Moderation requires some of the good old-fashioned skills of editing, to aid the creation of content that’s readable. It is also a way of signaling that this ‘public’ space actually has a owner that cares about what goes on there. And it keeps things legal. At root it is about helping to culture good conversations.
But it’s at moments when the red mist descends, for the commenter and possibly for the moderator themselves that calm analysis is most needed. Develop your sense of humour and realise that …
- very few things that happen online are ever a big deal… and
- everything on the Internet is eclipsed by something else within a few minutes
It is almost impossible to be impeccably objective. The best you can do to is to avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls. We recommend Wikipedia’s shorthand list of biases: http://tinyurl.com/cognitivebiases
We have notional Yellow (a serious warning) and Red (banning from the site for a fortnight, for the first time) ‘cards’. As well as helping to keep things clean, it helps retain a competitive edge on the ‘dialogue’ and can greatly enhance the speed and quality of the game!
Our moderators are voluntary, and fallible. All decisions can be appealed, by contacting Mick using this spam-proof e-mail link.