Arduino Forum Moderation GuidelinesIntroduction
Thank you very much for volunteering your time in helping us to keep our forums organized and enjoyable. The role of a moderator is very important in keeping the community together and helping it remain attractive to newbies. Here are some simple guidelines. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact one of the Administrators.
Moderators are appointed directly by the Arduino forum Administrators, if you consider the task you are commanding requires too much of your time and you identify other users that could qualify to be good moderators, please let us know.
Moderation is given to users that apply for it, and it affects only some boards in the forum. We are not considering yet, giving anyone Global Moderation powers, mostly because it is impossible that anyone has the ability to monitor a forum in the size of ours in its totality.Conduct
Within your own forum, we expect you to act with impecable manners. Do not belittle members, do not air personal discussions to the public, etc. If you have a problem with a member, PM them or e-mail them and try to keep it at that level.
Outside of your own boards of influence, we expect you to keep the best interests of the members/forums in mind. It is not in the best interest of anybody to start or contribute to flaming/bashing topics. The only result of these topics are general negativity in the forums. It is not necessary nor useful to participate. However, you may choose to act as you will. Generally speaking, we will not sanction you for acting immaturely outside of your boards of influence. However, we will certainly take note of these actions.Confidentiality
It is important that moderators have a place to discuss matters frankly without worrying about confidentiality. We have therefore implemented an area in the forum where moderators can discuss about issues regarding their position. We expect you to keep all discussions in this forum confidential. If you feel like you will not stick to this, please notify us so that we can remove your moderator access. If we discover that you have breached confidentiality, we will remove you as moderator.Forum Duties
The main thing is to care enough about the Arduino community to make the forum a priority. This will manifest differently per person. If you feel that maintaining your boards of influence has become a burden or that you simply do not have enough time, please notify us and we will remove you as moderator.
Maintaining your part of the forum will necessarily mean regularly visiting to make sure that there is no spam, multiple topics, problems to take care of. Also acting when getting moderation requests on the email, responding PMs from users, etc. If you need to take a break from the forums, please ensure that someone else will keep an eye on them during your absence.
Taking care of your share of the forum is harder to blanketedly define, but probably more important. It is important that you access what your board needs and then do it. Please lean on other moderators at the moderation board for support when needed.Moving and Deleting Threads
If there are any threads that need to be "deleted", move then to the Garbage, use the "Move thread". The only time you would use "Move thread" and leave redirect in previous forum" is when someone posts a question/thread in the wrong section.Editing Posts
There are a lot of occasions when you will need to edit a post. Whenever you do, please insert an edit note at the very end. For example, if a member attached a link to an EBAY clone sales point in a post but the rest of the message was of importance, you would want to edit that part out and put a note at the end like "(YOUR NAME edit note: No advertisement allowed)".Language
No violent, prejudicial langauge or personal attacks are tolerated in this forum. If you see any inappropriate posts, edit the post immediately. Remove the offending portion or entire post body and insert a edit note explaining your action.Advertisement
No advertisement to non-Arduino-related products of any form are tolerated in any boards. Website links in the signature are fine as long as it doesn't have too many links in it. Use your judgement. Actual links to other sites are discouraged.
Advertisement of Arduino clones, should link to moderate the message, and could be linked to a legal action by the Arduino team. On the other hand, ads of Arduino derivatives, shields of all types, suggestions for improvements, are not considered spam when e.g. coming as part of a discussion like user A asks "how can I solve this project", sometimes the answer is as easy as "buy the XYZ shield by ABC at http://thatwebsite.com
", and that should not be moderated. Please use common sense in these cases.
There are boards where to offer and look for services, and we should respect people offering their skills to others, as well as people requesting help from others. Spam
The following are considered spam:
- Very short posts that do not add value to the current discussion.
- Double posts. If a member posted something and you realized they made a mistake, use the edit/delete option.
- Off topic posts will be either removed or moved to the appropriate place, depending on moderator.
- Posts that obviously serve no purpose other than uping one's post counts.
- Posts like "XXX, I have a question for you" are considered spam. They should be done via private messaging.
- Any other posts that we deem inappropriate for other readers.
- Responses to spam posts should be considered as spam and be removed. However, spam warnings should not be given in such cases except in severe cases.
- Posts that contain large amounts of smileys and/or spaces to make it look like they contain useful information often don't. Give out official spam warnings to repeat offenders. Give a bit of leeway to new posters (you can tell by their join date).
When you found a topic that is not relevant to a board, immediately move it to the appropriate one. Sometimes you should leave a "trail" and sometimes you shouldn't. Try not to leave too many.Polls
We currently allow polls in most boards. Remove polls if they are irrelevant. ex. John Doe made a poll titled "Who's da man?" and put his name in the options. Polls like "What's the juiciest kind of carrot???" are not productive and should be deleted (unless posted in the "Bar Sport")
We can remove polls from topics using the admin control panel. PM one of the Administrators if you need this done. You can also split all the other posts into a new topic and delete the original one.Closing Threads
When you can foresee that a topic is going downhill, you should close it. A prime example will be flame wars or totally off topic discussion. However, do not close topics just because the initial question/concern was answered. It is because although the first question is answered, the thread starter might have another question related to the original one. Bottom line is, don't close a topic if a normal conversation is going on smoothly (unless it wanders away too far from the original topic).
*Whenever you close a topic, make a post to briefly explain the reason behind it.Stick Unstick
Sticky or Unstick whatever you deem necessary to maintain your board. If there is more than one moderator in your board, consult each other or make a post in the Moderators forum. DON'T just take matters into your own handsAnnouncements
If you feel an announcement is in order for your board please discuss this with one of the Administrators via PM, IM, team email or a post in the moderator area.User Warnings Tracking
Please log all official warnings in the Moderation subforum. One topic should be created for each member who has received a warning. Make a new post on the member's moderation forum for each formal warning issued. A formal / official warning can be done in public by editing the offending post and replace the offending section or the entire post with the warning message, or it can be done via private message. If it is done via private message, you could copy and paste the message along with your warning thread. Each warning, edit needs to be in a separate topic.Suspensions and Bannings
Do NOT Perma Ban everyone... some offenses are more serious than others. We leave this to your own discretion as we believe you can understand what is considered serious and not.Multiple Accounts
If you detect an offender shows up again on a different account, please proceed to immediately perform the same action as you were to his/her other account. E.g. if he/she was banned, then ban him/her again.Personal Reflection
I don't really like setting out "rules" and "sanctions". Everyone here are adults and volunteers, and we are not out to herd you around. If there is a problem, however, you don't need to excuse yourself. You are all capable of doing a good job, and if circumstances arise that make it impossible, I expect you to seek help or step down. I don't expect perfection either, but if you care about this forum -your forum- then do a good job.