Tips for Moderators
When you become a Board Moderator you will see some changes in the appearance
of your board and in the way some of its features behave versus the appearance
and behavior the membership general experiences.
First, what a Moderator sees: In the Author area of any of your posts
on the board, even ones from before you became the Moderator, you and
the membership general will now see your Member Group listed as "Board
Moderator". On all other boards you will retain your normal Member Group
status. At the bottom of any given topic screen, under the last post of
the topic, you will now see additional buttons and tools that were not
visible before you became the Moderator. Those tools are defined here.
The behavior of certain tools on the board you moderate will change to
recognize your new abilities as Moderator.
The most important tool a Moderator has is his own judgment. Use it.
For example members often invite others to visit their websites. This
is perfectly acceptable. If the majority of the person's posts, however,
are advertisements for his website, then that is not acceptable.
Sometimes an otherwise good member of the community will post something
questionable. Use your best judgment. Consider the content of all
the member's posts, then decide what course of action you wish to take:
Edit the message yourself, request the member edit his post, remove the
message entirely, request a text filter, or request the member be banned.
Use your judgment!
When in doubt, ask for advice from another Moderator or Administrator.
Below are the guidelines of how and when to use your moderator abilities.
- Edit any post
You will now be able to modify any post on the board, not just your
own. When you modify another member's post, that member's name and
information is retained as the author; your name will not replace
his even though you were the last to modify the post (although a note
will be displayed stating who last modified the post). This is one
of the primary reasons why being a responsible and trustworthy Moderator
is so important.
For minor problems, especially with regard to angry posts, the best
course of action, and the one least likely to further anger anyone,
is to politely request that the author modifies or removes his post.
Explain calmly and friendly why you believe the post shouldn't remain
active as it is. You may also wish to suggest that the angry member
settle his differences with the opposing member privately. The Forum
provides several facilities for private discussion.
In cases such as an objectionable picture being placed inside an
otherwise useful message you might wish to simply edit the picture
out of the post. The best way to do this is to replace the picture
(or other item removed) with a statement such as "[IMAGE REMOVED]"
or "[URL EDITED OUT]".
- Delete a post
You may delete individual posts simply by clicking the "delete" button
toward the top of any post. Occasionally members posting replies hit
the "send" button too many times and multiple copies of the message
get posted. This is an honest mistake; simply delete the extra copies.
It is always a good idea to copy (author information, date and time,
and body of the post) any post you delete (other than duplicates),
and mail it to the Administrator. By doing that you will have fully
informed the Administrator in the event your judgment and action on
the matter is ever questioned.
- Delete a topic
If an offending topic contains only the opening post, do not delete
the post, delete the topic. Within the the Forum system a "topic"
consists solely of the subject, number of responses, date and time
of creation, and author, it does not include the data on the first
post, which is stored separately.
- Lock a topic
You may lock or unlock a topic, preventing or allowing new replies
to be added. One of the functions of a Moderator is to keep the board
organized and easy to use. Topics are allowed 15 posts per page; after
15 posts a new page is created (this is the default, it can be changed).
While the pages are easy to navigate either from the topic list or
the bottom of the messages pages, a popular topic can grow unwieldy
fairly quickly. If one topic is too big, in your opinion, you should
lock it and begin a new topic continuing the first. Don't delete the
first topic, leave it there for future readers as long as it has relevance.
It's always a good idea, when splitting topics, to make note that
the active topic is not the the first. The best way to do this is
to cite it in the topic title, for example when locking a topic called
"bug found in LZ OS", make the new topic title "bug found in LZ OS
Here's a very useful, and much appreciated trick to use when you
lock a topic for being too long and create a follow up topic. Each
topic has a unique URL that will always link back to it, which you
will see displayed in your browser's address/location bar. Since the
Topic List always sorts the most recently modified topic to the top
of the list, older or locked topics get pushed to the bottom or even
to other pages, making it difficult for people new to the board to
catch up on previous parts of the discussion.
Why not give them a hand? In addition to titling the next part of
the topic "[title] (part x)", in the first post put a link back to
the previous topic. For example, when locking up "bug found in LZ
OS" and starting the new topic "bug found in LZ OS (part 2)", include
in the topic opening message something like
"Continued from [yabburl?board=general&action=display&num=42]'bug
found in LZ OS'[/yabburl]" (where 'yabburl' will be replaced with
the script's URL automatically)
Anyone new to the "bug found in LZ OS (part 2)" topic can then click
the link to catch up on the full discussion. Members will appreciate
the extra effort.
- Move a topic
Occasionally a user may post a message off-topic or not related to
the theme of the board. The best way to handle this situation is to
ask the user through Private Message to re-post his message in a more
appropriate place, and indicate what place that would be.
Otherwise you may move a topic from one board to another if you moderate
both boards. If you don't moderate both the source and destination
boards, you will not be able to move it. Request that an Administrator
moves it for you.
- Request a Text Filter
The Forum includes a utility accessible only to the Administrator
that allows for the automatic substitution of text in posts at display
time. The Text Filter utility functions on the same principle as the
engine that substitutes emoticon symbol text for emoticon graphics,
e.g. allowing for the replacement of "http://www.getrichquick.com"
with "(URL removed)". The substitution is done not at post time, when
a member writes a post, but at display time, meaning every time the
page containing the post is displayed through a web browser the system
performs the substitution. Thus, even days after multiple messages
have been posted promoting "http://www.getrichquick.com", a Text Filter
can be added that replaces the line in all past, present, and
future posts. In short, once a Text Filter is added, the search string
will never be seen by anyone.
- Request a member be banned from the forum
It is the firm and fervent hope of the Board Staff that it will never
be necessary to ban anyone from accessing the Forum.
The Forum was created to be a place for enjoyment, information exchange
and freedom of expression. Ideally we would all act responsibly
and maturely toward each other and the Forum. Unfortunately we do
have to face the realistic possibility that that will not be possible
considering the opportunity the Internet represents to a very active
minority out to separate us from our wallets or whose idea of fun
is to ruin the enjoyment of others.
While we still hope very much to never have call to use it, the Forum
has, since its creation, been equipped to ban individuals from access.
The system can automatically prevent access by any person based on
his IP Address, which is the unique number that identifies each person's
computer at the point it connects to the Internet, or by a group of
IP Addresses (all addresses originating from an entire domain or ISP),
and by several other methods we will not discuss in the interest of
The Board Staff consider the termination of a member's account and
the ban of that member to be a very serious action, and it
will only be taken in the most extreme cases and when all other options
have been exhausted. Before banning a member the Board Staff will
thoroughly examine all evidence, interview all relevant parties, consider
all circumstances, and attempt any and all possible lesser actions,
which may include temporary suspension of account and access.
Realistically we cannot envision a situation in which banning any
member would be necessary.
The following individuals are not considered members, and
will summarily and swiftly be banned:
- Those whose presence on, and "membership" to, the Forum is clearly
intended solely to facilitate engagement in:
- promotion of a website, regardless of content;
- promotion of a company, business, method of doing business,
investment opportunity, affiliate program, or other commercial
entity or enterprise;
- promotion of a mailing list or newsletter;
- posting of advertisements, whether of a graphical, textual,
or multimedia nature;
- posting of adult-oriented material;
- posting of multiple messages whose content does not significantly
vary ("spamming" or "bombing the board");
- sending through Private Messaging multiple messages whose
content does not significantly vary ("spamming" or "mail bombing");
- logging in and attempting to log into the Forum through another
member's account without that member's permission for the purpose
of reading the member's Private Messages and/or impersonating
the member on public posts or Private Messaging
- sabotaging, or taking action intended to sabotage, the Forum,
its systems and properties, or its web, email, and other servers;
- breaching the security of, or taking action intended to breach
the security of the Forum, websites of members of the Forum,
their systems and properties, or their hosts' web, email, and
If a Board Moderator feels that an individual should be banned,
such as in the case of an individual or group that engages in one
of the activities listed above, take the following steps:
- Cease all communication with the offending party; the Board Staff
will take it from here.
- Do not delete all the posts/PM's/emails from the offending
individual as Board Staff will need to examine them, and will need
to retain them if the action taken is ever challenged.
- Inform all other relevant parties, except the offending party,
to also retain their copies (in the case of PM or email offenses),
and that they should not communicate with the author until the matter
has been resolved.
- Send via PM to username "admin" or via email to the Administrator's
email address the following:
- A copy to of the initial complaint (if another member was
- The board(s) and topic titles on which the offending post(s)
- if the offense is not related to public posts, such as PM
or e-mail spamming, send representative samples;
- an approximate count of the appearances/instances of the offending
- the member's username and real name;
- the usernames of all members and Moderators who are aware
of or have been victims of the offense; and
- an explanation of why you believe banning the member is warranted.
Though the entire Board Staff will be involved in the decision, the
Administrator will bear final responsibility for the decision to ban
or not ban the member. Any appeals and protests should be filed with
Any involved parties wishing to comment or make recommendation on
the matter prior to a decision being rendered should contact the Administrator.