So I've been moderating a couple IRC channels recently, and I thought that I should write this because people REALLY don't understand how moderation actually works, or what it's like to be a moderator (one that actually does their job, that is).
First of all, it's important to understand that being a moderator is a . It isn't a privilege. While there are privileges associated with it, such as the ability to kick, ban, and have greater influence in administration decisions, these privileges are not the job itself and are simply there to help with the job. This is an important distinction - in a job there are responsibilities that *must* be fulfilled. There is one specifically for moderation: Enforcing the rules.
When a person breaks the rules, the moderator is obligated to give warnings and then punishment - this is the entire point of being a moderator. It's not that they necessarily dislike you, it's not that they're racist, it's not that they're sexist, it's that what they can see indicates that you broke the rules. Moderators are human, and they are only capable of acting on what they SEE. If they don't see a problem, they can't fix it - and if they see a problem which needs more information to be complete, they might not take action you see as appropriate. The best way to fix this issue is by telling the moderator the truth, backing it up as much as possible (screenshots and log files help), and just being decent to them. They're human. They make mistakes.
Speaking of making mistakes, moderators have it good and bad - other moderators and staff typically understand their mistakes and are more forgiving if they accidentally step over the line. Other users, however, do not - I've seen this quite a bit. When a moderator makes a mistake, often a large amount of normal users will POUNCE on this and use it as 'evidence' that the moderator doesn't deserve to be a mod as they break rules. While the moderators do need to keep their actions as close within the rules as possible, they do still make mistakes, as has been stated before. It is not reason for calling them a poor moderator.
Finally, just respect the moderators. Love them, even. They keep the place clean of trolls and spammers, despite possibly annoying you when you get out of line. Remember that they have to deal with all the trolls, complaints, and administration duties. They do a lot of work to try to keep you happy, and complaining about everything isn't helping them any. Even if you're punished, be respectful - and you're more likely to get the punishment lifted.