Forums Moderation on Discourse

The expectation of a forum moderator is that they log in to the discussion forum at least 1x/week (more is encouraged) and perform moderator duties as follows:

  • Look at new posts that need approval, and approve them if they’re not spam

  • Look through what’s new since you last visited

    • Move posts to the appropriate category, if needed. People often leave topics in the default “Community” category.

    • Spell “Open edX” correctly in post titles

    • “Like” good quality posts and answers that answer the poster’s question

    • Remove spam posts, and immediately ban a user that is obviously a bot

    • Remove posts that violate the code of conduct, and give the author a warning (or ban them if they’ve already had a warning)

  • Communicate with other moderators

    • Use the private #discourse-moderators Slack channel or the Staff category in Discourse to discuss things like:

      • Changing organization of topics

      • Asking for help with moderation tasks

      • Discussing improvements and best practices

      • Discussing users (for example, for promotion to moderator status or how to talk to a user about a code of conduct violation)

  • Commitment to moderation duties

    • Ask to renew your commitment to being a moderator on a yearly basis - if it turns out you no longer want to or have time to moderate, please make space for another person (we have a limited number of moderator seats). It’s fine to step down, we all have other commitments. It’s much better to say you can’t do it than to just disappear!

      • Moderators who have had little to no active moderation activities for 3 months may be proactively asked to step down.

    • Work to identify community members who may be interested in becoming a moderator, based on their interactions with the community. Discuss with fellow moderators before offering the position.

For those with Admin permissions

Discourse has a user category called Staff that includes those with either Moderator or Admin permission.

Admin permission is granted to a few tCRIL members, and potentially others. Current admins are @Sarina Canelake @Ned Batchelder David Ormsbee and @Edward Zarecor.

Admin permission comes with some additional responsibilities:

  • If there’s new blog posts, change the author of the post from the bot to whomever authored the post

    • To do this, click the wrench icon, then “select posts”, then select the post, then there’s a button in the right pane to change ownership.

  • Help deal with any permissions or billing issues

  • Periodically (every few months or so) one admin should check in on moderator activity, and message mods who have little to no moderation activity over the past 2-3 months asking if they still wish to be a moderator. Admins should figure out who will do this job.