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 and Bug wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Hi Everyone,

I noticed that we've received a few complaints regarding forum moderation recently, so I thought I'd make a quick post to clarify how and why we moderate our forums. I'm hoping that most people will agree that this is a good approach, but if not, feedback is very welcome as always.

The kinds of post we remove generally fall into 3 categories:

1. Spammy.
We remove posts where people are advertising their garden, begging for gold, asking for friend requests etc. This is simply because otherwise the forums would fill up with this stuff and become completely unusable for anything else. Forums are for discussions, and these things are not discussions.
There is a difficult grey area here where people started using subtle ways of advertising their garden (for example, by asking a question but really it was just to attract visitors to their garden) so our moderators need to make a judgement when this happens. For example, if the player is clearly an experienced player but asking a basic question such as "why are my badgers not being spotted?" then we assume that they don't really need help with this and are just advertising, so the post is removed.

2. Unfriendly/personal attacks.
We always remove posts in which someone attacks someone else. This does not mean disagreeing with another person's opinions, which is always completely fine on the forums when it is expressed respectfully. The important thing is that debate should always focus on the opinion being debated, never on the person making the point (such as via name-calling, passive aggressiveness, or any other kind of personal attack.)

3. Attempts to censor others or prevent discussion.
Sometimes people post an opinion and then try to stop others challenging it (by telling people not to reply etc), so some warnings we issue are to the people who try to do this. If you choose to post opinions on a forum, then you should expect that people will reply, as that's the entire point of a forum. However we do know that some people just want to give feedback without the discussion element, and for this, you can send directly to us via our "Contact Us" form.

The above 3 categories basically covers most cases where a moderator might need to take action. The general rule to remember is that it's not what you say that results in posts being removed, it's how you say it. So for example, it's fine to say that you don't like something in the game and suggest how it could be improved, but it's not OK to also add unnecessary unpleasantness such as personal attacks to your post. As long as you're friendly and polite, then your posts won't need to be removed.

In addition, there are a few other miscellaneous reasons why posts may be removed at a moderator's discretion (e.g. profanity), but these are rare. Importantly, EVERYONE's posts are held to these exact same standards.

A few other things to bear in mind:

1. Please remember that it is me who sets the forum moderation policy - our team of moderators simply implement that policy, so any issues must always be addressed to me via the "contact us" link.

2. If a post needs removing, we always tell the person why their post has been removed via a warning message. Previously, we used to just remove posts, but people complained about that by posting "why was my post removed?" messages, so we listened to that feedback, and we now try to explain to everyone individually why their post was removed with a personalized warning message.

3. It is extremely rare that we need to ban anyone from the forums - it almost never happens. Instead, we think it's better to use suspensions in cases where people ignore warnings (if you repeatedly ignore warnings, then the length of suspension increases each time, with the hope that you'll finally get the message!) We find that most people who receive a warning only ever receive one (either with no suspension, or a very short one of maybe 24 hours) and then never have any further issues.

I hope this helps explain what and why we do this, and hopefully the majority of people agree with our general approach. Forum moderation is always a difficult thing to get right, and there will always be little things that people disagree with, but I believe that our approach is reasonable and seems to work pretty well. However this is just my opinion, so can of course be debated (politely, of course :)


Mike (Fairyland Developer)
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Post by Fairyland Developer

 and Crossbow wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Thanks Mike.
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 and Sparkles wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Thank you for clarifying this, Mike. It seems very reasonable and sensible to me.
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 and Roswell The Demi-God And Zebbie wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Thanks for the clarification - it seems fine to me too :D

would it be possible to put this in the News and/or Help sections, so that it will be available to those who need it on a more permanent basis?
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 and Begonia wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Me too, makes discussion a lot more productive that way.
Thanks to the mods too, can't be easy sometimes.
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 and Melissande With Capaldi wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Thank you.  I will bookmark this thread.  :)
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Fairyland Forums Moderator wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Moved this to Useful Topics Section, hopefully it will be easier to find here

 and Dawn's Delight wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Thank you Mike for clarifying how the forums are run/moderated

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 and Eternity wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Thank you Mike, I think this will help a lot! :)
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 and Kitty wrote4 months, 1 week ago

Thanks for the clarification Mike. I'm am sure it is not an easy task moderating our forum. I would, however, be interested to find out why the mods are anonymous. I have never encountered this before. For the sake of transparency and accountability wouldn't it be better to have their identities known?
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