Scratch Community Moderator Guidelines
The Scratch Online Community is a unique and special space - a space in which a diverse collection of people are invited to imagine possibilities, create projects, and share ideas. To allow this space to flourish, we like to think of a community moderator's job as guided by four principles:
Being respectful. People in the Scratch community have many different backgrounds and styles, and express themselves in different ways. Being respectful of these differences -- and making sure that community members are respectful of one another -- helps to create a space where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas.
Being constructive. There are times when participants are unclear or unkind in their comments and interactions. These situations can be frustrating for everyone involved, including moderators. But rather than reacting harshly or critically, it is useful to provide participants with constructive suggestions. As moderators, we try to encourage and enable, not criticize or dismiss.
Being reasoned. As moderators, actions that seem very obvious to us may be confusing for a newcomer. Providing explicit reasons and explanations for our decisions and actions gives participants a better understanding of the workings of community, and makes them feel a stronger sense of belonging.
Being aware of your role. Moderators have a special role in the community, and participants often attach greater meaning and importance to their actions. Sometimes participants think a moderator's opinion on a topic is final, even if the moderator only meant to share their point of view. We must be careful to express our thoughts in ways that encourage ongoing conversation.
What Scratch community moderators do
Answer questions by pointing to examples or existing answers within the community
It's often useful to provide specific examples to help solve problems. Moderators can point to particular projects or forum posts in response to questions. For example, if a member asks about how to animate a sprite, the moderator can suggest:
Check out YYZ2's stop motion animation project...if you look at the costumes, you'll get a good idea of how to make stop-motion animations (http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/YYZ2/865358)
Give feedback by offer ways to extend or improve instead of saying that something is bad or good
Rather than pointing out errors or inconsistencies in a member's comment or project, community moderators can provide helpful suggestions and alternatives. For example, if a member calls a project trivial or uninteresting, the moderator can model a more appropriate response:
"I like their choice of colors and the way the rabbit hops up and down. I might add another character (a friend for the rabbit!) and provide a way for people to interact with the characters."
Help explain the community's values
"I like your project and I think the remix is also pretty cool. It's great that your project inspired someone else! This is one of the goals of Scratch - we hope to create a community where everyone shares and learns from one another. For more information, check out the Scratch "License to play" (http://info.scratch.mit.edu/License_to_play)."
The best way for a moderator to participate in the community is by making helpful comments and forum posts -- moderators can serve as good models for the rest of the community. But sometimes moderators may have to take other actions, like flagging inappropriate comments or projects on the website so the Scratch Team can review them. On the forums, moderators can do important jobs like moving posts that are in the wrong forum, merging threads that are on the same topic, closing topics, and cleaning up spam.