Moderator Guides


Chaotically Proportional
Jan 6, 2004
A lot of people have difficulties in setting up a set of rules for their moderators. I thought it would be nice to have a resource were we could share a variety of examples for people to use as templates.

So if you have any Staff Guidelines you'd like to share with the members, post them in this thread :D


Nov 14, 2008
Thank you very much for volunteering your time in helping us to keep the forums tidy. The task of a moderator is very important in keeping the community together and helping it remain attractive to newcomers. Here are some simple guidelines. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact the Noles or Mr. Hero for questions/concerns.

Within our forum, we expect that you will always take the high road. Do not belittle members, do not air dirty laundry in public, etc. If you have a problem with a member, PM them or e-mail them.

It is important that staff members have a place to discuss matters frankly without worrying about confidentiality. We expect you to keep all discussions in this section confidential. If you will not stick to this, please notify me so that I can remove your access. If we discover that you have breached confidentiality, you will be removed immediately.

Forum Duties
The main thing is to care enough about the site to make it a priority. This will manifest differently per person. If you feel that maintaining and nurturing the forum has become a burden or that you simply do not have enough time, please notify me and I will remove you from the staff team, and/or talk to you personally about different options for you whilst keeping your position.

Maintaining the forums will basically mean regularly visiting to make sure that there is no spam, multiple topics, or problems to take care of. If you need to take a break from the forums, please ensure that you let us all know so that we can be sure to have an idea of what is going on.

Moving Threads
If there are any threads that need to be "deleted", simply use the topic multi-moderation feature and archive them. If the thread is complete spam, please purge them using this same feature so that the administration can look over it.

Editing Posts
If ever you need to edit a member's post, which should not be many times, please be sure to add a comment on the boom letting them know exactly why you edited the post and what they did wrong (not following rule #3 for example).

No violent, discriminatory langauge or personal attacks are tolerated in the forum (as you know from the forum rules). If you see any inappropriate posts, edit the post immediately. Remove the offending portion or entire post body and insert a edit note explaining your action. If an excessive amount of profanity is used in a post, remove it. If both parties are having fun and joking around, it would be best to just leave it as is and double-check with said members to be sure of this.

No advertisement of any form is tolerated in any forum. Website links in the signature are fine as long as it doesn't have too many links in it. Use your best judgment. Actual links to other sites are discouraged.

The following are considered spam:
  • Posts that obviously serve no purpose other than uping one's post counts. This is up to the staff team to decide.
  • Responses to spam posts should be considered as spam and be removed. However, spam warnings should not be given in such cases except in severe cases.
  • Posts that contain large amounts of smileys and/or spaces to make it look like they contain useful information often don't. Be aware of those tactics to quickly up post count.

Give out official spam warnings to repeat offenders. Give a bit of leeway to new posters (you can tell by their join date).

When you found a thread that is not relevant to a forum, immediately move it to the appropriate forum. If it is a popular topic, leave a "trail" for the topic, but in almost all cases just move it without adding one.

Sexual Content
Sexual content is not permitted except in the most general context. Anything which could be hurtful to someone else (within reason) is course for a warning to be given. This includes sexually explicit avatars, sexist jokes, use of violent sexual language, unwanted sexual advances, and anything else that could be hurtful and offensive. This site is rated for all ages.

Closing Threads
Don't close threads, ever. If people should no longer be discussing whatever that topic might be about (Viagra spam for instance) just purge the thread and leave it for the administration.

Do not unpin or pin any topic without approval from Noles or Mr. Hero.

Forum Specific Rules
Please follow the assigned rules, and embrace them at all times.

Suspensions and Banning
Unless the account is specially a spam bot, do not under any circumstance ban another member without notifying Noles or Mr. Hero.

Note from us
It's a hard job, and I understand that. Dedication and consistency is a big part of our mindset here, and if you do not have those, this might not be the right thing for you to be spending your time with. Hopefully above all else you will enjoy yourself here and valiantly work hard at your new position! I wish you all the best of luck, and if ever there is a problem, don't hesitate to let us know. :)

If you have any questions, please let us know in a separate thread in the Private Section .


Oct 22, 2010
I second that thanks!! Great set of Guidelines which a lot of thought and consideration have obviously been put in. My Forums are about to go public, and I needed something like this, so very much appreciated!


Resident Mancunian
Mar 10, 2004
I recently found the guide for a forum I used to run on one of my old external hard drives. It was written for a forum powered by vBulletin 3.6 so some of the content reflects that but I think it's a relatively useful document in terms of layout and content. Thought I'd share, eitherway-

Welcome to the Moderator Handbook. The purpose of this document is to serve as a guide to doing your job as a member of staff on the forums, within you should find helpful tips regarding dealing with the behaviour of our users, as well as definitions about common forum problems and instructions about using the forum tools that are available to you.

1. Rules
-Three Strike Policy
2. Profile, Avatars and Signatures
-Signature images
-Signature text and links
-Profile fields​
3. Forum Tools and Instructions
-Opening and Closing threads
-Moving threads
-Splitting and moving posts from a thread/Merging posts
-Using AJAX to edit posts and thread titles
-Editing Polls
-Hidden Staff Forums
-Staff action discussion threads​
4. Forum Infraction System
-Infractions in place
-Giving an infraction​
5. Conduct (Demeanour, warnings and banning)
-Fair Judgement
-Conflicts with users or other staff
-Administering Warnings
-When to temporarily or permanently ban a user​
6. Notes


This section of the handbook covers the general rules of and what is and is not acceptable behaviour by users. It includes some definitions of common terminology and instructions on how to deal with it, though section 3 has more extensive instructions regarding administering warnings and the banning system.


At we operate a three strike user discipline system.

A strike should be issued upon a ‘serious’ contravention of our rules, but not a single infraction violation, following staff discussion. We will issue a maximum of three strikes. One strike will be removed for each 3 month period in which users do not incur another. If a situation arises where a user is issued with a 4th strike, subject to staff discussion, they should be banned from, permanently.

Temporary bans will be administered at administrator discretion.


A flame is an insult or slur directed to a member. Listed below are our definitions of "flames":

Insults - Any type of insult directed from one member to another member. Please remember though that there is a big difference between "criticising" and "insulting".
Sexual Slurs - Any type of sexual slur directed from one member to another member, whether it'd be describing explicit sexual behaviours involving the member being flamed, or typing sexually explicit slurs using the likeness of the member being flamed.
Racial Slurs - Any type of slur directed from one member to another member, regarding their ethnic background, or insulting a specific ethnic background in general.
Homo/bisexual Slurs - Any type of homo/bisexual slur directed from one member to another member, whether it'd be false claims that the member being flamed is a homo/bisexual, or mocking a homo/bisexual member for their sexual preference- this does not cover someone expressing an opinion about sexuality in general, though negative discussion about somebody’s sexual orientation is generally looked down upon. Mind you, this also goes for homosexuals criticising heterosexual behaviours.
• It is important to remember that it is the moderator's discretion as to what is classified as a "flame". If you would like another moderator to review something that you may feel is a flame, please feel free to contact them. Flaming is generally unacceptable and users doing it should be ‘verbally’ warned in public. Continued abuse following a ‘verbal’ warning should lead to one ‘official warning’ via PM, which is one strike.​


Trolling can be a little harder to spot and is usually identified as a comment intended to antagonise another person. When a member makes a post knowing full well it will lead to an argument, for example, or makes subtle flames intended to provoke anger in other users. Trolls should be administered an infraction notice and repeated abuse in this manner should lead to the administering of an ‘official warning’ and one strike on their record.


Spam is something that every forum has its problems with and unfortunately we’re no exception. Again, what is considered spam can depend on moderator discretion, but generally is any of the following.

Off Topic replies- If a user posts a message that has absolutely nothing to do with the subject/content of a thread, it will be considered spam. This doesn’t necessarily have to be deleted, but it is the preferred choice, followed by a PM to the user whose post has been removed.
Person-to-Person conversation- adding messages to a thread with personal messages directed between members is also spamming, unless they directly involve the subject at hand, so while users can ‘talk to each other’ in posts, they should be doing so with relation to the topic of the thread.
Single word/One Sentence/Non-Contributive replies- Users often reply to posts with single words or a short sentence which really add no content to the discussion. 'Me too'/'I agree' and other short messages such as this will be considered as spam, and treated in the same manner as off topic replies.
Bumping dead/old threads- Threads that have not been replied to in months are considered 'dead' and should not be resurrected. Again moderator discretion can apply here, if a user bumps a thread that hasn’t been responded to in 4 months, but adds a constructive response which relates to previous discussion, you may choose to leave the thread open.
Excessive linking to other sites- See ‘Advertising’ for more extensive discussion. Linking to other sites for the sole purpose of personal promotion is forbidden at the moment (though the guild forum is subject to its own rules). Linking to sites to provide more information in relation to a thread’s topic is acceptable.​


Advertising is generally when someone posts a thread linking to their own site or a product, but with no real intention other than to give that link coverage. We don’t allow that here, obviously and general procedure is to remove the link from the post and/or lock the thread at your own discretion. We do though allow users to post links when they are relevant to the subject of the thread, such as linking to a topic elsewhere dealing with the same subject, or linking to an article when posting news and so on. (Exceptions might be in place when an affiliate posts a thread advertising a new feature or news relating to their website, if in doubt contact an administrator..)


Due to the constant degradation of religious and political discussions into argumentative flame-fests, they are currently banned at If a user posts a thread explicitly orientated to discussing religion/politics or aspects of it, the thread should be closed down with a note [See public forum guidelines]. Minor exceptions to this rule include threads in which users express good wishes for a religious holiday, such as Christmas. But, if such a thread degrades into a serious discussion with the potential for argument, it should also be locked down.


This section of the handbook covers our rules on acceptable avatars and signatures at and what to do in the event a user does not conform to our rules.


Signatures may contain either a combination of images, or a single image which collectively does not exceed the dimensions of 500x160px, and should in no case exceed a file size of 50kb. In place of an image, a user may have a maximum of five lines of normal sized text in their signature, or a maximum of 3 lines of normal size text accompanying an image. Signature permissions are controlled through the admin control panel, and built-in measures mean users will not be able to exceed to set dimensions.


Any text that appears in a user’s signature (including links) is subject to the same guidelines which govern posts, if a user includes abusive text, the same procedure for non-compliant images should apply. An exception here applies to links; users may link to their personal websites in a signature and are allowed up to 5 separate links posted using normal sized text. Links to warez, pornographic and other indecent sites should be removed by staff immediately and a warning issued.


Users are currently limited to choosing avatars from our hosted gallery and therefore we should not encounter any problems with them. If a user requests a custom avatar, it may be added to their profile so long as it fits our standard dimensions (120x75) and is approved by a moderator.


Users have the ability to fill out various fields in their user control panel which might be displayed within the postbit or on their profile page, including but not limited to ‘Location’ and ‘Hobbies’. The same rules which apply to posts in respect to decency, apply here. Other than that these fields can be as off-topic as the user likes.


This section will cover editing, closing, splitting, merging, moving threads and so on. It will also cover how to use the use of inline moderation and how it can be used to mass move or mass delete, as well as using the banning system for both temporary and permanent bans.


A thread should be closed when we want to preserve the content but prevent users from posting in it any more, or bumping it. There are a couple of different ways to close a thread (or subsequently open it); When viewing a thread, click the ‘Thread tools’ button which runs along the top post and choose ‘Close Thread’, before clicking ‘Perform action’. You will be redirected to the thread, which is now closed. You can also close or open a thread from the forumdisplay page, by double clicking on the ‘new post/no post’ icon beside the title.


Moving threads is a relatively simple procedure, with some functionality for leaving redirects or not. Threads can be moved in a number of ways;

If you are within a thread, then you should click on the ‘Thread tools’ button and select ‘Move/Copy thread’, before clicking ‘Perform action’. This will take you to a small control panel where you can select the destination forum. Below this option, are three options; Move to destination forum, move and leave redirect in previous forum and copy thread to destination forum. If the thread has only just been posted and had no replies, you should select the first option and leave no redirect. If you find the thread after it has received a number of replies, you should choose to leave a redirect so that users know where to find it.

If you want to move multiple threads, you should go to forumdisplay and use the checkbox to the right of every thread to select the threads you wish to move and then choose ‘move threads’ from the drop down box labelled ‘Moderation’ below the listing. Clicking ‘go’ you should then follow the procedure outlined in the previous paragraph.


On occasion, it will be necessary to split a post or a number of posts from a thread and/or merge them into other threads. The discussion might have spiked and be worthy of its own thread, or it might be spam you wish to split and close as an example. With inline moderation, splitting posts from a thread is very easy. Every post in a thread has a check box to the right, besides the ‘view IP’ icon. Clicking the checkbox will highlight that post as selected, you can click and highlight as many posts as you like. You should then scroll to the bottom of a thread and choose ‘move post’ from the moderation drop down box. This will take you to another control panel. If you wish to simply move posts out of a thread and create a new thread with them, choose a destination forum and input a new title. If you wish to move the posts you have selected and merge them straight into another thread, have the URL of that thread at hand to input into the relevant box, and click the ‘move posts’ button.


AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) is a new feature used by vBulletin which allows the quick editing of posts and thread titles, as well as quick replies, without the need for the entire page to refresh. Though the procedure is self evident, we’ll briefly cover it here.

You can edit thread titles in two ways, the more traditional way is to click ‘thread tools’ when you are viewing a thread, and choose ‘Edit thread’, where you can alter the title. Alternatively you can double click on the cell containing the thread title inside forumdisplay, which will make it open as editable, without redirecting to a separate editing page. You can then alter the title, hit Enter and the moderation is complete.

If you would like to edit a post, give the ‘edit’ button contained within the postbit a single click and the post will pop open as an editable window, again without redirecting you to an edit page. Here, you can make quick changes. If you would like to leave a reason-for-edit comment or make more advanced changes and have access to the BBCode buttons, you can click ‘Go Advanced’ and be redirected to the more traditional post edit page.


If you need to edit a poll, either to alter poll options or add them at user request, you should click ‘Edit Poll’ in the top right corner of the options/results box. In the small control panel which pops open, you’ll be able to alter the title of the poll, edit the poll options and add/remove votes (though this should not be done without consulting an administrator) and close the poll, which will leave the thread open for posting but allow no more votes to be collected. You can also choose to set a voting time limit on the poll by adding a number which represents how many days after today’s date you wish the poll to close.


There are two main staff forums at, including the Moderators Lounge (accessible by Super Moderators and Administrators) and the Moderator Actions forum (Accessible by all staff). Anything which is discussed in staff forums should never be revealed to users, either publicly or via private message and would be considered a serious violation of etiquette.


While performing your duties as a forum moderator, you will no doubt make many minor post edits, split or merge threads and delete spam. But you’ll also encounter a number of situations which you should make the rest of the staff aware of, by posting a thread in the ‘Moderator Actions’ forum. The infraction system detailed in the next section will take care of creating a thread in the relevant staff forum for most cases about any action you have taken, where you can then continue discussion about the relevant details with other staff members. If a situation arises which the infraction system isn’t suitable for dealing with, you should manually create a thread detailing the situation at hand and discuss any action to be taken.


The built-in infraction system in use on allows forum staff to flexibly reprimand problem users. Each infraction has a controllable weight (points) and an option to allow it to be applied only as a warning, which alerts the user to their violation but doesn’t give them any points. Additionally, the points given to a user for a violation can be automatically removed after a specified amount of time via the Scheduled Tasks system. Should a user receive any number of infractions which send his point weight over a specified limit, certain feature denials will automatically be applied to him. For example, if a member of the registered usergroup were to receive 30 infraction points within a given period, they would automatically have permissions applied to them which places their posts in a moderation queue which need to be approved by a staff member before going public.

Inappropriate language – x points – expires after x days
Flaming – x points – expires after x days
Trolling – x points – expires after x days
Spamming – x points – expires after x days
Necromancy – x points – expires after x days​

When an administrator or moderator wishes to apply an infraction to a user, he or she clicks the infraction icon on a post (represented with a red/yellow card), and is presented with a choice of infractions and an option to send a private message to the user with more information. It is not a problem if a user has disabled private messages since a staff member’s messages are given override priority. A user may also be given an infraction from their profile. The profile is also where a user's infraction history can be seen. Active infractions may also be reversed by users with appropriate permissions.
Once a user is given an infraction, a thread will automatically be posted to the Moderator Actions forum detailing the violation which took place and what the moderator did in response through the infraction system. Moderators can remove infractions from users manually by visiting the user’s profile and reviewing the infraction history.


Now for the serious part ;) The purpose of this section of the handbook is to define how you should compose yourself as a member of staff at and how you should carry out your duties while being wary of ‘the public eye’. It will cover how you are expected to convey the ethos of our site and how to uphold our guidelines in an acceptable way, from administering public warnings to giving official strikes in PM.


As a moderator, it is your responsibility to execute fair judgement. It is important for you, as a moderator, to be able to make decisions regardless of personal interest, relationship, or benefit. If you are unable to do so, then, please seek the judgement of fellow staff before taking action. A major part of moderating here at STOnet is interacting with other members of the forum staff, and members. You are expected to treat all members of the forum’s staff, and general population the same way.


As a moderator at we ask that you try to be as active as your schedule allows, both in promoting activity in the forum(s) you administer and policing them. While sometimes, we know life gets too busy and that your participation is entirely voluntary, we do ask that you notify us of any extended leave that means you will be absent from the forum for longer than a three-day period. This allows us to keep an eye on the forum(s) you moderate and allows other staff to deal with any issues which might arise without stepping on each others toes. Ultimately, if a staff member is absent for over 30 days without any explanation given before hand or in the intervening period, they will be removed to a standby group and ultimately demoted back to regular user pending review upon their return.


Remember that as a member of the staff of this forum you are now a visible representative of and people will perceive your behaviour and comments to be a reflection of this site. It is important that you remain as impartial as possible in any discussion, you’re entitled to your own opinion and we encourage you to post that if it contributes to a discussion, but please try to avoid direct conflicts with single users. Staff should note that they are also subject to the same common rules that we enforce upon our users, and are subject to the same disciplinary procedure.


Moderators are real people too, we know! Sometimes it is inevitable that you will get into a situation where you vehemently disagree with a user or another staff member and find yourself in a stalemate about what to do next. In no event, should you allow a personal argument or grudge to manifest itself publicly on the forum. On conflicts with users; approach another member of staff to deal with a situation if you feel you are unable to do so solely as a member of staff. If you are receiving abusive messages from a user, or feel they are targeting you in any kind of campaign designed to rouse negative feeling towards you, contact the administration. Do not bait them by responding directly. If you find yourself in conflict with the actions of another staff member, or simply disagreeing with their demeanour, please contact an administrator and discuss any problems you have, rather than bickering in private. Conflicts between staff members can cause problems for the whole forum, something we obviously don’t want to ever happen.


While typos are acceptable within a post (to some extent) we generally prefer that titles are spelled correctly, since they are both listed in forum view and in some cases shown on the main site index and forum home page. If you spot a thread with a title which is spelled incorrectly, feel free to correct it.

Expanding on the previous point, while we realise that some users for whom English is not a first language might have problems with grammar and spelling, we generally expect a good level of language use from our users who speak English as a first language. ‘1337’ speak or so called ‘txt’ speak is frowned upon and we should consciously encourage members to use spell checkers or take care to give their post a once over before submitting.

Our stance on bad language is somewhat ‘relaxed’. We bill ourselves as a mature community, so users are expected to conform to normal conversation standards. Outright constant use of bad language is of course frowned up on and should be treated in the same way as spam, but the use of the occasional ‘swear word’, especially in context, is acceptable.
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Chaotically Proportional
Jan 6, 2004
Great document, Jon. Thanks for sharing!

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Dec 16, 2005
Here is mine

[classified] Staff Manual

Welcome to the [classified] , Staff Manual. This manual applies to all Staff Members of [classified] . You will also need to read and abide by the Official Forum Guidelines (Rules) as well. Being a staff member means that you are the first line of help and support for members of this forum, the one who enforces the policies and bans bad members and a leader who shows strong activity and professionalism. Please understand that you are expected to be a very active staff member and a very active member on this community because of your leadership position. Ensure that you post often, monitor member activities, ban spammers and extremely bad members and try to get us more members. We reserve the right to modify this manual at anytime with or without prior notice.

Duties of this position

You are a staff member of this forum. You should always conduct yourself in a friendly, firm and professional manner as you represent Another Admin Forum at all times while being an official staff members of the community. Your duties on this forum include:

  • Welcoming new members and making them feel at home
  • Being extremely active both as a staff member and a regular member
  • Helping to keep the forum active and getting more members to join when possible
  • Looking for violations and enforcing our rules and policies
  • Getting requests for forum support and responding in a timely manner
  • You may not demote staff unless an investigation has been completed and Shawn permits you to do it
  • You may suggest the hiring of new staff but Shawn must have the final say
  • Posting new topics as much as you can and getting us more members if possible
  • Fixing errors when possible and keeping the forum up and running

Bans and Infractions

As a team member, you will be able to ban and infract members for violating our rules and policies. Please try to be kind if a member does a minor violation and do not jump the gun and ban for first time offenses. I like running a forum where we can work on resolving violations rather than banning first and asking questions later. If the offending member has wore out their welcome, will not follow the rule after being warned numerous times or is a spammer or something like that, then a ban is sometimes the only option and we understand that totally. Do not ban staff members as an internal investigation is required for staff disciplinary actions.

To ban, go into the Ban Area of the Admin Control Panel (if you have access) and follow the instructions. To issue a warning or infraction, click on a User's Profile and then the "Actions" tab to drop down a list of links, click on Issue a Warning and follow the instructions.

* 20 points will put the member in watch status, this should be done after a PM verbal warning is no use
* 30 points will put the member in moderation status (posts must be approved), this should be done after above does not help
* 60 points will put the member in mute status (suspension), this should be done when above does not help
* The next form of action to take is banning the user for a certain amount of time or for life

Spammer members or spam bots should be banned for life without warning. All admins and staff members (besides reviewers) may give member infractions and ban members. After a ban is done, you should always write a report about it in the staff area and move any violating posts to Post Storage for evidence and future reference. Never delete anything from this forum, ever!

Never delete members either.

Know the rules

It is important for staff to know the rules so they know what to enforce.

- Click here to read the Official Forum Guidelines (Rules)
- Click here to read the Official Forum Privacy Policy

Staff Privacy Statement

It is important that staff understand our take on privacy. By being staff on [classified] , you agree that you will not share private staff information with non-staff members, competitors and staff members that are not allowed to access certain staff data and materials. You agree that sharing this information in an unauthorized manner can result in criminal and civil court actions to the fullest extent of the laws of the United States of America. You also agree to abide by and enforce the official privacy policies and statements of this forum and our services.

Chain of Command

You must follow the chain of command while using this forum. Shawn is number one when it comes to management and will make all final decisions when needed. Administrative staff should come to Shawn for assistance. Global moderators and reviewers should come to Admin staff when they need assistance and to Shawn if other admins are not able to give them help. Please follow this chain of command as it is required and shows great teamwork.

You should always act as a team. If you need help, seek support from your fellow team member.

Activity Policy

All staff are required to be active members (and staff members) on this forum. The forum will not work unless the team is active as members usually follow the team members on a forum. You are required to create new topics, reply on current topics and keep discussions active on all boards and sections on the forum. Please let Shawn know if you are going to be away from the forum for awhile so your account doesn't get demoted for inactivity. We care about the activity and lives of our staff members as you help make this community what it is today and what it will be in the future.

Thank you for reading this policy and we will announce any changes that may be made.

Very simple stuff...


Jan 14, 2012
Here are my moderator guidlines/rules

Moderation Rules

1. Use the warn panel to warn users, not private message.

2. Do not share member's IP addresses with other members or people outside of the moderation team.

3. When warning users, please refer to the site rules before you warn them.

4. Do not abuse your power by banning someone out of personal dislike. It is not tolerated and will come with consequences.

Moderation Notes

- Take the site rules in to consideration before warning a user. Please make sure you read all rules thoroughly before making a moderation decision.

- Act mature when you post. You are the example of a good member, and represent Core Modding. Don't abuse that by acting like a little kid or immature. When you do, it gives members a good opportunity to question your authority and talk down to you.

- If there is a problem via the chat bar, please contact an administrator. We (administrators) have access to all private message logs as well as chat logs from every user. If there is a problem that you can't fix, we can take it from there.

Warning a member

Follow rule 2.1, Suspensions/Bans go like this:
  • 8 Points = 3 day suspension
  • 16 Points = 2 week suspension
  • 24 Points = 1 month suspension
  • 32 Points = Permanent ban
Simply change the number of hours/days you want to suspend them for. Don't tick the box unless its a permanent ban, But If a member reaches 32 points then contact Weatherz, Jay or Dazzuh and we'll take it from there.


70's Fashion Icon
Dec 10, 2007
Here's mine, at the time of writing we had a (larger) mature team so there wasn't a need to go into a great deal of detail.

We are mods first and members second.


Posts should be read as a mod. If you think a post is inappropriate read the posts before it to understand the context that the post has been written in.

Do not post a response criticising the post in the thread, but send a polite PM* to the poster explaining why you think the post needs to be removed/edited. If the poster cannot justify the post then it can be moderated.

*Ensure that I am included in the PM so I am aware at to what is happening and will have a full picture of the situation if I need to become involved.

If the post is not contravening the ethos of the forum it should be left.

People have different opinions, just because a post disagrees with yours is not a reason to moderate.


We have a swear filter. I have added the most undesirable words so that they appear as gibberish on screen. If you see a word that you feel should be added to the filter, send me a PM with your reasons and I’ll consider adding it.

Locking Threads

A thread should only be locked under extreme circumstances. If we lock a thread then we have failed in our role as moderators as we have not been able to resolve whatever the issue was.

Use of Moderators Corner

This board is purely to communicate absences, seek advice, make suggestions for improvements or to share ideas.

Or to discuss a specific post, but not the poster

Under no circumstances should it be used to discuss members.

Combining the above with common sense should cover most events.

General Guidelines for good moderation.

When to edit a message

• Contains bad language

• Violates the board rules in some way (contains advertising, etc.)

In general, it is preferable to edit a message rather than delete it entirely.

When to delete a topic or message

• Unacceptable behaviour (bad language, abuse of other members)

• Illegal/defamatory statements

Basically, whenever there is no value to the forum that demands leaving the topic/message in place. It is good practice to PM the topic initiator to explain why it was deleted.
When a post is moved to ‘The Skip’ add an explanation of why it has been placed there so the rest of the staff understand the situation.

In-post editing

When 'part' of a post is edited, it's good practice to make sure it's clear that a) it's been edited, (and who by) and b) it's obvious where it's been edited, so that you don't accidentally put words into somebody's mouth by altering the context of what they said.

The tried and tested way is like this:

This is the sentence that contains a Fucking obscenity.

This is the sentence that contains a <snipped by richard> obscenity.

Doing it like that, the context of the post remains intact, and the opinion of the original poster is still completely clear... but without the word some would be offended by.

When a member should be banned

• Repeated violation of the forum rules

• Offensive behaviour (e.g., posting offensive material, harassing other members)

• Attempts at hacking or destroying the forum

• Repeated attempts to circumvent moderation or banning

Whatever the situation, moderators should remain impartial and level-headed.

Staff and their responsibilities:

<Name> Administrator Overall responsibility for the forum

<Name> Moderator Responsible for forum etiquette

<Name> Administrator Forum technical support. No moderation responsibilities

So I know that the guidelines have been read, please post a response.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please ask, either here or if you wish privacy, via PM.


Dec 19, 2011
Wow you guys have put a lot of thought into your rules.

Here's ours.

a) do not post content that is illegal.

Thats all the rules.

Moderation action will only be considered under the following criteria.

a) has the content been reported and is the content illegal.



Mar 1, 2013
I was once a member of a forum that had a huge three page mega-thread of rules and regulations for staff members, I'm glad to see that's not the norm. At what stage should a forum add an official set of staff guidelines? Should you wait until you're larger, or have one straight from the start?


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Mar 13, 2013
I was once a member of a forum that had a huge three page mega-thread of rules and regulations for staff members, I'm glad to see that's not the norm. At what stage should a forum add an official set of staff guidelines? Should you wait until you're larger, or have one straight from the start?

I think that it is best to have one from the start.


Tazmanian Master
Jul 21, 2010
Have one at start and it can evolve with needs. At first just basic things, like be nice, think twice etc.


Jul 23, 2013
moderators dont promote themselves, so i generally allow members performance to make it obvious to me that they are moderator material. i will generally review the candidates' body of work, look at things like how long they've been a they react to certain types of posts...and how others react to their posts.

a moderator isnt necessarily your best poster, or most active user...but they do have to contribute on nearly a daily basis. imo, being a moderator is not a part time job. if i can get along with only having them around 3 days a week...i can get along without them as a moderator. thats why i let performance speak for itself. when someone asks me how they become a moderator, i generally tell them they must demonstrate that the community just wouldnt be the same without them...and that if they have to ask to become a moderator, they arent ready yet.

its my belief that the best moderators are those who dont use their moderating powers very often when it comes to member interaction. in fact....being a moderator should be a boring job. moving this thread, moving that post, unsticking out-dated threads, etc. the dynamic of who that member is should not change by making him/her a moderator, and your membership should all be in agreement that this particular member deserved the promotion to moderator.


Aug 22, 2013
If it has to be explained what a moderator should do or not do then the person should not be a moderator. Moderators should be meeting or preferably exceeding the standards before they are made moderators. If it has to be explained moderators are held to the same standard as the membership, if not to a higher standard, there is a fundamental issue with how the site operates.

I have one rule for moderators that does not apply to the membership: When in doubt, do nothing. Refer the issue to an administrator. It's a simple rule that maintains consistency in how issues are addressed and resolved. The issue is discussed in the staff forum and it is explained how we handle such situations and the reasoning behind the method. Then the moderator knows and understands and has a reference as to how the issue was handled for the next time the same issue arises.


Mar 24, 2014
If it has to be explained what a moderator should do or not do then the person should not be a moderator. Moderators should be meeting or preferably exceeding the standards before they are made moderators. If it has to be explained moderators are held to the same standard as the membership, if not to a higher standard, there is a fundamental issue with how the site operates.

I have one rule for moderators that does not apply to the membership: When in doubt, do nothing. Refer the issue to an administrator. It's a simple rule that maintains consistency in how issues are addressed and resolved. The issue is discussed in the staff forum and it is explained how we handle such situations and the reasoning behind the method. Then the moderator knows and understands and has a reference as to how the issue was handled for the next time the same issue arises.


Dec 7, 2014
I was once a member of a forum that had a huge three page mega-thread of rules and regulations for staff members, I'm glad to see that's not the norm. At what stage should a forum add an official set of staff guidelines? Should you wait until you're larger, or have one straight from the start?
Mine is just one post, but it's approximately 3000 words, but it isn't just guidelines, it's how to do stuff. I have both a handbook with guidelines, and then a tutorial kinda thing to teach people how every tool works. I think right from the start is a good idea, so you're not making major changes later. I don't want people making mistakes because I was too lazy to write some guidelines.