From Mac Guides
Forum Moderation and Post Reports
The MacRumors forums are moderated by a team of carefully selected volunteer Forum Moderators. They
- help forum members use the forums properly by offering guidance and answering questions
- maintain reference information in the forums and Mac Guides
- edit, move, merge, or remove threads or posts that do not comply with the Forum Rules
- remind users about the rules and apply forum discipline where necessary
- test new forum features
- help set forum policies
Administrators oversee the moderators, manage the site and forum system, and make policy decisions. The moderators and administrators are listed on the Forum Leaders page. You can contact them various ways: post reports, Private Messages, the Contact form, and Feedback threads. See How to contact the moderators and administrators
What should I do if I see a post that breaks the forum rules?
Please report the post to the moderators so they can take care of the problem.
Don't complain about the post in the forums and don't quote the post since it will just call attention to an inappropriate post and your post won't make sense if the moderators remove the offending post. Be sure not to make an angry post that breaks the rules yourself.
If you are unsure whether a post breaks the rules, report it anyway; the moderators will check if it does or not.
If you have a concern about a forum problem and want a reply, use the Contact form, not a post report.
How do I report a post?
To report a post, click the Report Post icon to the left of the offending post. You will be given a form to describe the problem.
You can also report your own post when you need help from the moderators, for example to ask the moderators to delete a post when you change your mind, remove a duplicate post you made by mistake, or move a thread you posted in the wrong forum.
Tips for reporting posts:
- To report a thread, report any post in the thread and explain what the problem with the thread is.
- If you are reporting a duplicate thread, please provide a link to the previous thread.
- If you are reporting an ongoing problem (e.g., a user making multiple trolling posts) rather than a specific post, please provide links.
- Other users don't know that you reported a post. Your anonymity is protected.
- Don't report a post by sending a Private Message to a moderator you think is online. They may be just leaving or not on moderation duty so your message may have to wait for their return, when they will probably ask you to file a post report anyway.
Thank you to those who report posts needing moderator attention. Your efforts improve the quality of the forums!
What happens when I report a post?
The post report form will be sent to whichever moderators are on duty at the time. They will evaluate the reported post to see if it breaks forum rules. If not, they'll take no other action. If the post breaks rules, they'll usually edit or remove the post. Depending on the situation they'll remind the user about the rule, issue a warning, or apply discipline (a time-out or ban).
Every report is reviewed but you will not receive a reply to a Post Report. If you require a reply, use the Contact form instead.
Can I report Private Messages and Visitor Messages?
Yes. Private Messages and Visitor Messages are subject to the forum rules. Reporting them is similar to reporting posts. The reports are handled the same way by the moderators.
If you receive a Private Message that breaks forum rules (e.g., ads or insults), click the Report Private Message icon in the top right of the message and explain the reason you are reporting it.
To report a Visitor Message on your User Profile, click the Report link under the message and explain the reason you are reporting it.
Everyone can read Visitor Messages but the moderators cannot read your Private Messages. Therefore, when you report a Private Message a copy of the message will be forwarded to the moderators along with your description of the problem.
How do I know if my post reports are helpful?
In almost all cases, your post reports are exactly what the moderators need to do their jobs. Whether post reports are about serious or trivial problems, we appreciate your help in keeping the site running smoothly.
If now and then you submit a post report that the moderators decide doesn't require action, which can happen in borderline cases or where you don't understand the nuances of forum rules and site policies, there's little harm done. If you make a habit of reporting posts that don't need to be reported, the moderators will probably let you know and explain the rule involved, to save you and themselves future time and trouble.
Why do users get reminders, warnings, or time-outs?
Most users follow the forum rules but sometimes users need to be reminded. The moderators routinely remind users of the rules, whether the rules involved are major or minor. If you're alerted about the rules, please understand that it's to help you use the forums properly, avoid causing problems for other users, and to help all users get the most out of the forums.
Reminder and warning messages and personal Private Messages about the rules are not punishment. They help you avoid future problems that could otherwise lead to discipline. Even time-outs are a way to give you another chance, with a strong enough warning to encourage you to follow the rules and avoid a permanent ban.
The rules and moderation guidelines are applied equally to all forum members but messages and disciplinary actions depend on the rule involved, the nature of the violation, and the user's history of prior violations. Repeated rule-breaking causes stronger actions, so a reminder one time can become a warning or time-out the next time.
What do the "In Time-Out" and "Banned" and "Guest" user titles mean?
In Time-Out means a user's account has been temporarily suspended for breaking forum rules, as a warning not to repeat it. They know the reason and the length of the time-out because it's shown when they try to access the forums. They will not be able to post or reply to Private Messages until the suspension ends.
Banned means a user's account was permanently canceled for breaking forum rules. They know the reason because they know what they've posted recently and a one-line message from the moderators is shown when they try to access the forums. Bans are issued when major rules are broken or rules are broken repeatedly, because it's a detriment of other users. Reinstatement after a ban can come only from administrators or the site owner, if they have reason to expect you will no longer break rules. Even a successful reinstatement may involve a mandatory delay.
Guest means that the user's account has been canceled, usually at the user's request. For example, users who take a job with Apple usually need to cancel their forum memberships. They can apply for reinstatement if and when the reason for cancelation ends.
See also: How do user titles work?
How are Moderators Selected?
Moderation selection is a long and careful process that starts with recommendations from the current moderators. We look for users with the right personality, interests, and instincts: those who are helpful, friendly, rational, fair, who speak honestly, who understand how the MacRumors site is run, and whose participation has consistently been a benefit to their fellow forum members, not about privilege or ego.
They don't have to have volunteered and they don't have to have paid for membership. They must have been a member long enough to understand the forum community, and an ongoing participant, but there's no fixed minimum length of membership or post count. From their involvement they tend to be fairly well-known users, although some candidates come to our attention for their behind-the-scenes efforts to help other users.
It's advantageous for us to have team members with a range of views and opinions. We have no requirements that moderators share political or religious views (and they don't) but they must all be able to put aside personal biases when moderating. It's a benefit when we have moderators across many time zones, both men and women, and moderators of different ages. We don't require technical expertise with Apple products. Although many moderators routinely help users with technical problems, it's not part of their assignment as a moderator, just what they were already doing. We don't require prior forum moderation experience; we provide the necessary training. Moderators must be able and willing to spend time moderating that they might otherwise have spent in normal forum participation or away from MacRumors.
In summary, we look for forum members who excel in many ways and are very well suited for the role we ask them to take as moderators. We're admittedly picky and the number who qualify is small.
Moderation of Your Posts
What happens if I break the rules?
You'll probably annoy other users. If someone reports the post, your post will be reviewed by the moderators and probably edited or removed. You may get a reminder or warning from one of the moderators. If you take the time to review the rules and avoid the problem in the future, that will be the end of it. The moderators know that anyone can make a mistake and prefer to explain the rules and give users second chances rather than limit their use of the forums.
For repeated breaking of rules or for breaking the most serious rules (e.g., personal insults, hoaxes, advertising), discipline may be applied even on the first offense. Usually a temporary forum suspensions (time-out) will be applied if previous warnings haven't been sufficient. With a time-out you won't be able to access the forums for a certain number of days and will instead see a message about the reason for the suspension. Flagrant violations of serious rules may earn you a permanent suspension, i.e., a forum ban.
Any reminders or warnings you've received in the last 14 days are summarized on the Reminders tab of your User Profile. Only you and the moderators see them; other users cannot see this information when they look at your User Profile. The same list of recent reminders and warnings can also be found in your User Control Panel.
Why didn't I get a more personal message?
The moderators use automated reminder messages to ensure consistency, facilitate recordkeeping, and for efficiency. We're sorry the moderators can't send a personal message each time there's an issue in the forums but they have a large number of forum members to serve. If the moderators think a reminder requires further explanation they'll take the time to add extra comments at the bottom of the message for clarification.
Moderation of your posts is not personal and you are not being singled out. The moderators don't know forum members personally and don't play favorites. Other users are moderated exactly the same way in the same circumstances.
Almost all moderation is handled privately to avoid embarrassing forum members. Reminders and warnings are sent by Private Messages so only you and the moderators see them. When reminders and warnings are listed on your User Profile, only you see them there; other users do not see them. The moderators keep records of their actions so administrators can review the messages, but these records are not shared with other users.
Moderation privacy does not mean that moderation is secretive or mysterious. The rules are posted for all to see. We'll discuss any aspect of your moderation with you and explain the reasons for any moderation action you question. Each moderator sees the actions taken by the other moderators, so no moderator acts in a vacuum. Administrators oversee and review the moderators to make sure moderation policies are followed. The administrators are also subject to review by other administrators and/or the site owner.
There are two exceptions to moderation privacy:
- If you are assigned a time-out, your user title will change to "In Time-Out". This is necessary so that other users can tell that you are unable to reply to posts (e.g., when you've been asked a question in the forums) and unable to reply to Private Messages (e.g., about a thread in the Marketplace forum).
- You can waive your right to moderation privacy when posting in the Site and Forum Feedback forum if you say explicitly that you give us permission to discuss the reasons behind your moderation. This includes your previous forum record, since that's a factor.
What if I disagree with moderation of my posts?
Users sometimes want to inquire about, question, or dispute a moderation action.
Facts to consider
- Moderation is almost always correct, appropriate, and done fairly. We know that reasonable people can have differences of opinion about the meaning of particular posts or how to interpret rules. Language is imprecise and sarcasm and nuances are hard to detect over the Internet so it's possible that your post was misinterpreted by other users and by the moderators. However, our moderators are experienced at interpreting posts, applying the forum rules, and making judgement calls in borderline cases.
- What's past is past. What concerns us is your future use of the forums. If you've been given a reminder, warning, or time-out based on the forum rules, it's because we think you can follow the rules in the future. These actions are intended to help you use the forums properly and maintain your posting privileges.
- No matter what your past forum record is, follow the rules and you'll avoid problems and get the most out of the forums.
If you don't accept an action by or message from the moderators, here's what to do and what not to do:
What to do
- If you received a reminder, warning, time-out, or ban, read the applicable summary, which tells you the specific information you need to know:
- Review the information here in the Moderation FAQ.
- Consider the reason you think you should not have been moderated and see if it's on the RuleBreaking Top 10. If so, an answer is there too.
- If you still disagree, use the Contact form and tell us why you disagree. An administrator will review your posts, account history, and the actions by the moderators based on your message and the moderation records, and in most cases email you a reply. Sometimes they may send you a Private Message.
What not to do
- Do not lose your temper. The moderators are willing to answer questions and the administrators are willing to review moderation cases, but blowing up will not help you make your case.
- Do not contact us without reviewing the information listed above. You'll be wasting your time and ours.
- Do not send a Private Message to dispute moderation. Instead use the Contact form so that administrators can review the case independently.
- Do not report a reminder or warning message as if you were reporting an inappropriate Private Message, since you will not get a reply.
- Do not post about the moderation of a thread in that thread. To ask general questions about moderation or moderation policies, post in the Site and Forum Feedback Forum. To ask questions about specific cases of moderation, use the Contact form. To maintain user privacy we do not answer questions about specific cases of moderation in forum threads. There is one exception - see point 2 under Moderation privacy.
- Do not insult the moderators for doing their job. Insulting any forum member is against the rules.
- Do not re-register during a time-out or after a ban. You will likely be recognized and permanently banned. Trying to bypass a time-out or ban shows an unwillingness to respect the rules that will dim any chance you have of retaining your account or being reinstated after a ban.
How are moderation errors handled?
When members complain about unfair or incorrect moderation, they are usually wrong. The moderators follow guidelines to ensure consistency and are experienced at applying the forum rules uniformly. Still, we take all complaints seriously and there's a procedure to follow if you have complaints. See What if I disagree with moderation of my posts? in the Moderation FAQ.
Moderators are people too. Although we try to choose moderators who are exceptionally level-headed, it is possible to annoy them. This isn't being unfair; it's being human. The moderators trade cases or rely on their team approach to make sure moderation isn't personal, even if you mistakenly treat it as such. We try for consistency in enforcement of the rules, but with multiple moderators we can't be 100% consistent when judgment calls are required.
It's possible for your intentions to be misinterpreted when you post. Moderators work quickly and if your post has multiple interpretations and it's been reported for breaking the rules, the moderators may draw the same conclusion without studying the history of your interactions with other forum members. You can lessen the chances of this by avoiding posts with sarcasm and teasing, even with forum friends.
Our volunteers do their best and they put tremendous effort into helping the site. Still, we rely on checks and balances to avoid moderation problems. The moderators work as a team and know of each other's actions. Administrators review moderation and help establish and interpret site policies. No moderator or administrator works in a vacuum and their actions are recorded. If an administrator or moderator has acted mistakenly or inappropriately, we'll correct it. If you've been timed-out or banned by mistake we will reinstate your account. If your posts or account have been handled in accordance with our rules, policies, and moderation guidelines, moderation decisions will stand.
Where do I post comments about moderation?
The Site and Forum Feedback forum is for comments and questions about MacRumors and its forums. It is open to all members and suitable for some posts about moderation. The purpose of the forum is to let you ask questions about using the forums or about forum policies, make suggestions, or ask what other people think about an issue. We monitor the Site and Forum Feedback forum every day.
Can you post comments about moderation in the Site and Forum Feedback forum?
- Yes - if you have comments or questions about moderation in general.
- No - if you want to discuss a specific case of moderation.
To comment on an general moderation issue, post in a previous thread on the topic or start a new thread for a new topic.
Do not use the Site and Forum Feedback for personal moderation issues since forum moderation is handled privately. See Moderation privacy above. If you want specifics about a particular case, see What if I disagree with moderation of my posts? above. If you just received a reminder, warning, or time-out about a particular rule and immediately start a Feedback discussion questioning that rule, you may be directed to use the Contact form instead, since your comments are probably about your specific case of moderation.