[2019-03-08] Reported posts meter and list removed

Hi everyone,

Just to let you know about a small change that I just implemented, which I hope will help to avoid conflicts.

As mentioned here, the Report button has proven to be a very useful tool for 1) Quickly removing offensive posts, and 2) Helping me to understand which users are frequently breaking the BLF Rules. So none of that is changing, and the Report button should still be used as described in the previously mentioned thread.

The third purpose of the Report button was to let users know which of their posts were flagged as rule violations so that they could edit or delete them and avoid making those same mistakes in the future. However, what happened more often than not was that users tended to get really irritated by the thought of somebody marking their post as a violation when they considered it to be perfectly appropriate. This frequently lead to indignant outbursts in threads, accusations of Report button abuse, and even lead some users to openly flaunt their high level of hits on the “meter” and challenge others to mark their posts. This sort of reaction obviously completely violates several of the most import BLF Rules, and I realized that the reported posts meter and list of flagged posts were not serving their intended purpose. So, they are no longer visible to users. However, please keep in mind that the standard for all users remains unchanged — that is to say, friendly, non-argumentative, clean posts that contribute to a fun atmosphere here. Furthermore, as the administrator I can and do still frequently check to see which users’ posts are getting flagged, and with how much frequency, and I will continue to strictly enforce the BLF Rules. So please carefully read over the aforementioned thread again about how and when the Report button should be used.

I would also like to clear up a common misconception. I frequently see posts and PMs from indignant users that are convinced that their posts were incorrectly flagged, and thus they attribute it to abuse of the Report button. However, I can say that in almost every case, I have found the posts in question to indeed be in violation of one or more BLF Rules, and that abuse of the Report button is very rare. As mentioned in the other post about the Report button, the most common rule violation is responding to rude posts. So please remember that even if you are not rude, responding to a rude post and/or a possible troll is a BLF Rule violation, and will only egg him/her on and help achieve his/her objective of causing disruption. Please simply flag rude posts with the Report button and move on, and drop the subject completely if you or another user is starting to get hot under the collar.

Thanks as always to the vast majority of BLF users that help contribute to a friendly and fun atmosphere here on BLF! It’s much appreciated.

1 Thank

BLF is a totally awesome place.

I hope this new change makes it even better.

It should at least cut down on some types of complaining.

Thanks sb for your continuing effort and insights, that make BLF the nicest forum in the world while still keeping moderation at a minimum possible :+1:

There’s a lot I could say, but I’d probably get my post “Reported” so I’ll just say that I won’t say. :weary:

The Rudeness Meter

Born 2016-06-11

Died 2019-03-08

Rest in Peace little meter

:sunglasses: Nice, thanks!

Interesting. The visible meter certainly had tradeoffs… On the one hand, it gave people behavioral hints without the need for admin action. On the other hand, it had a tendency to turn small conflicts into large conflicts. And the way people responded to it, by either correcting their behavior or escalating conflicts further, seems like it sped up the process of identifying the people most likely to cause trouble. Basically, if there was going to be an explosion, it would happen sooner rather than later.

If it’s ever feasible to do on a per-user basis, I’d still like the option of seeing when my posts are flagged. But it’s not a big deal; people have other ways to let each other know when they went too far.

(edit: fixed dvorak typo… dvorak makes it too easy to switch vowels)

Drama Meter

Thanks a lot for your input TK.

That was the idea at least. But in practice I would receive a personally written PM from many users each and every time they got flagged. It was a surprisingly strong reaction, often vehemently defending their opinion that the report was unjustified. I usually begged to differ. :wink:

That’s sort of the paradox here. Users that make a concerted effort to follow the rules and keep the peace (which are the large majority of you) were invariably the same ones that genuinely cared about fixing their flagged posts. Consequentially, with that great attitude those users are almost never on the reports “scoreboard”. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the overwhelming majority of users here generally stay out of trouble; at any given moment there are usually 1 or 2 names on my overview list of users that have recent non-expired reports, and they are usually from the same small group of repeat offenders.

You could have a page listing their handles and mugshots, like are posted behind the counter at stores, those people who bounce checks and the like. :laughing:


So, people were personally PM’ing you over a “Report” hit? Maybe a way to deal with that, if technically possible, would be to make the reporting person choose from a list, which rule is violated. That would cut down on revenge hits, and also make the report more useful to the one who gets reported. I don’t know how much it would cut down on the PM’s, though it should help in some cases. Another option might be to implement some sort of reputation function, and limit the use of the “Report” button to people with a large enough reputation on the site. I don’t know how that would be done technically either.

I know that sometimes, without realizing it, I break a rule that is important to some member. I recently did that, and apologized. But I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t seen the “Report” on my post. Other times, I get hit and never do figure it out, so I assume it’s a “revenge” hit, or a “dislike” hit. I’ve known from the beginning not to “worry” about a hit here or there, but I like to see when it happens. I like having the ability to look at my post and try to understand why it was flagged. Making the “Reporter” specify what the hit was for would help at least me, and maybe a few others. Someone recently suggested a “Challenge” capability be added to the “Report” feature. I think that’s a nice idea as well. It might also cut down on the personal PM’s.

I just really prefer the “Report” function to be visible to the person being hit by it. Otherwise, might as well get rid of the button completely. You say misuse isn’t very common. I think hiding the meter and the hit list could make misuse of the button more common. Shady characters love the shade.

I had to google this word indignant i can’t even pronounce it properly lol sigh.

Thumbs up on a great job of keeping BLF on the top! :+1:

Hey DavidEF, also thanks to you for your input.

The thing is, this assumes malicious intent by the reporting user. As I mentioned earlier, I often review the reported posts, and the report is almost always justified. I’m not trying to cut down on the number of reports, but rather on the amount of ancillary fights and arguments that break out (usually in public) as a result of a report, however well justified the report may be.

That’s a fair point. But I would like to emphasize that this is not granting impunity to any shady actors. I can and do fully audit both the receiving and the giving parties with the Report button, and in the rare cases that I have observed abuse I usually permanently close the user’s account.

Why don’t people just send a PM when they think someone is rude (not to sb :person_facepalming: ) and have a wee argument about it between themselves? :smiley:

So what happens now?
I understand that not much has changed except people can’t see what they have written that has been marked rude by someones opinion so don’t get a jist for it and may continue genuinely unaware.
Do you have a limit that once reached forum members get a surprise (or not so surprise) dressing down or warning message from the admin, or banned?

Asking for a friend :smiley:


No firm limits, every case is different. But unless it’s a total psychopath they always get several warnings first. As I mentioned, most bad behavior comes from a small number of repeat offenders that don’t really appear to care about their number of reports and aren’t trying to improve. In my experience here, I’ve seen more cases of users reacting well to one of my PMs and changing their behavior than users that analyze their reported posts and self-moderate themselves. Nobody has been banned on a whim just because of an occasional slip-up or for having a bad day; you practically have to ask for it to get banned.

Also I should mention that when I talk about closing the account(s) of users that abuse the Report button, I don’t mean cases where I don’t personally agree with the report. Everyone has their own opinions and particular sensitive spots, and I respect that. So don’t hesitate to report a post if you think it violates the BLF Rules. Accounts are only closed for abuse in extremely obvious cases of somebody trying to game the system, and I can’t even remember the last time that happened.


my only personal complaint was for trying to moderate a rude comment.
I should have just pushed the button.
Probably the best move for everyone SB.