Help:Moderating G2G

Search WikiTree's help pages:

Categories: Project Leader Help

Language: en | de

Moderator powers in G2G must be used with great caution. Refer to this page often and ask questions in the group.

Contents

Basic Administration

Sysops, for technical info, see Docs:G2G Admin.

Blocking spammers

Spammers are impossible to block through technical means alone because they are not all "bots". Spammers hire people in the Third World for a few cents an hour to post their garbage.

When you see spam, first hide the question. Then follow the normal procedure for blocking their account and email a team member to delete the account.

Editing questions

Look for the small "edit" link beneath a message.

G2G is not wiki. That is, editing and improving upon other people's messages is not generally encouraged, carefully tracked, etc. When you edit a question, a line will appear that says you edited it, but it will not say what you changed or why. Therefore, you should avoid making meaningful changes to what someone else wrote.

Please fix obvious typos and errors in the question itself, if it's safe to assume the person would want them changed. However, don't change the body of the question except in the cases below.

You might want to add something to clarify a question. In these cases, we usually put what the moderator added in brackets. For example:

  • Change "Can you help?" to "Can you help [find Smith ancestors]?"
  • Change "GEDCOM problem" to "GEDCOM problem [exporting descendants]"

Improving categorization and tags

Click the "edit" link.

Please re-categorize questions as appropriate. For example, it's a common mistake to put a question about genealogy in the WikiTree Tech instead of Genealogy Help, or vice-versa.

Improving tags is one of the most important things you can do as a moderator. You understand the role of tags and how following tags works.

Tags that nobody would follow or use to search within G2G are generally meaningless and can be removed.

Some tags are not obvious. For example, a question about categories should be tagged "categorization" not "categories" since the former is what Categorization Project Members follow.

Surname tags are very beneficial if the question is about a person, etc. Questions that are tagged with surnames appear on surname index pages as well as in feeds. Some new members make the mistake of adding their own surname as a tag when the question is from them but not about them.

Geographical tags are also beneficial as many projects use the geographic regions as tags and are happy to help with research since they are familiar with an area. This is also true with one-place studies.

See G2G Tag Talk for more information on tags recommended for use in G2G.

Messages that reveal email addresses

Public messages should never include an email address. Among other problems, it could lead to the person receiving spam.

Everyone who posts needs to be logged-in, so they can receive private messages through WikiTree. Therefore, you can replace an email address with "[send me a private message]".

If you want to go the extra mile, you can make "private message" a link with the private message URL from their profile, e.g. https://www.wikitree.com/index.php?title=Special:PrivateMessage&who=19027485&ref=20601830

Messages that reveal information about living people

All G2G questions are public. Therefore, we do not allow questions about living people. It says this in the instructions when posting but many people don't see it or ignore it.

When you see a question about a living person, please post a comment that says something like the following:

"Hi X. I'm sorry, but questions about living people are not allowed on G2G. All questions here are public. The privacy controls that exist elsewhere on WikiTree don't exist here. Therefore, I'm hiding this question."

Then hide the question.

Conflicts and Discussion Rule Violations

When a new flag is received choose to clear or moderate

When a flag is received, the first moderator who is available should either:

Clear

If you think a reasonable person would not interpret the message as violating any rule or policy, and the message is unlikely to offend anyone,

  1. remove the flag and unhide the message if hidden, and
  2. tell the group what you did by replying to the flag notification email.

Moderate

If you think a reasonable person could interpret the message as a violation,

  1. leave the flag and
    • hide the message if it has no replies and leaving it unhidden would be offensive to others or do damage to the site or community,
    • leave the message unhidden if it has replies, unless leaving it unhidden would be extremely offensive to others or do serious damage to the site or community,
  2. respond to the flag notification email to tell the group you are replying using the moderator account, and
  3. send a private message from the moderator account using one of the two templates below.
    • The subject of the private message sent from the Moderator Account should be in the format: G2G Post 12345678. Replace "12345678" with the number from the URL of the G2G post. Any following correspondence about the same G2G post should use the same subject line.

If you are uncertain whether to clear or moderate

If you are having trouble choosing between clearing or moderating:

Defer to other moderators

Tell the group that you don't know what to choose and would like advice or for someone else to handle it.

Help as a fellow member

If you feel that the posting member may be unaware of the rule they are violating and the message is unlikely to offend others or do serious damage if it is left unhidden, you can choose to help as a regular member:

  1. remove the flag and unhide if hidden,
  2. respond to the flag notification email to tell the group you are replying using your own name and account, and
  3. publicly or privately reply with your own message, perhaps using one like the examples on Help:Application of Discussion Rules.

This is never something you need to do as a moderator. You can choose one of the other options above.

No voting required

No voting is required. Any moderator can choose any option above. It is entirely up to you.

If you chose to clear or help as a regular member and another moderator thinks that moderation is necessary, they can re-flag the message and moderate.

Remember that by moderating we are not saying that a rule has been violated. That is not necessary unless a second-round message is required as described below. In the first round, we only need to decide if a reasonable person could interpret a rule as having been violated. Since all moderators are reasonable people any one of them can make this decision independently.

First-round message text for hidden posts

The following message should be used when you moderate if the G2G post or profile comment is hidden.

Your message at [X URL] was flagged by a member for Discussion Rule X. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Discussion_Rules#X

It was hidden so that we could contact you. Most flags are due to minor misunderstandings.

Please choose #1a, #1b, or #2 and reply to this message to tell us your choice.

1a.) You would like to edit your message to avoid any possibility of misinterpretation. We will unhide the message so that you can edit it. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Application_of_Discussion_Rules for more explanation.

1b.) You would like your message to remain hidden because you understand how a reasonable person could interpret it as a violation of our community's Honor Code, Discussion Rules, or any other WikiTree rules or policies known to you.

2.) You would like your message to be unhidden without edits because you do not understand how any reasonable person could interpret it as a violation of our community's Honor Code, Discussion Rules, or any other WikiTree rules or policies known to you. You may wish to refer to https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Problems_with_Members and https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Conflict_Escalation

If you choose #2 please allow up to two business days for the moderator team to reply to you. During this time, we require that you suspend all participation on WikiTree to give the moderators time to carefully deliberate on the next step. Thank you for understanding that this is done in all cases and in no way reflects on the particulars of your situation. We hope that after this case is fully resolved you will choose to continue contributing to our shared mission and participating in our volunteer community.

First-round message text for unhidden posts

The following message should be used when you moderate if the G2G post or profile comment is not hidden.

Your message at [X URL] was flagged by a member for Discussion Rule X. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Discussion_Rules#X

Most flags are due to minor misunderstandings. Please choose #1 or #2 and reply to this message.

1.) You have edited or hidden your message to avoid any possibility of misinterpretation. See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Application_of_Discussion_Rules for more explanation.

2.) You would like your message to remain as-is without edits because you do not understand how any reasonable person could interpret it as a violation of our community's Honor Code, Discussion Rules, or any other WikiTree rules or policies known to you. You may wish to refer to https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Problems_with_Members and https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Conflict_Escalation

If you choose #2 please allow up to two business days for the moderator team to reply to you. During this time, we require that you suspend all participation on WikiTree to give the moderators time to carefully deliberate on the next step. Thank you for understanding that this is done in all cases and in no way reflects on the particulars of your situation. We hope that after this case is fully resolved you will choose to continue contributing to our shared mission and participating in our volunteer community.

After the first-round message

If they don't choose #1 or #2 (track it)

If the member ignores the first-round message or does not choose any of the options, their post should stay hidden and no further action is generally necessary. However, we want to track these occurrences on Docs:Moderating.

If a member ignores three warning messages within a year an MIR should be filed to make Mentors aware of it. An MIR can always be filed sooner if warranted. See Help:Problems_with_Members.

If they choose #1 (no tracking)

If the member chooses #1, #1a, or #1b and is polite, no further action or tracking is necessary. If they are impolite and you want to take further action, go to Help:Problems_with_Members.

If they choose #2 (tracking and second-round message)

If the member contests the warning, always enter the occurrence on the Docs:Moderating.

Within two days a short second-round message from the moderator account should be sent. The wording of the response should be discussed in advance and the entire moderator group should be given a chance to discuss it.

The response should not say, "Here is why you are violating discussion rule X ...".

It should say something more like, "Here is why the moderator team thinks that someone could interpret your message as a violation of discussion rule X ...".

Moderators should never tell a member that they did something wrong. We only explain why their message could be interpreted as a violation of one of our rules.

If a second-round message is sent and the member does not accept it, an MIR should be filed. (An MIR can be filed at any time if warranted. See Help:Problems_with_Members.)

Unanimity in wording the second-round message

Any time you use the moderator account you are acting as a representative of the entire group.

If moderators are not in agreement about the wording of the response, no response should be sent. Instead, an MIR should be filed and the member should be told this through the moderator account.

This does not mean that we need to vote on the wording. One moderator should propose the wording of the message. If anyone objects, we should attempt to work out the disagreement.

Multiple flags or no flags

If additional flags are received for the same message, moderators do not need to repeat the steps above, but could at their discretion.

If no flag was received but a moderator sees a problematic message that merits the steps in #3, they themselves should flag it and then follow the procedure.



This page was last modified 18:41, 14 December 2021. This page has been accessed 3,563 times.