I received 3 questions on moderating last week, so I thought I'd write better explanation of moderation, and how it works here @LISNews.
Moderation: The ability of an LISNewster to cast a single vote on a comment. Comments end up being scored from -1 to 5, with each comment having the ability to be moderated up to 10 times, regardless of score. So the score of a comment can bounce around, between -1 (bad) and 5 (great), until it has been moderated 10 times. So if you see a score you disagree with, you can, most likely, moderate it differently.Moderation takes place by selecting an adjective from a drop down list that appears next to comments containing descriptive words like "Flamebait" or "Informative." Looks like this: Moderate As:
At the bottom of the page there you should see a button, like this , that says moderate. Choose an adjective, click the button, and you're done.
Bad words will reduce the comment's score by a single point, and good words increase a comment's score by a single point. All comments are scored on an absolute scale from -1 to 5. Logged-in users start at 1 (although this can vary from 0 to 2 based on their karma) and anonymous users start at 0.
When moderators are given access, they are given a number of points of influence to play with. Each comment they moderate deducts a point. When they run out of points, they are done serving until next time it is their turn.
Moderators can not participate in the same discussion as both a moderator and a poster. This is to prevent abuses, and after much thought and discussion, it will remain this way for the foreseeable future.
Moderators should generally concentrate more on promoting than on demoting. The real goal here is to find the juicy good stuff and make sure everyone sees it. Do not promote personal agendas. Try to not let your opinions factor in. Try to be impartial while moderating. Simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it down. Likewise, agreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it up. The goal here is to share ideas. To sift through the haystack and find needles. To help stop the echo chamber.
Those of us with super-secret-and-exciting Author Powers have the ability to moderate at anytime. I've not seen any evidence of abuse, so I don't think this is something we need to worry about. Trust us, we're good people.
So, now that you (hopefully) understand the what and the how, you might be asking why, what's the point? The theory is, moderation makes the site better, since the goal here is to share ideas, and since this is an open forum, some ideas are better than others. Moderators sift through the haystack and find needles. Better comments, should in theory, be scored higher, while stupid, pointless drivel should be scored lower. For those interested in only reading the higher scored comments, you have the ability to block out those comments that have been modded down. It's a way for everyone to participate, and it helps keep LISNews open, transparent, and fair.
Your "threshold" is the minimum score that a comment needs to have if it is to be displayed to you. Comments are scored from -1 to 5, and you can set your threshold at any score within that range. So, for example, if you set your threshold at 2, only comments with scores of 2 or above would be displayed. Setting your threshold at -1 will display all comments. 0 is almost all comments. 1 filters out most Anonymous Patrons, and so on. Higher threshold settings reduce the number of comments you see, but (in theory, anyway) the quality of the posts you do see increases.
Moderators are (again, in theory) scored by metamoderation. Metamoderation is a second layer of moderation. It seeks to address the issue of unfair moderators by letting "metamoderators" (anyone logged-in) "rate the rating" of ten randomly selected comment posts. The metamoderator decides if the moderator's rating was fair, unfair, or neither. Currently, In order to be a metamoderator, your account has to be one of the oldest 92.5% of accounts on the system. This means that once you've created your account, you'll have to wait for a while, depending on the rate at which new accounts are being created. I'll work on changing that, hopefully encouraging more participation.