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Moderation

Another question you will need to answer up front is whether your forums are moderated, and if so, to what degree. On moderated forums, messages are filtered and processed by one or more moderators that must approve all messages to make sure that they follow the established rules and norms. An example of a moderated forum would be a message board for people coping with cancer. The moderator in this case would approve all messages except for blatant advertisements and trolls (messages intended to inflame and infuriate others).

Unmoderated forums are free-for-all discussions in which anything goes. People can say whatever they want, and it is up to the members of the community to enforce any rules and social norms. An example of an unmoderated forum is an ad hoc chat room set up by a high school student where she and her friends can talk about whatever they want. The only thing keeping people from being viciously rude to one another in this case is the fact that they know each other and have an ongoing relationship, seeing each other in school.


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