How to Moderate bbPress (aka bbPress Basics)

On Sept 1, 2016, the forums were upgraded to bbPressbbPress Free, open source software built on top of WordPress for easily creating forums on sites. 2.x

This changed everything. Since bbPress 2 runs on WordPress, moderator powers are more closely managed as they give users powers to more aspects of the 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. site.

This page is a work in progress! Links and directions are likely to change.

Forum roles

There are two elevated roles within the forums, Moderator and Keymaster.

If your moderator bit was removed as of September 1, 2016, this is because the Moderator role now is the equivalent to the Administrator role on bbPressbbPress Free, open source software built on top of WordPress for easily creating forums on sites. 1. Subsequently, the Support Team voted to change the requirements. Please make sure you meet the current qualifications.

Moderators are tasked with keeping the forums tidy, they have the ability to archive and spam posts, as well as manage the spam and pending queues. They are expected to escalate any issues to the Keymasters if it is required.

Keymasters generally perform the same tasks as a Moderator. In addition to moderator powers, they can block users from posting, elevate new users, and delete posts. The Keymaster role is strictly regulated.

Both Moderators and Keymasters have access to the wp-admin Dashboard of the support forums, and will need it to manage the forums.

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User accounts cannot be deleted or renamed. Don’t even try.

User profiles are located at

Within that page are links to topics created, replies, favorites, subscriptions, and of course the edit window.

The majority of users are well behaved, however some people handle being upset better than others. If a user posts foul/colourful language once or twice, it’s worth editing their post and leaving a mod-note as to why.

If a user needs to be banned then a Keymaster will need to address this. Otherwise, Users should be Flagged. This will require all posts to be approved.

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User Notes

Any time a user needs to be moderated, it’s best to leave a robust user note. Notes are saved with the date and the moderator who made them. They can be edited or deleted, but it’s best practice to leave them be unless they were placed in error.

You can do this in two places:

User Profile: Any moderator who visits a profile page will see a “User Notes” block at the bottom of the page:

In Posts: In posts, a moderator will see if a user has a note.

That can be expanded to show the same form as above:

Users cannot see their own notes.

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Flagging Users

Flagging an Author will result in ALL their posts requiring approval. Use this in moderation.

To flag a user, go to a post and click Flag Author:

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Spamming Users

If a user is spamming, then they should be marked as a spammer and banned. Leave a user note if you feel it’s necessary, but you can just ask for someone in Slack to please ban the user.

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Banning Users

Only Keymasters can ban users. They can do this in one of two ways.

Profile: Edit their user profile (click on their profile and then click edit). At the bottom of the page, there is a section for “Forum Role.” Change that to blocked and save.

Admin Dashboard Go to the Users list and search for the user:

Search for User screen

Check the box by their name and change the forum role to Blocked

Change forum role:

Click on Change and the user will be changed.

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Posts (Topics and Replies)

Most of the work done will be on the front end of the forums (that is the same view as all users see)

Helpful Views:

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Post Statuses

We have new statuses for posts:

  • Spam – Spam
  • Pending – Needs to be approved by a moderator
  • Archived – Hidden from view but saved for posterity

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The Post Sidebar

When you look at a topic, there will be options on the sidebar to help you moderate.

The +1 hidden link will refresh the page and show all ‘hidden’ posts like spam or archived. Moderators can also change the status to resolved if needed.

Further down is a section called Topic Admin:

This will let you have quick access to manage the topic. Yes, you can merge topics now.

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Editing Posts and Topics

Moderators can edit post content. Generally this should be used for fixing formatting of code, removing links and foul language, and so on.

The edit screen looks like this:

When you edit, if it’s not obvious why, leave a note. If you edit the first post in a topic, you will be given an option to uncheck the box to “Keep a log of this edit:”

Optional - Log Edit

It’s recommended you not do this. Ninja Edits are bad. Don’t do it.

A post that has been edited will show a public log:

Example of a Post with Edits

Keep it PG folks.

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Deleting (Archiving) Posts and Topics

Only Keymasters can delete. And in general we do not currently delete posts. The reason for this is so we can keep a history of behavior. In the case of escalating abuse, having a history of the user’s behavior is paramount. Instead, posts should be archived or spammed.

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Archiving Posts

See Also: Archived Posts View

Any post that isn’t spam or approved should be archived. We keep these posts in order to record a history of behavior. In the case of escalating abuse, having a history of the user’s behavior is paramount.

To archive an entire topic, click ARCHIVE from the Topic Admin sidebar. To archive just one post, hover over the post and click ARCHIVE from the menu.

If a post has to be un-archived, it returns to it’s previous status. Spam goes to spam, and so on.

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Spammed Posts

See Also: Posts Tagged Spam

This section is likely to change.

The spam queue lists all the posts that are spam. Akismet will automatically delete posts marked as spam after 15 days, so there is no need to delete them. Yes, it means the list gets long. Just go through it and look for posts that should be unspammed. If there’s a post you can’t edit, that’s because it’s been trashed (see #1962). Just leave it alone.

If you see a post that is spam, press the ‘Spam’ button and walk away.

Spam Post

If you see a post that isn’t spam, you can press Unspam:


Obviously that one was spam, so leave it alone.

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Pending Posts Queue

The pending queue is for posts that were caught and need moderator approval. These are not posts caught as spam, but ones that trigger moderation in other ways, such as too many links, or the poster has been flagged due to prior behavior.

There are two ways to view pending posts:

  1. Via the front end Pending Posts View – this shows replies and topics
  2. Via the wp-admin
    1. Pending Topics View
    2. Pending Replies View

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Pending Posts View

This is a front-end display that will show both Spam and Pending posts. To approve a post, click the Approve Button:

Approve a Pending Post

This view is best for quick overviews.

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WP-Admin Pending Topics and Replies

The front-end queue is fine, but sometimes you need the more granular control of the wp-admin dashboard. The dashboard is bbPress on WordPress, so it looks like WordPress. The two views you will mostly use are these:

When you go to that view, you should set your posts to display excerpts:

View Excerpts

Then when you look at the replies they’ll be much easier to parse quickly. Posts can be approved or sent to spam from pending.

Sample view of Pending Posts

In the above example, you’ll notice the first username is luxuryrealtygroup which could be a company or a spammer. In the second reply, the post content includes “Eurovision” — a common phrase used by spammers. Since both are possibly spam, you’ll want to click view and see them in context. There you would see the second post is perfectly fine, while the first is a reply to a month-old topic.

If you click on EDIT, you can see the akismet history:

Example of Akismet history where Ipstenu and Clorith disagree

Clearly Ipstenu and Clorith should chat.

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ModLook Queue

This section is likely to change.

See: Posts Tagged Modlook

When a user finds a post that should be deleted, or needs moderator attention, they apply the forum tag ‘modlook.’ This view should be regularly monitored and cleared out.

That list is normally empty if we’re doing our jobs right.

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