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A note on site moderation

3767 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  sperera
Hi everyone,

Recently the moderating team on AUSRC.COM has come under a little bit of fire regarding the "Inconsistency of Approach" towards moderating.

I have had some great PM discussions with members that have positive and constructive comments related to this, and I have had PMs from others that sound like they have been written by wounded 9 year olds.

As such, I would like to try and set the record straight, and talk about the way forward.

The primary principle when moderating AUSRC.COM is to allow valuable information flow. That is after all the primary reason that this forum exists. In doing that, we also need to allow a degree of free speech and the ability for members to have "a bit of fun". We certainly do not want to over moderate the site, as it would quickly become a very boring place.

Over the last little while, we have probably lost our way a little bit, we have had a few members take things in directions that we do not necessarily want them to go, and we have not necessarily moderated all of these situations consistently. GUILTY AS CHARGED!! That said, these inconsistencies have not had any malicious intent, and have certainly not been due to any favoritism of members through friendships or membership status. If anything, it has been when the the decisions have been at the margins and the team have referred it to me... sometimes I don't get it right.

As such, I think we need to go back to grass roots, and get things on track.

When we launched v3, I spent a long time trying to get the Forum Rules right, and updating the infraction system so that it can be utilised to assist in the moderation of the site. I am actively encouraging the moderating team to utilise these systems everytime they need to take action in a thread as it will clearly indicate to the member that they have done something that needs rectifying, Moderator actions have been taken, and if they consistently repeat the behaviour it will ultimately lead to the reduction of their functionality, and ultimately a ban.

Below are the infractions that can be issued:

  • Continued posting of commercial links or content
    • 5 points
    • Points expire in 1 Month(s)
  • Forum spamming
    • 5 points
    • Points expire in 1 Month(s)
  • Inappropriate language or content
    • 5 points
    • Points expire in 1 Month(s)
  • Significant rule violation
    • 5 points
    • Points expire in 1 Month(s)
  • Insulting another member(s) - personal attacks
    • 5 points
    • Points expire in 1 Month(s)
  • Continued inappropriate behaviour
    • 15 points
    • Points expire in 3 Month(s)
  • Major breach of forum rules
    • 15 points
    • Points expire in 3 Month(s)
  • Threatening behaviour towards another member
    • 25 points
    • Points expire in 6 Month(s)
  • Moderator discretion - Immediate Ban - 1 Week
    • 50 points
    • Points expire in 7 Day(s)
  • Moderator discretion - Immediate Ban - 2 Weeks
    • 50 points
    • Points expire in 14 Day(s)
  • Moderator discretion - Immediate Ban - 4 Weeks
    • 50 points
    • Points expire in 28 Day(s)
  • Moderator discretion - Immediate Ban - Permanent
    • 50 points
    • Permanent
So for minor infractions, the member gets a 5 point infraction, they know their post has been removed and they know why it has been removed. The points expire in 30 days so unless they continue to "do the wrong thing" the infraction does not affect their membership. If the moderator chooses to, they can send it purely as a warning, so no actually infraction or points are issued.

If the moderating team uses this as the basis for actions they take (lets face it, if we intervene in a thread, there must have been a reason), it will start to bring some consistency to what the community will see.

If we look at some of the "recent issues":

  • The "Dave Allanach Dead Last" thread. There were moderators that wanted to close this thread down from very early on. They were concerned about the content and where it was heading. In this instance I said I thought it was ok, and we should let it run. If, as a Moderating Team, we later decide that in an effort to be consistent, this thread should go... I am sorry, but that is a decision that we will take, and members will need to deal with that. Referring to things now that should be appropriate because "It was OK in the Allanach Thread" is pointless, as that thread is now closed.
  • The "Chizz Bash Thread" (not it's real name.... but for those that have been around long enough, you will know what I am talking about). If we look at this thread in the light of our current rules, this thread would have been shut down. I can confirm if we saw a thread like this start again today, we would not allow it.
  • The "Fail" thread. We have removed a few posts in here, but providing it meets the rules for appropriateness of content, there will be NO problems.
  • Members claiming that the "paying members" own the site. Again, this is simply not true. These members get no concession over other members when it comes to the forum rules.
  • I am sure there are more, but I hope that gives a flavour.
I am keen to work with the Moderating team, and forum members, to get consistency in our approach. The bottom line is that I think we have a good rule set now, and if we use that as the basis for our moderation, we should start to see consistency.

Do we need some more Moderators... probably. Again, this is my fault. I have talked about it on many occasions, have earmarked individuals to do the job... and then never gotten around to it. MY FAULT, and I need to rectify this. My problem is that I am very protective of our community and don't take the decision lightly. This means that procrastination sets in, and inactivity provails.

Again, I need to rectify this.

I still have a number of outstanding issues I need to address regarding forum functionality (Groups is the first to come to mind), and I simply need to sit down and get them sorted. Real life does sometimes get in the way, but I am committed to making the forum the best available for its current and future members.

We have made mistakes in the past, we will make them in the future, but as long as we identify them and put things in place to fix them... we will make progress.

I encourage people to contact me, Steve (stevo1957) or Pete (towie964) (as the three most active members of the mod team) via PM if you have questions, concerns, criticism or general feedback. Please make it constructive in nature as opposed to the "wounded 9 year old" if you want a reply.

And guys, if you get a warning, or infraction... learn from it... it's not the end of the world. If you disagree, contact one of us for a "grown up" discussion on the matter. That's all I can ask.

Sorry for the long winded post... but I hope it was worth reading.

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I agree, of late this place has been a little concerning, but if we all try to work together, we can make it a better place for all.
Cheers for the clarification Chris - at least we all know the ground rules are "reset" so to speak and the past is the past and will look towards the future and hopefully the ausrc community continues to grow and be shaped around the new system.
Agree with all points above..
Good work mate agree with it all
:thumb: glad to see everything coming back to normal :) fresh start is the best way to do it.

Should this be in the rules section instead?
Should this be in the rules section instead?
No, AUSRC has spoken.

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+1 agree 100% to the rules and consequences.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
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