- "Moderator" directs here. For the userlevel, see Moderator (userlevel)
On GameFAQs, moderators are volunteers, normal message board users who have applied and been accepted for a mod position.
The current moderator team was built up through sixteen rounds of moderator "batches". The first round took place in February 2000, and the most recent was in March 2013. Currently, GameFAQs consists of 70 moderators, counting the administrators.
In the first few batches, all Moderators were given an arbitrary "Moderator" user level. With the appointment of the 6th batch in December 2002, the Moderator levels were divided between Level 50 New Moderators, Level 51 General Moderators and Level 52 Specialist Moderators. However, by the next batch of moderators in August 2005, the Specialist branding was deemed pointless and done away with. With the removal of specialist categories, the moderator levels were changed again on November 29, 2005. The Level 50 New Moderator rank was retained, but promoted Moderators were once again given the arbitrary Level 51 Moderator title. Moderators recruited in 2002 or earlier were distinguished by their Level 52 Veteran Moderator title. This title was later changed to include all moderators with the staff for over four years.
Separately, in March 2005, a fourth moderator userlevel was created, Level 53 Lead Moderator. The Lead Moderators were created with the intention of forming a moderator level that could act on behalf of the site's administration when the staff was unavailable to make a call on a particular subject. The first two moderators selected for the role were RaptorLC and Sashanan. Since its creation, eighteen other moderators have been selected to fill the position, typically amongst the moderators considered to be the best of their times.
Selection and Promotion
The appointment of Moderators is done through an application process, the frequency of which depends on current activity and demand. The last formal application period (seventh batch) took place in August 2005, with the previous applications (sixth batch) concluding in December 2002. Since then, new moderators have been chosen through the feedback system.
The requirements had generally remained the same between applications, but since the running applications were introduced, the mandatory requires for submitting an application are:
- Be a member of the GameFAQs boards in good standing for a period of 1 or more years
- A minimum karma requirement of 350 karma
- You may not have any karma-loss violations on your account in the past 30 days
- No warnings, suspensions, or bans on any alternate accounts
- A login e-mail address that is different from your public email address
- The personal account sign-up information must be valid
If an account does not meet these requirements - or the additional requirements to check if the user has read the directions for applying - the feedback ticket will be rejected before ever being read by another human being. Should this happen, the user will not be able to apply for 45 days.
In addition to these official requirements, there are also several other factors that strongly influence selection, including:
- Manner and maturity
- Various skills, such as speaking multiple languages
- Familiarity with various board communities
- Good reputation
While not required, these factors are looked on favorably in the selection process.
Note that age is not a requirement (other than the minimum user age of 13), although older users tend to be preferred. Most successful applicants tend to be between 18 and 24. However, this is not always true, in particular with the 6th batch in December 2002, with a large proportion of successful applicants being in their mid-teens.
Also, despite popular belief users are not automatically disqualified from applying if making inquiries to becoming a Moderator. However, pestering the Moderators will earn a negative reputation, which will show poorly in the selection process.
Application and Selection
Candidates are instructed to provide details of their location and most importantly an essay about why they should be selected as a Moderator. The essay has no word limit, although successful candidates tend to write fewer than 600 words. Prior to the selection of the eighth batch of moderators, applications were open for a limited amount of time. With the introduction of feedback tickets, however, users were allowed to send in a moderator application feedback ticket, which would be filed away to be looked over whenever new moderators were needed. This was done to make it easier for the administration to sort through applicants, as well as reduce the chaos that would occur during application periods, as users would flood Message Board Help with questions regarding the topic. Applicants can only submit one application, and using multiple accounts to apply more than once will not only automatically disqualify the applicant, but may also lead to some form of punishment. However, if a user submits a second application on the same account, the initial application will be disregarded in favor of the new one.
The selection process itself is secretive, although it does involve SBAllen, and CJayC before him, going through the applications to single out possible successful candidates. The applications are then open to the moderator crew to assess and comment. A moderator can also veto candidates for any reason.
Applicants can also request to be made a Secret Moderator. If they are accepted, they create a new account with the moderation powers.
After the consultation state is complete, the administration selects the successful applicants and informs them through system notification of their appointment. The promotion to Level 50 New Moderator is made a few days later, and in older days, would then be announced on Message Board Announcements. Traditionally, the names of the successful applicants would not be announced, leaving the New Moderators to either announce themselves or allow the users to discover them personally.
There is no set criteria for New Moderators to be promoted to regular moderators. Generally, New Moderators are promoted after showing signs of consistent activity and fulfillment of moderator responsibilities. New Moderators can be promoted as quickly as several months after their application, or take as long as many months. Some inactive moderators are not promoted at all, although stricter standards are now in place to ensure that all Moderators perform their duties fairly.
The current Moderator levels are:
Veteran Moderators are upgraded in level after having been a moderator on the site for over four years, and possess no additional abilities. Lead Moderators are selected by SBAllen when required, and possess more administrative abilities, such as responding to appeals and making Sticky Topics.
More commonly known as "demodding", a moderator can have their position revoked. While rare, such circumstances where demotion occurs include:
- Getting hacked
- Power abuse
- Being an idiot
Additionally, moderators can voluntarily step down. Most "retirements" are permanent, although many Moderators have elected to return to their moderating duties after some leave.
Moderators have only two obligations: to handle marked messages and to handle disputes. Despite what many users believe, moderators are not obligated to act as public relation officials, and are not assigned to any specific board.
Being volunteer users, moderators are not employees of CNET and are not affiliated with them in any form.
The Moderation Queue, usually just referred to as the "queue", is where the messages that have been marked by users for moderation are listed to be acted upon by the moderators. While most information about the queue is kept secret, it is known that the more marks a particular message receives, the higher it appears in the queue.
After the GameSpot Merger, compromises had to be made in order to accommodate both Moderator teams. The initial system was arranged so that the experienced GameFAQs team handled marked messages for both GameFAQs and GameSpot users, while GameSpot Moderators could only handle GameSpot messages. This appeased many disgruntled users, who demanded to be dealt with by their own.
As efforts to merge the two Moderator teams progressed, GameSpot mods were given standalone ability, reducing GameFAQs moderators to GameFAQs users only. This created problems in quick-response scenarios in various forms. Generally, GameFAQs moderators had better time coverage than their GameSpot counterparts and picked up serious violations much quicker. However, their inability to act on GameSpot users presented problems for chronic violators. Several notorious users, such as Gavirulax and shoooter, exploited this flaw by making violations on GameSpot accounts. This practice earned these users up to hundreds of banned accounts, and the practice peaked in 2004. As an interim solution, a few GameFAQs moderators were given Moderator accounts on GameSpot.
Until the separation of the GameFAQs and GameSpot boards, GameSpot moderators could only handle GameSpot users while GameFAQs Moderators could handle both GameFAQs and GameSpot users, as with the initial system. Several GameSpot moderators were given GameFAQs moderator accounts to attempt to compensate for this, but all were demodded relatively shortly afterward. Attempts to bridge the gap between GameSpot and GameFAQs were given up in early 2005.
|Regular Moderations||No Action | Topic Lock | No Karma Loss | Notification | Warning | Suspension|
|Special Cases||Ban | Purgatory | Profile Wipe | Usermap Axe | Kill On Sight|
|Disputes||Dispute | Accept Moderation | Uphold | Relaxation | Overturn|
|Misc.|| Account Suicide | Generated Message | Mark | Marked Message Accuracy |