When & How to Loop in Moderators

Please read the following post from Gary regarding moderation - click here to go to the announcement topic.

We’ve noticed lately that people aren’t using the flag function or escalating to the mods, despite tensions. If you ever feel like you need assistance with a post or poster, even if they’re a mod, you should loop in a member of the mod team so that we can mediate appropriately. Here are some guidelines for how to alert mods if you see a potentially negative situation developing.

First off - use flags! We’ve revised how the flag function works, and it’s now functioning much more as a private nudge to the mods. Posts that are flagged won’t automatically be hidden, and flags are both anonymous and private. This is your best way of reaching out to us if a specific post, or a poster’s activity in a specific thread, needs to be reviewed. Mods won’t review flags on their own posts, so please use this function regardless of the poster’s status.

Flags could result in a wide range of responses. We expect many of them will require no immediate intervention, but will make us pay more attention to where the discussion is leading. Otherwise, this is more or less the spectrum of outcomes:

  • public mediation in the thread
  • a private warning to the poster
  • private mediation with the poster (by request)
  • hiding the post
  • a temporary or indefinite suspension

Our response time might become slower than it is now, but we’re pretty dedicated lurkers.

If you’d like to raise a concern unrelated to a post or section of posts - for instance, private harassment - please reach out via PM. If you send a PM to @moderators, we will all be looped in. If you’d like to just loop in specific people, as may be more appropriate, you can find a list of all of the current mods at https://selectbutton.net/g/moderators and pick whichever mod(s) you’re most comfortable with. We’ve tried to compose a team that’s well-balanced among a variety of backgrounds, approaches, and social groups. We may ask to loop others in if their particular expertise would be helpful, but we won’t add people without asking.

Lastly, we’d like to reinforce the importance of good faith to open discussion. Here’s an excerpt from the DSA’s guidelines, edited minimally to be more relevant to a webforum:

Assume good faith in each other. Please try to speak from experience, speak for yourself, and actively listen to each other. When someone makes a point that could be taken negatively, repeat what you heard, very briefly summarize, and ask clarifying questions like “did you mean X” or “what makes you say that” to get more information before assuming the worst interpretation. Encourage yourself and others to maintain a positive attitude, honor the work of others (except Chuck Rock), avoid defensiveness, be open to legitimate critique and challenge oppressive behaviors in ways that help people grow. We want to “call each other in” rather than calling each other out — in other words, if you are challenging someone’s ideas or behavior, do it respectfully, and if you are being challenged, receive it respectfully. Remember, mistakes will be made, nobody is perfect.

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