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Feature NON-request: flagging users not postings Answered

With the recent spate of spam postings, it occurred to me that, "wouldn't it be great to be able to flag the spammers directly, rather than the individual postings"? Less than a minute's thought revealed the obvious abusive disaster that would entail (especially among those of a knexish age and gender). Sigh...

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lemonie (author)2009-04-23

With regard to "especially among those of a knexish age and gender" - any thoughts on actually removing the children (TOS 5). While it may be difficult to verify a person's actual age, it's not hard to assess a person's operational age (esp if you're a teacher), you could play safe and kick users out for behaving like someone under 13...?

(Some people do treat this place as a kiddies play area)

L

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Lithium Rain (author)lemonie2009-04-23

If it's against the TOS of course it's appropriate, but I'm a little uncomfortable kicking out people on the basis of age if they're pretty close. Say, Roger-X (Kiteson # 1). The problem is you can't really pick and choose. Maybe it would be better to turn a bit of a blind eye to slightly underage users unless they act up really bad? Then removing any such on the basis of behavior, not age.

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lemonie (author)Lithium Rain2009-04-23

Yes, your last sentence is what I meant / said. L

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Lithium Rain (author)lemonie2009-04-24

Ah, I see, I thought you meant tossing all the underagers out just because they are a bit too young. :-)

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kelseymh (author)lemonie2009-04-23

I don't necessary think we're dealing with formally underage (TOS 5) users, just the usual hormone-enriched suspects.

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lemonie (author)kelseymh2009-04-23

You're not bothered by under-age users?

L

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kelseymh (author)lemonie2009-04-23

I didn't say I wasn't bothered by them, just that they weren't the direct target of my comment.

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lemonie (author)kelseymh2009-04-23

Sorry, you were only discussing SPAM, but the same suggestion would apply to other inappropriate users. L

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lemonie (author)2009-04-23

Reminder of previous suggestions / discussion.

L

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kelseymh (author)lemonie2009-04-23

Yup. What goes around comes around. As I said in my post, it's an obvious first impulse, but I don't think it's really appropriate.

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Kiteman (author)2009-04-23

Again, I think we are moving ever closer to needing a team of Mods.

:-(

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2009-04-23

. I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. I think the S/N ratio has stayed close to the same, it's just that, because there is more noise, it's a little more noticeable at times. The fact that Ibles is attracting more SPAM indicates to me that the site is becoming more well known. Robot's work schedule means that some SPAM can accumulate over the weekend, but it's still not that bad, even on a Sunday night.
. I can think of several good reasons for Robot to not have incorporated Mods into the system. I'm guessing the system was not originally designed to have multiple classes of users and adding the function will not be easy to program/debug. Managing/training a bunch of Mods won't be a picnic; dealing with Mod mistakes will be even less so. It's probably a big step for Robot to give up absolute control of his playground. &c, &c, &c.
. But if the site continues to grow, I see no alternative to some form of user moderation other than enough staff (and attendant paid subscriptions for payroll) to handle it in-house.

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Lithium Rain (author)NachoMahma2009-04-23

If I were a betting woman I'd say staff will outsource it to members like ya'll - it's DIY after all - and the best bit for them is (some/many) people will feel flattered and be falling all over themselves to take their free time and do work that otherwise might cost a bundle - for free. :-D "No heart so strong as the heart of a volunteer" and all that...

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Kiteman (author)Lithium Rain2009-04-23

Agreed. The feature team isn't so big, and they're all volunteers. A similar group of invited volunteers (with probably a fair bit of overlap) would probably do a good job with minimal / no training. It wouldn't take much effort to select a moderation team that would give 24/7 coverage.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2009-04-23

. I think it's a good idea and will ultimately have to be implemented, I just don't think most ppl realize how difficult it is to do right. It not something for Robot to rush into.
. Selection of the original group would be the easy part. Determining just how much "power" to give the group is the hard part.
. The biggest complaint you can get against someone on the Feature team is "He/she/they didn't Feature my iBle." Mods will conceivably have the option to delete posts and issue warnings as Robot's agent. 99 times out of a hundred the Mod is clearly right, but that one time can cause a lot of problems that the manager has to spend time straightening out.
. The group has to be "nurtured." Someone has to look over their shoulders and provide guidance. Effectively communicating Robot's wishes can be difficult - someone will always misinterpret what you say.
. And then there's the programming/debugging involved. The more fail-safe the system is (eg, multiple Mod flags to hide/delete posts), the more complicated it becomes.
.
. It ain't easy bein' cheesy. :)

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lemonie (author)NachoMahma2009-04-23

It could be easy. If people were given just enough ability to hold back junk, things would be improved. Just that much would achieve something. L

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NachoMahma (author)Lithium Rain2009-04-23

. I had to manage the Mods on a regional BBS/ISP and it ain't no bed of roses. And managing them is not a job for a volunteer (I was a working partner). . Most Mods take the position seriously and do a fantastic job, but there is always at least one in the bunch that takes it too seriously and goes crazy. Some ppl need a lot of feedback (strokes). Handling complaints about Mods can be a full-time job even though the vast majority of the complaints are unjustified. . But it should take fewer ppl to corral a herd of Mods (I can think of close to a dozen good candidates) than doing it in-house. . Having 24/7 coverage would be a BIG plus in my book.

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Lithium Rain (author)NachoMahma2009-04-23

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was pooh-poohing it or saying it's not a hard job - I know it is.

And I definitely agree managing the mods is not a job for a volunteer. In the trenches, yes, way up high with teh brass, no.

I guess I'm like you - we're approaching the point - er, they are approaching the point - where they'll have to implement mods of one kind or another, but they'll have to think about it and meanwhile I guess we just keep flagging the spam and pming repeat offenders. In a way our discussion is totally moot, since it's not up to us and it's not our site...

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NachoMahma (author)Lithium Rain2009-04-23

. heehee. That wasn't really aimed at you. More bouncing ideas around and edification of the masses. Same with my ". I think it's a good idea and will..." post to Kiteman.

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Lithium Rain (author)Kiteman2009-04-23

I think we're simply getting too big (The YouTube effect). Not that growth is bad, but unless we come up with an entirely new way of managing social interactions and inappropriate material, I think you're right.

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Kiteman (author)Lithium Rain2009-04-23

I think YouTube grew too fast - members didn't get time to get into good habits, new members don't have a good example to follow, and it's just too big for traditional moderation to deal with the dross.

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NachoMahma (author)2009-04-23

> "wouldn't it be great to be able to flag the spammers directly, rather than the individual postings"? . My exact thoughts (for exactly the same reason). . > abusive disaster that would entail . I don't think it would be any worse than what is (presumedly) already being done to posts/iBles. I'll volunteer to pre-screen flags for Robot.

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Lithium Rain (author)NachoMahma2009-04-23

>Wanders over to volunteer desk

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