Fighting for freerecyling

Moderators and moderation

OIDG, PlanetFreecycle, IntlFCMS, Fcnext, USMS, UKMS etc etc are all groups whose members are almost entirely moderators. But those groups themselves need moderating. Thus we have moderators of groups that exist for moderators. This can be very confusing.

As well as this we have the complex of what actually is moderation. The obvious definition is when ones posts are moderated, by which I mean that after you send your post to the group it is put on hold until a moderator does one of three things:

  • accept it as it is
  • reject it outright
  • accept it with modification (either major or minor edits)

Not every member of a group need be on moderation, though in some groups all members are on moderation for long periods, or even permanently. If a group has a large membership with a large number of posts then this tends to be used when a group has gone completely haywire in some way and needs to be reigned in en masse because doing it generates a lot of work for the moderator team.

In other groups only some people are on moderation, again either for short periods of permanently. It is a common occurrence for new members to be on moderation at first whilst they demonstrate they know how to post according to group rules.

The reasons for moderation normally tend to include

  • spam postings
  • advertisements
  • flame and vindictive posts
  • posts of excessive length and verbosity
  • posts that are either way off-topic or repeatedly off-topic

As well as the above actual moderation techniques is also the implied form commonly referred to as self-moderation. What I mean by this is that members know that if they breach group rules then real moderation of some sort will be imposed, so they keep their own posts in order to avoid real moderation.

There is one further form of moderation which is not often seen. That I would like to term censure. This is a form of self-moderation when subjects that are supposedly on-topic are not discussed. A particular form of censure is when a group reduces the quality of postings to fluff. This is when almost all meaningful discussion is seen as out-of-bounds. A feature of groups where hidden rules of censure operate is a range of banning members.


September 9, 2007 - Posted by | fcnext, freecycle, intlfcms, OIDG

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