EVERYBODY KNOWS AND NO ONE CARES
I think people sometimes make the mistake of assuming that everything they hear about is fairly common knowledge.
For example, everybody knows that...
- Professor Littlefinger tortures students
- It's okay to roleplay ________ even though its against the rules, because Euron Greyjoy does it all the time
- Daenerys Targaryen is a mod favorite and therefore immune to punishment even though she keeps setting people on fire
- Joffrey Baratheon is a creepy harasser
- Weasley watches Game of Thrones
Unfortunately, this can lead to the idea that if everybody knows and nothing is said or done about it, then nobody cares and there's no point saying anything about it. That is not true! Please talk to us.
(Also, the "common knowledge" may be utter codswallop.)
PLEASE REPORT THINGS
If you see something that you think is against the rules or is upsetting people, please report it to us. Please be sure to include a short description of the problem. (It is not always clear.)
Please don't assume that we already know and we approve just because we haven't publicly excoriated the members involved. Much more likely: We don't know about it. We really don't. We haven't seen it. Please assume we don't know and click the Report button or PM one of us.
There are 11 moderators and hundreds of character accounts, with people churning out content hourly. We don't see everything. We can't. We are not paid full-time employees. (We are neither paid, nor full-time, nor employees). The moderators primary jobs are not centered on reviewing content. There is a lot of work to accomplish to keep VH running. We do rely on you to let us know when something is up.
"But probably someone else already reported it."
Doesn't matter. They might not have. And if they did? Multiple reports are not a problem at all.
"It's probably not that big of a deal, I don't want to bother people or get anyone in trouble"
If it's not a big deal, the moderators will definitely not make a big deal out of it. We often receive reports on content which we determine is not against the rules. No one gets in trouble. Not you and not the person you reported. They are not going to learn that you reported them (not from us anyway). We still appreciate people contacting us about it.
Keep in mind that even if something may not be a problem on its own now, small incidents that become a larger pattern of behavior can be something we'll need to address in the future.
WHEN YOU REPORT CONTENT
The moderators will look at your report and the content in question and discuss it amongst ourselves. If we feel the rules are being broken, we will contact the person who posted the content and let them know what the problem is.
Generally for rule-breaking IC content, they'll be asked to edit and they'll receive a warning. If the warning is ignored and the infractions continue, then we'll take more serious steps which could include taking house points, loss of jobs or titles, suspension, etc.
Consequences are naturally subjective to the severity of the infraction and a few severe content issues result in immediate banishment (as noted in our rules). But for most content issues, we prefer to always give people a chance to correct the issue before more serious steps are taken.
Please don't assume that nothing is happening because you don't know about it. We prefer to handle these issues privately between us and the members involved. Most often these are misunderstandings of the rules and we don't wish to set the members up for humiliation.
Also, we do know we can be too slow sometimes to address reports and that's something we'll work on. Sometimes we're swamped and sometimes we just don't know what to do about it yet. Please don't hesitate to follow up with us and give us a nudge.
Note: The above is referring mainly to IC roleplay issues. OOC infractions differ greatly in severity and nature and our response will vary accordingly.
People sometimes make sweeping statements about "The Mods" and our biases, failings, and agenda. We also see comparisons between something we did 5 years ago and something we did last week presented as proof of... you name it.
The fact is the mod team is ever-changing. Over the last 13 years, we've had at least 28 moderators. Only Snape and I have been around since the beginning. Certainly we have some core values we expect everyone to uphold, but every new mod brings their own perspective and priorities with them. Few issues we have to address are so cut and dry that the decision made by 2009's mod team would be the same as the 2019's mod team's decision.
One of our newer mods had a question for the existing mods when she was hired. "What was the most surprising thing you learned when you became a mod?" Someone answered "How much people have lied to me."
As you probably know, most of the moderating team have active student or staff characters. We are your friends and acquaintances. As such, we are present in many chats and conversations (though not as many as you might think!). It is hard to express just how many outright untruths we hear about ourselves, other mods, and other members on a regular basis. We watch people lie about things we supposedly said to them. We watch people pretend to know things they couldn't possibly know about how we do things or about plots. Sometimes they're not even intentionally lying. They've clearly made an assumption and spread it as truth.
It is a very weird position to be in. But what can we do but shake our heads and try to laugh it off? People are strange. We love a lot of them anyway.
My point is this: Please view any sweeping statements about what "The Mods" think or want or do with a healthy skepticism and consider not spreading them. Unless the person is currently a moderator, it is speculation at best, colored by that person's own experiences, biases and desires.
PLEASE DO NOT let any such "common knowledge" dissuade you from contacting us or reporting something. We need to know about that professor who sent you a rude PM whether or not "everybody knows that prof is a mod favorite".
MODS AREN'T IMMUNE
Of course we're not perfect. We screw up. Take too long to answer people. Misread things. Make bad calls.
But we're always trying and we do our best to make up for mistakes.
But please know that Moderators are not immune either. You can report us as well, preferably in a direct PM to me. (Unless you want to complain about me. You can send that to Snape). I hold them accountable even more so than students for breaking the rules they're meant to uphold. I reluctantly admit there's a reason getting a PM from me scares even the mods sometimes.
(But truly, I'm usually very nice? Please don't be scared to PM me).