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Automatic Suspension after flagging/reporting


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One thing that would be a great idea is the option to suspend users automatically when they are reported a certain amount of times. Let's say if a spammer sneaks and starts spamming the entire community we need a mod to ban him. People can report it a millon time but if there is no mod online then the person will be able to continue bothering. We can choose what member groups can report posts, it would be sick to have the option to choose the amount of "reports" needed for automatic suspension, in that way we could have the community reporting and suspended people until a mod comes online and decided what to do.

Similar to the way Craigslist works. People can flag other people's postings and after a certain number of flags the post is taken down.

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Ouch. I wouldn't even suggest anything like that. Because, it could backfire. For instance, one of your members get upset at another member and it starts a 'flagging/reporting' war among your community. When it comes to spammers, I don't have a problem with them because they identified almost immediately and halted before they can do any damage. While it sounds like a good idea in theory, it just would open the system to abuse. Such a system would be akin to a retaliatory system where your members are just running around flagging members they don't like.

For instance, the reputation system comes to mind. Where you enable the positive and negative. When it was announced with 3.0, the system was ripe with problems because you could arbitrarily just multiple user's posts as negative, just out of spite. With a 'flagging system', I see the same kind of problems ... I wouldn't enable it on my community unless your members were well behaved and could be trusted. I don't enable on my community, not because of my community, but because a spammer could just log on, act like a good member, and then use that system against you, just out of spite.

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Some things work and some things don't work. Moderators already have the ability to flag a user as a spammer. If you have enough Moderators to cover your community, then a system like the one propsed in this topic simply would do more harm than good. I wouldn't use this type of system because it would send the wrong message to my community, that anyone could be flagged as a spammer and they would simply find another community. For one, it would have to be a system that could only be applied to Admin or Moderators. Placing this feature in the hands of rank and file registered members is just asking for trouble.

When the reputation system was announced for IPB 3.0, I remember that this community went through a reputation war. While I'm embarassed at the roll I played in that as well, it was embarassing. This was during the beta testing when it was installed here on the support forums. It's only in the past few years that I've learned to calm down and not takes things too literally but I did recognize the abusive behavior one could inflict with the reputation system. When I finally upgraded to IPB 3.0, I disabled the "negative " aspect of the reputation system and only enabled the positive side.

I do get my fair share of forum trolls and spammers and I didn't want them abusing that nasty feature of the Rep system. The same abuse would happen with a 'flagging' system that has the potential to mark someone as a spammer, and I have to tell you, that getting marked as a spammer through IPS' Anti-Spam service in a pain the ass trying to get fixed. When I discovered that the IPS AS Service inadvertantly marked my IP address and my email addresses as spammers, because I testing some glitches that some of my members were reporting in regards to account registration, it took almost a week before IPS Support was able to address the problem and remove my IP address as a known spammer.

While it humorous at first, it soon became apparent that it was even causing me problems in regards to me own site.

That flagging system would have the ability to record a 'flagged' member as a spammer and then that user would not be able to access your site. There's too much that can go wrong, such as innocent users on your own site getting flagged in the process and it's just one headache I know I wouldn't be comfortable within the long run.

Oh, and Heaven forbid that a user who has access to do such a thing decides to flag you (the Admin) as a spammer. Then, you don't gain access to your own community.

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I clearly said

it would be sick to have the option to choose the amount of "reports" needed for automatic suspension

That means I can set it up to 5 or 6 reports then if 2 users are fighting nothing will happen because one or two reports are not enough to take down a post.

Besides, if the same users are continously reporting then i can demote them to a different group of users that do not have the ability to report/flag posts.

Ideally, we should be able to choose which users can report posts and how many reports are enough to suspend someone

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I think you still missed what I posted. Automatic Suspension, is not a good thing when your users can engage in such "flagging" in order to victimize another user. This is why I've left final decisions regarding forum bans up to the sole discretion of the forum admins. Verbal warnings, warning strikes and temporary warning restrictions are not automatic and they can easily be reversed. This idea is insane because it creates a situation where "Forum Politics" can turn a community over on its head, and this is one area I have had the opportunity to witness firsthand.

I didn't say your idea was necessarily a bad one, but that it has the possibility of being abused in an unflattering way. The system already automatically flags suspected spam posts, and you have that ability to enable it on your forums. What you're suggesting is placing that feature in the hands of your forum users, and that is not a good idea.

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The reason you mentioned can be fixed easily, i can set up a group of users (let's says between members and mods) and give those users the ability to flag/report. Those could be users that have a good reputaion and we know they won't engage in abusive behavior. The problem you mentioned would happen if I let the entire community use the auto flagging option.

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No. I said that it's a bad idea to take what's already a moderator ability and hand it over to registered members who are not forum staff. If you have to set up a specific usergroup in order to do this, than you're defeating the purpose of such a system. You're basically creating a separate usergroup that will take over what the forum software does on its own, as well as what's already an ability by moderators.

If someone is spamming, the system is already automated in which it can flag that member as a spammer. It's an integrated part of the software. If you had bothered to log into your ACP, you would have noticed that this 'flag for spamming' is already built into the software. Log into your ACP:

System Settings > Members > Spam Prevention

Look for the section marked as "Flagging Members", and simply pick your settings. There are different levels.

What you're suggesting to create a new system and your suggestion is to create a brand new usergroup. Moderators can already flag a user as a spammer and for that user to be placed under review by an administrator. Your idea is just redundant because that feature is already available to admin and moderators.

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