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XDA Behind the Scenes, Part 1

XDA Behind the Scenes, Part 1

This is part one in a series that will offer a glimpse at what keeps XDA running. In the first installment, we’ll talk about our moderation system and how it has evolved. Then in part two, our server admin will explain how we use LeaseWeb to manage the huge amount of traffic and bandwidth to the site. And lastly, part three will cover the ways in which we try to encourage development and modification of mobile devices by the developers in the community.

To date, over 50 million posts have been made on XDA. Remarkably, even with that volume of posts, the forums are (for the most part) free of spam, thanks to members that report posts and of course our incredible team of moderators.

Until about 2010, XDA had one type of moderator. During that year, we decided to offer non-HTC forums and expand to Android, and the site’s growth necessitated the formation of  an additional level of moderator to efficiently maintain the site.

Today, we have two groups of moderators: Forum-Specific Mods and Senior Mods. The former group is split into about eight teams to encourage camaraderie and to allow each team to specialize in a particular category of devices, such as HTC international devices or Samsung USA devices. Senior Mods, on the other hand, are responsible for discussing site policy and resolving conflicts when they arise between forum-specific mods or developers. A subset of the Senior Mods, a group called the Moderator Committee, is responsible for adding and removing Forum-Specific Mods so that we have enough moderation coverage as the site grows. When you apply to be a moderator, it is the Moderator Committee that reviews your application.

Above we mentioned that we rely not only on our team of moderators, but also on members who report a post. When you report a post on XDA by hitting the little exclamation point that exists on every post, the report is entered into a queue for the respective mod team. Our custom system allows a mod to “claim” a reported post, investigate it, then act on it, all within our reported post system.

And that’s a look at how the moderation system works on XDA. It’s certainly not perfect and we’re always trying to improve upon our procedure, but we’re all really proud of diligent members and our assiduous moderators.

A big thanks to LeaseWeb for sponsoring this series of articles. LeaseWeb provides the server infrastructure on which XDA runs. They have other fantastic offerings even if you’re not running a site as large as ours. Their cloud servers are completely scalable and start at just $7 per month. Check them out!

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