Everything good comes in moderation.
Today’s update is less of a content release and more of a status update for what’s been happening with the site in terms of content moderation. It’s no secret that my focus has been on moderation tools for admins / moderators these past few months. These tools will be used to help address user reports, keep content civil, and unwanted behaviors from souring the site. As with any social-based site it’s only inevitable until you need ways to manage content and I admit that we were getting a bit overdue in that department.
With that said, I’m happy to finally say that the tools are “finished” and moderators have already been starting up on helping me maintain the site’s ever-growing community. When I say “finished” I mean the tools are at a point where they’ll be useful to get most of the jobs done that moderators will need but are also forever-evolving and there’ll always more that can be added. So in reality they’re never actually done but we’re finally at a point where I can open the gates to onboarding help.
As mentioned just above, I’ve already enlisted the help of two site moderators who at the moment have brought down our report count from almost hitting 1,000 down to 0 in just two months. An amazing feat for sure! It’s been a super helpful experience as we fine-tune our process and clarify what should / shouldn’t be allowed. If you’re still noticing unwanted activity be sure to report it as it’s the quickest way we can respond. But also please double-check the Terms of Service before posting or reporting as that gives the best idea of what currently is / isn’t allowed.
We are going to be keeping the identity of our moderators more or less private as we start. This is to protect them from any type of bias / harassments but also to give the idea that we are moderating as the site and not as an individual. It’ll be an experiment and might change but for now there will be no announcement of who is moderating. My goal is to keep a team of at least three moderators onboard (not including myself) with varying availability and skills to keep the load balanced.
Right now we have two mods onboard who’ve been helping out and with the recent applications closed, we’ll be choosing a third as a group very soon.
The tools I’ve been working on will allow moderators to perform many of the actions that I’ve been manually doing up until this point. Here’s a list of what moderators can do:
- Review / manage reports submitted by users
- Remove reviews
- Lock reviews’ comments
- Remove comments
- Place timed restrictions on users (no commenting / reviewing for x amount of days)
- Ban users (must get approval from moderator group)
Moderators will NOT have access to things like user’s email, password or data deletion of any kind. Any review / comment removed is only hidden from everyone but the author. Soon I’ll be expanding mod access to game management as well to help off-load some of the cleanup that’s done there.
Now just giving these tools out to moderators wouldn’t be the best idea on its own, that’s why I’ll be working with them to develop strict guidelines on when each of these tools are justified. This is to ensure we are consistent across the site when determining what should be removed or not. This is a learning process as we go so please bare with us if we remove something that maybe shouldn’t have been, please reach out if you think this has happened to you.
But when we gain our third member, we’ll be deciding on core review guidelines to establish what we’re looking for on the site. These guidelines will also be posted in the About section so stay tuned for announcement when those go out.
What about Discord?
Discord is no different in that we’ll be expanding our moderators there as well. Same as the site, I’ll be working with current moderators to help me find new candidates in order to pad out availability and skills among three total moderators. One of our Discord mods Clearin will be stepping down after this search, but not until after we’ve filled all spots.
So all in all, the site has been actively moderating these past couple of months and reports will now be reviewed and closed at a much quicker pace. In return we’ll have be coming out with more defined review guidelines to make it more clear what we’re allowing on the site. Lastly we’ll be onboarding a couple more folks to help out in the coming weeks now that applications have closed. For those who have applied, stay tuned for a Discord ping as I’ll reach out if you look like a good fit!
So that’s about it, I just wanted to provide an update on where we are and where we’re going with keeping the site maintained and welcoming. If you have any questions, feel free to ask here, on the Discord, or Twitter.
See you on the site!