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Example Forums Moderator Guidelines

PostPosted: April 10th, 2008, 4:43 pm
by Patrick
Example Forums moderators must work within these guidelines.


You must possess leadership capabilities, a good attitude, kind demeanor, good speaking and grammar skills (you must be able to communicate clearly in English), basic understanding of the features of the community software, the ability to stimulate discussion, distinguish a violation of our User Guidelines and aggressively moderate this community, work in a team environment and, finally, have pride in your work and be dedicated to the success of Example Forums.

It's required that staff members provide me with their real name for display on our staff page as well as a current mailing address, at all times (it can be work, P.O. Box, home, etc. just as long as it reaches you).


Example Forums moderators are expected to visit the forums at a minimum of 5 days per week and/or 3 hours per week.

Although you are encouraged to start topics and reply to topics where you see fit, your main function is to make sure that the users of this community are abiding by our User Guidelines.

On your routine visit to this site, you should read a variety of topics - but above all, do not avoid hot button issues just because you are not taking part. Controversial and debatable issues will generally spawn the most violations. So, those are the topics you will want to hit hardest on your visits. Carefully consider each post, but be aggressive in your approach. We can always fix mistakes, but the mistake of leaving a violation in public is one that we want to avoid.

If a user does violate our guidelines, they must be contacted via private message using our Contact Templates.

You should remove any threads and posts that are in violation of our guidelines. You do so by moving them and all of their direct replies to the Trash Bin.

Your moderation tools can be found in the Moderator Control Panel, linked in the top left portion of the site and at the bottom right of topics as a drop down menu. When moving a topic, you must select the forum that you want to move it to and decide whether or not to leave a shadow topic. If you are moving the topic to the Trash Bin, do not leave a shadow. If you are moving the topic from a public forum to another public forum, leave a shadow. If you spot a topic that is not posted in the most appropriate forum, please move it to the forum. When splitting a topic, select "Split topic" from the moderation drop down menu and click "Go". On the next page, give the new topic a title (if moving the post(s) to the Trash Bin, you can just name it "Split" or title it with the violation in mind), select the forum you wish to split to and select the posts that you wish to split off. Then, with "Split selected posts" selected in the drop down menu toward the bottom, click "Submit."

If a user makes a reply that violates our guidelines and the thread that they replied to would normally be alright, just remove that post using the split function in the community software. Be sure to remove any posts that reference or were in reply to the post that violated the guidelines. Move it to the Trash Bin. Again, they must be contacted via private message using our Contact Templates. Please note that we do not ever permanently delete posts. Any post that is removed or deleted from public view is moved to the Trash Bin.

If a contact template doesn't exist for the type of violation that you are dealing with, feel free to make one and post it on the Contact Templates thread.

If, during a single visit of yours to the community, you have spotted a user who has violated our guidelines in more than one post or instance, please combine all of the violations into one notification private message. Please do not send private messages one after another for individual violations wherever you can help it. You can help minimize this by completing your routine look throughout the forums and splitting off any violations while you do so, leaving them open individually in a separate window or tab and then coming back to them once you have had a complete look through the forums. Then, you can document and handle them as needed. Feel free to combine contact templates to achieve the desired effect of covering various types of violations inside of a single message.

For all violations, be sure to start or respond to the appropriate thread in the Problem Users forum. Every user who violates our User Guidelines has a thread in this forum with their username as the title.

To check if a thread has already been created for a given user, you can use the search function by searching for their exact username and limiting your search to the Problem Users forum.

If a user responds to your private message, help them in the most polite and kind way possible. However, if their message is disrespectful or further violates our User Guidelines - do not respond to the message. Post the entire message in their Problem Users thread and I will handle it.

If a user contacts you via e-mail, instant messenger, etc. in regard to a violation or other sensitive site-related matter, please document it in Problem Users (if appropriate) and then respond to them through the private message system, asking them to correspond with you through private messages instead of e-mail, instant messenger, etc. This allows the conversation to be officially documented and tracked, should something come out of it that requires action.

If a thread is going in circles or getting repetitive (the issue has been talked to death and is at its end), you can close it.

Wherever possible, you should try to keep a thread open and in public. Closing a thread is not an appropriate response to a violation or dispute. Split violations off, take care of them and leave the thread. Do not close a thread and leave the violations in public where they can continue to do harm. They still need to be removed and handled.

Duplicate threads posted in the same forum within a short period of time and duplicate posts posted on the same thread within a short period of time are not considered violations. They are to be considered accidents. Simply move the thread(s)/split the post(s) off into the Trash Bin and reply to the newly created thread in the Trash Bin noting that it was a duplicate or make "Duplicate" the subject of the thread when splitting. There is no need to document in Problem Users or send a private message.

If a user repeatedly violates our guidelines and shows a disregard for the staff of the site, it is a possibility that they will be banned. However, it is I alone that will make this distinction and until I do, just handle all violations as business as usual. Please do not make assertions as to who should be banned and who shouldn't.

If, at any time, you have an issue with another staff member or feel that they may have made a serious mistake, please contact me privately and I will handle it. Do not confront your fellow staff members on any serious issues. If you have a post removed, a decision that you made is reversed or you are otherwise corrected, please do not take it personally. Please make a note of it to prevent it from happening again and ask questions to further understand, if necessary.

Please consult our Situations Guide for further, more specific information on the handling and distinguishing of certain types of violations.

You Are an Example

It is important that you realize that you are an example of this community and should carry yourself as such at all times. You should always act in a responsible and polite manner. Do not allow yourself to appear abusive, rude or inappropriate. It is your job to cool down threads - not heat them up.

Our User Guidelines apply to you and then some. You are held to a higher standard than regular members. You should not approach, let alone push, the limitations of our User Guidelines.

To that end, do not publicly discuss action taken against any user. Do not post "I have removed Joe's posts as they were full of vulgarities" or "You have been warned" or "Keep this up and I'll remove your posts" or anything of the sort. We handle all of our business privately. If someone violates our User Guidelines, their posts are removed and we handle it. We do not post about specific actions taken against specific users publicly.

Staff Forums

The staff forums are for current staff members to privately discuss issues relevant to the community. What is said in these forums is to be kept between current staff members only.

If you have any questions about anything at any time, please feel free to contact me via private message or via e-mail at

Thank you for your contributions to Example Forums.