A Look at GAG Moderation

A Look at GAG Moderation

I'm constantly coming across users who seem to have a lot of misconceptions about what GAG mods can and cannot do so I thought I would write this to shed some light on the topic. I know that a lot of users seem to really dislike the moderation as well as the mods themselves. Honestly, I can understand why so many users feel frustrated regarding the moderation here. However, I wanted to reach out and try to give the community the correct information regarding moderators and how moderation works here at GAG.

1. Moderators cannot see the identity behind anonymous users. I have come across a lot of users who seem to think that mods have the ability to see who anonymous users are and that is simply not true. Only the administrators who work for the site are able to view the identity of anonymous posters.

2. Moderators cannot read your personal messages or see private profiles. Even with that symbol beside our username, we're still regular users and we cannot see this type of information. Again, only the admins are able to view the private messages and private profiles of individual users. This is so they can handle reports when someone reports a user for inappropriate personal messages, harassment, or if a user is otherwise breaking the guidelines here.

3. Moderators do not receive report notifications. A lot of users seem to think that mods can see reported posts but that is not the case. When you report something on the site, only the admins are notified. The admins have said they try to review all reported posts within 24 hours. So, if you're annoyed that a post you reported is still up, that has nothing to do with the moderators. It just means that either an admin has not seen the post yet or the admin has decided the post should remain on the site.

4. Moderators cannot actually remove posts. This seems to be one of the biggest misconceptions here. Moderators can only temporarily hide posts until an admin can review it. Everything the moderators hide is reviewed by an admin who then determines if the post should remain on the site or be permanently removed. I know a lot of users here claim that mods are biased and while some mods could be biased, none of us can just remove whatever we want. If a mod hides a post that does not break any of the posting guidelines, an admin will put the post back on the site, I've seen that happen numerous times. Similarly, for the users who get angry and blame moderators for their post being removed, it's not just a moderator making that decision. If your post gets removed, it means an admin has also decided that the post should be taken down. The admins make all final decisions here.

5. Moderators are not exempt from the rules. Our posts can and do get removed as well if a moderator breaks the posting guidelines. If this happens frequently, the mod will lose their mod status. The admins keep track of our activity and if a moderator is acting out of line, the admins will typically address it.

6. Moderators are regular users too. We do not work here and are not paid to moderate the site, therefore, we are not viewing EVERY single thing that is posted on the site. We simply hide what we see. I say this because a lot of users complain about the inconsistency of the moderation here. I completely agree with that, it is inconsistent, but there's a reason for that. We're simply individual users who try to hide whatever we see that breaks the guidelines. So if an antagonistic or offensive post remains on the site, it could be that no moderator has seen it yet. Or, if some posts get removed quicker than others, that could just be because a moderator happened to see that post quickly and hid it.

7. The moderators are not an organized group. We don't have weekly meetings to stay on the same page. We don't all talk to each other constantly or stay in regular contact with the admins. We're simply individual users who may interpret posts differently. What one mod finds offensive, another mod may not view as offensive which also contributes to the inconsistency issue. Not all posts are "black and white," there are a lot of grey areas which moderators have to decide for themselves "should this be hidden or not?" and then we make a decision. However, as I said before, if a mod wrongly hides a post, the admin who reviews it will put the post back on the site. Also, if you see something that you feel should be removed, you should either report it for the admins to be notified or you can message one of the mods directly. I've had numerous users contact me about posts they felt should be taken down and I welcome those users to talk to me. Of course, I still have to use my own judgement before hiding anything but I feel that it helps keep the lines of communication open between the moderators and the rest of the community.

So, overall, I can completely understand why so many users here have an issue with the moderation system, however, we're still human and no one is perfect. That being said, I try to remain as unbiased as possible when deciding what to hide and I would hope that the rest of my fellow mods do as well.


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What Guys Said 39

  • Good take - The only thing I would add is that when I am talking to an anti mod, I say it is easier to change system from the inside than bang your head on the outside wall, join in and work with the mods/admin to make the site better for all.

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  • Good job on explaining the mod status details, HoneyBee. :)

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  • Very informative. Thank you.

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  • Yep, that's pretty much how it works, yes. Based on what I've seen so far, it's pretty legit!

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  • "The moderators are not an organized group" I don't believe it, I'm pretty sure you meet up every Sunday, have some buffalo wings, and laugh about us GAG users, plotting against us.

    Anyways, besides the fact that you guys are clearly a secret organization, I gotta say I'm content with the mods job, I haven't got any problem with them, or the admins.
    But great take, it clarified stuff, as I thought you guys had more "power" on this site.

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    • Lol well I wrote this so it wouldn't appear to be so "secret." Glad it helped clarify things for you :)

  • yayy :)

    number 1 honeybee woo!! :D

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  • For those who learn best from pictures, this is how it works:

    adamvonwillis.com/.../admin-mod-user.gif

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  • Nice, it is very helpful to new people😃

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  • all of the mods here are just terrible, awful people

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    • Have you met/spoke to us all?

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    • If the mods left, posts would still get reported. If anything, hate the admins.

    • well im so sick of getting messages saying every little thing i say is somehow offensive or antagonistic. its getting to the point where its not like they could have possibly even had something to disagree with me about, they're just censoring me because its fun for them. like i could post an answer about how to install a sprinkler system for your home garden and they'd remove my comments and say it was offensive. its getting to the point where i just dont even want to bother answering peoples questions anymore

  • from past experiences moderators are stuck up internet Nazi's.

    They use their power to boss people around. The moment you argue with a moderator depending on what it is, they'll bash you and take things personal.

    Moderators will also kiss ass to have other moderators gang up on you.

    I hate moderators.

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    • If you feel a moderator is abusing their power, contact an admin, explain your situation and preferably provide proof of what's been happening and something will be done about them.

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    • Some may be like that, but not all of us Nathand.

    • riight,,,

  • Woaz, thanksss!! you da boss

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  • Great take.

    Explains everything very clearly.

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  • depends... i think they just protect their friends or who they like, but meh...

    there should be an election for mods, if they do shit, then dump them and choose somebody else.

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    • Admins do change up the Mods.

      If we step out of line, or don't do enough, we get warnings, then have the status removed.

      Then, they select new Mods from the most active posters who are interested.

  • Then what is the point?

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    • Everything written is totally true.

    • That's why I used a gif to joke. If I didn't believe you, then I would have a written a rant like others did below. Good take by the way (:

    • the ass kisses don't like it when humans disagree with them.

  • So what can you do to me? Put me in the block😱😄

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  • what moderators are?

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  • Very well said

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  • So what is the problem with having meetings and being in contact with admins? I've moderated many forums and disucssion boards of all sorts over the last who-knows-how-many years. Consistency is a big deal to users. If someone can get away with posting something, and someone else gets punished for it, that's not fair. It makes people leave. This is why you do have meetings and do communicate with eachother, and do have someone overrule your decisions when needs be.

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    • I never said there was a problem with that, I actually wish we did but that falls on the admins to set up and make the changes.

    • But referring to your last sentence, the admins do overrule the mods plenty of times. I said that numerous times in the take, they make all the final decisions.

    • There is literally no forum for moderators and admins to discuss things. There are no parts of the site we see that you don't, know special mod topics, nothing.

      Agreed it would be useful.

  • So many great points! I can't tell you how often people assume that I read PMs, or I directly remove stuff.

    I've recently been asked if I get paid, which, LOL.

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What Girls Said 22

  • i agree!!! really great take!! ;)

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  • Cool take. How do you become a moderator?

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  • All I have to say is thank-you for writing this! There's still some misinterpretation of us. I hate those grey area opinions too!

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    • Haha yeah, sometimes if I don't know if a post should be hidden or not, I just send it directly to the admins so they can decide themselves.

  • You do great work, all of you. Thank you! :)

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  • Yes! So accurate and much needed. I feel like some users look at us like the enemy and we're so not. At the end of the day the admins hold all the power, we're just here to help.

    Very nicely said as usual Honey. Thanks for writing this!

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  • great take!! I love it :)

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  • Excellent. Helpful topic, maybe you should have one on faq or help topics?

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  • There shld be stringent selection of mods.
    I find some are biased...

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    • If you feel a moderator is abusing their power, contact an admin, explain your situation and preferably provide proof of what's been happening and something will be done about them.

    • I doubt the admin too

  • Don't admin get paid? Thanks for clarifying everything!

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  • Thanks, I actually never pay attention to who is a mod on this site or not but I was curious as to what they could and could not do.

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  • Excellent take. I never really understood why so many people think you guys are out for them.

    Though when it comes to the administrators I am a bit uncomfortable with them being able to identify us when we're anonymous or read our messages. Or is that only the case if we get reported? For instance I believe Sparrow24 was an administrator and not a moderator so I was just curious if she or anyone else with her job could verify us when anonymous.

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    • Well I'm not an admin but from what I've heard, they only read private messages and look at anonymous users when there is a problem. So, for instance, if someone is harassing you and constantly sending you unwanted messages, you could block that person but you could also report them for inappropriate PM's. When you report them, the admins have to investigate which involves looking at the reported person's private messages to see what's going on. I don't think they just go around reading people's messages for fun though. lol

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    • Ahh, I see, thank you :)

    • Admins work for the site, they would never release any of that information to users or mods and seeing anonymous users is purely so they can keep track of those who regularly post things that are against the rules. If the admins couldn't see them, there would be SO many anonymous trolls/offensive users on this site.

  • Great take ahah I was wondering about some of these earlier

    Thank you

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  • Good take all true, I find the fact my status gets me disliked amusing.

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  • very well said there's sometimes I see something a couple of days old and I ask myself I'm surprised someone hadn't taken it down yet..

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  • Very well said!

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  • that was enlightening!

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  • Except I can see you anons but it has more to do with my psychic powers ;)

    Great take honey.

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  • Bravo! If any users have problems with a comment or question they must report it. We can't do anything about a comment or question if we don't see it. That's why you guys exist and that's why we have the report button so everyone can help make GAG a better place.

    Great take @xHoneyxBeex

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  • people generally hate the "authority figures"...

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  • Thank you SO much for writing a great myTake on the reality of moderating and that we have the best intentions at heart when taking care of the community. We are human but that's the very essence of what makes GaG so great! So thanks for being a great moderator and GaGer and sharing your perspective with everyone. It's makes the overall experience so much fun!

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