“We shall fight them on the regional message board, we shall fight them in the comment sections, we shall fight them on the Discord server. We shall never surrender and fight until we have defeated all the Internet trolls.”
All our Moderators come from a community of volunteers to help support our common mission. This article will explain the guidelines that apply specifically to our Forum Moderators. The forum moderators are hand-selected members of the community who are here to help us maintain a healthy and collaborative community environment in the forums. We spotted them by noticing their love for learning, collaboration, community, and teaching.
1. Moderator guidelines:
Our community of Forum Moderators volunteer for an active writing community. Moderators are the leaders and main contributors to the stories and discussions. Although they help us all maintain a safe, fun, and productive learning environment, their primary purpose is not to police others, but to take an active role posting relevant content and contributing to discussions as role models for all users. Yes, moderating is a thankless, unpaid "job".
It's the burden of the moderation team to be transparent, accept criticism, demolishing the non-constructive, and evaluate the constructive. That's how we contribute to maintaining the best community possible. This requires us to allow criticism of moderation.
Here is a general overview of the guidelines that all Moderators agree to before stepping into this role:
2. Moderators will:
- Be reasonable and use their abilities responsibly
- Be respectful and sensitive to learners of all backgrounds and abilities
- Help new learners feel welcome
- Lead by example
- Uphold and encourage the Community rules
- Give explanations when disapproving content
- Report abuse
- Communicate with each other and staff
- Reach a consensus before speaking “officially” to members
- Remove profane or hateful attacks toward individuals or groups of people
- Remove personal information (when reasonably deemed inappropriate or dangerous)
3. Moderators won't:
- Delete discussions before confirming they break the guidelines
- Delete threads or discussions based on personal views or dislikes
- Delete threads just because they are critical
- Ban or request a ban without evidence of the member breaking a specific guideline
- Speak “for” the entire community without confirming information about to be released
- Go overboard with the number of sticky comments
- Publish private correspondence, screenshot, resources, etc. before obtaining permission from all involved—community members and/or staff
Every member has a Moderation History, which stores all the administrative actions taken against said member. This can include a given user’s track record of informal notices, informal warnings, formal warnings, account restrictions, bans, ban lifts and unban requests.
4. Good to know:
- Moderatorship is not a trophy
- Moderatorship is not an entitlement
- Moderatorship is not diplomatic immunity
- Moderatorship is not a game
- Moderatorship is not for sale
Role-play mentors are members who, through consistent high-quality RP posts, have earned the distinction of being named an RP Mentor.
6. Do you want to become a moderator?
As a Moderator, you are volunteering to become a leader and contributor to within this community. Your primary purpose is not to police others, but to take an active role posting relevant content and contributing to discussions in order to set the tone for the types of conversations you yourself would like to see more of. Some elements that might increase your chances to become a forum moderator are:
- Be super helpful, respectful, welcoming and polite in the forums. Mods keep an eye on caring and knowledgeable community members and remember them when new moderating positions open up.
- Be an active member of the community
- Be a calm and positive participant in conversations
- Be considerate when it comes to username, wording, avatar, bio and other choices associated with your account
- Create interesting and relevant forum posts regularly, or help answer questions within the course
- You can also contribute to a guide if you want to help out with a particular topic
Now, if you think you'd be a great moderator, all you have to do is to share your full application in the main technical forum. Please copy and paste this text and include your answers.
1. How many months have you been an active member of the community?
2. Which specific forums would you like to start moderating?
3. Are you currently a mentor?
4. How often do you access the community forums?
Daily / About 2-4 times a week / Weekly / A few times a month / Monthly / Rarely
5. Do you ever help out in ongoing discussions?
Yes / I have in the past, but rarely do it now / No
6. Why do you want to be a moderator as opposed to simply helping out other members as a regular user?
7. Do you have prior forum moderation experience? (this isn't a requirement)
Yes / No
8. Please list 1-3 moderators you have seen doing good work in the forums.
9. How much time a week do you predict you could spend helping out in the forums?
At least once a day / About every other day / About 1-3 times a week / 1-2 times a month / A few times a year
10. Please link to a post or comment, where you provided value to the community so we can see you in action!
11. Other comments (optional)
12. We're glad to have you! Finally, when submitting this form, you are applying to volunteer some of your time and skill to help others as a Forum Moderator. This is an unpaid role and comes with some responsibilities. Have you read (and agree to uphold) the Moderator, Community and Roleplay Guidelines?
Yes / No
7. Complaints regarding moderation:
Complaints against staff action should not be voiced publicly, and doing so may result in a formal warning or account suspension.
You may be of the opinion that the staff have misjudged a situation, unjustly removed a post, or otherwise acted outside what would be permissible for staff based on our rules and guidelines. In this case you can submit an appeal to the Admin Team by via the contact page.
Please, be aware that we treat reports against staff very seriously. Misleading and/or fraudulent reports of staff action are severe infractions of our guidelines and will result in respective administrative action against the user filing the report.
Our staff and moderators have the right to carry out their duties by enforcing our Terms of Service without harassment, insult, or hassle. If a user attacks a member of the moderation team in any way they will be banned from our service and may forfeit any right to appeal the decision.
Users who wish to reactivate a previously suspended account may file a one-time unban appeal which will be reviewed by staff and may, or may not, result in the reactivation of the account, at the discretion of staff. Unban requests require the approval of at least 3 moderating staff members, and we discuss each unban request in detail before making a decision. This can take several days. Please be patient during this time. If you make a new account to circumvent your previous ban, then it's extremely like that we'll find out about it and enforce your ban with an IP ban as well.
WIP: Here is more inspiring content still to process and integrate
- How to be a good forum moderator (contains more practical guidelines)
- Discourse moderation guide (advice on how to deal with difficult users)
- Forgive fast, block even faster (especially the list with “Rules for Online Sanity”)