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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  • Admin

    Looks like the Moderators are not keeping up with the Unassigned Forum posts.


  • Moderator
    Morning everyone, sorry for lack of contact since my question on a possible spammer. I'm a long way overseas for a couple of months and internet connection is sporadic. Thanks for your input.
    Regarding Barbara's post issue, it is a great shame that despite being informed of the reasons she claims no idea why she was moderated. It has lead to a few members getting totally the wrong impression, particularly sad as this site has an excellent relationship with its users.
    As to the rogue moderator- unfortunately very possible. Approving members and posts is hardly arduous considering the acceptance requirements and obvious TOS. Ignoring the odd mistake that we can all succumb to on occasions, there does seem to be an inordinately large amount of incorrect approvals. The missing headers is just one obvious and continual issue- I have lost count of how many I have had to edit after someone else's acceptance. A moderator log would be fantastic if it was a possibility.
  • Moderator

    @Chris Norris , it has long been a complaint of mine that NING did not have adequate logs, for exactly the reason you suggest.

    We have often wondered if we had a rogue moderator that did not share our sense of commitment and perhaps had a darker agenda.

    I thought we were in the middle of moving off of NING?

    Did that not happen?

  • Moderator

    I was thinking in the interest of clarity it might be an idea to keep track of what we're all doing as Ning doesn't seem to have that feature. Soooooo.....

    I've approved 4 people this morning that seemed legit and canned this guy 

    About mark

    About Me:
    Please tell us a bit about your UAV interest

    For two reasons, first his about me and interests were junk but more worryingly (to me) his IP address ( came back as being in an entirely different location to where he claimed to be from.

    I've approved 1 borderline blog post (UAVs in Australia) and rejected another which was asking for peoples opinions on a new flight controller

  • Moderator
    I'm pretty pissed off that Barbara's post, after all the debating about censorship, was deleted by her and promptly replaced with another that mostly missed the mark.

    I also don't agree with approving her new blog post as-is, especially since it doesn't meet the the most basic criteria we're supposed to follow.

    Chris, if you're going to ask us to follow the guidelines that you set, please give us the courtesy of weighing in on the issue on the rare times its requested.
  • Moderator

    I see a post at the header this AM (0830 GMT) approved with no picture and no value really. We must not just approve posts. If you have any doubt put it up for the vote here first.

  • Moderator
    True, I would not have approved that person, but to clarify, I suspended them when they bulk spammed many of our members. Otherwise they would not have shown up... Makes me wonder how many other Trojan users are lurking out there simply because of lax reviews of new requests (?).

    Why be a moderator if you don't care?
    It doesn't make sense.
  • Admin


    Would you or any of the other moderators have approved the member identified by Sgt_Ric? If not, then it is the work of the Rogue Moderator:-)


  • Moderator

    @TC - What do you mean?

    @Chris - I wish she would have left it up after all that. I messaged her to let her know that it wasn't specifically about her, and told her that I would like to see her post again with an excerpt and a link, if she wishes. Can you weigh in on your opinion of all that? 

  • 3D Robotics

    I approved Barbara's post explaining why she deleted her own post: 


This reply was deleted.

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