Be professional

Moderation is not about taking sides, it is ultimately about crisis management and conflict resolution. Even if one party is clearly in the wrong, you should ensure that they are not being ganged up on by other users. This especially includes multiple moderators: If you see another moderator handling a situation, trust them to handle it on their own, and address the situation internally if you feel they're not handling it right.
Conflict resolution helps maintain a safe space where people can feel welcome. Giving out too many punishments may make people feel threatened and unsafe around you, while allowing too many problems to go unaddressed may make people feel threatened and unsafe around the rest of the community.
If you are personally involved in an incident, report it and ask for help from other moderators or staff. If you don't think you can act without bias, take a step back and recuse yourself entirely in favor of another moderator.
Remember that you are a moderator for TASVideos, and that all of your moderation decisions should be made with the benefit of TASVideos as a whole in mind. You are not a psychologist or a parent to other users, so do not make decisions purely for any individual's benefit, including and especially your own. Never, under any circumstances, misuse personal information you have access to, and never ask for any personal information you do not have access to.

Be patient

Impatience can often lead to unnecessary escalation. Step in calmly and peacefully when you see a potential issue, and only escalate to full moderation if you feel the situation is trending out of control. Always ensure that your method of escalation will not lead to a worse outcome. Lead by example: Stay calm, address the situation, hear out all parties, and come to a resolution.
Backgrounds and abilities are also important to keep in mind. Do not assume bad faith, doing so may only make the situation worse. Seek to understand why a person may be acting out before you decide what to do with them, that way you can avoid unfair punishment.
If and when you're asked, you should be able to explain every moderation action you take to all relevant parties. Keep these discussions relevant to whoever you're talking to: Hold problematic users accountable only for their own behavior, and do not discuss private matters with bystanders.

Be firm and fair

Any instances of unacceptable behavior should be addressed as soon as they are noticed. Letting such behavior persist makes the community uncomfortable and erodes trust in the staff's ability to handle such issues. Should a punishment be deemed necessary, it must send a message that serious transgressions will not be treated lightly.
In many cases, a person's problematic behavior is a direct extension of their environment, such as the views reinforced in their household or main group of friends, and as long as they're being influenced in that way, further cases may crop up. Alternatively, their behavior could be a learned and ingrained response to toxic or abusive environment or traumatic incidents. We cannot and should not pry into their background, let alone attempt to fix it. What we want instead is ensuring that as long as the person can demonstrate the willingness to abide by the community rules, they are welcome here.
In this respect, it's always useful to have a broad picture of a person's behavior. Is the transgression an isolated case or part of a systematic trend? How do they react to staff requests, warnings, and punishments? What is the general tone they maintain when having public conversations in Discord or the forums? All of these factors are important when considering a punitive action.
Even when a transgression is serious enough to directly punish the party involved, provide them with a reasonable time frame and/or an opportunity to demonstrate good will and ability to change their conduct. The onus is on the person to be convincing in doing so, but they also have the right to be given a fair chance to make their case if they think they have improved. When approached that way, consider their message as a whole: What is being said isn't necessarily as important as how it's being said.

Take initiative

While you are not expected to constantly monitor everything around the site and the Discord server, if you see a potential problem you shouldn't hesitate to make your presence known. All that may be needed to prevent a fight is simply asking all involved to calm down.
Remember that your job is resolution and prevention. If you see someone acting out, you should not provoke them into acting out further. Step in as soon as you can and attempt to de-escalate without direct accusation or provocation.
Even if you decide a situation is not immediately worthy of moderation, stay involved with it to ensure that action can be taken if it ever goes out of control.
That being said, do not try to handle any major situation entirely on your own. If a situation begins to escalate despite your best efforts, report it internally and call for backup.

ModGuidelines last edited by moozooh on 10/14/2023 4:32 PM
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