This post is to help Zcash Community Forum participants understand how the moderators approach the Community Guidelines.
As we have made the transition from the forum being owned and operated by the Zcash Company, to the forum being owned and operated by the Zcash Foundation, there have been some questions about who the moderators are and how the moderation team applies the rules.
Regarding who is a moderator
The Zcash Foundation bears legal responsibility for what goes on in this forum and ultimately has the final vote on who gets to be a moderator. When the Foundation took over, Sonya and Josh from the Foundation asked me, Paige, Daira, and Root to remain on as moderators. Based on my conversations with the Foundation, the team feels that it is important to have a range of perspectives and opinions from the Company, the Foundation, and the community at large.
As it sits right now there are five active mods, and two standby mods who are available to help out when needed:
Root @root who is a volunteer from the community
The five active mods represent important parts of the Zcash ecosystem and help to balance out possible conflicting interests so that one voice does not drown out the rest. We want the Zcash Community Forum to be diverse and open to a wide range of perspectives and opinions from everyone who has an interest in Zcash, regardless of who you are or where you come from.
We would also like to note that this group of moderators is not set in stone. As the community grows, so will moderation needs and we are open to identifying committed individuals to join as community volunteers. Any future candidates for moderator will be voted on by the existing active moderators and trained appropriately. Feel free to message the moderators if you would like to be considered. Likewise, feel free to message any of the moderators if you are experiencing difficulty with a moderator in particular.
Regarding how the rules are applied
As moderators we have responsibility to also follow the Community Guidelines and apply them fairly and consistently. Since the active moderation team is five people it allows for contentious issues to be resolved using a simple majority of three active moderators to apply a permanent action like banning.
With that in mind we have worked out a four-step process for applying the Community Guidelines:
If a user is acting in a way that directly violates or approaches violating the Community Guidelines: a moderator will send the user a private message (PM) or post a warning in the thread for the user to see, politely asking them to change their post or stop their behavior. The moderator who sends the message to a user also informs the rest of the moderators (via private channels) that a warning has been sent and why.
After a moderator has posted a warning to a user: that moderator or another moderator who observes that the user is continuing the same behavior they were warned about has the discretion to suspend that users account for one day, one week or two weeks. The length of time chosen is up to the individual moderator depending on how severe they feel the second infraction is and that moderator will notify the other moderators of the suspension.
If the first suspension period passes (regardless of which one was chosen by the individual moderator) and a user violates the Guidelines a third time then a Month or Permanent ban will be voted on by the moderation team. A simple majority will decide if that user is given a Month or a Permanent ban from the forum. Any moderator who observes the third infraction can Silence the user until a suspension period is voted on.
If a user who has been given a Month suspension comes back and violates the Community Guidelines again then it is automatically a permanent ban.
The above process does not apply to egregious Community Guideline violations like spamming, racism, threats of violence, harassment, or bias based on a user’s sex, age, sexual orientation, religion or nationality. Moderators who observe such behavior can immediately permanent-ban that user, and have the responsibility to notify the rest of the moderation team. Attempts to bypass the moderation process by creating “sock puppet” accounts, or a new account by the same person after a previous ban, are also cause for an immediate ban of the new or sock-puppet account(s).
Overall, we feel that Forum users and moderators should strive to be kind, respectful, and interesting. Ideally, our presence in the community should improve the experience for everyone.
We all have one thing in common: we would not be here working, commenting, posting funny memes, debating each other, etc., if we didn’t believe in some aspects of the bigger picture of Zcash and what it represents. Zcash is more than a Company or Foundation — it’s a way for good people to transact safely over digital mediums in a world where Privacy and individual freedoms seem to be ever-shrinking. We should all strive to make this Forum a reflection of the greater good.
Please feel free to contact the moderation team anytime by tagging @moderators or any moderators username.