Background: My community is a web forum and two game servers. There are about 500 members that are active in the community. Last year one of my moderators found an external site that is solely used to criticize my community. Almost all of it is someone blowing off steam, but there are a few legitimate complaints that we addressed without ever mentioning that it was done because of this site. We do not know who runs the site and suspect it is more than one user.
This site brings in traffic to both the forums and the game servers. Our analytic software shows that roughly 85% of traffic from this site is a single visit directly to areas of the community linked from the external site. 10% stick around as guests and the remainder join the community and contribute - both constructively and in a manner that requires a slight amount of education on how the community works (ie. attempting to provoke a reaction, usually by targeting moderators decisions and expressing dissatisfaction as their first interaction with the community, but not crossing any lines); surprisingly no trolls (yet)
The 85% that come and go are of no concern; the remaining 15% that come and either lurk or contribute are what I'm after. These return visitors and contributors. Clearly, they are coming from this site and based on their desire to stick around, it seems they wish to interact with the community either on the site or on the game servers.
These traffic spikes usually occur after "events" - ie. moderators removing posts of irrelevant chatter from a serious discussion; banning a well known player from our game servers for rule violations, unbanning a user that served their ban period but was not liked by the community. In each of these instances, a discussion started on our site and after the decision was announced a mirror post was made on the external site criticizing the decision. These mirror posts do not appear after all such discussions. There isn't a pattern to which users argue for/against an action and when a post appears (which is part of why we suspect more than one user is involved). However, we have noticed that the mirror posts occur when a certain few moderators make the "final decision" in such discussions.
I support this moderator's decisions, but it seem they have some haters. As it stands, this site does not seem to be contributing negatively toward the community. In fact, the opposite appears to be occurring. Traffic spikes and a few new users join after each "incident". Players from the web site are recognized on the game servers, so these new members are spilling over to that aspect of the community too.
Question: Is it an appropriate action to take to let the moderators that seem to be generating these criticism posts, be the ones that are the official spokes person of such action, especially since (from my perspective) it is not harming the community at all?
EDIT: I believe several people have answered the question I was asking. It seems the thought is to keep doing what I am doing, but also to engage the other site's users and thank them for their good contributions. Resorting to "trolling" by having only the moderators that cause hate isn't the best idea.
Andy! Great pictures! My little kids love Frozen! The note you made about traffic is a good one too. I was more focused on increasing the number of members we have than on how it'd appear the other moderators looked.
AirThomas! Thank you for the input about xkcdsucks. I had to go look that up, but it seems that is very similar to my situation, though I'm not sure if the other site is well known by my users.
AI Henderson! I don't like the idea of a site dedicated to hating my site, but I think you are right about having a separate location. I do like that all their complaints are not on my site. :)
Thanks for the feedback everyone!