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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29 votes
Accepted

What should be done about posts that threaten suicide on our forums?

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 ...
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  • 5,993
25 votes
Accepted

Why do forums discourage necro-bumping?

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" ...
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  • 6,902
24 votes

How to discern a case of illegal sockpuppetry from a group of people legally contributing from the same workplace?

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 ...
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  • 341
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
22 votes
Accepted

How to make users cut down on profanity in a community, where profanity is allowed?

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 ...
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  • 5,993
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
21 votes
Accepted

How strict should we be with racist comments on a satire reddit?

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. ...
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  • 6,595
20 votes
Accepted

Should I do anything to protect, or even privilege, minority opinions on my site?

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 ...
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17 votes

What are reliable indicators that a user is trolling rather than an uninformed or frustrated legitimate user?

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 ...
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  • 1,436
17 votes
Accepted

How to discern a case of illegal sockpuppetry from a group of people legally contributing from the same workplace?

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,...
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  • 6,595
17 votes
Accepted

Why is the League of Legends community so toxic?

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 ...
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  • 3,795
16 votes
Accepted

Are there benefits to allowing anonymous users in an online community?

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 ...
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  • 276
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
Accepted

How can moderators prevent an 'in-crowd' forming?

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 ...
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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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15 votes

What should be done about posts that threaten suicide on our forums?

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. ...
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  • 251
15 votes
Accepted

On Stack Exchange, how do I motivate users to prioritize the needs of the community over personal gain?

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 ...
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15 votes

How can a community protect itself from a single user intent on misrepresenting the community?

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 ...
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  • 6,595
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
14 votes

How can a community protect itself from a single user intent on misrepresenting the community?

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 ...
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13 votes

How do you deal with a back-seat moderator?

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 ...
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  • 5,993
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

How to deal with a user who deliberately posts answers as comments to evade changes of reputation?

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 ...
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13 votes

Are there benefits to allowing anonymous users in an online community?

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 ...
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  • 6,902
12 votes

What are reliable indicators that a user is trolling rather than an uninformed or frustrated legitimate user?

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 ...
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