User moderation on the forum

A little more information about this...

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18/06/2012 at 16:30

Hi all,

As most of you are aware by now, we have made a few changes to the forum last week. The main change is that we’ve appointed four user moderators to help assist the Runner’s World web team moderators.

Our four moderators are Jeepers, M...eldy, seren nos and Intermanaut. We’ll also be giving them badges, so you can all tell who the moderators are.

There have been lots of discussions about the decision to adopt this new system of user moderation over the last week, so I thought I’d take the time to clarify a few points.

Firstly, the decision to adopt user moderation. This was taken as there has been increasing levels of spam on the forum over the last year. Even though we have applied new filters, spammers will always find a way to get through and this makes the forum far less user-friendly.

Members frequently send us alerts over weekends and evenings and there can be a lag time in dealing with these alerts. So we thought it would be a sensible idea if a small group of forumites could help in removing obvious spam to save it blocking up the forum.

Many of you have repeatedly asked us to introduce this measure over the last few years, so we thought it would be worth seeing if it worked.

Our new user moderators can hide posts by spammers and we’ve asked them to keep a record of all the spam they hide. In short, they are helping to keep the forum running smoothly and we are really grateful for their help. We hope you can get behind them and support them in their efforts.

There are also limitations in what the user moderators can do. They shouldn’t delete or change the title of threads, nor should they intervene in disputes. If you have any questions about the user moderator role, please don’t hesitate to email me at

As before, the Runner’s World web team will still moderate the forums during working hours, so keep sending us your alerts. Also, if there are any more serious issues, please send us an alert rather than going to the user moderators for help.

Finally, I thought it might be worth explaining a little about how we chose moderators. Over the last two years, these four members chosen have consistently sent moderation alerts and kept us informed about spam and technical problems. We thought we would reward them for their help and loyalty to the site by offering them this role.

They are by no means the only members who have sent us moderation alerts over the years – and we are extremely grateful for all of your help. However, we’re sure you can understand that it’s important to have quite a small team who we know well during this trial.

The fairest way to appoint user moderators seemed to be to pick some of the members who had most consistently and enthusiastically sent alerts in recent years. Of course if you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to post in the thread below and I’ll try to get back to you throughout the week.


LIVERBIRD    pirate
18/06/2012 at 16:36
LIVERBIRD    pirate
18/06/2012 at 16:47
If you're trying to drive your core posters away RW, you're going the right way about it....
How about this for a radical idea? PAY SOMEONE to cover the weekend or get off your arses and do it yourselves?
Moderate THAT
LIVERBIRD    pirate
18/06/2012 at 16:54
That's what it says up there ^^
Actually, I'm amazed there wasn't a competition. They could've run it in the magazine and then appointed people with a single forum post who are 'desperate to do this'
18/06/2012 at 17:03

Dominique - a couple of points that maybe you could clarify;

1. When you say the chosen mods made the most moderation reports, do you mean spam alerts or general moderation of contenious threads/posts too?
2. Did you look at the user profile and posting history, or just the number of mod alerts?
3. You haven't mentioned anything in your post about what steps Rodale are taking to fix this long term.  Is there a plan or is it now a case of sitting back and letting the prefects get on with it?

I feel that the answer to these points, others may have more, can put things in very different lights either way.

LIVERBIRD    pirate
18/06/2012 at 17:05
You'll have to wait now till tomorrow BDB. Gone five o'clock mate.......
18/06/2012 at 17:09

Oh, point 4.  You say:

"There are also limitations in what the user moderators can do. They shouldn’t delete or change the title of threads, nor should they intervene in disputes."

Does this mean that you have give them a console so that they can't change thread titles, or that they do have that functionality available to them but have been instructed not to use it?

If we must have user moderation, and it's pretty obvious what I think about that, at least give them the right tools to do the job and don't put a target on their back with by giving them a prefect badge.

seren nos    pirate
18/06/2012 at 17:09

BDB.......apart from spam I have only ever reported one post.It was one that had a picture of an ex forumite who left a year earlier and I thought it was unfair and wrong.....i then left it to see if RW if they chose on reporting anything other than spam I doubt i would have been asked......

We have strict instructions on how to hide spam and spam only......we don't actually delete we just hide so it is easy for them to check on what we have done.any disputes can be easily checked.......

18/06/2012 at 17:10
LIVERBIRD wrote (see)
You'll have to wait now till tomorrow BDB. Gone five o'clock mate.......

That's when the night shift take over isn't it?

18/06/2012 at 17:13

I wasn't going to get involved in this debate but have decided to say my bit which is........."Well done and thank you to Meldy, Seren, Jeepers and Intermanaut" 

Thats it.

LIVERBIRD    pirate
18/06/2012 at 17:13
It is now.
18/06/2012 at 17:13

Thanks Seren - please don't think is is against any of you.  I think RW need to answer and it's unfair of them to put you in the firing line.  I know I'd hate it, along with the endless mails or other sharp communications you'll get from all over the forum asking you to do the tidying up.

18/06/2012 at 17:16

'Look at me' is a very snide and cynical remark. Grow up kk


18/06/2012 at 17:17

Yeah I wanted a "Ive poo-ed outside" button until they deleted that epic thread

bloody modera...oops 

18/06/2012 at 17:18
Seems a good idea to me.
LIVERBIRD    pirate
18/06/2012 at 17:23
It makes us unequal NLR, that's the problem. We are all forumites and yet we don't hold the same position.
seren nos    pirate
18/06/2012 at 17:24

Many people stated that they did not want unknown moderators.I believe you were one of them KK as you hated the idea that anyone on the forum could be moderating they have decided to make them known so there is no misunderstanding then you also think thats wrong.....not sure what RW can do to address both viewpoints

18/06/2012 at 17:25

I don't think it's snide Madge.

I don't think it's a "Look at me" badge though, more of "Go and hassle them" badge as far as RW are concerned.   I wonder how long it will be before Meldy, Seren, Jeepers or Inter say "FFS, leave me be for 5 mins?" when they get the umpteenth email from the 5th highest mod reporter

LIVERBIRD    pirate
18/06/2012 at 17:28
I will go on record saying I do NOT want to be moderated by people I know, I have no issue with being moderated by RW towers but not by my peers, read Lord of the Flies.....
18/06/2012 at 17:29

Seren - they could have just have told us who they/you are.  A badge is different - it clearly makes you guys out.

Look at the some of the trouble Pirate badges caused back in the day.  Still does amongst some people.

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