Posted by Kim on July 2, 2022, 2:50pmIt's July 2nd, and on the RP Repository, that means Moderator Appreciation Day!
This is a day where we celebrate for all moderators, everywhere. Yes, it's a salute to our extremely hard working site moderators, but I'm certain there are plenty of other moderators in your life, too - moderators of RPR groups. Moderators of Facebook Groups. Moderators of Discords. Moderators of forums. Moderators of LiveJournal groups? Please, take a moment to send a thank you note to the various moderators in your life. They're probably all doing VASTLY more than you know about in order to keep your online experience from being overrun by bots, trolls, and other sea monsters that inhabit the deeps of the internet.
I'm reflecting on one particular incident that happened recently, right here on the RPR. Without going into too many particulars, we removed someone from the community out of concerns that they were not a safe individual. They responded by spending several days harassing as much of the moderation team as they could find, doing everything they could to frighten us, waste our time, prevent us from getting RL work done -- they told us directly that their plan was to make our lives so miserable that it wouldn't be worth it to enforce any rules against them. They promised they would stop if we let them back in to the RPR.
Not one mod flinched. We took turns covering as each of us needed breaks. We weathered the first storm, and the follow-up ones that happened later, when his rage apparently flared up again. Every bit of bullying strengthened the team's resolve to not let someone like this into the RPR ever again.
I'm so thankful to have people like that in our corner. I don't know how the RPR could exist without its mod team.
So today, I want to take time to remember that moderators are people who find time, energy and love to help grow, protect and nurture online communities. They are almost always unpaid volunteers working a frequently thankless job. Sometimes being the one to hold a boundary on behalf of a community can make a moderator into a target for multi-site campaigns of abuse. Even as those coordinated harassments prove that you made the right decision to remove someone from the community, you are still being made into a human shield to protect others. And in most cases, the community members being protected will have no idea at all what they are being protected from - and not letting the community feel those pains is exactly the point.
Being a moderator can be exhausting and distressing work, as to maintain the best of a community they have to confront its worst.
Please join me today in thanking our moderation team, and then go out into your online world and thank every other moderator you can think of too!
Post tags: Moderator Appreciation Day