First off, if you're new to this forum, welcome! You're going to have a lot of fun being part of the PC team, and we're excited to have you. If you're a veteran refreshing yourself on the rules, then grab your cane and waddle on over here, old timer. These rules are important business!
We suggest you take the time to read it from beginning to end. If you have any questions, please feel free to bring it up in the Lounge or ask a higher staff.
NOTE: BEFORE I SAY ANYTHING... If you're wondering why there isn't that many posts there, read here. I SWEAR WE AREN'T LAZY!
Life as a Moderator: Back to the Basics
► A Moderator's Role
So, you got this fancy new title, this shiny new badge, and this sexy new color, but what is it that you're here for? As a moderator, your job involves observing and supervising your designated forum(s). With this, it is expected that you look after your given areas and in doing so, take charge of what needs to be done when duty calls. This includes, but is not limited to: closing threads, moving or merging threads to a more appropriate or suitable area, deleting unwarranted posts/threads, and so on. In addition to looking after your forum(s), it is recommended that you do things to promote it. Keeping it (and yourself!) active is a first. Rewriting rules, renewing outdated stickies, etc. are all things that can be done along with any other ideas you may have in mind. All of this can be brought up in the Mod Lounge if you feel you need confirmation before you begin.
We are community leaders of this forum, so we set an example for the other members. Letting members know who you are, what you're like, etc. are great ways to make yourself more open to the members. And don't feel confined to your forum! While it should be your #1 priority, branching out and posting wherever you can to be active can also be beneficial.
The Lounge is where all official business regarding all levels of staff takes place. As moderators, it is encouraged that you take part in discussions within this forum.
We advise and welcome you to share your ideas and opinions on the various matters active in the lounge. Any issues you feel should be looked into, or ideas/suggestions you'd like to have implemented, should be brought up in their own threads with the encouragement that you all take part in their discussion. Anything that has its start in the mod lounge is important and even if a discussion gets bumped up to HQ before its resolution, everyone's opinion is looked at so it's important to share your ideas and thoughts.
There are a few permanent threads here that you should be aware of:
☆ Banned User Discussions
If you happen to ban a member for any reason within your own section(s), you must report it here.
☆ Admin Requests
It has a silly name sometimes, but if you have any minor requests that don't warrant their own threads (a description change, you don't have poll editing powers, etc.) then post here. Once an admin sees it and has the time, they will put it into effect.
☆ Leaves of Absence
Whenever a staff member feels the need to take a break for any reason (i.e. personal matters, school, work, or a need to rekindle their enjoyment of PC), they are suggested to take a Leave of Absence (LoA). If the staff member wishes to quit for some time and reconsider their role in the staff, they can take a Demoted Leave of Absence (DLoA). Once it expires, they can choose to come back or quit definitely.
Moderator Rules: By the Books
► General Moderator Rules
★ Don't leak staff discussions.
Any type of leaking from the staff forums, which include both the Staff Lounge as well as the Moderator Hangout will result in a suspension or termination from your position, as decided upon by the higher staff.
★ Follow the community rules.
Just because you're part of the team who enforces the rules doesn't mean you are exempt from them. It's expected of you to follow them in the hangout as well, but you won't be shot or punished if you slip up there.
If you are going to be absent from the community for more than a week, note so in this thread.
★ Fighting and flaming restrictions.
You shouldn't fight with other members, or foul-mouth them, whether spammer or annoying member, or even a moderator. If this is occuring in a thread, please do attempt to stop it (if you cannot, PM an available staff member who can lock the thread).
★ Biased behavior.
As a moderator, you should not be biased when it comes to your duties. Friend, foe, or even ex-staff are not above the rules. If you see one doing wrong (i.e. trolling, showing disrespect towards others, and so on), they must be punished accordingly.
Below you'll find a list of mod actions that are commonly used by the staff. You can use these actions to manage threads.
Self explanatory, closes the topic. You can still post replies in closed topics, as long as the topics reside where you moderate.
This is how you move threads. You can opt to remove the redirects, the little marker that shows that the topic was moved where it was originally. The advantage of these is if someone has their topic moved and can't find it, these show the way. You can always removed the redirects later by going to the thread and choosing that option.
Copying threads isn't done very often, as there is little to no need.
Sticks and unsticks the thread.
This is basically a slow way to do some of the things above, but it offers a few extra things. You can change the topic title, and make the thread invisible to normal users, called entering it into the moderation queue. You can access that from the mod control panel.
This is almost never used; we close obsolete and pointless topics, and edit out bad things if they contain such. Threads should only be deleted if they are made just to advertise, contain an obvious troll attempt deserving of a ban or don't follow the rules in areas which require mod approval.
Allows you to merge two threads together.
Allows you to split posts in a thread, by using check boxes to tick which post is going to be in the new thread you make. Be aware that the first checked post that's in the thread being split becomes the first post of that topic.
Removes all prior redirects to the thread. For example, if a thread was originally in Other Chat and was moved to Other Voting Polls with a redirect, then was moved to Community Questions & Feedback with one as well, selecting this would remove the redirect in both Other Chat and Other Voting Polls.
These can be made from the modCP (www.pokecommunity.com/modcp) Choose "add new announcement" from the manager and choose which forum to place it in. The rest is pretty easy: type your message, and choose a start and end date. You may also want a copy of it in the Announcements forum for comments.
★ Keeping your password "secret."
Your password on PC should never be leaked to anyone else, even if they appear to be who you think they are. There is no reason for anyone on staff to request your password, so we'll never ask.
Not necessary, but suggested; A more complicated password that no one is likely to decipher would be wise. In return, it should be something your can remember. Having it differ from your outside accounts, such as your e-mail, would also help prevent anyone from discovering your password to the forums.
★ Behavior towards other staff
If you have an issue with another moderator or how they dealt with a thread, send a senior staff member a PM. They will be reviewed in the community HQ, as it is the senior staff's business to handle staff disputes. Do not post a topic in the Mod lounge, for that only causes problems when everyone can view it. Allowing the senior staff to handle these matters gets them dealt with quicker, more efficiently, and with no flames.
When a senior staff member makes a call (with the approval of all the others) on a thread, or issue, then you must respect it. Lock breaks are only acceptable if someone was missed in a flame war, or an extra and vital piece of information is needed. Don't break them to chat, and definitely not to refute another mod's call on a thread. Take that to PM.
★ What is it for?
Simply put, the report system in which you can access to view and manage reports!
★ Where are they located?
Reports are archived and divided into two sections within the ModCP called Open Reports and Closed Reports. The link and number of specific reports for each moderator appears below the number of PMs in your welcome message, as shown below:
★ Who can/cannot see them?
Forum-specific moderators will only see their section’s reports' number on the main page, but will be able to see other reports and modify them. Higher staff can see any post reports made and can know the the report status as well as the moderator who dealt with it. Know that the link and number of specific reports that shows under the PMs in your welcome message will only show if you have open reports. If you have only one report, and it's set to pending, the link will not be visible and you will not be aware of it's existence unless you go and see for yourself.
★ What information do they provide?
When you enter the report system page, you will be shown different sorting options in the top of the page.
☆ Only From Forum ID: A filter that shows reports that come from a certain forum only. Enter the value of the forum in matter. (the forum ID or number can be seen on the end of its URL, for example: http://www.pokecommunity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35. The value "35" will represent the New Users/Welcome forum.)
☆ Only From Reporter ID: Filter to show only reports issued by a certain member. The Member ID can be found in a similar fashion as above, entering the number located in the end of the member's profile URL.
☆ Per Page: Number of reports to show per page. Standard is 5.
☆ Color Key: You may identify which kind of report you're dealing with depending on the report's border color.
This is most probably a recent report that hasn’t been modified. If it is, you should deal with it accordingly. Open reports are reports that still haven't been looked at.
Reports on this status are those who have been modified but may require further possible revision from other member(s) of the PC staff.
This is the status on which you should place the report when the issue has been dealt with. Closed reports will be automatically moved to a different page called "Closed Reports" in which these are archived for reference/modification.
★ User Comment
This field holds the comment from the user who reported the faulty post or issue. It may contain justification or the reason why the content was reported. All members are required to comment on a post to this field when they report it. Be sure to always read it before taking action!
★ Moderator Comment
The moderator may leave a comment for further reference, assistance, or to explain the taken action; it can even be used to specify the status of the report further. It is not always needed but it’s no harm.
► Frequently Asked Questions
★ There's an open report and I think the problem has already been dealt with-- but it is not from my section. Should I close it?
First make certain that the problem has been properly dealt with and the report is old enough to consider the designated mod took care of the issue before seeing it or forgot to close it. If so, you may close it, and preferably you should notify the proper mod of this. Remember, if you took care of an improper post by yourself, chances are that someone has already reported it. Always check the Mod CP after this so you don't leave redundant reports open.
★ There's a reported post but I don't see anything wrong with it.../Someone reported a staff member. What should I do?
First off, reports aren't always justified. Always look and establish your own judgment on the reported fault before you take any action. In the second specific case, there is a chance that the user disagrees with a justified action from that staff member; if so, close it as you would close any other baseless report. If you evaluate the situation and believe it is reasonable, privately and politely talk to the staff member about it and try not to take public action, as aforementioned in the General FAQ.
The PokéCommunity uses an infraction system on members should they break rules in any forum. Infractions are issued for constant rule breakage, except for a few infractions that may be awarded per-offence. You may infract members by locating the "give infraction" button () in the bottom left corner / top right corner of a post.
Under the infraction system, members should be generally warned with:
Reason - Points - Time Period
☆ Censor bypass - 3 Pts - 4 months
☆ Signature offenses - 1 Pt - 2 weeks
☆ Character word/limit breakage - 2 Pts - 2 weeks
☆ Unsolicited advertising - 2 Pts - 1 month
☆ Threads revival - 2 Pts - 2 weeks
☆ Setting video or audio tads to autoplay - 2 Pts - 3 months
☆ Disrespect to members - 3 Pts - 4 months
☆ Double or consecutive posting - 3 Pts - 2 months
☆ Spam (meaningless or off-topic posts) - 3 Pts - 3 months
☆ Trolling / Borderline trolling - 3 Pts - 4 months
☆ Content theft - 4 Pts - Never
☆ Distribution of illegal content - 4 Pts - 4 months
☆ Harassing Members (stalking) - 6 Pts - 2 months
☆ Joining to advertise - 20 - Never
☆ Pornography/indecent content - 20 - Never
Gathering a determinate amount of points leads members to recieve a ban.
☆ 9 infraction points will lead the member to a two week ban.
☆ 15 infraction points end up in a one month ban.
☆ 18 infraction points or at least 10 infractions whether expired or not will result in a three month ban.
☆ 20 infraction points will result in a permanent ban from the community.
Points expire at a certain date; however, accumulating 15 red card infractions (expired or not) will lead to a permanent ban as well. You shall report users you ban through this system in Banned Users Discussions.
★ What is this? It's a system located on your ModCP (or in any member's profile) that allows you to disable/turn off and edit any signatures that break the established image size and text line limits, or bear improper content for the forums.
The purpose of this system was to forget disabling member's signatures manually, by entering a member's profile in your ModCP and writing the VbCode manually into the editor fields. This code was [sig-reason], and the new system was ideated and coded by Ausaudriel.
★ Where is it / How do I use it? When you enter a member's profile, you will see this:
Click the "Staff Options" link and on the drop down menu, select "Disable Signature" and the system will ask you to log on.
After that, you'll see two categories. First is the disable/notice log, where you will see whether this member has had their signature disabled before and probably a note from the moderator who did it:
Besides that, you will find the sig editor, where you will be able to make the modifications, and leave a notice.
Once you've finished, save your changes and check for bugs or errors you may have encountered in the process.
When we throw all the elements listed above into a bed and have them make love, this is the baby that comes out on the other side:
► Here come the calls
Note: These are just suggestions for how to deal with problems that come up in the reports.
As already known to all of you, we have a reports system. Reports show up in the breadcrumbs underneath your private message information as well as underneath your designated forums. If you don't have any reports within your forum or the parts of the forum you have access to moderate, these will not show for you.
When you see a report, go to it and check with the problem it is by reading the user comment 'report content.' Despite what the report may say, you don't have to agree with it when you read it, so take the report with a grain of salt until you see the problem yourself. Click on the post number, which will be the first link on the left hand side of the report. Now, here are some general (apply to all boards) FRP (frequently reported problems!) and some suggestions on how to deal with them:
★ We already have a thread for this.
If a thread already exists, and there aren't replies, close the thread.
If a thread already exists, and there are a few replies, move the individual posts to the other thread, then close the thread.
If a thread already exists, and there are a substantial amount of replies (multiple pages), merge the thread.
★ This thread doesn't belong here.
Ask yourself, where does this thread belong?
If you determine that it doesn't belong anywhere, lock the thread.
If you determine that it belongs in another forum on PC, move the thread to the forum you find most befitting.
★ This is an advertisement.
Sometimes reports come in of someone advertising and they aren't, they're just using a link to back up something that they said.
If you determine it to be advertising, infract the member, then delete the thread.
★ This is spam!
Is it, really? If so, infract the user and delete the post.
If it's a thread with any amount of replies, you can choose to delete the thread entirely, or you can choose to close the thread to notify the other members that the thread is spam.
Additionally, post which are purely mini-modding are typically looked at as spam as well and should be dealt with accordingly.
★ There's a problem with this signature.
If there's a problem with the signature, click on their avatar, and under the staff options drop down menu (which is underneath their profile picture) on their profile, choose disable signature.
Fill out the problem, and then submit the form.
If there's three or more (including this edit) edits in the log, usually you should infract them for signature violations. Go back to the post to do so.
► Cleaning the streets
To select individual posts to manage, tick the check box that can be found with the icons for user comments, IP addresses, reporting, and infracting / warning a member. This is usually found in the table row above the postbit on standard viewing, and underneath the information of the user within the postbox for legacy viewing. Usually, the post will turn a different color. Select the posts you need to manage, and scroll to the bottom. Above the sponsored link, to the right of the new reply button, will be a list of moderation tools. Choose the one you will to use and follow the directions on the corresponding option to the problem, and follow the directions on the next page.
To manage the thread entirely (close, delete, merge, etc.), go to the forum tools and select the corresponding options.
To manage multiple threads, go to the forum index, and select the threads you wish to manage just as it was stated how to select individual posts.
Note: Make sure you don't have more than the desired posts, threads, etc. selected. If you select a post, and choose not to do anything with it, deselect the posts. If you select a thread, and choose not to do anything with it, deselect the thread.
► Calling in reinforcements
If you aren't sure what to do with a problem that is reported, that's okay! We're here to help. While reports aren't listed when you don't have one, most moderators and staff members who deal with reports tend to look at more than just their reports when they decide to check the reports out. Like stated in the reports post, there are moderator logs that are attached to each report. If you don't know what to do, or would like more options, I would suggest taking this time to utilize it.
When you fill out a comment, above it, you'll see a drop down list of options to manage the report (open, closed, pending). I'd suggest keeping the report open, however, when you run into a problem. When you set a report to pending, they aren't shown in your reports anymore, and you'll more than likely forget that the report is there. Take note, sometimes a higher staff member will come and set the report to open to remind you that it's there. This isn't a bad thing, but don't make a habit of setting a report to pending and forgetting about it.
► Playing cops
If you determine a post needs some punishment, you can choose the following options:
- Remove the problem.
- Post a verbal warning directed to the user within the thread.
- Send a verbal warning through a PM to the user.
- Give them a warning.
- Infract the member.
Depending on the leniency of your modding, you may determine that a post simply needs to be deleted, while another member of the staff may remove the problem, post a verbal warning directed to the user within the thread, and infract them. The list above is typically the list of options that you have when you run into a problem that needs some sort of punishment in addition to the cleaning part of your moderator title. You aren't limited to just doing one thing, but you shouldn't do them all.
If you determine that a user should be warned or infract, choose to do so, then select the problem in the list of infractions given. If it's a warning, click the box on the right hand side that designates it as such. Then fill out the text box at the bottom. This will be sent to the member as a message from you in addition to the template that is sent to members who are infracted.
► "You have the right to remain silent..."
If an error occurs, and it states that this will ban the member, fill out the ban reason. This member will be banned for reaching X points, so be sure to state that, in addition to the problem with the post or thread itself. You can choose to enter something like "Posting spam, thus resulted in reaching X points and awarded a ban from the community." This message is shown to the member when they log in, and the characters that you type in the single box is limited, so make sure you are short, simple, and to the point.
If you ban the member, be sure to note this in the banned user discussion thread. Include the name of the member, maybe a link as well (always helpful!), and what the member did wrong. Members can always choose to protest their ban, and some do. If this happens, they'll do so through the contact us link at the bottom of all pages on the forum, and an email will be sent to Steve. He'll post what happened in the thread, and usually moderators other than yourself are the first to reply (most of the staff tend to have something to say towards protesters), so if you feel that there is more to say when you see the protest PM, please feel free to say it in your own response!
It should be noted that, while ban protests are posted in the Banned Users Thread in the Staff Lounge, protests are only ever overturned in the Community Headquarters through a majority vote.
► You make the shots!
Ultimately, calls in moderation are up to you to decide within the forums you mod. Like I stated earlier, these a simply suggestions and the unwritten way of molding here a PC. While some of these suggestions are things that I may do, these aren't something you will do. And that's okay! We don't have a way of conduct when it comes to coming to the same page in modding and managing the forums, which is something that some members are very vocally against, but something we feel that is very important.
That being said, welcome to the team!
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about anything in this thread or otherwise, you can post a thread here in the lounge, ask a mod friend you have, or direct your concerns to a higher staff member. Now, here's your ban hammer. Use it well, young padawan.