Is moderation handled privately?

Almost all moderation is handled privately to avoid embarrassing forum members. Reminders and warnings are sent by Private Messages so only you and the moderators see them. When reminders and warnings are listed on your User Profile, only you see them there; other users do not see them. The moderators keep records of their actions so administrators can review the messages, but these records are not shared with other users.

In keeping with this privacy policy, if you post in the forums asking why your post was moderated, your post will be removed (it's almost always off-topic to the thread it's in). The answer to "Why was my post deleted?" is always the same: it violated a forum rule or was a quote of a post that violated a forum rule. If you want a further explanation use the Contact form so we can be perfectly frank and discuss your posts and forum record. You can post in the Site and Forum Feedback forum if you want to discuss forum rules and moderation policies in general, but keep it general, not about a specific case of moderation.

Moderation privacy does not mean that moderation is secretive or mysterious. The rules are posted for all to see. We'll discuss any aspect of your moderation with you and explain the reasons for any moderation action you question. Each moderator sees the actions taken by the other moderators, so no moderator acts in a vacuum. Administrators oversee and review the moderators to make sure moderation policies are followed. The administrators are also subject to review by other administrators and/or the site owner.

There are two exceptions to moderation privacy:

  1. If your account is temporarily suspended, your user title will change to "Suspended". This is necessary so that other users can tell that you are unable to reply to posts (e.g., when you've been asked a question in the forums) and unable to reply to Private Messages (e.g., about a thread in the Marketplace forum).
  2. You can waive your right to moderation privacy when all of the following conditions apply and you'd prefer a public discussion rather than asking privately via the contact form:
    1. When posting in the Site and Forum Feedback forum, either as a new thread or in an existing thread where it would be appropriate for the thread topic.
    2. If you say explicitly that you give us permission to discuss the reasons behind your moderation. This includes your previous forum record, since that may be a factor.
    3. If the purpose of waiving your moderation privacy is to gain an answer or insights to a question that may be of interest to other members.
      • Example: A post of yours was deleted for being off topic, and you want to understand why this was the case. This is OK, since it may be of interest to other members to understand how the rules are interpreted.
      • Example: You received a temporary forum suspension for a personal attack, and you want to know why you received a suspension when you've just received warnings in the past or saw similar comments by other members that did not result in a suspension. This is OK, since our policies around moderation escalation are of general interest to members. However, it may involve us giving details of your previous moderation that lead up to this incident. Also note that we can't provide details of other members' moderation histories without their permission.
      • Example: You think moderation against you has been biased, and want a full public review of all your moderation history. This is not OK, since there's not a specific question that the review would answer that's of general interest to other members. However, you can still ask for a review in a contact message and the administrators can provide a summary of your previous moderation and review whether it was appropriate.
    4. If you alert the forum staff once you have made a request to waive moderation so that we can address your question. The easiest way to do this is by reporting your own post, and a moderator can then alert the administrators.
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