Moderation is necessary for several reasons: content may be advertising spam, automated or not, or it may violate our guidelines on respectful interaction as laid out here and in our code of conduct.
Marketing content and links to commercial websites that are not related to Public Lab's mission are not allowed. While we do permit users to share information about products and companies relevant to open source/environmental research, open source tools, and justice work in the context of a wider discussion, we do not allow users to use our platform for advertising.
Please treat our community website and mailing lists as a place of respectful conversation and civility. These guidelines are a brief overview with some added specifics for mailing list and website norms; please read our code of conduct for a more complete description of expected respectful interaction.
When posting to Public Lab lists, please:
Stay on topic
- Stay on topic to make long threads easier to follow
- If you diverge from the main thread/topic/subject, consider breaking off into a new thread/topic/subject to help others follow along
- Avoid sending one-line spurious responses that effectively "spam" hundreds of people and lowers the overall content quality of a conversation
When starting a new topic, use clear and succinct subject lines
- Subject lines are not the place for humor or euphemisms, although enthusiasm is OK. Aim for short and literal.
Mind your tone
- Since we are in a conversation in email form, maintaining a tone of respect is essential. Any of the following can result in a member having their posts moderated before going out to the whole list: aggressive tone, disrespectful tone, mocking tone, off-color tone
- A note on humor: expressing ourselves online in text is different from expressing ourselves in person by talking
Code of conduct
We have adopted a Code of Conduct, based in part on those of many other open communities. You can find it here:
Moderation can happen through different systems in the Public Lab community. Here's a brief overview.
Public Lab hosts many different topical and regional discussion lists, currently using Google Groups. Moderators review the first posts of all new members before approving them to post automatically. Community members may be placed in moderation if their posting pattern changes such that it violates our content guidelines. Before being placed in moderation, a member will be notified on the relevant list. There are different moderators for each list, but the Community Development team (@liz and @stevie) are moderators on every one, and are also in the moderators group. Moderators on these lists are not the same as moderators on the PublicLab.org site -- read on!
Users on PublicLab.org can be marked with the role "moderator" or "admin", which gives them the ability to ban posts and users. Other users can undo these actions. Admins can actually permanently delete content.
See the people who are moderators and/or admins at the links below:
Research note moderation
Research notes can be individually banned, which, when using the
Spam buttons visible to site moderators below each post, and under the "options" dropdown next to the "liking" menu. This also bans the user and all their other posts, although this can be undone with more granularity in the spam page, visible to moderators and admins.
Moderators will see the following extra buttons in the dashboard display of research notes:
If you are a moderator, please subscribe to "All Research" on the subscriptions page, so that you receive emails of all new postings. You'll see "Spam" links below each when you get email notifications, which is the fastest way to catch spam:
Moderators are also able to moderate on the page itself:
Wiki page moderation
Anyone can revert a wiki page or main image, but moderators can moderate specific revisions from wiki pages in the "like" dropdown (same as moderating research notes), as well as on the Revisions tab. Moderated revisions don't appear as the current revision of a wiki page, but aren't deleted, and can be republished by a moderator. They appear like this in the Revisions list:
Comments can be marked spam, which will ban their author, but an additional step is required to delete the comment itself. See feature request here for plans to fix this.
As of April 2016, first-time posters on PublicLab.org are moderated by default.
Users whose posts are spam are themselves banned and their profiles and other comments are hidden except to moderators and admins. Moderators and admins can unban a user from their profile page.
How to appeal
Has a post, comment, or email of yours been put in moderation, or have you been banned and you don't think you should have been? Email the moderators group at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to include your username and the email address you used to sign up for the site.
The moderators group is a discussion list including all moderators, who are Public Lab community members, where moderation decisions can be discussed if there's uncertainty.
Contact the group by emailing email@example.com. Please make sure to include your username and the email address you used to sign up for the site.
Moderators can access the group here:
For reasons of privacy, the moderators group archives are only readable by moderators. This ensures that the moderators can discuss questionable, private, or sensitive content to make decisions about moderation.
Individual moderators may act to moderate any inappropriate content based on the content guidelines above. Any ambiguous case can be brought up by any community member by emailing the moderators group for input, including by the moderated party.
Become a moderator
The moderators group is open to anyone in our community. To join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your profile.