When Good Users Go Bad

It happens to everyone. Sometimes someone just loses their mind on the forums. If it’s you, please log off and go knit, or swordfight, or run, or … you get the idea. Get outside and offline for a bit.

But when it’s the folks in the forum we’re sworn to protect, what do we do?

Reply Kindly Reply Kindly

Sometimes it’s really just someone having an off day and a gentle nudge will get them back on the path to greatness. It’s really easy to forget that text is hard to read (interpret) and people can misconstrue easily. So just give them that nice reminder.

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Time Out Time Out

If it happens again, or their reply is filled with expletives, they need to be forced to take a time-out. Once you’ve done that, it’s best to walk away from the situation, as you probably need a break!

If you’re an admin/mod… If you’re an admin/mod…

If you’re a forum moderator, you can flag the user as needing their posts moderated. If you’re an IRC admin, you can ban or kickban them.

In either case, the user should always be informed of what is going on, no action should ever be taken against a user without them being informed of what is happening (with the exception fo spam accounts, where that would be pointless).

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If you’re not an admin/mod… If you’re not an admin/mod…

On the forums, flag the post with the tag modlook and someone will come help.

On IRC, ask in use the .ops command to get the attention of the moderation team. They can be retroactively kickban’d.

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When they follow you home… When they follow you home…

Sometimes the users follow us home to complain. If they complain once, you can either reply or tell them “We prefer to have these communications on the forums, and ask you not email moderators unless they’ve explicitly asked you to do so.” At this point, if they’re being moderated, it’s okay to tell them that.

One email is fine. When they start badgering you, or if the email calls you names, we have a word for that: harassment

Ugly word. When that happens, block the user in your email. Yes, block. You are an unpaid volunteer, and no one deserves to be treated like that. Then email wp-forums about it, and someone will block the user.

We do not stand for abuse of any kind to anyone. And that includes you mods too.