The “Caesar Effect” of Forum Moderators

We all know them — those moderators or administrators on political forums or groups that claim to “support liberty” and “welcome all opinions,” but then boot you the instant you post something they disagree with.

To their credit, some of them may have started off legitimately wanting to “welcome all opinions” in their group or forums, but they slowly change their minds as they grow weary of those they disagree with as they begin to succumb to what I call the “Caesar Effect.”

… These two revolutions, both the one in electronic communications and the emerging ideological revolution in the name of individual rights, have found happy union together. Such connections have spurred much beneficial action, as with the Arab Spring, while also leading to baseless violence in theft, as in the United Kingdom. But it has also altered the ways in which people speak to and view one another. The traditional power structures implicit within the old forms of ideological activism (e.g. seniority, age, political pull) can be immediately usurped by a newcomer who, though he has no prior connection,  displays that he is no less capable of holding his own than those who once considered themselves the de facto leaders (or rulers) of said groups.

This alone is not particularly interesting. What is interesting, however, is the reaction of many of the older members in these online communities, most notably the moderators, the designated officers of a given group, and those who grew up memorizing and accepting without question the precept of “respect your elders,” take in response to dissidents. What was once a group for “open discussion and sharing of ideas” becomes immediately restrictive and the status quo and the status quo is held as the standard of “good.” Anyone who disagrees is attacked with a slew of fallacies of relevance: “Everyone is entitled to respect.” “You don’t have any right to speak to me that way.” “I’m old enough to be your grandfather – show me some respect!” Eventually, the rules of engagement alter altogether. Those that refuse to accept are simply ousted…

 Click here for full article on the “Caesar Effect” and the listed fallacies of relevance associated with it.

Published in

Post a comment