Back to previous post: “But we must also not lose sight of the fact that I am right on every significant moral and political issue.”

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: Dealing with guns

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

April 18, 2007

Moderation certificate
Posted by Teresa at 10:51 AM * 63 comments

At the end of my most recent post on moderation, I said:

If you have a weblog or live journal, or you administer a website that has comment threads, stand up for yourself and your readers. The jerks are never going to like you, or praise you, or admit that you’re doing the right thing. And if you’re waiting for someone to give you permission to suppress and thereafter ignore malfeasants, you have it right now. If you want, I’ll make up a certificate. Go forth and civilize.
The certificate is now available on Patrick’s Flickr account. At full resolution it’s an 8” x 11” JPEG. A large clear version of the seal (created here) is available as a separate file.
Comments on Moderation certificate:
#1 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:11 AM:

Sitting on vexatious persons is truly an underemployed tactic. The world would be a better place for more of that.

#2 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:11 AM:

Yay! I'm off to make my donation. Thank you Teresa.

#4 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:21 AM:

You make all the best certificates.

#5 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:39 AM:

Oooh, shiny!

#6 ::: Tim Keating ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:59 AM:

It's incomplete. It doesn't include "fucktards".

#7 ::: Thomas Ware ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 12:02 PM:

Trolls come, trolls go. When ignored, they go sooner.

#8 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 12:02 PM:

Printed, framed, and hung in my cube.

#9 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 12:02 PM:

Silly question for a Wednesday morning: I've been curious for a while about how you disemvowel comments. Is that a feature that Movable Type has, specifically, or do you have to do it by hand?

Blogger won't let me edit comments at all, more's the pity. I know, I get what I pay for. I'd also like a free pony and my own jungle island.

#10 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 12:24 PM:

Thank you, Nicole.

Tim, while "fucktard" is a wonderful word, the certificate's intended for public display.

Sarah, I do it by hand in Microsoft Word: a small tool, but one I'm very familiar with. Note: if you ever do it, remember to leave in the letter "y". Disemvoweled text has to be readable, and losing "y" can break that.

#11 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 12:24 PM:

There's a little utility for disemvowelments:

I have it bookmarked.

#12 ::: Lance Weber ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 12:28 PM:

#4 - Maybe we should give TNH a certificate for certifiction above and beyond the call of duty.

#13 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 12:35 PM:

Teresa, my admiration and affection for you knows no bounds.

#14 ::: Elayne Riggs ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 01:39 PM:

"Know all men"? All "MEN"??

Sheesh. :)

It's peachy, Teresa, I'll definitely be linking to it and possibly posting it on my almost-always-sans-comments blog...

#15 ::: Bruce Arthurs ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 01:48 PM:

If one is already an ill-natured and vexatious person, can we one ahead and use this certificate on other jerks?

Even me? Really? Wow! Thanks, Teresa!


ummm... perhaps I should rephrase that....

#16 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 01:59 PM:

I have the feeling that this shall mark Teresa's further exaltation into the realms of legend.

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 02:16 PM:

Elayne (14):

"Know all men"? All "MEN"??

Sheesh. :)

I will admit, though it's not the usual turn of events, that there've been a small number of occasions on which someone who manifestly needed to be suppressed, and who questioned my authority to do so, was female.

My excuse of the moment is that I've been playing with the fact that man/men used to refer to people of either gender. If, as we're told, "man" is still the default usage, it amuses me to sometimes use it when its meaning obviously isn't limited to (or, even better, when it doesn't include) male-type persons.

#18 ::: Scorpio ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 03:14 PM:

After my "Freedom of Speech post, someone left a vile comment, ending with "you can't censor me". I deleted his barf and left a note appended to the post that said "Oh yes I can".

"Freedom of speech" has to do with *government* action to deter points of view. It is not an invitation to make my comments section a platform for trolls.

#19 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 03:15 PM:

I really wish my art skills were up to snuff. I have a heroic portrait of our lovely moderators/hosts inspired into my head but the best I can do is stick figure doodles.
Teresa with a sword that has vowels etched down it's blade. Patrick with one wicked pole arm(one of those blade&hook types) and a banner of red quill on white field. Jim and a quarterstaff in a hospitaller surcoat.
I have no idea what the Latin in the bottom motto scroll should be though. Maybe someone who can draw can run with this image.

#20 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 03:33 PM:

Clifton Royston @ 16... this shall mark Teresa's further exaltation into the realms of legend

Now, where did I put that H.Rider Haggard novel?

#22 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 04:10 PM:

I have no idea what the Latin in the bottom motto scroll should be though

Lingua, dolus malus, stultitia, verum, ... oh, hell, what's Latin for "knitting"?

#23 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 05:05 PM:

TW (#19): I'm picturing more of a Frank Frazetta kind of thing, with Teresa clad in shimmering samite, slicing a giant troll through the belly and splattering his vowels all over the Great Hall.

#24 ::: Anton P. Nym ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 05:57 PM:

Thank you, Teresa. I will certainly be referring fellow moderators of a (testosterone-sethed) video game fan forum to this certificate. After this week in particular, we need it.

-- Steve

#25 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 06:52 PM:


more of a Frank Frazetta kind of thing,

uhm, i can't really see teresa going for a swaybacked ass-shot. but i could be wrong....

#26 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 07:43 PM:

One of my very best friends teaches Latin prose composition. If the Venerable Teresa tells me what she wants her motto to be, I'll get my friend to translate it into impeccable classical Latin. (None of this bastardized church stuff for our patroness!)

#27 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 07:48 PM:

Teresa, I've already added the certificate to my LJ and the seal to my "user info" page.

#28 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 08:21 PM:

Howard(23), I was thinking antique woodcut.
But now you planted something rather disturbing in my brain.

#29 ::: Melissa Mead ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 08:29 PM:

Oo, thank you! My, fellow posters on the boards where I'm a moderator...will get a kick out of this!

#30 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 09:01 PM:

Re me @16, TW @19, H.P. @23:

See this glorious link, posted on Open Thread 83 by Zack Weinberg:

#31 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 09:16 PM:

T.W (28): But now you planted something rather disturbing in my brain.

Then my work here is done. Reach one, teach one: That's my motto.

Miriam (25): On the Internet, no one knows you're not a hypersexualized Amazon in a mail bikini. I mean, um, it's a metaphor ... for, uh ... power. And control. And, er, fecundity. That's it. And now, off to Second Life, where I'm known as "Helgarde the Bountiful."

#32 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 09:47 PM:

Clifton(30), that would be a part of the most awesome tarot ever. But where's Patrick? Can't leave the partner in cri..., er words out.

#33 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 10:32 PM:

Out of insanity masquerading as courage, I offer an editorial suggestion: Just "Know all by these presents that ..." has pretty much the same tone, to me at least, while avoiding the little problem already noted both here and by Brad Delong...

#34 ::: Shweta Narayan ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:20 PM:

Clifton (30) Thank you! (That's my picture)

And TW (32) Hm, would Copyeditrix be 16, The Tower? Would Patrick then be Judgement?
Not that I'm saying I'll do it, since that one took me about 4 months, but I might.


#35 ::: Gavin ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:23 PM:

A very fine certificate, although I regret the absence of the word "suppress."

"Here one of the guinea-pigs cheered, and was immediately suppressed by the officers of the court. (As that is rather a hard word, I will just explain to you how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which tied up at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon it.)"

#36 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2007, 11:52 PM:

My personal mental image of TNH as Teresa Copyeditrix is more like The Maid/St George/St Michael – involving a proud figure clad in gleaming armour, holding aloft her Blue Pencil, with a smallish round shield on one arm (all the consonants encircling it, upside down (can we work in rot13?)), and bearing the 4x2 of Cluefullness (sp?) on her hip.

Percheron optional, as would be any extra emblems, which could be incorporated as armour decoration, cloak, banner, headgear, &c. The classic St George image of the tamed dragon on a leash, or Worm trampled underfoot, could be modified to a troll (emerging from or fallen on a slushpile?). Should there be a cushion nearby to signify the laugh-drop syndrome, or narcolepsy, or is this too tangential to those attributes we're celebrating?

TNH without PNH is incomplete, alas, and I don't like to see P as The Donor in the Diptych, but don't have such a strong vision of how he may be portrayed, except as another warrior with 'bow of burning gold'. Maybe that's partly because I'm one of the Fluorospheric Community who's met neither of them, nor any other member AFAIK, in personam.

#37 ::: AzureLunatic ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 02:44 AM:

Does anyone with more graphics-program-fu than I have care to scale the Moderator Seal down to a 100x100 format, suitable for LJ userpic use?

#38 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 03:14 AM:


i can't seem to link to it, but if you go to the moderator seal photo, & click on "all sizes," one of the sizes will be a 75x75 square.

#39 ::: Bruce Adelsohn ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 04:59 AM:

Azurelunatic #37: The problem with scaling the seal down that far is that the text becomes difficult to read. Nevertheless, here it is.

#40 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 11:27 AM:

If I might, a good, traditional, and completely non-sexist introduction could be 'Unto all to whom these presents shall come, Teresa Nielsen Hayden declareth...'

#41 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 11:45 AM:

Since Making Light has three moderators, shouldn't the seal show Three Musketeers with swords drawn, except for Teresa who'd carry a huge knitting needle?

#42 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 11:49 AM:

Serge #41:

Then who's Avram?

#43 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 12:11 PM:

joann @ 42... What about Avram?

#44 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 12:34 PM:

Avram is d'Artagnon. Who else would he be?

#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 12:42 PM:

'Avram' is d'Artagnan's first name, Howard?

#46 ::: Bruce Cohen, SpeakerToManagers ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 02:04 PM:

Shweta Narayan @ 34

I think Teresa would be either the High Priestess (2) (based on her control of the the Word) or Justice (8) (hence the sword). But definitely one of the anthropomorphic cards; she's hardly an abstraction.

#47 ::: Sarah S ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 03:08 PM:


Serge--smaller knitting needles are much pointer, far more painful, and even potentially deadly, if used (im)properly. A big knitting needle's only good as a blunt instrument.

#48 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 03:16 PM:

Sarah S @ 47... True, true... Still, there's no reason why Madame d'Artagnan wouldn't sharpen the point of her oversized knitting needle. And she could still bop ruffians on the head with it.

"Shawl for one, and one for shawl."

#49 ::: Manon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 06:45 PM:

Oh, dear. I just read #48, got muddled, and had a vision of TNH as Madame Defarge.

Also, groan.

#50 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 06:53 PM:

Serge #45: Okay, I can't tell if there's genuine confusion going on, or if we've reached a level of dry, referential wit that's eluding me.

Avram Grumer was handed the keys to the kingdom at ML in February. So, he's potentially the fourth moderator, although I don't know if he's ever taken up the challenge. So, if Teresa, Patrick, and Jim are the Three Musketeers (see #41), then Avram (see #42) would be d'Artagnon.

Throwaway comments are always better when explained.

#51 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 07:08 PM:

i'm listening to three musketeers on audiobook for the first time this week, during my drawing time. now i keep remembering the fanfic thread, how teresa (i believe) asserted that d'artagnan is the archetypical mary sue....

such a mary sue. omg. up to & including the part where, every few scenes, everyone stops to admire his brilliance. i'm about a third of the way through, & i want to punch him in the face a lot.

still, i like the book so far. it certainly swashbuckles.

#52 ::: Howard Peirce ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2007, 07:20 PM:

Oh, dear. I've been misspelling "d'Artagnan," haven't I? It wouldn't be so bad, except that I was looking right at it at the time. Both times. It's like that Freshman paper I wrote 25 years ago about something called a "dilemna."

You know, on the topic of moderation, it helps to have a forum where the general quality of writing is so high that the potential for shame keeps people from posting promiscuously.

#53 ::: Shweta Narayan ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2007, 01:03 AM:

Bruce (46) - I'm not sure High Priestess is right for this card; she's not just an initiate into the mysteries, keeper of the wisdom; she's Correction coming down with flaming pen aimed straight at errors.

So I figured the Tower would work since it's about everything falling down, and it's also the card after The Devil (error, seen one way). In adition, the pain of being edited is surely Tower-like, and it's a worthwhile pain because you're better afterward.

I don't see Justice as any less abstract than The Tower, but even then, the card I ended up drawing is not about balance but about fixing things, so not Justice.

But! I hear you about not having her be an abstraction. So moving away from the major Arcana, which are _all_ kind of abstract archetypes, she could be the Queen of Swords (pens). Swords being the Air suit, intelligence, wit, learning, etc, that would fit, wouldn't it? And Patrick could then conveniently be the King of Swords. Though I don't know if the symbolism fits. Not, you know, actually knowing either of them.

(Teresa, if you're reading this at all, I hope you don't mind being a tarot card. That kind of happened accidentally.)

#54 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2007, 01:17 PM:

It's a pity shpxgneq isn't public-display-friendly. Have you considered kneebiter? I heard that was Douglas Adams's substitute when they wouldn't let him use nffubyr, but that may be only a legend.

I tried to find a good acronym to hide it behind, but the best I've got is duckfart, which is a weak substitute that fails to solve the display problem.

On the general topic, I've never figured out whether the prevalence of the term "free speach" is just because morons tend to be multifaceted, or whether it's some sort of shibboleth for the "you can't stop listening to me, I'm yelling" crowd. Why they would want to identify each other, I can't imagine.

#55 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2007, 01:41 PM:

Howard @ 50... I finally realized what joann's comment and yours about Avram were all about. My apologies to Avram for the oversight.

That being said, here is a photo of Our Moderators in action...

#56 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2007, 01:51 PM:

Obviously Teresa is Athos: able to discourse nobly on abstruse topics at the drop of a hat, in flawless language. D'Artagnan is closest to Athos and is very, very smart, so PNH is the only choice. (Sorry about the Mary-Suedom.)

Porthos is a bit of a buffoon and Aramis is a Yendi. I mean a Jesuit. I don't know Jim and Avram well enough to speculate...

#57 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2007, 10:05 AM:

Now I have a headache, which I will share with you because I'm generous that way:

If Teresa is Athos and Patrick is D'Artagnan, who fills the role of the mysterious femme fatale who seduces both over the course of the novel?

#58 ::: Syd sees apparent spam ::: (view all by) ::: February 09, 2012, 04:51 AM:

At #59

#59 ::: Cally Soukup sees missed SPAM ::: (view all by) ::: February 15, 2012, 09:48 PM:

Soon, #59 will merely be a spam notice, rather than a peculiar marriage and poutine mashup.

#60 ::: Paul A. sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2012, 07:59 AM:

at #61

#61 ::: Naomi Parkhurst sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2012, 08:04 AM:

What's to say?

#62 ::: fidelio sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2012, 08:59 AM:

Maybe a good cause, maybe not, but still SPAM SPAM SPAMMITY SPAM.

Cleanup on aisle three, please!

#63 ::: janetl see spam ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2012, 02:20 AM:

Spam @ 64

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.

(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.