Welcome to the HPLU.
This herd exists with two purpouses.
1: First and foremost, we exist to address conflicts between Users and Moderators. This includes reports of Moderator abuse and lodge complaints against moderators who have been shown to be abusive and irresponsible as a matter of course.
2: Our broader goal is to better define the Terms of Service agreement of Human Pets and to clarify the sanctions applied to those who violate the terms of service.
'Why are you so anti-Mod? They're volunteering for a difficult job, why don't you appreciate that?'
We are not 'anti-Mod' by any means, although these accusations have often been leveled at me and those like me, who think there needs to be a defined system which can hold moderators accountable. Instances of Moderator abuses are well known and occur routinely, and these are just the cases we know about. We are very much pro-Mod, because we believe users need to be held accountable for their actions. Behavior that is detrimental to the community needs to be addressed. However, Mods are people too and are also liable to misbehave, it's our stance that when they behave in ways that are detrimental to the community, that is just as dangerous if not more so.
'Don't we have enough rules already?'
In short, no we don't. The rules posted by Patrick are slim and ill-defined. Those enforced by the moderators are being enforced extra-legally. That is to say, although they are not part of the contract that is agreed to when a user logs in, they are still applied.
It's important to know, also, that most users do not know were to find these extra rules. We think it's unfair to hold users responsible for not following rules they cannot easily access and, furthermore, that users should not be expected to take a moderators word that, although these rules are not listed officially, they should be considered binding.
'What do you mean about the sanctions?'
Under the current system, punishment of abusive users depends a lot more on the social status of that user and how the mods feel about that user personally, than it does any kind of justice. Instances where people known to be applying exploitative code to their pages have resulted in very brief suspensions, while in other cases people have been banned for spamming in express. Now, clearly the circumstances are more complicated than just that. However, we feel it is important for users to know what the rules are and what to expect if they break those rules and to know that the exact same thing would happen to any other member of the community, Mods included.
If you have any other questions you'd like addressed, please feel free to start a topic or send a message me or one of my subordinates, if you are not comfortable with asking them publicly.