An apology to our moderators

As you may know, all of the moderators for the Rusty Quill Official server left on Thursday 9th 2021. Our understanding is that their main reasons were:

  • They felt unappreciated by us as volunteers, particularly concerning the size of our Discord and the emotional labour that it takes to moderate such a space;
  • They felt that there was an absence of communication from our side, and that this impacted their ability to do their roles;
  • Some were protesting the departure of our Community Assistant/Discord Manager and the fact they had not been officially informed about this.

    (Please note: we cannot give any further details regarding this departure. It would be illegal for us to do so because it is a confidential HR process. This is also the reason we were unable to notify the mods at the time.)

We understand and appreciate the frustrations that they must all have been experiencing, and we unreservedly apologise for making them feel unappreciated. We are sorry.

In terms of a lack of communication from our side, this was often based in our concerns that making the moderator team privy to certain information about projects at Rusty Quill ahead of time could put them at legal risk if anything went wrong. If any information about confidential projects were leaked and we had included the moderators in our communications, they could all have been at risk of being investigated by third parties to identify how this information had been made public. To be clear: we do not think any of them would have been a liability, but we would have been unable to protect them from any investigations. That said, we do accept that we should have given them more notice of announcements that caused increased activity on the Discord, and we apologise for the stress caused by this. It was never our intent to wilfully delay information.

Moderation is a difficult job. Many of them had been volunteer moderators since the early days of the Discord, and we accept that the workload increased dramatically and that this level of work was unsustainable.

We were actively working on plans to compensate them alongside reshaping the server so that it was safer and more manageable, but these plans were obviously not finalised soon enough nor properly communicated to the mods. It was never our intention to take advantage of anyone, but we understand that the damage was done regardless. All of our former moderators will have the opportunity to give us feedback, and that feedback will be heard. We hope that they will accept our apologies.

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