Site Moderators, Reporting posts and moderation guidelines

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
14,553
Reaction score
11,144
People do not ignore posts, they get stung and they defend themselves. Many do not stop and think to report a post - especially when moderation is as lax and haphazard as it is here.

  1. I'd appreciate if you explain "lax" and "haphazard". Every "report" generates a ticket which means a moderator will look into it. Sometimes it may sit for some hours until a moderator is free. Occasionally a tricky report may sit a day or two while actions are considered. Nevertheless all posts reported are dealt with by someone, then the ticket is closed.
  2. Moderators don't read all pages of every topic where a post is reported. The report ticket links to a single post. Therefore every post you feel is needing moderation (not just one post in a topic) should be reported in case the moderator misses it.
  3. If the moderator doesn't agree with your assessment of the post, you may not get the outcome you wanted. That's life I'm afraid, we all have different opinions. If you feel a moderator isn't following the rules, then say so.
  4. If you think the moderator is wrong, you can always message me as the forum owner. I won't necessarily override the outcome from the moderator, but I might do.
  5. If I was the moderator at fault, you could ask @Jemiba or @flateric for a second opinion.
 

steelpillow

So many projects, so little time...
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
1,385
Reaction score
1,016
Website
www.steelpillow.com
People do not ignore posts, they get stung and they defend themselves. Many do not stop and think to report a post - especially when moderation is as lax and haphazard as it is here.

  1. I'd appreciate if you explain "lax" and "haphazard". Every "report" generates a ticket which means a moderator will look into it. Sometimes it may sit for some hours until a moderator is free. Occasionally a tricky report may sit a day or two while actions are considered. Nevertheless all posts reported are dealt with by someone, then the ticket is closed.
  2. Moderators don't read all pages of every topic where a post is reported. The report ticket links to a single post. Therefore every post you feel is needing moderation (not just one post in a topic) should be reported in case the moderator misses it.
  3. If the moderator doesn't agree with your assessment of the post, you may not get the outcome you wanted. That's life I'm afraid, we all have different opinions. If you feel a moderator isn't following the rules, then say so.
  4. If you think the moderator is wrong, you can always message me as the forum owner. I won't necessarily override the outcome from the moderator, but I might do.
  5. If I was the moderator at fault, you could ask @Jemiba or @flateric for a second opinion.
A particular post I reported back in May led to neither removal nor moderator feedback within a reasonable period. So I posted this:
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/th...bre-engine-skylon-spaceplane.2455/post-457510
The OP subsequently deleted theirs voluntarily, and I see that the other post was eventually either edited down or removed. But my deliberately-provocative foul language, along with an invitation to report it, has remained unchallenged ever since.
This was not the first time I have come across such problems, and it has not been the last.

Please do not take me amiss if I add a couple more comments here:
- This information about who the contactable moderators are, their roles and how to escalate disagreements with them, is not explained clearly elsewhere that I am aware of (Have I not looked hard enough in the obvious places?) Perhaps you could add a short Who's Who note to the Forum Rules.
- But, given a lack of moderator feedback in cases such as the one I describe, one cannot even know whether one's report has been read and judged - is there even a moderator in the loop yet, to be right or wrong? Feedback on a report is always good, whether acted on or not.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
14,553
Reaction score
11,144
For the sake of transparency, this is what occurred. SwearingOnForum.JPG

The moderator who took this case (Jemiba) did not feel it warranted action. Swearing is not currently banned in the forum rules. Swearing at others clearly is covered by rules on behaviour, but in this case there was no breach of forum rules.

Now, when closing a report there are two different "comment" fields. One is a comment to other moderators (as seen above), this is mandatory. There is a status (resolved, rejected) which is set. There is also an option to send a comment to the reporter.

If the results of your moderation are visible (post is amended or deleted), no user comment is needed.

If you are rejecting the report and taking no action, you should send an optional comment to that effect to the user. Here's an example - I report Steelpillow's deliberate "swearing" post. Moderator sees this:

Report-1.JPG

Moderator views the reported post and decides on action:

Report-2.JPG

In the alert feed you will get a message like this:

Report-3.JPG

Now in your case Jemiba did not send an alert. As I said above, if the report receives no obvious action I try to remember to send an alert, but perhaps other moderators aren't doing this.

I suggest instead we always tick the alert box whatever action is taken. This should help users understand that their report was actioned.

If your report was rejected but you strongly disagree with this, you can just report the post again, and add a comment that you disagree with the previous moderation.

There is the Staff Online box which will let you know if any staff member is online - you could message them.

Staff Online.JPG

You can find the list of staff by clicking Members - Staff Members.

Staff Members.JPG

There is no hierarchy as such, but as the site owner I am the final arbiter of decisions. Jemiba and I do the majority of moderation at present.

I'll note that your tactic of deliberately swearing in a post failed to generate a single complaint from anyone, and hence passed unnoticed by me until you decided to bring it up. You can decide if you want me to edit the swear words out for you or if you can do it yourself.
 
Last edited:

tequilashooter

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
700
Reaction score
843
Any ideas on creating an infraction points kind of system and how much we are getting in terms of receiving a ban? I feel that many good threads have gotten locked whenever the 1st user mentions politics which goes from a snowball to an avalanche so whoever throws the 1st snowball gets some repercussion? I am also worried if I am getting the staff pissed off here or not on some topics, since I am a manageable guy I wouldn't mind if they give me some pointers to message me on how I could get on their good side(not exactly scoring brownie points) or who I should avoid talking to here whom I might have pissed off. I personally apologized to a user here on a sensitive topic that gave me a temporary ban but didn't feel the need for other users. Are there are also repercussions as to how much you report a user as a user here? Example: say I am a very sensitive user that gives like 10 report tickets a day(never did once personally since I have been here) where would you draw the line?

That's all I have, thanks.
 

Orionblamblam

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2006
Messages
9,879
Reaction score
5,349
Website
www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com
Perhaps adopt a "loser pays" system for reporting. Someone makes a report and the mods find the report valid, the reported poster gets hit with a warning, time on the beach, a ban, whatever. But if the mods find that the report is not valid, especially if the report seems malicious or comes from a serial reporter... maybe flip the penalties to the reporter.
 

Volkodav

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
549
Reaction score
791
Just an idea, maybe when a topic starts getting a bit personal and is in danger of being locked it can be flagged on the index page in someway, maybe a change in colour of the title or something. Just a warning to all that the topic is in danger of being locked if people don't calm it down a bit.

Traffic lights, Green good, Amber getting a bit iffy, Red think very carefully about what you say next and don't escalate as the mods are paying close attention. Just give people the chance to self regulate and hopefully take some workload off mods.
 

dan_inbox

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
805
  • If the moderator doesn't agree with your assessment of the post, you may not get the outcome you wanted. That's life I'm afraid, we all have different opinions. If you feel a moderator isn't following the rules, then say so.
  • If you think the moderator is wrong, you can always message me as the forum owner. I won't necessarily override the outcome from the moderator, but I might do.
  • If I was the moderator at fault, you could ask @Jemiba or @flateric for a second opinion.
One thing that could be improved, is that when a moderator steps in and removes or amend posts, then his name should be known. Unless I am missing something, this information is not readily available today. (Except that Jemiba often says it when it's him). I've seen posts disappear, mine or others', with zero information who or why.

A- it doesn't help discussing the moderation directly with the intervening moderator.
B- it gives a really unpleasant smack of anonymous censorship, DDR- or SU-style. This is really jarring because it is so against all the dominant values of openness of SPF.

To make a long story short, IMO moderation acts should definitively be signed.

I'd also suggest that when removing a whole post, at minimum the moderator should inform the poster being censored of the reason why. Not only for minimum respect, also to be educational for the targetted poster.
 

Antonio

Moderator
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,716
Reaction score
650
Dan, I fully agree with you. I'll try to "sign" my actions and give feed back either PM or in the threads but I admit I sometimes can fail. I'll keep doing my best. Thanks for the feedback.

I think one good thing in our little community is that we all share a purpose for improving the forum. In the last days, there has been a great feedback about what we have and what we want. And discussion is being translated into actions.
 

Jemiba

Moderator
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,434
Reaction score
1,942
Must admit, that in most cases I wasn't using the "Notify author of this action" field,
will do this from now on, sorry for any inconvenience.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
14,553
Reaction score
11,144
So all moderators are operating consistently I am posting guidelines in the Moderators forum. It's a great idea, so thanks for the feedback.
 

dannydale

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
547
Reaction score
383
B- it gives a really unpleasant smack of anonymous censorship, DDR- or SU-style. This is really jarring because it is so against all the dominant values of openness of SPF.
Reddit does things Soviet-style too, and that's all the more reason for SPF to NOT do it that way. Thank you based Overscan!
 

dan_inbox

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
805
So all moderators are operating consistently I am posting guidelines in the Moderators forum.
Is it part of that policy to inform the members involved?

Reason to ask: Today I reported an offensive post. Until now I received zero feedback. Only when I went back to that thread I happened to see that the offending post had been erased. No post in the thread explaining moderator intervention, and no feedback to me.

(It could be possible that the moderator's action was not in response to my report but to an earlier one from someone else, but still)

Further to #8 above, I would suggest for discussion that moderation policy should include
a) telling the offender why he was censored,
b) telling the reporting member whether his report was accepted (or rejected and why), and what actions have been taken: redact/delete reported post, author warned or suspended or whatever.

What do you think?
 

Jemiba

Moderator
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2006
Messages
8,434
Reaction score
1,942
Sorry, it was me ! And yes, you're right, I should have hit the "message to the poster" button. Or should have posted
"the post before was deleted because ..." . But the case was clear to me (kind of a failed joke), I was somehow in a hurry ...
Sorry again for that !
 

dan_inbox

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
805
I would like to complain about clumsy and counterproductive moderation:
In the thread "Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II", some darksider posted a rant (#148) which ends in "It's really simple. Nobody in power in the West is saying it out loud, but everything being done right now points to only one goal: Russia delenda est."

To which I replied "Absolutely not. Russia is not the problem, Vladimir Putin is.", and
"It is time Russian patriots rise and help the motherland, she needs it" (more-or-less). Which was widely supported by forumers.

Would you believe that the moderator deleted my post but still managed to leave the crap about Russia delenda est?
This isn't helpful or ballanced, in my book.
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
4,880
Reaction score
4,221
Website
beyondthesprues.com
Further clean ups performed. It was not deliberate to leave the posts in question but rather simple human error.

The fact remains that the posts in question had gone off topic and were not even mentioning the A-10 which is supposed to be the subject of that thread.
 

CJGibson

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,736
Reaction score
1,449
Mods (or rather the forum founder) did a good job with the 'Pirates of the South Atlantic' thread. A very measured response to a series of posts that were very much against the ethos of this forum.

Chris
 

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
14,553
Reaction score
11,144
Moderating is usually a thankless task. If you do it well, most people don't really notice it happening.

There seems to be a mistaken belief that moderators view every post. With 150-200 posts on an average day, that's just not going to happen. So if you see a post that needs moderating, report it for review. But also appreciate that you might not get the outcome you want. Different moderators make different decisions, even when working from the same basic rules.
 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
8,983
Reaction score
8,601
Mods (or rather the forum founder) did a good job with the 'Pirates of the South Atlantic' thread. A very measured response to a series of posts that were very much against the ethos of this forum.

Chris

It was just some genuine speculation that happened to be on the wrong section of the forum. No need to raise hell about it.
Thread title is pretty fine, in that peculiar case.
 

Apophenia

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
3,129
Reaction score
1,909
Moderating is usually a thankless task... So if you see a post that needs moderating, report it for review...

Yep. Because the system works. Yesterday I reported a post where a new forum member quoted me and then just tacked on a pointless, unrelated commercial link.

Today, that spammer's post has disappeared. No fuss, no muss. Just gone. Still, I have to say a big 'thanks' to whichever moderator performed that "thankless task". It was much appreciated!
 

dan_inbox

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
805
Further clean ups performed. It was not deliberate to leave the posts in question but rather simple human error.

The fact remains that the posts in question had gone off topic and were not even mentioning the A-10 which is supposed to be the subject of that thread.
Sure, it was off topic and the whole sequence deserved erasing.
Now, if you had signed your intervention, I would have been able to contact you directly, rather than through here.

And, if it was signed, frankly on a personal level it would feel less like DDR/Soviet censorship.
 

CJGibson

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,736
Reaction score
1,449
Mods (or rather the forum founder) did a good job with the 'Pirates of the South Atlantic' thread. A very measured response to a series of posts that were very much against the ethos of this forum.

Chris

It was just some genuine speculation that happened to be on the wrong section of the forum. No need to raise hell about it.
Thread title is pretty fine, in that peculiar case.

Archibald, you made a genuine mistake and it was not your posts that prompted the entire thread to be deleted. See my PM.

Chris
 
Last edited:

overscan (PaulMM)

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 27, 2005
Messages
14,553
Reaction score
11,144
Further clean ups performed. It was not deliberate to leave the posts in question but rather simple human error.

The fact remains that the posts in question had gone off topic and were not even mentioning the A-10 which is supposed to be the subject of that thread.
Sure, it was off topic and the whole sequence deserved erasing.
Now, if you had signed your intervention, I would have been able to contact you directly, rather than through here.

And, if it was signed, frankly on a personal level it would feel less like DDR/Soviet censorship

If the off topic discussion is interesting in itself, I normally split it off into a new topic rather than delete it.

You can report the topic or post again to raise it with the moderation team if something was missed.

Moderation shouldn't become personal, which is why it is designed to be anonymous by the forum software. There is no facility to "sign" a moderation event with the name of the moderator other that to put your name in the optional notification message sent to the user - and I'm not sure users should know by default, especially with more controversial "behavioral" type interventions. All moderation actions are logged, so moderators will always know who did what.

Single post moderation should have a reason given, but when tidying up a whole bunch of posts I tend to post a message in the topic rather than individually per post, as that gets rather tedious.
 

Volkodav

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
549
Reaction score
791
Further clean ups performed. It was not deliberate to leave the posts in question but rather simple human error.

The fact remains that the posts in question had gone off topic and were not even mentioning the A-10 which is supposed to be the subject of that thread.
Sure, it was off topic and the whole sequence deserved erasing.
Now, if you had signed your intervention, I would have been able to contact you directly, rather than through here.

And, if it was signed, frankly on a personal level it would feel less like DDR/Soviet censorship

If the off topic discussion is interesting in itself, I normally split it off into a new topic rather than delete it.

You can report the topic or post again to raise it with the moderation team if something was missed.

Moderation shouldn't become personal, which is why it is designed to be anonymous by the forum software. There is no facility to "sign" a moderation event with the name of the moderator other that to put your name in the optional notification message sent to the user - and I'm not sure users should know by default, especially with more controversial "behavioral" type interventions. All moderation actions are logged, so moderators will always know who did what.

Single post moderation should have a reason given, but when tidying up a whole bunch of posts I tend to post a message in the topic rather than individually per post, as that gets rather tedious.
I always assume its GTX deleting my posts because of my off colour comments about the RAAF......;)
 

dan_inbox

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
805
Moderation shouldn't become personal, which is why it is designed to be anonymous by the forum software.
It is a choice. Which I can understand. The perennial should-mods-be-shepperds-or-gunnies debate.

Seen from the other end, not all moderators have the same skills in terms of respect, diplomacy, and sensitiveness. From past experience, it feels like a few just wield their stick wildly and keep running. IMO there isn't that much to hope about those. But for all the others, a little bit a direct personal communication could facilitate solving issues, and would avoid a heavy workaround like opening a thread in the site feedback section.

By the way I take the opportunity to say again how much I admire the way Jens handles it. A real gentleman. Also, by and large, most mods do a great job. Yes it is a thankless one too.
 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
8,983
Reaction score
8,601
Moderation shouldn't become personal, which is why it is designed to be anonymous by the forum software.
It is a choice. Which I can understand. The perennial should-mods-be-shepperds-or-gunnies debate.

Seen from the other end, not all moderators have the same skills in terms of respect, diplomacy, and sensitiveness. From past experience, it feels like a few just wield their stick wildly and keep running. IMO there isn't that much to hope about those. But for all the others, a little bit a direct personal communication could facilitate solving issues, and would avoid a heavy workaround like opening a thread in the site feedback section.

By the way I take the opportunity to say again how much I admire the way Jens handles it. A real gentleman. Also, by and large, most mods do a great job. Yes it is a thankless one too.

Moderators at AH.com are giant SOBs that truly abuse their power in the worst possible way. But that's not a topic to be debated here (and not with me, I'm probably not 100% objective on the matter, ROTFL).
 

sublight_

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
968
Reaction score
327
Speaking of the Skylon thread, I had posted several things critical of the outlandish claims made by the engine team, and the mods kept removing them. Can we not have people mod their "pet project" threads?
 

Similar threads

Top