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Maid of Time
14,749 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Welcome to the December missive.

This issue (as a year-ender) ends up a reminder of ways to handle various issues that might arise on the forum and how to address them to make life easier for everyone.

Please use the report function, rather than (as an example) Mentioning mods in an ongoing forum dispute. We have a procedure in place meant to minimize the amount of public conflict, and calling down staff directly in a thread often feels like an "I'm telling Mom/Dad!" strategy at play and makes things worse. Just report.

Aside from perhaps issuing a thread warning (if a conflict is derailing a thread) or potentially closing a thread, staff isn't typically going to respond to a particular complaint in the thread itself. Also, trying to contact individual mods if they are not available will slow down the process; a report is visible to all staff, even those not assigned to that area, so we're all aware of it and now have a place in the modbox to discuss what to do.

We also have folks who like to bring issues to us in Private Feedback in broad general terms, but we need the specific post/thread references and cannot easily respond to "so and so is [doing all these broad things], please do something!" We do the best we can in trying to research issues; but again, using the Report button automatically gives us the post reference AND immediately notifies the assigned staff for that section.

This is a reminder that it can take 24-48 hours for someone(s) to discuss an issue. Sometimes we act very quickly if it's obvious; sometimes the discussion is more complicated.

I'll also ask that you please not bombard us with the same issue through every possible feedback mechanism at once. Yes, I've seen folks use direct PMs, tons of reports, and both Feedback channels in a short space of time (usually in the middle of my sleeptime) to address an issue. If you need a quick intervention, please consider the next avenue as an option....

Due to threads flaming out of control for controversial topics (like member bannings), again we ask that you use the established protocol of posting in the Feedback areas if you have policy/action feedback. The last incident just had a thread closing rather than something more, but the specific response will depend on context and staff decision.

We try to release the posts that are on topic, do not insult staff or other members, and have honest questions. One problem that occurs in the unmoderated complaints members might make in Spam World is that, when things get heated, people end up breaking the rules in their responses to each other; and we're as frustrated as you when we end up having to discipline people who are attacking each other over someone ELSE who was disciplined. Dumpster fires might feel cozy in the winter but we don't need more of them; if you think something needs to change, please make constructive posts in the assigned areas.

A lot of people do use Private Feedback for a variety of requests already. Thank you for that. And, as noted, if you need a faster response, you might get it by posting in Private Feedback, since the Founder, Admins, and all Globals have access to that area and will see it and each other's responses.

Please do not quote or report people's personal information (name, address, phone, pictures, or whatever else) on the site. Sometimes the person has posted it themselves in a thread and doesn't seem to mind, so that's not something you will be in trouble for; however, if the member decides later to remove it, the less we have to clean up in multiple posts, the better. Our policy is to remove specific personal information such as the above upon request.

And if they have not posted it here, and you post that kind of data publicly about someone on the site who is a private citizen and they have issues with it, it can be a violation of our ruleset. Just letting you know up front. So for all you Google hounds out there, who might be tempted to dig stuff up off-site, please do not bring the fruits of your labors back here to the public forum and again please respect people's privacy.

If there is something important you think the staff needs to know, please report it to us privately.

I talk to a lot of people who have made dupes. Sometimes you won't get caught for awhile, sometimes I know about it pretty quickly but am busy doing other things. I try to process all the system flags on a timely basis and immediately will process any noted banned members who make dupes, but sometimes I get backlogged. Our policy is just to keep each member having just one account, mostly so the database doesn't get cluttered and also just so that people remain responsible for their posting activity and/or various abuses don't occur. One member = One account.

When I'm not sure if something is a dupe, I'll either ignore it or I will contact you in some way; please don't feel offended if I write to you, just be honest with me so I know what's up and we're good to go. I try to be pretty pleasant and understanding about your particular situation. The folks that get in trouble typically just create a massive amount of dupes, are banned members trying to circumvent their ban, or people who I have already talked to and they continue to create dupes.

If you would like a name change, you don't need a whole new account; please visit our Name Change thread in the Support area.

I will do what I can to help if you PM me about an issue, but typically I need to get up to speed before I can respond if it's an issue that others cannot address.

If you have a problem with a moderator decision, please first respond to the Moderator. If they cannot provide you with a satisfactory response, either they or you will bump you up to the Globals, and then up through the chain.

The Adminstrators typically oversee the daily operation of the modbox reports and make sure things get done according to established procedure. So it makes sense to first talk to the staff who made the decision, then work your way up through the appeals.

Again, I don't mind if you write me directly, but you're basically appealing straight to me. So (1) you're stuck with the decision I make, and (2) I need some time to research what happened before I can engage you.

Formwandler has stepped down as a Host (we appreciate all his investment over the last few months). We've still got Host positions open if anyone is interested in being an "official" meeter-and-greeter for the forum. Note: The goal of the Host is mainly to be visible (by posting and also by the purple Host badge) so that newer members can find someone to ask questions about the site, if they need help. It isn't meant to be overwhelming, you're just meant to be visible and invest what you can, as you can.

It's probable too that we will hire some more mods coming up. So if you're interested, be prepared to submit your reasons for being in staff as per the prior hiring. You are also free to contact me any time, even when we don't have openings (because at least then I'll know of your interest). Also, no one has really taken me up on this; but I am willing to provide feedback to any applicant about their application, if they have questions about it or desire a better understanding of what we're looking for and not looking for. If you can handle constructive criticism, I can provide it in an impersonal way.

Continue to keep an eye on that area for upcoming events and opportunities that might be of interest.

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If you have ideas for what you'd like to see covered in future letters, please PM me. And if you have any idea of cool forum functionality / things that folks might not know about, let me know that as well. I hope everyone celebrating a holiday this month enjoys their time with friends and family.

Thanks for reading!
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