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How do you deal with problematic members?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by dutchbb, Sep 20, 2010.


How do you deal with problematic members?

  1. We use an infraction system (please tell us why you use this and if it works)

    13 vote(s)
  2. We do not use an infraction system (please explain how you deal with the problem)

    13 vote(s)
  3. Not running a forum atm

    1 vote(s)
  1. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    In this thread we broached the topic of dealing with problematic members, and the need for some of an infraction system. Some seem to be able to deal with this problem without the use of an infraction system, while others can hardly live without anymore.

    Please tell us what your approach is and how it has worked out for you.

    Personally, I like an infraction system, because it makes it easy to keep track of (repeating) offenders, and allows for sanctions that are less radical than banning, which gives a member a chance to improve his or her behavior.
  2. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

  3. dutchbb

    dutchbb Well-Known Member

    But do you have a bad experience with the vB infraction system, or are you opposed any infraction system possible. And would you not agree that on some forums it's almost impossible to moderate without some system in place to keep track of infringements?
  4. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I'm opposed to it in principle and as per my comments on the other thread, yes I was given an infraction once and no longer post on that site.

    You can have a system for tracking problems without reminding the member every time they access their control panel/account, even after the infraction has expired.

    As I said, it's a dreadful system and my opinion will never change on that.
  5. Sador

    Sador Well-Known Member

    in PhpBB for example, there's an infraction system too. It allows you to store posts of users, giving them warnings by pm (which are also stored) while the only 'reminder' to the user is the sent pm. What's wrong with that?
  6. wii

    wii Active Member

    We are very strict with that kind of users, depending on what they have done of course, but we just ban people that don't behave, and that has worked well for 10 years now.
  7. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    I am with Brogan, if I were to receive an infraction on a site that would be the end of that site for me.

    Communication goes a long way, I have always gone with PMing members and advising them that XYZ behaviour is contrary to the sites guidelines and taking it from there, only a few times have members continued or been worse after a chat, and they were hell bent on self destruction anyway.

    I have never used the warning system on my current software.
    Jethro and Tim like this.
  8. Puntocom

    Puntocom Well-Known Member

    I love to use Miserable Users mod for problematic users.
    Sushubh Mittal likes this.
  9. Kuma

    Kuma Active Member

    Infractions are communications though. You should be aware of the rules at the site, breaking them should likely get you a warning. Which in vBulletin's case is still an infraction. Its just something you did wrong, and its a great way for moderators to keep track of troublesome users.
    dutchbb likes this.
  10. The Sandman

    The Sandman Well-Known Member

    To a large extent it depends on the community culture and demographics. Infractions work on some boards but overall leave much to be desired. In-thread "reminder" -> PM warning -> Time Outs (Temporary ban) -> Permanant ban is what generally works for most forums I've seen.

    Also, a little drama can be good - sometimes it's better to let things play out if they aren't too far off the track. Trick is knowing when to step in.

    Miserable Users - I can tell you it's not a good idea for a forum admin forum where everyone knows about it. I don't use it on TAZ, but anytime the site slows down for any reason I get PM's asking "Am I in the Miserable Users group? Did I do something wrong?". :D
  11. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    Make them change their password on a daily basis :p
    Puntocom likes this.
  12. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    We used to moderate the old fashioned way - PM a user to say what the issue was, the personal touch if you like.

    Then we decided this was too time consuming and took the lazy option, and used the infractions system. That was a disaster, it created far more problems than it was trying to solve. It drove members away.

    So we have settled on this system:

    1. Make the forum rules easily accessible
    2. Have a separate sticky post worded in a friendly and constructive manner to explain how we like members to behave
    3. Use the infraction system ONLY for serious rule breaches requiring immediate banning by a moderator (eg. spammers, abusive posts etc)
    4. For everyone else, constructive and friendly moderation, with a PM sent if appropriate
    5. The use of "edited by" tags to show if/why a post was edited
    6. Frequent posts in threads by moderators guiding things along in a civil manner

    I do find things work better if you take a "members need guidance and most are genuine" mindset rather than "it's us against them and everyone is out to wreck the forum".

    I do also think that different systems work better in different forums, it all depends on subject matter, as some subjects are more divisive than others.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what sort of system XenForo uses.
    Dragonfly likes this.
  13. Brandon_R

    Brandon_R Guest

    In a perfect world Infraction System would work but with the human element added i think it just makes said member more "bad".
  14. Tim

    Tim Active Member

    I have a banning policy in place for members that discuss politics, make racist remarks or get into religion. These three topics are no-no's because they never lead to anything positive. Our policy is well known and all new members receive a PM outlining them. It's a 3 strike rule before you are permanently banned so you have 2 chances to correct yourself. I always follow this up with a PM to explain the reason and open a discussion.

    As far as trouble makers, I will relay comments and also open a discussion in order to curb problems and avoid banning.

    I do have a smaller forum then probably most of you and can put the time in to do this. If I had a really large forum and numerous problem members, I would probably rely more on an infraction system.
  15. 0ptima

    0ptima Well-Known Member

    I use this with infractions
  16. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    My forums use the infraction system mainly, though I have completely customised it to not be as formal or disciplinary, but instead more editorial notifications nicely worded, which cuts down the BS argumentative responses.

    It was simple really. When my main forum began it was easy to just PM each member with any issue and have a discussion. As the forum grew, that becomes a major time consumer which just isn't feasible. It got to the point where issues where taking up the bulk of my online time. Now they take zero time, as any issue is dealt with by staff using the infraction method... starting at warnings and then points. I have an attitude now that forum rules actually do mean something and that if you agree to them upon registration, then maybe they should have read them before trying to argue against them.

    The biggest plus... is that there is no longer any ambiguity between staff and how they deal with any member, in that everyone uses the same notification system and applies the appropriate rules violation to the issue. If it doesn't exist. Now I have zero issues between one staff member being more or less tolerant than another.

    I don't ban members any more... they ban themselves by accruing enough infraction points.

    IMHO, I believe every community requires some sort of administrative system to manage users when large numbers of active members are at play.
  17. Mr_Bob

    Mr_Bob Well-Known Member

    I use an infraction system set up with the following principals:
    1. Different offenses have different point values (Spam first offense is 2 points, Trolling is worth 4, etc). When someone reaches 12 total points, they are banned for a month. 20 points, banned for 3 months. Lastly, 24 points, and they are perma-banned pending any appeal.
    2. Most infractions have a warning associated with them that would be given first. For example, someone spamming will receive only a warning the first time. If it's a new member, moderators are instructed not to even issue warnings.
    3. All infractions / warnings can be appealed. I edited the default PM text to include information on appealing, and that, especially if they are a first time offender, I would remove the infraction if they are sincerely sorry.
    I've had that setup since VB began including the system and never had a problem. If anything, it helped a lot. Since putting that system in no one ever questioned me why they were banned; it was all black and white ;).
  18. swampfox

    swampfox Member

    If I have to deal with a member more than once I just ban them, dont have the time or desire to deal with them

    as a result I have very few problematic members lol
  19. wii

    wii Active Member

    Same here swampfox, I don't waiste my time even thinking about those users, of course I always contact them first, but if they continue, they are banned for life.
  20. OperaManiac

    OperaManiac Well-Known Member

    frankly speaking, i never understood the infraction system properly on vB. it annoyed the hell out of people who were given an infraction like it was an insult or something. so i just started using miserable user addon on 'really' annoying users. and told others to either follow the rules or leave.

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