29

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 almost always == disaster. Some things that could go wrong: You might not give them enough punishment/be lenient on them. They could accuse you of giving them ...


29

Suicide threats are a hard subject to deal with. In general, there is unlikely to be any real legal action against you if you fail to report it, simply because you can make the case that you didn't know who it was or how to get in touch with the appropriate people. That said, morally, it is probably best to take it seriously and attempt to report it to ...


24

Forums are a different beast than Stack Exchange. Forums encourage and promote discussion. Stack Exchange actively discourages discussions (see the "Ask questions, get answers, no distractions" section) and noise. Bumping old topics on a Stack Exchange site should be actively providing additional information that helps solve a problem. On a forum, ...


24

Don't. Sockpuppets, meat puppets and collaborating cliques can all result in the same harmful effects. So there's not a lot of value in trying to differentiate between them, since you'll need to mitigate the effects of all of them. Which is what you should be doing in the first place: mitigating the negative effects. Look for patterns in behavior that are ...


22

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 throughout and bring evidence. If this amounts to nothing, take your business somewhere else. Trying to sneak around a moderator is only going to make the hunt ...


22

I often see this described as profanity being allowed, but politeness being required. Basically, for purposes of the chat, you define that profanity itself isn't offensive for profanities sake, but it can still be used offensively. If I say "Jimmy is stupid", it is offensive and wouldn't be allowed under a politeness rule. Just because profanity is ...


21

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 community standards. In the case that you describe, any intervention by the non-expert moderator should explicitly address the behaviors that violate community ...


21

I would say that there is no accepted level of racism. The problem on the internet is that people will take what you type out of context, even if that context is satirical and it will cause problems. I am assuming that as a satire site people will want to poke fun at racists and racism. It should be possible to do that without actually being racist ...


19

Well, you're describing a situation where the majority casts the majority of votes, and tends to vote in favor of topics and opinions that appeal to majority viewpoints. That's ok though, because the system will automatically normalize these votes according to the scale of voting on the relevant topics. ...unless... Oh, you didn't implement an unweighted ...


17

It's often difficult to detect a genuine troll from a confused user. As @AffableGeek stated it's best to give the user the benefit of the doubt at the start and treat them as if they are a new user who simply isn't aware of the rules or how things are done on the forum. One of the best ways to catch a troll is to watch for trends and to use the tools ...


17

I'll see if I can answer from a Stack Exchange perspective without giving any privileged information away. If you can tell if a bunch of accounts are coming from the same IP and voting for each other, in the first instance if you can't really tell if they are sock-puppet accounts or co-workers/class mates. So rather than diving straight in with bans or ...


17

You picked a game that is infamous for its toxic and impolite community. Amongst other genres, the MOBA genre itself has a problem with unfriendly communities, it's not just an issue which occurs to League of Legends. MOBA games usually are free to play so they attract many players, especially the ones who can't afford an AAA title, e.g. younger players. ...


16

Andy's answer covers benefits to individuals quite well; I'll try to cover some benefits from the community perspective. More members, more posts Signing up is easier if you don't need to provide a bunch of information upfront, and people are more likely to sign up because they will not be concerned about the privacy of their personal information. (Once ...


15

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 pretty important, if non-obvious; you might not want to deal with complaints about moderation with more moderations. However, if your community is about X and the ...


15

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 support him, and even remove him from the argument if things get personal. Second, if the suspension was wrongly placed, it should be lifted. The moderator should ...


15

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 have disciplinary measures (such as limiting participation) that can be applied when rules are broken. He hasn't broken rules, so I advise against jumping ...


15

NOTE: This answer is rather pragmatic, and it's based on how I would want to be dealt with (I have been known to have suicidal tendencies in the past). A lot of it is also based on my own experience. Suicide is a very sensitive subject, and it is very personal to me. Having support from a community is great, but we often see it as artificial. When we're ...


15

I realize it's their time to waste, but sometimes this situation creates drama when a question is deleted and people who answered it lose reputation points. That's their fault. Make it clear on your site somewhere (meta, perhaps?) so you can reference it when they get mad and it gets deleted. So: Make it clear somewhere that this behavior isn't allowed. ...


15

Perhaps the only solution is to "follow" him to the other places he's active and post accurate representations of the site. This would mean doing things like: creating an official Facebook page creating an official Twitter account etc. and have all of these post links to such content. Make sure you vet everything that gets posted by these accounts. You don'...


14

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 you distinguish a post, marking it with an 'M'. This is a good way to show that it is a moderator speaking officially. If your tools don't allow this kind of ...


14

The best way to do this is to include everyone in stuff and not show favoritism towards old users. When a old user posts crap, treat it like crap, regardless of who wrote it. If someone becomes an ass to another user, don't just slap them on the wrist if that isn't the punishment for that offense. Including them in games, allow them to post, and guide them ...


14

You can't do much about this, and the degree to which you respond should be tied to how "related" your site is with the ones where he's doing the maligning. I'm going to talk here about: when to respond at all versus letting it go how to respond, if you respond other things you can do (this may be the most important part) When and where to do something ...


13

The user [...] insists on his "right to comment" There's your problem right there. Unless you have rules to the contrary, users do not have the right to post anything they want on your platform. If he's making a "freedom of the press" argument, tell him to get his own press. If the comments do not follow your site's rules, delete them. On a site I ...


13

There are benefits to anonymity. These assume a perfect anonymity. Announcing your opinions is easier When you can't be easily identified - especially in a smaller community - you are much more willing to share personal beliefs that go against the majority of the community. Anonymity prevents retaliation. Anonymity also provides you with a way to post ...


12

Fundamentally, such a situation is no different from any other abusive user, moderator or not. If the user is being respectful in their actions, there is no problem and they may even be a decent candidate for a moderator in the future if they continue in being a help to the community. If, however, they are handling situations crassly or rudely, it ...


12

To me, one always starts with the benefit of the doubt: I assume the user is confused, and offer guidance. The answer to "what is the indicator" hinges solely on the response. If the user is combative or is obviously ignoring constructive criticism, then we are looking at trolldom.


12

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 in "user mode", their opinions are to be treated as just that - opinions from a fellow user. You're free to disagree, dispute, oppose, discuss. If moderator ...


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