Moderation Online: Do The Opposite of r/Minecraft
There has recently been some controversy with the r/Minecraft subreddit, but it generally reflects on Reddit and moderation on the entire internet. I won’t go into much detail, but here is a link to the explanation if you haven’t heard about what happened already on PhoenixSC’s YouTube Video.
This is not the first time something like this has happened on r/Minecraft, but this is certainly the first time people have decided to do something about it. However, their solution is ultimately one that rarely works for longer than a couple of months, and it’s more complex moderation guidelines and stiffer rulesets.
The truth is, regulating moderators the same way users are often regulated simply does not work. Moderators abide by stricter guidelines for a few months until those guidelines are ultimately forgotten about. Once moderators and users forget about guidelines, things return to the same place they were beforehand.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Guidelines and bylaws rarely solve problems. The complexity of those guidelines can eventually make them easier to abuse. While this may not work nationally, trust is key to good moderation online. This is what r/Minecraft does not have.
Choosing a Moderation Team
The reason r/Minecraft and much of the internet has to blame for its rampant toxicity, and terrible moderation standards is the type of people that use the platform. Reddit is not a normie platform. Neither is Discord or Twitter, and the list goes on. While Facebook and Instagram may spy on people, they have pretty good records of moderation. (That is until Mark Zuckerberg gets involved). The boomers of Facebook stand no chance against the furries and degenerates on Reddit and Discord.
Then, who do you choose? Normies. Normies with girlfriends. Girl normies with boyfriends. Even Info Toast’s moderation team reflects this:
- Me (the world’s youngest socialite)
- Aaron (Texan)
- Ava (a girl I know in real life)
- Jason (A dad who plays video games with his kids)
- Lean (real life friend dragged onto Reddit by subreddit owner asking him to moderate)
How to Find Normies
Go outside. See How to Turn Off Your Computer and Go Outside for tips on going outside.
Avoid Complex Rulesets
As I’ve mentioned, if your moderation team is trustworthy and isn’t constantly on their screens, you don’t need a lot of rules. There doesn’t need to be complex moderation guidelines for moderators. Those guidelines are to prevent abuse, but they aren’t very good if your moderators are abusive.
Remember that Some are Children during Moderation
When dealing with people, remember most of the people involved are children. They will say edgy/toxic things and try to bend the rules from time to time. You should have a very vague set of rules that just says, “use common sense.” You should not lash out at children by taking actions that could hurt them well into adulthood. Someone who is an edgy 14-year-old will be a great 18-year-old in 6 years.
When moderating and deciding punishments, giving slightly more than what you think a “reasonable punishment” should be is better. This discourages people from doing the same thing again, who possibly thought, “I’m not going to be at my computer tomorrow anyways, might as well get banned for a day.” When you strike them with a three-day ban, it will shock them, and they will learn their lesson.
On Info Toast, we have a pretty strict permaban policy for moderation. We typically don’t permaban for anything. If you come to us as a spam account the first day and drive everyone mad, we will permaban you. But, if we get to know you, we generally do not permaban.
However, there are two instances in our history where we have issued permabans to active members. I think anyone on our discord probably knows who those members are. They both had the same problem: they had no life outside Info Toast. We banned those two for their own good. We needed to force them to go outside and make real friends because they were spending their entire lives here. Also, they were both generally toxic people because spending their entire lives on Info Toast sucked, and they would take it out on us.