Zoom Moderation

As a moderator, your primary duty is to help the whole of the Populace enjoy their event.

What are the rules & guidelines?

To begin, I recommend checking the Online Event Etiquette page on this site.

A few specific recommendations:

  • It’s easy for someone to unmute, so don’t feel bad about muting people who are transmitting noise, personal conversations, etc.
    • During Court, or during a class, presentation, or performance, it’s best to aggressively mute the audience members.
  • Likewise, if you see something inappropriate and/or private, don’t hesitate to turn off someone’s video.
  • Zoom sometimes allows you to unmute someone else. It’s usually best to NOT use that, as you may inadvertently share a private conversation, etc.
  • Some people are more talkative than others. That’s fine, but if you notice that someone is dominating the conversation and especially if they’re cutting off others who are trying to contribute, it might be time to intervene.
  • Politics and other controversial topics will come up. It’s usually not a big deal unless the conversation gets “stuck” there. Keep in mind that even if the conversation is going smoothly — for example, if “everyone” seems to agree about the topic — the conversation may be making others uncomfortable and keeping them from contributing. Also, remember that modern topics aren’t really what people are here for. If you think it’ll help, it’s fine to suggest a new topic.
  • It’s usually best to try to keep the conversation mostly family-friendly… mostly. You don’t necessarily need to kick a person the very first time they use a four-letter word (depending on how they use it) but if they’re using harsh language repeatedly or going into topics that aren’t appropriate… use your judgment.
  • If you need to intervene with the same person more than once, consider a “three strikes” approach where the third strike leads to being removed from the event.

If you’re unsure about what to do in an active situation you can always send a message to another moderator, the Webminister, the event steward, or the Seneschal to discuss it.

The actions you can take

If you click the “…” menu on a person’s image, or the “More” button on their entry in the participants list, you should see a list of options. The most interesting are:

  1. Mute: use this any time someone is broadcasting noise, feedback, echo, or personal conversations. They can easily unmute next time they’d like to talk to the group.
  2. Ask to Unmute: this shows up if a person is already muted. If you’re sure that the person wants to talk or has been called on to talk, you can use this to make it easier for them to find the “unmute” button.
  3. Stop Video: use this if they accidentally share something private or inappropriate. If they do so on purpose, consider whether to stop their video or remove them from the event.
  4. Chat: use this if you’d like to send a personal message to the person. Some examples:
    • Just so you know, your microphone is much quieter than most people so we’re having trouble hearing you.
    • Sorry, I had to mute you because we were getting a lot of feedback. It might help to turn your volume down or use headphones.
    • I’m glad you’re so engaged in the conversation but please remember to leave room for others to contribute, too. Thank you!
    • etc.
  5. Pin: not useful to a moderator since it only affects your screen.
  6. Spotlight for Everyone: make this person the focus of the room. You can use this in a class or presentation to spotlight the presenter. You can also use this in Court to spotlight more than one person, such as the Baron, Baroness, and an award recipient. Remember to un-spotlight the person when they’re done!
  7. Make Host / Co-Host: this gives someone admin / moderator abilities.
  8. Put in Waiting Room: this removes the person from active conversation but doesn’t completely kick them out of the event. This is useful as a quick way to contain a problem.
  9. Remove: kick a person out of the event.
  10. Report…: kick a person out of the event and report inappropriate behavior to Zoom.

NOTE: If you remove a person you must report it to the event steward or the Seneschal.

In case of a “Zoom Bomb”

Dragon’s Laire had its very first “Zoom Bomb” at the beginning of our Yule Feast in December of 2020. Hooray!

If someone connects to the Zoom event with the intent to be disruptive:

  1. Quickly:
    • Click the “…” in the upper right corner of the person’s image, or the “More” button on their line in the Participants list.
    • Click “Put in Waiting Room” — this is sort of a “soft kick” and will stop them from further disruption while you proceed.
  2. Now that the problem is contained you don’t have to rush any more.
  3. Find them in the Participants list and pick “Remove”
  4. In the box that pops up, verify that you have the right person.
  5. If they were being intentionally disruptive or inappropriate, make sure “Report to Zoom” is checked.
  6. Click “Remove” and the person will be disconnected and barred from coming back.
  7. Report this to the event steward or the Seneschal.