Don’t Ruin Your Forum Integrity by Over-Moderation

Forums (message boards, etc) can be a great way to promote your company and/or website. As most of us know, forums need moderation to protect it against spammers, trolls, etc. Although moderation is necessary, the forums need to still maintain a level of transparency and integrity. The point of me writing this entry is that I came across a site’s support forums that left me so biased, I decided to stop using this piece of software altogether.

First, I would like to start with some positive example before I get into the bad example. A good example of moderated forums is Their moderators are extremely active in keeping topics on track, removing spam, and enforcing board policies. Furthermore, I have found that they do not delete topics, they just lock them and delete spam material as necessary (and replacing it with “[spam]”). I have found that this tremendously helps the forums maintain transparency.

Now for a bad example. I was Stumbling, when I came across See for yourself, it’s pretty interesting, and there is definitely somebody unhappy with the product. This in itself didn’t make me stop using the program. I won’t do that based on one site’s (or person’s) opinion. I proceeded to the program’s main site for more information on what the issue was. It appeared that there was a hot topic about the closed source license of SwiftFox. I then went to this topic. One of the main phrases that stuck out was “He didn’t just close my two previous threads, but deleted my account and banned my IP.” Apparently, the site admin (and program writer) banned a user because they seemed to be asking questions he didn’t want to answer. Because I see somebody complaining of over-moderation, it makes me wonder what else this guy is deleting, and because of that, I no longer trust the program.

Final thoughts: if you have a forum for personal or business use, be careful on how you moderate them because it can easily backfire.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 16th, 2007 at 5:12 pm and is filed under Entrepreneurial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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