Has Deletion Replaced Debate at TAZ?

The Admin Zone (located at theadminzone.com and known as TAZ) is a discussion forum where people who run forums congregate to discuss running forums.

Run by an amiable fellow called Howard – aka The Sandman – it has been for many years a pretty well run forum that I am (was) a Premium supporting member of.

As can sometimes happen with forums, too many chefs spoil the broth, and the constant rotating stream of moderators and administrators allow some people the opportunity to be what they are not in real life: someone with influence.

In the wrong hands, a set of moderator buttons or a delete button is a tool that can quickly alienate long term forum members. TAZ has unfortunately obtained itself such an administrator that goes by the name of AzhriaLilu.

What The Sandman was thinking of giving such an uncouth character the reigns to his site is anyone’s guess. But it can sometimes be hard to judge people accurately in Cyber Space. Ones decision can be swayed by someone who has 11,000 posts. Hard call.

Such is AzhriaLilu’s fanatical finger constantly on the delete button, that normal debate and discussion has now been disallowed at TAZ. Hence this article that is beyond the reach of AzhriaLilu.

After several recent deletions of relatively innocuous posts by the over-zealous AzhriaLilu, I chose to engage the woman (which I now know her to be) in a private section of the site with the following:

 

AzhriaLilu, lets do this here in a civilised manner where it can be seen. Better we exchange views here in a private area and avoid any misunderstanding.

It seems you [or someone at your behest] are quietly deleting my posts. The first being after I quite correctly highlighted your error on a facet of English usage, on a “learning words” topic no less…….

I even helpfully explained your error in order that you might learn something.

Your reply called me a smart arse [smartass]. I replied to you explaining that if you are going to try to use a word, you should certainly understand its usage. And that isn’t smart arse. That is simply correct.

My comment got deleted. As did my remark about the quiet deletion. Your comment to me stayed however. Strange, huh?

Then today you are harping on about treating others as you would like to be treated. What, like calling them a smart arse for correcting you? When you were grammatically incorrect?

Now you may think I know nothing about words and language. I have only published two books; if you happen to have have published more, or have more English qualifications than me, you may be right that I know naught compared to thee.

When someone takes the trouble to highlight a grammatical error of yours, in a topic about words, a reasonable person says thank you. They don’t insult the other person because they happened to go to school.

Might we kindly reinstate the deleted comment on the word topic, or at worst alter your comment to something slightly more civil? You cant have it both ways.

Might you stop removing my posts completely?

I realise this isn’t a huge issue in and of itself, but one-sided moderation, especially – as I suspect in this case – when it is done by the person who is the subject of the comment, is the thin end of the wedge. A trend I am starting to notice more here.

I see people here bitching today that VB discussions are not allowed. Is it also the case that correcting the grammar of a mod on a grammar topic is also verboten?

Has deletion replaced debate at TAZ?

If so, I’l let myself out. If you delete this, I will understand you are simply very sensitive. Respond or delete – your choice.

 

Well, it seems deletion has replaced debate at TAZ because that topic lasted only minutes.

When other staff were pressed in a support topic to explain the constant missing posts, one replied that the last had been deleted marked “not needed”.

That isn’t insulting, abusive or against the TOS. That is simply “not needed”. On a discussion forum. Where people talk.

“Not needed” actually means “AzhriaLilu doesn’t want her mistakes discussed so bye bye post”.

How much time should one spend dealing with people who want to play Tsar of their own little Cyber Kingdom? (Or worse still, someone else’s?)

I personally have no time for it, so I excused myself from TAZ today and will not be posting further there until (if ever) that woman is no longer a staff member.

An isolated incident you suspect?

Elsewhere on TAZ, we find what would be a raging topic or ten about the inadequacies of the vBulletin forum software. I have a vBulletin site myself and it truly is the most cumbersome, over-complicated and bloated piece of software I have ever had the misfortune to work with.

However, TAZ runs on vBulletin software (an old version that has been modified and improved almost beyond recognition). And it is alleged that people from the company behind vBulletin are active staff members on TAZ, so guess how topics critical of vBulletin end up?

Here is an example:

Some fellow has started a topic there called “Best forum (not TAZ) to Discuss vBulletin?”. The opening post is this:

Since all discussion of vBulletin is now being whitewashed, is there a forum anyone can recommend where all the principals involved participate, and where open and honest discussion is permitted?

There are certain vB staff who never miss an opportunity to take a swing at customers, yet we have been clearly told that we are not allowed to respond to such offences. This to me is an untenable situation. I only signed up on TAZ since it was described to me as a place where the truth was being discussed. Now that that’s no longer true, I’d appreciate any insight into a place where this is allowed.

The topic gathered legs so quickly that to delete it – as would normally happen if AzhriaLilu was anywhere near at the time – would have been noticed (and sneaky forum admins don’t like deletions noticed so much).

Post #5 on the topic said:

A few weeks ago I posted about Wayne Luke and then a few hours later that post went poof and was no longer available.

I took a look and see that Wayne Luke is a staff member here and chances are good he is the one that removed my post.

I don’t know who Wayne Luke is – nor do I care.  But we are seeing a pattern aren’t we here?

Lets take a look at reply #8

I don’t mind my posts were deleted if they are really just personal attacks but one thing that I had asked but was never answered by TAZ Staff (instead my post was deleted) is that; does calling a misleading statement as it is constitute a personal attack? Where can the line be drawn?

What is this? Fastest finger first?

By the time we get to reply #14 we see this:

I’m often available on Skype to fellow forum admins who want to ask questions without the risk of one of us being banned here on TAZ.

That from a very pleasant chap who runs several large forum websites himself. He feels he cant communicate without the likelihood of being banned?

Here are other comments from the same topic:

Whats funny is that moderators and admins ask about better moderation tools for forums but usually a topic gets closed or they just deleted post instead of altering it.

 

How can you talk honestly about a product when the person who is in charge of that product is the one censoring things

It does TAZ no good, in fact it gives TAZ a black eye.

 

As I also said in my last post in my thread, which was also again deleted for no apparent reason, my opinion of this forum dropped a notch with this action. I feel closing the thread was a step too far and my post with the rehash of open questions is still important to me, as they are all valid questions for all new vB admins and the post had absolutely no offensive or attacking language or any other reason to be deleted completely. I think the thread should be re-opened. If need be, delete everything except the questions in my last post.

 

Why would members have to ask repeatedly why their posts are being deleted?

 

Ultimately you guys have to do what’s best for TAZ, but choking everything down is going to turn the vB section into a Carebear forum and most people who want to speak honestly about vB are going to just move onto another forum.

 

OK. Not trying to continue this argument, but now it appears that individual personal attacks are not allowed, and the “wrong way to convey a message” is not allowed.

 

If I don’t like a place, I leave, if there are no others like it, that I like, I setup my own

 

And two I personally agree with:

 

As I started off, there is a fine line between criticism and personal attacks and based on the tidbits I have seen – I think the staff here (objectively, as a group) have done an equally poor job in walking that line themselves.

 

I joined these forums quite recently because there was content that I wanted to read but couldn’t and having joined I felt it only right to contribute. I am a multiple forum owner and admin with over 15 years of experience. Forums provide my primary source of income.

A couple of days ago I decided this forum wasn’t for me because to put it bluntly, I disagree with the way they are moderated. More specifically, I feel it’s inappropriate for multiple admins to hammer home a point when it’s felt a user is in breach of the rules. Even if the user in in breach of the rules that’s tantamount to bullying in my view.

 

Indeed, lets look at some of AzhriaLilu’s comments from that topic:

 

we’re starting to come down harder on the ridiculous statements being thrown around.

 

you’re having a hissy-fit

 

it is your right to find somewhere that will accept the diatribes you persist in posting.

 

Look, it’s not rocket science. Use common sense in your replies

 

this dead horse you insist on beating is not only dead, it’s half-rotted and covered in maggots.

 

And the one that sums it up:

 

we also need our members to understand that they’re not always going to get their own way

 

Well that says it all really, doesn’t it?

Well, except for this comment from someone else:

 

Deletion of post is sure the fastest way to lose new members for sure.

 

Yup. I have left TAZ. The last few days I have read others have too.

I voted with my feet and money. I am neither twelve years old nor thick. I won’t be spoken down to or disrespected by a woman from Derbyshire with keyboard diarrhoea and an over-active index finger on the delete button.

Have an opinion? All comments welcome.

I have no horse in the vB or not vB race. And those comments are welcome here too.

Are you a TAZ exile?

Were you banned?

Are your posts mysteriously disappearing?

Do you know any other decent and active Webmaster forums?

Do you want to discuss vB somewhere beyond the reach of vB and TAZ? Make a reply that is a vB topic and I will re-purpose it as a new post.

All comments welcome in the comment box below. Spam controls mean they do not appear immediately, but they will appear quickly. 

 

 

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28 Responses to “Has Deletion Replaced Debate at TAZ?”

  1. Did several members of the staff not state that Azhria Lilu didn’t touch your posts? And even gave you the names of the staff members that did it, before informing you that they were going to remove that post?

  2. Jeremy is right. Not only did nearly every member of the staff team tell you it wasn’t AzhriaLilu that deleted your posts, but they also have you the names of the people that did.

    Also, very nice job of taking every single post out of context. For those who’d like to get the FULL story, here’s the link:

    http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103139

  3. No, that isn’t quite right Jeremy.

    On the quoted – now deleted – post, several voiced it should ideally be done by PM, and it will be moved. However it was swiftly locked before I could reply that not only was it in a private room [not public as one stated], but it was in a room entitled “interpersonal issues”. Well, if that isn’t an ‘interpersonal issue’, what is it?

    It doesn’t change the phantom deletions on the grammar topic and all the complaints by other members even if that were accurate.

    Don’t get me wrong. Most of the mods at TAZ are pretty level thinking folks. But it only takes one bad apple to spoil the barrel doesn’t it?

  4. Why are you throwing a tantrum? As Jeremy said, Several other staff members, including the site owner, told you Azhria Lilu didn’t touch your posts.

    Grow up. Forum posts sometimes get moderated. This is a lot of drama for nothing IMO. To me, you seem to just want attention because you didn’t get your way.

  5. Manny, I understand you’re frustrated, but I’ve dealt with Lisa (AzhriaLilu) for a quite long time and I’ve never been disappointed in her actions. Never. I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend, I mean it.

    As a staff member looking at your thread as we speak, I’m telling you she did NOT go near your posts. She did not delete them, and you’re welcome to the names of the staff that did if you wish to speak with them.

  6. Also, she wasn’t even the one who removed your thread about her. In fact she was quite surprised when she removed it from public view. You’re taking your anger out on the wrong person, and I apologise as a staff member of TAZ that you feel you have been wronged, but like I said in your thread, rather than address Lisa publicly, you should have PMed her and I’m sure she’d have told you the same thing I’m telling you – she had nothing to do with it.

  7. MRUA, Kotonoha said that they had deleted your posts, not Azhria. Howard confirmed it earlier. And by Private, they mean PM, not a forum (its still public, you just have to be a member to see it). I also believe you are misunderstanding the point of that forum, as it doesn’t seem to have any member -> member conversations. Are you sure it wasn’t transferred to the reported posts forum: http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=293 ?

    I’m fairly sure you are taking most of this out of context.

  8. When it was removed from public view* (My mistake, fat fingered that one.)

  9. You seem to have a peculiar bee in your bonnet about this, and in your closing statement managed to come over either a little bit misogynistic, or possibly even Xenophobic…I cant decide.

    “I won’t be spoken down to or disrespected by a woman from Derbyshire”

    Is her being a woman the issue, or that she hails from Derbyshire?

    Seems to me you may well be over reacting, especially for a man of your age and self proclaimed wisdom.

  10. jeremy and dustin are mods at taz?

    the site has changed, its full of kids and indians now, stuff is being deleted all the time, and reading that topic it looks like people who know about this shit are being ignored and taz is now a cheerleader vb sub forum almost.

    azhriawhatever is rude at times. not a good mod choice imo. too short tempered.

    mods are all over that vb topic like flies on shit. doesnt take to much working out to see a connection does it?

  11. wow – how fast are the taz mods? nearly as fast as them all being on that vb topic. lol

    try to rubbish what we can all read as fact as over reaction?

    you are deleting stuff all over. you are cheerleading vb and locking down conversation about them under false pretences.

  12. Bobby – no one’s “cheerleading” vB nor locking down conversation. All we’ve said is that if you can’t state your opinions in a respectful manner, your post will be deleted.

  13. Needed to be said.

  14. Now A non active TAZ member on July 11th, 2013 at 12:44 am

    I doubt very much that i will post again on TAZ, just like i won’t on vB for the same reason that this topic is about. I hate to see deleted threads and posts unless it really is derogatory towards someone or something. Getting off on deleting posts has become the norm of late and it is something that will give the forum a bad (worse) name. When you only have admins and mods talking on TAZ I bet you won’t even understand why … TUT TUT

  15. bobby, no, I am not a mod at TAZ. Barely even active past lurking. I did, however, read the thread about Azhria Lilu.

  16. The staff at TAZ are now reaping what they have sewn by not having handled the vB bashing better in the beginning. Assets to TAZ like djbaxter (one of the reasons I joined) have been replaced with little punks like “HallofFamer”, “AdamD” and other members of their little group who turn every thread that mentions vBulletin into a bitchfest. People started leaving TAZ because of the constant bashing and the TAZ staff are finally getting around to trying to repair the damage, it’s probably too little too late.

    As for the TAZ moderators, there are a few good ones like Alex and Lycaon but they are outnumbered by those who make me shake my head, Judge Dredd (Dustin) being one of them. It does seem like the only requirement to being a TAZ moderator is that you ask.

  17. And what is it I’ve done to make you shake your head, Paul? Would love to know.

  18. Well, better late than never. A reply finally made its way up the food chain from Twitter. It did take a nudge though. 😉

    Shame its not an apology, and is instead the usual inverted pyramid of piffle I have come to expect.

    Not terribly original though…….

  19. Manny, after insulting her, taunting her, and writing this factually incorrect blog post in order to smear her, were you expecting something different?

  20. Dustin, you have deleted more than one of my posts that you THOUGHT to be an attack on another TAZ member when I questioned their motives for constantly bashing vBulletin.

    The TAZ staff not only deletes posts that they don’t agree with, they also delete PM’s between regular TAZ members that they do not care for, for whatever reason… I’ve had it happen twice now, once with a PM that a moderator marked as spam (how would they have known?) and now with the last PM that Manny sent me.

  21. If you could be more specific, I’d be happy to look into those posts of yours that were deleted, and see if they were deleted wrongfully. I have no problem admitting I’m wrong.

    Perhaps that’s true about some of the TAZ staff, though I can say personally that while I’d really like to delete posts I don’t agree with, I have never and will never do that. Whatever happens with PMs is up to the administrators; moderators have absolutely no control over PMs so any issues with PMs you encounter, you should take up with Howard.

    If you’d prefer to discuss this in private, send me a PM on TAZ and I’ll happily give you my email.

  22. Also, I’m not sure how you know it was me who deleted the posts you’re referring to, but if you’re guessing, I can assure you I delete a lot fewer posts than a few of the other staff members.

    Again, would be happy to continue to discuss this with you, if you wish to do so.

  23. If you’d prefer to discuss this in private, send me a PM on TAZ

    Assuming it isn’t deleted first by an Admin?

    I’d be happy to look into those posts of yours that were deleted, and see if they were deleted wrongfully. I have no problem admitting I’m wrong.

    Shame not more mods at TAZ don’t have that sensible attitude. My complaint was deleted, ignored and not responded to. Hence this topic.

    after insulting her, taunting her, and writing this factually incorrect…….

    I haven’t insulted the woman here. I wrote an account I believe to be factually accurate. How factually incorrect can it be if I am using actual quotes?

    The woman would not engage with me on TAZ, nor would Sandman on the subject of her.

    Do you suppose ALL these people including me just made up the deletions and other stuff did they?

    And now we find out that TAZ admins trawl PM’s randomly deleting stuff they find inconvenient.

    I bet she wishes her delete button reached here………

  24. I don’t know if an admin or moderator deleted the PM that was sent to me from Manny but the PM that got marked as spam was most definitely deleted by a moderator. I forget the moderator’s username (there are so many) but it started with a “K”; how would “K” know the PM was spam if he or she did not read it first?

  25. You’re probably thinking of Kotonoha, she’s an administrator. I can assure you moderators have no control over PMs – that I know as fact. I don’t however, know what the admins do in the control panel, because I’m not one. But again, happy to discuss your deleted posts and apologize if you’d like.

    @Manny – the deletions are not made-up. All I’m saying is you’re taking your anger out on the wrong person. I triple-checked (before I resigned from TAZ today) the deleted posts you referred to and I promise she didn’t delete any of them.

  26. Hello Manny,

    I’m The Woman you keep referring to. I don’t wish I had a delete button here since I’m finding the whole thing hilarious funny, mainly because I didn’t delete your posts, I did reply to the thread you made and I also replied to the reported post you made. It was Kotonoha (that’s probably the K someone earlier referred to) and Alex who deleted your posts and it was The Sandman who moved your thread. Sorry to disappoint you, but don’t you think you’re getting a little bit creepy and obsessive now? It was a forum, posts get removed. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree at all with mass post deletion or not letting people know that posts have been moved/deleted and whatnot but it’s not my site.

    You took comments I made from a thread and cut them down so they are out of context completely and wonder why I responded on twitter the way I did? But that’s fine, I don’t hold any grudges at all, since I know how frustrating it can be having posts removed.

    I’ll repeat here what I said in the reported post you made. Had you sent me a message and said that you felt I had offended you with my flippant remark – which was meant in nothing but jest – then I would have happily apologised and explained I meant nothing by it. You didn’t. Instead you made posts that I didn’t see or delete and then started an entire diatribe both on the forum and then on here full of factually inaccurate information.

    It’s unfortunate that you took a single post I made; in fact the only time I have ever spoken to you in any way on TAZ; and built up this whole personality around me – THE WOMAN – that doesn’t exist.

    But, it’s all good, and I hope your blog post brought you in many views and possibly some revenue.

    Peace out.

  27. Now A non active TAZ member on July 14th, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Reading PM’s is lower than low .. Personal or Private means just that …

  28. TAZ has always been deleting posts/threads. Where is the surprise?

    Also, taking your emotion out on the only admin who responded to you instead of deleting your posts – explains why the rest choose to delete and not respond.

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