Identifying and Assigning Server Moderators
Running a server is hard work, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Getting Your Team Together
Sooner or later, we all need help managing things. As your community grows, you’ll find yourself looking for help moderating and keeping your community healthy.
How Do I Know When I Need Moderators?
Typically, you’ll know you need to bring in moderators when enforcing server rules becomes difficult to manage on your own.
If chat is crazy active or going at all hours of the night, great moderators can organize chaos and enforce guidelines to give you more time to manage your community strategy.
Finding the Right Mods for the Job
Finding mods who are a good fit for your community can feel daunting, so start by asking yourself what you want a candidate to bring to your community. Then, you can work out what their responsibilities might involve from there.
Ideally, you should find people that are friendly, approachable, collaborative, receptive to feedback, and good at on-the-fly thinking.
They should also be able to embody and enforce the values of your community while remaining an active part of it. Consider a current and active member of your server—this ensures they’re already familiar with your community!
Think of the users on your server who are responsible enough to take on the job; the people who have demonstrated that they have an active mind for the safety and well-being of your community and the people in it.
Think about more personal considerations. Do they get along well with other members of the server? Are they considerate? Would you want to collaborate and work with this person long-term?
The three boxes you’re aiming to check off are that the potential candidates are: active, responsible, and friendly. Once you’ve found some candidates, it’s time to work out how they can help your community…
The Role of a Moderator
Choosing what your new moderators do in your community really depends on your community's needs and any problems your server may be running into.
However, here are some common moderator responsibilities you may want them to handle...
- Delete any unwanted or inappropriate messages and report these to Discord when they are against our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service.
- Kick members or allocate server timeouts.
- Hand out warnings to any members acting against the rules or guidelines.
- Support with responding to questions or queries about your community.
- Ban spam bots that have appeared in the server.
Creating a Moderator Role
Once you’ve selected and spoken to the people you think are the right fit for the job, it’s time to create an actual server role and make sure they have everything they’ll need to keep your community safe.
You can even call this role something other than Moderator (perhaps if there’s an inside joke or word that matches your server’s theme), but just make sure its purpose can be clearly identified as someone to go to for help.
Critically, your Moderator role does not need to include every permission. As an admin, you should be aware of the dangers of giving new mods every server administration power under the sun, even if you trust them.
Here is a list of permissions that moderators should have. If you’re doing an additional trial period with mod candidates (which is a great idea), don’t be afraid to roll some of these out only after the candidates have become full mods.
- Manage Messages
- Kick Members
- Time Out Members
- Ban Members: Some people hold off on this, so if you’re doing a trial period, feel free to wait until they’re full mods before granting it.
- Manage Roles: Even if you have a bot to manage muting people, make sure your mods can also do it manually if the bot doesn’t work.
- Mute/Deafen Members: Do this even if you don’t have voice channels. You might need it later on!
With that being said, here is a list of permissions your moderators shouldn’t typically need. For all of these, ask yourself when a moderator needs these permissions, why, and for how long.
As Needed Permissions
- Mention @everyone or @here: Unless there is a specific reason mods need to do this, use your own judgment!
- Manage Channels
- Manage Webhooks
- Manage Server
- Administrator Permissions: This is every permission in one! Avoid giving this out period!
Once your moderators are assigned and set up with the relevant roles and permissions, it’s time to introduce them to your community. Set up a casual voice chat or announce new moderators in the server; visibility is a great way to let the community welcome with new moderators and adjust to their role.
Finally, make sure all admins and moderators secure their accounts by setting up 2FA!
For more in-depth information on the deeper aspects of selection, mod responsibilities, and how to build strong moderation teams, check out great resources from the Discord Moderator Academy like...
With thanks to The Tax Collector Man for all their help in writing this article.