- Wondering who the Global Discussions moderators are or which rights they have? Check out this help page
This explains under which circumstances Global Discussions Moderators become active on a community and what the scope of their involvement may be.
When help is requested for a specific community, e.g. because its admins feel overwhelmed or there is an active Discussions community without any active admins or mods, any user may request DMod help. Fandom staff may decide to assign DMods to a community even if no particular user has requested help.
Where substantial help is needed, two DMods will be assigned to that community, often for several months at a time. A Fandom staff member will create the assignment, put it in the hands of two available DMods, and define tasks, goals and a timeline for that assignment. Depending on the needs of that community, their tasks may include:
- Reaching out to the wiki's admins
- Defusing drama or troll situations
- Clearing the queue of reported posts and monitoring incoming reports
- Educating users about collaborative wiki editing
- Educating users about Discussions on the different platforms (e.g. web users may not be aware that app users can't edit articles, can't access Special:ListUser, or use message walls, Android users may have features that iOS users lack and vice versa, etc.)
- Screening the community for potential local moderator candidates
- Helping local moderators grow into their role
- Educating users about the differences between Fandom's app and website, since many users are only familiar with one of the two
- Establishing or fine-tuning Discussions categories
- Setting up or improving local Discussions guidelines
- Blocking spammers and other troublemakers
- Discouraging and, if absolutely necessary, blocking report spammers
- Encouraging users to engage more with one another and make more valuable contributions
Apart from long-term assignments, DMods also consult the Discussions Dashboard to see where communities might need short-term help or a one-off cleanup. They look out for communities with lots of reported posts, or reports that have gone unmoderated for a long time, or communities that have no active admin or moderator keeping an eye on things.
When a DMod deletes, edits, locks or restores a post in a community's Discussions where they don't already have a local profile, a bot will automatically create a profile for them, so the community can look up who they are and why they're moderating. If the community is unhappy about the DMods interference, they can contact that DMod directly on their wall or talk page.
The bot will not create a profile if a user merely approves a reported post. Editing Discussions categories or guidelines will not trigger a profile creation either. However, a DMod should only take these actions when they've been officially assigned to a community anyway, or if a local admin has asked for their help in this regard, in which case the DMod should have created a profile on that community already.
When do DMods jump in?Edit
To avoid getting in each others' way, any DMod who is about to do an extensive cleanup of a community's reported post list or message local admins will announce that intention on the internal DMod channel before proceeding. Likewise, they will check if another DMod is already working on a community before proceeding.
In general, if an admin has given their OK to moderation help in Discussions or even asked for it, a DMod can start moderating immediately.
Whenever a community has a long list of unreviewed reports, DMods will check in and see whether there are active admins or mods on that community. If there has been no local admin or moderator activity in the last 30 days, they will check that community's Discussions guidelines, and process the reports accordingly, meaning they will delete what needs to be deleted, block users who have broken the rules repeatedly and/or severely, and approve anything that can be left alone.
If local admins or moderators have been active within the last 30 days but don't seem to be on top of current reports, a DMod may reach out to them and offer help.
Problems without reportsEdit
Should a DMod stumble upon a community where something troublesome is going on even though it's not being reported, they will determine whether they should interfere based on the following criteria:
- Does it look like a user is abusing multiple accounts, e.g. to troll or cheat at a vote? → The DMod may ask VSTF or Fandom staff for an IP check. If the suspicions are confirmed, the DMod can let the community know and/or block the troll.
- Is a user asking to have their post deleted? → If deleting the post wouldn't also remove other users' contributions or render a conversation nonsensical, the DMod may delete the post as requested.
- Is a user revealing very personal information, e.g. posting their phone number, mail address, Social Security number, etc.? → The DMod may remove that information and warn the community that it's not wise to share such information publicly.
- Is someone soliciting personal information from others? → If it seems to be an innocent inquiry, the DMod can lock the post and remind everyone not to give out personal details online. If the poster seems to have more sinister intentions, the DMod will delete the post and subsequent replies and alert staff.
- Is someone posting a selfie? If the selfie is in-context, e.g. users are having a conversation about cosplay, LARPing, meeting a celebrity or something similar, where a personal photo may be appropriate, no action is necessary. However, if the selfie is posted out-of-context, and especially if it shows a user who may be underage, the selfie should be deleted.
When do DMods refrain from interfering?Edit
- Underage users: A user who does not meet the minimum age requirement is not eligible to have an account on Fandom. However, if a DMod stumbles upon a user revealing that they're underage, the DMod is not obligated to act and may simply ignore it.
- Users discussing suicide or other self-harm – Instances of this need to be reported to staff via the DMod channel immediately. It's fine to contact multiple staff members if there is no timely response. DMods should not try to handle such situation on their own.
- Extensive spam or vandalism that spans both Discussions and the wiki: If a user is intentionally damaging the wiki across all its parts, or has offensive content in his global masthead or app profile, the DMod will alert the VSTF.
- A wiki has nonsensical categories and/or Discussion guidelines: If a DMod comes across Discussions guidelines or a category setup up that they consider impractical or even harmful to the community, the DMod may contact a local admin about how they could be improved, but make no changes without admin approval. Where there is no active admin, the DMod may contact Fandom staff and suggest the community be made a DMod assignment (see above).
- Active admin or mod participation: When there is trouble, but the local community is already in the process of handling it, the DMod will not interfere.
- Discussions is being actively but incompetently moderated: If a community has one or more active admins/mods, but the DMod considers their moderation style inappropriate (too lax, too harsh, nonsensical), the DMod will not take over, but may contact the wiki's leadership with suggestions on how things could be improved. If the community turns down those suggestions and refuses help, the DMod will not interfere.
If a DMod is ever unsure if and which action is required, they should first get a second opinion in the internal DMod channel. They are free to ping staff any time if there are questions.
Moderation tools DMods useEdit
These are the tools DMods and any local admin and moderator can use:
- Delete all: You can delete all posts by one user in one go via their "all posts by this user" page. This is handy for spammers.
- Hide deleted: If too many already-deleted posts are in your way, you can toggle the switch "Hide deleted" next to the main post feed. This leaves only the posts visible to everyone.
- Filter by category: This one is handy for all users, and something many users aren't aware is possible. You can select only the categories you want to see (e.g. decide you're not into RPGs and want to hide them) and this selection will be saved for future visits until you change your selection. This works in the apps as well.
- Insights: The three tabs you can find via the link "Insights" show you who the most active posters have been in the last 30 or 90 days, who has reported the most posts (and what action was taken on those reports) and who has been moderating. This can help figure which admins or moderators to contact (or, if there aren't any, that this community might need help), and help find potential local moderation candidates (those who report lots of posts that then get deleted).
- Reported content feed: You can access a feed of all reported posts via the link "Reported Content" in the Discussions Link section. Toggling "Hide Deleted" can help when clearing that feed. Posts you delete will disappear instantly, so you don't need to keep scrolling past them or reloading the page.
- Following: This is not a moderation tool, strictly speaking, but may be used to keep an eye on a thread that doesn't need immediate action, but looks like it might devolve into something problematic.
- ↑ A report spammer is a user who keeps reporting posts that don't need reporting, especially if they keep doing it after receiving a warning.