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The Moderator Code of Conduct

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:06 am
by Hagar Delest
The OOCF Moderators and Administrators groups are the forum “Moderators”. Moderators are granted elevated privileges within the forum. Moderators are responsible for policing the forum to ensure that users and their posts comply with the Policies and Terms of Use within any interpretations of the same that are agreed by the OOCF volunteers. Moderators must only use these privileges for this purpose, that is adopt a policy of minimum policing, and must not introduce bias or personal opinion in doing so.

Moderators must keep in mind that they represent the OpenOffice Community Forums (OOCF) as a whole. They have been entitled by the community and any action may affect the whole moderation team image.

Moderators are of course subject to the rules of the forum and should at all times conform to the Guidelines for Volunteers. It also means that Moderators must never abuse their powers, or their position of power (by deleting or editing posts they dislike for example).

The easy work

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:20 pm
by Hagar Delest
Duplicate threads:
    Move to Deleted Topics, notify user (by PM or in the initial thread). If interesting entries already done, merge the threads. NB: once moved in the Deleted Topics forum, please add an edit in the post telling it's a duplicate.
Abusive flames:
    Move thread to Quarantine; warn user.
Frustrated user that is not open to help (a rant):
    Move thread to Quarantine; warn user.
    Answer question and include gentle reminder to read the SG, split the post if necessary (when posted in an existing thread).
Readability improvement:
    Correct the BBCode if wrong, move the topics in the dedicated forum (to be done after an answer has been added so that the user would be likely to use the mail notification).
Solved topics:
    Tag them with the [Solved] tag at the beginning of the title and the green checkmark (NB: the [Solved] tag is required for searches with this keyword).

Editing Posts

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:20 pm
by Hagar Delest
Moderators should respect a user's post and not change it except in certain circumstances, as described below.
Edits should not change the user's expression, but only the presentation of it. They should be logged as suggested below unless the change is very trivial.

Some reasons for editing a post:

    To improve the presentation
      Correcting the user's BBcode
      Adding a [ code ] block around long sections of code or data
      Changing ALL CAPS to Mixed Caps
      Changing the thread title to something more meaningful
    Marking a topic "Solved"
      Adding the [Solved] tag and the green checkmark (NB: the [Solved] tag is required for searches with this keyword).
    Removing inappropriate content
      Removing text or attachments that contain personal information (real addresses, emails, etc.) or inappropriate content.

Logging changes:

    Most editing changes should be logged, showing what was changed and why, and who made the change. This is necessary so that the poster is not confused or surprised by "mysterious" changes, and for transparency and accountability in the moderation process.

    A change log should be made by adding a notice to the bottom of the edited post, following these examples:

      Title Edited. A descriptive title for posts helps others who are searching for solutions and increases the chances of a reply (XXX, Moderator).
      Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
      [color=#FF0000]Title Edited. [rel=viewtopic.php?f=5&t=166#p716]A descriptive title for posts[/rel] helps others who are searching for solutions and increases the chances of a reply (XXX, Moderator).[/color]

      Edited to remove All Caps (XXX, Moderator).
      Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
      [color=#FF0000]Edited to remove [rel=viewtopic.php?f=5&t=166#p716]All Caps[/rel] (XXX, Moderator).[/color]
    Minor changes that do not modify the user's text may be logged using the forum's "Reason for editing" field (like "Added BBCode", "Title typo corrected", ...).

    If a moderator feels that changing the user's expression is warranted (e.g. removing some inappropriate text), the action should be logged by a thread in the Forum Issues forum. The post there should contain a complete copy of the user's original message as well as showing what changes the moderator made.

    In such cases, rather than editing the post, it may be better to simply flag (report) the post, or to move the whole post intact to Quarantine, so that other moderators can help decide the best course.

Here comes the gray zone

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:21 pm
by Hagar Delest
Frustrated user that may be open to help (a rant but we feel that the emotional load is a sign of despair):
    Give some acknowledgment of problem, offer to help if the user is willing to discuss the problems constructively.
If a change is needed, it should be logged and show who made the edit, the reason, and what was changed. Since this is a more sensitive category, the moderator should also log the change in a post to "Forum Issues" and log the complete message, before and after edits (you can hit the PM button to get a layout with both a link to the post and its quote). Editing posts in this category is not likely to help, so this should be a rare action.

And finally the twilight zone

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:39 pm
by Hagar Delest
There may be situations where we don't know if the other moderators would have taken the same decision.

To avoid being undermined by a reversed decision, move the thread to Quarantine, warn the user that the thread is off-line for discussion because it's borderline and then discuss it with the other volunteers / moderators in a Site>Forum Issues topic to leave an audit trail.

Don't become emotionally attached to the issue. Just seek the group's consensus and once that is clear, let's implement the decision.

Warning a user

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:19 pm
by Hagar Delest
Do it either directly from the post (header right area of the poster):
Warn_1.png (10.52 KiB) Viewed 20869 times

Or from his profile:

Then fill in the form with the message to be sent and submit.

Merging threads

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:35 pm
by Hagar Delest
Select the Quick-mod action:
Quick-mod tool
Merge_1.png (1.71 KiB) Viewed 20847 times

Go to the forum where the 2nd topic is (1)
Select the thread to be merged (2) and confirm.
Merging panel

The resulting topic:
- Gets the title of the 2nd topic (can be fixed by just editing the first post without changing anything to get back the 1st title)
- Is located in the forum where is the 2nd topic.

Handling the admin mailbox

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:03 pm
by Hagar Delest
Feature currently disabled
New address should be ooo-forum-en-service<at>
Current admin address:<at>

Terry has set a clever automated response for mail sent by users to the admin mailbox. Any message sent to forumadminen<at> is now sent to a thread (one per month) in a dedicated forum (visible for admins and mods). A specific 'user' (AutomatedMailbox) has been created for that purpose, posting the message sent. In title is the mail address of the sender plus additional information depending on the situation (if he is known as a registered user or not, if it is not the first mail in case he had already written to the admin mailbox).
AutomatedMailbox wrote:Subject: Login problem (for example)
From: "Xxxxx Yyyyyy" <>
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 2009 10:17:57 -0500
To: <>

Can you guide me to how to ask a question , and how to retrieve my highlighter to change background colors.

Each first message from a sender gets an automated reply as follow:
Forum Admin wrote:Thank-you,

This is an automated response from the OUCV forum administrators. This mailbox is primarily for assisting users with registration difficulties. The best place to find out information and to ask Questions is on our forums. We therefore only respond by email to those questions that cannot be resolved through using our forums.
    gives you guidance if you have registration difficulties.
    explains how to ask a Q on the forum.
<Custom Paragraph, see below>

Note that to prevent mail loops, we only send out one automated response per sender. Our administrators also routinely monitor this mailbox and one will contact you separately if we believe that your request is not covered by this response.

The OUCV Forum Administrators

With the <Custom Paragraph> being one of three:

  • Email address belongs to an active registered user
    We have looked up your email address in our forum registration database and according to our records User account XXXXX with the email address YYYYYY@ZZZZZ has been registered with the forum and is currently activate. You may log on and post questions on the forum. If you have forgotten your password then please go to:
  • Email address belongs to a registered user, not yet activated
    We have looked up your email address in our forum registration database and according to our records User account XXXXX with the email address YYYYYY@ZZZZZ has been registered with the forum but has not yet been activated. However we have treated this email as an activation request. You can now log on to the forum and post questions.
    • Email address is not on user database
      We have looked up your email address in our forum registration database and according to our records there is no registered user with the address YYYYYY@ZZZZZ. You need to register with the forum at before you can post questions. It only takes a minute or so to fill in the form and then click on the link in our confirmation email to activate your account.

    For the complete process, see that thread: Automated response to email Qs.

    Admins and mods task here is to check and tag (with the EDIT BBCode) the messages that are covered by the automated reply, then, no action needed. In some cases, the user will send a mail again that will be tagged (NR) for Not Responded, then, a mail from an admin/mod may be needed. Use the e-mail address you use for the forum and edit also the post to show the other admins/mods that this has been handled.

    About advertising in signatures

    PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:17 pm
    by Hagar Delest
    Here are some hints to handle links posted in the forum. There are 3 places where URLs can be used:
    • In post content
      The URL must be directly related to the content and to a valid forum issue. For example if the OP is talking about a distro then quoting the home site for the distro, etc. makes sense.
      Use of wikipedia and other reference quotes is entirely valid.
      Zero tolerance to non-related references. This includes blatant product plugging.

    • In the profile website reference
      (As of 3.0.6) We will configure the forum so that this field will only be available to active users. Pretty much anything that the user wants in here (as long as it isn't a sex or spam site), e.g. company URLs and personal blogs or webpages are fine. This URL isn't in your face. We've stopped the bots enumerating the members lists. You can only see it if you look up a users details.

    • In the signature block
      URLs only available to active users. Other OOo/WP related URLs are fine. Personal blogs or webpages are fine.
      Use of company URLs in signatures: tolerated for active users as long as it is clear that the primary purpose for posting is OOo related.
      No image.
    So basically: tolerate business URLs but only enabled for active users. Ban images.
    Discussion related: Question about advertising in signatures.