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

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Upvote 0

Taylor J

Well-known 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.
This actually makes a good amount of sense. A user upset that a forum they are a user on doesn't let them hide replies that they don't agree with.
 

jelley

New member
Alan_SP, you have a point. I should remember to stick to the term "fairness" or maybe you can offer a suggestion? Also thanks for posting your screenshot! Some further followups are:
  1. Do any of the usergroups within your screenshot represent registered members? Or are the usergroups on your list merely different levels of moderators within the hierarchy?
  2. Based on your experience getting this add-on thru vBulletin, do you think they might be open to my idea? Do you think my idea would be harder to program than yours?
  3. I hope you don't mind an off-topic Q, but do you know if either XenForo or vBulletin offer the option to list one's post across X number of forums simultaneously? For example, there's a Home Improvement forum which lets you do that. Such as, lets say you have "mold". So then, you'd post your problem once, (rather than cross-posting), and then you're forwarded to an area where you can Checkmark up to three forums to list it on simultaneously. In the latter situation, you might wish to Checkmark: Basements, Old House, Other. That gets your mold post visible on those three forums.
ge66 that sounds similar to Alan's postings.

As for the rest, thank y'all for feedbacking that it may warrant an Add-On due to it being a niche area (though I'm not quite sure health and tech and political boards are "niches" but I could be wrong. I mean, this could turn into the debate I had as a kid when i faced my friend on a see-saw swing, and each of us were exclaiming to each other with conviction: "No! THIS is my right hand!")
 
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Mr Lucky

Well-known member
thank y'all for feedbacking that it may warrant an Add-On due to it being a niche area (though I'm not quite sure health and tech and political boards are "niches" but I could be wrong.
I think people mentioned it as an addon due to it being a niche feature, nothing to do with niche topics. ie I can't imagine many people would want it in the core of xenforo whatever their topic.
 
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Mr Lucky

Well-known member
One thing I don’t get is why anyone would want to moderate spam “fairly”

If I see some spam posted, I just delete it with spam cleaner, report to SFS. In fact, come to think of it, I can't actually think of a fairer way to deal with a spammer.
 
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Taylor J

Well-known member
One thing I don’t get is why anyone would want to moderate spam “fairly”

If I see some spam posted, I just delete it with spam cleaner, report to SFS. In fact, come to think of it, I can't actually think of a fairer way to deal with a spammer.
The definition of spam being used by the OP is a person making spam posts that don't have to do with the topic at hand. You're comparing that to the other kind of spam from bots/users that signup to post links to prescriptions/how they got a job at google/etc. The spam cleaner should be used on the later, not the former.
 

jelley

New member
Taylor you took the words out of my mouth. As you see in my demo, I left "Report" because obviously you'd want to be enabled to report trolls. Likewise, if there's a spam cleaner, that would also remain part of the status quo.

I've had my idea for a long time (actually Amazon's), but what finally galvanized me to sweat on this suggestion, is due to a loony and others like her. She was peskering me in a thoughtless way. And the moderator, rather than taking the time to analyze the thread (because they don't have time, due to work overload), banned me. And it's due to their work overload, that they're in dire need of a self-moderating feature to lighten the load. (Not that I think they'd be interested)... So its that type of pesky poster which warrants invisiblizing, because such types tend to start a chain reaction which further clutters a post, and turns it from one page, into four sloppy pages full of posts which lead nowhere. That's because thoughtless people take their cue's from each other and rub off on each other. And moderators aren't above subjectivity either, which is why I earlier mentioned (regarding checks and balances) that at least 2 moderators should weigh in, who are not enabled to influence each other, in order to avoid non-objectivity.

BTW, what happened there was not like the "No" answer on this current OP. See, I'd clearly stated in that forum's OP that I was initially putting out feelers as to whether others share my symptomatic tendencies, and based on their responses, I have a further followup. The loony wasn't courteous enough to honor that, rather kept accusing me of keeping people in suspense (which someone else later mimicked), and, btw, not one answered my Q. The reason I didn't state my entire hunch initially, was because it was related to Covid, and that can turn into major debates. See how people make rash assumptions? There was a rhyme and reason for my initial withholding of info. So to this day, I still have my hunch, because there's no decent health board I know of where I can turn to for confirmation or implosion of my hunch.
 
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Alan_SP

Active member
  1. Do any of the usergroups within your screenshot represent registered members? Or are the usergroups on your list merely different levels of moderators within the hierarchy?
  2. Based on your experience getting this add-on thru vBulletin, do you think they might be open to my idea? Do you think my idea would be harder to program than yours?
1. This is how I set it in one of forums, you see it in image, I call this forum autormoderator, autor in Croatian is author in English, so it's a sort of pun on allowing creators of threads to control own threads. I allow there people to write about everything they want, only moderation from outside is if topics are grossly out of forum rules.

You can allow certain usergroups to moderate own threads everywhere, if you want that.

2. I really don't know what DragonByte will tell you, ask them. I suggested this idea, and one of their members started working on it. That's all I can tell.
 

Xon

Well-known member
This sort of thing has a very rosy idea that you aren't going to have a pile of trolls rock up, outvote an existing community with weight of numbers and a desire to make other people suffer.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
If I see some spam posted, I just delete it with spam cleaner, report to SFS. In fact, come to think of it, I can't actually think of a fairer way to deal with a spammer.

The definition of spam being used by the OP is a person making spam posts that don't have to do with the topic at hand. You're comparing that to the other kind of spam from bots/users that signup to post links to prescriptions/how they got a job at google/etc. The spam cleaner should be used on the later, not the former.
The only definition of spam I know is unsolicited commercial posting, often multiple times.

What you seem to be talking about as a different definition is what most people would refer to as trolling or thread hijacking.

I note the OP of this thread used (in the attachments) my post in another thread as an example of a spam post, when in fact it was neikher a commercial spam post nor a thread hijack in that I specifically answered one of the questions in the OP. The only problem I can see is that the (honest) answer I gave was not the answer they might have hoped for. To then create a thread ostensibly about spam (or trolling) is, IMO, and then use my innocent post as an example is, IMO, somewhat ingenuous.
 

Taylor J

Well-known member
The only definition of spam I know is unsolicited commercial posting, often multiple times.

What you seem to be talking about as a different definition is what most people would refer to as trolling or thread hijacking.
Well then you need to update your definitions it seems.

"Forum spamming is the posting of messages that are either rubbish, abusive, a marketing gimmick or useless."

That's what it's been defined as since I signed up on my first forum in 2004. It does include unsolicited commercial posting but is not only just that.
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Well then you need to update your definitions it seems.

"Forum spamming is the posting of messages that are either rubbish, abusive, a marketing gimmick or useless."

That's what it's been defined as since I signed up on my first forum in 2004. It does include unsolicited commercial posting but is not only just that.
I'm not going to get into who has the best definition of spam because it isn't relevant here, the main point is that a post which replies to a question succinctly and directly such as the one shown in the attachments of the OP here, is not spam by either definition. To imply that my post answering your question with a simple"no" is, e.g "rubbish, abusive, a marketing gimmick, useless or actual unsolicited marketing," seems like it isn't a great example of spam under any definition. Merely implying it is spam by using it as an example of spam seems well on the way to some kind of attack.
 
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jelley

New member
Alan_SP, thanks again so very much for clarifying! ☺️ It's kind of you, given it's a 2nd language. And that "autor" pun is cute!

Meanwhile, I'm pleading with the rest of you, I don't mean for this thread to turn into four pages long, the way that aforesaid loony health-thread was. So please excuse my confusedly used the term spam instead of troll (or the term democratic instead of fair, for that matter). If the moderator is reading this, note that I'm more than willing for you to edit this thread's header to read "troll" instead of spam, and search/replace the word "spam" with "troll".

Mr. Luck
y, I'd like to further clear the air, if you don't mind. So... you mentioned my being "disingenuous". I agree, it was rather artful of me, wasn't it, to co-opt the disadvantage (of how you set the initial tone) into an advantageously quick/neat way to get my point across, knowing the risk of backlash. So i thank you for providing me with a quick/neat way to "tweak lemons into lemon-AID" so to speak. You gotta love my pun 😆Have you never in your life tried turning lemons into lemon aid? I suppose you might answer "No" again, but hey, if you'd like to redesign the samples in my O.P. - as long as all the points I made in them remain the same - I'm totally willing for you to do so if the XF moderator is willing to go along with same.

FYI, speak of lemon-aid, eons ago in elementary school, I self-taught myself how to (at least sometimes) tweak my bad luck, and guess what, someone else even decided to copy me. See, for a scrapbook, everyone got to pick out three construction paper-sheets from a pack the teacher was holding, and because I was last in line, only red/white/blue were left, along with other dull colors. I wound up coloring the white sheet in red and blue letters to match the accompanying dull red/blue sheets, and mine turned out more striking than those who'd picked the pretty pastel sheets! 😉 So now you can add "show-off" to my list of misdemeanors, alongside disingenuous and poor choice of spam-vs-troll semantics, despite my non-membership on Instagram or pinterest.

Xon, was that actually a "yes" vote? I'm not quite sure, but if so, thanks for the thumbs-up! I'm sorta shell-shocked actually.
 
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Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Have you never in your life done that? I suppose you might answer "No" again,
Yes. (I have never done that to the best of my recollection)
if you'd like to redesign the samples in my O.P. - as long as all the points I made in them remain the same - I'm totally willing for you to do so
No thanks.

If you agree that it was disingenuous to use my post as an example of trolling or spamming, then a simple apology will suffice, though not expected nor assumed. To be honest I don't have the time to get involved, nor would it make much sense to try to help you prove something I don't actually understand the point of.
 

jelley

New member
beerForo, I could care less, since "fairness" is weighted in favor of my suggestion (as an add-on at least). So just because a few people weren't so enthusiastic about it, doesn't mean it isn't meritorious. It's just the odds on a forum visited by Admins./mod's who are satisfied with their status-quo, despite that many ex members of health boards who had been ludicrously banned, would likely have the opposite opinion.

Some added points/responses:
  1. This 3rd question I posed to Alan https://xenforo.com/community/threads/proposal-fair-method-of-spam-moderation.200962/post-1551257 is actually not so off-topic after all, because if OP's are offered the option to have their posts visible on at least three boards (as Houzz enables) then that can help lessen the phenomenon of cronyism, wherein members who mostly visit one particular board influence each other. If there's visibility on a broader selection of boards, that can potentialize more varying viewpoints. Is such a feature offered as an option within the core of XenForo, or even vBulletin for that matter?

  2. Mr. Lucky, speak of trolling, since not everyone has the same style, their opinions might accordingly differ as to what should be considered trolling. So for example, I personally consider a "No" (without added explanation, even if preceded by a leading question) somewhat curt, and thus "borderline trolling" or "borderline spam" take your pick. So why would this warrant an apology, especially as I used it since it was readily-handy, and also offered for you to redesign the parts which offend you? (OK, so you don't have time/inclination, but the offer still remains.

  3. Then, there's also the many tech-respondents on various tech boards, who speak in a disjointed, acronym-filled, dummie-unfriendly way, omitting clear step-by-step instructions. Such respondents epitomize Stress-101 for tech-dummies. So I consider such responses borderline spam (i.e. useless for me) even if moderators might disagree. So how does one resolve that, if tech-speaking fellow-members, and tech-speaking moderators consider it crystal-clear, even if tech-dummies do not... But IMO it's still less rude to invisiblize, than to outright tell a techie that he's clear as mud, and that he should PLEASE stop cluttering my urgent question with indecipherable gibberish, as it might discourage clearer/accurate respondents from joining, and instead creates a morass of confusion.
 
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Mr Lucky

Well-known member
Mr. Lucky, speak of trolling, since not everyone has the same style, their opinions might accordingly differ as to what should be considered trolling. So for example, I personally consider a "No" (without added explanation, even if preceded by a leading question) somewhat curt, and thus "borderline trolling" or "borderline spam" take your pick. So why would this warrant an apology, especially as I used it since it was readily-handy, and also offered for you to redesign the parts which offend you?
Sorry, I will not be answering this.

Hot Dogs Troll GIF
 

wedgar

Well-known member
The current tally is zero, suggestions are weighted by the upvotes in post #1.
I find it very interesting that the individual who made this suggestion hasn't voted for it.

In my opinion, this discussion has gone past being constructive.

I'd like to recommend this suggestion be moved to the Closed suggestions forum.
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
I find it very interesting that the individual who made this suggestion hasn't voted for it.
Authors of suggestion threads cannot vote on their own threads.

I'd like to recommend this suggestion be moved to the Closed suggestions forum.
It will be moved automatically when it meets the criteria, or by a developer if they explicitly decide it's not something which is going to be implemented.
 
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