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4.0 - Moderation Part 4: Effective Moderation

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





Multi-moderation

It's really important that moderators can quickly take action against undesirable content without spending too much time or effort. If your community is the victim of a spam attack, or perhaps even just an over-enthusiastic poster, you want to be able to hide, lock, move, merge and delete content quickly.

Throughout the entire suite, whenever you content (be that topics in IP.Board, files in IP.Downloads or even comments on a particular file in IP.Downloads or anything else you can think of), as a moderator, when you move your mouse over it, you will see a checkbox, and at the top of the list, you have controls to quickly select particular items:



As you can see, in addition to checking individual items or all items, quick options are available for me to select all hidden, unapproved, pinned, locked or featured items, or even the items that I personally have read or not read.

After selecting one or more items, you will see a menu appear at the bottom:



This menu is incredibly smart. It automatically shows you options available based on the type of item you're looking at and the specific items you've selected. For example, here in IP.Downloads I see the options (from left-to-right): feature, pin, hide, lock move and delete (if you hover over any of the buttons a tooltip will show you what it is). If, I'm in IP.Board instead, I see a slightly different bar:



Here, I have two new options: merge and Saved Actions (the new name for the IP.Board "Multimod" feature which allows you to define specific actions to do multiple moderator actions quickly).

Also, it takes into consideration the specific items I've selected - if I select items which are not currently hidden, there is the "hide" button - if I select items which are currently hidden, there is the "unhide" button - and if I select a mix of both, I see both buttons.

After clicking a button, the action is performed on all items and I'm taken back to the screen.

Here's a short video demonstration of this in action:




Quick editing

Editing posts and comments is something moderators do on a daily basis. We already have quick reply (where when making a post or comment, it appears using AJAX without a page reload) and now in 4.0, we have quick edit too.

When you click edit, the post/comment immediately changes into an editor:



And when you click save, the editor disappears and is replaced by the new content.

Here's a short video demonstration of this in action:

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We already have quick editing in 3.x too, what exactly is new in 4.0 about this?

 

I guess the only difference is that in 3.x we have a reduced editor while in 4.0 it's the full one? Other than that I can't think of anything else.

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We already have quick editing in 3.x too, what exactly is new in 4.0 about this?

 

I guess the only difference is that in 3.x we have a reduced editor while in 4.0 it's the full one? Other than that I can't think of anything else.

 

  • New UI for multi-moderation
  • Smart "check all" tools for multi-moderation
  • Multi-moderation is now global throughout the suite
  • Quick edit is now global throughout the suite and uses the full editor with attachment support
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Cool cool. So question...let's say I'm viewing a list of 300 downloads if which five are featured. If I hit that checkbook does it use Ajax to reload my results and only show those five?

Sorry if it's in the video. Phone.

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Since quick edit will now use the full editor, does that mean auto-saved content will now be available in quick edit mode as well?

 

How would that work? Wouldn't you want it to show your original content rather than something that's been saved? Or do you mean can you start and edit, then come back to it later to finish? If so, yes that is supported :)

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How would that work? Wouldn't you want it to show your original content rather than something that's been saved? Or do you mean can you start and edit, then come back to it later to finish? If so, yes that is supported :smile:

 

Yes, I mean when someone goes back to edit a previous post they made to add substantial additions to it in quick edit mode whether the auto-save content of the new edit would be available.  This is great news so I won't have to tell people to make sure they're in full editor in case their browser crashes, etc. :)

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Cool cool. So question...let's say I'm viewing a list of 300 downloads if which five are featured. If I hit that checkbook does it use Ajax to reload my results and only show those five?

Sorry if it's in the video. Phone.

 

No, from what I understand it will select only the 5 featured rows/results for you to moderate those. It's not a filter to show only the chosen content.

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To be honest here, I am not incredibly stunned by those improvements, because I think they provide functionality that can be expected in 2014... But I have to mention that I really like the clean minimalistic look and the way you implemented these options. Neat!

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Does the quick edit allow for changing of the Topic Title, Tags, Prefixes?

 

I am curious how a saved action (stored procedure) will allow for dynamic options at execution. For example I have a locked post (awaiting moderator approval) I want to APPROVE it and MOVE it to a forum dictated by the content of the thread. Currently I can't use multi-mod because it can only store a target forum.

 

I need it to be smart enough to

  • Prompt you which forum you wish to move the thread to.
  • Ask where you wish to end up stay where you are or the target forum.
  • Ask if you wish to add the "we moved your thread" post to be automated post.
  • Unlock the tread
  • Apply any other options. (pin/feature)

 

Should I make this a "saved action" I don't want to store the actual target forum – but the process itself, and when used it will perform all the actions and only ask you where you wish to move the thread.

 

 

--

 

When I read the post at first I thought you were choosing the each of options you wish to perform, and then maybe you'd press a PERFORM button which would perform all the actions at once - in one operation -  but watching the video each acton looks to be a one trick pony using ajax for each action.

 

If I wanted to PIN, LOCK, and FEATURE a post have to make SIX clicks and wait for the action to happen between each operation.

 

These options are binary - ON or OFF why do you need to display a popup to show a dimmed version of the alternate state. Why not make the icons representative of that current choice ( shaded / outlined / colored / or alternate icon ) a toggle of it's current state.  

 

If it was a single operation I could click PIN, LOCK, FEATURE and a PERFORM button - 4 clicks and they all happen on the thread once. 

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I spotted a bug on first video 

 

When you take an action through moderation menu , ajax loader image is not appearing on anywhere on page at all. This may result multiple clicks from staff.

 

Other than that great improvements , i liked the moderation menu concept a lot.

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 Rounded icon of checkbox? Make me unsee it, please. 
 
I really like the some things in 4.0. But design... In this part you really overdid and made too much useless things. I hope energy of interface developers will be used to a more useful things, than misleading icons(which will be associated with radiobutton, but not with checkbox) or rounded-elements-everywhere.
 
Keep up the wonderful work, but try more carefully filter ideas for the interface. 
  • Icons should be apparent and unambiguous.
  • Things that can be used only by a small number of people and created on trends rather than convenience, not worth the time. Before make changes to the design think first, who will need it after six months? After year? 2?
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This is great stuff.

 

I know Part 5 is likely already written. However, given how useful this whole series has been already, I do have one request (from the position of a community admin).

 

If you have the time to do so, would it be possible to include in either your discussion of the warning system, or as a separate summary post of moderation, a kind of all emcompassing example so to speak of a full blown moderation system in effect in 4.0? Perhaps give us a behind the scenes look at how you have things set up on the IPS company site in 4?

 

I know personally that on my community, we've kind of got a bit of a hodgepodge of systems based on the various mod tools that have existed in the suite over time. One example I can give you is that while we use the report centre to discuss certain topics (that sometimes mods report just to initiate discussion), we also had a "mod-only" subforum that we start topics in to talk about specific users and discuss warning points and such. This is kind of a holdover from the garbage-bin subforum that used to be an option. I'm sure this isn't necessarily the best way to use the software, but it's what our mods are currently used to. It would be nice to see how others handle this, especially since when upgrading to 4, I'd like to have a pretty good idea going in as to how the moderation system should be set up on active forums to make the most from how powerful it is.

 

The warning system we've never really used properly IMO, such that the "levels" for warnings haven't really been thought through and we don't use multi-moderation at all. I know that the suite is far more powerful and could be used a lot better than we currently do, but I've honestly never actually seen a live example of a properly set up moderation system with all of the functions being utilized as the IPS team planned them to be used. (A fully set up warning system, which I assume is coming in part 5, will be great to see an example of, along with the explaination of how each levels works for you). That is, I know where the settings are, but I could really use a post from the experts kind of doing a "theory of moderation" type thing and showing how you guys run your forums especially using the full power of the suite.

 

Thanks again for these posts. They are quite helpful!

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