Er, um… Is this the start of a new trend? I thought you declared members wouldn't be marked as as having been banned... but now you're calling them out in your posts…
That is a different approach, though it seems like the same result to me…
EDIT: Though, I guess I should have probably PM'ed this instead of making it a talking point in this thread…
Just seems a bit unfair to not say anything when people are clearly trying their best to stay on top of who's banned and when. And in all honesty, it angers me when I get "and he's still here saying the same stuff" if it's not true. That's all there is to it.
That first part sounds to me like you're sharing the responsibility (or even giving a progress report), even though I recall you saying you didn't want other members to do moderation on their own (I guess vigilante style). As such, fairness would side with privacy rather than publicizing to all of the members of GOG's forums. If there are some members who are helping you with your moderation, then I'd think you'd keep that to PMs rather than risk publicly painting a target on member's back. I also have a vague impression you may have said something like it was no one else's business anyway to know who was banned and for how long (f.e. the phrase "not going to happen" comes to mind).
It doesn't surprise me too much that you feel that way (anger, though I'd likely also feel exasperation) about what people are saying they think is or isn't happening along the lines of banning when you know that doesn't reflect what you have done. That's partly because I've seen replies from regular members (non-mods) express a similar dissatisfaction in other conversations for other topics about misunderstandings of their own posts (though usually indirectly, and sometimes much much more defensively (offensively?)). Misunderstandings are an inherent transition towards a shared understanding in communications, aren't they?
However, I think you've also mentioned in a very recent post about something being rehashed "a million times". Personally I've come to believe that's only to be expected in long threads, or any customer service position with ≈7 billion people on the planet.
Along with any members new to the conversation (though not necessarily new members) wondering what's going on and simply wanting a summary rather than reading 500 posts, it's clear the members that have been part of the conversation have their own individual understandings that isn't quite the same as your own (as it seems you have noticed). That's sort of why I've been thinking it sometimes
might be better to lock a stickied announcement thread upon creation, then rely upon regular threads to emerge on their own for the various discussions about the stickied announcement. That would be self-categorizing of the various aspects rather than all in one thread, and could be individually managed (locked, deleted, whatever).
I guess what I'm tangentially getting to is a deeper concern that you're getting into a groove of trying to ensure everyone is thinking the same about this, and that's a whole lot of managing even if all ≈7 billion people aren't in the GOG forums. Even if you don't take their statements personally, I'd still be worried about burn-out. Admittedly, I'm likely thinking only of myself and trying to think of this as an example to not follow, because I'm noticing how it resembles what I'm recalling of past experiences that I rather not experience again on my own. That's assuming I can ever remember what not to do rather than what to do (the latter examples of which I prefer, as they're less ethereal). So yeah, I guess what I'm saying is not directly about you from my perspective so much as it's about how I've been inspired by your recent posts (along the lines of these perspectives I've shared).
Yet, I do hope you stop falling for their taunts. (*sigh* I don't like saying it in that way. That's so accusatory in so many ways...) I mean, they might not be purposely trying to social engineer your responses, but the results are effectively the same (t.i. you're revealing information that is about people other than themselves, IOW gossiping). Kind of like what I recall Steve Jobs once saying in an interview about "a ship that leaks from the top" in reference to the history of Apple Computer, Inc. of a specific prior CEO.
If it's of any consolation, my own impression of some of your long ago statements is that you are doing everything you can with the means that you have, combined with information nobody else (such as any regular forum member) has about what the forum software is doing. Admittedly it has always been obvious to me (t.i. I assumed) that you or any GOG forum moderator is in the best position (knowledgeably) to garner an understanding for making moderation decisions. It doesn't make sense to me for anyone to try to explain such unwieldy decisions, especially to people who have no say on the matter.
Frankly, I think the best response to anyone asking "will I get banned for..." is to simply say "Try it and find out.". That's because their questions are hypothetical, and I believe a real decision can only be made for a real circumstance that has happened, not what might happen. I mean, isn't that why there are courts of law, places that determine what the circumstances are and whether or what laws apply? Same difference, just no ridiculously sensationalized court cases. That, and if members are in the mindset of finding out what they can get away with, then certainly those members can muster the courage to follow through with their getting-away-with mentality and accept the consequences, or else decide on self-discipline.
Well, however you want to handle everything (while maintaining your emotional health and sanity). With that said, I personally don't believe explaining yourself, as aforementioned, as an efficient use of time. That's what the Code of Conduct and reading comprehension is all about. For these forums, the Code of Conduct is where the transparency resides, not the personal information of another member's past transgressions. That isn't to say you'd be "doing it wrong" if you did do that (really, who am I to say?), I'm just saying I won't be one to demand explanations from moderators or demand the publicizing of a member's transgressions (thereby making such members a celebrity). (Yes, that's a commitment from me…)
This is a forum, not a game, other members are not enemies or bosses to be defeated. So it's not like anyone can write-up a walkthrough for the GOG forums. It's like life, they are just going to have to try it out for themselves. Though, that's also not to say taking notes or drawing a map for themselves wouldn't help, it might if they did that.
Congratulations on your well being, and may that continue.