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MassCops Founder
6,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Roles and Responsibilities of MassCops Moderators

What does "moderating" mean?

Generally, moderators have a threefold responsibility: to ensure that members are following the community rules, to assist new members, and to foster lively discussion. A good moderator ensures that his/her forum is inviting, active, and an asset to the MassCops community as a whole.

General Information on Moderators

The role of the moderators is to establish and maintain a civilized and friendly environment within which all Forum members live by some very simple and basic rules.

The rules and guidelines we've provided so far have been created out of necessity, and cover the situations that we've been able to quantify, to date. It is near impossible to predict, ahead of time, every single possible scenario that might violate the rules and guidelines of this Forum. The intent was not to write Penal Law, but rather, to provide a "framework of civility".

There are plenty of Forums on the Internet that have little or no rules, guidelines or moderation. Some people enjoy complete anarchy. That's not what this Forum is about, nor will it be tolerated.

Moderators may moderate posts within their designated forums, and enforce the Forum rules and guidelines. Should a serious enough infraction take place they will involve the admin, in deciding how to handle that particular situation. Moderators must maintain a detailed record of the situation, and reasons for taking such action. Moderators have the responsibility to enforce the rules and guidelines.

Moderators are here to make sure this place remains an enjoyable forum for "honest, open and sometimes argumentative discussion(s)" - within the framework of some very basic rules and guidelines.

If you wish to contest a decision made by a Moderator you may contact the Site Administrators via PM or E-mail. In no circumstance, should a member contest a Moderator in an open thread, doing so will violate board rules and create an unwelcome environment that cannot be tolerated. You can contact an admin at anytime by e-mailing [email protected]

Moderator Etiquette - General Guidelines on Moderators duties

The moderators should always be familiar with the specific rules and regulations of their board, but these are some general guidelines for good moderation.

When to edit or delete a message ?

- Contains abusive, vulgar, or irreverent language.
- Contains illegal information
- Contains spam
- Contains off-topic content
- Violates the board rules in some other way (contains advertising, etc.)

Editing is always visible to the community; whenever a message is edited, the date/time/edit author are shown within the message.

Basically, whenever there is no value to the community that demands leaving the topic/message in place. It is good practice to e-mail the topic initiator to explain why it was deleted, unless the reason is totally obvious.

When to move a topic ?

Off-topic discussion: When you move a topic, you have the choice to either leave a copy of the thread in the original forum, or completely move it to the new forum location. It is usually a good idea to leave a copy pointing to the new location so those returning can find it.

When to ban a member ?

- Repeated violation of the stated board rules or forum rules
- Offensive behavior (e.g., posting offensive material, harassing other members)
- Attempts at hacking or destroying the forum
- Repeated attempts to circumvent moderation or banning

Banning a member means that he/she can no longer post messages on your board (it is not limited to a specific forum). Normally, unruly members are given a warning prior to actually being banned, since that is a fairly serious step. The level of discipline should correspond to the seriousness of the offense. (And remember…it is always reversible.)

When to lock a topic ?

- Discussion is heading off-topic, but does not merit deletion
- The initial message and replies contain valuable information, but further discussion is not desired
- The thread is becoming too lengthy

Sometimes it is difficult to decide whether to close a topic or delete it. In general, deference should be given to the members participating, and it's better to close a topic than to delete it. (If there are individual messages in the thread that are offensive, they can be individually removed---just be careful that the remaining thread still makes sense.)


MassCops Founder
6,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
But of course.... Well we have a few new mods and just wanted to throw up some guide lines.
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