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Moderating on

The pointless and depressing personal abuse that took place on several threads over the weekend - despite repeated warnings from me and interventions from John Stokdyk and Rebecca Benneyworth - has left us with no alternative but to change the way we moderate threads on AccountingWEB.

  • From this day forward, any comment or part of a comment which contains anything which is not relevant to the OP will be removed.
  • Any comment or part of a comment which attacks another member in any way will be removed.
  • We will not enter into debate with any members about these decisions.
  • The third time we have to do this to any member then their account will be closed.

Moderating forums in which members refuse to obey both the stated terms & conditions and simple professional and personal courtesy is time consuming and expensive. AccountingWEB is not prepared to continue wasting our resources on a small group of people who seem intent on spoiling the site's usefulness for other members.


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Have a nice day... ops!

I don't know if the above coment meets the new guidlines. Maybe I'll find out soon enough.

Minor jests aside, clearly something had to happen. I simply hope all involved can take a pause (and maybe turn the other cheek) then return to being the helpful & generous people I'm sure you are.

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A positive step, let's hope this works

It's a shame it had to come to this but along with many other users I have found the forum to be a less pleasant place to visit recently.  Let's hope that it reverts to the happy, useful, valuable resource that it really is particularly for us sole practitioners who sometimes feel the need to backup our views or ask for pointers in the right direction.

Thanks for all your help Becky, it can't be an easy job.

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What is "original OP"

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Sorry - "relevant to the OP"

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I can think of one item in the list that may be relevant to certain members here (the opposite being YP ;) ), but generally - Original Poster or Original Post.



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Or indeed ...

Opening Post



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*thumbs up*

Great to hear Becky

Lets get back to tax, and away from personalities.

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A "Years Pension"

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Sorry for acronym!

OP stands for Original Post or Original Poster. 

Sorry about that, I meant to change it before I published this post, it's a phrase I use day in day out but I fell foul of one of my own pet hates there! 

Thanks for your comments and support

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Re the original post - glad to hear it, its about time the irrelevant stuff was pulled out and we got back to decent answers again. It does make very depressing reading (though I normally just give up at that point) Well done A-Web!


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Thanks Becky

Thanks for this Becky and sorry you felt it necessary (though it clearly is).

It's a shame so-called professional people can't play nicely together but apparently that's the case so I support your decision. I hope it makes for a friendlier forum; I know I think twice about posting in the Any Answers forum because of the potential for abuse and flaming.

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It's a shame but well done Becky.

Like the previous replies, I was also dissappointed at the level of personal abuse aimed at some posters. I don't understand why certain people just can't let things go without feeling the need to enter into a long and abusive reply. One of the reply posts over this last weekend was so long he must have missed out on his Sunday roast. (I'd better stop or I might get struck off myself:)

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At last AW has got some balls and done something about the nonesense that was ruining this site. It has saved you my membership. I decided last week not to use AW any more and after one week I thought I would give it one last try and I am delighted by this news.

Pete T

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A sad move .. but so necessary

I am aware of the considerable time that will be needed to review and monitor all the posts that are placed on AWeb, so I hope your efforts are rewarded .

Even if I, & some others, do get it wrong at times, we were willing to contribute, and learn, without fear of being ridiculed (or worse)! Hopefully, the new policy will give us the confidence to do so again.

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Striking a balance

Overall I applaud this move. My only concern is that this stipulation

From this day forward, any comment or part of a comment which contains anything which is not relevant to the OP will be removed.

should be dealt with using a light touch. Given you're saying that you will cancel accounts after three breaches it would be easy for a casual aside as part of a relevant point (or an entirely harmless separate aside) to fall foul of this one and get an otherwise blameless user banned.

I'm a moderator on another forum myself so I appreciate how hard these judgements can be. I can also well appreciate the "no debate" clause (those discussions almost never end well usually just being moderator bashing exercises rather than reasoned debate) However, I'm also aware that heavy-handed moderating can be counter-productive and deter otherwise helpful and informed posters.

It's a fine line but this is a positive move for a forum that had become too mired in pointless personal conflict.

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It needed doing

Something obviously needed doing, although parts of me wishes Id been around to read the stuff over the weekend !

However, I cant help but think that the character of the site altered hugely with all the changes about 6 months ago. Perhaps the moderators should have a think about what the causes were.

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This has been so unfair I am making my first comment

I followed the "conflict" closely over the weeks, and it seems to me that most of you are blaming the victim in all this.

I have professional experience of internet bullying.

Try looking back over all the postings and it's very clear that WD/CD was entirely innocent and was the victim of a group who decided to target him. I've seen this type of behaviour many times in the course of my work, and one common factor is that the perpetrators always try, and often manage, to turn the blame around onto their victim. They repeatedly provoke their victim, then complain when he responds to their insults.

Personally I think that accountingweb have acted very badly throughout this and failed to deal with the real culprits.

What I now see is the unedifying spectacle of others rushing to side with the bullies, either because they are afraid of becoming their next victim, or, because they are incapable of seeing the real truth.

WD/CD posted sensible comments based on his obvious experience. He also challenges others to think about their position and question the "accepted" norm.  That is a good thing.  Obviously one or two posters did not like their opinions being questioned, and acted like [removed by mod].  As always the weak soon gang together and become bullies and WD/CD was their target.

What surprises me is that other intelligent professionals either couldn't, ot didn't want to see this and simply went along with this appalling behaviour.

In my opinion accountingweb and it's members owed WD/CD an apology for wrongly blaming him.

This is my first post, and i have no doubt I will now become the target for the bullies, I also have little doubt that accountingweb will not appreciate being told that they are wrong, which is why I will leave accountingweb after making this post. Such a pity, but why would I want to log onto a site where bullies are encouraged and their victims villified?




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I hope my answer and the one above are deleted

I do not want this to turn in to another WD dominated thread so hopefully mine and the previous post will be deleted.

[removed by mod - off topic to OP and provocative]. I am big enough and ugly enough to take it but I am glad of the new stance and I hope it recovers this once great site.

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CD not entirely blameless

As I've said in this thread this is a fairly narrow view of CD's behaviour..

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If proof was needed

Well it seems to me that anonymous is now trying to [removed by mod - accusaton] also by asking that my posting be deleted just because I support WD/CD.

If proof was needed that their is a bullying element on accountingweb there it is for everyone to see.

WD/CD is a fighter, and refuses to be [removed by mod - accusaton]. I don't blame him.  He has courage and stands up to them, and answers them in the only way these people understand.

And if anonymous wanted to prove my point, he couldn't have done it any better than by his post.


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AWeb's policy on multiple identities?

Becky, I agree with the approach you are taking. Sad but very necessary.

Apropos of nothing could you also set out whether you will be doing anything to moderate posts if you have reason to believe someone may have created a new account in order to post under several different names? Let's say, for example, if postings of a very similar tone and very similar language started to appear all of a sudden that sought to support certain views or members? Such posts may be genuine but it would be unfortunate if such activity happened and has ruined several messageboards in the past.

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Tracking multiple identities

The forum software where i moderate allows us to identify posts and users IP addresses. This gives us something more concrete than a similarity of tone ijn identifying duplicate posting. (though it's more commonly used for identifying spamming locations) OUr server admin is also able to block specific IP addresses if they are repeatedly used for breaking the forum rules. Prseumably your tech people can tell you if they are able to do that.

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That would be a positive step forward.

That is good to hear and I hope AWeb can consider a similar approach should it become apparent there may be a problem. Blow-outs on boards sometimes/often lead to multiple identities being created in my experience and that only exacerbates matters.  I also agree relying on identifying similar tone, language or spelling is not ideal. No-one wants to stifle genuine posters but equally no-one should want to tolerate posters with multiple identities particularly when they could just hit the Anonymous button anyway! The ISP solution sounds very good if Becky can do that.

Maybe then, finally, we can get back to our day jobs and see the Board function as I believe it was set up to do.


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Cabin fever

It has been very noticeable over the last couple of months that a number of forums that I frequent have had outbreaks of hostilities. It seems to be a form of cabin fever brought on or exacerbated by the weather. As Spring arrives and with a new approach to moderation, I am hopeful there will be a return to more balanced debates. And I hope that lively debates will still be tolerated as long as they are conducted without personal insults.

(Should it be forums or fora?)


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Some sense at last!!!


I have to say that I am not a very prolific poster because on one of my first attempts I was subjected to infantile abuse by someone who didn’t agree with my comments. And yes, it did put me off posting again for some time.    I do find AWeb interesting and it is always good to hear someone else’s point of view, whether you think it is right or wrong.   I have always believed that it is good to talk without resorting to personal insults!! Let’s get back to being helpful and professional towards each other Becky, I welcome your new regime, you have saved my membership for the time being as I too was just about to cancel.  Finally, I personally don’t care if you are anonymous, pseudonym or use your real name, as long as your post is professional, useful and relevant to the OP.   It is your choice. Deborah Lesley

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I agree with CaroleUK: it seems that questioning the conventional wisdom, or simply asking for an attack to be supported by some sort of argument or evidence is now considered flaming, the punishment for which is a patronising response to which the victim is not allowed to respond.

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