View Full Version : Should Woomerii post comments on threads?

Horatio Leafblower
5th Aug 2005, 13:33

When I first started reading PPRuNe about... well, years ago, the moderators only ever raised their heads to lock a thread or edit "non-pertinent" comments from posts. You knew that the moderators were also posting comment under their normal user names, that they were lurking, but that they were relatively impartial non-involved entities.

More recently I have noticed over several threads that woomerii are commenting on pay and conditions, operating techniques, and various other things. They are posting as "Woomera", sometimes several of them simultaneously - see "John's Thread" in D&G General Aviation.

Danny will tell you (we all remember who Danny is?) that PPRuNe isn't a democracy. Regardless, I don't believe it is Danny's or Rob's intention to create a partisan site or to ape the murdoch press in presenting a 'party line' , nor to be seen as endorsing a particular angle on a discussion topic.

To have members - no doubt highly esteemed PPRuNer's - posting comment signed as "Woomera" adds an element of legitimacy, credibility and PPRuNe endorsement to their post. While I have personally agreed with many areas of Woomerian comment, I am still uncomfortable with the notion that the "impartial arbiter" is, so often, quite visibly partial.

There is an old fashioned notion of separation of church and State. I wonder if there isn't a need for a similar principle here on PPRuNe. Should the Woomerii only post comment and opinion to a thread under their "native" PPRuNe handle or can a Woomerii use their 'official' handle at their whim, to add legitimacy to whatever they choose to espouse?


5th Aug 2005, 14:29
Horatio old chap.

Thank you for your reasoned thoughts on this subject.:ok:

'Tis true PPRuNe is NOT a democracy as decreed by Danny.

'Tis true D & G is run with a very light rein compared to the other Forums, be grateful for that.

'Tis true there are, occasionally, issues that we believe and by we, I mean Danny, Rob and us et al, are so vitally important to our pilot community they will get not only tacit but direct support from us.

Danny and Rob sit on many important aviation safety and regulatory advisory organisations, your Woomera are regularly consulted likewise.

Identities are inviolable and in so far as we are able to guess them are guarded jealously and absolutely without prejudice to third parties.

There is much that goes on behind the "screen" so to speak that requires application of our judgement and direct participation that remains unseen.

Direct comment is not entered into by us lightly, nor without considerable consultation between us and the Boss if necessary.

We do not as Woomera have any agenda, save to provide the Forum for you to use according to the rules.

Danny Rob and their minion are regular visitors and observers of a forum they personally find fascinating for its vigour.

So far and we work hard at it, we have managed to steer a positive path throughout a fair bit of sturm und drang.

So far PPRuNes record in progressing our profession is pretty substantial around the world.

Sometimes we have to make unwelcome decisions about posts and their general effect in the context of the particular thread.

Unless I am mistaken you have been the unwilling subject of one decision that caused you to make what we thought was an intemperate and undeserved judgement of one of us in another place. It's OK we have big shoulders and understand why you would have been upset, but we did not have the time or opportunity to explain why to you personally after it was pointed out to us.

If this were a democracy we would have a separation of church and state, it is not.

If the use of the "Woomera" adds credibility, we think hard won, to a position of natural justice and common sense, then in an environment that often seems to be singularly free of it, then so be it.

Slave labour is something most civilised First World communities will not tolerate.

Malfeasance in any form in a democracy is not acceptable.
Exposure of it, humbug and corruption is something PPRuNe does well.

We stand on our record, it may not be perfect, but we never suggested we were.

Enjoy! :ok:

Howard Hughes
5th Aug 2005, 23:23
Perhaps this would be a good title for a poll!!

I for one would certainly feel better if the various Woomerii posted comment only under their own non de plumes.

In D&G we have a number of moderators all moderating under the same guise, in other forums it seems moderators are all individuals and as such are individually accountable.

This is not to say that I have seen anything that I have taken offence to, nor anything that I think has been unduly biased, however if this practice continues, it does leave the door open.

Whilst Pprune is not a democracy in itself, it certainly is an instrument of democracy!! For this reason alone moderation and contribution need to be seperate entities.

Cheers, HH.


6th Aug 2005, 00:56
Horatio, 2003 is hardly "years ago" unless like me, you've worn out a few PPRuNe user names over the past eight years or so. :O

Dunnunda has had a few Moderators over the years, most still here, some moved on. Some post, some don't. All have been tolerant of criticism – far more tolerant than Moderators in some other forums! However I don’t think I’ve ever seen a controversial Woomera comment based solely on personal opinion, rather on moral or ethical grounds – as occurred in recent threads regarding under Award payments to pilots – or to “steer” a thread away from what we know from many years experience, may be a developing problem.

Read another Woomera comment above:

"Malfeasance in any form in a democracy is not acceptable. Exposure of it, humbug and corruption is something PPRuNe does well."

We're rather proud of our collective (Mods and users) sucess in this respect!!

It may interest you to know there is absolutely no “party line” in PPRuNe. Aside from Danny and Rob propagating Moderator Guide Lines (not rules), Moderators are free to manage their Forums in a manner they consider appropriate, which may differ from one geographical area to another. Unseen to the users, robust discussion occurs between Mods in our Admin forum, but I can’t say I have ever seen Danny or Rob set “policy” on any issue.

Danny and Rob (and other overseas Mods) are frequent visitors to Dunnunda (in many guises I suspect! :} ) and are welcome contributors.

Woomera give many, many hours to Dunnunda – probably far more than we can individually afford. In addition, time is spent on the phone, discussing particular forums and threads; threads are not “edited” or removed lightly or without discussion or consensus.

In the end, PPRuNe is a reflection of the thousands of PPRuNe users and their opinions – any Woomera post has very little, if any influence on the content of threads.

In the last 24 hours (http://www.pprune.org/demoAdStats.php), there were 193,215 PPRuNe page views from Australasia and the South Pacific, 164,051 from Australia, 11.75% of the total PPRuNe page views of 1,396,022.

Australia is now the second largest contributor to PPRuNe World wide after the UK (48.09%) and ahead of the USA (9.16%).

So, I guess Woomera – and the PPRuNe users Dunnunda - got something right. :ok:

And no, PPRuNe is not a democracy.


6th Aug 2005, 01:12
This is a delicate subject. I must say, I too have felt a bit uncomfortable with the recent trend for moderators to voice their personal viewpoints on non-disciplinary issues (for want of a better term) under their title of "Woomera".

Of course they are entitled to hoe in on a particular subject dear to their heart, and their (his) reply keeps the subject matter bouncing along nicely. BUT - it is like the Chief of the Defence Staff using his title to horn in on a soldiers website. The soldiers become uneasy and back away from further discussion. No matter how erudite are the non-administrative replies by a Woomera, there is often a flash of uneasiness by some readers who may be cautious and hesitate to reply. There is something not quite right about it.

Woomeras are selected for their experience, the wisdom and impartiality of their history on Pprune and of course they can always knock back the offer from Pprune HQ. But I would prefer to read their personal views via their original user-name, rather than via their Group Captain position.

6th Aug 2005, 04:38
Well, well, well. I retract my statement - Horatio has been around PPRuNe for a few years - since early 2000 at least!

Welcome back - I often wondered where you'd gone......... :ok: Dunnunda has been far too quiet without your alter ego!

:} :}


6th Aug 2005, 05:50

I would have to agree with Centaurus and Horatio Leafblower.

When personal views are posted should be under own nom de plume, then if errors of fact are posted it does not appear to be the official view.


Transition Layer
6th Aug 2005, 06:50
I tend to agree with some of the other posters, however I think it's better that the Woomeri post under that title, than under another pseudonym which could potentially bring about a conflict of interest and the rest of us would be blisfully unaware that a poster is in fact a moderator as well.

At least if the Woomeri do make their thoughts known by posting on a number of threads, the rest of the D&G community can get an appreciation of where the moderator's beliefs lie . Topics such as poor GA awards and conditions wouldn't get half as much airtime as they do now without Woomera's ongoing persistence on the matter, and that is something we should all be thankful for.


Horatio Leafblower
6th Aug 2005, 09:37
TL, Centaurus, HH and Prospector

I thank you for your support on the matter. Perhaps it is the political atmosphere of the present day Australia in which we live that I and others am beginning to feel hard-fought and hard-won 18th and 19th century political notions are worth preserving. And if needs be, worth fighting for again.


I hasten to say that I draw no inference of actual bias, nor of any malpractice by Woomerii. I have, however, been able to "make" the identity of at least one Woomerii by their posting style and I have suspicions about others ;)

Again, for perhaps reasons of widespread political duplicity, there is a place today for some old-fasioned "rules of engagement" and some motherhood statements about what a Woomerii will and won't do.

We do not as Woomera have any agenda, save to provide the Forum for you to use according to the rules.

And that is as it should be. However, I think (and others have agreed) that the principle remains valid. TL has suggested posting as Woomera makes clear that a Woomera is posting, yet I remain unconvinced that argument is immune from bias by Woomeral input.

The very fact that we are delicately picking our way around this hypothetical moral conumdrum is, to me, evidence that the rule should be imposed to save any further question. Impose the rule and put it beyond contemplation.

To draw an analogy, Woomerii are police appointed by the PPRuNe state; off-duty police might drink-drive, speed, kick the dog or whatever - they have their own views and moral beliefs when they knock off at end of shift. HOWEVER when they are in uniform they enforce the rules of the state regardless of their personal beliefs.

When a Woomera wears their police uniform they are acting as an arm of the PPRuNe State - or at least that is the perception!

Once a Woomera starts weighing into political and moral argument - for whatever purpose, legitimate or otherwise - can PPRuNer's lobby Woomerii for an endorsement of their personal views? To draw this to an extreme, we all know how PPRuNe wants funding... and how a certain multi-millionaire seeks support for his political campaign!

Woomera 2

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a controversial Woomera comment based solely on personal opinion, rather on moral or ethical grounds...

With all due respect sir, I submit that morals and ethics are the most deeply personal and subjective of grounds.

On a personal note:

Unless I am mistaken you have been the unwilling subject of one decision ....

If that is the case I do not recall the occasion, and certainly I do not inhabit my aparrent dementia with any malice or spite towards you, Woomera 1, nor any other Woomera or Moderator. ;)

Woomera 2

if you knew my "alter ego" then please Email me his password - I think I have changed ISPs and left him stranded. He has told me recently he would like make a comeback ;) Send me a PM also because I have lost touch with many PPRuNer friends over intervening years. :ok:

Buster Hyman
6th Aug 2005, 11:02
Geezuz guys! It's only a forum, not the bluddy UN!!!

6th Aug 2005, 11:49
D&G is indeed lucky & fortunate to have the Mods you have.

I have no concerns about how/when the Woomera do their stuff.

I will however refrain from detailing my observations of other areas of PPRuNe simply because I have seen first hand how these are interpreted and re-acted to.:yuk:

Buster, you are so correct, but and there is always a but! there are those that perhaps see themselves as being the centre of the UN and not just a forum/bulletin board.

:yuk: :yuk: furball:yuk: :yuk:

Eastwest Loco
6th Aug 2005, 12:32
Let's be logical here.

These forums are not a democracy, they are a Woomocracy, and may that continue. We know the rules, and can dissent by failing to participate or even by choosing not to enter the hallowed halls.

Intelligent moderators allow us to air our grievances and questions amongst peers or in my case more qualified people and they only get out the nulla nulla when someone gets over the top or into a potentially legally threatening position for the group of participants and Towers inc.

The Woomerii as fellow members of the industry must be allowed input of opinion into forums just as we are. To adopt another pseudonym just to post is totally pointless as their anonymity is protected as Woomerii or whatever.

Let us not overcomplicate things.

It aint broke - don't call engineering.

Best all


PPRuNe Towers
6th Aug 2005, 13:33
No long, moralistic, theoretical post because under any rigorous, spartan review I agree with Horatio and those following his line of reasoning.

Problem is this discounts our campaigning stance - issues we feel immensely strongly about starting in 96/97 with airway offsets in Africa. Our successes are significant and are the backbone of the site - group effort allowing us to punch far above our weight as individuals.

That's the way it works when dealing with those protecting their rice bowl above all else. If you think about it I can see those woomera's writing in and out of 'character' as I invited them to take the King's Shilling in the first place. The checks and balances are very clear to me if not you guys - posts appear countering that of an individual.

This stands out like the proverbial dog's one's to all the woomeras and us in the Towers. The woomera's pick their fights very, very carefully - they know their peers in the clan are watching.

Regards to all,

(bugger, I've just argued there should be someone watching over and moderating me:bored: :ooh: Horatio - are you available for 5 or 6 hours a day over the next 10 years?)

Sandy Freckle
7th Aug 2005, 10:09
Looks like the Minister for Transport may no longer be the Minister for Qantas.
A quote from a Woomeri made with the following reference:


Sorry guys. I don't believe that moderators should display such clear bias. This Woomeri has just intimated political wrongdoings as well as corporate corruption. Tell me Woomera; do you really believe this to be true? If so, then Danny may have some answers to provide as your employer....

PPRuNe Towers
7th Aug 2005, 10:33
Sandy - a tip.

Provide a pointer to the actual post that supports your point rather than the entire thread which makes you look worried, upset, paranoid and entirely wrong in every possible way.

There's a cracking search engine so pull up my posts. I take a strong stance on many areas of the site. I consult with the mods constantly and often dare them to push the envelope. Is that clear enough for you? I push them into challenging cant, orthodoxy and dogma.

Like it or not this is policy.

Rob Lloyd

7th Aug 2005, 11:13
As these are anonymous forums the origins of the contributions may be opposite to what may be apparent. In fact the press may use it, or the unscrupulous, or Moderators. :ok: :p to elicit certain reactions.

And the Woomera's answer e-m's. A polite and professional courtesy I've heard is lacking elsewhere in PPRuNe.

:yuk: :yuk: furball:yuk: :yuk:

Sandy Freckle
7th Aug 2005, 18:29
So let me get this straight. The policy is that the moderators are allowed to demonstrate clear bias. Is that correct Towers?

8th Aug 2005, 03:07

"The policy is that the moderators are allowed to demonstrate clear bias." :uhoh:

D&G appears to be only forum where there is at least a real attempt at standardisation and consistent policy application, for that the Woomera's are to be commended.

Don't look for the same across the rest of PPRuNe, it varies wildly from one forum to another and between one moderator and another in the same forum.

:yuk: :yuk: furball:yuk: :yuk:
Don't lie, steal or cheat, the Government hates competition.:ok:

PPRuNe Towers
8th Aug 2005, 14:55
No Sandy,

The policy is that no Woomera is employed in the Oz industry flying medium and heavy transports - B737/A320 upwards.

Events in the late eighties and during the last five years conspire to make this impossible due to the inevitable allegations of bias. This is a matter of considerable regret for us as there are some guys in the major company fleets who have written consistently and well over many years. If it was generally thought that we had a member of the Woomera clan known to be or even rumoured to be Qantas/VB or whatever the sledging would never stop.

Thus we avoid the problem and always have.

The only bias we have is for shift workers making their living with a licence or validations. Pilots, simulator folks, controllers and lames are our constituents. They are the reason the site exists - everything else is fluff and if we hit money problems I assure you the extras will disappear in a few keystrokes.

Regards again,