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An Annual Plea For Moderation

World Series - Chicago Cubs v Cleveland Indians - Game Six
“It wasn’t the nicest comment, but I’m leaning towards just a warning.”
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Wait, you read the headline and thought that AN was socially responsible and wanted its reader to drink less this holiday season? I’ve seen the outfield, I’ve seen the right side of the infield’s projected OPS, and it would be irresponsible of you not to increase your alcohol consumption in the coming days. Until further trades, you are expected double the amount you guzzle right before you drive your kids to soccer practice while simultaneously texting, putting on your makeup, and sifting through the CD collection under your seat. Remember: It’s not "distracted driving" if you can’t remember it later.

Each year, AN puts out a call for members of the community who might want to join our team of moderators. It has worked well to add about 2 moderators/year, to bolster the number of eyes monitoring and adjudicating adherence to our Community Guidelines as well as replacing any moderators who step down because they are starting a new job, raising a new baby — ok it’s usually because they’re in jail and the wifi there is spotty, but the point is sometimes moderators do step down.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know to decide, "Hmmm...{strokes imaginary beard} moderating on AN right for me? Am I right for them?..."

WHO: Generally we try to add moderators who have been on AN, with a public presence in the comments, for a while, meaning that they are known to the community. We are, of course, seeking members whose reputation through their comments and interactions reflects well on them, but sometimes that’s in the eye of the beholder anyway. Perhaps as importantly, we try to add moderators who care about AN and feel invested in its continued success as a community that can debate, laugh, and connect without insulting, dividing, or excluding. Moderating is a way to give back to the community, as well as a way to fake, at cocktail parties, an unwarranted degree of self-importance.

WHAT: Being a moderator is not time-consuming. Moderators — who are usually already frequently reading AN’s threads — are asked to look, around 3 times each week, at a Dashboard that is only viewable by administrators, in order to see any comments that may have been flagged and to offer feedback on whether they think a "ban" (bad troll!) a "strike," a "warning," or "no action" is appropriate. Occasionally more complex cases (e.g., a flag for a user already with 2 strikes), or more general questions around CGVs/policy, are discussed in an internal email thread. And that’s pretty much it.

"HOW MUCH DO I GET PAID?": Aww, they’re so cute when they’re young! Silly goose, moderators do not get paid, except in love, appreciation, and the highest currency of all: "The satisfaction of a job well done." On the plus side, no pesky W-2 forms so the risk of paper cuts is slim to none.

So...If you’re interested in joining AN’s moderator team, simply contact Alex Hall ( and he’ll tell you who to really contact. (I kid, I kid: he’s the one to contact.) You can also let us know by saying so in the comments section of this here thread. Or you can use this thread to share paella recipes, to moan about the A’s, to moan about Cindi’s "eggplant paella with one egg and two plants!" recipe, or to issue a stern critique of my taking drunk-and-texty driving lightly. Which I agree is bad, but still not quite as bad as the A’s outfield. Or your face after you apply your makeup while changing lanes — which, I should add, is a mistake I won’t make again, believe you me.