POLL: Moderation Protocols - First Draft Creation

We need to establish moderation protocols in the near future. One of the big reasons we’re all here is because we’ve experienced or witnessed uneven moderation, but we’re all aware that some level of moderation is necessary. We all seem to want moderation transparency and accountability, so that means developing a protocol that serves our needs.

To establish the protocol with consent and consensus of the whole, we’ve got two options:

  1. We can have those who have volunteered for the job (and anyone else who is interested in moderating) build a first draft of Protocols for the approval and editing by the whole. This means that @ChickieD, @awfulhorrid, anyone else who wants in, and @CZAnne build a proposed draft and then post it for edits, commentary and approval. (Hint: If you’re interested in modding, please speak up.)

  2. We can open a specific thread for developing that draft and the approved protocols in full view.

Both have advantages and disadvantages. Letting a committee build a first draft for edit gets the first draft out faster and gives us something to start with besides a blank document. A committee is easiest for those who want to approve, but don’t want to watch the process. Document and protocol creation are almost always a messy process, and doing so in what passes for public may slow the process down. Slow is not necessarily a problem, unless we end up needing moderation soon. Doing so in a public, open thread gives maximum transparency. Neither is better than the other, they’re just different routes to the ultimate goal.

This poll closes in 48 hours, at 0100 UTC, Thursday, 27 April.

  • Committee builds first draft and presents to whole for comments, editing, and approval.
  • Draft and build protocols in open thread.

0 voters


I don’t see this happening in an open discussion, but I feel open discussion is a great editorial device. In general something like moderation decisions must be made by some form of “leadership,” however the rules need to extend beyond what is good for posting and into how mods current and future will respond to violations of the rules - which is the problem over the pond.


IME it works best if communities have some sort of draft that at least gives them an idea as to where things are going. If people are super-concerned about the first draft, they can volunteer for committee duty. Otherwise, the public consultation phase will do a good job with the ability to address specific concerns without a three day argument over the meaning of the word “the”.


I’m in favour of openness.

Considering the reason that we’re here is opaque and capricious moderation, why not thrash this out in the open, to demonstrate that a community can come together and do this right. This can effectively be our Constitutional convention, where we lay the foundation of a more perfect bbs, and ensure that it most assuredly does hang together.


I may be one of the few people here with experience in municipal government. Product by committee can be boring, but the results are can be solid and defensible if the committee has diverse membership. I’m confident this can be achieved with our lot.

I’d be happy to review and comment, but would prefer to not be on the committee. I get voluntold onto enough of those in meatspace.


well ok, but just don’t pull an Animal Farm on us.


I like the idea of a committee building a draft and then letting all of us have a run at commenting. Little gets done if we’re all looking at a blank page. I’m happy to comment. I have some experience drafting moderation policies for listserves and IRL workshops, and would not mind helping, if the need arises.


Are we thinking it’ll be any more relaxed than what we’re used to? What kind of standard are we aiming at?

Ideally, one that is clear and keeps the community informed and in involved with moderation action. One that outlines unacceptable behaviors but empowers moderators to use their judgment to… Detain a poster, and one that allows the community to have the final say as a sort of appeals court or judge to the moderator police and prosecutor.


Just a note that this poll closes in 4 hours and 20 minutes. If you have an opinion, now is the time to make it known.


Blazin’ towards the finish line innit?

@everyone, y’all should get posting yer thoughts

Thank you. (That’s how one does an all call. I was just trying to kick it for visibility.)

1 Like


It looks like we’re of the general opinion that a committee may draft a first pass on the moderation protocol and then let everyone else poke holes in it. (71/29) Sounds like a plan.

Thank you all for your input - I’ve been taking notes of what’s wanted, both here and in the other Site Management threads. Give me overnight to compile them into a clean document (right now, I know I’ve got duplicates, contradictions and cruft). I’ll also be PMing those who expressed interest. That aspect is not closed.


Let me know once you’ve got a list of users. I can make them mods, at least temporarily, so you can continue the discussion in the staff category if you’d like.


I’ve never worked in municipal government but I have been on IEC and BSI committees, and I will say that I completely agree with the poll result.