ben (bottlerocket) wrote in suggestions,

Better Community Moderation Options

Better Community Moderation Options

Short, concise description of the idea
Most of the available moderator options aren't really practical. Can't we be a little more gentle than just deleting threads and banning memebers?

Full description of the idea
Better options would let moderators give their communities gentle nudges to stay on topic. As they are right now, we can only moderate with a "ham fisted" approach: deletion and banning.

A warning system could keep track of users repeatedly causing trouble. I'm not going to outright ban somebody for a first offence, but keeping a text file on my desktop of offenders isn't very practical.

The ability for users to report spam, OT posts, and flames would be nice, too. Sure, they can hunt down my contact info, and sure, I can read every single message, but a reporting system would be a lot easier.

Finally, the Comment Freezing feature could use some work. For example, why can't we freeze the original parent topic? I have a thread in my community right now that started off with a dumb topic, continued with teasing, and is starting to turn into user bashing. My only options are to either delete the entire topic (lame), or freeze the current posts and hope than nobody makes another one (makes me look stupid). Why can't mods freeze the whole thing?

One other suggest: in addition to Freezing a thread, it would be nice to "collapse" it as well, like threads do once they get three or four levels deep. The offending thread is still there, but now people don't have to look at it. And while I'm dreaming, how about we just switch over to a Slashdot-style moderation system for communities? (Yeah, like that would ever happen.)

An ordered list of benefits
  • Community owners would be more likely to let trusted users be moderators since they would have more subtle powers than just outright deleting posts.
  • Owners won't be reluctant to "moderate" an obviously popular thread when their only option is to delete the whole thing.
  • Reinforce to users what sort of behaviour is appropriate and what isn't.
  • Long threads more readable if off-topic posts are "collapsed".
  • Less hostility in communities if flamewars are reported earlier and locked down before they get out of hand.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Kinda moves away from the Livejournal style of commenting a bit. But when your community hits 700 members, you need some more options to manage them a bit better.

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • Most of these changes would only take a few lines of code and maybe two new entries into the database (collapsed, warned). As for implementing them, why not ask some owners of larger communities. I'm sure most of them would appreciate the changes.
Tags: comments, community maintenance, community moderation, § historical
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