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4.0 - Moderation Part 5: Warnings

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





Introduction

A lot of what I'm going to cover in this blog entry is similar to the warning system in 3.x which was recently overhauled. Since warnings and moderations are such an important aspect of running a community though, I wanted to reintroduce the system, showing off the new UI for 4.0 and highlighting some of the tweaks that have been made.

The warnings system in the IPS Community Suite is point-based. When issuing a warning to a member, you select a reason, and each reason is tied to a number of points, and then when a member reaches a certain number of points, an action (such as to ban them from the site) is taken.

This is the setup page for reasons - I've set up each one to give one point which is never removed.



For each reason, I can choose if moderators can override that or not:




This is the setup page for actions:



I've set up a number of actions so that the following flow happens: You can control whether members can see their previous warnings or not. Moderator Permissions For each moderator you can control is they can see, issue and revoke warnings, and control how often they can give warnings: Viewing Warnings You will be able to see the current warning points for a member from their hover card (which shows whenever you hover your mouse over their name throughout the suite) and can see the details in their profile. Clicking on a warning brings up the details which show a link to the content the user posted which prompted the warning, the notes both for the member and for other moderators, and lists the actions taken (points given, if the member was suspended, etc.): In addition, when viewing content (posts, comments, etc.) if that post prompted a warning, this will be shown to moderators: Issuing Warnings When issuing a warning, selecting a reason will automatically fill in the number of points and actions to take based on the number of points the member already has (these can be changed if the administrator has allowed it). You can clearly see the pre-defined actions for each point level on the right. You can optionally add notes, both a note for the member and for other moderators. Acknowledging Warnings You can optionally set the system so that members have to acknowledge a warning before they can post again. When this is the case, the member will se a message on every page: Viewing the warning details will have a button allowing the member to acknowledge the warning: Even if you do not require warnings to be specifically acknowledged - members who have restrictions applied to their account (are on moderator queue, are restricted from posting or are banned) can clearly see this and the reason why. For example, this is what a member who is on moderator queue sees when making a comment: Revoking Warnings A new feature in 4.0 is that warnings can be revoked. You can reverse all the actions of the warning, or just delete the record of it:

    [*]On the first warning, nothing happens (it's a verbal warning only) [*]On the second warning, all posts the user makes for the next day will need to be approved by a moderator. [*]On the third warning, the user will be banned for one day and all posts the user makes for the next week will need to be approved by a moderator. [*]On the fourth warning, the user will be banned for a week. [*]On the fifth warning, the user will be permanently banned.
























































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The way it is now it gives a copy of the content that was reported. Also if you read the earlier blog entry about reports, you'll see that a copy of the reported content (as it is) is made available.
http://community.invisionpower.com/blog/1174/entry-9596-40-moderation-part-2-reports/

As for a member being able to see the content of what they did wrong, I think that would be a good idea, provided that they can't see who reported them or what the reports say. ie, only the reported content. That way, they can see what it was that they said that got them in trouble. Even if they disagree with the decision, it could give them the opportunity to see it for themselves.

 

I agree with this to. If they can't see what was wrong about it, just given them a warning don't help much with out them knowing what they don't wrong to correct this issue. So more of what was posted and why is better than just saying you be warn.

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Oh another idea. Separate point totals, namely 'lifetime' points and 'active' points.

The benefit of this would be the ability to see how much 'trouble' someone has gotten into during their entire time on the site, but not have it trigger the automatic punishments. The active points would include non expired warning points, so if a warning expires after awhile, then the active points would go down some, but the lifetime points would remain. Lifetime points shouldn't be editable, just something as a reference.

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As for a member being able to see the content of what they did wrong, I think that would be a good idea, provided that they can't see who reported them or what the reports say. ie, only the reported content. That way, they can see what it was that they said that got them in trouble. Even if they disagree with the decision, it could give them the opportunity to see it for themselves.

This is what I've been going on about for months.

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Yeah. I've been pretty stoked on the previous 4 blog posts about moderation, but this doesn't seem to fix the biggest problems with warnings in 3.4.6, which is that users who aren't familiar with the software have no idea wtf. Even the word "points" doesn't really work - are they like driving demerits? Scores? Using points as a backend term is fine, but users shouldnt ever really need to see it.

 

Based on feedback from my mods and my own use, it would be far better from the user's perspective to just work on clarifying how many warnings they have and prior penalties imposed, what posts triggered the warnings, and the current mod queue/suspension/ban length imposed with their latest warning. No mention of points, but lots more detail about their history of being moderated.

 

I'm also hoping someone explains the use case of suspensions vs. bans. I don't really grasp the difference.

 

Finally, I was really hoping to see it all streamlined like others have mentioned - I'm making up percentages but 90% of the time warnings come from posts that break forum rules and 10% are based on longstanding patterns of behavior that we finally take action on. It really should be possible to click a post, flag it to have a warning issued, and based on the reason for warning it would do the autopopulated message to user indicating what post got them warned, include the default text that goes along with that particular warning type, and the punishment, if any. Ideally, that could all happen in an ajax container and I could move on with my day. We could still manually go and warn the user from their profile, but that seems like it needs to happen less often.

 

Even more ideally, the post that caused a warning to be issued could have a little flag or something attached to it indicating to everyone else on the forum that it was in contravention of forum rules (indicate warning reason) and has been hidden. I see you've added that for mods, but it would be a good teaching moment for the rest of the users if we could enable everyone to see what our standards are and what sort of posts are likely to get booted.

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Yeah. I've been pretty stoked on the previous 4 blog posts about moderation, but this doesn't seem to fix the biggest problems with warnings in 3.4.6, which is that users who aren't familiar with the software have no idea wtf. Even the word "points" doesn't really work - are they like driving demerits? Scores? Using points as a backend term is fine, but users shouldnt ever really need to see it.

 

Based on feedback from my mods and my own use, it would be far better from the user's perspective to just work on clarifying how many warnings they have and prior penalties imposed, what posts triggered the warnings, and the current mod queue/suspension/ban length imposed with their latest warning. No mention of points, but lots more detail about their history of being moderated.

 

I'm also hoping someone explains the use case of suspensions vs. bans. I don't really grasp the difference.

 

Finally, I was really hoping to see it all streamlined like others have mentioned - I'm making up percentages but 90% of the time warnings come from posts that break forum rules and 10% are based on longstanding patterns of behavior that we finally take action on. It really should be possible to click a post, flag it to have a warning issued, and based on the reason for warning it would do the autopopulated message to user indicating what post got them warned, include the default text that goes along with that particular warning type, and the punishment, if any. Ideally, that could all happen in an ajax container and I could move on with my day. We could still manually go and warn the user from their profile, but that seems like it needs to happen less often.

 

Even more ideally, the post that caused a warning to be issued could have a little flag or something attached to it indicating to everyone else on the forum that it was in contravention of forum rules (indicate warning reason) and has been hidden. I see you've added that for mods, but it would be a good teaching moment for the rest of the users if we could enable everyone to see what our standards are and what sort of posts are likely to get booted.

 

I believe they do read all the feedback but don't reply to them all.

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I'd really love to see the word 'Warning' ditched. Sometimes it's useful to have a tracked method of communication with a member which looks friendlier than this. 

 

EG If I have some elderly lady sign up and post all in CAPS, I'm going to want to ask her to stop doing that, I want other moderators to see it's been done, and I want to have a record of it. But I don't want to scare her off with big red WARNING messages. 

 

If we want to get scary, that's quite easily done in the actual message. 

 

I know I could do this at the language / skin level, but I think it'd be preferable built-in. 

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I'd really love to see the word 'Warning' ditched. Sometimes it's useful to have a tracked method of communication with a member which looks friendlier than this. 

 

EG If I have some elderly lady sign up and post all in CAPS, I'm going to want to ask her to stop doing that, I want other moderators to see it's been done, and I want to have a record of it. But I don't want to scare her off with big red WARNING messages. 

 

If we want to get scary, that's quite easily done in the actual message. 

 

I know I could do this at the language / skin level, but I think it'd be preferable built-in. 

 

Changing any phrasing is a feature that's built-in :)

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You can't block use of the messenger from the warning system, but admins can do it on an individual basis in the ACP.

You should add this feature because it is more useful than the posts will need to be approved by the moderators

*sorry for my bad english*

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You should add this feature because it is more useful than the posts will need to be approved by the moderators

*sorry for my bad english*

 

This is, honestly, the first I can recall seeing this suggested (although naturally it is obvious I've overlooked suggestions in the past).  In any event, this doesn't seem to be a high demand feature suggestion but I would encourage you to post it in the appropriate feedback areas so it can receive further discussion and consideration.

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I'm so sorry for the font size I'm about to use.. just want this to be seen...
 
because when a post is worth a warning I 95% of the time delete it. we need evidence so to keep you know. not just reasons.

I recommend that you hide the offensive posts instead of deleting them.

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