Forum being sabotaged by moderators

You can try using category moderators instead of full moderators. Looks like it will fit your use case perfectly.


I think it may be time to make them category moderators @danielabc. The instructions are still:


Well the replacement ones at least!


You may want to give Disorder - Automatic toxicity detection for your community a try in order to help you catch those

and automatically flag and notify you and your team on the review queue. There is at least another one Brazilian community using it already, although I’m not sure how well it will work on yours provided the heavy usage of slangs and profanity in there.


unfortunately, category moderator is not enough, it should have the option for moderators not to delete members, not to see log or ip, it would be perfect to leave this only for those who are admins

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Category moderators can’t delete users or access logs. You can compare abilities in Trust Level Permissions Table (inc Moderator Roles) :+1:


yes but they miss out on very important features my forum needs as as category moderators those features are taken away

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Maybe you can think of some additional ways to solve the moderator buy-off problem… I mean, I just had an idea, maybe you can use some custom css to hide some people’s moderator status, so that they are “Secret moderators” that are harder to detect and bribe

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I would only add that if the leaders do not have the same goal, it will not work at all. It doesn’t matter how much you restrict them, if they want to harm the Community, they can. I think you should have gotten rid of such toxic individuals a long time ago. It’s better to get over it as soon as possible. I know it’s hard, but the Community regenerates quickly, and those who didn’t dare to contribute until now, precisely because of such things, will now finally come forward and be grateful that they don’t have to come to a community always where the atmosphere is toxic. And of course I’m talking about you too. You don’t have to go to your forum every time nervously. Come on that is your home. :slightly_smiling_face: Don’t let them take it from you.

In short, if you always look at what is good for the Community, there will be many more people with you than against you. :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s such a good point Don, and so well put, that I’m going to highlight it. :+1: :clap:

Tech solutions can only go so far. Good community management is key here.


So, in my last solution I tried to put css to remove the buttons, but somehow the moderator managed to delete members

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They are making a real war against my forum


The bottom line is that if they are not there, they cannot wage a real war. The real war is when they destroy the Community from within. People are not blind when they see that a competing site is constantly tuning the Community against the other site. Then they can clearly see what is going on and slowly turn away from them. I always see such things as advertising because I know that they can only cause real harm to themselves with this kind of things. :slightly_smiling_face:


But if your malicious mods can’t delete user, they will edit / delete good posts, don’t delete malicious posts or will harm your community in other ways.
So I’m with @Don and you have to get rid of the malicious users, neither they are mods or not.


I don’t know if I should keep my mouth shut, because I can’t offer any kind help now. The world where Daniela lives is so strange to me in so many ways, IRL and digitally. I’m living in other side of world in small country where people have huge personal space even in digital world. We don’t have anything like Rio, and just Sao Paulo has population that is twice as big that total population of Finland.

That was just a disclaimer for fact that I see this situation from my cultural and personal background and I’m not trying to do somekind virtual ”mansplaining” from point of view of northern europe.

I just can’t understand point of such war. But it reminds me, distantly, pre- and early internet flame wars. Something similar happends nowadays on Facebook and other social medias. It is like them against us in a situation where users actually can be members in many groups and platforms. But people are what they are.

I would open the situation to members. If they choose theirs side they will do that, but anyway they have chance to understand what is happening.

Daniela has two different issues:

  • how moderators are using theirs tools
  • the main reason why moderation is needed in the first place

Limiting powers of moderators is the topic here and gurus are offering some tricks. But any of those aren’t working if moderators are malicious. So, I would do what someone suggest: hiding moderator status and giving rights to only known members.

But users are the real issue here. If there is such behaviour that needs constant moderation I would start cleaning there. Two strike policy without exceptions. But if such behaving is counted as normal everywhere… Well, is there any actual need for moderation then?

BTW, is this support any more and should last part of topic move to somewhere else?


I’d say three issues

  • how to select a member who can be trusted when promoted as a moderator

Selecting people who can be bought off, or can defect, is selecting people who do not have the same goals as the admin. One way or another, you need enough contact and history with someone that you can confidently promote them. Obviously, that takes time, unless you happen to know them also in another context - whether another online or a real world context.

Even if category mods don’t have all the powers you might want, at least they have fewer powers than the ones you worry about. You can think of it as an intermediate level of promotion.

I might ask what kind of community it is: my community is probably average age in the 40s or 50s. If your community is average age under 20, I can see you might have more trouble with loyalty and maturity - at that age, most people still have a lot to learn, and friendships and loyalties can change a lot in a short time.


Also, the fact she’s not fluent in English and uses auto-translate tools to interact with us, which can potentially lead to misinterpretation, miss nuances in our suggestions, or things like this. I’m not saying it’s the case, but it could be sometimes.


Just as an extra datapoint, I’m a member of another forum that has one main admin/moderator who works traditional business hours and a selection of TL4 community members who act as ‘mini-mods’ (so not even any category moderators), and as a TL4 on that site I find I have lots of powers to edit public post content when it’s inappropriate [1], close or unlist topics as necessary, set slow mode, etc. We don’t have Personal Messages or Chat, which makes things easier, but you can gate those features behind trust levels if they’re being misused on your site, as well as locking certain user’s trust levels below that threshold if they persistently misuse them.

FWIW, I find that there are some quite powerful tools available to trusted community members without needing to grant full moderation powers (whether TL4 or category moderators), and you can also revoke these if you find those community members are not as trusted as you thought.

I think in another topic you mentioned being reluctant to check the staff logs to review behaviour, but I would say that these can be excellent for keeping track of users with higher abilities - and you can quickly revoke any from users who aren’t in line with your forum’s ethos.

  1. doubly useful in conjunction with having no public edit history ↩︎


Even if you could block their ability to delete accounts couldn’t they still simply delete every post from the person? Or continue tampering with them? Especially if you already don’t want to check the logs, they could simply come in and wipe out as many back posts as they want constantly.

Not to mention silencing, anonymizing, suspending, trust level limiting, merging and splitting topics, there’s essentially countless ways to cause a severe amount of calamity that you’ll either 1. Remain unaware of until it will require a lot of work/reset to fix (at the cost of losing progress) or 2. something you’ll have to constantly monitor. Neither of these sound fun.

The option of just removing all powers one by one circularly brings you back to don’t have them in the first place. If you can’t find someone to trust them IMO your second best option is to find something with the very least amount of power required, and then try to add on whatever specific thing you need them to be able to do vs. giving them a ton of power and trying to block it piece by piece. As mentioned looking at Category Moderators, or Trust Level 4 options. First identifying what you NEED them to do, instead of what you DONT want them to do


It would be interesting to know what extra powers you want to give out.