Ahoy, ahoy, readers! Welcome to the first edition of the Community Report! Here, we ask a question to a group of users, see what they said, then write our own blurb about the topic. Then, we open the floor to you, dear readers! Who do you agree with? Disagree with? What do you think of the question? What should we ask next? We'll have a designated topic for you to post your thoughts!
This fortnight, we discuss the question, What does it mean to be a moderator? Let's take a look at what our participants in the survey said...
Ok, here's my take on being a moderator:
When I think of the word moderator, I think of that guy at a debate who introduces the speakers and then gets out of the way to let everyone speak, stepping in only when the proceedings get out of hand. That's generally what moderators do in the discussion forums.
Being an SoC moderator is a bit different. For one thing, we're not discussion-oriented; we're learning-oriented. I do sometimes have to chase some students out of other students' threads, and although we try to help everyone who comes through our doors, our training doesn't work for every student, but for the most part, everyone's in the SoC to learn. In that respect, an SoC mod isn't really any different from a non-mod SoC teacher besides a few forum tools. We're here to answer questions and provide guidance.
To me? Well, for me, it means to be helpful as much as you can. That's why I personally help in 3 different area's. It has it's downsides, but it feels good knowing that I help out the site in a good way. You gotta be level-headed, yet find a way to have fun with it.
Live Chat Moderator
means you fulfill a certain task to help out the site
Head Tournament Moderator
I think that a more clear definition of what it means to be a Mod needs to be very precisely written down and adhere to. We are here to serve, not just the owner/owners of the site but also the community in general and we can't do that by setting a bad example or entertaining arguments or letting the fact that we are Mods with Mod "Powers" get to our heads and puff us up in pride. And if we can't do that then we should step down.
What does it mean?
It means trying to see the other person's point of view, trying to understand what has happened or might happen, why a person does what they do and how to avoid hurting a person's feelings while remaining fair, balanced and yet maintaining the rules of the site. It means trying to be patient and understanding, fair but firm, leading by example, while still retaining a sense of humour even during your rough days.. It means trying not to favour anyone and to treat everyone the same regardless of whether you agree or disagree with them. It means being patient and willing to support your team members, point out where there can be improvements and be willing to discuss things rationally and reasonably. What it means is treating others the way you would like to see them act and to be what you want the site to be... That's what being a mod means
Head Live Chat Moderator
Honestly? Free premium
Kidding. I wouldn't be here if that was just it
. Being a moderator is a great balancing act, and as Dr. Seuss would say, we must step with great care and great tact. You learn quickly that you both have to know when to listen to the community on feedback and accept your failures, and learn when someone's just mad because it hadn't happened in their favor. The greatest part about moderating is making the difference, as cliche as that sounds. Believe it or not, we do have the community's best interests in mind -- though some will probably tell you otherwise
! The absolute best part is helping a new member around. Guiding them through the Strategy and Add-ons forums and so on, giving them help with all of the generic beginner questions, etc. I try to be to new members what I had when I first joined -- a helpful network of people who liked to play the game and watch others do well at it!rdsrds2120
Fairness, consistency, putting personal feelings aside, good judgement, dedication, thick skinned, impartial
You don't need to be a moderator in order to moderate.
Former Discussions Moderator
a servant of regular users!
I am not very active anymore in the forums or on this site, due to much of the moderation. I am not sure if I am the best person to engage about moderation, as I have no experience actually moderating a forum. I have seen the results of less than professional moderation, and that is why the forums here are pretty quiet and boring.
As for what I think it means to moderate, it would be most like a life quard job. You sit quietly, overlooking the swimmers, making sure rules are followed and one person's (or group's) fun doesn't infringe on the other swimmers.However, you don't jump in the pool to start splashing and dunking while "on duty". You should be held to a higher standard as a poster than a general member. (Night Strike is the worst offender of this, although I agree with him politically, I think he gets too involved in the forums). If you want to play in the pool, stop moderating.
Of course, this doesn't go for the "lesser mods" that run the entertainment or foundry sides of the forum. They have been picked for activity and interest. They are more of a guide or a crossing guard, helping people get to their goal safely and within the rules.
What it means to be a moderator to Phatscotty. I can only base my input on my experience, which has been mostly with discussion moderators, so that is where most of this will originate.
A moderator should understand and always be conscious that they are operating in a diverse environment, and it's that reality that needs to take precedent for a modus operandi based on objectivity, and not personal prejudice. While I admit there is no person or group that can always be 100% objective, either people are trying to strive for objectivity, or they are moving away from the principle of fairness and setting previous differences and bias aside. Basically, one who moderates should aim to treat everyone as similarly as possible based on clear and agreed upon definitions and examples.
Mods should have clear definitions provided for them to moderate with. I do not know the inner workings or the jargon of the moderator class, but I would imagine that they might/should get together and discuss as many of the more complex issues at hand as possible in an organized manner and have some kind of consensus on what is going to be done. Definitions should hold as true as possible and should not be bent to suit certain cases. I won't state that with 100% certitude, as I am certain there have been many interesting exceptions and can only leave that to the imagination.
I have to assume that a large number of the more "messy" incidents have a lot to do with "Well, PosterA said xyz and was reported for flaming but nothing happened, and what PosterB posted does not even come close to PosterA, therefore either it would be a mistake to rule against B, or else there was a mistake that PosterA should have been ruled against but was not, and try to find the answer in the middle.
I think the goal should be to make the community better in a constructive way. The goal should not be to get people into trouble, and to ban someone should (at least somewhat) mean your honest efforts to personally warn people/peoples involved have failed on a certain level. Granted there are those who just do not care about the rules or don't care about being banned, banishment should be a last resort, when all other diplomacy has failed. There are probably some mods who take reports into their own hands, ask people who may have went too far to edit something or take it down, try to moderate the issue personally, friendly warnings, and even just working the situation out through private messaging. I would respect that and I'm sure many other people would too. If a private discussion does not solve or simmer down the issue, then it should be discussed amongst other moderators and be brought to the next level.
I think the mod community should try to focus on the mission at hand. Mods should aim to make the community a better place, based on a love for the website and all the aspects of it, and to promote it as a fair, clean, and welcome place. Mods should not seek to abuse their power, push their agenda, take revenge, or use the honor as a tool for their own personal preferences. Mods should aim to make sure that rules are understood as clearly as possible beforehand, hopefully with an eye on prevention. Mods should seek to make sure they are being fair and consistent, and have that checked and double checked, hopefully in an objective way. Mods should aim to be helpful and cooperative with the goal of being a problem solver, and not an executioner.
After all, a banned customer is an unhappy customer, and the possibility of escalation increases the more people think they were treated unfairly.
What does it mean to be a moderator? Well funny you should ask that. I will provide you with three definitions of a moderator from three different websites and you can tell me what you think a moderator should be and what some of the moderators on CC actually are.
The mods are users of the forum who are granted access to the posts and threads of all members for the purpose of moderating discussion and also keeping the forum clean. Common privileges of moderators include: deleting, merging, moving, and splitting of posts and threads, locking, renaming, stickying of threads, banning, suspending, unsuspending, unbanning, warning the members, or adding, editing, removing the polls of threads. Essentially, it is the duty of the moderator to manage the day-to-day affairs of a forum or board as it applies to the stream of user contributions and interactions. The relative effectiveness of this user management directly impacts the quality of a forum in general, its appeal, and its usefulness as a community of interrelated users.
Someone who moderates a chatroom or message board. There are generally five types of moderators:
1. Asswipe: Moderator that likes to punish members for little or no reason, harasses members and then punishes them for harassing back or questioning them, or is an asshole in general to those around him, not including his suckup friends, who will respond to his powerabuse with: "lol", "pwned bitch", or "wut a [censored]".
2. Strict Moderator: Follows the rules by the book, no exceptions. Any rule infraction spotted will be punished, often without warning. Normally dreaded.
3. Do-Nothing Moderator: Moderator that acts more like a member than a moderator, only intervening in serious matters that require mod attention. Usually ignores rule infractions for fear of angering the administrator or stricter moderators. Usually friendly.
4. Badass: Best moderator there is. They are fair, and will usually joke around and let things go if the intention of the rule infraction was not fitting with the reason the rule was created. However, if someone is being a total idiot, especially flaming, they will proceed to argue with them for the sole purpose of getting them to make a fool of themselves, often to the point of losing their cool and posting a last "FUK U ALL!!!!!" message, at which point there is much lulz and the nooblet gets b&.
5. Nutcase: Moderator that not only rarely enforces rules, but often breaks them themselves in the name of fun, or sometimes just out of boredom. Usually doesn't have modship for long, or is constantly scolded by other mods or the admin.
In the world of Internet forums and messageboards, mods are the equivalent of policemen. In fact, the only difference is that they have no real authority except over their [censored] ass web sites. Ranking somewhere below administrators, they are assigned the task of ensuring the rules of the forum that they "moderate" are rigidly adhered to by the rank-and-file board membership while at the same time willfully ignoring these rules themselves. Given special powers by the board's administrators to assist them in this endeavor, it is common for these powers to be abused at a whim, and when the inevitable howls of protest follow, to use these same powers to silence dissent. In a nutshell, moderators partake in intense [censored].
There are a variety of tools that a moderator can employ in order to carry out his or her duties efficiently. These range from the basic (editing of posts, maybe even deleting of posts) to the advanced (locking of threads).
These powers are there to be routinely abused; for example, a thread can be locked yet some moderators will still post on it regardless, denying a basic right of reply to the OP or the poster who apparently caused the thread to be locked in the first place.
As a result, moderators are often some of the worst internet trolls, which doesn't stop them from accusing others of trolling at every opportunity. Should a moderator start losing an argument on a thread, they will often use the aforementioned powers, in order to attempt to beat a dignified retreat. Either that, or go running to the admin.
Replace "Wikipedia" with whatever forum they moderate and this is what moderators actually believe.
I recommend that question be changed/edited to "what SHOULD it mean to be a moderator?"
-a moderator should MODERATE: keep within reason and proper limits; not extreme or excessive or intense. to a medium extent, be FAIR; reduce excessiveness, preside over; restrain/control excesses; be calm and mitigate situations
-should NOT take to one extreme or another: too harsh or too liberal; and NOT be biased in opinion
Two of the best I've seen were James Vasquez and Trinicardinal.
Moderation! Just what is moderation?
We have all heard the expression, "All things in moderation." Why should that be? Because all things and people have certain moderate levels where they simply work the best at. Water will freeze below a certain temperature and cease to be liquid and turn into a solid, and above a certain temperature water will surely boil away and evaporate quickly into nothing but air. Outside of it's moderate zone water simply ceases to be a liquid. This is also why we seek shelter from the cold environment outside or to cool ourselves down on hot summer days. We simply function best in moderate temperatures.
And like all things, Conquer Club is no different. It functions best and to the fullest enjoyment of all of its participants when guided and moderated by certain guidelines and principles that keep us functioning within a certain moderate zone of operations. But these guidelines alone don't do the trick of moderating; we also need the moderator to fulfill these functions and keep this site enjoyable and controlled for the enjoyment of all.
Just like water turning into a solid, if left to one extreme, then no one would receive any assistance or know what to do here if it were not for the moderator. And in the other extreme Conquer Club would be a place completely out of control and undesirable to log on to, again if it were not for the moderator. It is the Moderator that control those who would make this place undesirable by having the "mod powers" to deny those certain undesirable attitudes the right to stay here and be a nuisance for us all. But that is only half the job. The other and more important part of the job is to help those who are lost to simply find their way around. And perhaps even to grow as good people of CC.
As moderators we don't just represent this Conquer Club site, we are the site. We are the ones that the rest should look to, for help to make their time here more enjoyable and satisfying. We are the one's who make it all happen here and we should only strive for perfection in this role as moderator. That means that we are doing our best when people have nice things to say about us. That is not always the case and there will always be malcontents but we can do some things to lesson the number of individuals who see us as "power-hungry mods."
As mods, we also want to enjoy our time here. Whenever we allow ourselves to be drawn into an argument or debate, we deny ourselves that small amount of time that we have to just enjoy ourselves. And for every person that we have a confrontation with there are untold others who are left with that impression of all Mods that way. No mod is perfect but we can try to be, and if we do offend anyone we can always apologize for our words spoken in the heat of passion and try and resolve any issues by simply doing that which we would expect were the shoes on the other foot. Better still is to try and not to be drawn into any debates in the first place.
Our prime directive should be...
Viceroy63 wrote:We are here to serve, not just the owner/owners of the site but also the community in general and we can't do that by setting a bad example or entertaining arguments or letting the fact that we are Mods with Mod "Powers" get to our heads and puff us up in pride. And if we can't do that then we should step down.
Simply put, a moderator is a servant who is and who makes Conquer Club the great experience that it is. Nothing more and nothing less. And while we all serve in different capacities and in different ways we should all have the exact same attitude.
Humility and thanks,
What do you think? Don't forget to post your thoughts in the designated Community Report topic!