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Are your moderators public or private (or a mix of both)?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by CyclingTribe, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    I currently allow my mods (on my big board) to be private (unknown to the community) mods if they wish.

    I'm considering asking them all to go public.

    How do you operate your own boards in relation to moderators, and how does your membership behave towards them?

    A couple of my mods have expressed grave concern that they will be singled-out for negative attention if they use the board normally and end up in debates with people; they don't feel the membership will see them as impartial and if any modding is done on the thread, they will be seen to be abusing their mod powers. How do you deal with such things on your board?

    I'm interested as much in how your community reacts to "public/open" moderation as your mods do.

    For instance, do you have a forum/thread where you post public notices of moderator actions?

    Do you have a private moderators forum for discussing board/modding business?

    Do you publicly announce bans and give reasons for the bans?

    Do you have a list of infractions (either private-mods-only or public) and is that built around a framework or points system?

    What behaviour earns someone a ban? and is it a three strike and you're out policy for people who continue to step over the line?

    Just curious as to how others do it. :)

    Shaun :D
  2. Floris

    Floris Guest

    Public, we don't hide it. But we're not shouting it from the rooftops either.
    They show as a trusted member, rather than a 'internet police!' kinda thing.
    We mention they're on our team, and we have a team page.
  3. iTuN3r

    iTuN3r Well-Known Member

    Don't know where i fit but most of our members are in touch with everyone else in board in one or otherway ...sometimes we do fish together , lunch programs and all so having staffs team private or public doesn't makes difference .
  4. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    I personally like to inject a little twist when the ban is warranted, It's not so much their behaviour that gets a person banned. If I run a forum and you hail from the Netherlands that is an automatic ban, You own an ipad, ipod, Apple product? There's only one place your heading, banned town which is the equivalent to (as seen in the movies) china town. Basically, if you breathe chances your going to be banned so any kind of potential trouble is kept at a minimum. People from Yemen are excluded, and welcome.
    Kim and jmurrayhead like this.
  5. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    Hmmm ... an interesting, if rather unexpected, answer ... :D
    Shelley likes this.
  6. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    How do you deal with heavy-breathing Dutch Yemeni's who own an iPhone?

    All of our staff are public and there is a "meet the staff" page.
    Kim likes this.
  7. MGSteve

    MGSteve Well-Known Member

    Private mods, that's the first time I've heard of that idea! Ours are all public and whilst yes it does cause them grief sometimes from normal members, its really all part and parcel of being a mod.

    From the users' perspective, if they have a problem on the forum and want mod help, if mods are public, then its easy, otherwise they don't know who to 'run' to, besides the admin.

    'Public' mods are all I've known, so to be honest, I can't give you a balanced view. Although I can see the benefits of private modding though, although that said, unless you direct all communications between your mod team and your members, mods won't be truly private anyway.
  8. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Having private mods means anonymous mods. Having anonymous members carry responsibility and power, can result in accountability and trust issues. It depends on the board, but I think that for most boards staff needs to be clearly visible, approachable and accountable.
    Crispy and MGSteve like this.
  9. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    This is one of the reasons I'm considering making the change, so I wondered how other board admins deal with it, and what happens when members pick on mods - well, because they're mods?
  10. Crispy

    Crispy Member

    There are 6 of us moderating ~300 online users at 3-4,000posts/day. Mods have public status, and we all post "as ourselves" when not discussing moderation issues. We have a guy who is privy to the mods forum who is a legal specialist. He does no moderation, just gives advice. The XF upgrade outed his status, but it's no big deal.

    We make decisions individually for minor things, but act by consensus on major issues (ie. find a solution that is not vetoed by any mod. That doesn't mean 100% agreement, mind you!). We have a private mods forum, which is absolutely invaluable, in terms of keeping a record of our decisions and discussing forum policy/upgrades/suspicious new posters who are blatantly trolls/banned users trying to get back on etc. Perhaps most importantly it allows coordination of action and sharing of information in crises. I can say with 100% truth that lives have been saved by the action of the moderating team, coordinated via the private forum.

    We do not publicly broadcast our bans, and try to keep discussion about them to Private Conversations. The really big-ticket bans of long-term members (that only come round once a year or so) tend to defy any attempts to cage discussion, so there will inevitably be a big hoo-ha thread and we try and answer questions with the facts until the drama subsides. It's not much fun.

    Temporary "cooling down" bans of x days' length tend to be marked by a mods comment in the thread where the trouble started. We don't use any infractions or points systems. Seems like over-complication. The use of rules and arbitrary systems in place of subjective judgement is a bad idea IMO. No "strikes"

    In general, we're extremely tolerant of behaviour. You can get away with most robust language and arguing and content. If you have a strong opinion, then be prepared to back it up cos it's a jungle out there! To earn a permanent ban, you have to be persistently disruptive, abusive or racist (or other comparable -ists). The number of regular users on permanent ban is very low. Many have been allowed back on after several years off and a suitably groveling apology.

    We have a Feedback forum for public discussion about the site, which is more strictly policed. Threads get closed when questions have been answered, and joking around is frowned on. Feedback forum is serious forum.

    Years ago, a group of posters took issue with the site owner and mods, and struck out on their own to start their own forums with open moderation, democracy, group decision making etc. It didn't end well. Some of those who left at the time have since returned. Some of those have since been banned. All in the past now, although sometimes old wounds get opened when old-timers get carried away.

    Huh. That's a lot more than I originally meant to type :D
    Caveat: We're a community first. Our forums are very wide ranging and general purpose and the moderating style fits that. I wouldn't recommend such a relaxed approach to a special interest or technical forum. In those cases, the mods are there to keep the signal:noise ratio high and to ban timewasters on sight. Urban75 welcomes timewasters. Wasting time is what the site is for :D
    Kim and Alfa1 like this.
  11. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    What happens when members pick on a mod? That doesn't happen often at my site, because moderators are widely respected and had a natural overweight even before they were appointed. But when it happens, its usually a member with a grudge about an infraction. The staff team backs the moderator up by explaining the matter as honest as possible. The staff always has each others back. This is why its so important that everyone is on the same page and agrees about important matters. We do a lot of reflection and soliciting for staff opinion in the moderators forums to make sure of that.
    Another issue is that staff needs to stay fair and avoid any aggressive approach, even when taking the heat.

    Mind that my big board is heavily moderated.
    Crispy likes this.
  12. Divvens

    Divvens Well-Known Member

    We are a small community, 23 members and around 5k posts (we've been open only a month so..) and currently our staff team consists of 3 members. That is me, my close friend (almost like my brother) he's from Netherlands (while I'm from the other side of the world) is the second Admin. And we have one Senior/Global moderator who is also from Netherlands and she's also a really close friend. So as of now the staff is people who've known each other for 4+ years. We are good with team work generally know what we are good at and can work well together. And as we grow we plan to keep it the same, anyone included into the moderating team is going to be someone we trust and is close to us. Team work and understanding is really important imo. If the staff gets together well, only then can we manage the board right?

    We mostly remove posts, merge posts/topics and stuff like that. A warn/ban hasn't yet been necessary. But the members don't mind it when we try to stop topics from going off topic. I've seen forums where moderators are blamed for taking sides, etc. But not faced any till now...and hope to keep it that way :)

    We do not post moderator actions in public, but we have a staff forums where there is a topic for moderators to discuss before warning a member, or reaching to a member. We advise our S.Mod to generally let us handle such things, but if it's needed she has all the power to go ahead and then inform us. We have a absolute no ban policy unless its really needed, so for a ban the moderator needs to give an explanation and it needs to be approved by us (unless it's a spammer, that's insta ban :p )

    We plan to create a topic, "Thrown Overboard" (since our site "Oro Jackson" is a ship). Where we will list the members who are banned (temp/perm) and then members can discuss about the bans and things related to it.

    Just a set of rules, nothing else.

    We have decided to ban only if its really needed. Under the circumstances such as excessive negligence for rules, continuous attacking on other members/staff etc. We also have a policy (since we are a fan site) about spoilers, they are not to be spoken outside the spoiler section and if someone does that it's a ban for a week.

    That's at least how we handle stuff :p
    GeeksChat likes this.
  13. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I have seen both public, and private moderation styles. Honestly, they work both the same, but also differently.

    As for broadcasting bans - it actually works. Because it tells other people "this person got banned because of this, so don't try to use the same tactic." And most likely, 50% of the time, people have questions about the banning of member "x" and member "z" and so on and on. Especially when a high caliber member is banned.
  14. Blue

    Blue Well-Known Member

    Our Mods are public but our actions are private. Members do not need to know the workings of a forum.
    GeeksChat likes this.
  15. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Just like on Crispy's site, we do not communicate about bans, except with the member involved. That will only lead to unnecessary problematic discussions. We do make statements about bans of ranking members or if we need to ban a group of members.

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