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post #1 of (permalink) Old 4-1-07, 18:34 Thread Starter
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Exclamation April Fools Social Experiment

"You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake..."

Well, April Fools...

This years joke came off better than I expected. I wanted to perform a bit of a social experiment this year, so I decided to prey on everyone's ego and dangle a tidbit of power before your eyes in hopes of overcoming your natural distrust. Looks like it worked. Amazingly well.

For those of you who missed it, here is what I did:

I modified the top of the main page to display "Moderator for a Day: [YourName]" where [YourName] is quite literally Your Username. Yes, anyone who logs in saw thier own name at the top of the page and naturally assumed that everyone else saw the same thing. Well, they did, in a way. LOL
The tag also linked to the thread titled "Moderator for a Day" that encourgaed you to pop into the Moderator forum and say hello. So I created a fake Moderator forum that was visible to everyone and copied a number of innocuous threads into it from the real Mod forum.
Also all new posts were moderated so they did not appear (lest everyone tips eachother off to the joke).

The funniest part was that I added a "Ban User" link to display after each user's name in thier post. I had to make it look real and couldn't allow people to actually ban each other, so I made up a simple explanation to be displayed in a popup message. "User added to Ban queue. Ban will be processed within an hour." Sounds feasible right?
I will have to share some of the paniced PM I got after people clicked than link.

I also added a "Delete Post" option to the threads to make it at least somewhat believable.

Finally, to ensure that people were not tipped off too soon, I modified the spam catcher to auto-moderate any mention of April Fools or Moderator for a Day. This worked a bit too well and filtered a lot of legitimate posts too. Sorry for that.

But the results were truly amazing. I mean, this is a Sunday and look at the activity.

For any of you who wish to, I have enabled post and thread deletion in the fake moderator forum. I will not force anyone to be embarassed by what they posted.

I will begin asking permission to share some of the funnier PMs and summarize who got banned by who.

Feel free to comment away.
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