Discord
June 3, 2022

Creating Moderation Team Channels

When setting up your moderation channels, it’s important to keep in mind what works best for your team. Think about what the team needs and be sure to accommodate that accordingly. While most public-facing channel categories consist of an average of three to five channels to not overwhelm users, moderation channels are private to moderators only and should be as large as necessary to serve all purposes needed by your moderation team. With a little bit of community building expertise and permissions wizardry, you can ensure that your moderation hub is a welcoming place that serves all of your teams’ requirements. Before reading this article, we recommend taking a peek at Permissions on Discord to learn what permissions are necessary to create private moderation channels.

Moderation Channel Setup

Once confident in channel permissions that lock the access to your private moderation channels, it’s important to think about what you want your moderation channels to look like. The larger the server the more channels you may need to accommodate everything.

An important rule of thumb is to make sure that your moderation channels are an exception to any auto-moderated actions your moderation bot may be taking, or that the automoderator is configured not to act on messages from moderators. No blacklists should be in effect in these channels to ensure proper discussion of punishments and happenings in the server can be discussed truthfully and respectfully. It’s also important to ensure that any message logging is configured to ignore channels that not all moderators have access to. For example, if all of your moderators can see a general action log channel, but you have a separate channel for a lead chat, deleted and edited messages from that channel should not be logged for privacy reasons. More about this can be found below.

Structurally, it is recommended to have informational channels at the top of your moderation channel category to make sure everyone sees them. Anything that should be easily viewable by the team follows, such as an update channel and moderation/action logging based channels. Channels restricted to smaller groups of moderators should be closer to the bottom as less people have access to these, and partnership channels meant to maintain relations as opposed to direct moderation connections can be on the bottom. A sample of a large staff channelset can be found below.

We’ll now begin to outline a variety of channels that are often useful for moderation purposes. The below list is for your consideration when building your own moderation channel category, but by no means should you feel obligated to add every channel discussed below to your server. This is all about recognizing your needs and making sure they are met!

Internal Rules

Every moderation team should have a developed moderation handbook that is easily accessible to all team members and updated regularly. However, some moderation teams like to have an overview channel for rule enforcement for quick referencing. This channel can contain information such as how you categorize punishments, an overview of popular commands for easy referencing after returning from a moderation break, and links to all guidelines and moderation forms for easy coordination.

We recommend that this channel is viewable to all moderators, but Send Message permissions for informational channels like this should be limited to the server owner or administrators to ensure only important and select information is fed into the channel. Additionally, denying Manage Message permissions to everyone but the administrators is also recommended to ensure that these informational messages aren’t deleted.

Moderation and Action Logs

Action logs are the most important moderation channels out there, but also the busiest. Moderation action logs exist for a variety of purposes, and you can configure them however you see fit. Some recommended actioning channels include, but are not limited to:

  • Moderator Actions - This is a channel specifically for using bot commands. Having a separate channel for commands allows other moderators to see what you’re doing and better offer opinions or ask questions about actions you may not agree with.
  • Censor Logs - Sometimes blacklists lead to false positives, but other times they do catch really problematic messages. Having a censor log separate from all other bot logging makes this information stand out so you can easily measure what is caught in your filter correctly and action accordingly, but not have auto-moderation techniques punish people incorrectly. If your blacklist is malfunctioning, this will become obvious for you to alter as needed if you keep an eye on this channel.
  • Moderation Log/Bot Spam Channel - General moderation bot logging can get a bit spammy. While it’s important to have all this info logged to look back on for reports or when looking up involved user profiles, this channel is often muted so you don’t get notified every time something is added to it. Username and nickname changes, edited messages, deleted messages, and auto-moderation actions can all get logged here in addition to whatever you configure a bot to send to this channel.
  • Comings and Goings - These can easily be sent to a moderation log or bot spam channel, but some teams may find it useful to track server comings and goings in addition to entry and existing specific to voice channels separately. This can help detect incoming raids when there’s an influx of similar looking accounts or suspicious accounts from the same invite in a short period of time. This also helps for voice channel moderation if you’re getting user reports to begin to consider if there’s accuracy from the reporters based upon who they are saying was present in the audio channel at the time.

General Team Channel

Like your server, your moderation team can have a general channel. While it is important for your moderators to moderate, it’s also important for your team to bond. This is best achieved by having a space that is not dedicated to moderation. It exists to talk to each other, get to know each other, and build rapport in your team environment. Moderation can be stressful, and this is where you can go to take a break with your teammates. However, it is important to maintain the same set of moderation expectations here as you would in public channels. An occasional vent is understood and acceptable, but you should avoid speaking negatively of server members that can taint a moderation experience. While it’s important to bond with your teammates, it is also important to bond with your server members as well. Chatting in the server itself is just as encouraged as getting to know your fellow moderators.

Update Channel

If you enable the community server option for your server, you’ll have updates fed to a chosen channel. As these will be major community-based updates for moderation purposes, it is often recommended to have them feed to a moderation update or memo based channel for ease of viewing. Channels that serve this purpose can be used for a variety of reasons including announcing extended absences from the team for vacations or mental health purposes to avoid burnout, taking team-wide votes, and making announcements for moderator removals, departures, promotions, and initiatives the team is pursuing. Many servers use a single channel as a catch-all update arena as it serves a very specific purpose and will not be used daily.

Leading and Training Channels

Although there are a variety of ways to organize your team hierarchy, in addition to regular moderators most mod teams also have administrators who are responsible for overseeing the regular moderators. Some mod teams also make a distinction between regular moderators and moderators-in-training, who may have different permissions compared to regular moderators or otherwise be subject to additional scrutiny during their training period. If these distinctions exist within your own mod team, it may be wise to create separate administrator channels and training channels.

Administrator Channels - An administrator chat is necessary to speak about private matters on the team. This is to judge general moderation performance, handle punishments for problematic actions internally, and it also serves as a place to handle any reports against moderators to ensure privacy. Please remember, it is important that these messages are not caught up in bot logging so moderators are not made aware of the fact that they are being discussed privately before leads connect with them.

Training Channels - General permissions granted to all moderators will not yet be accessible to moderator trainees, and thus some teams consider locking their access to select channels. There will need to be a space for all moderators and leads to privately discuss the growth of the trainees without them gaining access even after promotion. Some teams may go as far as to establish a unique action log channel used during training periods before giving them access to the full history of the moderation team once they prove their ability to be unbiased moderators. Again, it is important to ensure that discussion channels for trainees are exceptions to basic bot logging to avoid awkward occurrences with trainees seeing commentary about them that they should not see yet.

Miscellaneous Channels

There are a plethora of moderation channels that can benefit a team in unique circumstances that don’t fit into the above categories. Consider the following when thinking about what fits best for how your community is run:

  • Partnership Channels - If your community has partnerships of any form it may be worth considering adding spaces for your team to communicate privately with your partners. This type of channel might also be something that you want to restrict from trainees until they graduate to full moderators that know what it means to represent your team. Partnership channels can be used for spaces to coordinate with elevated server members granted special permissions like event managers. They also serve as areas to coordinate with community partners, and even places that your volunteer team can interface with the people that work for the game or organization that you support.
  • Meeting Channels - If your team has regular meetings, this can be the place to discuss the meetings, chat if you don’t want to use a mic, set meeting agendas, and keep notes for moderators that cannot attend. If you do not have monthly meetings, this channel may be useful to archive and reinstate as needed.
  • Appeal Channels - Smaller servers may not use a ban appeals bot for appeals since they often require the creation of a second server. In that case, some may consider it useful to have a designated space to discuss appeals coming in via moderator DMs, Reddit, google form, and any other way your team chooses to organize ban appeals.
  • Modmail Channels - If you use a modmail bot for general server interaction, a designated category would be useful to track threads opened by members to ask questions, share feedback, or appeal punishments that did not remove their access to the server.

Channels for Assisting in Moderating Related External Communities

If your community is linked to an external community such as Reddit or Twitch, it would be useful to have separate moderation channels dedicated to this external community in addition to your Discord moderation channels. Reddit moderation channels specifically can be created by utilizing webhooks. Reddit moderation spaces housed on Discord often have r/modnews updates feeding into a special update area and channel sets unique to their external community needs. You can also have new posts and comments logged into a designated Reddit action log for easy reference without opening Reddit.

Teams that have a separate Reddit or Twitch moderation team in addition to their Discord moderation team may have designated hangout spaces for all teams to get to know each other casually. But, most importantly, they may have shared moderation spaces to discuss troublemakers that can span multiple platforms to flag problematic users for the other team. Easy and specialized communication across teams will help to keep all facets of your community safe!

Conclusion

There is no right or wrong way to set up a moderation channel category outside of ensuring you utilize the correct permissions. It’s important to consider the needs of your community and how their needs translate to the needs of your team when creating your moderation space. Having flexibility and a willingness to grow as your server grows and requires change is imperative. While action logs are the most useful kind of moderation channels from a punishment perspective, hangout spaces are important to establishing team cohesion and rapport. Identifying the needs of your team and making sure they are adequately met will help you create the strongest moderation environment as possible.

Tags:
Moderation
Server Safety

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