Jump to content

Augment the Moderation System to be More Refined?


Recommended Posts

I have created a WordPress blog that was in the Top 1% in the World last year, (for pages read) and we had a commenting system attached that was part of the Disqus network that offered much more than what I have with IPS.  I was able to have copies of posts listed compactly on a page (in the order written) in order to scan through them quickly for violations. 

Disqus had a stat area where I could easily see how many posts were written each day and I could check quickly by week or month as well.  I was able to see how many posts were edited in a month, and how many were deleted.  I could also get a quick count of those few who were banned.

All of these are stats needed for comparison, planning and adjusting.

My moderation is much more rigid than most with rules that quickly enforce decorum, and the result is a pleasant community with less than a half of 1% of all comments deleted.  Now with my new IPS forum--I intend to ramp up (over 4,000 page views yesterday) but cannot with the current moderation system in place.  I need to be able to have my moderators operate in shifts and thus be able to see new posts immediately on a daily page, and numbered starting at midnight.

Considering the success my rigid rules and quick enforcement has brought--I would like to think that other forum owners would want this feature as well, because if your forum in your industry is the only "safe" one, then you will experience what I have.  After all members are either taught the new way or removed, the end result is a wonderful community that debates the topics and does not get personal.

I have disabled the current IPS system of requiring a number of warnings or reports before a post is hidden, as by the time that number is hit--an offending post, (such as politics) has already offended half the reading audience.  We need to jump on impolite conduct, improper language or political opinions immediately and we cannot with the current system.

I need a moderation system that can accommodate my needs for this forum as Disqus did for a blog.  Is this something that can be added?  (Soon?)  

My thanks,

Charles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Paul E. said:

I'm not sure your requirements are clear enough. What exactly is IPS lacking?

As above, what specific changes would make it easier for you to accomplish your task? For instance, you can monitor the "Unread Content" activity stream to see all new content as it comes in (the stream will auto-update as well to show you new content as it posts), which might be a tool that you have overlooked based on what you've described?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Paul E. said:

Why did you switch away from your previously working system with Wordpress and Disqus?

I'm not sure your requirements are clear enough. What exactly is IPS lacking?

I have a WordPress blog for articles, and used the bbPress system for comments below the articles, and then we installed the Disqus system to replace bbPress.  But this only allowed one continuous thread each day for all topics below the article and that was unwieldy in my view.

Then I started a separate forum through IPS software so we could discuss all topics of the day, and the moderation process built in with IPS is insufficient.  

I believe I have described in detail in my original post what IPS is lacking....do see below of bfarber's question and my answer with more concise information.

Thank you for your question.

Edited by Charles Fischer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, bfarber said:

As above, what specific changes would make it easier for you to accomplish your task? For instance, you can monitor the "Unread Content" activity stream to see all new content as it comes in (the stream will auto-update as well to show you new content as it posts), which might be a tool that you have overlooked based on what you've described?

The Activity Stream only pertains to one user; if I have a string of shifts of moderators--that does not work well, as the Activity Stream of mine does not show up for the next shift moderator.  What I would love to have and I believe others would as well... (and could be a sales point for prospects of IPS forums)

--One central stream available to all Administrators and Moderators where we can mark that a post is moderated and by who; this is critical if we want to check every post.

--A separate stream for each day.

--We need to see on each post in this stream the precise date, time of day, who posted it and these post copies need to be numbered from midnight onward for rapid reference. (the next day would start a new stream at midnight with a new numbering system)

--Access to each day's stream with pages going back as you would with posts.

--The number of deleted posts by month.

--The number of banned members by month.

Thank you for your question!

Edited by Charles Fischer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Charles Fischer said:

One central stream available to all Administrators and Moderators where we can mark that a post is moderated and by who; this is critical if we want to check every post.

This is probably best achieved with the current IPS (what's available today) by requiring posts to be approved by moderators. That will work exactly as you describe, without having the need to preassign moderators to a given post. Moderators work the queue and will decide whether to approve/hide/delete/edit a post in sequential order for all posts that haven't been touched yet. The other things you've described seem like unnecessary overhead, and if you have people at the ready on a schedule to review things as they come in, this is the approach I'd recommend. They can just decide on the content in front of them and not have to worry about the rest, and offensive stuff never makes it on your site without having been checked by one of your moderators.

While there is a per member activity stream, there's also the ability to set activity streams at a global level. These can be customized globally through the ACP, or set on a per moderator account level. See this link for an example of it here:

https://invisioncommunity.com/discover/

Notably, IPS does not offer a way to moderate directly from this view, however you can click through to the content and take action at that point. This is a point of improvement that is needed: the ability to moderate content from wherever it is displayed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, Paul E. said:

This is probably best achieved with the current IPS (what's available today) by requiring posts to be approved by moderators.

That is not a practical solution in my view, for those who wish to post.  They want to see their post up immediately, and not later whether two minutes or 20 when the mods get to it.  Requiring all posts to be approved would discourage people from posting, an inhibitor to posting and would damage the forum environment.  (I speak from experience after being on forums posting for over 20 years)

Your suggestion is a solution presented to me earlier, (not in this thread) and I appreciate it, but feel it would not achieve my objectives.  But I do thank you for pondering it all...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Charles Fischer said:

I need to be able to have my moderators operate in shifts and thus be able to see new posts immediately on a daily page, and numbered starting at midnight.

Hey @Charles Fischer, appreciate the time you spent in this topic and subsequent replies. I like where your head is at! 

Just thinking outloud.

What if you created a new page viewable only by moderators.

On this page, you add the "posts feed" widget. You can set the widget to show the time to what you want, for instance all replies left in the last day.

This will list out all the comments left by members in the last day.

There isn't a moderation option on this page. The moderators would have to see a problematic post and actually go to it then moderate (whether that's hiding it, deleting it etc). They can navigate to the problematic post directly from this page btw. 

I know it's an extra step, but if less than 1% of all comments need to be handled, hopefully this wouldn't be too intensive. 

Thoughts? 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Jordan Invision said:

On this page, you add the "posts feed" widget.

So far, every suggestion is one that has already been suggested by my developer, and the page that you suggest creating is what we have right now, but it is insufficient for what I am trying to achieve.  It does not have most of what I listed above and there is no way of knowing who had moderated what.

Right now....because our forum is still modest and growing--we are actually moderating by simply using the dots and stars to the left of the Topic Title and takes you to the last unread post.  The challenge there is that these indicators relates only to me, as it does to each user.  Thus I currently have three people effectively moderating the same posts--not effective at all.

I am hoping the IPS team will consider adding my suggestions to the Core Software, as I do believe if presented correctly in the sales materials--could give IPS an edge on their competitors.

My thanks for your thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, rainstone.digital said:

Is a post held for moderation not visible to the user who made it?

That I don't know, but the real issue is the post being published up on the forum immediately and not delayed waiting for approval by a moderator. 

I would like to check after they post, since 99.60% are fine, but all must be checked soon.  As you ramp up--you get Drive-By Trolls, and new people that have to go through an adaption period of toning down their aggression.  Our site is quite a change compared to other sports forums, but once they make the adaption--most just love it.

So my extreme rules, moderation and immediate enforcement is quite a commitment, but one that the community cherishes, and we end up attracting high quality people who engage in high-brow discussions. 

Thanks for your question...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds to me like you're planning an incredibly labor-intensive operation that is... well, unlike anything I've ever heard of. If you have an army of mods standing by waiting to work in shifts to jump on each and every single post to immediately evaluate it for offensive content in real time so that those that pass can appear "Immediately," that's really impressive.

This is far enough outside of a normal approach and a unique-enough use case that I'm going to guess that buying a custom solution is probably your best bet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Moonbeam said:

This is far enough outside of a normal approach and a unique-enough use case that I'm going to guess that buying a custom solution is probably your best bet.

Interesting suggestion. @Charles Fischer is this something you'd be open to? I imagine most community owners don't necessarily have the bandwidth to moderate every comment, but I also can understand how that would keep the conversations going in a way that keeps the peace. If less than 1% of comments need to be moderated, would it be plausible your community is functioning in a way that may not necessarily need this method of moderation? You've created a well-oiled machine! May not need round-the-clock mechanics 🙂

Just want to preface this by saying I do think your idea has value and it makes a lot of sense. If it's working for you it's working for you! Just wanted to see if you were .001% open to not implementing this method of moderation. Hope my comment comes off as respectful. 🙏 Let me know what you think. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Moonbeam said:

It sounds to me like you're planning an incredibly labor-intensive operation that is... well, unlike anything I've ever heard of. If you have an army of mods standing by waiting to work in shifts to jump on each and every single post to immediately evaluate it for offensive content in real time so that those that pass can appear "Immediately," that's really impressive.

This is far enough outside of a normal approach and a unique-enough use case that I'm going to guess that buying a custom solution is probably your best bet.

I already have a couple of retired guys in place watching the posts, and later when we ramp up--I've put out the call for volunteers to help "retain the culture we have built" and had excellent response.  I've built something very unique and when I've appealed to retired guys to donate 4 hours of time out of the 168 hours in a week--I have more than enough to make it happen.

"If you build it--they will come," is not just a catchy phrase from a 1980s movie, but when you have something unique--it becomes true.  First I built it and rigidly protected the community via the immediate enforcement of the rules, and that attracts great people who want to be a part of a "civilized" community, and their posts attract even more, etc.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Edited by Charles Fischer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Jordan Invision said:

Just wanted to see if you were .001% open to not implementing this method of moderation. Hope my comment comes off as respectful. 🙏 Let me know what you think. 

Hello Jordan,

This has been a superb conversation, and while it has not gone the way I hoped with my suggestions being implemented,....I would like to think that I've stirred some people to consider managing a forum a different way.

In answer to your first question--I have a great developer for the IPS forum, and before we embarked on a long and expensive journey creating what I want in a custom moderating system--we thought we would first put it out to the IPS principals to see if they would add these suggestions as options to the Core Software.  Apparently they do not see the value or the market, so I will proceed with a custom package.

Answering your other question takes longer, but worth it; please know that I too am not trying to be disrespectful or snarky in my answer, as alas....I cannot do that on my own forum, so I will not here either!

In short....I will be adding a huge feature to my forum that is unique to my niche', and between that feature and the "protection from the Trolls" I will be charging a subscription in the future for this new feature and the enforced decorum. Thus this is not a labor of love, but a project that has financial components as there is a big market of people who want discussion and content to read in a given subject, but without all the nonsense present in today's online discourse.

Most of the big sites, such as USA Today, ESPN, PBS and even in Oregon...the biggest newspaper in Portland removed the comments below articles as they became a cesspool and a major time commitment to keep them clean. Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal put millions into a study of tough moderation while attaching that to a subscription....and the numbers were very good.  So much so that they are expanding the department in a big way because of the massive growth of subscriptions.

That is in financial news, but the opportunity is there in all sectors.  Be the only civilized site and enforce it and it will grow.   We have more retired people than ever (AARP says 45% of the population is over age 55) and that is my target in a sports-related niche'.  But there have been a number of pleasant surprises with this niche' and my moderation, as it actually appeals to all age groups.  Targeting the older professional male/female has worked, but it has also attracted a type of personality present in all ages....and my Google Analytics show almost a perfect balance among the size age group categories!

Another pleasant surprise has been the difficulty, which is not what you would think.  Think of it as parenting--with our child we only had to spank once....then give her "the look" and that would suffice from that point on.  Once the community sees you removing people, deleting comments and keeping it clean...it takes far less work over time.  I comment often thus create the "Police-Car" affect; people always behave in their driving when a police car is in view...  So take out the trash in the beginning, and then monitor and react to anything immediately.

I cannot emphasize that enough, and now Jordan....I get to the heart of answering your question.  I would never consider relenting on what has worked so well for three years...because "whatever you allow--you are guaranteed to see again within 48 hours."  In the beginning...I was weak and let some things slide because I knew the people or they were my friends, etc.

But everybody is watching.  Let that by and the original offender and/or someone else will repeat that offending behavior almost immediately as they see now they can get away with it.

So no, the tiny percentage of offending posts will explode almost immediately if I go soft on the rules, because it is human behavior; it is just what people do.

People are very clever and thus I've had just about every tactic pulled on me and it has helped me to refine my 32 rules, to understand the subtle ways that people try to inhibit others from posting views contrary to their own, and thus create a "GroupThink" environment.  Not only did I spend the hours conferring with my team and learning, but I began to see the nuanced variations of these inhibiting behaviors and now with recognition--can stop them immediately.

So in the end...not only will I not change, but I will make a living off of it.  I believe many of you could do the same thing in your sector, and I believe that IPS could attract a number of new customers with this option to the software.

People want this moderation, they want to be able to read all the posts, and not have to sift through the nonsense.  They want to know that if they present a end-of-the-spectrum view, that everybody still has to be nice to them and they won't be insulted or belittled for it.  Everybody wants a safe place...

My developer of my blog for nine years....he has built and sold massive sites, (300,000 page views a day) and knows the business well.  He told me in the beginning that "this will never work, and you are flying in the face of what the big sites are doing."  Now he admits he was completely wrong, and is 100% behind me, but he also says that the secret sauce in my unique moderating.  

So...I will be a pioneer of sorts in this business.  I was in the investment advisement business for 36 years before selling my practice, and between my knowledge of people gained there and my experience with thousands of people and hundreds of volunteers over the last nine years with my blog of articles--I have experience that has served me well.

If anyone wants to discuss this further or inquire later in my custom package--email me charles@fishduck.com and I'll give you an update.  It is going to be a fun journey...  

Charles

Edited by Charles Fischer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Charles,

Firstly, thanks for spending the time sharing your thoughts. The impression I get from your posts in this topic is you feel your way of moderating is the correct way and that our platform isn't fit for purpose if it doesn't facilitate that approach. Forgive me if I've misinterpreted, but I wanted to share our perspective: we've been powering thousands of diverse communities for nearly 20 years. A lot of those communities are in industries that would typically be considered ripe for toxicity (e.g. gaming, sports), and have many millions of posts (50+ million in some cases). Many of these communities are run by brands that care deeply about their public image and simply would not allow the perception of toxicity to exist in their name. Moderation is one of the key priorities for these sorts of communities.

We therefore have a pretty well-tested understanding of the needs of sites when it comes to moderation, toxicity, guidelines and so forth. It's what we work with customers on every single day.

Put simply, manually reviewing every post made in a community in a 'just in time' fashion isn't sustainable or scalable. On a very small community with a couple thousand posts and a few users active at any one time, it may be an approach that can work, but it simply wouldn't be viable on communities that receive thousands of posts an hour and have hundreds of members online at any one time. Some of our customers have entire salaried community moderation teams and even they don't have the resources to attempt that.

The implication that unless every post is reviewed by a moderator, a community will inevitably descend to chaos and toxicity, is wrong. Moderation is a much more holistic endeavor than simply reading every single post. 

You are absolutely right that users want to see their post immediately, so pre-moderating content usually isn't the best approach. We tend to suggest a reactive approach instead, where content is posted freely but problems are identified and then acted upon.

We have a very robust warning system that can head off many problems, or put troublemakers in a timeout so they can't cause further issues. We have automatic moderation tools that can take actions on content depending on how other users interact with it. We have a very powerful permissions system that allows you to gradually (and automatically) grant more access to users once they've proven themselves. We have a built-in spam service that can prevent many spammy registrations before they even make it to your community. All of these tools have been developed with the lessons we have learned over the years. Obviously, there is always room for improvement and we take ideas and problems on board to figure out what to do next.

I am certainly not suggesting your approach is wrong. If you've made it work for you, then all the more power to you. However, it is not an approach that in our experience would be useful to most communities. It seems to me that the custom app approach is going to be the best fit for you, and I hope it works out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Rikki said:

you feel your way of moderating is the correct way and that our platform isn't fit for purpose if it doesn't facilitate that approach.

Hello Rikki,

Thank you for responding and confirming again what I suspected from management. 

I will say that your sentence above is effectively trying to put words in my mouth--words that were not written or meant.  It is not what I stated, and is an example of a "Straw-Man" argument that is disallowed on my forum, (Rule No. 15) because nobody should have to defend something they did not write.  It is an unfair method of pitting an audience against someone who has a view contrary to your own, and thus why we forbid it.

I understand and respect all the forums that operate successfully with the system you have in place, and I was simply suggesting there are other forms of moderation out there that work as well, and this one might fit a number of scenarios.  Never did I suggest or imply your present method was wrong; I suggested offering an option that suited my needs better is all.

Considering other ways of doing it is progress, a way to improve.  It is a way to open new markets and prospects, but only if you can handle even the suggestion of change to the status quo. You feel you are "fine" as you are, and that is all I was checking on.  Got it...

While I understand you have been doing this a long time....I have been on message boards/forum since 1996, (their infancy) and a 25 year period.  I know what many people want and what I want in a forum--from my vast experience as a member of forums, as a moderator/owner for an article blog for the last nine years and now an owner of a forum.  (Again the Article blog was in the Top 1% in the World last year for pages read as confirmed by Alexa.com)

I tell people who do not have impulse control that our forum is not a good match-up for them, and similarly--your moderation system is not my cup-of-tea, and thus why I was looking for other options.  The truth is...I do not think any of the larger forum providers have what I want, and thus I agree I will have to make-do with a clunkier custom route. 

My prior experience with Disqus, that had the features I liked, was not a forum, but an add-on comment section below articles. Hence what I wish for is not imagined or a fantasy, but a system currently offered in the marketplace and used by thousands of blogs.

Don't assume I am completely unhappy with the forum software; I love my forum, the look and so many of the cool features and we are having a blast with it.  In particular the "hide" feature is quite handy for the retired guys keeping an eye on things so that I can attend to a problem post later--without it being up and offending half the reading audience before it is taken down.

I appreciate the explanation of your experience, point of view and feedback.

My thanks again,

Charles

Edited by Charles Fischer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, too, have been on forums since the internet was in diapers. I've never seen or heard of any forum moderated in this manner you're describing, or heard anyone indicate that they wanted to run their forum that way. This isn't meant to demean you or suggest that wanting what you want is wrong. I was trying to indicate before that this is not an approach that is even remotely popular enough that anyone would be offering an out-of-the-box system to support it. There would be no market for it. You seem already to have conceded that with your admission that none of the major forum providers offer this as a ready-made solution.

Again, this is why I said a customized solution was your best (and probably only) bet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Moonbeam said:

There would be no market for it. You seem already to have conceded that with your admission that none of the major forum providers offer this as a ready-made solution.

I did not concede that there isn't a market for it, and like Rikki, you are stating something I did not write.  (Another nice Straw-Man argument) In fact in the posts above I wrote the opposite as I believe there is such a market since the Wall Street Journal has done it with their comments, and Disqus had also offered these features to thousands of article blogs worldwide. 

I did not take offense at the majority here rejecting my premise, as I was simply offering my thoughts and for the most part--everyone has been polite.  Your customized solution suggestion is something I did concede would be the most probable course, but I thought I would inquire on a macro-level first.

It is amusing that what I am encountering here with a few of you is a demonstration of why such a moderation system is desired by many.  Can't we just disagree and call it a day? 

Charles

giphy.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Charles FischerCongratulations on garnering a large following and my condolences on the bad apples that spoil things for the rest. One thought came to mind.  If you have access to your follower's email addresses or some other means of direct contact, you might consider culling your membership a little at a time.  One way you might do that is to invite a block of users that you haven't had any problems with in the past to a clone of your site.  Let those folks interact with you and each other and cull anyone not living up to your social contract.  Invite the next block and do the same thing.  Repeat the process until you have a group of followers that need little to no moderation which would fit well with the IPS moderation system as it currently exists. You might want to look at how you are acquiring new members. Maybe one channel seems to attract more bad apples than the others.  If so you might weigh the value of continuing to use that source. Lastly you might consider evaluating how and what you write about.  Can you convey your thoughts in a different fashion, one that might not cause folks with tendencies to stir up trouble from doing so on your site.  Just a thought...

 

Edited by Chris Anderson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Chris Anderson said:

you might consider culling your membership a little at a time.

I don't want to diminish the size of our membership, but in fact wish to ramp up later.  First I need a moderating system that will accommodate that growth with how we moderate.

My experience has been that "the regulars" are pretty good following the rules, but we all mess up once in a while and write something we shouldn't.  Thus those posts still need to be looked at, but I do not want to scare off those people.  Usually I send an email and they answer, "Sorry--my bad, and thanks for what you are doing."

Then we forget about it and move on, thus I want to retain these people, not over-react when they mess up once in a great while, yet we need to catch these occasional bad words or political references for example.

For newbies....they go through an adaption process of learning that they do not need the aggressive tone or stance.  Thus we need to check them, and a small percentage cannot adapt and thus are told that no slack will be given after a couple of violations.  At that point they either, 1) shape up, or 2) leave on their own accord, (this is what happens the most often) or 3) they get banned when they demonstrate no impulse control.

So in the end--I do not want to trim the herd; I want to add to it, but I need to be able to easily scan the posts quickly.

Thanks for your input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Charles Fischer said:

Can't we just disagree and call it a day?

Well, unfortunately this conflicts with Rule 47.3(b) on my forum, and I once won a very prestigious award for best avatar in the category of subtle dig for cartoon based staff heads, for which I was the sole entrant and judge.

Apologies. I'm sure you understand. Number one, and all.

Kelvin Harrison Jr Wrestling GIF by A24

I think the approach you're suggesting is interesting and I think you could do it with minimal effort depending on how you'd engineer it. Yet it's difficult to get behind championing a cause when the rationale is based on who you are and what your Alexa rank is instead of helping us understand the benefits such a system would have for a significant enough number of IPS customers, who are using this platform in a way that is different from the design and purpose of Disqus.

There are many customers here with equally laudable successes and far greater ones. We're here learning from each other, bouncing ideas and suggestions around, and typically we all get farther along and more easily heard when we leave the grandstanding and humble bragging aside.

You may consider engaging as an enterprise-level customer if your requirements and business are such that such a contract makes sense for you, and I'm sure IPS would work with you to build out a statement of work, and this may fit into the Disqus like offering they have at the enterprise-level.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Paul E. said:

it's difficult to get behind championing a cause when the rationale is based on who you are and what your Alexa rank

Ah yes, the double standard.  If I come in asking for an addition, the response would be ..."who are you to suggest such preposterousness?"  So I establish my credentials and offer proof that my request is actually available in other venues?   To that you try to belittle me regardless.  A simple request for consideration for additions and progress is denigrated through multiple methods and by a cabal of many; I must have hit a nerve.

My goodness.  This is like the forums I left in order to create a group of civilized people who can disagree without attacking.  Members here in prior posts above used the "Straw-Man" tactic while you employed sarcasm, (Rule No. 13 that we forbid) to attempt to denigrate.  The ultimate purpose of sarcasm is to paint someone and/or a group with a put-down that discourages others from posting an opposing view in the future, and hence why we disallow it.  You must have a ton of "GroupThink" here...

Now I get it.  This group would certainly not accept such a moderation option when they willingly engage in such tactics toward others that I forbid in my forum.  I do thank you, as you proved (unwittingly) my point, and why so many wish to escape such silliness.  Rational commentary is yearned by so many...

No sweat.  So many tech people cannot accept a change unless they thought of it, and I hoped this outcome would be different. 

I will succeed without you.

Edited by Charles Fischer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...