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Introducing our volunteer forum moderators

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we've been working hard to assemble a team of volunteers to help us moderate the message boards. The moderators will play a key role in ensuring the forums continue to run smoothly. These new mods will be granted some moderation privileges such as being able to move topics, delete topics, etc., and will be asked to help answer user questions, respond to any forum issues, and ensure that the forum rules are followed. Our hope is that the mods will be able to respond much more quickly to issues that crop up on the forums than we will. 

Today, I'm pleased to announce that we've put together our first group of volunteer moderators. All of the people below have generously offered to donate their time and effort to making the forums a better place for all of us:

  • SHBoss1673
  • catcrazy 
  • ms_natalie 
  • MCDerin
  • Nigel99 
  • arewethereyet 
  • stormieweather 
  • ladyhawk00

We've tried to create a group that represents a broad cross-section of the site.  We wanted a combination of newer members and long-time users, at least a few international users, and more than anything, a group of people we felt would be fair, impartial, diplomatic and welcoming.  We hope you'll agree that we've met that goal.

I also wanted to make it clear how the moderation system will work:

  • Any abuse reports submitted by members will be sent to the moderators so one of them can investigate and respond accordingly
  • As I mentioned, the mods will have a limited ability to perform additional functions on the site such as moving topics, deleting topics, locking topics, etc.  They will use these tools to address abuse reports as well as help members in any way possible
  • Any actions that the moderators take will be recorded, and are visible to all of the other moderators.  The mods cannot take any actions without all of the other mods knowing.  This is to ensure that everything the mods do is transparent to the other mods so that we all agree the action was necessary and appropriate. Any moderators found to have been abusing their privileges will be removed from the moderator team immediately.
  • We plan on rotating moderators in and out periodically to ensure the team stays fresh. 
  • Finally, Al and I will retain the final decision on any actions made by the mods, so if you have any issues with something the mods have done, you are always free to bring it up with one of us.

Since the moderation system is new, I'm sure there will be some kinks as the team gets started. The way the system works today will defintiely change over time.  My hope is that the system will continue to improve as all of us work through the issues that will crop up, and that the site forums will in the end be better than ever. 

We're absolutely thrilled to have such an amazing group of people as our first group of mods.  I hope you will all join me in welcoming them to their new roles, and sending them a huge thanks them for all of their efforts!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please just let us know. Hope you are all enjoying the site.

Mike and Al

189 votes + -

31 comments:

runningneo122 wrote 40 months ago:
Great to see this come to fruition. I recognize most of the names and agree that you have chosen wisely for the initial group. Keep up the great work of constantly improving the site, Mike and Al. I certainly appreciate it.
sanifrey wrote 40 months ago:
BRAVO!! Sounds great!! I <3 MFP
sarahnicolexoxo wrote 40 months ago:
Can these people also be in charge of cleaning up the database? LOL. It needs it.
ErrataCorrige wrote 40 months ago:
great pics!
Kirstie_C26 wrote 40 months ago:
awesome :)thanx for makin the site rock guys :D + a big welcome to the new moderators
KeyMasterOfGozer wrote 40 months ago:
Wonderful! We have needed this for a while, and I'm glad you guys have made the time to make it happen.
Mads1997 wrote 40 months ago:
I don't think Mods were needed but great to see you will be changing them around so they don't get too comfortable. That's when problems occur.
MCDerin wrote 40 months ago:
Hello to everyone and thank you for the welcome.
My name is Mary Catherine, but I go by MC :)
I hope to meet some of you "around town" (on the MB :)
SugaDumplin wrote 40 months ago:
Thanks for all the work that you will be doing for all of us here.
gailosborne wrote 40 months ago:
This sounds great, thank you to all concerned!!!
PJilly wrote 40 months ago:
Thank you to all the folks who volunteered to be moderators. :)
Hearts_2015 wrote 40 months ago:
Appreciate all the work you new Mods are willing to do for this great site! Thanks to each of you for helping make this an even better site than it already is! :o) Thanks Mike for putting this into place!
Missevanston wrote 40 months ago:
Welcome to the new Mods! Thanks for your time and effort to make MFP even more awesome than it is! See ya 'round!
Ms_Natalie wrote 40 months ago:
Cheers everyone! It's exciting and an honour to be chosen for this...I lost over 40lbs with MFP and still going...it's about time I gave something back!

See you on the forums =)
rapperval wrote 40 months ago:
Just decided to start reading the Message board and actually have left one. Am really having a problem taking off weight even tho' I recore all! calories I eat each day and when I total at the end the comment says I should loose at least 10 lbs on the diet. Well I have not!
Not sure what's wrong.........I'm 71 years old maybe my metabolism is just too low!
Valerie
rileamoyer wrote 40 months ago:
Thank you, it seems like you are addressing the needs of your growing community quite well!
Shirley61 wrote 40 months ago:
Thank u for your hard work at volunteering for this task. We do need someone to notify people when their language gets a little too colorful. Not that I am a prude and I also use colorful language at times, but there is a time and a place.
jtsmou wrote 40 months ago:
After serving as a mod on several forum boards, as well as going all the way back to IRC in the old days... I have no faith in this system of moderation. I can also easily predict every problem that is going to come up, sooo let the pettiness begin I guess.
toots99 wrote 40 months ago:
Excellent choices. :)
cynthiaconnolly wrote 40 months ago:
Put me on the list for when you need to update the number of members of the moderator group
glendadykstra wrote 40 months ago:
@Jts.. there is not reason for pettiness to start. Seems like the site runs pretty good. I ran a web site which had the whole ten yards. Most mods work great together as long as they get positive feedback. :D
I am sure I haven't seen all the boards so I have no idea what has been going on.
jtsmou wrote 40 months ago:
@glendadykstra ""This system of moderation never works the way they think it will, and in the end what you end up with is a very sterilized forum where diversity of thought is crushed, and the activity level bottoms out. People are people, I know most people believe that they can be mature and impartial, but we are really fighting our own nature when it comes down to it. The problems wont just occur on the boards with the members vs mods, it will also happen behind the scenes among the mods themselves unless all the mods adhere to the same philosophical belief, which does happen, but again the product becomes very sterilized. It doesn't take much for people to start believing that they have been set above others and acting accordingly. Even in the face of criticism think in terms of the stanford prison experiment, and add to that a touch of cult dynamics, and you can see where this is going to go with the way they are setting this up. The forums will become a very sterile place. You can never totally overcome this tendency of behavior in this kind of setting, but from my own experiences, less is more. Mods should always be anon, and if they are also users of the forum they should log in as mods from a separate account and adhere to mod anonymity. The guidelines for control of the forums should also be very tight leaving no room for politicizing of the control process or for personal belief systems to be superimposed on ones moderation duties. The guidelines should be kept to a minimum and be very specific so there is no room for ones personal interpretation of them. It's always better to use outside mods, but in cases like this with limited resources it's understandable they can really only choose from their user base. Believe me, it's better to let people work things out on their own as much as possible, even when they start arguing and insulting each other. The majority of the time if the situation is left alone, it will work itself out. When you start interjecting a third party into the situation that has a different level of privilege, you are just asking for trouble. You instantly create a "criminal class" among your users, and people start becoming less inclined to participate. Those that do will enter into a group think mentality with their own agenda and you will have a bigger fight on your hands than if you had just left it alone and stuck to deleting personal threats, spam, and vulgar language.
stroutman81 wrote 40 months ago:
Interesting. I belong to twenty or so large fitness forums and all of them have moderators and all of them have issues (not talking about the technical sort of issues). MFP is the first one I've belonged to that seems so pleasant. I can't make the logical leap that mods cause issues as there are certainly other confounding variables. But I'm of the opinion that the further MFP strays from what's considered normal in the fitness forum world, the better. I've faith in the admin though since they've done a terrific job up to this point.
Evjones28 wrote 40 months ago:
Excellent ... i know ladyhawk gives good responses, as I sure the others but I haven't seen theirs yet ... :-)
MaxBiker wrote 39 months ago:
Great site. Great boards. Great community.

Keep up the most excellent job guys!
Losingitin2011 wrote 39 months ago:
I don't know if the forum mods are a good thing, or a bad thing at this point. I was in a thread where people were essentially getting attacked by other users, and pretty much being called stupid. I called them out on it, and my post is the one that gets deleted, not theirs. How is that fair? I didn't attack anyone in particular, just pointed out that it appears to be impossible for someone to just say that they disagree without being a jerk about it.

Also, what about favoritism? Say a mod has a friend on here. Said friend is a jerk and blah blah blah. Is said friend could to be able to do what they want because the mods aren't going to go after him BECAUSE he's a friend? Lots of concerns overall, but we'll see.
hiddensecant wrote 39 months ago:
I added duplicates by accident in the past .. a search would come up with nothing and once I added it I could see there was something after all. It would be nice to be able to delete your own entries in cases like this or flag other duplicate entries for mod review.
Ms_Natalie wrote 39 months ago:
In reply to losingitin2011...all posts quoting insulting posts will be edited to ensure all traces of the offensive content are removed. With regards to MFP friends...we simply, pass the action required onto another moderator who looks into it...this avoids any problems arising. We also try not to moderate threads we have been active in.
pauljsolie wrote 39 months ago:
Just wondering what criteria you mods use when banning someone from the forums. Case in point, I understand that the OP of the recent "for those of you who drink diet soda everyday" was recently banned from the forums. I saw nothing in that persons posts that were derogatory toward other members. I did however see alot of nasty comments made toward the OP. Just wondering why this happened and wondering if MFP has a hidden interest in keeping the "controversial" topics to a minimum. Could there be something MFP doesn't want us to know?
peaches1885 wrote 38 months ago:
I am new and don't know how to make this work? Help
mrivera713 wrote 34 months ago:
Thank you to all the volunteers that help make this site so wonderful!

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