40 votes

How do you justify moderator actions that are based on secret information?

First, make sure you explain why the information is secret. If the community understands why certain information cannot be disclosed, they're a lot more willing to accept decisions based on that ...
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30 votes
Accepted

How to handle moderation of users known personally?

When a moderator has a personal relationship with the user, should you allow another moderator to take action? Almost always. In fact, ask another moderator to take care of it. Business + friends ...
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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
20 votes

Should moderators always be denoted as such to the community?

Before there were web fora/Q&A sites/etc, there were mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups, some of which were (are) moderated. On a mailing list or newsgroup there's generally no way to ...
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17 votes
Accepted

Community Leader is not productive and hurts site growth

The other 3 Founders need to speak with the problem founder. Depending on your dynamic, this can either be as a group or a simple one-on-one with a designated Founder to speak for you three. The one ...
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  • 6,902
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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  • 6,902
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

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 I tell an active member but not a good moderator that I want to remove her rank?

Make this a multi-step process. It sounds like they aren't doing anything egregious so the moderator powers don't need to be revoked immediately. You have time to work with this moderator to improve ...
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  • 6,902
14 votes
Accepted

How do you moderate the moderators?

How can this be handled in a community that doesn't have that that extra level above moderators? It is difficult to imagine something like that. There is always a superstructure that gives the power ...
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  • 646
14 votes

Am I a moderator or a user?

This boils down to community culture and possibly community tools. If your community has a way for you to post as non-moderator that is a great way to interact as a user. For example, Reddit allows ...
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  • 6,902
13 votes

Am I a moderator or a user?

In a smaller forum, where moderators actively participate as users, and take moderator actions relatively rarely, we've added a special markup for "Moderator speech". As long as the moderator talks ...
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  • 1,813
13 votes
Accepted

How to handle repeat offenders — and how to rein in fellow moderators?

Offer to handle that user yourself Work double-plus hard to create positive interaction Point out the positive interactions to the other mods Offer to Handle the User If other mods can't keep a cool ...
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  • 466
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
13 votes
Accepted

How do I deal with a Mod who is censoring?

Don't worry about making him angry. If he can't deal with getting on board with helping the community and allowing competing views without getting angry and quitting, then he is not a good moderator, ...
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  • 5,993
12 votes
Accepted

Are applicants less likely to apply as moderators if their nomination is open to public scrutiny?

Think about all the commercials you see on television. All those new products that companies want you to buy. Just about anything nowadays will have a money-back guarantee, and will say something ...
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  • 1,116
12 votes
Accepted

What's A Good Member to Moderator Ratio

The short answer is: It depends. The longer answer is that it depends on several factors of your community. There is not a golden moderator to user ratio that can be applied to all communities. The ...
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  • 6,902
12 votes
Accepted

How can a leader set expectations for response times to flags?

On managing user expectations, I've seen a related problem on a site I moderate; with three moderators (who are active but all have "day jobs" too), flags can hang around for a few hours. We've had ...
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12 votes
Accepted

How do I keep moderators active?

It sounds like there are few areas to focus on here, but most of it boils down to communication between you and your team. Not participating in staff discussions Think about how your community is ...
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  • 6,902
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

How can I encourage and promote community moderation?

I'm elaborating on ChrisF's answer of building in moderation tools. This is important. But, that's not all there is to it. Every piece of forum software I've used has the ability for users to flag a ...
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  • 6,902
11 votes

A problematic, yet popular user is running for moderator. How can we make sure things don't get out of hand?

As the site administration, you reserve the right to not accept a moderator's nomination even when community consensus is achieved. After all, it is your community, and in addition to that of the ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Finding a new Mod after a rogue Mod damaged the system

You have a few challenges: Re-earning the trust of your users: Your users are hurt and suspicious because of what happened. You've undone what you can, but there are lasting effects. As with any ...
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11 votes
Accepted

When is it acceptable to single out a user?

You are talking about a situation where the problem behavior happens in public and during the meeting. So you risk embarrassment with the reprimand, but not by revealing the problem behavior -- ...
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11 votes
Accepted

How can a marketer participate in technical community without being rejected as a spammer?

In my experience as an ordinary participant (not as a moderator or company representative) in technical communities, you've identified the main concerns. Technical communities tend to like it when ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Is the idea of crowd-sourcing moderation duties a reason to prevent automated processes from helping?

Disclaimer: I have an answer on the linked question. I also run an automated process that at least partially prompted the comment that led to this question I do not believe the question posed ...
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  • 6,902
11 votes

How should a member get the option to become a moderator?

There are many ways you can decide on who becomes a moderator on your site(s). Wait until the site has been up and running for a while and see which users have been the most helpful around the place, ...
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  • 6,595

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