Guidelines for Moderators

General Notes

  • Moderators will operate under the same rules and guidelines as regular Avocado members, except for the rule on sticky threads.
  • Moderators may act whether the issue is serious or minor, outrageously offensive, or petty and/or normalised problematic behaviour. Rules are non-negotiable and violations will lead to warnings or bans. Details about warning and ban policies can be found here.
  • Users are responsible for their interactions with other users. Moderators reserve the right, but have no obligation, to intervene in disputes between users.
  • Users are responsible for flagging comments for moderation if they see comments that violate the site rules. 
  • If users feel that no action/the wrong actions have been taken by the moderation team it is their responsibility to contact the moderator team and bring the issue to their attention.
  • Moderators reserve the right to discipline and ban accounts if the user has infringed the rules or the spirit of these rules. 
  • Moderators are not responsible for constantly monitoring threads in which they are active. All comments that violate the rules should still be flagged even if a moderator is active in a thread.
  • If a moderator starts a comment with “mod note/warning” they are speaking on behalf of the moderation team. If this is absent from their comment then they are speaking as a commenter.

Any actions taken are decided as a team by moderators. For more information on how this works look at the How Modding Works page.

Access to Confidential Information

  • People who retire from modding will retain access to general chat in the mod Slack, if they wish. This chat does not contain moderation information or confidential information about users or site issues.
  • People who are forcibly removed from the mod team will not, and will immediately be removed from all WordPress, Disqus, Slack, and mod email access.

Downvote Usage by Moderators

On The Avocado, moderators shall not downvote unless on a thread where downvotes are understood to be part of the joke (Strip Club) or between friends who understand that downvoting is a joke between them. On other Disqus sites, moderators are not to use downvotes to target individuals, and are expected to behave as respectful representatives of The Avocado.

Allowances will be made for accidental downvotes, which often happen while browsing on mobile. And if you see a moderator downvote, you are always welcome to contact us to clear things up.

The spirit of this rule is “If you disagree as a mod you should say something, not just downvote.”

Discussing Off-Site Interactions

Moderators shall not monitor off-site behavior of Avocados unless being made aware of a relevant concern. Moderators shall not make decisions about Avocados based on off-site behavior except in egregious cases. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Moderators will not use the mod chat as a tool of gossip.

Usage of Private Information by Moderators

Moderators will never use private email information about users (which we see through WordPress if you have an account) without permission from said user. Moderators responding to direct emails or to WordPress feedback will be an exception. Moderators will not use private email information for non-moderation interactions without permission. Moderators will never ask a member for private information to contact them for non-moderation reasons: if a member wishes to contact a mod for non-moderation reasons offsite, they will ask the mod as opposed to the mod asking them.

Language While Modding/Personal Interaction Style

  • Moderation shall not be rude or derogatory.
  • Moderators should avoid escalating interpersonal conflicts.
  • The mod team will avoid getting collectively involved in arguments in an official capacity.

Deleting Posts by Moderators

Barring items that need immediate action or obvious spam/trolls, moderators will 

  • ask for input from other available mods on a potential deletion, and
  • post a brief explanation for all deleted posts.

Note that a deleted post in and of itself is not a punishment or intended to signify resentment on our part. It is more a matter of preventing harm to other community members or the site.

Voting on Warnings

Barring obvious spam/trolls, when a warning is being considered, mods will do the following:

  • Open a vote on whether or not to hand out a warning.
  • Hand out a warning if a majority of available mods or a minimum of five have voted in favor after at least two hours.

Voting on Bans/Warnings Which Lead to Bans

Barring obvious spam/trolls, when a warning is being considered, mods will do the following:

  • Open a vote on whether or not to hand out a warning.
  • Wait twelve hours for available mods to vote.
  • If the vote is not unanimous, the voting minority has the right to appeal and call for another vote after making their case for a different outcome.
  • Warn/ban if/when a majority vote of “Yay” is achieved, either on the first or second vote.

In case of a ban, another vote may take place for determining the ban’s duration. Alternatively, it may be folded into the first round from the start.

Voting on other Issues

Voting may be used to make other decisions besides warnings and bans, such as changing entries on the automod filter. The time limit for such votes is twelve hours, after which a majority decides, unless otherwise agreed upon in the specific situation.

Voluntary Moderator Retirement

After announcing their retirement to the other mods and the time at which they wish to do so, access to all moderating-related resources will be revoked within 72 hours after the mod’s term ends. Access to non-confidential channels in the mod chat which do not contain moderating-related information will remain open to those who wish to stay there to keep chatting with their friends.

Forceful Moderator Retirement

Moderators should and will be held to the same behavior standards as the rest of The Avocado. We count on you as a community to bring any concerns you may have about a mod to us so we can act accordingly.

For basic rule violations, mods will get two strikes instead of the usual three.

For concerns brought to us by users, we’ll discuss reasonable concerns with the mod team, excluding the mod the concern is about but letting them know a concern was brought to the table, without naming the user(s) who have brought those concerns forward.

If a moderator is removed due to strikes or user concerns, their access to all moderation tools will be removed immediately after the decision is made to remove them as a mod, and an announcement will be made to The Avocado at large to let them know of the mod lineup change.

Editing Posts by Moderators

Moderators will not edit posts by members without permission.

Anonymous Reviews of Moderators by the Community

There is a form for anonymously contacting the moderator team with concerns about moderators or anything else. The feedback is evaluated by a small group of moderators who then bring issues to the rest of the team if necessary.


When at all possible, any deletions, warnings, or bans will take place through our normal process. In VERY rare cases when an Avocado member is being extremely disruptive, but not enough mods are around to reach a consensus, the mods available may issue a brief timeout until enough mods are available to reach a decision on what actions to take. This will be in the form of a short temporary ban, under 24 hours in all cases.

Such a ban will be announced to the member in question.

Favoritism/Modding Fairly

Mods will be as objective as possible when taking moderation action against an Avocado. If a moderator cannot be impartial towards a specific member, they will recuse themselves from the relevant decisions.

Personal Posts/Official Posts

Official moderator posts will be marked as such with “Mod Note” or “Mod hat on” or similar. Otherwise, a post by a moderator is presumed to be a personal post, not a mod post.