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Aquilla
We are encouraged here by the AD staff to report objectionable posts rather than to respond to them directly in kind. I can understand why this is, and I have tried to follow that guideline. However, I never hear anything back when nothing is done following a report. Not even a form letter saying something along the lines of "Thank you for your report, we have reviewed the post and found it to be within the rules of the AD forum." It just goes away.

Now, it seems to me that if a member of AD is willing to take the time to file a report on a post they at least deserve an answer for why no action was taken on that report via a PM. I would actually prefer more than a form letter, but at least with that one would know what the real ground rules are.


Aquilla
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Mike
Hi Aquilla,

We don't send confirmations of reports mainly because the volume of reports that come in would make it time consuming to do so. Yeah, I could write a script to send a generic "we received your report" PM, but that would not provide the reporter with any new information, and only serve to reiterate the message that is displayed on the screen when the report is submitted.

The default reporting system that is provided with our software package is woefully inadequate. All it does is send an email to the administators. It provides no area for discussion, no ability for a staffer to make it known that they are addressing a report, and no way for the staff to know that the report has been reviewed and acted upon. About four years ago, I devised a system and personally coded a reported post backend that has proven effective and efficient.

As reports come in, each staff member who choses to be notified of new reports receives an email containing a summary of the report, the name of the member who submitted the report, the body of the post that is being reported, the name of the author of the post that is being reported, a link to the reported post, and a link to the reported post backend where reported posts are managed.

If the action that is required in response to the report is cut-and-dry, any moderator can complete that action. Moderators who are actively participating in a topic that is subject to a report, however, are discouraged from moderating in that specific topic in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety. When a moderator acts on a report and has determined that the situation was properly addressed, the report is marked as resolved in the backend so as to show that the report needs no further attention.

If the report is not cut-and-dry, the backend provides an area for the staff to discuss or debate what action should be taken to address the report, if any action is necessary. When a decision has been reached, the report is acted on and the report is marked as resolved.

This system prevents double work, allows the staff to weigh in on reports that may not be clear cut, and allows staffers to view, at a glance, any outstanding reports not marked as resolved.

We don't disclose what action has been taken on reported posts for several reasons. For example, we never disclose if a strike was issued as a result of a report. This is to provide a level of privacy for a member who may have made a mistake and received a strike as a result of the mistake. Likewise, we never disclose the identity of the reporter to the reportee. This is obviously to prevent retaliatory reports, as well as to prevent any future conflict between the reporter and reportee.

Rest assured, all reports are reviewed, considered, and, if necessary, acted upon. The action may range from a moderation note in the topic to a strike being issued to a warning PM being sent to no action at all, if it is deemed that none is necessary. Any staff member may comment on any report if they believe the action taken was inappropriate, inadequate, or overly harsh.

I hope that addresses your concerns. I'll be sure to get this added to the site documents so that members are better informed of how reports are addressed.

smile.gif

Mike
Aquilla
I appreciate the response, Mike, and it does add a little to my understanding of the process. My point to making this thread was to point out the frustration on the part of myself and perhaps others here when we see a post that in my (our) mind(s) clearly violates the rules set out in this forum, report it and nothing appears to happen. The natural instinct in that case is to respond in kind. "Good for the goose, good for the gander" kind of thing.

I don't care if a strike or admonishment in a PM has been issued, I just want to know that at least my complaint (which are pretty rare given the amount of time I've been here) has at least been reviewed and addressed. How it was addressed is none of my business.


Aquilla
Julian
Aquilla, please rest assured that ALL reports get reviewed, even if the outcome of the review is "no rules broken, so let it stand".

I've been on the Committee for over 3 years now I think (is it that long?) and I've never once seen a report go unaddressed for more than a day or so (and only then at especially busy real-life times such as Christmas or Thanksgiving).

They are always visible - all the Staff can see each report as a new debate thread just like the normal ones you'd see, so all you have to do it click on "View New Posts" and you see them all, mixed in with the threads on the Public forums with new posts.

As Mike says, the nature of how each thread is addressed is completely variable, and there are too many different types of response to justify pre-scripting each possible variant.

While, in an ideal world, I can see why you're asking for some kind of acknowledgemnet, there are just too many complaints (just this morning I logged in after only a day or so away to find more than 20 reported posts) for this to be viable.

Especially when you consider that, likely as not, anyone getting an anodyne "this post is being reviewed" response but seeing no change on the forum is still going to be frustrated because they still are in a position where "nothing appears to happen".

So if we go the next logical step, and tell the reporting poster what is going to happen, and they disagree with it, the Staff runs the risk of getting bogged down in private metadebates about a public thread that has, in all probability, moved on anyway.

By the way, please also rest assured that this happens a lot anyway, in debates among the Staff on what should or shouldn't happen in response to a particular rule infringement. Including the reporter in those debates would just elongate matters, and if we did that, the only fair thing would be to include the reported poster too. It doesn't take a psychic to work out that the likely result would be that ad.gif quickly turns into a who-said-what-to-whom forum and nobody ever posts anything about politics.

Ok, maybe that's the worst case scenario, but if I remember rightly (and you may just be using a handle I've seen elsewhere) you and I both came here having left a (now, happily, defunct) site that did nothing but argue about who'd insulted who the most. I don't think that's a route we should go down.
Aquilla
Thanks, Julian. I honestly had no idea there were that many posts being reported every day. In the 5 years I've been here, I've probably reported well less than 50 posts. And, most of those reports were posts I made where I was too fast on the get-go and ended up with my post showing up twice...... blush.gif

Edited to add......

QUOTE
Ok, maybe that's the worst case scenario, but if I remember rightly (and you may just be using a handle I've seen elsewhere) you and I both came here having left a (now, happily, defunct) site that did nothing but argue about who'd insulted who the most. I don't think that's a route we should go down.


Yep, one in the same. I'm just much nicer here. innocent.gif

Aquilla
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