Moderation Guidelines 151102
SM continues to grow
Some of the initial crew of Moderators are no longer with us or not very active as staff which means that we need to periodically add new Mods to the ranks. It seems like a good time to clarify the role of our Mods as we introduce a few that have stepped up to assist.
Mods are not the Forum Police
So many forums I visit seem to have a staff that's waiting in the shadows for someone to trip up on a rule so they can call them out for it, lock the thread, cry 'DUPE' or otherwise haze them for being a new member who's unfamiliar with the forum's written or unwritten dogma. Think of a big box retail store. There are greeters at the door and workers in green vests who should be doing everything they can to help the customer while they are shopping. Their main responsibility is not waiting for the customer to trip over the display of light bulbs so they can correct them but to make them feel welcome, comfortable and at ease during the experience. SM mods are to primarily be helpers rather than enforcers. Mods should enforce our rules (CoC) as lightly as possible. Use the PM system as necessary to inform a member of an issue and to ask them to correct it themselves. (you also don't need to copy the entire staff on a PM like this).
If an SM Mod isn't performing to these expectations, they may be relieved of Moderator duties.
- Mods are expected to visit SM on a regular basis
- Mods are expected to periodically create threads that will spur active discussion
- Mods should encourage discussion in existing threads by asking questions or bumping forgotten but timeless threads
- Mods will make edits to typo'd, over-punctuated or vague thread titles
- Mods will correct failed quotes, images or other funky formatting in posts
- Mods will edit typos if they are obvious typos. (If a member always uses misspelled words or incorrect grammar this should be left as a character mark)
- Mods will never publicly call out an infringement of our rules.
- Mods should refrain from standing behind their Mod badge if engaged in debate or discussions of disagreement: 'I see your 1st and 2nd points but am taking of my Mod hat to respectfully disagree with your 3rd point. Here's how my take...' Mods should avoid engaging in topics where this is not possible due to personal bias
- Mods are not to 'take it personal' if someone disagrees with them
- Mods are to represent SM to the best of their ability
- Mods are not to login as 'invisible' so as to be available for assistance
- When edits for questionable content are made (after first asking the user to self moderate), Mods will add a brief description to what was changed and why
Given the media intensity given to the Corona or Wuhan virus, there seems no reason to have posts on that very specific subject in several forums Accordingly, all of those posts will be moved to "Headlines". All new items on that subject should be posted there as well. This notice will expire on 1 April, or be extended if needed. Thanks, folks.
SM Moderation Guidelines
This is not a procedural 'how to' but a clarification of our persona as staff