) Also the Ven. Yuttadhammo was initially trailing on votes but suddenly picked up on the last few days. Also Ven. Yuttadhammo who could have made the last few votes to get them in as he had many student users on site.

  • Ven. Yuttadhammo and Lanka are great and I love them both but I think that in this site there is a great issue on moderating.. I can write it in details on the future but this site is certainly a dead site because of a specific person's(I am not giving his name, yet) ego and other personal issues. It is a sad thing really because such a big and wonderful community's site mustn't be in this situation because of a person's specific qualities and mental issues. – Murathan1 May 13 at 15:41
  • In my experience there is some merit to what Suminda says. It's serious enough that at least one of example calls into question whether the SO network wide discrimination policy was not given proper attention. – whitneyland May 21 at 3:46
  • I don't believe this post makes a case for much specifically, so I can't endorse it strongly. However I comment here to lend another voice that has noticed a pattern, and to offer detail and specifics as helpful in the example I mention if there is interest in hearing it. – whitneyland May 21 at 3:48
  • Please note, it is difficult to reconstruct the example I mention from history because there were many edits and deletions by mods and others as it ran its course. However, I did a write up at the time in my notes so it would be easier to reconstruct the context at a later date. I would be glad to discuss everything transparently and provide full context if at least one independent mod would find it useful to participate. Without at least one independent party from SO listening, it can be impractical to make a case against a mod in there own backyard. – whitneyland May 21 at 3:55
  • Last comment - I meant no suggestion here that other mods are biased or part of any problem. Only that having a mod from another site or from SO could avoid any potential conflict of interest. And for the record, I don't know Suminda and have no history with him or others involved. I have no vested interest in any outcome. – whitneyland May 21 at 4:01
  • @whitneyland If you want to say something, please do -- e.g. about moderation or about a moderator, and/or a suggestion to improve the site. If you do that by posting a new topic on Meta, then all moderators are notified automatically (that a new meta-topic has started). Also the site keeps a history of all edits -- see e.g. here -- if you want to discuss the edit history of a specific topic. – ChrisW May 22 at 13:58
  • Your opinions about ChrisW is 100% right. Thank you. It is possible that your opinions can change in time, which is ok. but this article(about ChrisW) is really valuable and really represents the truth. But it seems like this site works this way, so it's not a big deal, but it is good to know the facts. – Murathan1 Jun 30 at 16:34
  • 100% agree with this (including Dhammadathu). We are here to share the experiences of buddhism. And its a main thing that buddha didnt wrote any book. So there are lots of mis interpretations. When I'm worried of answering (as I don't want down votes from someone who didn't realize what I said) I added a comment and guided the questioner on some direction. Now these moderators have started deleting those as well. – follower Jul 7 at 10:52
  • I want to say that I find Chris an excellent moderator. I can understand why some people think otherwise, but annoying them is what a moderator is for. If I were a made a moderator Chris would start to look like a pussy-cat. . – PeterJ Jul 25 at 11:40
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I find what you are doing to the site troublesome.

I think I do very little to the site. Most of my activity (including editing other people's posts) is as a user, not as a moderator.

Users (the community) have told me e.g. here and here that they don't want much moderation and so I don't give them much. As one recent example, I posted this comment instead of deleting the answer.

After the "Moderation policies for Questions" were defined, there were a few further topics about moderation of questions (e.g. here and here), but no consensus (i.e. a vote from several users) that the existing policy be changed (and so the status quo continues).

In this question, which I think is what triggered this current meta-topic, Lanka closed the question. I didn't choose to close it (especially given that Dhammadhatu had proven able to answer it), nevertheless I also found Lanka's decision justifiable and and I didn't want to contradict him. My experience with teams makes me inclined to feel that often any decision is better than no decision, so if and when Lanka makes a good decision then I'd need good/compelling reason to undo it (and I didn't have that reason). After you edited the question, after other users voted to reopen it, then I had good reason to vote too, to reopen it, and I did.

I feel I'm hardly "doing" anything "to the site" at all, except participating as a user and (as you said) "justifying the status quo" on Meta.

In this comment you wrote that it should have been reopened sooner (or that it should never have been closed). Be careful what you wish for: the site cannot please everyone, we already had helpful users leave for various reasons. If you did enact a policy that no question is ever closed, then whatever quality standards (and benefit) we have now might deteriorate further.

A close-improve-reopen cycle is normal, built-in to the StackExchange system -- it's how the system works, it's what SE's experience (with other SE sites) tells us does work. If you find the site helpful you should consider allowing it to continue to function as it's designed to.

You are not flexible, you only selectively listen to some people

I try to listen to everyone, and to obey a "quorum" of users. This topic for example was me trying to define a consensus between four users (including me), i.e. everyone who chose to participate in the topic.

If it's only you and me disagreeing, and I do nothing but allow the status quo to continue, I don't think that's necessarily me "failing to benefit the site at large". That's just you and me, having sightly different opinions on a boundary-case.

you more often try to reserve status quo than take a different action

I think that's true.

  • My initial job was to understand the status quo, i.e. learn everything that everyone had written on Meta
  • My next job (as an experienced Stack Exchange user) was to explain the status quo, e.g. to explain to users of this site how other Stack Exchange sites work (how they're governed and moderated, how they're used, what they're for, what they're not for, what people can and can't do, what's normal)
  • My next job was to define what the status quo ought to be for this site (by discussing that and reaching various consensus with quorums of users)
  • Now I think my job is to help implement the status quo (e.g. to moderate or not moderate more-or-less as agreed in the various moderation policies), and to continue to explain the status quo (e.g. moderation policies) to people who find them questionable

I also try to support users' rights to do things they're allowed to do, and to protect them from things I'm supposed to protect them from (abuse, low-quality posts, hostility), etc.

My doing that includes supporting other moderators (i.e. their responsibility to make decisions about moderation).

Sometimes I disagree with other moderators; if or when that happens you won't see it (because that will happen in a private chat room), so don't be surprised if it seems as if we always tend to agree.

Also risking of decremental user experience (not being flexible) as not all Buddhists are from english speaking countries.

I hope I'm not seen as hostile to non-English-speaking users. I often edit posts, that I understand and which are written in slightly imperfect English, because I hope that "perfect English" is easier for everyone (especially non-English users) to understand. I imagine someone trying to read the post using Google Translate, which isn't good at translating any mis-spelled words etc.

In this question I didn't really understand the question well enough to edit it. I thought the question was too short. Actually, like Lanka, I thought it was missing the actual question (that it was statements rather than a question).

I also thought that it was a basic question. There are already 200 topics on th subject of and -- I wasn't sure that we needed another, nor how to answer it.

Perhaps this can be deleted since high reputation users can see it any way if it needs revisiting.

I don't really want to censor you. If you want to self-censor (i.e. stop complaining) that's OK with me, but this kind of thing is more-or-less on-topic for Meta (although time-consuming and possibly a duplicate of previous topics like this one or this one). The ideal would be for us to reach some consensus, agreement, understanding, or at least agree to disagree.

Meta is for all users not just high-reputation users (though I hope I try extra hard to accommodate high-reputation users, partly because they've proven valuable to the site and partly because they should have acquired enough experience with the site to know what they're talking about).

I am hoping others will chime in when improvements can be made or not in agreement.

Another reason to leave this topic open, then. Or a "chat" room is another way to discuss things.

  • Don't worry Chris. Some of us have nothing but sympathy for the problems you face. If anything I feel you are too forgiving. – PeterJ Jul 25 at 11:46
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Suminda this is not okay.

I think that this time you have overdone it. This behaviour of yours is becoming too extreme.

I'm calling for a conversation between you and the mods.

Time and place will be mentioned at a later time since I'm off to work in a bit.

  • 1
    If you think otherwise simply give the facts to the contrary. You just saying not acceptable not backed by facts is not acceptable to me. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Mar 15 '17 at 5:53
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    Also instead of discussing this in the open it is very evident you want to lock down criticism? – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Mar 15 '17 at 6:10
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    time you have overdone it instead of blocking the criticism by other means, let's hear what is factually wrong, if any. As I do not see any of the facts being wrong. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Mar 15 '17 at 6:17
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I disagree. Chris could have banned me for being rude but he didn't and I'm grateful. I'm sorry to say this Suminda but I think you have actually dipslayed some of those behaviours yourself. I have brushed up against you a couple of times because I have found your views to be very rigid and lacking empathy.

  • This site is certainly a dead site. And I little bit mentioned about it as a comment under the question – Murathan1 May 14 at 15:37
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Sorry you find this (or find me) troublesome, Suminda.

You say that part of the problem is that I "pay no attention", and "disagree (for show of power)", and lack empathy ... and I think you're saying that I post too much on Meta. So I feel some doubt about whether my posting more on Meta now and here might do any good, and is what you want of me?

Is there something you want me to post, on Meta, or in chat? Any question[s] you want to ask me?

Are there old "decisions" that you'd like to see reversed? Or do you have any new policy to propose?

Would you like to read my version/view of the "history how ChrisW came to Mod position" (or would that be just more "ego" and "agenda")? Would you like me to try to explain (again) what I think my role as moderator is; maybe what I think my "strengths" and "weaknesses" might be as moderator?

I've posted about 200 times on Meta. Do you really disagree with "Most content on Meta"? Or is it just a few specific topics that are bothering you, that aren't resolved to your satisfaction?

I'm also worried that this ("ad hominem") type of conversation could occasion some negative feelings with other people (users or moderators). For that reason I could forget, ignore, not reply to, and and/or delete this topic, if that's appropriate; but is it something that you want to talk about, with me? Or, with other users? Or other moderators, Lanka (and me) for example; or, from the Stack Exchange team?

  • Your concerns about fairness are valid. However you say you could delete this topic if you decided to, but you should absolutely not be allowed to do so. The concerns are important, but if action to delete is necessary it should be done by peers, even if by your request, with your abstention. I'm surprised you don't see that course would be most beneficial to you. Otherwise it leaves possible exposure to the appearance of impropriety with no way to ever prove it was done with good intentions. – whitneyland May 21 at 4:33
  • You're right: it is normal, and pretty well a rule, to abstain from e.g. deleting complaints about oneself. – ChrisW May 21 at 4:47
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It doesn't take much consideration to conclude this post should be dismissed, even for a person new to the community. I think it's sufficient to see that:

1) The accusations made are serious, while the evidence provided is weak. In fact we can prove the premises wrong quite simply. To take one example:

  • Statement: Total lack of empathy in moderation issues.

  • Disproof: I have had one issue moderated by Chris with empathy therefore your accusation of "total" lack of empathy is false.

    Consider: "all swans are white". One black swan is enough to refute this thus disproof by counter example. For more see formal explanation.

2) The tone is vindictive, not mindful, not right speech. I don't mean to suggest you are a bad person or not to be trusted, rather it seems appropriate to let this state of mind pass before productive discussion can continue.

edit: Over time through other means I've come to agree with aspects of the original post as mentioned in other comments. For clarity, I have not changed my opinion on this answer. There's a high bar for this type of post and whenever necessary, they should be made without emotion and with concrete and specific points.

I believe that it should be handled independently and objectively with the better detail and cogency, or probably not allowed to stand at all, unless it can move past simple opinions toward a more proper environment and more open airing.

  • In 2019 this site is certainly a joke because of a "person". Either this site's administration has to fix the situation or someone else would talk the situation with details(maybe very soon) that would instantly clean the site. – Murathan1 May 20 at 17:50
  • @Murathan1 and whiteyland -- I don't understand your recent comment. Would you talk about the situation (with details)? Would you do that here (using comments and/or public chat and/or in a new meta-topic), or would you prefer to use a private chat room (whether with me or with another moderator)? – ChrisW May 22 at 2:47
  • Excellent post. It sums up my view. – PeterJ Jul 25 at 11:51
0

If keeping the focus on serving the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha at first place and always, there is no reason to get caught in trouble which arises from all kinds of "my making", and it's good, for those living on dependency, to always respect on one hand a communities Brahmas (leader) and also give much into respecting and honor of Brahmans and contemplatives.

When desire, or thought of duties toward wordily gains, own, honor arises, the Tripple Gems put secondary, space for all kinds of troubles are given.

Certainly there is much secular thinking and gains of worldily Dhammas involved and the possibility to make merits of high fruits, not much seen. When all are able to uphold and present the place as a change to serve the Tripple Gems and try to abound desires to make it, the site as a home, then, having given, let go, knowing it as simply done sacrifices for them, no and never a need to take on and hold on it while simply maitaining for what can be maintained and is worthy of it.

  • What does this post mean? I have no idea. Do you not realise that your language is almost unintelligible for much of the time? I appreciate that you are not a native English speaker, but do you appreciate the difficulty this causes for your readers? I think you misjudge this. – PeterJ Jul 25 at 11:54
  • If not willing to get through such challange the message would never be really good understood and would give just more food for bias. An effort to serve those wishing to increase a stand whould be no good giving into, householder @PeterJ . It isn't a language thing, that 'matter' here and there. Never a problem to go further if something is told to be not understood, but wished to. – Samana Johann Jul 25 at 12:03
  • There you go. I have no idea what your comment means. I'm not being deliberately difficulty, I just cannot translate your comment in English. Yet you expect me to understand it and engage in a discussion, and if I don't you'll get upset. It's a recipe for constant trouble, . – PeterJ Jul 25 at 12:09
  • Why should my person be upset if householder @PeterJ does not understand something, or does not like to? If he wishes to replay, he can do so. If my person thinks he could give ways for him or others, reading it, he might go on. (third person needs a lot of attention) – Samana Johann Jul 25 at 12:13
  • Were I the chief moderator I would ban you for making such remarks on a Buddhist site. You continually make them and I'm amazed people put up with it. You seem completely unwilling to learn from your experiences. I rarely see such arrogance even among the people you so lightly dismiss as householders. By posting on this site you do Buddhism a great disservice in my opinion. . – PeterJ Jul 25 at 12:17
  • My person would not serve any -ism. So if looking for people who serve yours, and dislike those who don't feed yours, then of course you would not be shy to kill and deal. Let my person know if @PeterJ isn't a householder as it would be not good to address him wrongly. – Samana Johann Jul 25 at 12:21
  • @PeterJ I read the answer as emollient, fyi, "people get in trouble by thinking of this as 'my' site, also you should respect the site's (secular) 'leaders' as well as of course respecting holy men ... don't lose sight of the big picture which is to serve the aims of the 'three jewels' and not get too hung up on your own desires of how you think it ought to be and whether it can be 'your home'". – ChrisW Jul 25 at 13:10
  • @PeterJ Also try not to get offended if he calls you "householder" or "nyom", I would. Perhaps you're not used to it -- and who knows whether it's representative of Buddhism, other Anglophone monks aren't so formal in their conversation online -- I read it as partly a German mode of speech, like even if he weren't a monk he might be addressing you conversationally "Herr Doktor Peter" or whatever the formal title should be, you can read it as polite. :-) – ChrisW Jul 25 at 13:17
  • When "should" is replaced by a "if wishing... then..." it seems to be good perceived, and yet not a native speaker. "Home", of course, goes deep. – Samana Johann Jul 25 at 13:17
  • "you can read it as polite" even such would be possible and even possible that given with such proper regard, all not for sure, the perceived. Pema is "amazing" :-) binding or splitting. – Samana Johann Jul 25 at 13:20
  • @ChrisW - I'm not in the least bit upset. My worry is that people visiting the site will gain a poor impression. I have no problem with people who oppose or doubt the doctrine but do occasionally with those who insist they know all about it. But perhaps it's all a misunderstanding. It is difficult to be sure as I can rarely understand this poster's mode of speech. I felt I should say something because what makes this site work is the moderation. As an argumentative person it has saved me from making some bad mistakes here, although no doubt there's plenty more to come. . – PeterJ Jul 25 at 16:18
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In this question, which I think is what triggered this current meta-topic, Lanka closed the question. I didn't choose to close it (especially given that Dhammadhatu had proven able to answer it), nevertheless I also found Lanka's decision justifiable and and I didn't want to contradict him. My experience with teams makes me inclined to feel that often any decision is better than no decision, so if and when Lanka makes a good decision then I'd need good/compelling reason to undo it (and I didn't have that reason). After you edited the question, after other users voted to reopen it, then I had good reason to vote too, to reopen it, and I did.

Once the questions was edited and @Lanka was seaming to reopen after edits you brought the argument to keep it closed what ever justification you had, is not done, in this kind of circumstances. It was also evident the user's English was not be best. This would have created a barrier. It should have been edited in the 1st place than put on hold.

I try to listen to everyone

You seem to listen to selected group. In the example you had given are from the people you tend to listen.

Can you say the same for suggestions by me, MatthewMartin, Theravada, Uuu, Sankha Kulathantille, soulsings, Ahmed, Saptha Visuddhi (Not limited to Meta discussion and comments.)

Also you cannot generalise one instance which you did this to all instances, especially users you tent to listen to. This also comes to the issue you listen to select group of users and this reinforces it.

The ideal would be for us to reach some consensus, agreement, understanding,

Well what I want is:

  • do what is equitable and fair
  • set personal standards higher than you preach

duplicate of previous topics like this one or this one).

2 different instances cannot be duplicates. Say a person commits theft and repeats, these are 2 different crimes, not a duplicate of the previous.

Final takeaway from this what are your personal weaknesses? Have you identified them correctly? How are you going to improve on them? You do not have to post the answer for this here, but time will tell is there is an improvement.

you wrote that it should have been reopened sooner (or that it should never have been closed). Be careful what you wish for: the site cannot please everyone, we already had helpful users leave for various reasons. If you did enact a policy that no question is ever closed, then whatever quality standards (and benefit) we have now might deteriorate further.

I am not saying no questions should be closed. I am saying if when there is 1 or more answers, when there are different viewpoints, better option is to keep if open and try to accommodate, if duplicate transfer the answers to the other question and marked as duplicate without stub hangin, if the answers are also low quality delete all or in some cases lock all if deleting is not appropriate. If not do what is fair and equitable in the situation.

Please stop saying I said this and that when I have not!!!

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – ChrisW Mar 19 '17 at 13:47
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Sorry you find this (or find me) troublesome, Suminda.

I find what you are doing to the site troublesome. When new users come to the site they need to learn the ropes. E.g. other also feel the new user experiance is not ideal: Wouldn't it be better to use a soft approach with newbies on this SE?

Also when users see double standards they might silently leave.

Also you have to find a way to be fair to the sites users where you do not do the same mistakes (and also be adamant not to correct them) when you have made the type of mistakes you generally moderate when another user does the same or you had happened in the past. The users should feel the mods are leading by example than there are 2 standards.

Would you like me to try to explain (again) what I think my role as moderator is

My expectation is that it should be fair and equitable to all, not to abuse one's mod powers, make new users feel welcome. I hope you also share this ethos on what a moderator should be.

and I think you're saying that I post too much on Meta.

I did not say this. What I have said is you exhibit traits which are not in the best interest of the users of the site. You are not flexible, you only selectively listen to some people, you more often try to reserve status quote than take a different action, etc.

I'm also worried that this ("ad hominem") type of conversation ...

I am worried too about whose hands this site is in and the experience of new and existing users. You are not doing the right thing. E.g. you said to keep this question closed by someone whose 1st language is not English and possibly needs help to make it proper English is shocking to me. At the expense of the new user you wanted to keep the question closed to preserve the status quo and perhaps to show the new user who the boss is or you are reluctant to change past decision because of ego. Also risking of decremental user experience (not being flexible) as not all Buddhists are from english speaking countries.

Also your traits are personal. So if they are to be criticised they should be at a personal level. The role of moderator inherits these traits depending on who is in the position. So personal traits matter.

For that reason I could forget, ignore, not reply to, and and/or delete this topic, if that's appropriate

Perhaps this can be deleted since high reputation users can see it any way if it needs revisiting. (Does this go for Meta also?) This is if you think you have to do something like deleting it. If not better it stays.

Do you really disagree with "Most content on Meta"?

It is most recent content on meta.

Or, with other users? from the Stack Exchange team?

I am hoping others will chime in when improvements can be made or not in agreement.

Ultimately you need to get good advice and you have to be humble enough to take it.

Also if you are not acting in the best interest of even one single user how ever minor the issue might be, I am hoping others will chime in and press you to make amends. It is always best that many do this than a few. Also it is always best to leave a comment on your disatifaction than silently leaving the site.

Are there old "decisions" that you'd like to see reversed? Or do you have any new policy to propose?

Mainly be fair and equitable and do what you preach. This can be formulated more elaborately.

Always keep in mind for a user especially a new users their initial question and contributions does matter. Many not be familiar with SE/SO model hence they should be educated before anything drastic.

maybe what I think my "strengths" and "weaknesses" might be as moderator?

What is important is that your weaknesses disappear over time. This should be continuous improvement.

  • I would like Chris to continue moderating just as he is doing now. If any of those complaining about him here replaced him I would leave the site. There is a reason why he is bound to annoy some people, and if he did not annoy them he wouldn't be doing his job. – PeterJ Jul 25 at 12:04
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Your opinions about ChrisW is 100% right. I had a conversation with him few minutes ago and his behaviour and approach to things really shocked me(sorry my English is bad). At first I thought he was a great moderator but it seems like really "shocking" things are happening in the internet world and as a result we have these "wonderful personalities" as moderators. And these people never leaves their "chairs". It seems like the politicians in the country that I live in. When they sit, they never leave and they generally don't have admirable personalities. Which is fine. If this site works this way, it's ok. I can write all of the crazy things that happening in this site and other sites but unfourtunately I don't have that deep desire to destroy things. Maybe later LOL

Note: To make this site better we need "moderators" instead of "big egos". And there are countless of people here that can do this job way better than Chris.

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