It's been a long time that I've had to make a blog addressing the community. I don't like making these but right now I think that I need to.
I'm somewhat disheartened with the attitude of treating users as tools who have a "job" to do. Everyone who is on this website who helps out is doing it purely as a volunteer. No one has assigned jobs. Chat moderators do not have a "job" to kick and ban people from chat. Administrators don't have a "job" to sit here and demote users and ban them from the website. That's not what any of us are here to do.
Last night in the chatroom, a user was making a pretty weird speech about their interesting beliefs. It was going just about acceptably until they made a really dumb claim that I felt was ban worthy and as such I gave them a ban. Unfortunately, after that ban was made, the entire body of administrators and moderators in the chat came under attack for "not doing our jobs". And I don't mean a genuine questioning of why it took "42 minutes" to ban a user (as if they were doomed to be banned immediately?), I mean an outright attack on all mods combined for not banning a user.
As I've somewhat stated in a response on my talk page already, kicks and bans are not a be all end all. Kicks and bans are not there to make other people happy.
Moderators and administrators are not infallible. I even totally encourage the questioning of "authority". I however will never sit by and watch users who have proven themselves to be trustworthy enough to hold the responsibilities that they have been given be berated and accused and demeaned by others who don't even know what the "job" they wish to enforce entails. That is not okay. Genuine questioning is absolutely okay. Even encouraged. Berating and heckling users in front of the entire chat is never okay. That is rude and disrespectful.
Everyone on this website is a person. We are not tools for you to enjoy your time on this website. Treating everyone with respect is expected out of all users, whether they've been here for a day or a decade and whether they're a regular user or have administrative rights. Every user here is equal which means they have equal opportunity to be as well as equal opportunity to not be. Everyone is permitted to err. No one should ever be made to feel bad for making a mistake. Just earlier today a demotion forum was put up for a moderator who lost their cool in chat. Are we really satisfied with ourselves when swearing is "gross misconduct" but it's totally okay to heckle users for "not doing their job" without any desire to actually improve anything?
I'm not satisfied with that. Treat users like people. Give other users the room and the privilege to make mistakes. Do not treat users as if they are only here to do a "job". Be understanding that moderator and admin responsibilities are never as simple as enforcing a black and white set of rules and giving people bans. I will not allow administrators and moderators to be held to such strict and unforgiving expectations. Just as I will never allow administrators and moderators to hold others up against a set of unnatural and static rules when goodwill and basic humanity offer a better solution.
I'm honestly quite disheartened that I even need to say this out loud, as if it shouldn't already be how things are. It constantly amazes me how people can claim to be fans or even ex-fans of the show this website is about whilst also disregarding the messages of acceptance, tolerance, understanding, forgiveness and friendship that the show attempts to teach. Maybe those are independent of this website but it doesn't seem like they have to be.