When Forum Moderators Go Bad

May 10, 2007 • 9:42 am | comments (248) by | Filed Under Social Search Engines & Optimization

What do you do if a forum moderator becomes hurtful to your forums rather than helpful? A WebmasterWorld thread asks this question based on negative actions performed by a moderator of his forum that resulted in loss of membership. Consequently, he also demoted the moderator.

What I’ve learned from this experience:

1)Never reward a member with a moderation spot just because they have been an active/long time poster. Find other ways to reward good members.

2)Look for warning signs that they might not be a good moderator. Do they get snippy or argue with other members? Are they very opinionated? Do they have an even temper? Have they been ‘know it all’ posters?

3)Avoid mixing moderators and friendship. When things go bad it’s hard to separate the two.

4)Make sure you have written rules on what the moderator job is and how they are expected to act and make sure the see them BEFORE you make them a moderator.

5)Chose a moderator as if you were hiring an employee. Will they represent you well both on and off the forums.

6)Remove moderators quickly if they are losing a forum.

Some people just take the power trip for personal gain. This quote by another member is so true for this instance:

" Power corrupts...

and absolute power, corrupts absolutely"

Appointing moderators can be a pretty sticky situation if they are biased in such a way that it is destructive rather than helpful.

Moderators who are immoderate and partial are very destructive, damaging users' trust.

You can lose a lot of core/good members when even one mod gets rude/patronising/personal or is clearly editing in a partial or biased way!

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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