Matrix Admin Guide

Matrix Admin Guide

  1. Fundamentals
  2. Federation
  3. Power Levels and Roles
  4. Client-side tools
  5. We live, we learn
  6. Resources

Fundamentals

First of all, it is important to know that moderating Matrix is different from moderating SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.. Most importantly, there is no concept of a workspace for which you’d be an admin or moderator. In Matrix, moderation mostly happens on a room level. There are some exceptions where some fundamental moderation (like banning) can happen on a homeserver level but we’d discuss those in the #matrix-admin:community.wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ room.

Federation

Because Matrix is federated, there is more potential for spam, since users or bots can join rooms from other servers. We’d like the WordPress community to be open to ourside contributions and allow people to join using their own Matrix homeservers. If spam starts to become a problem, there are a number of escalation steps that we can discuss and implement.

Power Levels and Roles

On Matrix, permissions are determined through power levels which is a number between 0 and 100. Typically someone who chats on the room, a “user,” has level 0, and a Moderator level 50. We’ve decided to only have one bot called Matrixbot as Admin in our rooms which has the level 100.

Transitoning from Slack, what was called Admin on Slack is a Moderator on Matrix.

Per room, different actions can be limited to a power level. For example in #announcements:community.wordpress.org, we limit posting to moderators.

See also https://matrix.org/docs/communities/moderation/

Client-side tools

Accessible through the Element client. First you need to open the info panel on the room and go to “People”:

Next, select the user you need to act upon:

You now arrive at a screen where at the bottom you have Administrative Tools:

  • Remove (sometimes called kick): person can re-enter the room
  • Ban: reintering is no longer possible
  • Remove recent message: this will “redact” the messages, they will still appear but show “Redacted”

We live, we learn

While we know about the basic tools that exist in Matrix, we need to see over time which of them will be useful and which might not suffice. There are server-level tools like Mjolnir (for using shared ban lists and bans across rooms) or Corporal (e.g. enforce room membership, disallow room creation), but also systematic tools, like we could create a Space and enforce our membership rules based on that. We have not started using those tools but these are some of the options that are available, also due to the open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. nature of Matrix, individual solutions are possible.

Resources

https://matrix.org/docs/communities/moderation/

At the Matrix Community Summit there was a talk on Moderation on Matrix which covers the above and more.