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Is there a Moderator Training Manual?

RestrainedRaptor

Well-Known Nuisance
you can not win
Pretty much. I know they wouldn't dare do a u-turn on their decision or do anything to upset their fellow mod buddies, but I was kinda hoping for a small amount of justification, even if it isn't enough to challenge my defense case. I mostly made this thread to get some more insight into how widespread this systemic lack of justice might be.
 

luffy

Administrator
Moderator
Administrator
Staff Member
Never had any issue with the moderation team on here myself, but I have seen some real crappy ones on other sites. I also have no idea what you did or did not do, so my response is just a general, overall commentary on what I have seen through the years.

Typically, mods receive little to no training. They simply get told to read the rules, how to use the systems, and "to ask for clarification" if they are "unsure" if anything. After that, they usually get free reign. The rules are usually written in a way to give them as much wiggle room in their interpretations as possible.

In my experience, mods absolutely will use a rule against posting apples to infract you for posting an orange (and will pick and choose which oranges to crack down on). If you take it to an admin, 99.9 times out of 100, they will side with the mod without looking into it for more than 30 secs.

If you have gotten to the point where they have banned you from even opening tickets, just give it up. Again, I don't know what you did or did not do, but at this point, even if you were in the right, you can not win. They will just keep ruling against you until you get banned. Time to move on.
This is untrue for us. We have training sessions, both group and individual.
 

RestrainedRaptor

Well-Known Nuisance
Are they trained on appeals too? And are they trained on cases where the appeal should be approved?
 

luffy

Administrator
Moderator
Administrator
Staff Member
No. There's no reason for a moderator to handle appeals. Our hierarchy is Moderator -> Admin -> Director. Only Admins and Directors can handle appeals, and only in our relevant areas. To get more specific, Admins can handle appeals through the ticket system (mostly for warnings, since suspensions go through email due to their nature), and Directors handle appeals through email.
 

RestrainedRaptor

Well-Known Nuisance
Do all admins go through the same training?
What are the relevant areas, and how many admins are there in each?
 

luffy

Administrator
Moderator
Administrator
Staff Member
Each has one admin. If you escalate a mod, you get the admin. If you escalate the admin, you get a Director.

We (admins) go through checks and balances. If we deny an appeal, or make the wrong judgement call on something and a user appeals it, it's handled by a Director, and they're fairly lenient as long as intent is good. They always explain why they repealed something so that we can learn. We don't have "appeals training" as our "appeals training" is basically just being experienced and knowing what flies and doesn't fly on the site. It's an understanding of the guidelines to accurately enforce them (though we make mistakes sometimes - again, checks and balances).

There is Upload Policy, Content Authenticity Assurance, Minor Protective Services (which I am admin of), Code of Conduct, and the Forum team (which is just Flamingo and I).
 

RestrainedRaptor

Well-Known Nuisance
Ah okay... I think I'm starting to understand where things went wrong for me.

I knew it had to be someone who read my forum thread that censored my journals (narrowing it down to approximately three people). I underestimated the number of admins that might deal with such a case, and in requesting some people not handle the case, it most likely got escalated straight to the person who deleted them in the first place. I never stood a chance. It's also kind-of ironic that said person accused me of badmouthing moderators when it turns out that they couldn't possibly have been part of this process.
 

luffy

Administrator
Moderator
Administrator
Staff Member
Ah okay... I think I'm starting to understand where things went wrong for me.

I knew it had to be someone who read my forum thread that censored my journals (narrowing it down to approximately three people). I underestimated the number of admins that might deal with such a case, and in requesting some people not handle the case, it most likely got escalated straight to the person who deleted them in the first place. I never stood a chance. It's also kind-of ironic that said person accused me of badmouthing moderators when it turns out that they couldn't possibly have been part of this process.
I can't get into specifics, but most of us (admin+) are privy to the situation at this point, heh. Anyway, yeah - we have our own departments. I'm trained in all of them, but this is kinda what I was talking about earlier when I said I didn't want to disrespect the person who was responding to you by reviewing the situation on my own (or whatever I said). It's not my place, and I'm either a subordinate or peer.
 

reptile logic

An imposter among aliens.
To the OP, I truly feel sorry for you. To feel so victimized that you can't let go of this must be horrific, in your own mind. To many of the rest of us, your plight feels comically tedious; bordering on ridiculous.

Some advice from an old fart who learned this tidbit of wisdom years ago: You can't always have things your own way, and the squeaky wheel doesn't always get greased. Sometimes folks just let it wear out 'till it falls off the wagon.

I will bother you no further with my presence, here.
 

RestrainedRaptor

Well-Known Nuisance
this is kinda what I was talking about earlier when I said I didn't want to disrespect the person
Roger that, loud and clear. Also, my condolences.

To the OP, I truly feel sorry for you. To feel so victimized that you can't let go of this must be horrific, in your own mind. To many of the rest of us, your plight feels comically tedious; bordering on ridiculous.
Less horrific, but still frustrating. If you don't like it, then you're welcome to stop following my threads.

As a reminder, the reason why I'm doing this is because I wanted to highlight issues with FA's policies and the way they're executed, because dozens of people I know have been hurt by this. That means there are potentially hundreds of people who have been subject to injustice. It's not just about me. I just can't speak about the specifics of the many individual cases, because the last time I did that, the thread was deleted.

You can't always have things your own way
I'm quite aware. However, I was hoping for the chance of a fair trial, or at least a sufficiently detailed summary of how I violated the rules. But yeah, it looks like that doesn't happen here.

the squeaky wheel doesn't always get greased. Sometimes folks just let it wear out 'till it falls off the wagon.
I guess the FA+ subscriptions, ad revenue and upcoming 'furrification' payments (ugh) will continue to keep the wheels barely-greased, sadly.
 

DesecratedFlame

Well-Known Member
To the OP, I truly feel sorry for you. To feel so victimized that you can't let go of this must be horrific, in your own mind. To many of the rest of us, your plight feels comically tedious; bordering on ridiculous.
Nah, speak for yourself. I am actually surprised that admins let you get away with purposely trying to troll and antagonize him.

I am just telling him to give it up and let it go, because even if he is right, and even if he argues his point perfectly, mods/admins will be so invested in it at this point (at least in my experience on multiple sites other than this one), that it has become an issue of pride and ego for them, so they will never change course at this point, NO MATTER WHAT. Continuing to push the issue only has negatives and no possible benefits for the OP.

I understand pushing the issue of the matter of your principles, but if you're committed to that, you'll also have to do so with the possibility of leaving the site held firmly in your mind. I have done the same thing on sites before, completely deleting my account and moving on from them on a matter of priinciple.

This is untrue for us. We have training sessions, both group and individual.
Cool, but I have no way of confirming that, and you have stated, yourself, that you can not provide evidence to support it.
 
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RestrainedRaptor

Well-Known Nuisance
Nah, speak for yourself. I am actually surprised that admins let you get away with purposely trying to troll and antagonize him.
It's okay. He's entitled to that opinion, and similarly for the others on the first page of this thread.

it has become an issue of pride and ego, so they will never change course at this point, NO MATTER WHAT.
Possibly. Even the worst of politicians can make u-turns sometimes. But even though I'm not holding out much hope for that, I'd like to think that some of these discussions might result in fewer miscarriages of justice in the future because I know who's reading them.

you'll also have to do so with the possibility of leaving the site in your mind.
It's under consideration. However, doing that means I lose my voice (if it isn't taken from me in the meantime). I have other things in mind for now.
 

DesecratedFlame

Well-Known Member
It's under consideration. However, doing that means I lose my voice (if it isn't taken from me in the meantime). I have other things in mind for now.
It's not really losing your voice to refuse to participate in what you consider a rigged system. Walking out is also manner of speech.

Like I said before, I have never had an issue with mods on this site, but I have had issues with mods on other sites. I know from experience, that you do NOT have a voice in those situations beyond what they allow you. They can delete anything you post. They can delete your posts justifying and explaining your position, then misrepresent the out of context posts that remain. They can mute you from further posting, so that they get the last word. They can make rulings that make no sense, then when you appeal, close the appeals with no explaination or a simple "cause we said so." They can threaten you not to speak of the topic again, and block you from opening new tickets. They can start going over all of your posts with a fine tooth comb to find anything that can even remotely stretched to touch on a rule violation to infract you, even if they do the same and worse in all of their own posts. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Sometimes, the only open you have left is to close your account and refuse to participate in the system. I have done, just that on other sites, and eventually those sites went under. And no, I am not arrogant enough to believe that my leaving alone was enough to tank the site. The issue was, that they did this same thing over and over again, let the power go to their heads, and more and more people started leaving until only the mods little clique remained, and that was not enough to keep the lights on, so to speak.

So again, I never had an issue with the mods on here, but if you do, you have to be willing to entertain the idea of walking away, cause sometimes, that is the only method of speech you have left.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
Cool, but I have no way of confirming that, and you have stated, yourself, that you can not provide evidence to support it.
As a call center employee we have to sign NDA's and everything. We can't just give out every little detail to our customers just because they ask. FA volunteers sign NDA's and even when they try to help explain the situation and offer feedback (from current and former staff), a lot of people still choose to ignore it, harass them, and treat them as an enemy.

They also probably chose not to volunteer, sign the NDA, and see for themselves what's on the other side!

I am just telling him to give it up and let it go, because even if he is right, and even if he argues his point perfectly, mods/admins will be so invested in it at this point (at least in my experience on multiple sites other than this one), that it has become an issue of pride and ego for them, so they will never change course at this point, NO MATTER WHAT. Continuing to push the issue only has negatives and no possible benefits for the OP.

I wish people would at least consider this advice more often.

If I feel I've been wronged, I move my business where it'll be appreciated. I don't think people should be complete doormats (racism, sexism, the more extreme and legal stuff) but to argue what they should and should not allow on a website (a service you're not paying to access) is as ridonkulous as expecting them to make you an exception of the rule.
 

RestrainedRaptor

Well-Known Nuisance
but to argue what they should and should not allow on a website (a service you're not paying to access) is as ridonkulous as expecting them to make you an exception of the rule.
That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm simply asking that they either:
1) follow the AUP as a reasonable person would interpret it, without reading between the lines, or
2) rewrite the rules to reflect how they actually moderate the site.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
That's not what I'm trying to do. I'm simply asking that they either:
1) follow the AUP as a reasonable person would interpret it, without reading between the lines, or
2) rewrite the rules to reflect how they actually moderate the site.


You use all of these websites. I personally think FA is easier to digest.

At this point you're better off consulting with a lawyer to learn why a website uses the language that it does. Saves them from a lot of grief and from crazy lawsuits in the long run.
 

RestrainedRaptor

Well-Known Nuisance
I personally think FA is easier to digest.
I agree. However, the rules (as I and others understand them) don't seem to match the way in which they are actioned by staff (I'm mostly talking about section 3.2 of the AUP). That's the issue at hand. I know there's no point in going full Legal Eagle mode on this, but I really hope 'a director' will take note and fix the inconsistencies one way or the other.
 

DesecratedFlame

Well-Known Member
As a call center employee we have to sign NDA's and everything. We can't just give out every little detail to our customers just because they ask. FA volunteers sign NDA's and even when they try to help explain the situation and offer feedback (from current and former staff), a lot of people still choose to ignore it, harass them, and treat them as an enemy.
Main difference is that a call center job is a paid position and has potentially million if not billions of dollars backing it, so there is more of an expectation of proper training. (Like AT&T isn't going to put non-vetted, non-trained people on the phones and risk millions of dollars in penalties and lawsuits.) You also have direct evidence of the behind the scenes stuff because of the canned responses, and the links they send you to customer facing tutorials and such that also tie into that backend training and systems.

Not to mention those companies tend to be heavily regulated by law. Additionally, they tend to have a formal appeals process, which at the highest level is handled by arbitration, aka a back and forth conversation, where both parties explain their stance, then a third party arbiter makes their ruling based on what they have seen and heard and the public facing rules and regulations governing the issue. The do NOT just say, "you're wrong because we say so, now you are never allowed to mention this again, deal with it!"
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
Main difference is that a call center job is a paid position and has potentially million if not billions of dollars backing it, so there is more of an expectation of proper training. (Like AT&T isn't going to put non-vetted, non-trained people on the phones and risk millions of dollars in penalties and lawsuits.) You also have direct evidence of the behind the scenes stuff because of the canned responses, and the links they send you to customer facing tutorials and such that also tie into that backend training and systems.

Right. Smaller companies also can't AFFORD to lose what little money they have compared to the larger corporations. So it makes sense that they'd have policies and procedures in place to make sure their community-funded site doesn't flop and leave them bankrupt. You also have to comply with the laws for the place where the site is hosted.

Unless of course you mean something as simple as a discord chat group, then yea. That's silly and millions of those can be made with almost no consequence. But discord itself can come under fire if someone were hosting a server filled with illegal content and tried to pretend it never existed.

"you're wrong because we say so, now you are never allowed to mention this again, deal with it!"

I mean... I've experienced it and the company is still running. If the owner also controls his social media and runs the help center and blocks you on every platform, there's not much one can do.
 

DesecratedFlame

Well-Known Member
Right. Smaller companies also can't AFFORD to lose what little money they have compared to the larger corporations. So it makes sense that they'd have policies and procedures in place to make sure their community-funded site doesn't flop and leave them bankrupt. You also have to comply with the laws for the place where the site is hosted.
No, I mean small companies being run the way Musk is running Twitter, with arrogance, a lack of self-reflections, and a refusal to listen to anyone outside of the clique.

Like Musk bought Twitter and started running it like his own private club. Within a single month of Musk taking over, Twitter lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers, who have spent around 2 billion on the site, and 750 million in 2022 alone.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
No, I mean small companies being run the way Musk is running Twitter, with arrogance, a lack of self-reflections, and a refusal to listen to anyone outside of the clique.

Like Musk bought Twitter and started running it like his own private club. Within a single month of Musk taking over, Twitter lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers, who have spent around 2 billion on the site, and 750 million in 2022 alone.

FA doesn't make money like twitter so... not sure where this was supposed to lead.
What happened with twitter is definitely sensationalized but is no loss for me. And given his reaction-based marketing for the past few years, I'm really not surprised. XD
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I agree. However, the rules (as I and others understand them) don't seem to match the way in which they are actioned by staff (I'm mostly talking about section 3.2 of the AUP). That's the issue at hand. I know there's no point in going full Legal Eagle mode on this, but I really hope 'a director' will take note and fix the inconsistencies one way or the other.
I could have sworn I’d said it before, but I’ll say it again: adult photography, legally, requires model release forms on file. FA doesn’t have a system in place for this (nor I suspect the resources to maintain such a system, so I don’t think it’s ever going to be an option), so adult photography becomes a legal liability.

If you rate your photography higher than General, you’re indicating that it’s adult photography. By extension, it’s photography that should have a model release form on file. So, legal liability, and it needs to go. I get that the intent of the uploader may have been different, but I don’t think your tune would have been all that different if your friend had instead been dinged for misrating their submissions.

(Obligatory disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and especially not a US lawyer, so what I say about legal liability and responsibility above is based on my understanding alone.)

The rules are never going to match the way everyone understands them, for anything the least bit complicated. Like, even the super-straightforward, tick-the-box, it’s-there-or-it-isn’t policy FA put into place regarding hate group symbols gets people worked up because they believe it shouldn’t apply to that picture they drew of their fursona burning a Nazi flag. (I get why they feel that expression like theirs shouldn’t be prohibited. That’s fine. But I’ve seen people speak as though the rule is being misapplied when enforced against them.)

This thread is, at this point, frankly pointless. Multiple people are essentially saying they won’t take current or past staff’s word for it that there’s training for new staff members or that internal guiding documents for uniform enforcement exist. Some people seem to be suggesting that one reason to doubt is that appeals are turned down.

Staff training and internal enforcement policy will by their nature result in fewer appeals being granted. Because they fulfill their purpose of creating more uniform enforcement.
 

luffy

Administrator
Moderator
Administrator
Staff Member
Like AT&T isn't going to put non-vetted, non-trained people on the phones and risk millions of dollars in penalties and lawsuits.
I wasn't going to reply initially because this hit home for me. Haha. I sold AT&T and got more training for Fur Affinity than I did AT&T's services.

Quoting is right.
 
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