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|17th Nov 2013, 10:31 AM||Captain Picard's School of Upload Moderation #1|
Along with our new guidelines and upload bypass comes a new way of handling uploads. The line for accept/CR/reject has changed, as has the way each item should be moderated. This is MTS's guide to our moderators, so we know how things should be handled - both items that bypass the queue as well as those that come through the queue. So there'll be a couple links down below that don't work for regular members as they lead to stuff in our staff forum - but this should give you an idea of how we want to see things moderated here.
Major issues are things like missing or incorrect critical information, broken files, pics are insufficient to see quality, several broken or incorrect CC credits, no/broken mesh links for items requiring meshes, requires pay content, etc… OR a whole bunch of small issues that all add up to an upload with a lot of problems.
Minor issues are things like one required pic missing, pics a little small or hard to see (but still good enough you can tell quality), one or two broken or incorrect CC credits, a bit of missing info, etc… that is, something that is a fairly quick fix and it wouldn’t be a serious issue for anyone downloading, if the item were up as-is for a little while till the creator gets around to fixing it.
If you can see that an upload is of decent quality, and there are no major issues with it, it should be accepted. The moderation queue will allow you to accept with some 2 star items as long as there are no quality under 3 stars. You can accept with a couple 2 star items if they're little minor issues (forgot the furnished price of a lot, a broken CC link or two) on an otherwise okay thing.
If you accept an upload with minor issues, then you should write the creator a little note in the "Other" box (on the approval tab), asking them to fix the little problems. The note should be friendly and cheerful, praising the work they’ve done with specific points about the stuff you like best, and just asking them to make a couple tweaks to the upload when they get a chance.
Items with a lot of minor issues, or with major issues, should be marked as Changes Required to give the creator a chance to fix the problem(s). CRs should be used when it is likely the item would be acceptable if they just fixed X, Y, and Z, and when the nature of the changes are such that they will likely be able to fix it within about 72 hours.
CRs should not be used instead of CFF - that is, if you’re pretty sure that even if they did make the changes, they would need another CR for other issues, it is probably better to reject, not CR.
You can do a second CR, though, if they’ve fixed some of the issues but not all - it’s better for their stats for the bypass to get 2+ CRs rather than 1 reject. Make sure to rephrase your personal messages to them, as a different wording may help them understand what you're asking for. After that, if they're still not "getting it" then you can give them a gentle reject - CRs aren't meant to be used as a “conversation” - if you need to clarify something, please use the automatically generated thread in the Queue Moderation forum, that will get created when the thread is CRd for the first time.
Again, personal messages are good, even if the changes they need to make are already detailed in the rubric reasons. If you mark something as 1 or 2 stars, then you can still put something in the “Specific notes for this category:” box below that section of rubric items… Doesn’t have to be a novel, even just, “This living room set is so cute! But your pics are so dark! Can you put some lighting in the room and show us some well-lit pics? Thanks! ” is plenty. It shows a much greater appreciation and personal care about the item than just ticking boxes, and helps creators feel like a human is not just reviewing their item, but really wants to see it accepted.
Rejections should be reserved for items that are just plain bad and really cannot be fixed up to acceptable with a few tweaks - anything requiring a major reworking or extreme changes needs to be rejected. Rejections should also be used for items that have been CR’d and they have not made any changes - if they have made some changes but not all, CR again and rephrase the personal notes to them (say the same thing, but use different words), rather than reject. You don't have to do this forever though, and if someone is just not getting it, you can reject for not making changes, and offer to explain further in the Queue Moderation thread, or direct them to Creator Feedback.
And of course things like stolen content should always be rejected. You can warn first for stealing content if it’s not just an honest mistake (some people don’t realize that they can’t submit stuff by someone else - “Fred made this, I’m just uploading it here” is far less severe than “This thing is by me” when it’s not - the former should just be rejected and let the rubric text speak for itself, the latter needs a warning and a reject too).
Again, personal messages are good - even if an item is pretty bad, if the creator is clearly trying, give them an encouraging, friendly message poking them toward CFF. If you have to reject an item that was CR’d, put a note on it encouraging them to reupload when the issues are fixed. Even if we don’t end up hosting the content, it’s still worth making a bit of additional effort so that the creator feels like they are wanted here.
Err on the side of the positive. This should be your mantra when moderating uploads. Think the best of people, and treat them the best way possible. Use the gentlest option available to you.
Not sure if a particular rubric item is a 2 or a 3? It's a 3.
Not sure if a particular upload should be rejected or CR'd? Use a CR, as long as they have a reasonable chance of fixing it within about 72 hours.
Not sure if something is quite acceptable or if you should CR? If there's no major issues, approve with a personal note.
Upload has been on CR and has passed 72 hours, but is really nice and you don't want to reject it? Let it sit another day to see if they get around to fixing it.
Not sure if a creator ticked "this item was made by me" on accident or is deliberately trying to claim something as their own? Give them the benefit of the doubt and poke them to fix it with a gentle note.
Come at every creator as if they are innocent, sweet, enthusiastic, and care deeply about their work. If they don't care and they're just a lazy asshat, well, you'll find that out soon enough, but if they do care and have potential, you'll be treating them in a way that will cultivate their talent and skill, not squash it.
In addition to checking the moderation queue, you’ll also need to give a look over the stuff that’s on the Download page (and anything that’s been reported for not meeting the guidelines) to make sure it’s okay. This doesn’t mean that each thing needs to be carefully gone over to check every little thing - spot checks are fine.
If you run across something problematic, then you need to ask yourself this: Is this a major issue, or a minor issue?
For major issues, the upload needs to be placed back in the queue, which can be done on the Moderation tab. Use the "Send Back to Queue" button to send it back to the queue - make sure to leave notes next to the applicable rubrics!
For minor issues, the upload should stay up where it is, and you can just put a comment on it. Make sure to offer praise and thanks for the item they’ve made, so it’s not all “You need to fix this!”, and just leave a gentle and cheerful comment asking for them to add another pic/add the bit of missing info, etc., just as you would if you were leaving a message along with an approval. If it's enough to warrent an actual Changes Required, you may do this, or talk to another member of staff in Discord to double check.
As detailed above, personally-written messages are a major part of the new method of moderation, and should be used whenever possible to help creators feel valued, understood, and welcomed.
But they do need to be done correctly. It’s easy to write a comment that gets your point across, but it’s a lot trickier to do if you’re telling someone something they don’t really want to hear about something they’ve worked hard on, but you still want them to listen, understand, and take your advice to heart without being hurt.
The advice given on Captain Picard’s School of Diplomacy is quite useful, especially things like the compliment sandwich, puting smileys on, etc.
Whenever possible, give links to relevant tutorials. This means not just "You should read some of the tutorials listed under the Create dropdown" but taking a couple minutes to go find specific links - i.e. "Try the advice given in this tutorial by Tiggerypum: (link) and maybe some of the bits in this one by Faylen would also be useful to you? (link)" It's far more helpful to a struggling creator to be given a direct link to the exact thing you mean, than to be expected to find their way to the info themselves when they may not even know enough to recognize that it's relevant to their issues.
Some good comments would look something like:
Exclamation points and smiley faces are a good thing! They show enthusiasm for the work that the creator has put into their item, and smiley faces help make sure they read your comment as friendly and cheerful. Yes, it’s a little silly, but it works!
If you are not 100% sure about a personal comment..., or if you're having a grumpy day, or you're dealing with a user you just can't stand, then STOP. Don't send the CR/reject/etc.... Come into chat and copy-paste it for others to look over first, see if it needs softening or rewording. If there's nobody in chat or you're still unsure, then you can post up a new thread in the Mod Queue Opinions Forum (if it's currently in the queue) or just use a Report if it's an upload that's already live. Rarely is something so much of an emergency that it must be dealt with right now, and it's far better to let something sit for a few hours and then give it a very good personal comment, rather than giving it a problematic one right away.
Snarky comments etc
If someone is getting at all abusive because of how you handled an upload, escalate it to an admin immediately. All of the comments in the Queue Moderation forum are visible to staff, so an admin or super moderator can deal with it. If you get a PM about something, then tell them to post in Queue Moderation on the thread. DO NOT respond to PMs anymore. You don't have to put up with that nonsense, and you don't have to let it get to you as you can just flip it to a red hat, and we can deal with them (be that with soothing their feelings, or with a ban hammer, as the case may be).
Captain Picard's School of Diplomacy
Make sure you have read and understand the advice and info in Captain Picard's School of Diplomacy which goes into more detail about specific ways of phrasing and handling troublesome uploads and users! And if you have any questions, ideas, or advice of your own, please share it so it can be incorporated into these documents!
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