Author Topic: Moderation Guidelines  (Read 2454 times)


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Moderation Guidelines
« on: 4 January 2011, 00:38:54 »
Last updated: 2012-9-28

Below is a record of new guidelines for moderators and Administrators, which was sent out as a PM, and for the record, has been copied here for all to view. With no objections voiced, it is considered "final" until otherwise noted. This topic is auto-locked, and replies or concerns may be voiced to Omega via PM. This was originally addressed to just the moderators and Administrators, so addresses of "you" refers to the moderators.

To improve the board, there needs to be a few guidelines for those with a moderator or administer status. This is to (1) prevent abuse of rights and (2) increases the organization of our board.

We're going to keep this simple and head straight into some new guidelines. There's no penalties for not following these ones, but we'd really like to see this adopted.

Always give a reason for editing some one else's post:
This is pretty simple. If you edit a post that was by someone else WITHOUT their permission, please leave a small line of text at the bottom summing up why you changed it and who changed it. Only the original poster should remove this text, as it's to (1) let the reader know the text has been modified, and (2) let the original poster know who changed their post and why. Posting why it was changed helps prevent abuse of moderation privileges because it prevents fishy (or possibly biased) edits, as well as lets the poster know what they did wrong, so as not to do it again. This is best enclosed in [sub][/sub] tags.

Examples of Reasons to have to edit a post:
(This is not an exhaustive list)

  • The poster has gone largely offtopic and may lead to more off topic.
  • The poster has violated board rules, but there is still some meaning to the post (if the entire post violates the rules, remove it).
  • The post has too many large images.
  • The poster used unnecessary profanity (at your own judgment).
  • The post is difficult to understand or a foreign language (if the latter, please do not overwrite the original message, but leave the translation below it).
  • The poster tries to flame or insult someone else. This is a friendly board. You can attack ideas (ie: "That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard") but do not attack the poster (ie: "You are the stupidest person I've ever seen").
  • Violating the off topic board's rule of "Posting These Kind of Topics", which are considered unsuitable for our forum.
This will require you to use common sense and your own judgment. This is in no ways a complete list, but merely a few examples which can be edited. If you feel you may be biased on the topic at hand, consider asking another moderator for their opinions.

Avoid Deleting Topics:
Simple enough. Deleting a topic is unrecoverable, but IS written to a log. Please lock topics unless they fit the criteria below (again, not a complete list, and use common sense and judgment):
  • The entire topic harshly violated board rules and no good can come from it (use your own judgment).
  • The topic is spam, porn, advertisements, etc;
  • The topic is nothing but a flame war insulting others (if stemmed from a legitimate topic, please split the topic then delete the violating topic, retaining the original, provided it is not controversial enough to restart the violating topic).
  • Move notices of topic moves that were deleted/locked. There's no purpose for linking to another topic that either does not exist or has been locked because of rule violations. These movement notices can be deleted.

Use judgment for move redirects:
Yes, I know we keep asking you to use your judgment, but that's half the job as a moderator, and you wouldn't have been given said status if we didn't think you had at least some skill in that. When moving a topic, you must decide whether or not to create a move redirect. This is a locked topic where the original was to inform users that the original was moved to a different category. If you think the original poster may be looking for it (ie: a post about a bug posted by a first time poster), leave a redirect. But for something, say, posted by a longtime poster, or someone who requested that the topic be moved, or part of a topic that was split, then there's no need to clutter the board with a redirect. If in doubt, leave one behind, as they serve no harm and can be removed if necessary. Note these are always locked by default and should remain so. Please leave behind a quick summary in the redirect stating why this was moved, for the sole purpose of the original poster not accidentally placing a thread on the wrong forum, etc;

Don't post in locked topics without justification:
Topics are locked to prevent users from posting in them for a reason. After a topic has been locked, please do not post in a topic to continue the discussion. This is just a violation of your moderator privileges, and is unfair to the regular posters. If you must post in a locked topic, it should be only to either (1) discuss why it was locked and/or give pending discussion to whether it should be locked or (2) to give a final closing note, allowing the posters to know who locked the topic and why.

Justify Locks:
Similar to the above, give a reason for locking the topic. Include who locked it and why, so as to let the original posters know why it was locked, and even at times when the original poster should be able to bluntly see why it was locked, the notice serves to let other users know why as well, for they might be more oblivious to the rules of the board (such as a new poster). It's not necessary to post for single post threads, as you can add an edit summary to the bottom of their post, but for threads with many posts, you should generally leave a new post to make sure the closing statement can be seen.

Explain when deleting posts and topics:
When deleting a post or topic, there's nowhere to leave a notice for the poster. Consider PMing the poster to let them know that their topic/post was deleted and why. This is so they can make less faults in the future, as well as so they can know who removed their post/topic.

Criteria for banning:
Perhaps a user goes out of hand, or is a complete troll. Administrators can ban a user, either temporarily (generally used for offenses, etc when used as a punishment. This would be used generally for multiple offenses, and single offense posters should be explained to first) or permanent (for bots or spammers only). Moderators are not able to ban users, but may PM an administer if they think there is enough criteria to ban a user. The criteria is as follows:
  • The user is a troll. To put simply, they are here only to cause disruption and make others retaliate, feeding the fire. These would generally be given a temporary ban, with the length depending on the severity of the incident(s). IP bans may be necessary if the user tries to create multiple accounts. IP bans are ALWAYS temporary and are generally a short span of time, and generally just limit posting, allowing the user to create another account and PM if the ban affects more people than intended.
  • The user has done multiple rule violations after being instructed not to and while knowing better. If the user doesn't know better or hasn't been warned first, they should generally be warned before banning. Continuous violations after this initial warning may lead to banning.
  • Constant flaming is a bannable offense. We value the safety and security of all our posters, and attacking posters is strictly prohibited. Multiple instances of attacking users or inspiring hate/racism/fear is punishable by a temporary ban.
  • Porn/Bots/Advertisers/Spammers can be banned if they post more than once. Most of these bots are single use and will only post a single message. Banning them is a waste of time. But if said account does multiple violations, a ban may be necessary to stop the user.
  • What happens outside the board stays outside the board: We don't care if they were an absolute ass in the IRC, or if you don't like them in real life, it's only what happens on the board that makes things bannable.
  • When following reports by other users, Administrators should confirm all instances before banning, and judge if the ban is really necessary. This is to ensure that you don't just go by unverified word, making it possible to ban someone on false pretenses.
  • All bans should be accompanied with a fully given reason. It's unnecessary to PM the banned user, but leave a concise summary detailing why they were banned in the reason field. This will be seen by the banned user when they attempt to login, explaining why they were banned and for how long.
Bans are very rarely given, and in fact, only 2 have been issued in the past year.

Moderators are trusted by the board to use their judgment, but remember their moderator status is not a true rank. Everyone's opinions are equal on the board, though trust is generally a must to build, and weight can shift to those who are knowledgeable in the subject at hand. Remember not to abuse your powers, and never use them for personal threats. Personal biases have no place when performing moderation duties, and if you think that they may be interfering with a situation, consider PMing a different moderator for a 3rd party opinion. Remember to perform all judgment from a neutral point of view. You aren't expected to be neutral about everything and in every post on the board, just when performing duties that require moderator privileges.

Full List of Administrators:

Full List of Moderators:

Board Unique Moderators:
(Have limited privileges on their board only)

Disclaimer: Moderators are still expected to use their judgment, and please do not lash at moderators for "not locking this topic", etc; Moderators are volunteers, and the ability is not a job or occupation. They are posters first, and they can use their own personal judgment on deciding if or if not to lock a topic, edit a post, delete a topic, etc; If you are having problems with a moderator, please contact the moderator in question first and see if you can't resolve the problem. If the problem still exists, contact either Omega or Titi (shall the administer in question be one of those, contact the other).

Change list:
-Fixed improper term, thanks Hailstone.
-Added Tomreyn to moderator list, crossed off inactive members
« Last Edit: 29 September 2012, 04:11:42 by Omega »
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