Meta Features and Abilities
Metas may perform the following community management functions: New Editor Applications, New Category Permissions, Abuse Investigations, Editor Removals, and Nominations of Candidates for Higher Permissions. There are no minimum time requirements or quotas. Any time you can devote to these activities is valued by editors and the greater Web community. You are not bound by doing only these functions. You are in a unique position to seize new opportunities and fill in gaps where you see them. New ideas for growing and developing the ODP are encouraged.
In addition to the features category editors and editalls have access to, metas have access to additional features.
The most important meta activities are combating abuses and spam, and taking corrective actions against behavior that seek to harm the directory. To facilitate these activities, Metas should use the dashboard message tool to issue warnings to wayward editors. Instances where the tool may be used include abusive editing, uncivil and inappropriate communications, and other harmful activities as specified in the editing guidelines.
When a dashboard warning is submitted, the warned editor can only continue editing after accepting the warning. All warnings are logged and subject to staff and meta review for appropriateness. While consensus is not required prior to issuing a warning, it's often helpful to get the input of others to ensure that a warning is an appropriate and necessary step.
To ensure proper self-regulation, Metas should avoid issuing warnings over e-mail, AIM, ICQ, and other external communication media.
Metas may grant editors additional permissions without their explicit request, and under the following conditions:
- When an editor is dropped from a category by a "Catmv" bug, or other instances where a bug might leave editors without categories.
- Adding former categories to a reinstated editor when necessary.
- When an editor is applying and getting accepted for a number of subcats, you may grant a higher category.
- If an editor creates a new category in their Bookmarks or Test categories, and forgets to name himself as editor, you may grant him the permissions.
- If an editor is doing a especially good job, you may grant categories as way to reward and encourage the editor.
Editors should refrain from asking metas to grant categories as a way to circumvent the new permissions process. Also, metas should refuse requests that don't involve special circumstances, or in cases where a category request was recently denied by another meta.
When an element of the ODP is being abused, you can prohibit, via specific criteria, certain users or groups thereof from using these features. You can implement blocks for the Add URL form, the editor fora, Editor Feedback, and the Newapp feature.
- This feature should be used very cautiously, metas should take extra care to ensure that if banning an IP address it is a suitable static address, for example banning a dail-up ISP of a major host would have no effect. When in doubt post in the meta forums for discussion.
- All actions to ban must be backed by a clear and repeated violation of the directory and/or submission guidelines.
- Blocklist entries are subject to review for appropriateness by staff and other metas.
Metas may lock forum discussion threads. Doing so prevents editing of existing posts, and posting of new ones, to the locked thread. For threads that have either been continued elsewhere or duplicate an existing thread, you can lock them without discussion. In all other cases, you must document your reason for closing the thread either in the thread itself or in the Meta forum.
Metas may create and close polls for editors. You can specify which class of editors should be able to vote. When resolving issues, polls can be useful in two instances:
- When you have a set of options that have come out of some brainstorming and discussion, and when you can't glean a clear consensus or compromise from the discussion itself. Polls are to be used to help direct a course of action rather than a consensus on a final decision. They should be used in the final phases of a discussion, not as a last resort.
- For fun, Penguin Cafe type topics (e.g., the Mozzies, browsers editors use, favorite color, etc.).