Moderator Resources

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The Moderator Manual provides useful information for all moderators of Freecycle Town groups. New to moderating? Need a refresher? Check out our New Moderator Orientation page

Guidelines and policies

Everything on must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages. Click here for a refresher on what is not allowed on Freecycle.

Local moderator decisions

  • Beyond the basics mentioned above, moderators may set local policies on whether to allow certain types of posts. Mods may also decide whether or not to approve members, have new members on moderation, and use certain hotwords to trigger post moderation. Click here for more information
  • As a general rule, the more freedom we can give the members the better. As a moderator your job is to make sure things are free, legal, and appropriate to all ages.

Required files

Moderators are asked to send all new Town group members a welcome file with the Guidelines and Disclaimer upon joining the group. Feel free to use this Welcome File which includes the Guidelines and Disclaimer and a link to the FAQs. If you have any special local policies for your Town group beyond the ones in the required guidelines, you can add those also. Click here for information on how to automatically send a welcome notice. 

Problems, solutions, and suggestions

How to get help

Member questions

  • Most member questions can be answered with the Member FAQs. For member problems you are unable to solve, refer them to Freecycle Help team via the big green question mark on all pages.

How to use the mod tools

Instructions on using modtools are here

Technical problems

Common situations encountered by moderators

Messaging members

  • Sending messages to members. Use Mod Tools to send a message without revealing your personal email address. You can do this from the member profile in modtools. Messages sent to members show up under My Messages
  • Receiving messages from members.  Members contact moderators via a link on My Towns page. These messages show up for members and moderators under My Messages. You can access My Messages by clicking on arrow next to the person icon on Make sure you set your email preferences to receive notifications about Contact Moderators messages, and even then you should also check My Messages frequently to make sure you haven't missed anything. 
  • Messages from other moderators. If you belong to another Town and have messaged the moderator of that Town, those messages will also show up under Contact Moderators. 

Important note about messaging

You may have to open multiple screens to see Contact Moderator messages, especially on a mobile device. 

Moderator discussion groups

Promoting and building your group

Copyright and trademark information

Because The Freecycle Network at is unique and amazingly successful, there are many who have and who would try to use it for personal gain and profit. For that reason:

  • The Freecycle Network is incorporated as a non-profit organization.
  • The logo is trademark protected.

As Moderators, we have an essential role to play in protecting the trademark so we don't lose it. These are the key points:

Copyright and trademark information is explained fully here.

Freecycle Privacy Policy

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) strengthens data protection for all members of Members may request that all traces of their data be deleted from Freecycle's computers. Please refer members to Freecycle's privacy policy for more information.

Note: The footer of every page of the site includes links to Freecycle Guidelines, Trademark Guidelines. Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service.

More links and resources

  • Mod Manual Page List.. Not finding what you're looking for? Search the Page List
  • Glossary. We admit it, we abbreviate everything. Click here for a full glossary
  • Org chart and leadership team. Most members think of The Freecycle Network as being a community resource, but it is actually a large, global organization with more than 5,200 groups in over 110 countries. See the Org Chart and Leadership team for more information about the basic structure of The Freecycle Network. 
  • Volunteer. The Freecycle Network is always on the lookout for people who can help with all of the behind-the-scenes work that is needed to keep everything running smoothly. If you have any spare time or special skills you would like to offer, please see this link for more information.

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