When Forum Moderators Go Bad

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
When Forum Moderators Go Bad

What do you do if a forum moderator becomes hurtful to your forums rather than helpful? A WebmasterWorld thread asks this question based on negative actions performed by a moderator of his forum that resulted in loss of membership. Consequently, he also demoted the moderator.

Some people just take the power trip for personal gain. This quote by another member is so true for this instance:

" Power corrupts...

and absolute power, corrupts absolutely"​

Appointing moderators can be a pretty sticky situation if they are biased in such a way that it is destructive rather than helpful.

Moderators who are immoderate and partial are very destructive, damaging users' trust.

You can lose a lot of core/good members when even one mod gets rude/patronising/personal or is clearly editing in a partial or biased way!



Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting this. I can't seem to find as much as I would like. I did find a mod training course but it did not appeal. ()gateway?) It is a complex subject beyond the cornerstones which are to be polite and helpful, not strongly opinionated, set a high example and remain unbiased and compassionate (but firm). Legal and technical aspects to know too.

Really though you are just there to implement the rules of the forum, not own the forum. If I ran my own forum, I am conflicted personally over what those rules should be.

Would like it to be quite free and leave members to it. But it doesn't seem to work without boundaries and structure. Transparency, not locking/deleting threads?

The idea was never to let the banned user know he/she had been banned by making his/her posts invisible to regular user, but visible to banned users. That seemed pretty easy to implement to me, and also pretty effective. Of course, the bluff would be called if he/she had contact with other users, asking why no-one would answer his/her posts.
Another trick was to fake connection problems, slowing load speed etc.

As far as i recall, both of the above mentioned was available as plug-ins for major forum software.

Devious and sly!!!

How would you run your forum?

When on other peoples forums, usually happy to follow the rules, so long as they are being applied fairly, there are adequate warnings and chances to rectify and learn.

Another final thought I had was a forum for disabled users needs to be modfied? Are members struggling with particular rules, memory problems, difficulty defending themselves under moderation and isolated from other members, in need of an advocate?


Well-Known Member
I did have the idea of passing the job of moderating around. ()on my forum) thinkit would be interesting. Certainly all hell would break loose :) Either for an individual moderation post or for a day. This would give members a taste of moderation and a team thing. Got the idea from a call centre . I like the colour green. I would be the green moderator :)

Who Me?

Well-Known Member
Sorry @Who Me? I have just realised I may have taken the thread OT. You were discussing specifically 'When forum moderators go bad'

No problem. I have read some blogs from a few years ago where they talk specifically about moderation on PR, how heavy handed it was. It also said consideration had to be given for those of us who are sick, who react strongly to things, have emotional highs and lows etc. That is not done at all.


1. there is zero tolerance for sick people (unless :banhappy: is the one sick and then she can use it as an excuse for verbally attacking a member then giving a non-apology apology as in I'm sorry, I'm sick but I was right when I said you had anxiety.... See Beware Dr. Bansal thread by LC2015. if it's still there.

2. there is zero impartiality from :banhappy:. Any mod who can remove a thread simply because the topic goes against what she believes has no business being a mod. The now gone MMS thread.

3. Any mod who can call others stupid on a thread because they don't agree with her has no business being a mod. This is on the thread about vaccines and autism.

I have screen shots of where this was done in case anyone questions the validity of what I'm saying.
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