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How To Become A Credible Online Moderator - PT 1

Updated on September 15, 2019

As the ever evolving and harmoniously integrating global community continues to transition from aging, and in some cases antiquated information delivery systems into the "Para-modern Communication Age", an era consisting predominantly of light speed computerized processing and retrieval designed to facilitate convenient Internet based academic studies, law related due diligence, scientific research, social interaction, merchandising and self marketing, and of course, multi product consumer shopping, virtually every household in America and soon the entire world, with a little humanitarian assistance, will enjoy convenient, immediate, and unimpeded access to this unlimited wealth of resources from which to tap and draw critically important information. This abundant knowledge harvest that is always in season, can be easily collected via the use of a home based PC, laptop, or tablet which is retrofitted to operate on high speed broadband Internet service, or, by using any number of cutting edge hand held mobile devises that are compatible with a designated air-wave frequency. Alternative methods of information gathering are still in existence and currently available for individuals who either lack essential tech savvy, maintain strict budgetary considerations, or have simply refrained from adapting for a myriad of different reasons.

A realistic expectation and inevitable consequence of this expansive hi-tech virtual learning journey is for the average Internet "Surfer", who eagerly anticipates an enriching "Wave of Information" to instantaneously appear subsequent to a simple fingertip command, is to experience a virtual flood of unfiltered or unedited web pages and related resources from which to gather legitimate, informative, and useful material. The vast majority of content provided by search conduits and encountered on this knowledge absorption adventure will represent the manifestation of professionally researched and written educational or entertainment pieces encompassing the entire spectrum of subject matter, and well, unfortunately, the remaining balance will inevitably turn out to be the exact opposite. A seemingly unavoidable consequence of amateur web based online publishing which is unquestionably a rapidly growing phenomenon perfectly aligned in lock step with relatively easier and more affordable computer access. The intermittent appearance of below par or poor quality content encountered during an average research and retrieval mission, is typically the end result of hastily published articles or image galleries. Horrendous content which traditionally exhibits the characteristics or telltale signs of few random incoherent sentences or words stitched raggedly together with the obvious sole intent of the author to publish a particular piece for ulterior motives, as opposed to making a sincere effort toward producing a valuable online contribution for the benefit of the entire interconnected global community.

"A "Moderator" acts as the first line of defense or "Primary" quality sifting filter from which the entire global online population is delivered information" -

Enter the "Moderator", an unbiased, non opinionated, neutral third party who has the inherent ability to compartmentalize and separate personal feelings from job duties, who is hired to either perform specific quality control job functions, or, self appointed for his/her privately owned and operated web site. In both scenarios, the moderator has a primary objective which is to ensure users and community participants consistently maintain a predetermined level of professionalism in both online demeanor and web site text or photo contributions. A general authority is typically granted to this designated individual(s) to act as agent(s) and exercise this quality control power to enforce specified rules and or policy. There may be additional secondary responsibilities outlined in the job description however, the preceding goal should be at the very core.

The following in depth study is part one of a multi module tutorial and training guide that I've developed over the years which outlines basic essential guidelines that every current or aspiring moderator and or respective employer should follow. "Golden Rules" so to speak, that were derived and improved upon as a direct result of personal experience acting in this capacity and similar positions as fiduciary, intermediary, general and specific agent, and or broker role in both the online and real world environment. It's certainly not an easy job and responsibilities should never be taken lightly, however, if the suggestions presented in this tutorial are incorporated into an employer's job description and thereafter emphasized as essential criteria to be considered prior to hiring a potential applicant, or, you as aspiring "Moderator" take the initiative and become educated on your own time prior to embarking upon this specific career quest, I'm highly confident you will dramatically increase your odds of long term success in the field by applying expertise gained from your academic studies. Therefore, all parties that can, and eventually will be affected by your actions or inactions, will ultimately honor and respect your decisions regardless of the nature of the warning or severity of penalties imposed.

"At the "Crossroads" where legitimate, well researched and articulated online writing converges with unprofessional, grammatically error riddled virtual pages is exactly where a "Moderator's" work begins. It's your job to separate the two" -


Does the moderator possess the same qualifications and level of knowledge in the respective subject as the author or artist? Most professionals within the writing community would agree this element sits rightfully atop the broad list of essentials a candidate must possess or acquire prior to becoming a successful moderator and enjoying favorable odds of a bright future and longevity within the industry. If an individual intends to build a credible and well respected reputation within the community jurisdiction and beyond, it is absolutely critical that a moderator is or becomes an expert in the field in which he/she moderates prior to reading the first sentence of text or evaluating images, especially if decisions made can result in a subsequent recommendation to modify or edit, or in more extreme cases, removal until further consideration, or, immediate deletion of artistic contributions that may have previously consumed the writer or creator for several hours, days, or even weeks.

One of the only legitimate exceptions to this rule is if the article in question contains moderate to excessive spelling or grammatical errors. In these cases, which seem to be extremely difficult to control or manage with any reasonable degree of consistency and unfortunately seem to be on the increase right in sync with the rapid fire content dissemination released into the current online environment by amateur publishers, knowledge or experience level of the moderator pertaining to the underlying subject matter can be waived and permission should be granted to take appropriate action if of course the moderator is an expert in the subject of English. If the article does not contain English grammar infractions, it is essential that an expert be consulted prior to rendering any final decisions and or subsequently altering or deleting a creator's literary or artistic work.

If the work under consideration is "Clean" and contains no spelling or grammatical errors, it is virtually impossible for a "Non Expert" moderator to take the evaluation process to the next important step which is to pass judgement on the underlying subject matter without incurring the inherent risk of becoming a recipient of potentially harsh credibility issue criticisms from the respective author and or the collective community. I'm sure we've all witnessed the resignation or self imposed suspension of artistic contributions by incredibly talented artists and writers who were the unsuspecting innocent victims of less than qualified or capable moderators. If an artist's or participant's work is subject to critical review and or compromised by unqualified personnel, the integrity of the entire web site is jeopardized.


It is essential that all gross violations of established policy or quality guidelines be resolved in a timely manner prior to publication and subsequent dissemination to the eagerly awaiting "Cybergalactic Universe". Similarities can be drawn between Internet publishing and a court proceeding when a trial lawyer floats a verbal passage with manipulative undertones intended to influence the jury, knowing full well in advance that it will be stricken from the transcribed record shortly thereafter by the presiding judge once an objection is submitted by the opposing attorney. Once the statement is verbally articulated, most experts would agree it's too late to reverse the intended detrimental effect. The jury is immediately exposed to the information and subsequently tainted by it to varying degrees depending upon the individual, despite the lack of legitimacy attached to the statement or allegations.

In my opinion, a distinct parallel can be drawn between the preceding courtroom example and certain instances when less than stellar or poor quality writing is allowed to float freely and unimpeded into cyberspace. When an article containing excessive grammatical errors and or other quality standard violations is published and subsequently reaches the immense audience of Internet readership, unfortunately, it's extremely difficult if not virtually impossible to "Take It Back" so to speak, and attempting to cancel the potential negative impact it may have on you as creator and the web site as a whole, typically results in the proverbial exercise in futility. First "Rule of Publishing", "Once the public has seen or heard it, the initial perception usually stands as reality".


I believe most experts would agree with the common sense assertion that an individual would need to be very knowledgeable at an absolute minimum, or possess a certain level of expertise in the subject of mathematics to effectively teach advanced algebra or calculus to an eagerly awaiting student. Very little argument or rebuttal could be presented to challenge this fundamental premise and the same basic concept or principle should be applied to the immensely important fine art of moderating. How can an individual who is not an expert in English grammar possibly patrol, monitor, and subsequently evaluate articles or related work written by authors who may possess superior knowledge? I do believe there are no current laws in existence that prohibit a lesser experienced or formally educated individual from moderating, judging, and rendering verdicts on a contributor's hard work even if it's done in good faith however, the risk of being "Called On or Questioned" in relation to an apparent lack of insight or expertise is escalated with each passing day of content review and consequentially, every contested or questionable decision made by the inexperienced moderator will inevitably begin to chip away at his/her credibility until a re-evaluation of his/her employment by the domain owner is initiated as a proactive measure to ensure the web sites integrity.

"A "Moderator" must exercise editing or deletion powers only when absolutely necessary or risk compromising credibility and good standing from both within and beyond community boundaries. An above average command of the English Language & Expertise in conjunction with a healthy dose of common sense are critical components when trying to gain respect from those of whom you will be working with and for. Ultimate success depends on your ability to adapt and find a complimentary balance between "Striking" content from the record and maintaining a pre determined level of "Standards & Professionalism" -
Additional educational modules on this subject to be published in the near future
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