Moderation GuideAn outline of moderation in The Scholars of Shen Zhou and how the various forums should be approached. GENERAL PROCEDURE
All SoSZ moderators should feel free to apply their own best judgment to any situations that come up. If there is a problem in a forum moderators should feel free to do what is needed to resolve the situation as long as the steps taken follow the general management outline discussed below. The administrators will back up a moderator’s recommendation.
Even though each moderator is only given moderator rights over specific forums, their word carries weight across the forum. If, for example, an issue that requires moderation occurs in The Pub, and there are no moderators with moderator rights in The Pub itself or administrators online, the moderator should contact the involved parties and request they resolve the situation. It is also hoped that this effort will be reported in the Imperial Council (moderator discussion forum) or via PM so it is known that the action was taken. Moderators should be respected across the whole forum, regardless of whether or not they had moderator rights in a specific section.
Activity. All moderators should be active in their given forum(s). All moderators should also enjoy their jobs. If any moderators stop participating in a forum I would like to hope that they would request another forum or another moderator to take their place. In the end it is all about fun and nothing to do with business. If you do not enjoy a forum you moderate please let us know so we can either give you another forum that you do enjoy, or place someone else in charge of the forum that would have fun. I do not like business, especially how it is defined today, and I do not want anyone to see the forum as “work” instead of “play”. If administrators decide that a moderator is not active in a forum they are to ask the current moderator for details. If a moderator feels the other moderators in a forum are not active they should take it upon themselves to contact the other moderators and ask for details, or bring the thought to administration.
Escalation. If you have a problem in the forum please feel free to go to whatever moderator you feel comfortable talking with. If you are not comfortable speaking with the moderators please go to the administrators (James, Lion's Mane, and Wild-Eyes). They will both be able to help you with problems anywhere in the forum. Please give the system a chance, all moderators are chosen because administration (and the other moderators) feel they are excellent choices for the responsibility. Our staff includes some very kind, open minded, and intelligent people. I do not think there is a forum-based problem that cannot be resolved.
Nobody in the forum is to be upset that a member or other moderator chose to take an issue to a certain moderator or administrator. Threats in relation to this issue will not be tolerated. If you have an issue with someone please resolve it via Private Message. If the issue concerns the whole forum, don’t hesitate to bring it before the Public Council. It is important that people have all options open to them in order to make sure the forum remains a happy and educational place for everyone to participate.
Problem solving. Most people respond negatively to public criticism. If a member breaks forum rules and you are required to edit their posts, place a simple <mod edit, explanation> in italics in the post and then write them a Private Message explaining what happened along with a warning if one is necessary (avoid images or color in these posts, no need to draw more attention than necessary). If there are continued offenses after private messages have failed feel free to confront them publicly (ask the other moderators or administrators if you have any doubts). Failing that, turn the situation over to the forum administration with your recommendations for the problem.
Invisibility. All moderators and administrators are encouraged to make sure their names are visible in the member list. For a while many of us chose to be invisible, but after some thinking I have determined that it is important for members to see who is online and who is not. Sometimes a moderator is needed to resolve a situation in a forum they do not moderate. THE ACADEMY GARDENForums include: San Guo Yan Yi Symposium; Literature, Studies, and Academics; World History Deliberation; Current Affairs.
We have decided to complete revise the management approach for this forum. My goal for this section is for it to be a place where discussion can occur on any subject (especially those that society as a whole has trouble dealing with). Moderators in this section should resolve as many situations as possible without resorting to forum rules. If two members are in a very heated debate, moderators should never step in to end it unless one of the involved members specifically says that it needs to cool down.
Our policy here is now “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. If you cannot stand the thought of someone arguing in favor of or against abortion, for example, do not participate in the abortion thread
. If you cannot stand the thought of someone saying that <x religious work> does not seem like complete fact for <x reasons> do not participate in the discussion. We will allow these discussions here because The Scholars of Shen Zhou is neutral in political, country, religious, and current affairs issues. It is also important to remember that moderators are not neutral in all of these factors, and the are encouraged not
to censor their views. They are, however, not allowed to punish people due to a difference of opinion.
Sounds like a free for all, right? Not exactly. Moderators will carefully watch posts by members to make sure views presented are done so to spark intellectual and knowledgeable discussion and are not plays on a person’s views to make them angry. Topics that are started simply to make people angry will also not be tolerated. Posts in this section should be thought provoking or informative (and for the most part this is true of all posts in the forum right now). Trolling (trying to start a fight), attempting to make other people angry, bringing up topics just to hurt people, and spamming (unnecessary or pointless posts) will not be tolerated. Biased treatment of issues combined with hostility toward other members who hold a different view will not be tolerated. Racial and sexual bias will also be carefully monitored.
Some members have also, apparently, expressed concern over other members monopolizing a discussion from time to time with a very difficult debate. This is not to be seen as a problem. If a member wants to participate in a discussion then they are free to do so, it is how we learn, but if they don’t we will not tell people to step down the level of debate. The only time we will intervene here is if one of the involved members feels they are being personally attacked and expresses a desire for action to be taken.
To members: If you do not disagree with something being said in these forums please step into the discussion and state your views. We will not
censor discussions and issues just because some people don’t like the fact that they occur. This sort of thing is like running away from a good chance to gain some knowledge and information. As said earlier, if you don’t feel you can participate in a calm and intellectually proper manner, do not participate at all. BALAMB GARDENForums include: Dynasty Warriors Training, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Other Three Kingdoms Games, and Gamer's Haven.
The Balamb Garden consists of the various gaming forums in The Scholars of Shen Zhou. Moderation here is much more relaxed and direct. Moderators are expected to participate in the forum(s) they frequent so they have a good view of the subject material and the members that call the forum(s) home.
Please be discreet in moderation of topics here. If a member spams excessively please speak to them privately before making any public notes. Edits should be clean and plain so as not to draw unnecessary attention. If private resolution continues to fail after a private warning (to be posted in the Imperial Council) then public reactions can follow. Failing that take the issue to the administration with your suggestions as to how it should be solved. For the most part moderation here is up to the moderators and we will not be overly exact in how this is to be done.
If a conversation heats up it should be calmed down. If members get upset about views presented they should be resolved in the best way possible. Unlike the Academy Garden discussion should be more relaxed and open. There is a large difference between your favorite game system and whether or not abortion should be allowed.
Members: Please respect the concerns of all administrators and moderators in this section. Many people think that an open environment where everything up to flaming is allowed is better, but in the end it creates a hostile forum that welcomes only the people that want a fight. PEACH TREE GARDENThe Pub, Artistic Expression and Illustration, Foreign Kingdoms, and Kongming’s Archives.
Like the Balamb garden these sections are all much more relaxed than the Academy Garden. The rules are basically the same as those indicated on the forum rules page. Aside from that please pay attention to anything the forum moderators have to say and there won’t be any concerns.
The Pub: Talk about anything you like, as long as it is not hateful, biased, or offensive to members. The moderators chosen for this section have a great sense of humor and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This is probably the friendliest and most relaxed section of the forum. If any posts of sensitive nature are made that apply to current events please move them to the Academy Garden. Here the moderators word is final.
Artistic Expression and Illustration: Display and show off your art. It does not matter what sort of art is is, please feel free to share it. If you display your art here you must be willing to accept any criticism from members that follows. In fact, members are encouraged to share their views here. That is what a learning experience is all about. Artistic nudity is allowed, but only after getting authorization from an administrator and with a proper warning on the post. Standard forum rules apply as stated, as well as the posted rules within the forum.
Foreign Kingdoms: Display your Web site here for criticism and comments. Don’t post it if you don’t want to get advise on the matter. There are some talented Web artists in this forum and you can learn a lot from them. Please read the introduction announcement, it explains where you can post a specific type of site, and please respect the views of Vegetabcool, she is relaxed and talented, you can learn a lot from here.
Kongming’s Archives: All comments regarding Kongming’s Archives, my other Romance of the Three Kingdoms Web site, should be directed to this forum. Standard forum rules apply, but please feel free to be as blunt and direct as you like. Confront me about anything. I manage this forum myself. IMPERIAL GARDENPublic Council, Imperial Edicts, and Imperial Council.
These forums fulfill basic site requirements. Public Council is a place for you to speak about forum issues with moderators and other members and also a place for you to share concerns. Imperial Edicts is home to new forum rules and all members should read it’s contents (being a member assumes you know the issues posted here), and Imperial Council is a place for moderators and administrators to vote on changes, decide forum issues, and discuss concerns. This forum is closed to non-moderators.
Please feel free to be as blunt and direct as you like in this section. Members will never be punished for presenting concerns or confronting management, and in fact it is encouraged. We are here to learn too. Here final say comes from the administrators. Please respect what they have to say. Spamming, flaming, trolling, etc. is strictly forbidden here.
Do you have any thoughts, comments, or questions? Please send them to either Zhuge Kongming or Zhuge Xuanshi via private message or post them here. These rules will be revised regularly.
~ Zhuge Kongming and Zhuge Xuanshi (09/06/02)
~Amended by Wild-Eyes, 9/25/03