Back-seat Moderation: Do not impersonate Staff members
Topic Started: Jun 27 2010, 08:51 PM
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Twilight is upon me, and soon night must fall.

1. What is Back-seat Moderation?

Back-seat moderation is the term the Zathyus Network staff use to describe a person who attempts to moderate a topic in the Support Forums and has no power. To make it simpler: A person is impersonating the staff. They are telling the topic starter or posters what to do or they are pointing out things that they believe are against the rules.

2. What are some examples of Back-seat Moderation?

The most common example of Back-seat moderation is a user saying to the topic starter: "This topic is in the wrong place." Another common one is "Read the Board Rules" or "This topic should be closed."

3. Why is Back-seat Moderation so bad?

While Back-seat moderation really doesn't sound so bad at first and it may seem helpful if someone points another user to the board rules or tells them a topic is in the wrong place, this is an incorrect assumption. In many many cases, the topic starter feels offended by the user and tends to attack that person. The Staff members have to put out the fire. Now imagine one or two of these incidents and multiply it by the number or users online and topics everyday. That should give you a rather large number of problems.

4. How can I prevent Back-seat Moderation?

If you are in the support forum looking to answer support questions and notice a topic is in the wrong place, use the Report button in the topic. Include where you believe the topic should be. If you see a topic that should be closed, repeat the procedure and tell us why you think the topic should be closed. If you think the topic doesn't belong anywhere or it is offensive, include that in your report as well. Now if you go in a topic strictly to point out a topic is in the wrong place, DON'T DO IT. If you don't know the answer to the topic and you can not help the person find the answer, do not bother posting. Let someone else who knows answer the topic.

5. Why don't I message Support Staff Members or Administrators?

There was a time when users were told to personal message members of the staff when there is a problem. And while this is still suggested in emergency situations, we prefer that users use the report button in each topic and send a report in. The Report system allows any staff member to view the report and process it. This means that whichever staff member is online will see the report and deal with it. This is quicker and more efficient then sending personal messages to the staff.
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