I hope you don't mind if I open a discussion here about the complaints procedure that you announced today in this post:
If you have a complaint about a post that's been made...
Use the Report Post function (exclamation mark in a triangle) and we will attend to your report as quickly as practicable, given our available staff. Please do not publicly quote and object to the content of a post, because this then embeds it within the flow of conversation and it becomes difficult for moderators to extract the offending material without disrupting the thread. Public complaints, regardless of how legitimate, tend to take threads off-topic and have a tendency to become a sideshow unto themselves. If you're not satisfied with the way we deal with your complaint, proceed to the next step.
If you have a complaint about an act of moderation...
Attempt to resolve the issue with the moderator in question first (if known, and if online) via PM, and if that is unsuccessful, please raise the issue with an adminstrator via PM. If your complaint is against an administrator, tell the other administrator. Complaints will be investigated by an administrator using the Terms Of Service as a framework. The words and actions of all members (including moderators and administrators) will be assessed with respect to the Terms Of Service and you will be notified of the outcome of your complaint via PM or e-mail. As with public complaints about posts, please do not publicly complain about moderation, as that is disruptive to the forum and is not the appropriate method for resolving such disputes.
If you're still unhappy about the outcome, after all that...
If after all that, you're still dissatisfied, contact site owner, TheDhamma via PM. He owns this site and therefore he has the final word.
It occurred to me after reading this announcement that I probably would seldom follow this procedure, because if I have a complaint about a post, I'd rather address the member who made the post than go behind his or her back and try got get a moderator to intervene for me.
So probably, if I had a complaint about a post, I'd either say so in the thread itself, or I would send a PM to the member who made the post (perhaps copying a mod if I felt that was appropriate).
One issue is that the TOS on a board like this naturally are going to be somewhat fluid an open to interpretation. The TOS here for participation are modeled after part of the Saleyyaka Sutta (as cited in the TOS), which sets fourth four kinds of verbal conduct not in accordance with the Dhamma. They are:
1) Speaking a falsehood.
2) Speaking maliciously.
3) Speaking harshly.
It's going to be impossible for everybody to live up to that standard, because different people will have different ideas about where to set the bar. For example, I've seen mods and respected members use what I would regard as harsh speech, but so what? I personally feel that DhammaWheel should be a safe place where our egos sometimes can be on display, warts and all, so that we can learn from that, and so that we can receive the compassion and lovingkindness that the more inspired members are able to offer when we are like that. When I go back into the threads where I've been less than kind or more than a little egocentric, it's like a mirror. It helps me to recognize what happened, what was going on in my mind, and consider what might have been a more skillful approach in that moment. Why take away my mirror?
Also, with regard to gossiping, the Saleyyaka Sutta describes it in part as speaking "that which is not the Dhamma." Well, there goes just about the entire lounge, plus a good portion of the rest of the board. We're ordinary people here, groping along as best we can. Our speech is not always going to meet this standard.
It also occurred to me that I have never asked (as far as I can recall) that a moderator delete a post. And now that I think about it, I'd personally feel like a little dictator if I tried to get posts deleted when someone said something bad about me. Why not just let it stand? Good that it's there, this criticism, even if it might seem unfair. Let it be. Let it stare me in the face. I might want to have it deleted, but if I actively pursue this impulse to just make the criticism disappear, then how is that Dhamma practice?
I would suggest that, except in the most egregious cases, posts should not be deleted. If a thread starts to get derailed as members go at it, then break that part off and consign it to the free-for-all forum.
Yes, I agree that we all should strive to keep our speech to the highest standard, and that we should self-edit. But c'mon people, don't we have thick enough skin to at least be able to allow sharp, personal criticism to exist? After all, we're adults, and we can respond if we wish. Plus, if the discussion plays itself out correctly, hopefully everyone will learn something.
Just my 2 cents.