A group for DIY Drones moderators to discuss best community management practices.

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Moderator Basics

These are the basic instructions for moderators:

Most of what you'll be doing is approving (or not) blog posts and otherwise keeping things running smoothly.

With blog posts, the key things to check before approving are:

  1. Does the post start with an image/video or at least have one very close to the top?
  2. Are videos embedded? (Not a link to a video elsewhere)
  3. Is the post informative, rather than asking a question or a request for help? (Those should be sent to the discussion forum).

Feel free to make modest edits (such as moving a photo to the top, or turning a video link into an embed) yourself. If the post should be in the discussion forum instead, paste the text into a Friend request to the author explaining that and delete the post. (Using a Friend request will hopefully take some of the sting out of having to reject their post ;-) )

When Moderating Comments:

Deletion is really the course of last resort, and tends to cause more trouble than it solves. Instead, we follow this escalation process: 

  • 1st course of action in case of TOS abuse: Gentle note in the comments asking people to play nice
  • 2nd: Edit the comment to remove offending piece and add: "[Moderator: Text edited to comply with site TOS]". It's nice to PM the member with an explanation, warning
  • 3rd: Lock comments. Also PM member with explanation/warning
  • 4th (only in cases of gross abuse): Delete comment. PM member
  • 5th (very rare, and only after multiple warnings): Ban member

Our Culture and Values:

Mark Harrison, one of our star moderators, articulated our culture and policies best with this post, which I'll just quote verbatim:

Here's my general feeling about a lot of things on this site; in fact, it's pretty much my general philosophy for large parts of my life:

        "It's more important to enable good things than prevent bad things"

For diydrones, this generally means:

--Be generous in accepting blog posts. We're not at a point where there are more submissions than can be confortably digested in a day. Likewise, the term "drone" is evolving at such a fast rate it's hard to pin down exactly what it means for everyone. So, I'm happy to lump in quadcopters, FPV, gimbals, RC, artistic aerial videos, electronics, radios... all kinds of stuff that meets my nebulous criterion of "generally interesting to the diy drone community."

Now of course it can be protested, "what if we're flooded by dozens or hundreds of posts on marginally related topic X?" And my response would be, "let's wait until that happens; we'll have tons more context and it will be easier to make a specific decision then than make some globally encompassing set of rules now. We may all even be a little bit smarter and a little bit wiser!"

-- Be generous in approving users. Lots of people aren't comfortable with revealing too much information about themselves, or may not have a particularly cogent reason for joining a site. I'm somewhat of an exception to this case... "Are you asking what I'm interested in? Let's talk about me, it's one of the most interesting topics we can discuss, don't you agree?" But for a lot of people, they may interested in the topic, but not interested in telling you why.

-- Feel free to make mistakes, and be nice when other people are making mistakes. Sometimes the most interesting things happen when things go awry. For better or worse, sometimes the most education things as well!

I think this is pretty much in agreement with how the site has been run historically. It's a site for amateurs, by amateurs (keeping in mind the defintion of "amateur"... from the French "lover of"), and as such has had a pretty wide-ranging scope of what's acceptable. That's served the site well, enabling it to be as relevant (or even more!) in 2013 as it was when it was founded.

Of course there are big exceptions to this "don't sweat the bad stuff" philosophy -- brain surgery, rocket launches, and skydiving come to mind -- but I think it's a useful guideline for a site such as ours.


More instructions:


When is a blog not a blog?

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  • Moderator
    @TCIII actually Chris did not request
  • Admin

    @Hai Tran,

    Please refrain from mentioning 3DR in this discussion, as Chris has requested, as the discussion had nothing to do with 3DR.


  • Moderator

    @Sgt Ric - Completely agree and @Hai totally agree with the bullying comment. 

    Just not called for chaps.

  • Moderator
    Whilst I support respecting intellectual property rights, I think creating a shame badge crosses the line into bullying, harassment and potential defamation.

    From what I've read on this forum, most people don't even understand the different between patent vs copyright, which isn't suprising as most people on here aren't lawyers or studied intellectual property law. Therefore we shouldn't be slapping shame badges on people

    As Chris said, DIYDrones should remain neutral and putting a shame badge on a user even if they are guilty of failing to comply with open source licencing is wrong.

    I know that long time members, particularly moderators do feel a sense of loyalty towards 3DR, given the contributions that a number of 3DR staff/associates have made to this site.

    I have observed in the past an automatic aproval for 3DR product annoucements (no issues there), but then a double standard for non-3DR product annoucements being discussed on this forum.
  • Moderator

    I'm sorry, but "BadgeGate" left a bad taste in my mouth.

  • Admin

    Will do Chris.


  • 3D Robotics

    Mark: Just to be clear, this has nothing to do with 3DR. Craig does not work for us and he is speaking as a Dronecode community manager, not for 3DR. Also the code in question is not 3DR code. 

    It sounds like the desired outcome has been achieved (a commitment to release the code) so I would recommend removing the label.

    I'd like to keep DIYD as neutral as possible, and we should avoid having the moderators pursuing an agenda from other communities, such as Dronecode. We're all members of many communities (and I'm the Chairman of Dronecode, as well as the founder here), but we should try to separate them as much as possible to achieve clarity and consistency. 

  • Developer

    We have received a message from Bill Davidson with statements to the fact that they will make the necessary changes to comply with our licenses. 

    Once again our second most effective tool in getting people and companies to comply is publicly identifying them.  The most effective tool is education so I have removed the badge and will be helping them to comply.

    Thank you all for your support of the developer team and the companies and people who support us.

  • Admin


    I believe that DIYD was acting as a public Discussion Forum for a possible violation of Open Source Licensing requirements.

    I do not think that we were policing anyone and were just making information public to members who want to be sure they are buying from distributers who are in compliance with the Open Source Licensing requirements.


  • Moderator

    specifically, GPL violations.

    But that's a non-issue when discussing how the site is run.

    My key issue:  Craig should not have changed the label, and the label should be restored.  The label should be restored immediately, and not as a condition of any agreement regarding GPL violations.

    Secondary issue: I don't think DIYD should perform any active policing of members regarding their software license compliance or lack thereof.

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commercial advertisment post

Hi dear moderators, Recently I notice there are some " pure " advertising post from Skywalker / TopXgun ect. Where some of the post being deleted some make it to the blog post. I'm not really sure if this type of " blog " have a place here or we should delete it. As for the Skywalker, I saw their blog being deleted and a few day latter they post again with some minor modification, but still look 100% " advertisement " to me. It seems that they do " NOT " get the message or understand what their…

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Commercial Groups on DIYD

I think we need to discussion about 'commercial' groups like this new one i just noticed (especially since as the site is getting bigger)http://diydrones.com/group/outdoor-roboticsA quick visual search through gave me these 'commercial' looking groupshttp://diydrones.com/group/voltahttp://diydrones.com/group/ugcshttp://diydrones.com/group/uavsaShould we not be thinking that groups created by commercial enterprises require some form of sponsorship of the site or development work in the DiyDrone…

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3 Replies