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Help Me/Question Have You Got Some Cool Ideas For Forum Moderation?

Discussion in 'General Forum Management Topics' started by rockymeets, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. rockymeets

    rockymeets New Member

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    Hi,

    I have been moderating a couple forums since a few years now & need more help in this area as this is something I am trying to go more deep.

    I need help with some cool ideas of moderating & keeping the forum clean from bad users.

    Any help is appreciated :)
     
  2. Manish Mishra

    Yellow Belt

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    Well, I believe there is no ideas/tricks for forum moderation.
    If you have doing forum posting or are a member of forum like WMS, you will come to know that the working on a forum and moderation is not work in a simple trick.

    You need a few or more staff members that work on the forum to maintain the SPAM/THREADS/POSTS done by other members.
    Spamming is really a bad activity once it is being noticed for some ill purposes, it should be avoid and banned immediately.

    Moderating a forum is like a hard work when you eye on other forum members working out and to take care what is important and what is not.
     
  3. Oldwriter

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    Hello RockyMeets, the best advice to cut your moderation burden being to have message-screening functionality; this way you can spot the bad apples before they spoil the whole barrel.

    A good plan for screening is this:

    * All new users are assigned a membergroup that is 100% screened. All posts from this group must be approved before they reach the public (Believe me, most spammers suffer from “premature spamculation”; they can't wait to post their links).

    You catch a large percentage of spam posts this way since most first-time users posting links are spammers.

    * Once they have their first message approved, they get into a “Watched” membergroup until their 5th -10th message. In here their posts do reach public view, but you monitor for curse words or other flags that may indicate early bad behavior.

    * Chances are most users who pass this initial mandatory screening will be OK and you would have averted most of the problems before they appear.

    People tend to show their true colors quickly; you can take advantage of it to ease moderation in your forum.

    Cheers!
     
    #3 Oldwriter, Jan 2, 2016 at 11:25 AM
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  4. Webmasterserve

    Staff Member Administrator

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    @rockymeets@rockymeets it depends on whether you are just moderating the forums or you are a forum administrator as well? Do you have control over the forum software and configurations?

    Most part of the moderator's time goes into removing spam, banning spammers or sending warnings. Rest of the tasks are mainly moving threads, opening or closing threads, etc. So, if you could cut down on your spam tasks, that will free up a lot more time towards more value adding activities.

    Use Spam Prevention Techniques:
    Depending on your forum software, you can find or develop spam prevention plugins or adds-ons which can tie up with spam detection services like Akismet, Stop Spammers, and Anti-Spam to name a few. These services also gather data from various other forums, blogs and websites and prevent known spammers from registering on your forum. This way a lot of spam is stopped in its tracks, it especially takes care of bots and spammers using proxies to register hundreds of accounts on your forum.

    Additionally based on your forum software, these techniques can be configured to allow the members to join, but their posts will be moderated before they are displayed on the forum. This way you can ban the spammer while checking your moderation queue, but approve their threads if they were wrongly identified by the automatic spam prevention techniques. A small percentage of valid users do get targeted by these spam prevention software which cannot be avoided.

    Configure User Permissions
    As already advised by @Oldwriter@Oldwriter you should configure your forum user permissions such that new members are not allowed to post x number of threads or replies per day, new members are not allowed to post links in profiles, homepages and thread replies. Most spammers come with one sole objective, to join, post their link and disappear for good, they do not have patience to sit around for their forum permissions to be upgraded, but some still do! I've had spammers here who post like normal members for a week and then suddenly start spammng all over the place. But, this layer of protection using user permissions on forums will help prevent an additional percentage of spam on your forum.

    Active Moderation:
    No matter how many automatic spam prevention techniques you may use, there will always be some users who are able to pass through and spam on your forum. There has to be an active moderation plan for the forum and a moderator should be online at all times. By hiring moderators from different timezones and different schedules, you could have 24/7 moderation in place.

    Being a good moderator:
    Now, if your original thread was mainly to seek help in moderator role. There is only so much you can do as a moderator. Hopefully your forum provides tools for you to use in your moderating role.

    Moderators need easy access to new content posted on the forum, so a regularly updated feed with all new content should be available so you can check what was posted and take action, this feed should be configurable to display only areas or forums you moderate so you can focus on your areas.

    Moderators cannot be too strict implementing forum rules on members, except in the case of spammers. Members are not just members of your forum, they are members all over the internet and different forums setup different rules for posting, links and profile content. There should be a warning system or infraction system in place to warn the member but not totally ban or restrict them from the forum. Too strict moderation will only drive away your members.

    Know your forum well - As a moderator you should be the one to know all areas of your forum better than other members. Moderators' main value added task should be to keep discussions organized and put in the right place. So, to move threads appropriately you should know the rules, areas and sections of your forum in great detail.

    Be available to users - Moderators should be available to users when they need a moderator. Don't ignore user messages asking for advice or help while the use your forum. If you have a good knowledge-base of FAQ section, just guiding the users to the right FAQ can help educate your users about the forum policies and rules.

    Be fair and treat everyone equally - Just as in any authority role, moderators can misuse their permissions to favor some members over the others, this totally ruins the forum community. Be fair in enforcing the forum rules and do not be too harsh or too soft on members based on their locations or other demographics, etc.
     
  5. bharath

    Staff Member Yellow Belt

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    Can you tell is what software you are using on forums? If you are not using Xenforo, then move on as it built for fighting against spam.
    For your query, maintaining a forum from years, hence you might gain more experience, but still saying unable to control.
    These are of things you can do
    1. Hire moderators to clean the forum and approve posts immediately.
    2. Use Spam prevention modules, but I still believe you already tried them in these years.

    Can you specify how you are moderating and what does these bad users doing in your forum?
    If you answer, then I can help you in some way, also take other people suggestions.
     
  6. Zirkon Kalti

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    It is important to get rid of the spammy posts in haste before they are being spotted by Google. You can give infractions to members who are spamming on the forum. You can also detect the IP addresses of spammers and ban the related IPs so that they cannot keep creating new accounts on the forum. If you know the spammer user ID, you can quickly visit their profile and delete all the spam threads and posts. To prevent spam, you should set all links to no follow so that people will not be inclined to post messages just to get free backlinks. You should only allow reputable members to post links.

    You can write a new thread to clarify the rules for those who want to promote and market their products on the forum. Including a CAPTCHA in the account registration can prevent spammers from using robots to register for new accounts. You should require an email confirmation or manual approval for new accounts.To reduce spams, you can activate anti spam plugins. You can ask other members in the forum to help you in reporting spams. Everyday, you should review the list of spams posts in your forum.
     
  7. Oldwriter

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    A great tool for this purpose I personally find more friendly to users are services like peoplesign.com

    peoplesign.

    Many users simply can't solve complicated captchas and they aren't spammers.

    By having some "middle ground" like activity-based human verification, you can address most spammers while still letting humans in.

    Tip: if you go with peoplesign, you are good to set images to only one (1), since it can stop automated while keeping it easy for humans; besides, having 2 or more challenges solved is more of a task for a human spammer who isn't going to be prevented to join by them. If he can solve 1 as a human, he can solve 2+

    Only one image-matching challenge is OK :)
     
    #7 Oldwriter, Jan 4, 2016 at 1:54 AM
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  8. cheezcarls

    cheezcarls It's Game Time!
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    What forum platform are you using by the way @rockymeets@rockymeets? Is it Wordpress-based? Or same script just like WMS? Or anything else? Just like what @Solmak@Solmak had mentioned, you need to install some anti-spam features in your forum. Set some limits for new members in order to control them. I have experience once in other forum that my posts are not yet published as a new member, and they are needed to be moderated by a forum moderator. Hiring quality and experienced forum moderators in different time zones is also a plus as well. The idea of @Oldwriter@Oldwriter is also pretty cool to make sure that the forum poster is a real human being. :D
     
  9. fsdqasmia

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    Always, check the posts written by the members, make sure to delete, warn, and edit the unrelated posts to keep your forums clean.
     
  10. pwarbi

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    I also have to say that I font think there's any tips or tricks to moderating a forum, and it's just a case of making sure you keep on top of the members and posts, and doing what the site owner asks.

    Keeping communication open with the owners and admins is important and in the past, aswell as moderating the boards, I've made sure I've messaged the owners on a regular basis just to make sure they're happy with the way things are going.
     
  11. Alexandoy

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    When I was moderating the forum of our office website, I was using a pseudonym which projects my personality as a young person. I was using the lingo of the young particularly the slang in our language. With that personality, it is easier to get closer to the community members since they see the moderator as not really superior. Being friendly with the community members is a must in a forum especially for new forums that need members.
     
  12. networld

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    I think that is very important. To know the real pulse of the members in a forum it is better to be one among them. Then they will discuss issues more openly which will help you to find a solution more easily. There is nothing wrong in doing this for the overall benefit of the community and long term sustainability of a forum. Having said that any repeated attempts to spam a forum should be dealt with stringent measures, else it will give a wrong message to other members as well.
     
  13. masterbusiness

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    I agree with obtaining the pulse of the members. This way, everybody will have a part in establishing or developing a forum that will be beneficial to greater number of web users.
     
  14. Vinaya

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    In order to make your forum moderation job easier you can ask members to report about trolls, spammers and scammers. You can give rewards of some kind to encourage the members. Flag button can come handy.
     

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