Note: Prior to Sept 1, 2016 the Moderator title was granted to many users as a mark of recognition and prestige. When the Support Forums were upgraded to bbPressbbPressFree, open source software built on top of WordPress for easily creating forums on sites. https://bbpress.org. 2.x, this was changed. Moderators now are required to meet certain criteria as the role comes with a great deal more power.
A Forum Moderator has the responsibility to regularly take care of the spam, pending, and modlook queues. They are expected to attend meetings (in Slack #forums) when possible, and be active helping others in the forums.
Not everyone needs to be a moderator in order to help in the forums. In fact, most people don’t. Being a moderator comes with an extra burden, as you will be expected to uphold the status quo of the forums and actively support both users and other volunteers. It also means you will need to actually help others with the spam/modlook queue, and clearly communicate issues or needs with the others.
In addition to activity we look for temperament. Being a moderator is a hard job, and people will mistreat you unfairly. Because of that, we require potential moderators to have the following qualities:
Recognition that you will be a “face” of WordPress
Being polite to everyone, even when others are not
Being consistent and firm when users are abusing rules; exceptions lead to further abuse
Being able to walk away and ask for help from other moderators if you’re upset/angry
Respecting other volunteers/moderators when the group makes decisions you do not fully agree with
Being a moderator a job that comes with no benefits, and no compensation. For most people, just being a volunteer is enough. If you are interested, however, please keep reading.
Rather than reaching out directly to ask if you can have more powers around here, we ask you let us come to you first. People who seek out mod-powers without first demonstrating care to the community have, historically, been those who turn out to abuse said powers. Since there are privacy concerns with some of the data a moderator has access to, including, but not limited to, emails, IP addresses, and other date you may commonly consider to be non-public; we limit the power to people who have shown themselves to be trustworthy. This is also why new moderators are not frequently added, but rather based on proven needs.
Basically we look for people who are:
active in the forums
use clear communication skills in Slack
demonstrate understanding the forum (and community) guidelines
behave respectfully to everyone
have no outstanding violations of any community or developer guidelines,
If that’s you, don’t worry, we’ll notice when you’re awesome, and you’ll get a DM via Slack from an existing Support Team member.
Keymasters can do anything, including promote/demote users. Moderators can do most things (spam posts etc). As of July 2023, Moderators can also manage users and change their role, in the English forums.
Being a keymaster is a highly restricted role, since they have the ability to severely damage the community.
See if you can help them. Usually people having a bad day are not bad people, just people having a bad day. Review the post When Good Users Go Bad for some advice. If you’ve tried, you can report the post or come on by the Slack channel #forums and share a link so the other volunteers can help.