Moderator Tools

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Welcome to FC3 moderator tools! This site has been completely redesigned with features moderators have been asking for.

What's new in modtools: 

The site is fairly intuitive to use, but if you get stuck or can't find something you're looking for, here's where to come for help. 


  • Temporary moderation -- what is it and how does it differ from regular moderation? FC3 modtools has two types of moderation for members: temporary (new member moderation) and regular (permanent) moderation. When a new member joins your Town, they are placed on moderation for the time period that you specify in Town settings. Permanent moderation is for members who can't be trusted to follow guidelines for your local Town group. 
  • Where are all the group settings? All options from Info and Options in legacy modtools have been standardized and rolled into Town Settings


How to find the moderator tools

Overview section (Modtools home)



Town Settings

Footer and beacon

How to find the moderator tools.

Go to or click the pulldown M on the member site. 

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The Overview has two subsections: Towns and Email settings. Most moderators will have only one Town listed, but some Freecycle team members will see a list of Towns.

For team members: Special consideration has been given for team members who moderate dozens of Towns. You can sort the Town list by any column by clicking the column heading. The default sort is by number of pending posts, with the highest number on top. Maximum number of Towns per page is 100. To search for a specific Town in the list, type the first few characters in the space labeled "Search by town name." 

Tip: to return to this page, click on MODERATING [TOWN NAME] at the top of any Modtools page. 

Email settings

This section is where you specify your preferences for receiving moderator-related emails for pending posts and Contact Mods messages. Most mods (except for IMOD team members) will want to check all the boxes. Note: pending member emails haven't yet been implemented.  


Click on POSTS to open the Posts menu. POSTS is divided into two sections: Approve Posts and Search Posts. Clicking on a post title opens a post detail page. 

Approve posts

A list of pending posts is the first page you see when you open the mod tools page for your Town. Click one or more checkboxes for bulk approval, or click on a post title to open the post detail popup

Tip: to see other posts by that member, click on the post detail popup.To see more information about the member, control-click on member profile

Approve options include Approve, Approve and send note (sends an email to the member), Approve and unmoderate member. Note: a message sent with post approval shows up in Contact Mods messages on the member site, but the username does not. It's a good idea to include the member's username in your approval note. Please note that emails are sent using the FC 3.0 messaging system, which does not support line breaks. We recommend keeping messages brief. You will see your message and members' replies on the website, in My Messages/Contact Moderators.

Delete removes a post completely without sending notifications. Don't use this option for posts that you intend to report to Spam Control. 

Reject -- you can only reject one post at a time. It's always a good idea to write a custom rejection message with your rejection to let the member know why you're rejecting the post. We suggest also copying and pasting the rejection note into the moderator comment field, so your rejection reason will be visible to other moderators in the Town Activity log. 

Several options, such as reject, offer an opportunity to undo the action. If you undo a post rejection, please be aware that the reject notice will still be sent. 

You may also send a Town Notice with a post rejection. Click here for more information on sending files (Town notices) with post rejections. 

Note: If a member cancels a pending post, the post will disappear from the pending post list. This is different from legacy modtools. 

Edit pulls up the Edit Post form. Use this to change post type or other information on a post. There's no option to approve the post in the edit menu. If you edit a pending post or a post that previously went through moderation, you will get another pending post notification email. 

Tip: To see more than one photo in a pending post, click on Edit. 

Search posts

Modtools has powerful new features for searching posts: 

Ways you can search:

  • Text. Searches for a word in a post description, post title, or username. Limit search to your Town or expand to all Towns 
  • Post ID number (to search by post ID number, you must click Post ID). Always searches all Towns  
  • Email address (to search by email address you must click Email). For exact matches, use * following the email address (*). Always searches all Towns. Do not use filters when searching by email address

This is what Search Posts looks like with the Filter Posts menu open. 

Filter options: 

  • Live posts includes all approved posts that haven't yet expired, including Offer, Wanted, Taken and Received. If you want to search for Offer posts without seeing Taken posts, check the box next to the Offer filter. 
  • Closed posts includes Rejected posts and posts deleted by moderators.  

Note: Post canceled by the member and posts deleted by the Spam Team don't show up on a post search. If you're searching for a reported post and don't find it, chances are the Spam Team has already dealt with it. 

Known issues: Many approved posts will show up as pending posts in post search. This is because the search algorithm we use in FC3 is incompatible with legacy modtools. This problem should disappear completely when modtools goes live. (#bug 1847)

Special note for post search by email address -- To search for an exact match of an email address, put an asterisk after the email address (i.e.*). You can also search for a partial email address (*, randomuser*). Use ? as a wildcard for variations on a single character (random? 

Post detail popup

The post detail popup includes the basic information about the post, one photo from the post, a list of the member's other posts, and any moderator notes that your co-mods have added about the post. The Manage Post button for pending posts includes basic post management actions (Approve or Unapprove, Delete, Reject, Edit). Clicking on the username will take you to the member profile



Clicking on MEMBERS opens a list of pending members. You will see pending members only if your Town has "approve all new members" turned on in Town Settings

From Approve Members you can:

  • approve by clicking the green Approve button on the member card 
  • reject by clicking the orange X in the upper right of the member card
  • click the card to view the member profile   

If you want to approve multiple members at once, read the next section on Search Members. 

Search members

Member search is vastly improved over legacy modtools. Sort your member list by any column by clicking the column heading. Filter Members allows you to see one or more selected subsets. Member search only searches members of your Town; if you want to search for members outside your Town, use Friends Search on the member site. 

Things to know about member search: 

  • Member search will not display more than 10,000 results. 
  • Filtering by "Moderated Members" also includes Temp modded members. To see which members are permanently modded, sort the Status column alphabetically.  

Member actions

To manage one member in the member list, click on the three dots next to the member's email preference. Options for members include Moderate, Temporarily Moderate, Remove, and Set Email Delivery Preference. If the member is pending, options include Approve, Reject, Remove*, and set Email Delivery Preference. Note: Removing a pending member cancels the membershipt request without sending a rejection notice. 

Bulk member actions

Checking more than one checkbox box brings up a Bulk Actions pulldown for managing multiple members at the same time. Bulk actions include moderation, temporary moderation for X days (as specified in your Town Settings), Unmoderate, Approve or Reject a pending member, Remove members from your Town, and change email preferences.   

Known issues: Because of the incompatibility mentioned above, bulk moderation actions are often unsuccessful. This problem should disappear when modtools goes live. (#bug 1846 

Member profile

Member profile is is where you manage everything relating to a member. You can see all of the member's posts here and also see what other Towns they belong to. Leave notes for your co-mods and view their notes on this member.  

There are five action buttons: 

  • Moderate/Unmoderate. Places member on moderation or removes moderation
  • Message. This sends a "Contact Mods" message to the member and starts a conversation under Contact Moderator on the member site. Please click here to find out how to read your messages on the member site. Please note: the recipient's username does not appear on the Contact Mod message. It would be a good idea to add that to your message. 
  • Report. This message goes directly to  the Spam Control Team. Only the member's username is pre-populated in the message form. Please add your name, the name of the town you moderate, and the reason you are reporting the member. Include the post ID number(s) if appropriate. Spam Control may reply and ask for more information.
  • Approve Membership/Remove from Group
  • Change Moderator Level 

You can also: 

  • Manage the member's email preferences with the pulldown menu 
  • View member's posts and view the post detail for a post. 
  • Add moderator notes that your co-mods can see. These notes aren't visible to mods of other Towns. 

What you can't do from member profile: approve, unapprove, or reject posts. For those actions, go to Search posts

Invite members

Use Invite Members to invite Freecycle members to join your Town. Valid entries (Freecycle members) are indicated in green, nonmembers in red. To invite nonmembers to join Freecycle, use Invite Friends instead. There is theoretically a limit of 10 invitations at a time. The invited member receives a link to the join town page. If the invited member is logged in to the correct Freecycle account, clicking on the link automatically accepts the invitation, bypassing member approval.

Town settings

The Town Settings section includes four tabs: General, Town Activity, Town Notices, and Hotwords. These are explained below. 


Town Info -- Basic information about your Town. Moderators can't edit this information. 



Town Settings. Includes basic actions for the Town. 

  • Approve new members (yes/no). Turn this option on if you don't want members to automatically join your Town. 
  • Temporary moderation for X days. In addition to permanently moderating problem members, you can now choose how long you want to have new members on moderation (temporary moderation). These members will automatically become unmodded after the specified number of days unless you change their status to moderated.
  • Timezone. If your time zone displays incorrectly in the Town Info screen, here's how to change it: Click to the left of the pulldown arrow ▼ and start typing a name of a big city or time zone (e.g. New York, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Sydney) and choose from the pulldown menu. Click here for a global map of all time zones. 
  • Default language to use for email notices. Applicable for countries like Switzerland with many languages. This feature not yet operational. 
  • Emergency full moderation. Moderates all members for two weeks. For emergencies only. Examples of emergencies: 1) a situation where routine use of Freecycle might put people in physical danger; 2) a spambot attack that can't be managed through mod tools; 3) other special situations at your GOA's request. Always inform your GOA when you need to use EFM. 
  • Unmoderate all members. This unmoderates both moderated members as well as members on temporary moderation. 
  • Reset settings and notices (primarily for team members, but not yet functional) 

Important: Remember to save any changes!

Note: Several legacy group options are missing: 

  • Post expiration period is now standardized at 90 days.
  • Default email delivery option for new members is Digest.
  • Message Maker Prefs have been standardized.
  • Postal Codes are no longer being used to locate a Town. 

Town Info -- group description. All Towns have a generic group descriptions, but you may edit this if you choose. Remember to save your changes! Here is the standard English-language Town info text: 

Welcome to the %%group_name Freecycle Town Group!

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of %%num_groups Town Groups with %%total_num_members members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and thus keeping good stuff out of landfills.

Membership is free, and everything posted must be FREE, legal and appropriate for all ages. To view the items being given away or sought in %%group_name, you must be a member of the local Town Group.




Town Activity

The Town Activity log is a separate tab under Town Settings. Town Activity tracks many different kinds of moderator action, including:

  • Member modded/unmodded
  • Member approvals/rejections
  • Moderator promotions/demotions
  • Post approvals/rejections/deletions, including mod comments
  • Post edits
  • Changes to Town Settings
  • Emergency Full Moderation set or lifted

Town Notices

This is where you manage group files that appear under Town Notices

Automated notices -- specify if notices are sent upon member application, approval, or leaving. Known issue: Automated notices aren't currently being sent.   

Add new notice.

  • Description is what shows up on the member site, whereas the list of Notices only displays the title. To avoid confusion, the title and description should be similar. If you want to add supplemental information  such as dates to your notice, add that to the notice title rather than description. 
  • Access level: choose who can see the file (Publilc, Member, Moderators, Lead Moderators)
  • Save: there are two save options, Save Changes and Save and Bulk Send Notice. Bulk file sending isn't currently working. 
  • Files are text-only. Uploading of notices is no longer supported. 

Edit -- edit an existing Notice. The Edit Notice page has the same options as Add notice page

Delete-- delete a Notice.

Send -- send a notice to all members. Bulk file sending works only for English-language notices. For best results, compose your notices either onsite or use a plain text editor. (bug #1904)

IMPORTANT: Many notices were corrupted by a problem with legacy modtools. Please check all your notices and delete any that don't seem to have any content. 


Modtools allows you to add or remove several hotwords at once. If you use wildcards it's a good idea to test the hotwords to make sure your hotwords work the way you intended. Don't forget to save your list when you're done making changes. 

Note: Spaces, punctuation and @ are no longer allowed in hotwords. 


Footer and beacon

The footer for all modtools pages includes the links that are relevant to moderators.


The new orange modtools beacon appears on all modtools pages. Messages sent via the orange modtools beacon go to SiteModHelp. Remember that the green beacon is for member questions. 

Contact us via the orange beacon if you have suggestions for footer links and FAQs.