How should moderation work (and flags)?

We have a nice and practical (and fairly harmless) example to discuss how moderation should work.

There was a post that caused a rather emotional reaction. It was obviously reported and temporarily hidden by the discourse mechanics.

But of course the emotional reaction could potentially escalate now with more emotional posts.

So what happens now? What should happen?

I was engaged in that topic and I wonder whate makes you believe some post was reported and temporarily hidden - if that would be the case should there not be at least a comment be left behind (either by the system or an admin) making it visible that a post had been removed due to which reason ever?

In case you are right and posts could be removed without any trace or comment that could make it quite difficult to follow a thread, specially if later posts had been written in reply to the removed one.

First, the post was visible to me.

A while later it looked different. There was a hint like “Post was hidden because of community feedback” or similar - didn’t take a screenshot. There was also a link to show the post anyway.

Today it looks like a regular post again.

In another chat it was mentioned that negative feedback from other users can hide topics, so I assume that is what happened. But I am quite confused how that is supposed to work and whether someone changed something manually there. :confused:

In this case, flagging the post as off topic by a community member was overruled by an administrator/moderator, which made the post reappear.

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[Irony on]
Well, good that this happend silently and confusingly, while my question in post 46 above still remains unanswered. And discourse even showed whoever did this that the post was linked/referenced somewhere else… :frowning:
[Irony off]

Well what will happen? A moderator can lock the topic altogether or hide (some of the) other posts….

Hey @Nop it seems what happened is what @mmd, someone reported a message as offtopic and when moderators reviewed the flag was deferred.

Topics hidden by community flags are only hidden and can be read if you click on it.

So far so good … but what happens when the moderator confirms the post as “unwanted” by whatever reason? Will this post then be removed entirely? Any remark left like “post removed due to xxx” or the like? If not it could be a bit difficult to follow thread, specially if later posts had been written in reply to the removed one.

And usually it is not sufficient to just remove the original post. Most of the time, there are emotional responses which might need defusing by themselves and responses quoting parts of the offending text.

Edit: This post has been edited

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I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to get at. In any case, a moderator can delete and edit posts, like you’re used to from working with fluxBB in the past.

See the comment Edit: This post has been edited in the previous post.

Previous versions of a post can also be hidden, if needed.

Moderation history is logged and available for the forum admins if needed.

how many people have to flag a contribution as “off topic” in order to hide it?

It depends on the trust level of the user who is flagging.

  • You need to be at least TL1 to flag a message.
  • TL3 users can hide TL0 messages with just one flag.
  • TL4 can hide any message with just one flag.

Hidden messages are always flagged for moderator review.

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I think the questions are aiming at:

  1. Transparency. From user perspective, topics appear, disappear, change miraculously. Or is it just your failing memory that it was different yesterday? :slight_smile:
  2. Guidelines for Moderators. There should be some guideline that mods can follow, on how to respond to certain things and how to inform users of what they did. Tracking data for the admins is of no help to the users.

@Nop in which topic do you want the admins to check what happened?

AFAIK when a post is hidden or moderated both the poster is notified, as well as the message is marked as such on the topic for the participants.

Currently moderators should be following these guidelines to decide what to moderate. Once there are per-category moderators, they will have to follow the guidelines each category decides to implement.

If there are additional processes for moderation desired, they should be proposed for discussion here.

That sounds good to me and is what I would expect in a given case. If a moderator removes a post every participant should be aware of that to keep the process transparent (as Nop pointed out in comment #14 1.). From my point of view it is a MUST to make it visible to every participant if a post has been removed, not just for the forum admins as you wrote in post #11.

I still wonder why you keep your a.m. statement vague by writing AFAIK … Can you find out and confirm what you wrote is a fact? That would be great.

From the discourse documentation I’ve been reading that’s my understanding but I haven’t found a clear post describing how each deleted post is displayed.

Maybe @cquest knows more about deleted posts, which I’m not sure if they display the same as moderated posts.

Moderation has never been a problem on the Discourse instances I’m managing. I don’t remember having to delete posts, block or ban users.

I can’t share much experience on that, sorry.

Sharing some of the next steps and conversations that happened during yesterday’s meeting relevant to this discussion: