Allowing only one vote for "Report as Abusive" is a design flaw - Gross and repeat abusers don't get special attention RRS feed

  • Question

  • I frequent a forum where a habitual abuser posts.  He is a "celebrated author" who on the surface appears to have a drinking problem, since the abusive posts tend to be in the evening or at night, whereas his daytime posts tend to be only rude. I think the moderators have become desensitized to this persons abusive behavior due to his alleged celebrity, and possibly (this would be their excuse) because he doesn't use foul language or gender/race based insults.  There's no way anyone can say he doesn't use insults: they just happen to not be gender or race based insults.)  However, I'm not here to intervene or complain about the moderators:  I'm here to complain that multiple people can't report abuse.

    Here's why the forum's technical design is flawed:  When (in my example) he gets reported as abusive, future annoyed members can't vote too.  The "Report as abuse" link becomes an un-clickable "Already reported as abusive" status update, meaning others can't report as abusive too. Meaningful information and meaning is lost, because the moderators don't know that multiple people want to report abuse.

    If the forums allowed multiple abuse reports, and a moderator ends up with 10 flaggings instead of just 1, they could make the judgment call, "Hey, 10 is higher than 1!  Maybe I should do something!"  (Which I don't believe qualifies as rocket science).  And I think they (and any moderator anywhere) would act more decisively.

    Let me predict in advance the answer I'm going to get:  "Moderators are dedicated and hardworking volunteers who go through years of training at the equivalent of a Shaolin Temple, and they only need one alert to quickly and decisively do their job.  We used to send more than one alert, but Master Li said "No.  Only one." We've discussed this before many times."

    Here's my answer (in advance) to your answer:  "How's that working for ya?"  ;-)  I do agree the moderators are wonderful people, and the MSDN forums are superior to most.  I still see opportunity for automation though.

    Here's my suggestion.

    • Allow multiple "Report as abusive" clicks by different users.
    • Send an email or whatever notification you use at report number 1, but not necessarily on the second, third, and fourth reports (to let the moderators do what they are supposed to do).
    • Counting only reports submitted by logged in users with accounts that are not newly created accounts:  At report number three, maybe report number five: Automatically lock down the thread, maybe even hide it.  And this time, send the moderator another alert.
    Sunday, April 22, 2012 11:21 AM

All replies

  • He does post interesting info at times and otherwise I just ignore his posts.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law

    My blog

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012 2:25 AM
  • However, I think "thread with marked as abuse post" view (if not present yet, I don't know...) would be useful to moderators.

    A "remove abusive marks by this user ID" function can be helpful in case moderators find someone's abuse vote "inaccurate" and... maybe I'll put it as "distracting".

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012 4:03 AM
  • I think multiple votes would re-introduce democracy to the process.  And ignoring posts is exactly the problem: It almost seems like special treatment.

    Plus a bonus... For those relatively rare cases where the computer of a member in good standing becomes infected and controlled by a hacker/prankster who posts spam to a forum, and the doubly-rare situation that the posts happen late at night when no moderators happen to be around, the democratic voting process could get the spam post blocked and hidden much faster than waiting for a moderator.

    Friday, April 27, 2012 11:05 AM