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4.0 - Moderation Part 3: Reports

Effective moderation features are essential for online communities. Forums, blog entries and member-to-member messaging are particularly attractive for spam bots and nuisance users alike. IPS Social Suite has always been best in class when it comes to moderation features with features like the free IPS Spam Service that are completely unmatched by other web applications. Over this series of 5 blog entries I'm going to introduce you to some of the new moderation features in the IPS Community Suite 4.0.

Part 1: Setting up moderators
Part 2: Approval Queue
Part 3: Reports
Part 4: Effective Moderation
Part 5: Warnings




Back in IP.Board 3.0, we introduced a feature which at the time we called the "Report Center". Before this, if a user clicked the "Report" button, it would send a personal message to all the moderators for the forum the post was in (seriously). The Report Center was one of my favourite features in IP.Board 3.0 - it provided a great way for moderators to collaborate on reports and know the action that was taken.

For 4.0 - we wanted to make this even more useful. We had 2 goals:
  • It should be easy to set up and use. It currently has lots of configuration options dotted around the Admin CP and can feel a little confusing ("statuses" have "points" which leads to different coloured "flags" on reports) - it should be much easier for moderators to see what's important.
  • When viewing the report itself, moderators should be able to see all the information they need immediately, and take action, without leaving the screen, making it quick and painless to deal with reports.


The first part was making it easy for users to submit reports (if submitting a report is difficult or time-consuming, users won't do it, which defeats the point of having the feature). We've made it so when clicking the "Report offensive content" button next to posts, comments, messages, etc. a modal window will pop up - here the user can optionally fill in a reason for their submitting the report, and when submitting, the modal window just disappears, with no page reload, so the user is not interrupted from what they're doing.



Video Demonstration


Next we wanted to improve how moderators deal with reports - here's a screenshot of the report screen:


Right from this page I can:
  • See the content that was reported - I don't have to click anywhere to view it (naturally, I can click on the title to be taken to the actual content if I want to see it in context).

  • Edit or delete the content. If I do this, it will do it via AJAX, without me ever leaving the page.
    Video Demonstration
  • See any warnings that have been given in the past to the user who posted the content being reported, and issue them with a warning (which will be issued without me leaving the page).


  • Flag the member as a spammer, which will automatically take all the appropriate action for that, depending on how I've set it up in the Admin CP.

  • See who has reported this content, and the message they provided with the report. By hovering on their photo I will see their hover card which allows me to send them a message (which will be sent without me leaving the page).

  • See any comments on the report from other moderators and make a comment on the report - comments are submitted by AJAX so I can make a comment quickly.

  • Change the status of or delete a report.

  • Move to the next/previous reports pending.


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  • What happens, if the reporting user doesn't add any note in his report? Will it look the same in the report center, just without the user's note?
  • Will there be an option to predefine report reasons (such as Spam, Advertisement, Foul Language etc.) which the reporting user can choose from with a single click (as an alternative to having the ability to enter a reson manually)?

 

Whoa, we got so many glimpses on the frontend look by now. Please show us more of how the general design will be and how all those feature will be integrated with it! :p

 

So far: Nice work guys!

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Very great improvements, well done! This is really useful, thank you.

 

But I have a concern, about the general layout of IPS v4.

 

I know this is just a sneak peak, but I'm really worried about the general arrangement of all the stuff in IP.4 pages.

 

There are a lot of buttons, and there are definitely not organized.

It seems they all have been put randomly on the page.

As a result, this is very difficult to see what's the main purpose of a page, what's secondly important, and so on.

 

Look at that:

 

IP4-download.gif

 

 

All the buttons are very cumbersome and the content (for instance the user review) disappears behind all this.

 

So, as it is maybe not too late, I think the IP4 pages have to be better organized :

 

1. The content has to be more visible compared to action buttons. Especially the main subject of a page must be more visible, compared to subsidiary functionalities.

 

2. Functionalities have to be grouped together in blocks, and not be displayed as an non-organized flow of buttons and links.

 

Thanks for reading :)

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Will there be a place for the user to replay back to the Admin/Mod that had the report and not just open up a PM to that person.I see a problem in a way for the person being mark as spammer are warm a way to reply back to the staff than to enither is in a private message, email or post to the forms. If posting and not allow and private message can't be sent due to it being lock down or other means the only other option is email if one can find it or it is available.

 

If one of the options listied above or say they are all lock down, how can the person talk to the staff if there is no way for them to do so? I would suggent allowing the person being effect to reply back to their message warning they get or something to allow them to reply back and not totally block communcations as they would make things worst between the person and staff.

 

Keeping it all in house and listed as a history to that user would keep things up and up so if there are any questions the top level moderator or admin can see what was say between mod and person or check up on what was done.

 

So to sum up my statement I think inhouse two reply system between mod/admin should be open to the person that was given the warning/point/ban so all ways of communcation is not totally block off and that it can be track for recording keeping and futhure uses.

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  • Will there be an option to predefine report reasons (such as Spam, Advertisement, Foul Language etc.) which the reporting user can choose from with a single click (as an alternative to having the ability to enter a reson manually)?

 

That would be REALLY great and time-saving :)

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You are seeing very early previews of the 4.0 suite and the look and feel is very subject to change.  Some buttons have already been moved, some have been restyled to appear less like buttons, etc. :)  I wouldn't worry *too* much about those sorts of details until you can see and use the software.

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So, as it is maybe not too late, I think the IP4 pages have to be better organized :

[...]

 

Sadly we haven't seen a lot of the UI so far, at least not in a greater scope. This is why I hope to see some announcements about the general design soon. Even though everything we see right now is subject to change, I think you have a point here, so I tend to agree with your concerns.

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Changes look great! I love the incorporation of more AJAX and fewer page refreshes for members to more easily submit content, and for moderators to manage content. Member's previous warning history available right from the report is a nice touch too.

 

Happy to hear that the layout is still very subject to change. As LaCollision has said, I feel from what I've seen so far things are way too spaced out, it's very blocky looking, and disorganized in terms of "where" you are in the suite. Fingers crossed that there will also be a little more colour in the default skin instead of exclusively black/white :P

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So... I guess a bit nitpicking here... But what if I would want to hide the post, rather than delete it?

 

Or if the report is about the topic being posted in the wrong section, it would be neat to quickly move it to the correct section.

 

Or quickly change the topic title. 

 

Or quickly do anything, I guess :tongue:

 

(Of course, you don't want to fill it up with all the options, I understand that) 

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I've never been a big fan of the report center in IPB3 - mainly because you see the report and have to leave the page to take any action on the content. This is definitely improved over the current version and I'm glad to see this in there.

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One of the biggest issues with the report center as it is at present is the inability to actually respond to the person who reported it in the first place, meaning this generally goes ignored and the user can feel his/her report has also been ignored. Is there anything to facilitate this?

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One of the biggest issues with the report center as it is at present is the inability to actually respond to the person who reported it in the first place, meaning this generally goes ignored and the user can feel his/her report has also been ignored. Is there anything to facilitate this?

 

User name drop down has a link to Message user . I'm sure they also followed similar model approach for messaging the user so answer should be Yes

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One of the biggest issues with the report center as it is at present is the inability to actually respond to the person who reported it in the first place, meaning this generally goes ignored and the user can feel his/her report has also been ignored. Is there anything to facilitate this?

 

A notification for them would be good to let them know it was taking care of when report is complete.

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One of the biggest issues with the report center as it is at present is the inability to actually respond to the person who reported it in the first place, meaning this generally goes ignored and the user can feel his/her report has also been ignored. Is there anything to facilitate this?

 

This is so true!

Sending manually a MP is a pain in the a*s for each report.  :tongue:

 

Maybe sending an automatic MP for the person who reported the problem when the report is defined as "under review" and "closed"?

That would be awesome!

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I've said that in the past somewhere, sending a PM related to the REPORT or WARN system is important not only for convenience but most importantly to link the PM with the report or warn (that is back and forth no matter the screen).

 

Now I just send if necessary a PM that is later trackless through endless other PM conversations...

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User name drop down has a link to Message user . I'm sure they also followed similar model approach for messaging the user so answer should be Yes

 

That functionality is in 3.x too, with the profile hover cards... but it's not really a proper solution for Marc_S's issue (which I agree with). We get a lot of reports that are closer to support requests, and the report system is far from a proper ticket. Some way of messaging the reporting user from the report would be quite helpful.

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That functionality is in 3.x too, with the profile hover cards... but it's not really a proper solution for Marc_S's issue (which I agree with). We get a lot of reports that are closer to support requests, and the report system is far from a proper ticket. Some way of messaging the reporting user from the report would be quite helpful.

 

Completely agree, nor is just a notification. I dont want my members to feel we are robots, I wanna be able to respond and quickly even if its simply with a "Cheers for that m8, hadnt picked up on this but being dealt with now"

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That functionality is in 3.x too, with the profile hover cards... but it's not really a proper solution for Marc_S's issue (which I agree with). We get a lot of reports that are closer to support requests, and the report system is far from a proper ticket. Some way of messaging the reporting user from the report would be quite helpful.

 

3.x series is a disaster compared to moderation :) At least for us thats why we improved it a lot. What we have is very close to what IPB introduced on this page. However i still miss important steps that shall speed up moderation team.

 

Requiring additional step to close the report is an example. When staff take an action against a member report, he should have ability to close the ticket when the warning is issued. 

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The UI reminds me of a starter template, which is okay since it might make customization easy. Maybe it's not complete yet.

 

Yes, but when skinning the suite, I don't want to move and resize every button…

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