Back Seat Moderation

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What is Back Seat Moderation?

Backseat moderation is a term used to describe the act of attempting to moderate a topic on the board when the user trying to do so has no power. This means that the person posting is not a moderator of the forum that they're posting in nor are they Administrators. On many boards a person acting in such a manner is considered to be 'impersonating the staff'. Usually they tell the topic starter or posters what to do in the thread, if they're breaking rules, if something they're doing in character doesn't make sense etc.

Why is Backseat Moderation so bad? (We're trying to help, after all.)

Admittedly, back seat moderation, at first, seems harmless. It can be helpful if someone points someone to the board rules, informs them that their role play is illogical or tells them a topic is in an incorrect place, right? Wrong. Often the person who started the topic will feel offended by the user who interrupted their thread (as they're not the moderator of the forum or an admin) and will become upset with them attack them, or ignore their advice altogether. Then nothing good happens. Often times, the forum moderators and site administrators will have to clean up the mess. So to avoid causing friction between yourself and other users, just don't 'back seat moderate'.

So, how can I help, then?

Well, there is this really cool button under every post and that comes with every PM and it looks something akin to Report (depending on the skin you're using).

They all have one thing in common: They're the report button. You can use this button any time you feel a post is inappropriate or misplaced, if it breaks board rules or the simple logic of an RP. It's not a scary button. The world doesn't end when you push it, I promise (I tried ;) ). All it does is alert the forum moderator and the admin of a report, then if the forum moderator can deal with it s/he will, and if they can't they'll leave it for the admin to deal with.
We've had incidences where back seat moderation has caused large scale user disputes in the past and only desire to avoid further conflict. If you're found to be doing this, though you may be trying to help, your post may be reported (or spotted by an admin) and then you'll be warned and so on. ;)

Thank you for your understanding in this matter,

(On behalf of the HNZ Admin Team)
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