35 votes
Accepted

Handling user that's offended by a joke about a disability

Here's what you did wrong: we already tried to explain that it was a joke Saying "it was just a joke" is essentially saying that offensive language should be disregarded as long as it's couched ...
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  • 2,064
25 votes

Should punishment be recursive?

I usually ignore these kinds of messages, as they are written in the heat of the moment. A user's response at the beginning of a suspension isn't as important as their response at the end. If they ...
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22 votes
Accepted

What should I do about a moderator who dislikes me and lets that affect how he manages the site?

Get in touch with somebody above the moderator: a community manager or the site administrator. If there is a "contact us" link, that's probably a good start. Explain what's going on. Keep a cool head ...
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  • 544
21 votes
Accepted

How should issues with which the moderators have no expertise be dealt with?

Moderators wear many hats but their main role is to enforce community standards. That's not quite the same role as dispute mediator, because not every dispute between users is going to violate ...
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  • 1,523
17 votes

Conflict between two users, which ignoring didn't solve

I've been in your shoes and I've also been the moderator trying to resolve such issues between other users. Here's what I've learned: For the targeted user: if the comments are inappropriate per the ...
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16 votes

When should you stop trying to reach a consensus with a user over a decision you have made?

I think this is going to come down to recognizing a change in the user's behavior. If a user is generally chatty and is now responding with terse comments, there's a good chance they don't care any ...
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  • 6,912
15 votes

Moderator bans user in the course of an on-topic argument

The first and most important thing is communication. For starters, things should, ideally never escalate to a moderator calling a user names. Other moderators or staff members should be there to ...
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15 votes

How do you handle community backlash over an incorrect action taken by a moderator?

It should mostly go like this: Reverse the call Apologize to the affected parties If necessary and possible, explain the reasons for your actions Moderate the backslash itself I think point 4 is ...
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  • 544
15 votes
Accepted

Should a mod step in if a user is being argumentative with the community?

According to your description, these activities are harming your site. Your first duty is to your community, so yes, you should step in. You have rules, which he has not broken, and you probably ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Should punishment be recursive?

No, punishment should not be recursive. You're moderating on behalf of the community and the user's participation in the community, not based on what venom they spew at you in private. How you handle ...
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  • 633
13 votes

Moderating a community that strongly opposes deletion of content

If you really can't delete old or out of date content but you want to prevent arguments over it then your only action is to put the posts into such a state that they can't be edited, voted on, ...
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  • 6,595
13 votes
Accepted

How can the community be rescued, after a very harmful problem-user has managed to split the moderator/administrator team?

Explain the other admins/moderators why. If you (and the moderators who agree with you) take action without agreement of the others, it will be harder to become one union again, and you'll keep being ...
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  • 1,313
12 votes

Is rolling back a rollback a good idea?

Different sites have different rules, but on any site that allows the same item to be edited by multiple users, there has to be some rule to avoid rollback wars, since these could otherwise last ...
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12 votes
Accepted

I have amplified an issue - How do I de-escalate?

From what I've seen (primarily on Stack Exchange), there are a few relevant factors: Velocity If you've just broken up a rapid-fire back-and-forth, where responses are coming in close to real time, ...
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12 votes

How to deal with abuse complaints when you don't understand the language?

Unless you just want to tell the complainant that there's nothing you can do, you really have to attempt to get a translation of the text. In the first instance I would use machine translation just ...
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  • 6,595
12 votes
Accepted

How do I complain to Stack Exchange about one of its communities?

The first place to raise concerns about something that happened on a Stack Exchange site is on that site's associated meta site. Meta is for questions about the site, including: How is (this closed ...
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11 votes

How to handle users who contact moderators offsite?

I put the following message in my user profile on Stack Overflow: Questions about moderator actions on Stack Overflow should still be posted on Meta Stack Overflow. This is right in the same ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Forum war because of a new rule and a banned user

There are two basic approaches you can take, the friendly talk and the big stick. They are not necessarily exclusive. The friendly talk With this approach, you post something like the following to ...
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10 votes

How do you handle community backlash over an incorrect action taken by a moderator?

It's important to come to an agreement as a mod team first. If the acting mod doesn't feel what they did was unwarranted, you've got bigger troubles than community reaction. Get it sorted out before ...
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10 votes

What should I do about a moderator who dislikes me and lets that affect how he manages the site?

What options you have are very specific to the community - both written (and unwritten) rules/guidelines and technologies being used. Depending on the rules some options my be against the TOC/other ...
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10 votes

Is it productive to ask for more examples when someone is complaining about your moderation?

I've been in this situation and also seen it arise on sites where I'm a user. In my (anecdotal) experience, if there is a single example all you can do is to address the specific case and say ...
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10 votes

How can the community be rescued, after a very harmful problem-user has managed to split the moderator/administrator team?

You appear to be on the side that the user needs to go, based on your description of the situation. You've made a case here on why you think he needs to go. What are the counter arguments to keeping ...
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  • 6,912
10 votes
Accepted

Banned user tries to log in - show a "Banned" message or a generic "Can't Log You In"?

Aside: Having "worked" in online communities in the past as a volunteer moderator, please take my answer with the pinch of salt it likely deserves. 1 - When the user attempts to login Be honest! ...
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  • 216
9 votes

Should punishment be recursive?

Generally, this kind of behavior is intending a response to feel justified. Most people, when called out for violating a rule, do understand that they were out of line, however, people also do not ...
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  • 5,993
9 votes

If a user is complaining about an action you made, how involved should you be in its resolution?

I have found it best to explain my reasons for the action. This does a couple things Clearly shows what you were thinking at the time and provides your perspective Allows you to (hopefully) cite ...
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  • 6,912
9 votes

Handling user that's offended by a joke about a disability

Your question title illustrates your biggest problem: You appear more concerned with "handling" the victim than dealing with the perpetrator. in his life, A has received a lot of jokes about deaf ...
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  • 199
8 votes
Accepted

My community has just had a major, divisive fight; how can I as a moderator move it forward?

The basic thing is to reach resolution. You can't please everyone, and there would always be those who wanted things to go this way and not that way. The staff and moderation team should pick the ...
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