Among the plethora of things that I hate/despise, one is moderation! And I see it more and more on Indian websites. Are we so easily offended? What’s it all about? And what about that lame and pathetic list of instructions on how and what to blog about, right before you sign up for a blogging or social networking website? I even saw it once on a porn website. Really! What do you need moderation for, on a porn website? Hell, they even corrected grammar in certain cases! Morons!
Here’s what happened when I approached a certain famous blog networking website –
I typed their name on my omnibox and the first name that popped up was their website. Impressive! So they do good. I go to their website, see a host of advertisements, their events, a few famous blogs and say, why not give it a try? I look for a “sign up” button, find a couple of them and click on the largest one.
Next page that opens up, is in all practicality, senselessly useless and an embarrassment to say the least. It’s a page full of heinous attempts to scare ingenuine people off and some genuine ones who were looking for a platform but blogged about contents that may offend a certain audience. And the ones who go on to sign up, feel a fear of some stinky moderators keeping their eagle eyes on every word I write with powers to disavow the blog if they find something offensive or unrelated. I have a question for all those moderators – do you read everything that passes under your nose? Do you use softwares to scan certain words and read only the faulty filtered ones? How is it? Because when moderation was applied on a blog, you never explained moderation and it’s type. So when I write a new post, I know it’s being read, evaluated and then circulated when all I want is circulation. Read it but never stop circulating it, in no circumstance!
When you start an initiative, to build a huge group of bloggers, bloggers need never be aware of any moderation. That seed of fear that you’re trying to sow inside their heads using that set of lame instructions/requests/guidelines is needless. You see amazing talent out there and they all have preferences. Bloggers, when they approach a certain website to spread a word about their website, do not in any condition, want their websites to gain any negative publicity/stamp/thoughts. Some work very hard during their days and come home at night to vent it out and for some it’s their livelihood. You can’t play around with that. They are all trying to follow the rules, but only due to some miscreants, everyone else comes under the scanner too.
My question comes for erotic poems – what are they? Offensive? In India it is. You get offended by even a slight mention of genitals no matter how subtly you do it. Or simple erotic writing? Are these a category that are automatically filtered out. I mean aren’t you killing content? Aren’t you debasing thoughts?
And what about people who yap about politics day in and day out, misinforming people, forming opinions with polling, and such? Is that acceptable? Is it moderated? And if not, why? When you moderate, I believe you are doing a social service. Then why doesn’t your work then include fending off bogus people who mean nothing but to spread false information?
What about foul and indecent language? Do rants count for blogs?
Now to make my side clear, I don’t do any of the above. I write about personal stuff, things that don’t need moderation and yet, I may as well be waiting for a few days before I start using the aforesaid blog networking platform. But these are a lot of questions that need answering.
This also raises a lot of questions about what kind of audience are we, the Indians. Aren’t we ready to read everything and not form an opinion about it and simply say good or bad? Why don’t I see such instructions/guidelines on the pages of other liberal countries? Why do we get offended so much? Why aren’t we liberal enough to simply pass a thought without judgement? Just say – nice words, powerful content, well put, well I see some grammatical errors! People don’t write to get validated all the time. Many a times, they are just fleeting thoughts that are put into words and words can be harsh, disrespectful, violent, erotic, just name a feeling and you have a word for it, well in English, most of them! You can’t keep getting offended by everything. We have to learn to let go until it really interferes with our working/process/thinking.
Note – This post isn’t particularly about any website. I’ve faced this moderation thing so many times in the past, in so many forms that this post was always on the cards!