Meet the Staff! An Interview with Norah Casey

As Chief Moderator, Norah Casey doesn’t have it easy, but she manages the HubPages support team and hundreds upon hundreds of Hubs and emails with superior grace and pose. To give you a better look at this superhuman HubPages employee, we’ve given Norah a bunch of questions asked by HubPages community members as part of our Meet the Staff series.

We hope you enjoy her answers!

If you had to choose super hero titles for three of your coworkers at HubPages, what would they be? -Inspired by mts1098

Matt Wells = The Watcher
Paul Deeds = DeadPan
Ari = The Dog Whisperer

I see you are working towards finishing your BA in Science and History. Can you share with us more about your interest in Physical Anthropology? -rebekahELLE

I just completed my BA just a couple of weeks ago, so now I will have the opportunity to prepare for graduate school. Not quite yet, but soon! 🙂

My interest in physical anthropology evolved from an early interest in dinosaur paleontology and human anatomy. My mother wanted me to be doctor, but… I can’t imagine dealing with insurance companies. I participated in a fossil dig in Arizona, and couldn’t bear the thought of digging up dinosaurs in such a hot environment.

At about that time, I saw a documentary on television about neanderthals. It was terrible. Their version of neanderthals could only communicate through grunting, they wandered through the snow naked, and lumbered over rocky terrain by waddling side to side. I was only a kid, but I knew the depiction didn’t make sense. Their skeletal structure, their hunting techniques, and what was known of them in the fossil record didn’t match up with how they were presented. It isn’t possible to eliminate our own innate sense of superiority when studying our hominin ancestors, but I would like to try to learn more about them while keeping my own bias in check.

If you could give Hubbers one piece of advice, what would it be? – wordscribe43

If you have a Hub moderated and don’t understand why, respond to the violation email and ask for clarification! You’ll want to check the Learning Center or FAQ for an answer to your question first, of course, but it is always better to understand the rules of the game if you are going to play.

When does your work day begin and when does it end? Do you work 24/7 or ever go through HP withdrawal when you are away from the computer? -AEvans

My work day usually starts around 9:30 A.M, and ends at about 8:30 or 9 P.M, with several long breaks in between. I usually work seven days a week, but only for a few hours a day on the weekend. I don’t spend enough time away from HubPages to go through withdrawal, so… I guess I’m an addict!

What do you love about your job? What do you hate (or love a whole lot less)? – Marcy Goodfleisch

I love coming across great content. Though it usually means our filters have gone haywire or a troll has generated hundreds of intentionally inaccurate, spiteful flags, I enjoy reading or watching new and wonderful content as part of my job.

This is not going to be as juicy as some might have wanted, but I don’t like that 90% of my work is done sitting in front of a computer screen. My vision is bad enough, and this can’t be helping!

Describe your ideal Hubber -Marcy Goodfleisch

My ideal Hubber is someone who is curious, hard working, and honest. She wants to create new and interesting pieces of content to share with her audience, and doesn’t just want to spam them. He has the confidence to admit when he is stuck and is comfortable reaching out to veteran Hubbers or staff for help. She is not going to feed trolls, and won’t get dragged into an ideological debate that brings out the worst in herself and those around her. In addition, he’ll be flagging plenty of bad content for us to unpublish with funny little remarks to keep our spirits up.

Do you ever sleep and when you sleep are you still dreaming of H-u-b-p-a-g-e-s? – prettydarkhorse

Of course! In my nightmares, I’m responding to four hours worth of support emails escalated to me by the moderators. Then I realize I’m awake, and it is actually just another Monday.

Any stories you want to share about moderating forum posts? -rebekahELLE

A forum thread responding to a moderation cited the decision as evidence that the anonymous moderator was a zealot who held several different and mutually exclusive viewpoints. That the moderation was the result of our bot detecting a malware link wasn’t common knowledge. When people don’t know much about you, they fill in details with their own imagination. It can be quite amusing what they come up with.

What was the kindest thing a Hubber did for you? -ripplemaker

I think many of us here at HubPages worked harder than we thought possible when Panda hit. We had to find a way to eliminate spam without destroying the community, and we had to do it faster than we thought possible. In the midst of all of this, a Hubber wrote in just to say thanks for the hard work and that they were going to stick with us. It felt great.

11 thoughts on “Meet the Staff! An Interview with Norah Casey

  1. Hi Norah!

    Great to learn more about you and the workings of hubpages. I’ve been at HP for about four months now and really enjoying writing there. It’s good to learn more about what happens behind the scenes. Thanks for what you do!

    Jen

  2. Thanks for taking the time out of your super busy schedule to answer these great questions. It is always comforting to know there are real people behind these screens many of us depend on. More hours of the day are sunshine. Really enjoyed this hub, thanks Simone!

  3. Why are the forum moderators anonymous when they ban someone from the forums? This is a big problem especially when the forum ban is from the religious or political threads.

    I would suggest the mods take responsibility for their actions by identifying themselves when they ban someone and to explain their reasons for the ban of the particular member.

    Unless a moderator is neutral in these forums, there is no fairness at all in these actions. If they are bold enough to place a ban on posters then they should be bold enough to put their names on the ban too. Otherwise, they simply come off as cowards who hide behind HP while dishing out questionable and possibly self interested bans.

    • Hey Randy!
      Thanks for the feedback. Because our moderators are neutral with actions like banning and forum moderations (we only take action if our rules or policies are violated), we do not feel the need to tie specific actions with specific moderators, though if you are concerned about oversight, rest assured that we keep track of who does what.

  4. Sorry Simone, but this seems to be a cop-out of sorts. I know from personal experience those who hide behind anonymity take no risk from their actions and are seldom neutral in any situation. Let them back up their actions with their names if they wish to be respected by the writers here. Otherwise, the suspicion of them being used by HP to quell dissent among the members is fully understandable.

    How can you tell they are neutral? I know some greeters are immune to such forum bans as I have reported them personally for calling other ordinary members names but they are never banned for it. I can only assume they are protected to keep their “Elite” status as the requirements of this group dictate this aspect.

    Let the mods own up to their actions unless they are afraid of the repercussions such unfair bans illicit. If they are afraid of such, then get some who are brave enough to fit the bill. This anonymity only indicates suspicious actions and we have enough of this already here lately.

    • Heya Randy,
      I see that you’re frustrated, but we really do everything we can to make fair an impartial decisions. The Greeter program, for example, is managed by Maddie, who is independent of the moderation team. I can understand why one might assume moderators would have bias, but the manner in which our team runs by rules only with no bias involved is (perhaps unusually) strict. It can be hard to see that without seeing how the internal process works, but believe me, it’s impressive the extent to which our team goes to make sure everything is fair.
      If I ran the show, I’d be exceedingly capricious, hahaa!

  5. Me too, Simone! I know the routine, and besides, I’m at the beach! No time for such petty goings-on! LOL!

    ssssxxxxxSSSXXXX0:~~

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