The Music Electronics Forum (formerly AMPAGE) has multiple moderators, selected from long-time trustworthy members. (How I got to be one, I have no idea. ) With a group of moderators, if anything drastic needs to be done, they act like a firing squad. That is, anybody who is directly affected by the actions of the moderating team has no particular person to harbour grudges against because they have no idea how many and who took action. That said, much of the moderation I'm aware of (via the "attention" notes I get) involves bots and spam. Very little at all involves people behaving badly. I got asked to be a moderator at the Stompbox forum, but declined. I don't know how much there is to moderate there, since people are VERY well-behaved and co-operative compared to a great many forums, but once in a while there is an incursion from someone or something that simply leaps in and tries to sell stuff. In any event, the multiple-moderators idea appeals to me.
The suggestion by some of perhaps having a moderator for the "For Sale" sub-forum only is worth considering. It isn't perhaps as personally "risky" as moderating the Political Pundit or Open Mic sub-fora, since its workload appears to be mainly cleanup rather than dust-ups. As such no single person would become the target of anyone's vitriol, so the multiple-moderators model is not as applicable.
I think one of the harder parts of moderating involves having acknowledged "scripts" that represent standards a forum aspires to; brief boilerplate notes that essentially say "Here's the way we do things here, for the sake of the long-term viability of the forum - no exceptions no favorites.". As I'm fond of repeating, much of the misery in the world seems to begin with "But I was just..." - people doing things that they think of as fine and justified and not really all THAT bad, eh, so maybe you could just make this exception this one time.
Actually if it’s only for FS cleanups we don’t ever really need to know the identity of the moderator in charge of it. Simply a deletion and a “canned” anonymous message stating the reason for deletion.
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