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Moderation needs better auto-notification

Mar 04 at 06:51 PM


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Wow, so this is the first time I'm on the receiving end of moderation and I'm deeply unimpressed. Not by the fact I've been moderated, but by the auto-generated communication.

The mail was ever so slightly more detailed than the alert, and read:

After reviewing a moderator agreed with an 'Alert Moderator' on your following content since it does not fulfill the community rules of engagement

[Bug] Can't upload more than two images / no user feedback

That's it.

Bad grammar aside, it tells me very little. Someone tipped my post off, someone else agreed it's problematic, and ... er, that also seems to be it.

It's still there, hasn't been deleted. I can't see any edits. I have no problem with anonymous reporting, but why it was reported? Apparently I broke some rules. Which ones? Did the mod just agree with it and do nothing, or is there a letter on it's way to Santa that I've been naughty? (finally got an opportunity to use that N-word!).

This is no criticism of the moderators, I know what a job it is, having done it myself, and a personalised response is not necessary. But the automated comms could definitely be improved here. Fix the grammar and include at least the alert category. Maybe give the mods a quick template response selector. Something, anything.

I suspect a few mods might not even be aware of the email that their actions generate - well there you have it.

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2 Answers

Best Answer
Mynyna Chau
Mar 13 at 08:29 AM

Hi Mike,

thanks for raising this topic. We have worked on enhancing the notification text which will be finalized soon and implemented. At the same time, we hope that our moderators provide feedback to the content author whenever they can when performing moderation tasks, so members like you are not left alone having to find out what was moderated.

Best regards, Mynyna

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Great, thanks for taking this up and improving it. Although it's not implemented yet, I'll accept it as resolved as it can only be an improvement :-)


Yes, I hope you will like it, if not please let me know. :-)


Hmm, I reported this not because I expected get moderated again, but to improve the experience for those that did.

But on the other hand that gives me an excuse to be rude the next time someone ticks me off... (only kidding!)

Iftah Peretz
Mar 05 at 07:39 AM

Hi Mike,

First of all, I'll start by saying that I agree with everything you said. I suspect that my reply here will go all over the place, so if you can take one thing out of it - it's - thank you for bringing this up and sharing.

After reading your post (not a question - this is a clear coffee corner/blog post - I will delete it afterwards as part of my moderation duties - I'm kidding of course, hard to joke via the keyboard :) ) I wish I could tell you more on why you got moderated, but as I didn't handle it, I don't know.

Now to the other side of things, as a moderator, I go through a world of juggling to try and balance the ongoing community, and sometimes as a result of those moderation actions, people get hurt/offended etc.

I think that it is clear that this is never the intention of it. I will even add, that from what I have seen thus far, you are a valued community member, with a lot of knowledge and maybe this moderation action created more harm than good to the community (regardless if it's justified or not).

I can tell you that many times I've messaged the person who got moderated and got no reply (there is a check mark stating that it was seen, do people know this?).

Many times there are no clear actions on what to do which leads for frustration on all sides - user reporting, user being reported on, moderator handling it and the community itself that is exposed to the content (e.g. a question that is not even a question on a rudimentary issue that was flagged by a moderation alert several times and people already answered it - is it wrong to delete the question [which will delete the answers as well]? Do you agree and not delete, like in your case?).

In addition to the moderation alerts, we also review and publish blogs and questions, and as you know, as there are issues with the community UX\UI the same goes for its back-end and moderation resulting errors are hard to fix - maybe this case is one of those errors?

You don't see the numerous times that users act in a very unprofessional manner and play cat-mouse with us and the system - how do you handle these kind of users?

We also have our own, fully active, moderation community in which we analyze and discuss different ways of actions, cases, spammers etc. so this is not taken lightly.

We get no pay for this, spend a lot of our free time, have other set of expectations from us as role models and knowledge experts getting our errors/unpleasant moderation actions amplified, we do not control the auto-generated mails that are sent nor do we develop this site - but are, in most cases, treated as ones (and as SAP employees - even though there is a special profile tag for it). This is a partial list and more could be found here and here.

I hope I could shed some light on the other side of things (I wasn't sure if you moderated here or not - "...having done it myself...") so that everybody gets the full picture.

As for editing the message/mail sent to users who got moderated, maybe Moshe Naveh , Iris Ostrin , Jamie Cantrell or Jerry Janda could help?

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Hi Iftah,

Funny you mention it, I did actually try to move this to coffee corner after writing, but alas... not on this platform.

I am not in the least offended at being moderated, find it quite amusing if anything, and have a burning curiosity which of the drop down options I fell under :-)

Thanks for such a detailed explanation of the other side of moderation. While I’m familiar with it, it is a blog-worthy explanation for the rest of the community. And in some ways I had hoped this would get a bit of attention because something like this can be very off-putting to a new member.

You understood correctly “having done it myself” meant I used to moderate on here. I scaled back my SAP community and mentor activities when my family expanded some 4 years ago. I no longer had mod rights on the new platform so that ended that.

Back to the topic: at least under Jive the notification would list the category. I would also add a quick email if it wasn’t obvious. What is curious about my case is if someone “agreed” to the alert, why was nothing done? If that was the intention then surely they should not have agreed to it? I am not familiar with the moderation facilities on here, but I remember that even on Jive it wasn’t that clear to moderators - I had to self-moderate to get an example.

So part of my intent was to perhaps hilight the receiver side to the moderators. If it’s confusing to me (granted, not that big a challenge), what hope is there for some of the less frequent visitors?




Hi Mike,

I would like to take full responsibility here:).

1. We will work on fixing the text on this message. Thanks!

2. We did receive an alert on the language used in your question but with no specific indication. After reviewing the question I did notice that you used the word "stupid". I guess some community members would perceive it's not appropriate (although I can emphasize with your frustration). However it wasn't something I wanted to bother you about before I have more clarity from IT on the bug you are raising. But that was of course a mistake as you are also receiving these alerts for moderation alert being accepted and need to know why the alert was accepted. In 99.99% non-spam cases I use the editorial comments to communicate to the users what went wrong and in this case I failed. Sorry about that:).

And of course it would be great to have the auto-notification feature you're suggesting together with other moderation features we've asked for.


Hah, and there I was wondering whether someone considered "hate this platform" politically incorrect or discriminatory (all platforms are equal, otherwise we couldn't get on the train).

But maybe you have a point about stupid (why would someone feel offended by that?). This was not entirely out of frustration, I have edited the post to use a different word and added explanation why.

Anyway, as I've said before my reason for this post was more about the user experience, but it's nice to know :)