How to be a forum moderator

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Who are the moderators?
Everyone can see a list of the Community.lsst.org administrators and moderators here: https://community.lsst.org/about. In Discourse terminology, moderators and administrators are collectively referred to as forum Staff. Moderators are identifiable by the shield icon that appears next to their name. Moderators should review this Discourse Moderator Guide, which provides an overview of moderator capabilities and best practices.

What can moderators do?
Moderators do not review posts in advance, but are able to take several actions on posts, such as editing the title, moving it to a different topic or category, and flagging, hiding, or deleting it. Moderators are also able to send official warnings, or to silence (disallow posting) or suspend (disallow login) the accounts of people who violate the Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. (Note that our forum does not have moderator “whisper” functionality enabled, and does not have a forum Staff lounge but does have a private forum Staff category.)

Moderators have access to proactive options for guiding topic threads that become heated or veer off-topic. For example, moderators may use the wrench button under a post to add a forum Staff note such as “this great conversation is veering off-topic, consider starting a new thread” or “this discussion is approaching the boundaries of our Community Guidelines”. Moderators may also use the wrench button at the bottom of a thread to close the topic to further replies or set a “topic timer” to temporarily close the topic.

How do moderators respond to flagged posts?
When posts are flagged, moderators receive a notification to review the post. Moderators are able to agree with the flag (more details below), disagree with the flag (which will restore the post if it was hidden), ignore the flag (removes the flag, e.g., if it was a mistake), or delete the post entirely. When moderators agree with the flag they can request that the post be edited, can block editing and enforce that the post stay hidden, or can suspend or silence accounts. Moderators may also directly message people whose posts have been flagged in order to clarify what action was taken, which might be especially useful in cases where the post was off-topic and has been moved.

Please reply in this thread with any questions or comments about forum moderation.

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