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jonh 29th April 2004 12:54 AM

Moderator's Guide
 
Introduction
Forum moderators are guides for the forum members and guardians of the BB rules. They have administrative powers in their forums to ensure that the board fulfils its purpose.


Powers of a Moderator
The most important powers are the Moving, Closing, Editing and Deletion of threads and posts. A moderator also has the power to:

Post Forum Announcements

Edit Threads and Posts

Close / Open Threads

Move / Copy Threads

Stick / Unstick Threads

Delete Threads and Posts

Merge Threads

Split Threads

Responsibilities of the Moderator
The Moderatorís principal responsibility is to show an errant user what he did wrong. In this way we ensure that our members are learning from the moderatorís action, so improving the quality of our community.

A Moderator will participate in the conversations posted in his/her forums, but will not try to answer all requests. This is what the community should.

If necessary a Moderator keeps conversation flowing smoothly in the forum.

Moving of threads
If a threadís content follows the board rules, but has not been posted into the correct forum, the Moderator will move the thread into the right forum. When doing this you have 3 options:

Move thread and leave redirect in previous forum: This is what you will use in most cases so that the user can learn where he should have posted.

Move thread to destination forum: Threads containing advertisements will always be moved to theClassified Ads forum.

Copy thread to destination forum: This will not be used, as duplication will produce multiple cross-postings.

Closing of threads
In some cases discussions will not come to a satisfying end or will lead off the topic. This is the right time to close a thread and disallow further posting. A Moderator has two possibilities when closing a thread:

Reply & Close this thread after you submit your message: This is what you should use in most cases. Write a short reply saying why the thread will be closed, and choose the "Close thread after submit" option at the bottom of your reply screen.

Close thread: Using the Close Thread from the Thread Tools menu should only be used if it is obvious why the thread was closed.

Editing threadsEditing another memberís thread or post is a more significant action and should be used wisely. Moderators edit texts when they contain profanity, offensive language, off-topic content or when they don't follow the board rules in any other way. You have several ways to edit:

Edit botton at bottom of post: This will be used in most cases and lets you edit the contents of a post. The "Reason for Editing" box should always be used.

Edit Thread using the Thread Tools menu: This option will only let you edit the threadís title and posticon. It is to be used when the title does not meet our rules.

Deletion of threads/posts
This is probably the most powerful weapon of the Moderator and is to be used only in special cases. It is never be used to censor opinions, but only to keep the board inviting and helpful for all members. Moderators should delete a post if it contains:

Unacceptable behaviour (as determined by the tone of the community; e.g., profanity)

Completely off-topic discussion where nothing corresponding exists in the thread

No part of the thread or post is worth editing and preserving

Illegal or defamatory statements are made

If a moderator is deleting something he/she has two options and in either case should always leave a "Reason for Deletion":

'Soft' delete it - Leave "Deleted" Message: This is what you should use in most cases. This way we make sure everyone knows that we are not censoring opinions, but protecting the community.

Physically remove it: This will only be used if a thread or post contains illegal or defamatory statements. These have to be removed physically.


Banning
The exclusion of community members is probably the most powerful option the Administrator has if a single member constantly does not follow our communityís rules. It is therefore important that anyone so behaving is reported by the Moderator to the Administrsator, who will decide what action to take in consultation with the Moderator. If a member does not respond to warnings, we have a three level ban system:

1-3 days ban: We use this to clearly show a member, that he/she has done something wrong and that he/she now should follow our board rules.

1-2 weeks ban: A user who does not follow the board rules after the first ban will receive this ban toemphasise to him/her that he/she now has to follow the board rules.

Permanent ban: If a user continues not to follow the board rules despite the above two bans, then we shall permanently ban him/her.

In the worst cases we may proceed straight to the second or third stage.


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