Moderators - the art of keeping the peace

When 1Radio first launched and with the number of people signing up slowly increasing, I used an external company to provide some basic oversight.

Because I couldn't watch and listen to everything myself, their mission was to monitor the shoutbox, removing offensive comments and swearing and ensure the audio output didn’t break any laws such as inciting racial hatred or other forms of extremism.  We’d not yet experienced the outrage of DJs singing along with their tunes, so that aspect of the station safekeeping was not explicitly included in their duties. 

It was probably a bit heavy handed, but I had no experience of running a community and had no idea if there would be troublesome people signing up deliberately to cause havoc. Being a totally new venture, who could say if we'd be inundated with nutters wanting to broadcast rants and use the platform to distribute inflammatory content.

After a few weeks, it was obvious that the 1Radio airwaves weren’t about to be abused by Fundamentalists or Hate Campaigners and that we could probably get by with some in-house self-regulation. 

And so was born the idea of Moderators. Nameless individuals from within our own presenter ranks who would keep an eye on things and generally maintain order. They would also be blessed with the additional powers to block people, change passwords and chat amongst themselves on a secret channel that even Edward Snowden and the NSA knew nothing about. 

The moderators did a fine job. They were generally tactful and professional and dealt with problems effectively. They were assisted by a bunch of back office tools for deleting comments, posting canned warnings or transferring a slot to another presenter in the case of difficulties.

On the last day of broadcasting, I flicked a switch to reveal the true indentity of moderators. If a mod posted a comment in the shoutbox, instead of an anonymous name appearing, their true name was shown instead. I think it went by unnoticed.

Posted by Tim on Sat 21 May 2022 at 13:30 and viewed 1,151 times.

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