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Q1 2020 OOC Chat Moderators
Submit your nominations for OOC Chat moderators

Hey All -

Moderating OOC chat channels is tough. Currently it is a job for the Staff, and community members take part in trying to moderate but have no real ability to do anything if someone just ignores their friendly messages about something being unacceptable.

Over the holidays I will be updating our channel code to support moderators. A moderator will be someone with the following abilities:

1. 'Moderator' will show up before their chat alias, the same as 'Staff' shows up before staff.

2. They will have the ability to temporarily (1 hour max) block someone from using OOC Chat and Game Help for violating the rules, or being an a-hole. In using this block command they will need to provide their reasoning, and a log of the conversation so that the admin can review.

3. They will moderate the chat such that toxic behavior and shit posting other people does not continue.

Since the chat is primarily made up of community members, with some staff partaking in the channel on occasion, I'd like to open it up for people to nominate (via Google Form), who they think would make a good moderator. I will then discuss the nominations with the rest of the staff, and reach out to individuals who we think are level headed, and even keeled enough to take this on.

Being a moderator will not be a permanent position and someone abusing it in any way will have it removed. It will also be removed if the person does not seem to be living up expectations or doing any moderating.

Fill out the form here: OOC/Game Help Moderator Submissions

-- S

Feel free to leave thoughts/suggestions on this thread as to things we may need to do to make this workable.

One suggestion was a way for a mod to give someone a reminder of the rules privately which resulted in me thinking something like: a command like @chat-rules that allows you to select from a list of things like 'is insulting other' 'is breaking game rules' 'is being offensive' 'may want to switch to free chat' which then sends a canned message to that player, anonymously.

In addition to a tool to block someone. Could a voting system be added? If someone is making another person feel uncomfortable - they should have a means to convey that frustration to a moderator anonymously and without risk of retribution or critique.

A means to politely 1st warning someone who is stepping out of line would be solid too. Just a generic command and warning rather than anything else. Unfortunately, that system could potentially encourage trolls rather than quiet them but with sufficient automated tracking - there should be means to identify repeat offenders.

I've been thinking about a way to make that fair and not just allow for echo chambering. I don't want a vocal majority to be able to silence an okay opinion that they don't agree with (like if someone likes/dislikes the president or something).

Thoughts appreciated.

Hi wall of text with some general advice from moderating a fair few forums and RP things in my time.

Something I'd like to recommend is a private channel for the moderators to communicate with each other. One that can be used for a hefty amount of paperwork, has a long log open to all the mods, and also has strict rules that it's only used to report decisions and not to discuss them. As well, it should probably have an anonymizing factor to it. To prevent the kind of moderator collusion from happening that might result in friends becoming mods and just okaying each others decisions in a circle jerk.

So say Moderator A takes action and bans User A a report on the xmod channel would look like this:

xmod Warning User A at 1900DST for transphobic/racist commentary and asking them issue an apology.

[MODERATOR] AUTOMOD: A moderator has banned User A from public ooc channels. Reasoning to follow from the moderator providing the ban.

xmod Banning user A from public OOC channels at 1907DST, for one hour, for the reasoning that they made this transphobic/racist comment and refused an apology.

xmod Log posted at (anonymous pastebin.)

[MODERATOR] OMNIMOD132: That's a shame, keeping an eye on User A in the future. And raising this up to staff if it persists.

As well, I like the idea of a vote/reporting system, I'd have it just be a 2 party consensus from moderators/staff/users to issue anything from it though...

So essentially procedurally it would work like this.

User A: Causes Shit. Calls someone a cunt, what have you.

User B: Votes for User A to be temp banned, it privately sends an alert to the moderator channel.

[MODERATOR] AUTOMOD: Call for USER A to be muted temporarily has been issued. USER A is active in channels gossip, OOC-CHAT, GAME-HELP, and Fixit.

Moderator A checks and sees that User A IS causing shit and user B's report through the automod is accurate, confirms it. And issues the mute/ban.

Nothing about the report should be public to the mods as well, beyond that an accusation was made. To prevent any kind of bias from forming.

In fact, as much as I sometimes like the idea of mods as the potential leaders of the community and the like... I think that can be a bad idea. Making it so that you can @xmod on/off, and be given a random moderator alias, and having that be mandatory before taking disciplinary action. Might help to keep abuses down. And help keep any cults of personality from forming oocly.

You aren't creating a group of people to lead people here, these aren't really commanders, or leaders of the people... They are essentially bouncers to in general keep things from getting to rowdy. They shouldn't be publicly special at least not overtly. But they should be around. Giving them a moderator tag at all times, encourages deference to be showed to them at all times.

Also do not nominate me to be a moderator, I am very lazy about that kind of thing.
I think voting systems in player hands are probably likely to just be misused whenever someone gets upset. Crowds of people aren't more rational than individuals, especially when you have groups of friends and whatnot.

Overdesigning this would probably do more harm than good.

Have chat moderators been added to ooc yet? Thanks :)
Not yet. I've been working on it.
This is done, see this post:

(Edited by Slither at 9:56 pm on 12/30/2019)