Hello! We mods have decided to host a Q&A! That means you'll get to ask the Blues, Teals, and Purples about all those things you have wondered about. Over the last few months, it's become apparent to the mod team that there's a sense of lacking or disconnect when it comes to how the mod team operates, and how the user base understands how the mod team operates.
The goal of this thread is for us, as a team, to sit down with the community and come to better understand each other. We want to de-mystify the process and let members of the moderation team interact one-on-one with the community.
Our aim is to keep this as informal as possible. In order for that to happen, this thread needs to feel like two people sitting down over drinks who want to understand each other's points of view. Our goal is to get the mod team to talk about things in a genuine way, in a real way. What we would like to avoid is two adversaries sitting down across a conference room table thinking of ways to bait or trap the other. The aim is for the mod team and the rest of the community to collectively feel comfortable with letting their walls down and putting forward our best attempts at communicating productively.
Questions that lead to constructive criticism are good. Disagreement is good. Passionate arguments are good. That being said, we'd like to ensure that this thread remains civil and respectful to everyone - this endeavor is more likely to succeed if we are able to acknowledge that we're (mostly) all human here, and we are able to communicate better in a relaxed, non-hostile environment.
So this is a bit of an experiment. We'd really like to see it work; it will take effort from everyone, and we believe that we are all capable of conducting a conversation where we can respect each other. If it doesn't work, we're not going to try to force it and will simply shut it down.
Here are a few sample questions that we think would lead to productive, informative conversations:
- Who's in charge of what? What do the different colors actually do?
- How are decisions made?
- What happens when I make a report?
- How much is there a sense of institutional memory?
Questions that aren't going to fly:
- Why was X banned?
- What are you going to do about flagrant mod bias?
- Why are bans so arbitrary?
We're going to get into some challenging issues and a healthy debate is good, but we're not going to get into specific moderator decisions for privacy reasons; we're aiming for a discussion about policy at large. While we're going to talk about things people take issue with, we won't be answering questions that assume a negative premise in order to keep the thread constructive. If someone is confused or uncertain about any particular operation that we do and never got around to asking for any reason, this is an opportunity for us to help clarify and clear the air.
We're going to kick this off with a post about coachings, warnings, and infractions, which are terms thrown around a lot which we think a lot of people don't have a specific understanding of.