Moderation of the Community

Good afternoon,

I thought I would update you all on some of the work we have been doing this week following the recent SPAM issues on the website.

As you know, due to a number of resource constraints here, we are not actively able to monitor the community on a daily basis, but rely on the regular visitors of the community, like yourselves, to alert us of any issues.

We know how important the community is to many of you and we love that you feel so passionately about it and want to maintain standards within it. To ensure we can address the moderation issues, we are currently speaking to all the colleagues who are moderators regarding their involvement in the community and we are also exploring other options to expand the resources of those who are able to moderate content in a more efficient way. Some of these solutions include "out of hours" and weekend support as we know the community is busy all day, every day.

While we work on these solutions, I thought I would reiterate the ideal way to report spam or abusive content on the community and to "flag" the concern to us. The best way to do this, if you are unsure, is in one of the following ways:

1. In the forum thread, next to any of the posts or replies there is a MORE option. Select this and then select the "Flag as spam/abuse" option (see example)


2. In a blog or news item select the "Flag as spam/abuse" option in the right-hand column (see example)

Now currently, spam or abusive content is not automatically removed if only one person complains about it; this is to ensure fairness within the community. But, if more than two contributors report it then there are automatic rules that will, in some cases, remove the content immediately.

These rules are based on a number of settings, which we are currently reviewing, but in basic terms, it is to do with the credibility and authority any user has within the community.

This credibility and authority is called a Value Score and is made up of many different things including; the number of posts, likes, time in the community, etc. If the combined Value Score of the people reporting the abuse is higher than the person who has posted the allegedly abusive or spam content, then the post will be automatically removed. If the combined score of the people reporting is lower then the content will remain until it has been reviewed by a moderator and this will follow our standard Moderation escalation process.

To help prevent spam and abusive content from appearing in the first place we have the following things already in place:

1. Registration security (reCaptcha) - which prevents automatic services from registering and posting. Unfortunately, the recent activity is not automated and is actually individuals creating accounts and posting spam content. We could put further measures in place to prevent new registrations from posting immediately, but we feel this would impact those legitimate new users from becoming active.

2. Content filters - we do have filters in place that prevent abusive language or content from being posted and we will continue to monitor these filters to ensure they are as robust as they can be.

We are also reviewing the SPAM filters, which are able to recognise a certain type of SPAM-like behaviour and prevent the post from publishing in the first place.

We hope this update gives you some confidence that, with the limited resources, we are doing all we can to ensure moderation happens as quickly as possible.

Many thanks for your support and understanding,


  • Elliot there is spam now I've been flagging it for 20 minutes

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  • Thank you - this has been dealt with.

    As per the message above the best way is to report it as spam rather than create another post about it, that way it may even get automatically removed.


  • Rest assured Elliott we know how to report spam. We've had plenty of practise. The issue has been that nothing was done for several days when we had the attack last week which meant we had little confidence that the system was even working.
    Anyway thanks for deleting the latest spam.



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  • In reply to Elliott B:

    Elliott B said:
    As per the message above the best way is to report it as spam rather than create another post about it

    That thread was started out of frustration Elliott when none of us could get any of you to take notice , I ended up getting on Twitter about it and another member had to contact Martin Harper.

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  • That's a useful bit of info actually, if sufficient regulars flag a thread, it should disappear, if I've understood you correctly?


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  • In reply to TeeJay:

    We completely understand Tony and acknowledge the frustration many of you have felt regarding this.

    As I hope the above post outlines, the resource issues we have currently meant that we have not been able to respond quickly enough, but we are working on a solution for that.

    Many thanks,

  • In reply to Whistling Joe:

    In theory, yes that is correct. I have seen it working in a test system earlier today and should help in some way when we are not able to respond.


  • I'm not convinced it works on here though, when we had that spam last week we were all flagging it up and it didn't go.

    edit...unless it wan't in operation at that time.

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  • Sorry to duplicate... Kept getting page error for this thread , when clicking last post doh! so I replied on the other thread.
    Thanks Elliott
    I note you say that " automation of SPAM removal will do what is supposed to do "

    Is that what worked on the latest SPAM? or did you or someone manually remove?

    Surely your mentioning "no one available over weekend," would therefore .be benefical if one of our Members was given authority to remove any offenders.

    Still good to read your comments. Thank you

    EDIT and just received this in response to this posting Doh! and yet it has posted......


  • I've been experiencing some odd page not found errors on posting too, just this afternoon on these threads, though I'm using phone, so it may be a limited problem.
    Re the trustability algorithm thingy for Spam, hard wire a couple of people's score to a high number and you've got a defacto Mod :-)


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