Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

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M.O.B.
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Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

Post by M.O.B. » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:34 pm

Often, my moderators of my forums often tell me that it seems they usually get the worse of a situation when they need to send a member a WARNING.

It then turns into "that moderator has something personally against me" when in truth the moderator was simply enforcing a forum rule, nothing personal.

Plus it gets worse if one of my moderators is doing most of the work (and the other moderators are less active and etc.), so now all the warned members are upset with him as a group or etc. Even though all my moderators are polite, never use "foul language" or try to belittle the members when sending warnings.

I think the issue is that when a WARNING is sent to the user, it is sent as a PM, and that PM is signed with the moderator who gave that warning.

I was wondering if this could be changed somehow? Remove the moderator username from the PM. This way the member that got the warning, really doesn't know who was the moderator that issued the warning.

I feel this change would help the morale of my moderators. Plus as long as in the moderator logs (in the ACP / MCP) shows the real username of the moderator that sent the warning, that would be enough.

In other words that info should only be private to the staff. And this way the member that got the warning, can't pinpoint which moderator did this and etc. And this way they don't start a campaign of singling one moderator out, because he/she is more active and etc.

Also the same for the feature when members get their posts disapproved (for those that use that feature), this way it's less personal to a single moderator in the forum.

You already have something like this when moderators can ban a member. The banned member never sees who was the moderator that had banned them. At least the default message doesn't say that, unless the moderator chooses to disclose this in the text box.

Just an idea...
Last edited by M.O.B. on Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:42 pm

I'd be in favor of giving warnings and post disapprovals the same treatment we do for bans. The reason they're different, of course, is that a ban means the user can't check their PMs so it kind of has to be that way. Would need some default language to guide them towards the proper contact for disputes or resolutions.
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Re: Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

Post by M.O.B. » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:55 pm

Yes, I see what you mean.

Well, if the PM could say, if you wish to dispute this, then it would have a default guide on how to do that--like contact the admin or send a group PM to the moderator team or etc.

In one of our forums, our moderators give many soft-warnings. They only give an official warning, after many repeated offenses from a member. And well, we have set it up, that if they receive one warning, they can only read PMs, but not reply to them until their warning clears.

We did that, since most of the times, the members that get warnings tend to make matters worse by trying to fight with the moderator that gave him the warning. I guess you can say, some people are just too hostile for their own good --- and truly forget that a warning is not the end of the world.

So we did that to be able to avoid a heated combat -- hoping that after a few days, they will chill and accept the warning and move on.
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Re: Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

Post by david63 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:43 am

Although not ideal but what if you set up a "generic" Moderator user (with limited permissions) that all Moderators have access to and is used to issue warnings
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Re: Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

Post by Ger » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:58 pm

M.O.B. wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:55 pm
Yes, I see what you mean.

Well, if the PM could say, if you wish to dispute this, then it would have a default guide on how to do that--like contact the admin or send a group PM to the moderator team or etc.

In one of our forums, our moderators give many soft-warnings. They only give an official warning, after many repeated offenses from a member. And well, we have set it up, that if they receive one warning, they can only read PMs, but not reply to them until their warning clears.

We did that, since most of the times, the members that get warnings tend to make matters worse by trying to fight with the moderator that gave him the warning. I guess you can say, some people are just too hostile for their own good --- and truly forget that a warning is not the end of the world.

So we did that to be able to avoid a heated combat -- hoping that after a few days, they will chill and accept the warning and move on.
I think the way this works currently is fine for most forums. I wouldn't change that in the core.

However: for another board (converting from IPB) I have a rough extension that (among some other changes) sends warnings as PM's and makes it impossible for the warned user to do anything else but read the PM until he has confirmed that he read it. Also the PM title isn't called "Warning", but (translated):
"A moderator wants your attention please"
(Dutch: Een moderator wil je aandacht voor het volgende)

That wording (attention instead of warning) makes a lot of difference in my experience.

If you're interested I can make this extension public. It's now tailor-made and only available in Dutch.
Above message may contain errors in grammar, spelling or wrongly chosen words. This is because I'm not a native speaker. My apologies in advance.

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Re: Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

Post by M.O.B. » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:26 pm

david63 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:43 am
Although not ideal but what if you set up a "generic" Moderator user (with limited permissions) that all Moderators have access to and is used to issue warnings
I did think about this workaround, but I thought it would just be too many steps having to log off to log on to the other account and etc. to just send a warning.

Perhaps if somehow there could be an option (checkbox) when sending a warning that the moderator prefers to send it anonymous and etc? This way the member receiving the warning can't reply to the PM nor know which moderator sent him the warning?

Because most of the times, when moderators send a warning (via PM), the members want to justify their reasons for breaking forum rules or simply just fight back and etc. Causing the situation to escalate--and that is what we are trying to do, avoid a confrontation. It's very rare to get a reply saying, "sorry, my bad, won't happen again" kind of response. :(

Another idea is to have it set up in the ACP where there is an option that all warnings are sent anonymous without the ability for the members to reply to them in a PM--perhaps use the notification system and not the PM system, and also exclude the username of the moderator that sent the warning to them through the notification system?

Or perhaps an extension could be created?

Just some ideas.
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Re: Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

Post by 3Di » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:29 pm

Making an extension which uses a warnings's bot of sort which is triggered by actions it is doable, assuming all of the events are already in place.
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Re: Giving Warnings as a moderator (suggestions to make it less personal)

Post by bonelifer » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:05 pm

Your board must have a lot of inflammatory topics. The only time I've had trouble as a moderator was with the "the rules don't apply to me crowd". They would reply rudely, and we'd have a less than fun conversation via PM, then they'd really cross the line and they'd become party of the "I"ve Been Banned" crowd. I think a lot of people that have this problem on a continuing basis have admins that try to please everyone. Then when those users that are used to skirting the rules get in trouble they feel that the rules shouldn't apply to them. Also a possibility is your moderators are using short/curt responses in these warnings. A longer explanation(politely worded but without being a push over) with a link to the exact rules usually is the end of a successful warning. Reasonable users will usually apologize and that's it.

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