Over the last few months, we've found ourselves in a situation where it's fallen to only a couple of people to run the day-to-day administration of the site. One of those people has been me, and while I'm okay with it on a personal level, it's been suggested that we could do with another moderator or two to help out.
As such, we're going to throw open the floor to the users of this forum, with the intention of adding one or two moderators to the staff team.
A few ground rules before we start:
1. Your opinions are welcome, but only if they are constructive. Infighting, unfounded accusations and character assassination will be dealt with appropriately.
2. While we do welcome your opinions, this is not a vote. There is no need for nominations and we will not be counting or in any way directly tabulating the number of positive responses any given user gets. Feedback toward a particular candidate will serve only in a general capacity to give us a gauge of the public's feeling toward that candidate. It matters, but is not the final say and does not make up a majority of the evidence we will use in order to come to our final decision.
3. If you wish to prove someone as unsuitable for a moderator position, please be courteous and respectful. Do not use hearsay evidence to qualify your objections, and do not inform your choice to speak with a personal grudge. In other words, tell us the facts in a straightforward way, and if necessary, explain to us why these facts should disqualify a candidate from consideration.
4. Non-candidates should in no way attempt to influence the applications of candidates except in the manner prescribed above. In other words, don't help them make a case for themselves, and especially don't give them help in attempting to process the case study (see below for more details). If you are caught doing this, you may receive punitive action, and will very likely permanently invalidate yourself from ever being a member of the staff team going forward.
For those of you who have previously indicated an interest in becoming moderators, we thank you for your interest, but we're going to do this more formally to give everyone a fair shake. Prior moderation appointments were done quietly and with little to no community involvement, but it is time we changed this.
So here's how it's going to work.
Potential applicants must:
1. communicate their interest in the position themselves
2. explain why they wish to be a moderator
3. qualify why they believe they would make a good choice as a moderator (enumerate personal strengths which lend themselves well to the role, discuss prior history in this role if appropriate)
4. communicate any weaknesses or challenges which might cause problems in their role as a moderator (rule conflicts, previous bans, difficulty in coping with strong personal bias or beliefs, interpersonal problems, etc)
5. indicate, in rough, their level of commitment/availability
6. indicate their familiarity with, or willingness to learn, the use of Discord (our primary interface for off-forum discussion at present)
7. propose their solution to the following fictional scenario
John, Jill and Juan are engaged in a heated three-way argument on the forum. For context, Jill has received one ninety-day ban for repeated personal attacks in the past, John is a transgender male, and Juan's first language is Spanish, but his English is fairly good.
The thrust of the argument appears to be thus:
John is getting angry because Jill keeps criticizing the things he says; she takes care never to mention his status as a trans male, but in John's opinion, Jill is targeting him unduly and picking on him. In one of her more recent posts, Jill says, "You created four different projects and all of them sucked. Maybe this would be a good time to realize this isn't a good fit for you. I mean, I'm only a girl so what the fuck do I know about gaming, right?" John's most recent post reads: "Jill, seriously, piss off. I'm reporting your post to the mods. I don't care what you think or how you feel or whatever, but leave. me. alone. You're a fucking waste of space around here and I wish you'd just leave. Or hey, maybe you'll get banned again. That would be cool."
Juan, for his part, has taken it upon himself to play armchair moderator between the two. His posts in this thread indicate that he's trying to speak to each person as if he is a neutral party somewhere in the middle, but unfortunately the language barrier, and other things, are sort of complicating the issue. One of Juan's posts reads, "John you can be whatever you are and it doesn't matter if I think it's wrong, but even if Jill attack you like this you can't attack back. Jill you got to learn to shut the fuck up because nobody cares that you hate John. Seriously sick of this guys, so just stop okay? Why can't everybody play nice?"
This is only a cross-section of the problem, but you are the first mod to see this thread, which has exploded since you were last on the forum. What do you do? How do you handle it?
Please note (and this is very important): non-candidates should not discuss the proposed problem in public. This is to test the suitability of a prospective moderator by assessing their ability to disseminate pertinent information, problem-solve and employ the rules in a fair and nonbiased way.
A final note: prior experience in a moderation role - whether here or elsewhere - is an asset, but not a guarantee of admittance. Conversely, while warnings or bans against you will be taken into account, they are not grounds for immediate disqualification, particularly if the problematic behaviour or actions are no longer present.
Thanks for reading, and good luck to all candidates!
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8ls3rc3f4mkb … n.txt?dl=1