Ask Massively: Everything in moderation

Put it on your action-item list
Happy Fourth of July, Americans, and happy new columnist day to Massively! Yes, it's official: Anatoli Ingram will be joining the Massively staff this month as our new Guild Wars 2 columnist. Those of you who dwell in the land of comments and trolls might recognize him from his erudite posts as Ring Bonefield. We're thrilled to have him on board to lend a pen and a critical eye to such a popular game, and we were equally thrilled at the impressive pool of applicants. Thank you all for applying!

Speaking of commenters, we have comments on the brain today in Ask Massively. Let's review how -- or more specifically, when -- we moderate the comment section.

Last week, two people expressed anger over what they perceived as slow comment moderation. One shouted "CAN WE GET A MOD ALREADY" at one o'clock in the morning, according to the comment timestamp. The other demanded to know why we weren't immediately responding to his report on Saturday about a commenter who'd said something mean on the internet.

I know you guys think we float around on a yacht encrusted with diamonds and gold, but seriously, no. We have a budget like any business, and we have mandates about how and on what we can spend that budget. Three lead editors handle the moderating in between their actual work, every single day. We just do not have the budget to pay someone to babysit That One Guy who can't control his behavior in the middle of the night.

Pretend you're me. Make a managerial decision. You have a chunk of money to spend. You can spend that money heavily moderating the comments off-hours, which some commenters would still deem insufficient (just as they did when we had a full-time community manager), or you can spend that money on content, which has a measurable impact on the site's lifespan, our jobs, and your ability to keep reading. Yeah, we're going with content. You would too. Without content, there's nothing to comment on anyway.

That doesn't mean you won't get justice if someone says something mean in the comments. We are serious about our code of conduct, and we'll trot out the delete button and the banhammer when necessary. But try to consider that outside of our regular 12-hour days, that troll might have to wait a little bit for his comeuppance. We're pretty sure the world won't end if we ban him at 9 a.m. when we're awake rather than midnight (and fair warning: Any troll who acts out off-hours is probably going to suffer more wrath than usual).

What should you play? Where is the MMO industry headed? How does Massively operate? Has Lord British lost his marbles? Why is the edit button on a timer? Should "monoclegate" be hyphenated? Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce submits to your interrogations right here in Ask Massively every other Thursday. Drop your questions in the comments below or ping us at ask@massively.com. Just ask!
This article was originally published on Massively.