Posted: Jan 29, 2011 8:17 am
by starr
Appendix 2. Forum Moderation

2.1 Reporting
The Forum is a discussion forum and the Forum Moderation aims to encourage and support reasonable and rational discussion. Forum discussions often involve strong emotions and opinions which can result in heated exchanges. Forum Moderation will not protect you from having your opinions and ideas challenged and this may even be done in a direct or confrontational manner. However, Forum Moderation does aim to protect members from personal insults.

The Moderation Team consists of volunteers and it is not intended that they monitor all posts on the Forum. The moderation of the Forum relies on the support of the Membership and we ask Members to use the report button to report posts they believe breach the Membership Agreement. Please do not publicly state that you have reported a post since that tends to achieve nothing more than further derails and bickering.

The report button may also be used to make requests for "housekeeping" such as editing titles, and in general for bringing things to the attention of the Moderation Team.

Reports are considered confidential communication between a member and the Moderation Team. Reports should be civil and should not to be used to make attacks against other Members.

2.2. Moderation
The consequences for breaching the Membership Agreement will be based on the seriousness of the offence, and this judgement will fall entirely on the moderators' discretion. The Moderation Team use a range of strategies to address breaches of the Membership Agreement. These include:
    • Moderator Advice
    • Warnings
    • Suspensions
    • Banning
When possible and when appropriate, Moderator Advice and Warnings will be issued publicly, usually in the thread where the breach occurs. The Moderation Team may also use private messages and emails if they feel it is more appropriate to do so.
Threads or posts that breach the Membership Agreement may be removed from view at the discretion of the Moderation Team.

2.2.1 Moderator Advice
Moderator Advice may be issued within Modnotes as general advice to all members or may be directed to particular members. If a member is given Moderator Advice they will be notified via PM and a record will be made on their profile. There is no minimum or maximum number of times a member may be issued Moderator Advice before a stronger action (such as a warning) is taken.
Unlike Warnings (see below), Moderator Advice does not accumulate to result in suspensions.
Advice is posted in blue modnotes.

2.2.2 Warnings
In most instances, staff will advise posters to post according to the terms in the Member Agreement. If a poster ignores this advice then breaches of the Member Agreement may result in a Warning, which will remain active for 6 months.
When deciding whether to issue Moderator Advice or a Warning for a breach, the Moderation Team consider the:
    • member’s posting history;
    • history of previous Moderator Advice issued to the member;
    • context of the breach; and
    • severity of the breach.
Warnings are posted in red modnotes.

2.2.3 Suspensions
If a poster accrues warnings, they will lead to suspensions as follows:
    3rd active warning - 1 week suspension
    4th active warning - 1 month suspension
    5th active warning - 6 month suspension
After 6 months, the poster can return with a clean record but will have a probationary period of 6 months. During the probationary period, warnings will lead to suspensions as follows:
    1st active warning - 1 week suspension + 1 month extension of probationary period
    2nd active warning - 1 month suspension + 1 month extension of probationary period
    3rd active warning - 1 year suspension + 1 year probationary period

2.2.4 Banning
Bans from the forum are permanent and are issued at the discretion of the Moderation Team for:
    • Spammers (members who register to advertise or promote a business or to solicit anyone to buy or sell products or services without explicit permission and/or having a Supporting Vendor status with
    • Sockpuppet accounts (see below for further information)
    • Trolls (members who the Moderation Team consider have registered with an intention to engage in trolling behaviour and/or whose forum posting history predominantly comprises trolling behaviour with relatively minimal constructive content).
    • Members who have engaged in extremely inappropriate behaviour either on the Forum or via PM.

2.2.5 Consequences for registering a sockpuppet account
All sockpuppet accounts are banned upon detection. Registering a sockpuppet account will lead to suspensions or banning as follows, depending on the member status of the primary account holder:
    • current member - 6 month suspension
    • deactivated member - 6 month suspension from the time they request re-activation
    • suspended member – extension of suspension by 6 months
Any member, whether current, deactivated or suspended, who creates a second sockpuppet account will be banned from the forum.

2.3. Appeals & Complaints
If you have been subject to moderation you can formally appeal that action and the Moderation Team is obligated to respond to all such appeals. To make a formal appeal you can:
    • Send a PM to a member of the Moderation Team to state you wish to make a formal appeal. Preferably, in the first instance, a PM would be sent to the moderator who issued the action and then if the member isn't happy with the outcome they may choose to PM a Global Moderator and/or the Senior Moderator;
    • Start a ‘Formal Appeal’ thread in the Feedback Forum.
    Members who have been suspended or banned can appeal moderation actions by emailing

Discussion of moderation issues and Forum management issues, whether you agree or disagree with them, should take place in the Feedback Forum.

2.4 Housekeeping
These are additional actions that the Moderation Team may take that are not intended as punitive towards any Member. They are intended to help ensure that the Forum is easy to use, navigate and to keep discussions flowing. These actions are undertaken at the discretion of the Moderation Team and include but are not limited to:
    • moving off-topic posts to new threads or removing them from view. Members can request for derails to be split to a new thread.
    • moving threads posted in the wrong section to a more appropriate forum.
    • Corrections and alterations. Members have 24 hours in which to edit or make corrections to their posts, after this time all editing is done by the Moderation Team.
    Since titles of threads in most sections are visible to non-Members, titles may be changed to ensure they are appropriate for public viewing. Moderators may also correct spelling errors, typos or other mistakes however this will usually only be done on request.
    • Duplicate posts may be removed from view. Members can alert staff to duplicate posts using the report function.