Post 'Screening' for Communities
Short, concise description of the idea
Maintainers of communities should be able to mark posts as invisible to anyone not also a maintainer.
Full description of the idea
I've recently been made co-maintainer of a large-ish community. Rather than deleting things unilaterally or sending an e-mail to all maintainers every time I delete something, it would be nice if I could mark a post as 'screened' or 'frozen' or 'suspended' so that none of the other users could see it excepting my fellow maintainers, who could then vote yea, nay, or abstain as to whether it meets community guidelines.
In other words, when another maintainer drops me a line and says, "Hey, I got some e-mails about deleted posts but I didn't delete anything," I can link him to the 'screened' post and he can see why I removed/suspended it.
- Easier community management/communication.
- 'Deleted' posts can be resurrected if one mod/maint. is being a martinet.
- Allows content to be evaluated for spam/flamebait on a one-by-one basis, rather than having to make the entire community moderated for what may be 1% of posts.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
- This requires yet another level of complexity to train new maintainers on.
- A new icon, perhaps? Depends on whether this replaces the straight-out deletion option.
- If it moves to a vote system (where LJ requires something like 50% of maintainers to approve the deletion), it makes straight-out deleting posts difficult for multi-maintainer comms.
- Getting other mods to look at the entry to approve deletion. This is not much of a problem if the post is indeed bad, as it will be the same as deletion for 99% of the members (those not running the comm), however if one maintainer makes an error in judgement, is being a petty dictator, or holds a grudge against a particular poster, this could be problematic, but not necessarily something the poster couldn't resolve with an e-mail to the other maints.
An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
Implementation could go any number of ways (not mutually exclusive; possibly available as an option to the maintainers?):
- One way is that the deletion procedure switches to a vote system. LJ tabulates the number of maintainers automatically and requires some % consent for actual deletion. It would need to be resolved whether there would be a voting deadline (30 days? 7?) and what the result would be after that deadline (i.e. posts not receiving any votes are reinstated or are just deleted). This would necessitate a decent upkeep of the list of active maintainers, which is not necessarily a bad thing (except when you have legacy maintainers, who are on the roster still but have handed management off; or in the case where some maintainers are frequently unavailable for days at a time). Obviously, in comms with only one maintainer, the deletion process remains instantaneous and automatic.
- The other (and I favor this implementation, however I can see some communities wanting the first option) is that this is an optional flag for some posts. If a post is questionable in its content, it can be marked in a manner similar to the way in which comments are currently screened. It can then be reviewed at leisure by other mods. The post can remain there indefinitely, possibly with a reason for the flagging or for deletion. See MetaFilter's deletion system. The post remains, but is removed from the front page and further comments are prohibited. Though since on lj the post would be visible to only the maintainers, it may be useful to leave comments enabled in case the poster is not contactable via e-mail. Additionally, I'd stipulate that comments, if disabled by the poster, should be re-enableable by the maintainers if the post is flagged as "screened" for just such a reason.
Umm, and the suggestions form needs a "preview" function.