Moderation Policy

All those boring things everyone ignores, like the rules
Forum rules
All those boring things everyone ignores, like the rules

Moderation Policy

Postby The Hosts » October 23rd, 2007, 8:10 pm

1. The need for moderation
The majority of our members want to be part of the community and contribute to discussions, and can be trusted to do so with respect for other contributors. Occasionally a member may make a post which breaks board rules, or which could be misinterpreted to do so. The moderators help to maintain a pleasant atmosphere on the board by intervening in these situations. Very occasionally, someone may join with the intention of causing trouble. Fast action from the moderators helps to minimise the disruption to other board members.

2. Who moderates?
Moderators are volunteers and any Thaddean, ie full member of the board, may volunteer to be a moderator by applying to join the Cherubim group. Acceptance is at the discretion of the Hosts. To see who is a member of the group, or to apply to join it, go to the usergroups section of your user control panel. If you would like to help, but would prefer not to undertake some duties, please contact the Hosts indicating which moderation roles you would be happy to carry out. Alternatively, you could join the Seraphim group, for non-moderating roles.

To keep the number of active moderators, and their workload manageable, the Hosts will invite people to act in a specific moderation role for a fixed time. The role(s) offered to any individual at any time and the frequency of appointment are at the discretion of the Hosts. If a term of duty is not convenient for any reason, the Hosts will appoint someone else, and ask the original member again on another occasion. We hope this will ease the pressure on moderators and allow more people to be involved in running St Thads.

The Hosts will not seek to influence moderation decisions, but will provide assistance to any moderators on request.

3. Moderation is anonymous.
Active moderators will not be identified to anyone except the other moderators working with them, to protect both moderators and board members from any attempts to influence moderation decisions. All moderating actions are carried out by 'moderator identities'. Active moderators will continue to post on the board under their own username, in exactly the same way as non-moderators, and should not reveal that they are the active moderators.

4. Moderation is confidential.
Moderation aims to be as unobtrusive as possible. Whenever possible, the moderators will try to avoid drawing the attention of other board members to the need for moderation. St Thads does not operate a 'name and shame' policy. Members are trusted to act in a reasonable manner and with the intention of obeying the board rules, and public reminders of any failure to do so should be avoided.
The details of any moderation decision, including the identity of, or any discussion between, the active moderators, are confidential and should not be disclosed to anyone else, including other moderators.

When a thread has to be locked, or the whole or a substantial part of it removed, the moderators will post an indication that this has occurred. They will not name individuals whose posts have been moderated, nor will details of any sanctions imposed on members be made public by the moderators.
The moderators will indicate when a thread has been locked or removed temporarily for moderator consideration.

5. User notes
Each member's profile has notes attached, visible only to the Hosts and active moderators. The notes hold information which might be needed by future moderators. This will include the date a note was made, any rule that was broken, and the action taken.
If a warning is issued or other sanctions applied, the reason will be logged in the user notes. The text of private messages from a member to the moderators may be recorded in the notes.

User notes will contain no more detail than the examples below, and no other information on completed moderation decisions will be available to anyone, unless a review is requested. Members may request a copy of the user notes relating to their account by contacting the Hosts.

Example user notes entries
Post edited - rule 4.
User notified that further breach may lead to sanctions.
Premoderated post refused - rule 5.
User asked to edit – copyright rule 7
Warning issued - rule 7
Private messages restricted until date - rule 3

6. Complaints or comments on moderation should not be made in public.
Public complaints will not be responded to, as this would breach confidentiality, and will be deleted. This will be recorded in the user notes, and may lead to sanctions against the user's account.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of moderation on St Thads, you should approach the Hosts directly, within one month of any specific incident. The Hosts will investigate the matter, and appoint moderators to review it if necessary.
If your concerns are about moderation involving other people, please remember that you may not be in possession of all the relevant information. For example, if you do not see anything on a thread which you think needs moderation, that may be because posts have already been edited. If you contact the Hosts, they will investigate the case if they have not already done so, but will not breach confidentiality to explain their decision to you.

7. Every member of St Thads has agreed to abide by the board rules, and these rules apply equally to all members, including moderators.
The moderators will do their best to apply the rules fairly, and individual moderators will step back from moderation in any situation where they feel unable to do so. Particular examples include the moderation of a thread in which the moderator has been posting, or the moderation of posts by any person with whom the moderator has a relationship which may make it difficult to avoid bias, whether positive or negative. In this situation, a moderator may report a post and request that other moderators deal with it. In an emergency, if no other moderators are available, they may refer it to the Hosts. They will take no further part in any moderation of the post. If there is any concern that a moderator may be biased in a particular role or situation and has not stepped back voluntarily, they will be asked to act in a different role or situation in the future.

8. Contacting the moderators
The report button should be used to alert the moderators to any posts which break board rules, or inflammatory threads. The software only allows each post to be reported once. If a post has already been reported, the moderators know about it, so please do not try to contact the moderators by other means, as this is likely to delay their response. Report moderators have a control panel which lists all open reports automatically, and any reported posts are highlighted when they open a forum or thread.
Do not report posts by private message or on the thread. They do not maintain confidentiality and cannot be dealt with in the moderation system.

Requests for a thread to be split, copied or moved to another section of the board may be made on the thread.
PMs sent to the moderators may be recorded on user notes or post reports.

9. Warnings
Any moderator may issue a warning which will be visible only to the person warned and moderators. The reason for the warning will be logged in the user notes. Warnings expire after a set time and have no automatic consequences. The number of warnings received may affect decisions regarding sanctions to be applied to a member account, or eligibility for membership of the Cherubim or Seraphim.
Any private message sent to the moderators regarding a warning may be copied to the user notes.
The Hosts
Posts: 17
Joined: October 23rd, 2007, 11:46 am

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