The internet is full of bots, trolls and other malicious actors. Sooner or later they will post unwanted content to any website that is open to the public. It is the task of administrators and moderators to remove such unwanted content. Lemmy provides many tools for this, from removing individual posts, over temporary bans, to removing all content from an offending user.

Moderation in Lemmy is divided between administrators and moderators. Admins are responsible for the entire instance, and can take action on any content. They are also the only ones who can completely ban users. In contrast, moderators are only responsible for a single community. Where admins can ban a user from the entire instance, mods can only ban them from their community.

The most important thing that normal users can do if they notice a rule breaking post is to use the report function. If you notice such a post, click the flag icon to notify mods and admins. This way they can take action quickly and remove the offending content. To find out about removals and other mod actions, you can use the mod log which is linked at the bottom of the page. In some cases there may be content that you personally dislike, but which doesn't violate any rules. For this exists a block function which hides all posts from a given user or community.

Each instance has a set of rules to let users know which content is allowed or not. These rules can be found in the sidebar and apply to all local communities on that instance. Some communities may have their own rules in the respective sidebar, which apply in addition to the instance rules.

Because Lemmy is decentralized, there is no single moderation team for the platform, nor any platform-wide rules. Instead each instance is responsible to create and enforce its own moderation policy. This means that two Lemmy instances can have rules that completely disagree or even contradict. This can lead to problems if they interact with each other, because by default federation is open to any instance that speaks the same protocol. To handle such cases, administrators can choose to block federation with specific instances. To be even safer, they can also choose to be federated only with instances that are allowed explicitly.

How to moderate

To get moderator powers, you either need to create a new community, or be appointed by an existing moderator. Similarly to become an admin, you need to create a new instance, or be appointed by an existing instance admin. Community moderation can be done over federation, you don't need to be registered on the same instance where the community is hosted. To be an instance administrator, you need an account on that specific instance. Admins and moderators are organized in a hierarchy, where the user who is listed first has the power to remove admins or mods who are listed later.

All moderation actions are taken on the context menu of posts or comments. Click the three dot button to expand available mod actions, as shown in the screenshot below. All actions can be reverted in the same way.

moderation_01.png moderation_02.png

ActionResultPermission level
LockPrevents making new comments under the postModerator
Sticky (Community)Pin the publication to the top of the community listingModerator
Sticky (Local)Pin the publication to the top of the frontpageAdmin
RemoveDelete the postModerator
Ban from communityBan user from interacting with the community, but can still use the rest of the site. There is also an option to remove all existing posts.Moderator
Appoint as modGives the user moderator statusModerator
Ban from siteCompletely bans the account, so it can't login or interact at all. There is also an option to remove all existing posts.Admin
Purge userCompletely delete the user, including all posts and uploaded media. Use with caution.Admin
Purge post/commentCompletely delete the post, including attached media.Admin
Appoint as adminGives the user administrator statusAdmin