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The Teams of VP | ModSquad (by Private)

It is time for the fifth article in our ‘Teams of VP’ series, and today we will take a closer look at a very important team, the ModSquad. With the help of our four current moderators - Hennastii, Legohouse, Photosynthesis and Savage - we will in this article cover the functions and tasks of a moderator, and get an insight into what it is actually like having your name highlighted in blue.


So, if you have ever been curious about what goes into being a moderator on vp, keep on reading this article!

 

What is the purpose of the moderator team? And in what ways would you say the moderator team differs from the other teams on vp?


Photosynthesis: The moderator team, in a nutshell, runs the behind the scenes aspects of the site to make it safer and more enjoyable to the rest of the users. We deal with incoming reports, people messaging us issues they may have, and also keeping an eye out on other forums. I think the one thing that makes the mod team different from other teams is you're kind of always doing work. Being on another team, you usually prepare your task and participate in team discussion. On the mod team, if you are online you're basically always working. There may not be reports at the time but something can come in at any moment or someone will message you with an urgent problem.



Can you share something about the behind the scenes work of a moderator? Is there something you do that people might not realise is part of the job?


Legohouse: I think many don’t realize when there is a problem on VP that needs taken care of, we all know about it. We are all also looking for a solution or figuring out how to deal with the situation. Although you might only see one mod giving a warning or closing a thread, it’s usually a team decision.


Photosynthesis: We do a lot of different things, but I think we are generally open with what we do. On the side of our screens, right under the forum search section, we have 6 (maybe 7, I don't have the group message function) extra bars that look exactly like the ones above the search bar. Those are our mod functions, which include anything from checking connected accounts, to-warning management, shout management (to delete shouts), and our reported messages section. This is where your reports go when you send them in. Then we have a message on your screen that pops up every 10 minutes to say "hey you have a report, come deal with this!" Something odd people might not know is we don't have that little box that pops up whenever you get an actual message (which honestly is one of the best parts haha).


The thing is, a lot of the work we do is behind the scenes. People think we don't do anything but a lot of the things we are dealing with are either through PM, or reports that come in. While we may not post in the forums that you report, we do give out warnings and TO's when needed. The thing with warnings is other people don't know you've got them. We may remove a thread and give someone a warning but someone gets upset like "why weren't they punished" etc but really they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. 



How much work and time does each member have to put into this team?


Hennastii: There are no exact hours or deadlines and such, so it’s hard to say how much we do mod work. We try to mod this site pretty equally, but sometimes there are times when the site is more quiet and there’s not much to do for a whole team. The amount of work and time depends on our personal lives; who has other work and studying to do and when, who goes to bed when and so on, since we all live on different time zones.


Legohouse: I don’t think you can really compare it to a set amount of time. It’s really up to the individual how much time YOU want to put into it. Or maybe how much time you have to give to it due to personal reasons or schoolwork. Because from the time you log that is the beginning of your “shift”. Work-wise depends on what is going on that day. You may have a lot of fights or reports that could take a bit to deal with or you may have nothing for the entire day. 



Being a part of the moderator team is perhaps the most mentally challenging vp team to be a part of, do you have anything you would like people to know regarding that aspect of your work?


Hennastii: Well, it takes a bit to keep your head cold at all times and solve the complicated cases we might get. I mean, you have to be ready to even punish your own friends if it gets to that point. Some cases need the whole team to agree on things and some cases may make you mad and frustrated but you know you can’t go and make a thread about it. There have been times I’ve been thinking about the cases on my own personal downtime because they’ve been that hard in a way or another. We’re not robots without feelings and regular human needs, we need to cope with life as well.


Legohouse: As cliche as it is, I think many need to remember there is a person behind the screen. What you say to us or about us, we read and it does have an effect on us. Don’t let others cloud your judgement. 


Savage: Even though VP might seem boring for most, we usually have things we are working on as a team. Things get tough but we still log on daily because we do care about the community. As a team, we try our best to think of the community for every decision we make - we might not always be right, but please remember to be kind. 


Photosynthesis: When I first joined the mod team, I lost a lot of friends. I cried almost every day because even when you are trying to do the right thing, people tear you down. I think people forget that we are not robots. We are real human beings and their words hurt us too.


We aren't trying to be the big bad guys, we are just trying to enforce the rules. It is definitely important to step back and ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed in a situation, which can happen often depending on what exactly the situation is. We try to work as a team and step in if someone is feeling overwhelmed.


The sad thing is, you kinda become numb to it after a while. People hate on the mods and you just sit there like "yeah yeah, same old same old". In the end, you have to do what is best for yourself. If your mental health isn't the best, take a step back for a bit. This is one of the situations we will be talking about in bootcamp with potential new mods as we don't want to see people burn out. 



What are some of the requirements each member of this team has to follow?


Savage: Each member has to follow VP rules. Apart from that, I think one of the biggest requirements we take seriously is the overall communication. If the communication on the team isn’t effective, we fall out of sync which affects everyone. 


Hennastii: We have to hold an unified line together, there’s no soloplaying in this team. Most of the users may already know that you also have to be at least 16 years old to even apply and you have to keep your head cold. Knowing a lot about VP as a site helps as well, since sometimes we have to answer questions from the users and it may help in solving the cases we get.



What do you think people should know and prepare for if they aspire to become a moderator in the future?


Photosynthesis: The work itself is easy, dealing with the community backlash is hard. You have to be prepared to not let it affect you. We generally look for people who are active, follow rules, and are able to give good generalized knowledge of the scenario questions. We teach you how to properly be a mod in bootcamp, but it's beneficial to at least understand the rules and have a general idea of how to deal with situations.


Also be prepared to see some really strange things. I've had to delete porn, gory images, and just some generally weird forums. We deal with a lot of sensitive matters as well, so be prepared to handle things that may be triggering to some. 


Savage: I think someone who aspires to become a moderator should be aware of the backlash they will receive. Even though it’s a pixel badge, you will lose friends and you will step on peoples (virtual) toes. Some days are harder than others and at times you will feel completely isolated from the community. 


Hennastii: You may face a lot of hate and anger in multiple forms while being a mod. People may not like you only because you have the famous blue badge. You may seem intimidating to some people and the others will laugh at your face, questioning your authority. Being a mod takes a lot, but it also gives you back. You just have to push through the not-so-great moments.



How long have you been a moderator on vp, and have you ever moderated similar websites or internet communities?


Legohouse: I believe I’ve been a moderator since 2016? I feel bad that I don’t know the exact time. I’ve never moderated any other websites although, like a lot of others, I tried to become a moderator on gsm.


Photosynthesis: I have been a mod since February 2017. I used to moderate for a couple Facebook pages before becoming a mod on here, but they are very different situations haha. 


Savage: I’ve been a moderator since March 2017 and I have never moderated other websites. 


Hennastii: I started as a moderator here on October 2018, so that makes almost two years on this site. Before this I was a moderator on Finnish goSupermodel site for 3 years.



What are the most rewarding parts about being a moderator? Why do you enjoy it?


Hennastii: It’s kinda like being a superhero, punishing the bad guys. I mean, I’m not Batman, but I enjoy making a difference on this site by making sure that everyone is safe and having fun instead of people trolling and scamming and whatnot. I love hearing (or mainly seeing hahah) a ”thank you” if we’ve done something right. It warms my heart.


Legohouse: Oh wow, that is a tricky question to answer. I think the most rewarding part about being a moderator is just the team you have. They are just about the only people who have your back and will stick up for you. Which creates a nice bond and friendships.


Photosynthesis: I like being able to help people. If I can make just one person feel more comfortable on the site, then I know I have done my job. It's the little things I enjoy the most. We are all volunteers so there's nothing really to gain from being a mod in that sense, it's purely emotionally rewarding (when it's not draining lol)


Savage: After being on the team for so long, I do feel like the team is family. It’s always been like that since we’ve always been a small team. Even though we might not always see eye to eye, we have some hilarious inside jokes and we are always there to support each other whenever we can. I’ve made some great friends over the last few years just by being on the team. (-:



Have the moderator experience taught you something that you will be taking with you to other aspects of life?


Hennastii: Hmm. When I first started as a mod on Finnish goSupermodel, I was just 15 years old (I'm turning 22 this month). Needless to say that I’ve been dealing with a lot after that when doing mod work and also in my personal life. I think that the most important thing that I’ve gotten out of this experience is that I usually stop to think before I speak if the situation is transforming into a conflict. I almost ask myself ”what would the moderator-me do”. Of course I can’t control my emotions and I’ve made a plenty of mistakes but I try to handle things better nowadays.


Legohouse: I think moderator team as taught me how to have a thicker skin, which is definitely something I need to have in real life. As well as, how to write a bit more professionally which is great for those school emails or jobs. 


Photosynthesis: Oh absolutely! I think it has helped me to become a leader and someone people can look up to in the real world. I actually used my mod position as an example in a job interview and ended up getting the job. It's also taught me not to take things that people say seriously. I was (still am who am I kidding) a very emotional person, but now I feel like I have better control over my emotions. 


Savage: There’s a lot I’ve learned from this experience. However, if I had to pick one thing I would maybe say being more open to hearing others out. Even if I don’t agree with someone, I wouldn’t hold their opinions against them. Disagreeing is inevitable, especially in a team like this. 



And finally, is there anything else you would like to say?


Hennastii: Special greetings to my friends here (you know who you are), new users welcome to VP and others: have a nice day!


Legohouse: I’m looking forward to seeing all the new faces in bootcamp!


Savage: If you have recently applied to become a moderator, bootcamp is right around the corner and we’re so excited to work with you! (-:


Photosynthesis: Being a mod isn't easy, but I am so thankful I joined. Through the mod team I met my best friend, Hypoxic, and that's the most rewarding part of it for me. We aren't scary, even if you disagree with us. Take a chance to talk to us and you will find we aren't these big baddies people make us out to be. I understand that we may have different views on things than other people in the community, but we aren't doing it because we hate you or because we have it out for you. We are just trying to follow the rules and do what's best for the community. If you ever have issues with the way the mod team is doing things, please send us a message and we will gladly discuss any issues. 




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Comment on the article The Teams of VP | ModSquad.
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Private wrote on 21-06 21:24:
YSL wrote:
i enjoyed reading this. thank u! <3
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Godis wrote on 21-06 17:44:
Godis wrote:
Good article and a nice layout!
How cool with so many Mod features.
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Private wrote on 21-06 12:13:
Hennastii wrote:
MissLondon wrote:
Nice layout!

It was a nice article but instead of "interesting", it just basically rehashed what most users are already aware of. 
I think most realize mods aren't robots, but there wasn't anything written that made them come across as personable. I would have appreciated something silly such as "silliest report ever received" or being informed of which
mods are responsible for moderating each section of the forum.. or if that's even a thing. 
Nice attempt but the writer wasn't given much of anything to work with. 
the problem is that we can't reveal information such as the "silliest report ever received". and for your other question, we all moderate every section of the forum since we don't have any dedicated sections of the forum to moderate individually
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Libertas wrote on 21-06 11:41:
Libertas wrote:
Beautiful layout and I love the format of this article! @Kawaiiflowergirl @Atencia 

It's nice to get an insight into what being a mod is like! 
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MissLondon wrote on 20-06 23:59:
MissLondon wrote:
Nice layout!

It was a nice article but instead of "interesting", it just basically rehashed what most users are already aware of. 
I think most realize mods aren't robots, but there wasn't anything written that made them come across as personable. I would have appreciated something silly such as "silliest report ever received" or being informed of which
mods are responsible for moderating each section of the forum.. or if that's even a thing. 
Nice attempt but the writer wasn't given much of anything to work with. 
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Private wrote on 20-06 23:53:
Hennastii wrote:
thank you for this opportunity to get our voices heard! 
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Private wrote on 20-06 22:17:
AtlantaG1912 wrote:
Atencia wrote:
AtlantaG1912 wrote:
[...]

Anyway nice article, just one thing i will add that could just be my journalism degree coming out haha. The order of the questions should flow instead of jumping around for example: How long have you been a moderator on vp, and have you ever moderated similar websites or internet communities?  this question would have been better at the beginning as it's giving you a little bit of information about the mods before you get into asking the nitty gritty type questions. 

xx
I see what you mean by that, and I will definitely put more thought into the order of the questions next time. Thank you for the feedback!
no problem can't use my journalism degree at the moment due to a pandemic but it can help others lol xx
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Private wrote on 20-06 21:22:
AtlantaG1912 wrote:
Atencia wrote:
AtlantaG1912 wrote:
[...]

Anyway nice article, just one thing i will add that could just be my journalism degree coming out haha. The order of the questions should flow instead of jumping around for example: How long have you been a moderator on vp, and have you ever moderated similar websites or internet communities?  this question would have been better at the beginning as it's giving you a little bit of information about the mods before you get into asking the nitty gritty type questions. 

xx
I see what you mean by that, and I will definitely put more thought into the order of the questions next time. Thank you for the feedback!
no problem can't use my journalism degree at the moment due to a pandemic but it can help others lol xx
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Atencia wrote on 20-06 19:23:
Atencia wrote:
Callum wrote:
i really enjoyed reading this! i feel like in the past you've been able to click on each member's interview?
i think thats easier for me to read because its not so much text in one section 
Yes, that has been possible with some of the previous team articles. I just wanted to try something different this time around, so that people wouldn't have to read more or less the same answer four times with the general team related questions for instance. But feedback is always appreciated, so thank you!
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Callum wrote on 20-06 19:06:
Callum wrote:
i really enjoyed reading this! i feel like in the past you've been able to click on each member's interview?
i think thats easier for me to read because its not so much text in one section 
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Atencia wrote on 20-06 19:05:
Atencia wrote:
AtlantaG1912 wrote:
[...]

Anyway nice article, just one thing i will add that could just be my journalism degree coming out haha. The order of the questions should flow instead of jumping around for example: How long have you been a moderator on vp, and have you ever moderated similar websites or internet communities?  this question would have been better at the beginning as it's giving you a little bit of information about the mods before you get into asking the nitty gritty type questions. 

xx
I see what you mean by that, and I will definitely put more thought into the order of the questions next time. Thank you for the feedback!
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Private wrote on 20-06 18:50:
AtlantaG1912 wrote:
I would like the mod team more if instead of just passing the message onto the team it got dealt with because it was only last week i had to message and never heard back. However, luckily for me i think the person who was causing me so many problems has decided to leave. Which yes it a shame as they'd only been on the site a month but oh well.

Anyway nice article, just one thing i will add that could just be my journalism degree coming out haha. The order of the questions should flow instead of jumping around for example: How long have you been a moderator on vp, and have you ever moderated similar websites or internet communities?  this question would have been better at the beginning as it's giving you a little bit of information about the mods before you get into asking the nitty gritty type questions. 

xx
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Private wrote on 20-06 18:38:
CheerGirl wrote:
This was a really interesting read and definitely gave more insight into the job, thank you NT and ModSquad for this article! Also, the layout is super pretty ahh
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Private wrote on 20-06 18:31:
Luminescence wrote:
 Thanks NT and ModSquad, I really enjoyed reading this! 
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Atencia wrote on 20-06 18:26:
Atencia wrote:
I hope you found this article on the ModSquad interesting, and that it answered some of the questions you might have had about the moderators on vp :')

And thank you to Photosynthesis, Hennastii, Savage and Legohouse for taking part in this interview! 
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SarKastic wrote on 20-06 18:17:
SarKastic wrote:
Here's an interesting read for you guys ;)



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