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Spaced Out Forum

Moderators Code of Practice


  (Steve Day, Nick Lee)


  Forum: any one major sub-section of the Board (q.v.), e.g. Silly, Spaced, Media, 
  Thread Sin Bin. A Forum comprises a collection of Threads, which themselves 
  comprise Posts.

  Board: the entire Spaced Out Forum, unless the context requires otherwise.

  Members: all registered users of the Board, unless the context requires otherwise.

  Forum Leader: a Member with moderatory powers over one or more Forums, and access 
  to the Forum Leaders and Thread Sin Bin Forums.

  Moderator: (in this document) a Board Moderator, with the same powers as a Forum 
  Leader, but spread across the whole Board. Can view all Forums except Blokes 
  In Charge.

  Admin: (in this document) a Board Administrator, with the same powers as a Moderator 
  (q.v.), but also with access to the Admin Control Panel.

  Bloke In Charge: (in this document) the most senior Board Staff with absolute 
  decision-making powers.

  Staff: all members of the Board of rank Forum Leader, Moderator, Administrator 
  or Bloke in Charge.

  ModSquad Forums: the Forum Leaders, Administrators, Blokes in Charge and Thread 
  Sin Bin Forums, viewable only by Staff of appropriate rank.


  a. As leading Members of the Board, Staff should endeavour to set a good example 
  by upholding its rules, reputation and spirit.

  Staff should assist Members, especially Junior and New Members, in their use 
  and enjoyment of the board.

  Staff must always respect the privacy of Members and the confidentiality of 
  the ModSquad Forums.

  Staff should take action over problems and queries as they find them.

  Wherever possible, Staff should be active and positive in their approach to 
  moderation, with respect for diverse views and individual expression.

  Subsidiarity Principle: Forum Leaders should generally be given a chance to 
  act in their specific Forum before a more senior member of Staff intervenes.


  i. Moving Threads

  a. If a Thread appears to be inappropriate in a Forum, Staff may move it, placing 
  a link in the original Forum to the new location (if the Thread is already established), 
  and an explanation, either by PM to the Thread’s creator, or in the Thread 

  ii. Renaming Threads or Editing Posts

  a. If a Post is in contravention of the Board Rules and this can be rectified 
  without radically changing its meaning, i.e. with a minor edit or a deletion, 
  Staff may make such a modification, ensuring (where necessary) they record the 
  action, the original post and title in full, and notify the affected Members 
  by PM giving an explanation and an option to have the Post removed instead of 
  it remaining with the alteration.

  b. This action should be reported in a ModSquad Forum. Deleting duplicate Posts 
  (accidentally placed) does not require recording.

  iii. “Sinning” Posts and Threads

  a. Threads that are believed to be in contravention of the Board Rules should 
  be moved by Staff to the Thread Sin-bin immediately. If, after Staff discussion, 
  the Thread ultimately remains there, the creator must be notified. If the Thread 
  returns with any alterations, all Members whose Posts have been altered or deleted 
  must be notified by PM explaining the action. If the thread returns unedited, 
  Staff may or may not contact affected Members and the Thread author as circumstances 

  iv. Notification Messages

  a. All notices should come from Staff with the authority to carry out the procedure 
  as detailed in the warning.

  b. Admins and Blokes In Charge may use the anonymous "spaced" moderator 
  account and may do so on behalf of others if anonymity is preferred. It is preferable, 
  however, for a Bloke In Charge, to send the PM themselves from their own account. 


  i. Admonishment within a Thread

  a. Containing:

  1. General comment regarding appropriateness of a thread, post, or behaviour; 

  2. Reference to Forum Rules; or

  3. General advice

  b. This may be used in tandem with another disciplinary procedure

  c. This should be used to highlight an aspect of the forum rules or a thread’s 
  appropriateness for the general information of Members.

  ii. “Casual” Warning, Notification or advice via PM, MSN or similar 

  a. identifying an issue of concern in a particular Post or Thread by the Member; 

  b. advise of an issue the Member is only peripherally involved in

  c. This warning may be recorded as necessary in a ModSquad Forum.

  iii. Written Formal Warning, via PM or Email

  a. the context, and text of the warning, is to be recorded in a ModSquad Forum. 

  b. The warning should:

  1. identify the issue of concern in a particular Post or Thread by the Member 

  2. warn of unacceptable behaviour by the Member

  3. make a user aware of possible further disciplinary action

  4. make clear how to avoid the need for further action

  5. refer to any previous warnings

  c. The need for a Written Formal Warning may be suggested by any Member of Staff 
  but the warning itself must come from either a Bloke In Charge or an Admin. 
  Wherever possible, consultation should be made before such a warning is given.

  iv. Written Formal Warning, via PM or Email, plus visual warning symbol

  a. As (iii) above, but with an exclamation mark added to the Member’s 
  profile. This should only be used if it is believed it will be effective and 
  necessary to gain the Member's attention. Members should be told if such a measure 
  is being taken and how long it may last; such "warning symbols" are 
  not permanent but their persistence depends on a Member's behaviour and/or a 
  set time frame. All this should be made clear in communications with the Member 
  as appropriate, or by reference to the Board Rules.

  v. Cautions in a Public Forum

  a. These should NOT be issued unless:

  1. Bloke in Charge believes it is necessary so others do not commit the same 
  offence; or

  2. a Bloke in Charge believes that this method is required to get the offending 
  Member’s attention, and a positive result will be achieved; or

  3. a query has been raised about a particular action on a Public Forum and it 
  is beneficial to the Board if a public explanation (partial or full) is given. 

  vi. Suspension

  a. This must be recorded with a full explanation of the context in a ModSquad 
  Forum. If such a record is made in "Blokes in Charge", at least a 
  partial explanation must be given in another ModSquad Forum.

  b. Only a Bloke in Charge may take such an action.

  c. The Member in question must be notified in writing by email with:

  1. an explanation given

  2. examples of incidents that have prompted the action

  3. references to previous warnings

  4. how the user merited the suspension

  5. how they may avoid further action

  6. the terms of the suspension and an explanation of what it means

  7. the time, or the conditions required before normal Membership resumes.

  d. Where possible this decision should be reached following Staff discussion. 

  e. Suspension may be made in two ways:

  1. Moving the user to the "suspended" Member group

  2. Removing posting rights

  f. The latter is preferable in many cases since it does not entail the public 
  branding of a Member as suspended.

  g. Suspension is not a permanent measure.

  h. In extremis, Members may be temporarily suspended pending consultation with 
  Blokes in Charge, by Admin staff and Blokes in Charge, if they feel circumstances 
  make such a measure necessary. This should only be done by disabling posting 
  rights unless there is a good reason for movement to the suspended Member group. 

  i. Members should be offered an explanation of this after the event, regardless 
  of the outcome, once it has been discussed and as circumstances reasonably dictate. 

  j. Suspension may remain until a disciplinary decision has been reached. During 
  this period they may use the board as the senior Staff deem appropriate.

  vii. Banning

  a. This decision may only be made by a Bloke in Charge and may, as appropriate, 
  include wider consultation of moderators to assist the final decision.

  b. This decision should, wherever possible, be a last resort where other actions 
  have failed, where a Member is believed to have registered solely in order to 
  abuse provided services, or where there is no other option.

  c. Those affected must be notified by email with reference to previous warnings, 
  board rules, and examples of their behaviour as well as what the measure entails. 
  Users should be informed that their ISPs will be contacted in accordance with 
  their abuse policy if they attempt to use or access the board after banning. 
  Reference may be made to sections of this abuse policy as and when appropriate. 

  d. Wherever possible their email and IP addresses should be entered into the 
  Board's Ban Control mechanism where this will not unreasonably affect other 

  e. This decision is permanent and irreversible.

  f. A user may be suspended whilst a ban is considered or may be suspended indefinitely 
  if it is reasonably believed that circumstances will change in the future.

  This document is subject to change. If it is altered, a notification will be 

Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 18th April 2014 - 08:07 AM