Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Again, a good forum rant, something I haven't done in quite some time.

As a moderator on what's arguably the largest and most recognisable American Pokémon forum (which is currently undergoing a domain change as its normal URL was ripped out of their hands by the staff of an absent administrator's site), I have to carry out consequences for infraction of rules set by a collaborate authority, the administrators. The fact that these people have so much power and are usually responsible for bans makes their job probably the most misunderstood in the world.

When you're a member who fears the boss and resents the rules, you can forget the moderators, who merely serve as a police force. No, your enemy is the administrator. And those who have the audacity to demand that they turn over control of the forum know full well that the admins have that happy power. If they fear the principal in their school due to their ability to throw them out of school or refer them to potential employers, they fear administrators. Administrators are basically the top of the heap, cream of the crop. The boss. Führer. Allah. God. Unfortunately, with this power comes a sudden upsurge of hatred and resentment, which I had to absorb as a super moderator on SuperCheats and later as an administrator in larger measure.

I believe the reason for this is how people start to realise, at a very young age, that someone's controlling everything. If you're Pat Robertson, Ted Haggard (which there are now doubts thereof), or Jerry Falwell, you'll say it's God. They also realise that there's a long and bumpy road to that position. However, it culminates in the delusion that, as an administrator, God, principal, President, or whatever, you can wield as much power as you want without reprehension. This delusion sometimes evolves into challenges to the current rules or, for the particularly but not surprisingly crude, spamming up the place in a vain attempt to garner attention. It can even go as far as hacking, which I've been through once. No matter the cost, people crave unlimited power.

Our best defence, though, is the fact that this assumption is far from true. If administrators wielded power without scruple, there would be no forum, as everyone would have left. Even PKMN.NET's administrators, although they'd like people to think otherwise, have limits, although I'm sure the assumption otherwise may have led to the departure of old-timers such as Mewthree, Morkula, and Lightning — and I've confirmed that it's undone Imperial Dragon. As an administrator, you have to manage a lot of things: SQL, HTML, possibly PHP; member inquiries; moderator promotions; affiliation; a main site if applicable; downloads; and, of course, the server and associated costs. The last bit applies most when you're the owner — meaning that you'll have to resort to ads, a hated element of web design. Add the possibility of facing people who want your position so badly they'll create a little chaos to destabilise you and....

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