Moderator guidelines

Version 1.0 - August 28, 2020

This document presents the guidelines for how to moderate the Sketchers United art community. In addition to guiding moderators, this document inform users about what to expect in terms of rule enforcement.


The primary function of a moderator is to enforce the rules of the community as defined in the terms of service, or the rules of a specific segment of the community like a public channel or chat room.

A secondary function is to educate and inform the members of the community about the rules and guidelines.

Moderators must be objective and fair. Personal opinions and relationships with other users must not affect the decision making process. Moderators should assume good faith on the part of other users until proven otherwise.

Who are the moderators?

Moderators are users in the community that have been assigned the moderator role by an administrator. There is no special age limit for moderators. However, only moderators who have a confirmed age of 18 and above have access to reports of offensive content.

List of current moderators

Moderator tools

Moderators have access to a number of special features for managing users and content in the community. Moderators can

  • Review reports submitted by users.
  • Remove posts, comments, and other content.
  • Suspend users/accounts temporarily or permanently.
  • Mute users in public chats for a limited time.
  • Mark content as sensitive.
  • Move a post out of a channel.

When acting in the moderator role:

  • Avoid intense and lengthy interactions. If the situation is heated, take your time to respond and do so in a calm and non-confrontational manner.
  • Avoid threatening the use of moderator powers. Simply inform about the rules and refer to the rules and these guidelines.
  • Try not to “gang up” on a user with other moderators. In tough cases a second moderator can be brought in, but only do that to help with understanding, not for the purpose of creating a two-against-one situation. Do however consult with other moderators for support and advice.
  • Do not claim to be a representative of Colorful AB (the company behind Sketchers United).
  • Listen to users and try to understand even if someone seems irrational in the moment.

Being a moderator means you have been trusted to do an important job. As a moderator you need to know and display humility. If you are helpful and humble, you will receive the respect and credit you deserve.

Reviewing reports

Moderators have access to the list of user-submitted reports and should process them in accordance with the community rules and guidelines. Reports regarding offensive content are hidden unless the moderator is confirmed to be 18 years or older, and has agreed to review such content.

A report itself is just a request for review. The fact that a post is reported should not affect the assessment of its legality. If a post is within the rules, it should not be touched even if reported several times.

Removing content

Moderators will typically remove disallowed content in response to reports, but may also remove disallowed posts and comments as they are discovered while browsing the community.

Removed posts are backed up so that they can be restored later, in case the post was removed unfairly or by mistake. See below for how to file an appeal.

Offensive content

Offensive content, as defined in the terms of service, should be removed as soon as it is discovered. Moderators who are below 18 years must not actively look for offensive content. Should an underage moderator encounter such content, he or she should report it and then leave the page/screen.

In the case of extremely offensive content that is possibly illegal, report and contact an administrator directly. Do not involve any other moderator. Colorful will assess the content and involve appropriate authorities as needed.

Moderators should not actively scan for copyright infringement in the community, but should respond to reports. When reviewing a report, the moderator should make an attempt at determining if the poster owns the rights to the content. If this assessment cannot be done with a high degree of certainty, the content should be left alone.

If a user reposts another user’s art or uses substantial parts of it without permission the post shall be removed. Whether the user should be suspended depends on several factors, such as if the user gives credit to the owner or if it is a repeat offense. The manner in which credit is given should also be taken into account. Writing “not mine” in the title is worse than writing “created by @username”. If the offending user has also added his or her own signature and/or erased the signature of the rightful owner, the offending user should always be suspended.


Tracing is when a user puts a photo or art in the background of a drawing and traces the outlines. The background is then often removed.

A confirmed traced drawing should be removed if it matches the original closely.


Spam includes all kinds of content that has no objective value in an art community or is submitted in large quantities in order to disrupt or gain attention.

Excessive self-promotion posted outside the user’s own profile should be removed and a short-term suspension/mute should be considered. This includes the annoying practise of asking for followers in public chats or on other people’s posts.

There are cases when users may legitimately refer other users to relevant commercial products. However, unsolicited promotion such as posting the same link to a commercial site in multiple comments, is a clear case of spam and should result in suspension to stop further abuse.


If a rule has been clearly broken, a moderator may suspend the offending account to prevent the user from submitting further content. Some types of violations, defined in the terms and conditions, should result in a permanent suspension (ban). Minor violations should either be allowed to pass, or handled by communicating with the user. For cases in between, temporary suspensions may be applied.

Moderator suspensions must never be used for personal reasons. Suspension should also not be threatened. If you wish to warn a user, simply inform them about the rules and ask them to comply. If a user asks about suspensions/bans, refer to the terms and these guidelines.

Do not suspend accounts because of fights and insults among users. Arguments are a natural part of human interaction. All users are of course encouraged to de-escalate hostile interaction if possible. User-to-user blocking is available if needed. Only when a disagreement devolves into serious personal attacks should a moderator take action, like in the case of hate speech and threats of violence.

Note: For public chat rooms, see below for special guidelines.

Moderators can apply a suspension for 1 day, 7 days, or indefinitely (ban). The option to not suspend should also be kept in mind for minor offenses.

Duration Reason Examples
None - Temporary rage, heated arguments, isolated incidents of mild copyright violation or spam
1 day Clear rule violations Isolated and relatively mild instances of posting forbidden content (like childish drawings of genitals etc), obvious copyright violation, repeated spamming
7 days Serious or repeated violations Same as above, but for more serious cases and repeat offenders
Indefinite Submitting forbidden content, heavy spam, ban evasion Adult images, gore, exposing personal info about others (doxing), heavily promoting commercial businesses (spam), creating a new account when a previous one is suspended

Apply the lesser duration several times if the violations remain somewhat benign. Only apply the permanent ban when forbidden content is posted, or when the longest suspension has been applied multiple times and the case is truly hopeless.

Apply suspensions consistently and fairly. Discuss cases with other moderators for guidance and to establish consistency from one moderator to the next.

Chat muting

These rules apply to public chat rooms. Moderators have no authority in private chats or groups.

Users who abuse a public chat can be muted for a limited duration. The same rules of conduct apply in the chat as in the rest of the community.

Duration Reason Examples
None - Temporary rage, heated arguments
5 min Mild spam Submitting nonsense to disrupt the conversation
60 min Spam, harassment, offensive language Repeated “Follow me!”, repeated personal attacks, non-stop cursing
24 hours Serious or repeated violations Linking to commercial sites, mild physical threats, mild hate speech, endless cursing and spamming

Cursing is discouraged but allowed; muting should apply if such language is used repeatedly and unreasonably.

In serious cases of chat abuse, normal guidelines for account suspensions should kick in, including the possibility of a permanent ban.

Sensitive content

Users may mark a post as sensitive when posting to warn other users about content that is within the rules but may potentially upset some users. An example is a tasteful drawing of a partially nude person.

The sensitive flag does not allow users to post offensive content listed in the terms and conditions. As a consequence of this, if a post has been reported as offensive, and has the sensitive flag set, it should be treated as if the sensitive flag was not there.

A moderator can turn on the sensitive flag for a post. Since the flag is merely a courtesy to other users, this option should be reserved for cases that are close to but not quite in the forbidden category. For clearly forbidden content, the post should instead be removed.

The poster can revert this action by editing the post and turning off the sensitive flag, though this is obviously not recommended.

In cases where the moderator suspects that the poster may not be aware of the sensitive option or its recommended usage, the moderator should consider informing the user about it.

Channel management

Moderators can move posts out of a channel (without removing the actual post). This should be done when the user has clearly not paid attention to the purpose of the channel. An example of this is posting digital art in the channel for traditional art.

If the post is somewhat relevant and has been posted in good faith, it should probably be left alone. In some cases it makes sense to ask the user to reconsider the choice of channel.

The poster can revert this action by editing the post and resetting the same channel. If a moderator knows this to have happened, and the user seems to be doing this unreasonably, blocking the user from posting in the channel may be considered.

Abuse directed at a moderator

If a moderator is the target of personal attacks, seek support and consultation from other moderators before taking action. Be careful about suspending an account in the case that the user is upset about a previous moderator action. If the attacks are not too offensive, allow some time for the user to cool down.

The extra steps here are to maintain the integrity and credibility of the moderator team. It does not in any way mean that users are allowed to abuse moderators. Abuse of a moderator, e.g. threats or harassment, will lead to a temporary suspension or permanent ban.

Appeals and complaints

If a user believes that a moderator is in violation of these guidelines, or that the rules have been applied unfairly, he or she can file a complaint or appeal to customer support. If an appeal is successful, the decision is reversed if possible. In the case of a removed post, that means the post will be restored from backup including all comments and reactions.

If a moderator is found to have repeatedly abused the moderator role, he or she shall be stripped of the role.

Changes to these guidelines

We may update these guidelines from time to time. You are advised to periodically review them as you use the service.


If you have questions or opinions about these guidelines, please post them in the suggestions channel. Your feedback is always welcome!