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Please stop the CURRENTLY BEING MODERATED delay

After answering a question on the SAP forum for SQL Anywhere, my response was marked CURRENTLY BEING MODERATED.

This is not acceptable behavior for the SQL Anywhere developer community.

Please cease and desist, and accept all posts immediately.

Breck

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8 Answers

  • author's profile photo
    Former Member
    May 29, 2013 at 09:30 PM

    Hi Breck,

    It’s great to see some new Sybase folks “over here” on SCN joining in with the other 2 million visitors we see here every month.

    Sorry you’re having trouble posting. For many years SCN did not require moderation for new members. We actually would have preferred to keep it that way. However, SCN became a victim of it’s own success. Over the last several years, SCN has implemented strong SEO practices that make it a very favorable place to post content that quickly is picked up by Google search engines. That’s been great for our members who like the fact that their new posts are quickly found by others looking to engage or to solve problems with their solutions.

    However, what’s been good for our members also looked like an opportunity for spammers. In February, we were hit suddenly and aggressively with a flood of spam posts. Spammers found SCN to be a valuable place to post their content because it quickly got picked up by Google search engines. (For example, one spam post at the time received over 60,000 search impressions and 5,000 clicks.) Over the ensuing weeks, spammers created over 300 new SCN accounts and over 3,700 spam posts. Clearly that was not good for the community or for SCN since Google applies manual penalties when it finds spam on your site.

    We worked actively to remove spam posts as they occurred and also implemented some new technical approaches to thwart the heavy spam activity. One of those is to require new member accounts to have their content moderated until they’ve earned a relatively small number of points so we feel they are trustworthy to be able to post directly. To date, those approaches have been effective in eliminating the spam we were seeing previously.

    It sounds like you have some suggestions for other ways to solve aggressive spamming on community sites. We’d welcome your input. Feel free to comment here or reach out to me at chip(dot)Rodgers(at)sap(dot)com.

    We hope you come to like the active and engaged community we have here at SCN and hope to hear more from you in the future!

    Best,

    Chip

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    • I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions for how to run your network, it's not my area of expertise.

      However, it is just not true that I have not made any constructive suggestions. The subject line is constructive in itself: "Please stop the CURRENTLY BEING MODERATED delay". I have provided strong arguments why that would be a good thing.

      Here's another constructive suggestion. Try investigating how stackoverflow.com deals with spam.

      And another: Try investigating how blogspot.com deals with spam.

      Your email to me is what is not constructive. Pushing responsibility for the solution back on to the end user (me) is a tactic that won't work. It is YOUR website, not mine.

      You say "you;re listening", but I'm not convinced, not really.

      Breck

  • Aug 09, 2013 at 03:50 PM

    I'm afraid I have to agree with the general SCN policy here, though execution could probably be improved.

    There's yet no magic bullet against SPAMmers and it will always be a discussion how to strike the balance.

    But there are already enough posts from people, who just post any crap replies only to be seen, but at least they are remotely related to the topic and not yet excessive in numbers.

    I prefer this to many other forums I have see including Oracle's (can imagine them seeing it differently as their sales reps are big SPAMmers themselves), but yes: it's a matter of taste.

    When I started engaging, I've also been moderated, but it seems moderators in the HCM part are reasonably fast. If you are contributing, you'll also pass the 30 points in no time, but maybe better criteria could be found. You earn points answering and sharing, not so much by asking. This is disadvantaging the arguably post important group on SCN, users, against consultants/developers and SAP employees. Maybe SCN could also consider someone trustworthy, after they have asked x questions without being reported. Also, moderators should prioritise questions over answers or other contributions.

    I can understand users' frustration, when they experience delays of a day or more. I think this is, what should be dealt with. Maybe SCN could allow all users above a certain points level to approve posts? Don't know, whether practical - just an idea thrown in.

    And: if Spammers do this in order to be found by search engines, would it help to just hide posts from "low-point-users" from search engines, but not from the community?

    Just some thoughts - as soon as I leave HCM, I'm not a security expert at all.

    But my essence: I prefer some reasonable moderation process to having loads of SPAM messages in the forum.

    kind regards

    Sven

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  • May 28, 2013 at 08:54 AM

    Hi,

    SCN was under attack over the past few months and was flooded with thousands of spam posts created by fake user accounts. This required the start of moderation for public accounts. After some beginner missions are completed, you'll be able to post freely and without moderation (99% of activities).

    ➖ This is not the result of the gamification launch earlier this month; however, the gamification system is being leveraged to calculate the completion of the beginner missions and verify users.

    See http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-41597#Moderation_Approval

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

    Jason

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    • Let me get this straight: The SCN authenticated login process failed to stop a spam attack, and instead of fixing the login process, pro-active moderation was introduced?

      I think I see where the problem lies :)

      Seriously, it's not about ME not having (yet) the creds to bypass moderation, it's about new users who will NEVER EVER get enough points. We are talking about new users of SCN, not new users of SAP products... it only takes one bad experience (moderation delay) to make a busy professional drop SCN like a hot potato.

      SCN isn't just for SAP employees and SAP consultants, is it?

      Or is it? ...because I am neither, and apparently SCN is not for me!

      Breck

  • author's profile photo
    Former Member
    Jul 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Totally agree with Breck.

    I replied to two posts on 7th Jul, 13 in about 20 mins gap of each other. While one post got cleared the next morning, the other post is still under moderation as on 10th July. Could this be due to some spam attack worries, I wonder.
    While I understand the spam attack part and all that, the flip side, I feel is, by the time the reply will see the light, the post might already have been answered and hence push the magic figure of 30 points further away.

    This is the link where the reply is still being moderated after 3 days.

    managing-scheduled-sales-orders-with-mrp

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    • Former Member Former Member

      I totally agree with Erik. After 15 years as a SAP BASIS guy I do not need some idiots to "jazz" up the site. Other companies deal with spam etc which sadly is just a fact of life on the net. Forcing us to complete juvenile tasks is NOT helping anyone.

      I work for a number of companies and get new SAPNET accounts at every company. Why do I have to complete they childish tasks everytime?

  • author's profile photo
    Former Member
    Aug 08, 2013 at 04:36 PM

    Breck is right, this is maddening.

    Four months ago, I submitted a feedback message about a bad link on the SAP SQL Anywhere home page. That link has been fixed. That's the good part.

    This morning, I got an email that my message "has been moved to SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere by SCN moderators. Selecting the correct space is important to ensure your content gets the right visibility and increases its chances of receiving responses quickly from other SCN users. To find a relevant space, visit the Finding Topic Spaces on SCN."

    So, after four months, a moderator got around to deciding that the appropriate response to my message was to tell me I posted it in the wrong topic. (<sarcasm>What is this, StackOverflow?</sarcasm>)

    Oh, and the "View the message" link in their email tells me that I'm "Unauthorized" to see my message.

    Clearly, the moderation process is not functioning well.

    For the record: my original message was: "On the SQL Anywhere main page <http://scn.sap.com/community/sybase-sql-anywhere>, the link "SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere Developer Edition" offers you SQL Anywhere 11.0.1, an old version. You want to offer SQL Anywhere 16, the latest version, or at minimum SQL Anywhere 12.0.1."

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    • Your thread was originally posted in SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere Developer Center, which is going to be closed. Therefore the thread was moved to a space that's still open as not to lose it. The message was sent out automatically.

  • May 27, 2013 at 07:19 PM

    I did some poking around, and here is what I found:

    Changes to moderation were made March 13 of this year as part of the gamification initiative on SCN. Details were posted here: Basically, you should only be moderated if you are a new user and/or your SCN point score is less than 30. Accumulating points on SCN works very similar to the way it works on this site.

    This actually makes sense and seems acceptable to me.

    However, I also read that there are still some issues with posts being inaccurately flagged for moderation. If this happens to you, please report it so the SCN folks can get it fixed.

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    • Moderation is not turned on to support gamification. It is turned on to prevent manual spamming of SCN. If you have more than 30 points, as Breck does, you will only be put into moderation if you use key words that are not allowed. These include profanity, and those that showed up in the recent spam attacks.

      Daniel, I hope you will continue to contribute to SCN and move out of the under 30 point moderation level.

      Best regards,

      Jeanne

  • author's profile photo
    Former Member
    Sep 23, 2013 at 01:04 PM

    I agree. It is maddening. Not only is frustrating to post an issue you are having only to wait 24 hours for your post to appear, but I have tried to reply to posts of others that are simple issues that I can help with only to have those replies appear 4-5 days later. It is hard to help anyone with that lag.

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  • Sep 24, 2013 at 05:13 PM

    There is an active SAP IT ticket in the current sprint cycle that will let us eliminate the wait time for discussions, questions and answers to be released. It is currently scheduled to go live on October 1, 2013. Relief is around the corner!

    Please spread the news to your contacts. I know this has been a huge problem and I hope all will be happy with the resolution.

    Jeanne

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