Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

If I knew then what I know now…

Recently on my favorite non-Stardock site, Quarter to Three we celebrated its 10 year anniversary.  10 years ago was before Galactic Civilizations (for Windows), Sins of a Solar Empire, ObjectDock, Fences, Tiles, Demigod, etc.

So what was my biggest internet activity 10 years ago and before? Moderating our forums.  I also was a moderator of’s forums when it started out.

And let me tell you, nothing creates long-term animosity faster than having to enforce forum rules.  Now, if I had known back then that my name would come up in the media on a regular basis, I would have avoided being a moderator like the plague because you can always count on some banned or moderated person to come out of the woodwork to attest to your douchery in comments on other sites.

So do we have any current or former online community moderators reading this? Share your stories with the community in the comments. Being a moderator is a thankless job but so crucial to keeping the overall online community from becoming toxic.

Comments (Page 1)
on Aug 17, 2012

I actually used to moderate one of the most popular forums in Sweden. Well, I participated in moderating a part of it (because it is so large). The forum is famous for being incredibly open and free. So you'll find things that you don't really find anywhere else, such as discussions about file sharing, political extremes, hackers, drugs, and "illegal" documents. Prohibited were things like child pornography, personal information about non-public figures, arranging drug sales and so forth.

I just lost interest after a while, because there seemed to be a never-ending supply of creeps lurking in the woods, constantly testing the moderation. I did hear of several incidents where moderators had basically been "outed" by forumgoers and harassed. Also many tales of moderators overstepping their boundaries as well.

on Aug 17, 2012

I was a moderator on a website once for a few years.  It was created as a social site from people who met on Gamefaqs, and found there forums a little young.  I became a moderator after having a huge fight with one of the forum administrators about the fairness of bannings.  They kind of  decided it was better to have me inside their tent pissing out, than outside their tent and pissing in. 

on Aug 18, 2012

I used to be a moderator, but then I took a pony to the knee.

on Aug 18, 2012

Jafo pleads the fifth...

on Aug 18, 2012

I used to be a moderator on Wincustomize...... Even had a death threat once. Says it all eh?

on Aug 18, 2012

Used to be moderator on a couple of big sites. Gave it up, thankless is not the word. You either have to be a serious controlfreak or a masochist to keep that up.

on Aug 18, 2012

Perhaps it's because I've only moderated fairly small communities, but I've never really had a problem. Being a moderator seems to me more like a form of public servant; you have access to the software functions that could be abused but are useful, and you use them on the behalf of others when it would help. Actively banning is not something I can even remember doing besides in the case of spambots.

on Aug 18, 2012

I used to be a moderator, but then I took a pony to the knee.

Made me LOL - thanks.

on Aug 18, 2012

Well, I used to be a moderator of sorts and approved submissions at a site called way back before it went to crap (DO NOT VISIT THAT SITE TODAY (VIRUSES AND TROJANS)!  Did the same over at for a while too when James owned it, AND YOU DON'T WANT TO GO THERE EITHER (VIRUSES AND TROJANS ALSO)!

I definitely got nasty comments from people when I had to turn down their submissions.  No fun!

on Aug 18, 2012

You either have to be a serious controlfreak or a masochist to keep that up.

Jafo tosses a coin....which am I? ....

on Aug 18, 2012

I used to be a moderator on Wincustomize...... Even had a death threat once. Says it all eh

So it wasn't just me then...


At the moment I'm a moderator on two sites, one of which is probably the most popular astronomy forum there is. We have more new posts in a day than WC gets in a year

Moderation is strong though. We have a swear filter, but still have to remove words from time to time. Anyone acting negatively towards the site or members doesn't last very long. No politics or religion, and no off-topic. Trolls last seconds, spammers even less...

...oh, and I have a very large banhammer

So what do we have? One of the largest, most vibrant and happiest forums you could wish for

on Aug 18, 2012

Fuzzy Logic
Jafo tosses a coin....which am I?

One... or the other.  Apparently.

on Aug 20, 2012

I was a member of a closed focus group once on a private forum.

I was given moderator powers without being told. The problem with being a moderator when you don't know is thus.
The "leader/operator" had an opinion in a post that was 1/2 flamewar and 1/2 valid points. The leader posted his opinion, and then locked the thread. I didn't realize the thread was closed, and posted in it.... and yes, because I had moderator powers, the thread was re-opened rather then me receiving a "sorry this post is closed" message.

Naturally I was kicked out of the closed focus group, after accused of being a rabble rouser and abusing my power. I couldn't help but notice it didn't stop them from using all the ideas I had brought up. Too bad it ended that way, because considering the number of my ideas that were used, undoubtedly the products could have been even better if I was in the focus group for its entirety.

I'm still bitter about it sometimes.... I'm sure it shows when I am reflecting on this situation specifically, and posting at the same time.

I was also a moderator at, a DungeonSiege fan site.

For the most part it was a great community... but man... I have seen some things when "unstable" people get angry. In some cases when someone violates the ToS and I step in (nothing personal, just enforcing and explaining why the enforcing is taking place).... then it would seem these types of people would break EVERY SINGLE RULE within the span of an hour, out of spite. It's one thing to mouth off at a forum admin on some topic, I can get that (having done it lots myself ) but something completely bizarre to see a tirade of racist, homophopic posts and insensitive pics directed specifically against me, my lineage, and the imaginary forces apparently under my command... it wasn't even that big of a forum.... these people are out there, among us in the real world.

on Aug 20, 2012

these people are out there, among us in the real world.

And I'd say I've met them all except, like dog poo I know there'll always be another one....just round the corner.....

on Aug 22, 2012

Jafo tosses a coin....which am I? .


Really?  After all these years ur still debating it?