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DMOZ: Open Directory Project

Editor Abuse and Removal

The ODP has a no non-sense policy toward those who chose to abuse the the directory and refuse to follow basic editing policies. It's extremely important that Metas combat abuses by acting swiftly and severely. Abuse is distinguished from honest editorial mistakes, which may be due to gaps in knowledge and understanding. Abuse should receive the harshest blows from the Meta community. Honest editorial errors can easily be corrected with a guiding hand. This section covers procedures for dealing with abuses and editorial actions that commonly warrant account removal.

General Poor Editing

Poor editing differs from abuse in that there is no intent to cause harm to the directory. Each case should be considered uniquely, since skills and abilities vary by editor. Frequently, poor editing can be corrected by teaming the editor up with a more seasoned editor who may be willing to function as a mentor. However, if poor editing continues to devalue directory quality, and little corrective effort is being made by the editor, a Meta should consider issuing a dashboard warning. If this is not effective, the Meta may consult with others in the Meta forum on next steps that may include reduction in permissions or account removal. In all cases, while every effort should be made to help a well-meaning editor, repeated and egregiously poor editing should not be tolerated.

Editorial Abuse

Editorial abusers completely disregard the ODP's editorial policies as well as the overall spirit and intent of the project. Examples of editorial abuse that are not tolerated, and may result in account removal include, but are not limited to:

Other Violations

Uncivil and intentionally disruptive editors who cannot work within the ODP community may be removed. Flaming other editors, submitters, or staff is not tolerated at any level. Violating the confidentiality of the forums, editor notes, editor e-mail or other internal notes is also unacceptable. These kinds of violations apply to editors of all levels, including Metas.

Metas should make a concerted effort to regulate themselves. Metas who find themselves at odds should make every effort to work out their differences on their own, or request mediation from a neutral Meta. Staff should be consulted only as a last resort. Metas who fail to work out their difference may have their Meta permissions revoked. On the other hand, Meta abuse is a serious matter, and should be immediately reported to Staff.

Removing Editors

Account removal and permission reductions are serious matters. In many cases, abusive editors may be warned prior to removal if the Meta feels the person will end up editing in good faith and make positive overall contributions. However, the ODP does not benefit by retaining or coddling editors who are not intent on correcting their behavior or acting in anyone else's best interest but their own.

In any case, you should initiate a discussion in the appropriate Meta Only forum to discuss next steps. Allow other Metas to voice their opinions on the matter. Each meta should independently review the facts presented, and post their thoughts, whether it is for or against removal. This is extremely important in order to achieve a well-rounded consensus.

Before proceeding with a removal, at least 5 Metas must agree on the vote to remove. Except for extreme cases of abuse, Metas should wait at least 24 hours from the fifth removal vote before removing an editor's account (or reducing the editor's permissions).

If removal of the editor is warranted, the meta who started the discussion should be the one who disables the editor's account.

Alleged abuse must be investigated carefully before it is presented. Be sure to consider other information that was not previously presented.

Do not remove an editor's account or category permissions without consensus of the other Metas. To do so is considered abuse of your Meta privileges, and will result in removal of these privileges.

All account removals are subject to staff review and appeal.

Extreme Abuse (Emergency Removals)

If an editor is doing immediate and serious damage to the directory, or violating forum communication and privacy guidelines in the most egregious way possible, a Meta may immediately remove the editor's account or reduce permissions without discussion. An emergency removal should be followed up immediately by a post in the appropriate Meta Only forum, explaining the actions taken and why.

Immediate damage to the directory generally refers to an editor who is mass deleting sites or mass-spamming the directory or forums, but can refer to any situation where serious damage is in progress.