I have recently taken a few comments and questions about moderation, and thought it would be worthwhile to clarify our policies.
Although financed and hosted by Maplesoft, MaplePrimes is a community-run site. Our members provide thoughtful posts, answer thousands of questions each year, and generally keep things running smoothly by removing spam and moderating content. Moderation and management capabilities are granted automatically based on a member's reputation, which is a measure of how their content is valued by other community-members. Once someone's reputation score reaches 500, moderation privileges are granted. There are currently 69 members who have moderation capabilities.
We have had this system running for years, and by and large, it works well. There are occasional problems, of course, and these have been dealt with on an as-needed basis, and will continue to be dealt-with going forward.
What is the intent of moderation?
Quite simply, moderation capabilities are provided to maintain a high-standard of content. We want our moderators to help maintain a well organized and technically-sound site, without altering the intent or context of the original post.
Common examples of acceptable moderation scenarios include:
- Removing spam or messages that violate our community guidelines
- Editing the tags, categories or product(s) associated with a question or post
- Correcting incorrect technical content such as bad URLs included in a post or poor formatting
- Correcting a typo or improper spelling is appropriate in limited scenarios when the mistake made the original message confusing. In general practice, however, it is best to not edit someone else's grammar or spelling.
What is moderation not for?
MaplePrimes members cover a very diverse range of backgrounds, languages, technical skill with Maplesoft products, and familiarity with MaplePrimes. It is therefore normal that posts and questions within MaplePrimes reflect this diversity.
In order to respect the author, as well as to maintain the context of the original question or post, there are some scenarios where moderation should not be employed. For example:
- Many members are not fluent in English, yet the context of their message/question is very clear. In cases like this, correcting improper spelling or grammar (unless requested) is disrespectful and should be avoided.
- Do not edit or remove another person's code, even if it is incorrect or incomplete. Doing so can completely change the context of the message and makes the message very confusing for people who read that thread in the future.
- Do not edit the context of a message to make it 'read better'. Even if your intentions are good, edits like these are can be seen as disrespectful, and in some cases, even inflammatory.
In general, I recommend following this rule: If you're not 100% certain that your edit will be helpful and appreciated by everyone, do not make it.
What can I do if I disagree with a moderator's changes?
MaplePrimes moderators are invaluable for keeping MaplePrimes running smoothly, and as mentioned above, they do a great job. From time to time, however, a change may be made that you disagree with. Often such changes are a result of a misunderstanding on the part of the moderator, or perhaps just an honest mistake.
In situations like these, my recommendation is to contact MaplePrimes administrators by flagging the post as 'other' and providing the details. We will then look into the issue and (hopefully) reach a speedy resolution. During this process, we will contact the poster and/or the moderator to discuss the changes. If needed, further actions can be taken, from further education up to and including suspending or removing moderator privileges.
I hope this has been helpful, and I'm looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.