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Causing automatic action due to cumulative reporting?

So, suppose as has happened recently, that a very bad spammer or flamer, or other rule breaker has terrorized part of a forum...

That user/post(s) would probably get reported several times in (relatively) quick succession by several different users.
(Unlike a normal post, or a slightly rule-breaking post, which would not likely get that many reports.)

So, what if the report system could recognize that several reports have been made about a particular user, or a particular user's posts within, say, 24 hours.

Then, the system could 'hide' all posts from that user within that 24 hour period, until they get approved by a moderator. (With a suitable message given to the offender, of course.)

With a system like that, particularly bad offenses would be quickly removed from the forums even without any staff effort.

Preventing Abuse: Simply make abuse of the reporting system a serious offense. The moderators will be able to see who made all the reports when they investigate the reported posts, and the abusers can be warned/punished appropriately.

Coding considerations: The reporting system would need to keep a tally of how many reports (of posts and user directly) a user gets over the time period, making sure to only count reports with unique 'from' fields. After every report is submitted, the report system would need to determine if that count is over the limit, and if it is, change the reported user's recent posts to 'hidden', and mark those reports as a priority for moderators.

The viewtopic page would need a way to have a given post marked as 'hidden', and not display those posts.

Additional moderator interface would need to be built to facilitate hiding/un-hiding posts. Preferably with an option to hide/un-hide all posts by a given user.

In the unlikely event of abuse, an option might need to be added to make certain users immune to that system... (In fact, it may be a good idea to make Frihost staff immune from the beginning, to prevent any kind of 'let's get Bonding's posts blocked today' pranks.)

If that system is too involved and complex, what about simply sending the offending user an automatic warning, rather than hiding posts?
(Actually, that idea gives me the inspiration for yet another spin-off suggestion...)
Would it be ok to limit this to new users with only a small amount of posts? If those users would get a spam report, they would get a 'possible spammer' status and their posts would be hidden for users/guests and only be visible to guests and themselves until a staff member takes a decision.

I don't think this kind of system would be good if applied to any regular users, only for obvious spammers this seems like a good idea.
Excellent idea from Ocalhoun, as per usual ... and I totally agree Bondings about limiting this preventive action to first time posters.
ocalhoun wrote:
So, suppose as has happened recently, that a very bad spammer or flamer, or other rule breaker has terrorized part of a forum...

That made me laugh Laughing

On a serious note though, top idea, and keeping it to newly registered users would seem sensible as I imagine most spammers just trawl forums to sign up quick, spam away for a while then move on elsewhere.
If its easy enough to set up and results in less staff action I'd say again, top idea.
Ghost Rider103
This is an excellent idea.

I agree with Bondings. Applying this function to veteran users would probably be a bad idea.

But this would solve some ongoing issues we've been having with spammers. Some spammers just don't stop with the posting and then creating new accounts. There was a case a few weeks ago a user created around 15+ accounts and went on a spamming spree. Luckily I was online and deleted them as they came. But if I wasn't around at the time this kind of system could take care of it on it's own.
Ghost Rider103 wrote:
There was a case a few weeks ago a user created around 15+ accounts and went on a spamming spree.

It would add yet another layer of complication to the system, but you could also track reported IP's in addition to usernames, then hide that IP...
But, I suppose multiple-account spammers might become more common if the spammers see their accounts being hidden, so it may be an important part.
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