To All FNaF Community Moderators – A Small Guide

Hello all.

I’ve taken a break from Popgoes the last few days to write this article. Today, the 14th of March, is a very special day. It’s the day I got kicked from the official Freddit Skype chat for trying to tell people, hey, lets not call people we dislike paedophiles.

I’ll get on to the exact situation in a bit, but it’s worth noting, the Freddit team were not responsible for that situation. One of the issues I’ve outlined below is the main fault. the administration was constantly shifting hands in turmoil. Therefore, they had no hand in that situation.

This article itself was meant to be a proper guide, but it went a bit freeform. It’s not quite as editorial-esque as I like, but I need to get off this topic onto the Popgoes stuff. I need that done. So, this is what I’m putting out. It should suffice. Also as a note, I tend to use the terms “Admin” and “Moderator” interchangeably. They’re not accurate terms to the people I label them to, half the time. But, they hold the roughly same amount of power.

Still, to commemorate this, I’ve decided to write this article. I’m writing this mostly as I’m tired with how the community at large acts when given authoritative power. So many communities have fallen due to poor admin skills, and so many revolts have been staged. I’ve been here for over a year now, and I’ve seen mistakes across the board for FNaF admins, through all communities I’ve seen. I’ve seen it on Steam, I’ve seen it on Discord, I’ve seen it on Reddit and various other fansites for FNaF.

This should not be a surprise to anyone. Most of the FNaF community is young, and most admins are not even over the age of 18. You would expect them to fuck up. However, FNaF is a tightly knit community, with its central congregations spanning a select few websites. With so few sites, and so many under-18’s, the entire situation is a recipe for disaster, which we have experienced multiple times. Hopefully, through this post, some of those mistakes will be corrected and avoided.

I want to state, this is not a dig to any particular group. I’m purposefully keeping nearly all identifiable information out of the limelight. This is a very frustrated veteran of administrative work seeing the repeated mistakes, and just wanting them to stop. Administrating users is not hard. It’s actually quite easy. This shouldn’t be that hard. But before I start, let me get the big question out of the way.

Who are you to critique our admin skills?

I am Kizzycocoa, and my past experience has spanned numerous forums and wikis. My least known position comes from the myAPERTURElabs forums, which was one of the two largest Portal communities, and is sadly now defunct. However, I am much more well known by my Minecraft Wiki position, in which I helped to keep the Minecraft Wiki moderated. I have had a few years of experience from the forums, and literal years of experience with the wiki.

When at the wiki, I was helped by a lovely woman called Wynthyst. She sadly passed away, but she taught me a hell of a lot on how to run a community. She was employed by Curse, and had started and helped to maintain countless communities in her tenure. The wiki wouldn’t have looked the same without her.

That is who I am. A former admin for one of the two biggest Portal communities, As well as a former admin of the Minecraft Wiki, of which I’m still listed as an admin in the event of an emergency. I also have had professional help and guidance by someone who’s literal job was to create and maintain communities for a living.

Basically, I know how to be an admin to a pretty high industry standard. So, let me begin.

Guidelines

There are a few guidelines I’d like to shoot out there first. These are guidelines I followed to a T, and still do follow, which has led to a thriving Discord community.

  1. Keep your community secured from attacks or hacks.
  2. Be open with your community about your actions, issues and rule proposals. Seek their approval and advice.
  3. Listen to the community when it complains – you may be the one in wrong.
  4. Ensure users can choose who becomes a mod.
  5. Do not have too many tiers in your moderation. A team works better on a level playing field.
  6. Ensure you have total control of the channel. Ensure that either the community founder or your most reliable user is the server owner. This makes sure that a doomsday scenario can be averted.
  7. Do not use permanent bans unless absolutely necessary. Banning is a reform and punitive action, and permanent punishments are not effective.
  8. Act on and within the rules you set. Do not act extra-judicially in your community.
  9. Act on the merit of offences. Do not get personally invested in the people behind the offences.
  10. Do not apply punishments retroactively, based on long-since-passed drama or issues.
  11. Don’t be a dick.

A simple, easy list. All of these points should be no-brainers. I would seriously question the credibility of any mod who would disagree on any of these points. Sadly, in the FNaF community, these values are rarely help up in their entirety.

Specific Situations

This brings me to the more meatier part of my article. I am going to go through various offenses in the community, and without naming names, analyse the problems these actions will cause. Some of these will outline the basics I covered above. Some of these will cover new topics. All of these scenarios are true, and I have the screenshots for them. From request from some concerned parties, I have decided to transcribe nearly all of the screenshots, rather than show them.

1) Do not negotiate with hackers and spammers

This can lead no-where good. Above all else, don’t give them your account in exchange for security. It will not go well. You cannot run a community by caving in to hacker’s demands.

Further, there is NO GUARANTEE they will stick to their word. These people are out to cause chaos. They don’t give a shit about any deals.

Instead, here’s what you do. Firstly, secure yourself. Change your password to your account, and the email account it is tied to. Then, change passwords to your financial accounts, just in case. Paypal and the like.

From there, release news to your community that this person exists, the mods are prepared for them, and details on how they can be prepared. From that point, suppress any and all details of the hacker’s actions. Some hackers feed off of hearing their victims complain online, or by watching the panic spread through the community. By cutting that off, you cut off the purpose for the hacking. Set up a direct email link to users so they can alert the admins themselves, if that will help ease your community’s minds. A sort of “hotline” for users to report their own accounts being hacked. Note that these messages may not come from the users they claim to be, so keep an eye on their accounts without banning them instantly.

At that point, you will have a secure account with a community that is more knowledgable on the dangers that are developing, and a central intelligence pipeline that works within the moderation team, not out in the public for everyone’s enjoyment.

I’ll let you in on a secret, and be prepared to let your jaw hit the floor with disbelief. since opening this site, there have been over 1365 attempted break-ins recorded by my security software. These are from hackers who do not announce their hacks to their victims. people who try to sabotage websites without the grandstanding. I get emails every month, detailing the amount of attacks the site has withstood.

Hacking happens. you just need to get the right safeguards to prevent it from happening. Any words from blackmailing hackers are nearly worthless. Be thankful the moron decided to announce his hacking, and protect yourself.

Try to act within the bounds of the law

User 1 – What the fuck happened, I went to eat diner and next thing I know talk about CP and strikes
User 2 – curious as to what you think might have been a better sequence of events, <USER 3>
hey <USER 1>
<ADMIN> searched for child porn as a “joke”

The above happened. It literally happened. An admin, utilising a bot, searched for child porn.

The admin, instead of apologising, doubled down.

Why do you think R34 is stil up?
it DOESNT count as CP

I mean, do I really need to explain more here? This is the realm of common sense. For fuck’s sake, do not look up the exact phrase “Child Porn” in any capacity, let alone as a figurehead of your community, and WITHIN the community chat. These are the most fundamental basics. How can you possibly fuck up on this scale?

And to try to JUSTIFY this. Just, fuck no. The fuck are you thinking.

Do not celebrate users leaving your community

It is always a sad time when a user leaves your community. It is one less voice in this group of shared interests. What you absolutely should not do is celebrate that event, particularly when the person in question has helped your community grow for a long time.

User 1 – super stuff, thanks <ADMIN 2>. you’ve been great from the beginning, as i’ve expressed graciously
<USER 1> just left <CHANNEL>. Bye bye <USER 1>…
<USER 2> just left <CHANNEL>. Bye bye <USER 2>…

Admin 1 – ADIOS
Admin 2 – it’s called
cleansing

Founder 1 – good riddance
Admin 2 – clearing out the trash
Founder 2 – We’ve given them too many chances
Founder 1 – in the entire time they’ve been in this server
Founder 2 – Insulting users was a big part of it
Founder 2 – but yeah they dead
not coming back
<USER 3> just left <CHANNEL>. Bye bye <USER 3>…
Admin 2 – good
Founder 2 – HAHA
Admin 2 – YESS
Founder 2 – 3 DOWN
<DAB EMOTE>
Founder 2 – All he did was start a 3-4 day argument over “why the server should be how i want it” and now that we’ve changed it he goes full facebook angry emoji
Admin 2 – “I worked so hard to ger the server to where it was, and I just don’t have it in me to try again. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. <USER 1>, <USER 2>, <USER 4>, <USER 5> blah blah blah. I tried so hard with this server. My god I put so much effort into shaping the server into something the majority of the community wanted. These rules, guidelines and the general system that was in place, was just absolutely demolished with no vote, approval, or even an explanation. Just because the mods said so.” – <USER 3>, 2016
may he rest in piece.

These messages are hard to decipher without the screenshots. Allow me to contextualise this. This is about Users 1-3 leaving/getting banned from a server after a moderator came into power who many rejected. This led to the downfall of the server, ultimately. In fact, many flooded from that server into ours.

Users 1 and 2 are known to talk more than bluntly in the community. Their actions do not deserve permanent bans. But that is besides the point to be made. The moderators and founders clearly showed that they did not care these people left/were banned. That it was a good thing that they were gone.

No explicit rules were violated, and yet they were forced out of that community. Not only that, but the newly elected moderator in question was the same person who searched for CP with the bot in the previous point. That however was a few weeks after this incident. Nevertheless, this user had a bad reputation prior to this event, and many of the chat rejected him based on his past.

I do not feel they should have been excluded from the chat, but I make no official judgement call there. What I do condemn is the appearance that they are celebrating these people leaving.

Shortly after they left, the new moderator (who would in time go on to cause the CP incident) posted this message

Admin 2 – Kill All Niggers Everywhere

Sadly, I cannot hide the identity here. This was aimed at a user called Kane. They took his name, and made a VERY offensive joke out of it. The fact a moderator can post something like that without so much as being talked to by those above him is ridiculous.

We’re lucky to have this information too. Shortly after this incident happened, we tried to get screenshots of it. However, the people in charge refused point-blank to let an innocent user into their channel, on the basis of the plans to screenshot this information. They knew what he was going in for, so instead of judging them based on their personal merits and track record, they refused him access.

The term “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” comes into play here. If you lock up your chat because you feel someone will be able to make you look bad, chances are, you’re not doing a good job of being in a place of authority. This ultimately caused this article to be put into motion.

Do not ignore your users – They will only get louder

We all know what this is about, so I’ll try to make this as impersonal as I can.

When you stick your head in the sand and pretend the community does not want you in your position of absolute power, you only build up the inevitable. To ignore the community is a massive mistake, and will build community resentment.

Instead, confront the community. Ask what you can do for the community. Ask what they feel the issues are, and how you can make good on their issues.

Don’t meddle with people’s real lives

inhales
SO
THESE TWO WERE IN THIS RELATIONDHIP RIGHT
AND <USER 1> DIDNT TELL HIS BOYFRIEND WHAT WAS WRONG
SO I TALKED TO HIS BOYFRIWND AND WAS LIKE “If he didn’t tell you what was wrong, the rest of the relationship isn’t really worth it, just break up with him”
ANND


I don’t I’m lazy
BUT I MADE HIS BOYFRIEND BREAK UP WITH HIM AYY
YOU KNOW WHAT MAY HAPPEN
<USER 1>’S MAY KILL HIMSELF
<USER 1>’S BOYFRIEND GOT BACK TO ME
HHAAHA HE ACTUALLY DID IT
When the breakup is very good
Haha yes
I WOKE UP THIS MORNING AND <USER 1> SENT ME 24 FUCKING MESSAGES

WHAT EVEN
what are you gonna do now

Meme around when he tries to talk to me
Because I hate the fucking cunt
(That’s how I piss people off btw if you didn’t notice)


No idea.
I’m pissed
This fucking cunt’s a cunt
Tbh

what did he say?
Nothing

The above is a personal message between an admin and a user. As a small point of behaviour, you probably shouldn’t aim to break up the relationships of users in the communities. That is stupefying, that you would take pleasure in helping to dismantle someone’s life. That is not mod-material.

The user in question was someone who had caused some drama, but did that require this person to maliciously break up their relationship? It may be just me, but I’d suggest that no-one should break people up over how they feel about them, or any drama surrounding them.

Don’t seek petty revenge

This is linked to the previous issue, and was brought to my attention after this article was posed. I’ve added it for neutrality, and to expand on the point.

The victim of the previous incident went on to honeytrap the admin by taking their friend and forging a fake relationship with the admin and their friend. It covers the exact same point as the previous one, with the added point of “you should rise above petty revenge”.

<USER>
We could get him demodded
He is already on a thin line
He thinks he owns the world

I just don’t know if I can go through with this
gg lack of movtivation

Think about all the people you’ll help in the future
Oh yeah..
Why don’t we set up a little group chat with us 3, when I get on PC
Wait wait wait
Not yet

WAIT
Dude.
This needs to hurt him as much as it hurt me.
Lead him on.
As much as I know you’d hate it, you gotta go with the flow here

So lead him into tbe relationship, be his cum dumpster for a bit, then pull out the screenshots
Why push him off a roof when you can push him off a cliff for all he’s done?
True true
<ADMIN>, you fuckin’ brilliant genius

He deserves this for what he’s done to every one
Not even just me
Even for what he did to you

Oh yeah..
This better work

It will
So what happens afterwards?
After what?
After you expose <PREVIOUS ADMIN>
He finally learns his fucking lesson lmao

Two weeks later:

Group PM thing
Alright
When should we do that?

ASAP tbh
Well, uh, you can make it
<--- pussy

are ya read for this
Cause I’m not
ready*
wait
I can’t add <PREVIOUS ADMIN>
He’s not on my friends list
You need to make the group

Ffffuck
Did it

Just follow my lead
<USER> hurry up

I’m too nervous

It appears that both users in the previous were admins, so this shows a clear lack of unity in the team. But overall, a moderator should rise above this nonsense. If you have an issue with a co-worker, you report it to a higher authority to deal with. These users should have let someone higher-up sort this out, rather than fuck with each other’s personal lives. If the users are higher authorities, just leave. save everyone the hassle, including yourself.

Both of these admins were in the wrong. Both the one who split them up, and the one who was split up who then sought revenge by catfishing the first admin, essentially.

I won’t make a judgement on who was morally superior – that is not this article’s intention. But I will point out the obvious. Both of these acts are repulsive, and a proper moderator would never take part in either splitting people up on purpose, or trying to catfish them with your best friend, yanking them away when they get closer.

Don’t invade other people’s chats

This has happened a few times, and while I cannot pinpoint the direct involvement, this invading/witchhunting happened every few weeks. People latch onto a person and hunt them down, simply because they don’t like them. Not due to corruption of their power, or them not doing their jobs for the community, but just random witchhunts on youtubers and invasions of other communities and chats.

At one point, an admin raided a youtuber’s stream, repeating the phrase “SQUIDWARD ON A CHAIR”, spamming up the chat. Later, they said “<STREAMER> kill yourself live on twitch”.

When a mod does this, you’re publicly smashing your own credibility as an admin. TO tell someone to kill themselves is not something an admin should do, particularly to a streamer whom it’s presumed you do not know well enough to contextualise that as an in-joke.

Before banning, ask for evidence from all sides and inform the accused of your reasoning

One of my acquaintances were banned from a FNaF community about half a year ago, or thereabouts. They were banned with evidence from one side that was easily refuted.

Basically, this person was being blackmailed. They had threats that their work would be released to the public, well before the intended time. So, they gathered their friends and got details as to where this person lived, then confronted him. They locked both of them into a strange ying-yang of blackmail. If the work was released, then the police would get called to the blackmailer’s house, which would be fairly awkward for the blackmailer and their parents.

This story was presented to a moderator, who banned the user outright. They did not talk to them or walk through the ban. After I got involved, having known of this deadlock, I asked if the accuser was the blackmailer. Turns out it was, alongside 2 of their friends. His story seemed to be the most credible, while the friends naturally seem to have made all of their shit up.

A user should always be aware of why they were banned. A moderator should always seek all sides before banning.

Do not limit free speech

That was bad enough, but so blindsighted were these moderators, they had planned to ban any talk of this user or their work in their community, a feat that’d be impossible and stupefying. I hear they dropped it soon after its discussion, but the mere thought of trying to ban anyone from talking about a person’s work is ridiculous.

Some final notes

You are not above your users

You are not kings. You are not part of a special group that makes you more important than any of your users. You are a servant. You need to recognise you are serving the community. You are not above the community.

This is so important, and something that every good admin MUST recognise. You are not above the community. You are serving it. Being an admin is a duty to protect and cater to the community, holding the power in a central trusted body to ensure anarchy does not ensue. It is not a treehouse group for you to brag over, it is not a status symbol and it is not a pawn to be used to one-up another member of the community.

People look up to you. People have you in that position of power and congregate to your community because they trust your judgement. Do not let this get to your head. There’s nothing positive down that road.

Your team is meant to be a team. Fellow mods are not competitors

The moment you stop working as a team, you’re not able to moderate properly. If you keep undermining each other, you will lose credibility for the entire chat.

Be completely open about what you are doing

The truth will out, always. Trying to be shady behind the velvet curtain will not go unnoticed. Every unjustified ban, every ignored digression, every unexplained drama will mount up higher and higher, until the entire house of cards comes crashing down on you.

You need to be open and honest. You need to view the position in the same was as the president of a country. If you start doing shady stuff out of view of the community, it will catch up to you. People will notice and leak your actions to the general public. However, if you’re honest and work to help the users, you will go a long way on that alone.

Don’t grief

This one is too specific, I can’t get into it without exposing the community I’m referring to, so I have to do so. I’ve heard literal nightmares from the official Freddit Minecraft server of moderators destroying people’s buildings and banning people for little-no reason. Don’t do this, just let people build. Don’t destroy it all like an absolute asshole.

It’s not even just one user who’s come to me, expecting me to do a full article. It’s many, many users. Seriously, sort it out.

I have been informed that while there were issues in the past, these issues have been fixed. The advice and issues still stand, but the minecraft community appears to have improved drastically since the stories I’ve heard. Please, feel free to contact me confirming or denying these changes, which seem to have occured within the last few months.

What brought us here

There are many things that have brought about this article. the primary firestarter were the events detailed in “Do not celebrate users leaving your community” event due to their refusal to let someone into the community to see the messages. That made me determined to document it. But I’ll talk about one event in particular. the one that started a year ago today. One I will recite fully. I’ve provided the sole screenshot to the right of this text, along with just 1 person uncensored

I cannot tell you how hard it is to resist putting this one up without censors.

A year ago, the official Freddit Skype chat was taken over. The owner, was kicked from his position somehow, leading to someone else taking the reins.

Following an incident earlier that week, a modeller in the community grew fearful of a known personality in the community. This fear was unfounded, involving doxxing threats. It is very likely they were goaded into this fear by the blackmailer themself.

The chat then kicked a known personality, and invited the blackmailer into the chat. There was havoc. The Freddit admins who were in the group had no power. This is why you should ALWAYS ensure you own the chats you run, because this can happen. The owner was trusted, but somehow dethroned. Then this shitshow happened. No Freddit mod could keep order in the chat, as it was hijacked.

The story is, after kicking out this personality, the blackmailer and their friends wrote blogs, detailing this personality to be a paedophile. A vile accusation, that can rarely be beaten. To call someone a paedophile is to risk painting them with that slander permanently, regardless of if it is wrong.

Naturally, this was only due to this person’s hatred of this personality, as well as their friends.

I fought back these accusations. They were completely unfounded, so I tried to reason with the people involved. As you can clearly see, this did not work.

I was kicked from the official Freddit Skype chat. I was kicked from the chat for trying to stop others slandering a perfectly innocent person.

The fact the mods had no control over this only went to paint an embarrassing picture of this situation. They could not control their own community. All their control was taken away. In the Skype chat, they failed as moderators to keep the peace, completely and utterly.

But, I leave Springweb’s name uncensored not to paint him in a bad light, but as a thanks to him. He tried to stop it, and to that, I have to give props to him, even if he did not have the tools. He tried. Granted, he could have intended to ban me if he could, and then we’d have a whole other section. But he tried to take control, and you have to respect him for that.

By this time, the original modeller at the beginning of this had wanted it all to stop, and was shunned by the people who white-knighted him so badly, so far to try to ruin this personality’s life.

In response to the blogs and the kick, I wrote a much, much more in-depth article over the situation. The first one on this site, to be precise. I plastered it to the site, and I spread it where I could.

After this, I found out many high-profile users were involved in a plot to take down the previous site of this personality, to replace it with jumpscares or porn. Then finally, a still-prominent figure in the community suggested the foulest of things. A picture of a real ISIS victim being beheaded, with this personality’s face over the top of this victim. The quote was “replace the site with an isis beheading with <USER>’s face on it. I’ll make the picture now. send me a picture of <USER>’s face?”.

The bare-faced disrespect of these people to the dead was sickening. To even consider something as low as an ISIS beheading is inexcusable.

Not only that, but they planned to do this on a site that has a mostly underage audience.

I called them the fuck out on this. Put the skype logs out for all to see. Everyone could see what they had schemed for the site.

Then, these cowards suddenly got scared. The community could find them out. Their reputations, destroyed by their childish behaviour. A part of me wants to see that fear realised still. One of these people are still quite well known in the community. The one who suggested the beheading idea.

They basically demanded it be taken down. I obliged, on one condition. They were to take down their blogs. All but one took their blogs down, the last having deactivated their account a month or so after. With ~3/4 of the blogs down, I hid my article behind a password-protected wall, to ensure I could bring it to public if they broke their end of the bargain. This then launched my wandering into writing editorial-style content about the community, to shed light on the worse side of the community. Shining a light on that behaviour is the best disinfectant.

That is what originally started all of this off. I’d like to thank anyone who’s still reading. Please, click on the image to the right to see the full conversation of the chat. I’d like to thank my fellow moderator Kenan for helping to stitch this together. This is what happens when safeguards are not taken, and when you have a rogue moderator. I was nothing but fair and civil, and was kicked for no reason. If you do this as a bad moderator, it can come back to haunt you. This event, if uncensored, could have haunted many people.

This article is not for general people to view, but anyone can view it. I’ve set the redirect protection on this, and put it to the opinion blog. it will have exceedingly low exposure. This article primarily aims to try to put my lessons, and the failure of others, into the heads of current admins. Dont follow the mistakes of the past. Read them. Know why they are bad. Learn from them and apply them to your own experience. You’ll find the community you build to be a much, much nicer one in the end.

Thank you all for taking the time to read however much of this article you read in the end. Popgoes is still coming soon. almost done now.

As a final note, I’d like to state, I feel the Freddit team have done an amazing job in their hirings and overall work. I sincerely hope they keep up the good work I’ve seen so far, and keep working as a team. If any of them want help, I’d be happy to give it to them any time. But this is not a dig to them, or to some other communities I have referenced. This is purely a disclaimer. An attempt to instill a level of common sense to the moderation of this community.

Happy moderating. Please, read those quotes and guidelines, and know that they will help you to build a happy community. If you ignore them, like many of the communities mentioned, yours is likely to fold.

Kizzycocoa – Owner and designer of FNaFLore.com