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Moderation and Metamoderation

I just got moderator access. What do I do?

Moderate! Read comments (preferably at a low threshold) and when you see comments that are very insightful, or perhaps just plain off topic, select the appropriate option from the drop down list. When you're done, hit the 'Moderate' button. That's it! Moderation is like jury duty: You never know when you'll be selected, and when you get it, you only do it for a little bit.

How should I spend my moderation points?

Concentrate more on promoting than on demoting. Try to be impartial about this; simply disagreeing with a comment is not a valid reason to mark it down. The goal here is to share ideas, to sift through the haystack and find needles, and to keep spammers and griefers in check.

I found a comment that was unfairly moderated!

For every moderator out there pushing an agenda, there are usually several good ones making sure that everyone is getting a fair say. To counter unfair moderation, though, we've come up with a system of meta-moderation (moderating the moderation).

What do the choices in the moderation drop-down boxes mean?

The default setting attached to every comment when you have moderation privileges.
A comment which has nothing to do with the story it's linked to (song lyrics, obscene ascii art, etc).
Comments whose sole purpose is to insult and enrage.
A Troll is similar to Flamebait, but slightly more refined. This is a prank comment intended to provoke indignant (or just confused) responses.
Redundant posts add no new information; they take up space with information either in the original post, the attached links, or lots of previous comments.
An Insightful comment makes you think, or puts a new spin on a given story. Examples: an analogy you hadn't thought of, or a telling counterexample.
If you believe a comment to be Interesting (and on-topic), it is.
Informative comments add new information to explain the circumstances hinted at by a particular story, fill in "The Other Side" of an argument, etc.
Choose "Funny" if you think the comment is actually funny, not just because it seems intended to be.
Sometimes comments are disproportionately up-moderated—this probably means several moderators saw it at nearly the same time, and their cumulative scores exaggerated its merit. (Example: A knock-knock joke at +5, Funny.) Such a comment is Overrated.
Likewise, some comments get smashed lower than they might deserve. Choosing "Underrated" means you think it should be read by more people.

What is metamoderation?

Metamoderation is a second layer of moderation. It seeks to increase fairness by letting logged-in users "rate the rating" of randomly selected comment posts.

What do "M1" and "M2" mean?

M1 and M2 are Slashdot shorthand for "moderation" and "metamoderation," respectively. We also use these with suffixes For example, if you see the term "M2ed," it means "metamoderated." Likewise, the term "M1er" means "Moderator."

Who can metamoderate?

In order to metamoderate, your account must be among the oldest 92.5% accounts on the system.

Why am I asked to metamoderate the same comment more than once?

Remember, M2 rates the moderations, not the comments. If the same comment was moderated more than once, it may appear several times to a meta-moderator, too.

How should I M2 if the moderator called it "Insightful" and I think it should be "Informative"?

Don't sweat the small stuff—both have a +1 effect on the comment. Rate the moderation "Fair" and move on.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell