Moderator/User Guide to the PPMB
= Amended February 10, 2007 PST
What Moderators Can Do
- View hidden users
- Delete posts
- Edit posts
- View an individual's IP address (in case of trolls)
- Delete threads
- Lock and unlock threads
- Split threads
- Move threads to different forums
- Access a special moderator forum that exists to let mods and admins get together, compare notes, and suggest strategies, if needed
What Moderators Can't Do
[6-25-07] As the message board has undergone a change, these limitations may no longer exist. We will update you as we learn more about PPMB 2.5.
- Undelete posts or threads
- Ban people
- Look up people's e-mail; the only way a mod can contact by e-mail from the MB is if the regular user provided an e-mail link
What Moderators Shouldn't Do
- Use their powers in a burst of anger or in a vindictive fashion (targeting and taunting specific members)
- Assume that because they enforce the rules, they don't have to live by them
**Also, if a situation comes up where a regular user posts a nasty message about one of the moderators, that moderator should ask another mod or an admin to delete the message. That way, potentially messy conflicts of interest are avoided.
What Administrators Can Do
Everything that a moderator can do, plus
- Ban people
- Delete accounts
- Assign moderator or administrator status to any individual
- Create forums
- Shift forums around
- Create new ranks
- Determine the style and color of the board and the text of the posts
- Add or take away smilies
- Send mass e-mails to everyone if need be
- Determine whether to censor words, and which ones
Situations In Which Posts Can Be Deleted
- If there are duplicates of the same post.
- If they are substance-free posts ("Yeah"... "kewl"... "I agree") that revive threads whose posts are four weeks old or older.
- If they violate Rules 1 through 9, though a warning would probably suffice in most cases (unless the thread were in danger of rapidly becoming a flame war).
** The mod should then either tell the offender in the thread that his/her post was deleted, or send a PM. The offender should then READ the PM and respond. (One thing that just makes a mod's job harder is when he/she sends a PM to a board member and never receives word that it was read.)
Situations In Which Posts Can Be Edited
If a post that is mostly innocent and even thoughtful contains a rule violation that can be removed without causing the post to lose its clarity. Such as if a post several paragraphs long contained a nasty remark aimed specifically at one or more board members in the last sentence.
** The mod should remove the offending sentences and post a warning to the one(s) who posted them in the thread.
Situations In Which Threads Can Be Locked
- If they have reached an established limit on the number of posts. The maximum number of posts permitted in a thread is 300. While threads often go slightly over (ex: 302), 300 is the signpost.
- If the purpose of the thread has been met and any posts that continue the topic would just be sending it further and further off topic
- If a flame war has arisen, and it's clear that just cutting out the offending posts won't save the thread
** Except for the case where the thread reaches a pre-determined post limit, the moderator should leave a final message stating why the thread was locked, and that those with questions can send a Private Message.
** Those who start a thread may ask a moderator to lock it if they feel that it has fulfilled its purpose
Situations In Which Threads Can Be Deleted
- If the majority of the thread is an out-of-control flame war, and it is clear that cutting out the offending posts won't save it, and the thread's very existence threatens to start another flame war, and the posts inside the thread are so nasty that the thread couldn't just be locked
- If the post that started it is virulent and nasty, meant to offend many people, and the replies show that it succeeded
** In this situation, the moderator should post another message saying "[Name of thread] - DELETED," with the message giving a few details about what the thread was about, why it was deleted, and that those who had questions should PM the mod. Then the mod should lock the post, so a string of curious replies doesn't spark a new flame war. The only time this wouldn't
be necessary would be if the first message of a deleted thread were spam.
Situations In Which a User Can Be Banned
for Ban Procedures
- If the user has come only to spam about a great! new product or website, completely unrelated to Daria
(see Rule 1)
- If the user impersonates a member of the board (like taking nearly the exact same name and pretending to be him/her), a fictional character, or a known personality. I don't mean the occasional imitation of another person/character -- I mean literally pretend
to be the person/character, down to the name and speech. This behavior is definitely trollish, designed to distract people, not add to the discussion.
- If the user has come only to post links to something illegal (see Rule 2). However, if the person is posting to advertise the Daria
bootlegs he/she is selling, I would advise first deleting the message and sending the user a warning. If he or she continues to advertise illegal bootlegs, then he/she will be banned.
- If the user threatens the life or health of another board member
- If the user advocates behavior that is illegal, like prostitution, building a bomb, killing your neighbors, etc.
- If the user is a troll who comes to the message board primarily to make people angry and cause trouble
- If the user is someone who, over time, has become a troll. This person has reached a point where he/she has insulted people over and over, and no amount of chastisement by the mods has caused this person to change his/her ways. Usually this person will first receive a temporary ban (see below) and be given a chance to shape up before receiving a permanent ban. *
** It is important that I clarify this one. There are many different personalities on the board, and some are more tempestuous than others. Having trouble keeping your temper from time to time is not
ban-worthy behavior. It might be deletion-worthy behavior, but not ban worthy. To be labeled a troll and subject to banning, your insulting posts would come regularly for several months, and generally outweigh any of your constructive or friendly comments. You would have been warned several times that you'd crossed a line, and your posts and threads would have been deleted several times. You would have generated hostility from more than a few people. *
Situations In Which a User Can Be Banned Temporarily
- A two-week ban
for a member that has been exhibiting a pattern of bad behavior over time *
- A two-week ban in the case where a user refuses to respond to a moderator's PM discussing the user's bad behavior on the board. The moderator will first determine whether the user has been active for the past 24 hours. If the user has visited the board within 24 hours of the time the moderator has sent the PM and has not responded, the moderator may go ahead and institute a temporary ban within 24 hours of sending the PM. Otherwise, the moderator may wait until the next time the user returns to the board. If the next time the user returns, the user does not respond within 24 hours, the moderator may implement a temporary ban. [Updated 2-19-13]
- A two-week ban in the case where a user gets a post or thread deleted, and the moderator sends a Private Message...
a) if the user does not bother to check
for a PM before running and screaming to the board that Mod X is unfair! and out to get him or her. In this case, if Private Message sending time makes it clear that the PM was sent well before the poster ran to the board screaming that Mod X is out to get him/her. The reason is that it completely undermines the moderators' role if board posters ignore their reasons for deleting the posts/thread and run to the board to antagonize them, thus stirring things up once more.
b) if the user reads the PM, responds, and then
runs to the board screaming that Mod X is out to get him or her.
** As you can see, it is important to see whether a mod sent a Private Message or posted an explanatory message before getting angry. As I stated in the Official Paperpusher Message Board Rules, if you feel Mod X hates you, either work it out with Mod X off
the board so other posters can be at peace, or PM an admin and be prepared to state when and how Mod X was abusive. If the moderator has been abusive in a similar way to many people, he/she could wind up being de-modded.
If you feel there is a general moderator problem, state it as a general concern in Board Issues & Suggestions