Proposal - fair method of spam moderation

jelley

New member
Firstly note, I'm including attachments with red arrows for clarification of below proposal. I'm not saying my attachments precisely correlate to my below text, but it's the same idea.

Proposal:


Seems that for eons, forum software has never been set-up to root-out those unfair authoritarians who tend to rise up the hierarchy and become mods. This has been especially evident on health forums, causing deep frustration. That motivated me to propose a self-moderating option - which enables the OP of any thread (who can be compared to a host with invited guests) to self-moderate his/her own thread. How? By following the precedent set by Amazon, which used to offer a feature in their now-defunct Comments section, that stated:
Do you think this comment adds to discussion? Y/N...
If XX number of members clicked No, it became Invisible.

But the beauty is, that individuals were then asked:
"Do you wish to see it anyway?" - thus Re-visibilizing said comment on their personal computers, if only out of curiosity, to see if the invisiblizing was fair, or if on the other hand, the comment was actually useful or original, and should have remained visible. That's the most equitable way.

Likewise, that feature should be enabled on forum software, to every thread's Original-Poster, so that he/she can self-moderate his/her own threads. After all, if guests leave clothing laying around, their hosts usually ensure they're put back into drawers, so the house remains organized. Given that, should not OP's - also - be enabled to invisibilize "messy-unruly" respondents, no different than hosts invisibilize messy clothing by stuffing them in drawers? Wouldn't that help ensure that the thread remains educationally on-point, and not disorganized?

After all, isn't it better to have zero visible-replies, than loads of time-wasting visible replies?

Of course, there should be checks and balances to discourage Original Posters from irrationally invisiblizing respondents. So for example, if XX number of members "Report this thread's OP for invisiblizing post #13 unfairly", and that's found to be valid by at least two moderators, that can count as a point against the OP, which would accumulate and cause his/her posts to be flagged "This member invisiblized xx number of posts unfairly". The flagging-area can be either subtle-text or GLARING-text, depending on the administrator's choosing.

That way, there's no deleting - ONLY invisiblizing.
That way, there's no banning - ONLY flagging that's either subtle or glaring.
Can forum-software get more fair than that?
 

Attachments

  • idea1.jpg
    idea1.jpg
    162.2 KB · Views: 39
  • idea2.jpg
    idea2.jpg
    138.5 KB · Views: 38
  • idea3.jpg
    idea3.jpg
    182.4 KB · Views: 38
Upvote 0

Mendalla

Well-known member
I don't see the OPs as hosts. I see them as guests on the board like everyone else. So your analogy does not really wash with me. I would say it is more they are guests in the hotel with their threads as their "room" and the hotel staff clean up the mess and make sure the hotel rules are followed. Including being able to boot people who trash the rooms or harass other guests.

That said, I could see this working for a certain kind of community. We've always had a lot of resistance to hard moderation on my site so maybe something that let the users moderate their own threads to some degree would help alleviate some of that tension. I would still want mods and admins to have the authority to override OPs decisions and to deal with spam, which should not be a user responsibility and requires measures beyond thread enforcement (bans, IP blocks, etc.).

It definitely needs to be an alternative system that we can turn on if it suits our community, not the default option. And as such, it is probably better suited to an add-on at this point.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
I would probably suggest something more lightweight and tied to core functionality. Like the Report system.

(click) Report
"Would you like to hide this post until a staff member can evaluate it?" (ONLY the OP has this ability). Moderators, when taking a look at the reported content per usual, have the ability to unhide what you hid, in which case, you would receive a Rejected alert.

Not something I need, but just another idea. Too many people will complain about censorship and posts disappearing at the will of others.
 
Last edited:

beerForo

Well-known member
Slightly different, but I've always thought content that is reported multiple times (set threshold) should have a setting to be hidden anyway, with a placeholder for the post until it is moderated.
 

Mendalla

Well-known member
Slightly different, but I've always thought content that is reported multiple times (set threshold) should have a setting to be hidden anyway, with a placeholder for the post until it is moderated.
That I could go with, though we are lucky to get even one report unless a post is obvious spam. Many of our members would rather duke it out with trolls than report them
 

JRobert

Active member
This is not something we would use on our forum. If enough people think it's something they would use, I'd rather see it as an add-on, so it does not add complexity (and possible bugs) to the core functionality. If it is added as core functionality, it absolutely should be something that can be disabled (and in my opinion should be disabled by default).
 

mjda

Well-known member
I'd agree something like this should be an add-on. I'd imagine that this "feature" would be disabled in a lot more cases than it'd be enabled so I'd much prefer the XF devs spend their time on things that would benefit a much larger portion of users.

As for my opinion on the actual suggestion itself, I'll agree with others that moderation should be left up to the staff. I can see an OP hiding a member's post because they don't like the member, or don't agree with their reply. This would only make life even more difficult for moderators when folks start complaining that their post was removed, even though there was nothing wrong with it. I also don't want to have to click a button to view a post just because the OP thought it shouldn't be visible. I believe the original post about this suggestion has at least one example of a reply that would have been hidden, even though it answered the question that was asked.
 

jelley

New member
Uh, forgive me for venting prior to responding. While I thank all of you for weighing in, i'm getting the feeling that many forum owners don't much care if their forums are run less than democratically. So consider my suggestion as an appeal to those who truly are attracted to the idea of a democratically-operated forum, and I even know of someone prominent who might be very much interested in that, were there to be a model which he could try out. In fact I challenge any of you to point out to me what it is about my suggestion that's not more democratic than any currently-active forum. And yes, Mendalla, I did see your opinion about forums being like a hotel, but what happens when visitors come to guests' rooms and the hotel staff doesn't properly clean up the messes made by such visitors, or even is rude to the guests rather than their unruly visitors? Anyway, if some of you would be interested (and it's within XF's rules?? and you feel you can objectively put yourselves in my place), I can explain an other-forum banning-incident which motivated me to post here.

With that said, here's my responses:

I'd love it if Genisboy, Whispous, and Dutch_Master would join this XF thread. Here's their sorta-similar thread:

beerForo, regarding your suggestion to "Report" followed by:
"Would you like to hide this post until a staff member can evaluate it?"
While I find that intriguing, yet I've several issues with that:
(1) It assumes that most in the upper-echelons are truly fair-minded, rather than authoritarian and irrational. This holds especially true when mod's are stressed with too much overload to handle fairly, and also when issues aren't so easily proven, thus snarly, such as on health-forums (which absolutely attract irrational mod's) and tech-forums (which often have respondents who are not only inaccurate - thus time-wasting - but also don't clearly state step-by-step instructions. And such respondents often rack up the most posts, simply by dint of being careless. And because of that, they quickly rise in rank to become moderators.
(2) Your idea doesn't offer a textbox wherein OP's have room to clarify to mod's why said post merits invisiblizing
(3) It doesn't offer a way for a pool of one staff member PLUS 2nd and perhaps even 3rd staff members (OR high-ranking members) to objectively evaluate the OP's reasoning. With emphasis on objectivity, such that staff and high-ranking members are disabled from influencing each other when deciding.
In fact, in my aforesaid linustechtips thread, Dutch_Master's comment relates to this.

mjda
, You stated of members "complaining that their post was removed". Nope - inaccurate! Not removed. Rather publicly invisiblized. And to anyone who states that it's a "nuisance" to privately click it open, i think that's way easier than, say, getting dressed every morning, unless anyone here thinks that's debatable? Furthermore, in the OP's opinion (not vendetta, as I know because it's me) the "No" response was quite un-enlightening. I mean, do every last one of you think "No" added to discussion? So should not the OP be enabled to decide what might he/she considers to be cluttering up his/her thread? I can assure you that many other OP's are disgruntled by such types of responses. It's similar to those who are banned by mod's without being given a logical reason, nor chance to openly dispute same.

Alan_SP, I find your link very interesting, however, in my opinion, Editing is not truly "fair" since it doesn't truly represent what a respondent posted. Whereas by merely invisiblizing, every member can be assured of fairness, in that any other member can choose to Re-visiblize fellow-invisiblee's on their private connections.
...My 2nd point to you is a question: Does Soft-Delete enable all forum members to Privately Re-Visiblize other members' posts? I conducted a search on the topic, but it wasn't clear to me. If it does not enable that feature, then again, IMO it's not truly fair.
 
Last edited:

mjda

Well-known member
what happens when visitors come to guests' rooms and the hotel staff doesn't properly clean up the messes made by such visitors, or even is rude to the guests rather than their unruly visitors

I'd say if this were to happen then, in general, the affected guests would complain to the staff that their room conditions weren't satisfactory and, upon inspection and agreeance, the staff who didn't do their job would be reprimanded.

And to anyone who states that it's a "nuisance" to privately click it open, i think that's way easier than, say, getting dressed every morning, unless anyone here thinks that's debatable?

I do plenty of things all throughout the day that are harder than clicking a button on a post. However that doesn't mean it's something I want to do and I can't imagine that inconveniencing several users to appease a few probably is something many forum owners would be willing to do either.

I mean, do every last one of you think "No" added to discussion?

I can't speak for anyone else but I'd say that if you don't want a simple yes or no answer, you probably shouldn't pose a simple yes or no question.

So should not the OP be enabled to decide what might he/she considers to be cluttering up his/her thread?

No...

I can assure you that many other OP's are disgruntled by such types of responses.

If the OP is upset about a reply, they should probably just report that to a staff member and, assuming its against the rules that the forum owners set forth, it will be acted upon. You know, kinda like if you're given a hotel room that hasn't been cleaned. 🤦‍♂️
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
This seems a very niche feature, and seems that you want a very specific implementation that would not fit the vast majority of forums, whether they're totalitarian or not. I have two forums, one where I have to be stricter and one where I literally just manage the community and do no moderation, and I can't see either of these really needing this form of moderation.

The only place I can really imagine this being useful is if it is a StackExchange/Quora style site.

The Crowd Moderation plugin is the closest you would get to this without funding a custom add-on yourself, though you could possibly look at getting that extended to have some of the functionality that you wanted.
 

beerForo

Well-known member
Make everyone a moderator with only the permission to hide posts and they can still view them with a click. Funny, not funny! 🤣😊
 

jelley

New member
A key followup I have is in order to determine objectivity is: Are all of you either board owner, or moderator, or administrator (or more than one of these)? As I stated elsewhere, Xerox was rejected numerous times, which was zero proof their idea wasn't sound. By the same token, given my own experiences and that of many others whose reviews I've read, I'm practically convinced that were my suggestions to be implemented in a health board entitled Self-Moderating Health Boards (with a monied admin. behind it to promote it), it would have broad appeal among users who've experienced disgruntlement. In fact, why not try posing these ideas to the general public, rather than mod's or admin's, and see how they respond? Furthermore, this suggestion would be a form of training-wheels which would guide respondents to either post thoughtfully, or else not post at all.

Brogan
- it's not a matter of my responding "well". Rather it's a matter of conviction as to what's fairness. I also can't be accused of "lack of objectivity", because otherwise
  1. I wouldn't have responded to Alan in a way which indicated my desire to also prevent O.P. heavy-handedness. Also,
  2. I'd not have posted the 3rd JPG in my O.P. depicting checks and balances to discourage O.P. heavyhandedness.
BeerForo - I assume my itemized followups in post #9 didn't interest.

Forsaken:
Given that, I wonder why Quora hasn't set up such a system long ago. I guess it's because most policy-setters aren't readily rattled by unfair systems, and IMO that contributes to worldwide frustration. Though in any case, I practically never receive answers to questions I post there, so it proved to be exercises in futility. I used to get way more constructive answers on YahooAnswers in the old days before certain elements came along and ruined it for everyone, causing an exodus.

P.S. I've never used StackExchange. Does its registration process ask for a callback # the way email-hosts do these days?
 
Last edited:

Taylor J

Well-known member
What you see as fair others see as unfair and vice versa, so claiming that one system is unfair while yours is the highest of fairs doesn't really work.

Again I can see this being an addon (which iirc is already made). Why waste the time of the developers to implement a feature that would only be used by 1% of installs when they can work on other features that would be used by 75 - 100% of installs.

There is nothing stopping a forum that wants to be run like this from installing that third party addon and they would get that implementation faster than waiting for a feature that will never make it into the core software.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
I mean, do every last one of you think "No" added to discussion?
No

I advise that if you don’t want yes/no answers, then don’t ask yes/no questions.

Or at least warn people that if they do answer yes or no, that they will be told off and probably invisiblised by the OP acting like an authoritarian as if they own the thread.
 

ge66

Well-known member
I actually, after reading the replies, do not have time to carefully read the suggestion. But I have one forum that is kind of a blogg, in that forum I let the thread starter delete their own posts and their own thread. Just changeing permissions for that forum.

There is other permissions that can be changed there and I know there was and still might be an addon for extra thread starter permissions. For things like deleting posts and locking the thread.

If that is not what you want, please abuse away.
 

CivilWarTalk

Active member
It sounds like to me.... a user of forums joined Xenforo with the goal of convincing a group of forum owners to change their ways, and give up control of their forums to the masses, calling it "democratic".

It's an interesting concept, sounds a bit like anarchy to me... sorry, no.
 

Alan_SP

Active member
Alan_SP, I find your link very interesting, however, in my opinion, Editing is not truly "fair" since it doesn't truly represent what a respondent posted. Whereas by merely invisiblizing, every member can be assured of fairness, in that any other member can choose to Re-visiblize fellow-invisiblee's on their private connections.
You maybe should read a bit more about what was said in explanation, but this is how I set it up on my forum:

threadmin.gif
In short (this my forum is in Croatian, but you have explanation in English), you chose what you want to allow to your users.

If you're against edit option, you just disable it. I you're against delete, disable it, etc.

This add-on is great, as it also enables you that certain usergroups can have privilege to moderate own threads everywhere, on threads by threadID, etc.

What you want to achieve, what you like, it's not my to say. And certainly everyone has own idea of "democracy". I guess you're familiar with historic fact that demos was actually only free citizens, which excluded slaves, women and children. So, in the very root of "democracy", there's certain inequality, i.e. not all are equal anyway.

In your case, it's difference between thread starters and thread participants other than thread starter.
 
Top