New "report" feature for forum posts and comments

Howdy all,

In my never-ending quest to reduce spam around here, I’ve re-arranged the furniture in this joint…err…rather changed the anti-spam modules we’re using, how we’re using them, and what permissions users have to do interact with the antispam system.

So, the old “report” link on posts and comments is gone. It sucked because the tools for processing moderation requests were awful, and it was misused in such a way that we ended up with more clutter than useful spam reports (folks were reporting things for silly stuff like being in the wrong forum category, asking dumb questions, etc…don’t do that!).

To that end, we’re trying again with something new. There’s a report link, again, but this one is a little different. It feeds into an automated system (Mollom), and no one here ever sees the reports (this is a big flaw in this system, but it’s what we’ve got, without developing our own from scratch, and I refuse to do any more major Drupal development, because life is too short).

Currently only Pro users (users who’ve bought a license in the last year or so and have a little star sticker by their username–like mine above) have this link, but I’ll roll it out to more users as soon as I figure out how to add a role to users based on number of good posts and age of account. (We figure folks who’ve spent a little money here have a vested interest in seeing the community remain valuable and free of spam; but, everybody who has contributed good comments or questions here will soon have the report link, as well).

If you’ve got a “report” link, and you see spam, report it. Be aware the popup that allows you to say why you’re reporting and submit the report appears at the top of the page…sometimes off-screen. So, if it’s a long message, click “report” and scroll up to see the popup. I’ll probably figure out why that’s happening before too long. Anyway, there’s three categories of “report”, but please only report spam via this system.

We don’t fret too much about “off-topic” here, and if it gets silly, just talk to me or Eric about it in the issue tracker. Also, we take abusive messages seriously, but please file a ticket in the tracker. Because of the way this system works, it will not remove the message…no matter how many people report it. It’ll feel like you’re reporting into the void, and the message will stick around. Only admins (or the author of the post) can remove things after they’ve been published, so bring it to us.

None of these tools are perfect, far from it, but I’m hoping this one will be slightly more effective. In my testing, it’s catching more than the previous Akismet setup (I thought both were in effect, but it seems like only one or the other can be enabled at once, so Mollom was never queried with the previous configuration). We’ll move to a new forum sometime after Virtualmin 6 is launched, with hopefully better moderation and anti-spam mechanisms.

In short:

  1. If you have a “report” link, use it to report spam.
  2. If you see abusive language, file a ticket for me or Eric.
  3. if you see a dumb question, be nice. Either ignore it and move on, or answer it as politely as possible.
  4. If you see a post in the wrong forum, it’s probably fine. If it isn’t fine, me or Eric might move it around.
  5. If you see an off-topic post, it’s probably also fine. Unless it gets abusive. These forums aren’t busy enough to justify being heavy-handed about moderation, and we’re trying to be friendly.



Hey Joe, I think its huge plus, Ive love the fact (any or all) user can provide you an feedback telling you actually the fact like what is wrong with post it self.

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