General Team Wikis Info

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General Team Wikis Info (all teams access)

Review of the basics

Please review New Moderator Orientation just to make sure you are aware of all the latest information

Tech issue reporting process for team members

  • Member of IMOD/GOA watch group reports a problem to the moderator, GOA/IMOD refers member to the Support Team. GOA/IMOD should not act as an intermediary between the member and Support. If the problem is not solved or if it is a major issue that cannot wait, GOA/IMOD can escalate it by going directly to GOACoordinator, Hub Coordinator or Hub Coordinator's assistant.
  • Mod discovers a problem, mod reports it to FIOD
  • Mod tells GOA there's a problem. If GOA can't fix it, refer mod to GOA should not act as intermediary between SMH and the mod. If SMH does not solve the mod's problem or if the problem is a major issue that cannot wait, GOA can escalate the issue by going through GOACoordinator/Hub Coordinator/Hub Coordinator's assistant.
  • Team member has a problem, team member reports it to Team Lead. TL confirms the issue by reproducing it. TL files a BT or asks Hub Coordinator/Hub Coordinator's assistant to file a BT. Here is the information needed for reporting a problem.
  • For issues referred to SMH, SMH will attempt to replicate the problem. If SMH needs to enter the group for testing, they first get permission from the GOA. GOA should annotate GA that SMH is entering the group for testing. SMH or the Support Coordinator will file a BT if issue cannot be resolved.
  • Mail issues: the tech team is unable to address problems that are not related to's servers. If you are having a problem with Thunderbird that replicates on webmail, please report it. Otherwise, please click here.

For those filing BTs, here is a workflow chart for prioritizing issues.

Roles of Teams

We have a check and balance system to ensure that each team fulfills its duties to the groups while staying within boundaries of their role. If a TFN team member is on one of the groups without prior approval, the appropriate Team Lead will resolve the situation.

Team members should never add their personal IDs as moderator/LM of any groups other than their own home group. The following is a description of what the various teams do, including when IDs may be on groups.

Interim Moderator team (IMOD)

What the team does. IMOD moderates headless groups, usually groups with more than 400 members. IMODs approve/reject posts based on the minimum required guidelines and send recruiting admins to their groups on a periodic basis. An IMOD team member may cover one or more IMOD ID. The team consists of two co-TLs, an assistant who receives moderator applications and forwards them to GOA, and 8-10 IMOD team members.

IMODs on groups

  • All IMOD groups are under two IDs: Interimmod and IMOD##.
  • IMOD team members may be on local groups using addresses only. Interimmod is added to all headless IMOD groups.
  • IMOD21 is on groups with mods at GOA's request for temporary coverage, which is intended to be under two months' duration.


  • IMODs do not have mailboxes except for Interimmod and IMOD21. All other IMOD mail forwards to Interimmod, and the Interimmod mailbox is shared by the TLs and recruiting assistant.

Group Administration (Database) access Only the IMOD team leaders have access to GA.

Interaction with other teams:

  • Interimmod forwards moderator applications to GOA for approval and orientation.
  • Interimmod refers members with tech problems to Member Support
  • Interimmod checks group files on request from other team members to vet potential moderators and team members
  • Interimmod reports scams to Spam Control

Interaction with members:

  • Only Interimmod and IMOD21 interact with members.

Interaction with moderators:

  • IMODs are not on groups with moderators except very briefly at GOA's request. Interimmod (Team Leaders only) is the only team with authority to remove moderators from groups, on request from GOA. Deron, the GOA Coordinator and the Hub Coordinator may also remove moderators and will let Interimmod know.
  • Interimmod does not normally interact with moderators except to send a courtesy note after GOA requests removal

Group Outreach and Assistance (GOA)

What the team does. Group Outreach & Assistance is there to help and support members and group mods who have problems they need to resolve. There are 8-10 GOAs on the team and each GOA covers several states, regions and/or countries. The International GOA covers groups in countries where the spoken language is a language other than English or French.

Overlap? The GOA volunteer figures it out with the local mods. Abandoned group? Sales offer being allowed? Member unable to contact the group mods? The GOA team member is the main contact for mods and they have the authority and experience to be the final arbiter of any and every issue out there.

GOAs are the gatekeeepers of the groups. Once an NGA leaves a group, the GOA is the first stop in aiding mods and members, providing resources and resolving issues. They vet potential team members, have final say over group moderators and initiate the member removal process. GOAs need to be involved with group problems as early as possible. When mods go missing, GOA tries to track them down and if unsuccessful, turns headless groups over to the Interim Moderator team.

All GOA work is confidential and released outside of the team only on a need to know basis. The GOAs work as a team with the GOA Coordinator and the HUB Coordinator and Assistant HUB Coordinator on larger issues.

GOAs on groups

  • GOA IDs should not be on any local groups (MyF or YG) except when a group is turned over to them by IMOD watch. They may only be on these groups using the GOA official email address only and not a personal address. In this capacity, they may approve/reject pending posts, respond to member emails, and remove inappropriate posts. They should be sending recruitment ADMINs on a regular basis to find new mods.
  • GOASupport is added to groups with mods in training. GOASupport does not approve or reject posts and normally stays on a group for a week.


  • There is a separate mailbox for each GOA ID.

Group Administration (Database) access

  • GOAs access GA using personal email addresses.

Interaction with other teams:

  • GOAs refer members and moderators with technical problems to Support
  • GOAs refer members with tech problems to Member Support (help@ ) and mods with tech problems to SiteModHelp
  • GOAs check group files on request from other team members to vet potential moderators and team members
  • GOAs refer groups to IMOD when mods are leaving or being removed
  • GOAs report scams to Spam Control
  • GOAs report rogue groups to Trademark.

Interaction with moderators:

  • GOAs deal extensively with moderators and are a moderator's first resource for any issue other than technical problems with the site.
  • GOAs oversee new moderator orientation.
  • GOAs assure that groups comply with the basic guidelines.
  • GOAs help mods work with problem members.
  • GOAs are the first line of contact when dealing with overly controlling mods, helping them to use a light touch. They are ultimately able to ask a mod to step down.

Interaction with members:

  • GOAs moderate small headless groups and answer member queries for those groups.
  • GOAs take on difficult member issues and resolve conflicts between members and between members and moderators.

Support Team

There are several members of theSupport Team.

The Support Coordinator has a wide variety of responsibilities, including helping to co-ordinate spam/scam complaints and technical inquiries from moderators and members. The person in this role is the 'official mouthpiece' of Freecycle on the FIOD discussion group and provides regular (weekly) reports to members. The only member of this team with GA access is Support Coordinator, with her personal email address.

Spam Control

What the team does. The Spam Control̊ team removes spammers and scammers.
Spam Control on groups

  • Team members are not expected to need to join any local groups.


  • Spam Control team members share an email address.

Group Administration (Database) access This team does not have GA access. Interaction with other teams:

  • Moderators and members of other teams report spam and suspected scams to Spam Control. Team members or moderators reporting an issue with a problem member are referred to the GOA.

Interaction with moderators:

  • Team members don't interact with moderators other than responding to moderators reporting spam and suspected scams.

Interaction with members:

  • Members ordinarily do not initiate contact with Spam Control. Spam Control will warn members who have responded to scams.
  • The tools used by this team are confidential. The work of the team is shared only on a need-to-know basis.


What the team does. The Support team (Help@f.o.) consists of 5-7 volunteers who answer a wide range of questions from members and the general public about They also assist members with technical issues. Any question that is group-specific is forwarded to the regional/state GOA, as is any issue that involves moderators or members reporting issues with other members.

The Support team also assists moderators who contact SiteModHelp@f.o. with technical issues using the site.
Presence on groups

  • If a Support (SMH) team volunteer needs to enter a group to troubleshoot a technical issue, permission is sought from the state/regional GOA first. Volunteers should only be on groups with their email.


  • Support team members use helpdesk software on a shared email address. The Team Leader has a separate mailbox.

Group Administration (Database) access

  • This team does not have GA access.

Interaction with other teams:

  • Other teams may refer mods to Support (SMH) for technical assistance. The referring team member should not try to act as an intermediary between Support and mods.
  • Non-routine matters are referred to other teams as appropriate. Group-specific email is forwarded to the regional/state GOA, scam and spam issues to Spam Control, and new group inquiries are forwarded to NGA. Urgent matters are forwarded to HUB leadership and Deron.
  • Consults with the Spam Control team about member and moderator messages reporting spam or scam

Interaction with moderators:

  • Support (SMH) interacts with moderators to help troubleshoot technical issues for moderators.

Interaction with members:

  • Support (Help@) interacts with members to answer questions of a routine nature and forwards non-routine or group-specific email to GOA or another team, as appropriate.

Social Media Team

What the team does. The Social Media team promotes and its mission on various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Social Media Team on groups

  • This team has no need to join groups.


  • Only the team leader has access to a mailbox.

Group Administration (Database) access

  • This team does not have GA access.

Interaction with other teams:

  • This team will forward inquiries as appropriate to other teams.

Interaction with moderators:

  • This team will respond to moderator inquiries and refer when appropriate to other teams.

Interaction with members and the general public:

  • This team will engage with members and the general public by inviting them to share content on Freecycle's social media channels. Team members also respond to routine inquiries sent via direct messages.


Privacy is a responsibility of the Support team, handled by the team leader. GDPR member deletions are handled by writing privacy@f.o.

New Group Approval (NGA) Team

What the team does. NGAs are responsible for new applications for groups and will work with GOA to establish whether a new group is required and to set up the group.
NGA Team on groups
NGAs create new groups in the GA using their personal IDs but immediately add 'NGASupport' as the lead and remove themselves from the group. Thereafter they login as NGASupport to moderate and post to the group itself, while using their NGA email to work with the new moderator during orientation. Their last act once the group is ready to go live is to promote the new mod to LM and remove NGASupport from the group. The individual NGA IDs are never added to groups as mods/LMs.

  • Each NGA ID has a mailbox.

Group Administration (Database) access

  • All team members have GA access using their personal IDs.

Interaction with other teams:

  • NGAs are responsible for new applications for groups and will work with GOA to establish whether a new group is required and to set up the group. Once a group is promoted, all issues go through the GOA.

Interaction with moderators:

  • NGAs do not interact with existing moderators, but often reach out to them as the NGA was a first contact with NGAs can forward the information to the GOA to assist and establish the GOA as the point of contact.

Interaction with members:

  • In order to start a group, the applicant must be a member of The NGA approves or denies applications from members.

The Hub

The Hub coordinates activities of the other teams to ensure that the teams work well together. The org chart shows the relationship of the Hub to the other teams.


Programmers--Steev Hise manages the site and has other help. Sometimes they join local groups to troubleshoot technical problems. It is unusual for them to be on a group for longer than 24 hours.