There are several threads with various suggestions on how to improve the warnings system. I would like to add mine based on how we use warnings at AVForums, where we, unfortunately, have to issue them daily. Most of this functionality is available in Jon W’s addon here: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/warnings-by-waindigo.2300/ but I have added some ideas which would improve it further.
The Warning Process
- Actions by members trigger
- Application of a warning which may trigger
- Application of a warning action
Warning Actions Apply to Specific Warnings
One key element is the ability to specify, for each warning action, what warning(s) it applies to.
This is very powerful because we can make ‘the punishment fit the crime’ I.e. if people misbehave in certain areas of the forums, we can ban them from those areas.
The warnings given need to relate to those specific areas and trigger actions relevant to those specific areas.
These speed up the management of warnings.
We put warnings into specific Warning Groups so that we can differentiate between warning types. And our warning actions (in addition to specific warnings) can be made to apply only to certain warning groups. By grouping warnings, when we create the action, we can click the single warning group rather than click lots of individual warnings.
For example, we on AVForums have a classified adverts section. When members break the classified rules, we give them warnings from the Classified Warnings group.
Sorting the Warnings
To make giving warnings an easier process, we can specify a sort order both for individual warnings in the list and also the warning groups. It makes a big difference to the ease of giving warnings.
The warning actions are set up to apply to specific warnings or warning groups. To continue our classifieds example, we have a number of actions set up to act on the Classified Warnings group.
The Classifieds Warnings group contains several warnings relating specifically to breaking our classified rules. When someone breaks a classified rule, the moderator selects a warning from the Classified Warnings group.
When the user accrues 6 warning points from the warnings in the classified group, they are given a 1 week ban from the trading forums. 10 points means a 1 month ban. 30 points means a permanent trading ban.
Each warning action contains the options to
- Ban or discourage or add usergroups
- either permanently or temporarily for a number of days/weeks/months/years and
- pick which individual warning(s) it applies to or
- pick which warning group(s) it applies to
As I’ve mentioned earlier, temporary bans from certain forums is a useful tool for ‘punishing’ members in a limited way for breaking the rules.
But there also needs to be transparency to the members, so we need to tell them about the warning action which has been applied to their account. Using the classifieds example, if they accrue two x 5 point warnings to get 10 points, they will hit the 10 point threshold which triggers the one month addition of the ‘banned from trading’ secondary usergroup which stops them from posting in the classified forums. They need to be notified of this either by an alert or private conversation. Perhaps including details of the warnings which have accrued to trigger the action.
Similarly when their ban expires, they should also get a notification.
The warning action should have default messages sent for when it is both the applied and when it expires.
Hopefully readers will appreciate that with the addition of (relatively simple) functionality of
- Warning groups
- Warning actions apply to specific warnings or specific warning groups
- Warning sort order