Applying to be a Moderation Volunteer

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The Moderation Volunteers |
Moderation on h2g2 |
Applying to be a Moderation Volunteer

Moderators are one of the most trusted volunteer positions on h2g2. Because of this, they have to meet certain criteria for the well-being of the site and its users.

You must be prepared to send proof of your real name and address to Not Panicking Ltd.


This is non-negotiable. The Board of the company who run h2g2 need to know, in real life, who is making these important decisions on their behalf. This is in order to protect the site and its users. This information will be kept confidential and will not be shared with the other volunteers or site users. If you would like more details, please contact [email protected]

You must keep information confidential.


The moderation volunteers will read posts before they are removed, they will discuss behaviour of Researchers, and may also be given confidential information that they need in order to make good decisions. It is absolutely vital that this information remains protected and secure. We take this very seriously, and any breaches of confidentiality will result in disciplinary action.

You must understand the site.


One of the main difficulties with moderation on h2g2 is knowing what’s appropriate in context. Someone new to h2g2 can't possibly fully understand its feel, style and culture, and we believe this is an important aspect of h2g2. We want its protectors to be people who truly understand who we are. As such, applicants must be an active member of the site for at least 12 months to be considered.

You must be able to make balanced decisions.

This is a crucial element of moderation, and involves many different skills. For example, we would like you to have:

  • The ability to remain calm under pressure
  • A reasonable memory and the ability to piece together information from different sources
  • The ability to take advice when necessary, to accept that you may not always be right
  • The ability to speak on behalf of a member - to put someone else's viewpoint across, even if it is not your own point of view
  • Have good communication skills for discussion with the other moderators and with Researchers (if appropriate)
  • Have an altruistic, not personal, reason for volunteering. Moderation volunteers need to be working for the sake of the site, not themselves
  • The ability to forgive past misdemeanours so that you don't develop prejudices that could colour future decisions
  • The willingness to make decisions on your own, but also work as a member of a team
  • A sense of humour, empathy, kindness and compassion – you may have to deal with difficult decisions and these qualities are essential to making these situations easier for all
  • The honesty to say ‘I'm too close to this situation, I can't moderate here’, either through a friendship or a past falling-out
  • The willingness to accept and admit when a mistake has been made, and to cooperate with efforts to put mistakes right

You must be prepared to go through training.


There is some initial training and testing that all applicants must go through in order to see if your abilities match what the moderators require. It’s not easy, but we need to know that we can rely on you to make decisions that are in the best interest of h2g2, if we are to trust each other.

You must be prepared to dedicate time to the team.

Although real life takes priority, we need to know that we can rely on the team to cover the workload. As such, we ask for a minimum commitment of three hours per week, unless prior arrangements have been made with the team leader.

You must not have been previously suspended or banned.

How to Volunteer


If you are interested in becoming a moderator, please do not volunteer on site. This is partly because we may refuse applicants based on a wide variety of reasons including a lack of vacancies, and it is not fair to do this publicly.

Please email [email protected] and include answers to the following. Please note that we don’t expect you to have previous moderation experience, but it is useful for us to know if you have.

  • Why do you want to be a moderator?
  • Do you have any past moderation experience, or other experience that you feel would make you a great moderator?
  • How much time will you be able to commit to the role, and what hours will you generally be available?
  • What makes you a team player?
  • Any other information about you that supports your application.

Last updated on 15th October 2011.


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