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  1. #1
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    HAWK's Avatar
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    Do You Hate Fluff & Spam? Then Help Us Do Something About It.

    Yup... you heard me. We all talk about how much of an issue low quality (fluff) posts and spam are, but there are (literally) only 4 or 5 people on this entire forum (outside of staff) that actually report posts for moderation or removal.

    If you see a post that is rubbish, please click the orange Flag Post button report.gif so that a moderator can do what is required.

    The poster won't know that you reported them - everything is done behind the scenes. If you are not sure if a post should be flagged, do it anyway - the moderators will make the final decision.

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    What about perhaps giving members some sort of incentive to report fluff/spam as suggested in your other thread?

    Like a lot of members, I see a lot of fluff and spam and I think I have reported it on only 3-4 occasions in total because I tend to think why take the time to report it when someone else might report it and it's really the moderators' job to clean up the spam/fluff, not mine.

    But if I had an incentive to take the time to report spam/fluff then I would take the time to report it.

  3. #3
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    So, when might you use the orange flag?
    • Obvious spam
    • Suspicious self-promotion - where someone keeps finding ways to drop links to their own website into the discussion
    • Fluff - one liners, messages that just repeat what's already been said, or anything so vague as to be meaningless
    • Abusive or offensive - personal attacks, bigotry, hate speech etc.


    You can also use it to report posts that are perfectly OK, but have been made in the wrong forum - eg a question about using an <img> tag that was asked in the Graphics section but would be better in the HTML section - that way we can move it to the right place so that it has a better chance of being answered.

    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    Like a lot of members, I see a lot of fluff and spam and I think I have reported it on only 3-4 occasions in total because I tend to think why take the time to report it when someone else might report it and it's really the moderators' job to clean up the spam/fluff, not mine.

    But if I had an incentive to take the time to report spam/fluff then I would take the time to report it.
    Just to put it into perspective - there over 40 of us 'staff' (team leaders, advisors, mentors and of course HAWK), and several hundred new posts every day. We can't be everywhere, we can't see everything. We do the best we can, and what can be slightly frustrating sometimes is that you probably have no idea just how much fluff and spam we do delete, because we get to it before you see it. The more everyone joins in with reporting the rubbish, the quicker we can deal with it, and the less you'll all see. And that's when you start to get a positive feedback loop, because new members see a higher standard of discussion without all the fluff, so there's a better chance that they will refrain from making fluff posts too.

    I hear what you're saying about some kind of incentive, and we are looking at what we can do there. But without wanting to sound sanctimonious about it, this is a community. We're all here to help each other. The incentive is that you'll get a better forum out of it. We're volunteers here, just like you. The community is only as good as the people who make it up, and while we staff members are specifically tasked with patrolling and policing the forums, it's up to everyone to do their bit. The more help you give us in doing that, the less time we have to spend doing the dirty work and the more time we can spend reading and contributing to the discussions, which is why we come here, just the same as you.

    We don't necessarily expect you to go wild and start flagging every slightly iffy post - how about starting small, and pledging to flag one bad post every time you visit?

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    You are making valid points and I agree in general with what you are saying but maybe I am misinterpreting the tone of the title and original post of this thread -

    Do You Hate Fluff & Spam? Then Do Something About It.
    To me it sounds like we are being "instructed" to report fluff/spam and not being "asked" to help out.

    I post on 3 other websites besides this one and I have no vested interest in any of them and I am not on anyone's payroll and so I don't take orders from anyone on any website, well not for free at least

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    I tend to think why take the time to report it when someone else might report it...
    .
    Because this isn't my forum, it isn't HAWK's forum - it's OUR forum. Your's, mine, everybody's and its all our responsibility to take out the trash.
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    The world for me does not revolve around this website or any other. As I mentioned in my previous post

    I post on 3 other websites besides this one and I have no vested interest in any of them and I am not on anyone's payroll and so I don't take orders from anyone on any website, well not for free at least

  7. #7
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    If the title of the thread ruffled your feathers, keep in mind that it is only a stylistic choice to grab a reader's attention.

    If you don't wish to contribute in this fashion, that's fine--nobody is forcing you to. It's just one of the ways folks can help out the community while they're going about their business on the forums. If they happen to see a post in a thread they're reading that looks questionable in some way, they can just click the orange flag. No mess, no fuss--it's quick and easy and helps keep the community clean.
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  8. #8
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    I reported a spam post once and I found the orange flag and "Flag Post" text confusing. I didn't know we should be reporting fluff.

    After you click the flag you get the message: "Note: This form can be used to draw the attention of the moderators to a post that concerns you for any reason. Please don't be afraid to use it." (No mention of possible reasons in the note though.)

    Perhaps you can add some text next to the flag such as "Flag post to report possible spam, fluff, abuse, or wrong subforum."

    Or maybe a "more" or a "What's this?" that pulls up a popup with the reasons to flag as listed by Stevie D in a previous post.

    I would also appreciate a simple way on the form to select the reason the post has been flagged (check boxes, radio buttons, or drop down) rather than just a text box.

    I have read the thread that said that the featured threads are coming back that also mentioned a possible "best of" alternative to stickies; we might want to be encouraged to flag excellent posts as well as objectionable posts.

    I suppose the swift elimination of many of these explains why I get new-post email notices on subscribed threads that have no new posts when I check them.

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    Off Topic:


    (sort of off-topic)

    I have flagged this post (#13) as fluff because it repeats what was posted 2 posts earlier in this post (#11).

    hmmmm...................I wonder if the moderator who posted the alledged fluff or any other moderator will also judge it to be fluff and delete it.

    If nothing else, it will clear up the definition of what is and what isn't fluff.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    To me it sounds like we are being "instructed" to report fluff/spam and not being "asked" to help out.
    Fair call. I'll edit the title.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karin Sue View Post
    I reported a spam post once and I found the orange flag and "Flag Post" text confusing. I didn't know we should be reporting fluff.
    All good - that's why I've started this thread.
    I like your idea about giving more info though.

    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    [ot]
    If nothing else, it will clear up the definition of what is and what isn't fluff.
    You'll find a very clear definition here.

    But no - I wouldn't consider the post that you flagged to be spam. It repeats a theme but it explains it in a different way and was well thought out and worded - definitely not low quality, which is what a fluff post is.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK View Post
    You'll find a very clear definition here.

    But no - I wouldn't consider the post that you flagged to be spam. It repeats a theme but it explains it in a different way and was well thought out and worded - definitely not low quality, which is what a fluff post is.
    Fair enough, ultimately it's your call.

    But I note in the link you posted that one of the criteria defining what is not fluff is:

    New -- something that hasn't already been said in the thread.
    Imo post #13 is a carbon copy of post #11 but more verbose. There is nothing I am told in post 13 that I was not told in post 11, hence my opinion is that post 13 is fluff.

    So since I have a different view of what fluff is I don't see any point in me spending time flagging posts, when I could spend the time on a higher priority, since Force Flow mentioned that:

    If you don't wish to contribute in this fashion, that's fine--nobody is forcing you to.

  12. #12
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    I've reported fluff/spam in the past but I've never liked having to give a reason, and given that it's the moderators call anyway, why not remove the 'message' box. When the mod gets the report they should be able to easily figure out why it was reported and if they can't they're unlikely to remove it anyway right?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    Imo post #13 is a carbon copy of post #11 but more verbose.
    Therefore by definition it is NOT a carbon copy.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    I've reported fluff/spam in the past but I've never liked having to give a reason, and given that it's the moderators call anyway, why not remove the 'message' box. When the mod gets the report they should be able to easily figure out why it was reported and if they can't they're unlikely to remove it anyway right?
    Good point JJ, although it should be optional as sometimes the reasons are open for discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ View Post
    Therefore by definition it is NOT a carbon copy.
    .
    But I went on to say:

    Imo post #13 is a carbon copy of post #11 but more verbose. There is nothing I am told in post 13 that I was not told in post 11, hence my opinion is that post 13 is fluff
    But the point is moot because according to Force Flow it is optional whether I have to flag posts or not and so when you said:

    Because this isn't my forum, it isn't HAWK's forum - it's OUR forum. Your's, mine, everybody's and its all our responsibility to take out the trash.
    you were not telling the truth entirely because I have no vested interest in this or any of the other 3 websites I post on and so it is in no way my responsibility to flag posts or "to take out the trash"

    Like I said, I'm not on anyone's payroll and I don't take orders from you or anyone else on any website for free

    I've already said I won't be flagging anymore posts for the reason stated earlier.

    Bottom line: if you're going to make statements that include me, at least get your facts straight before posting

  15. #15
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    Well aint you just the Community Spirit.

    So to recap:
    Dont flag if you dont want to.
    Dont post if you dont want to.
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikeZ View Post
    Well aint you just the Community Spirit.
    Like I said, for me the world does not revolve around SP or any other website. If it does for you then so be it, but there are higher priorities for me in this world.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    I've reported fluff/spam in the past but I've never liked having to give a reason, and given that it's the moderators call anyway, why not remove the 'message' box. When the mod gets the report they should be able to easily figure out why it was reported and if they can't they're unlikely to remove it anyway right?
    Sometimes, but not always. Some fluff is obviously fluff, but some of it is not, especially in a long and complicated thread. A moderator who has not been reading and following the thread might not see where the same information has been given already as easily as someone who has been reading and participating in it. That's particularly true for scraper bots.

    Yes, usually we can see why a post has been reported, but everything that members can do makes our job that little bit easier helps us, and that helps the forum as a whole.

  18. #18
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    The message box is there because the REPORT button is multi-purpose not just for questioning posts of a dubious nature. Several times per week I have to request for posts to be moved. Even if the the Moderator can second-guess it might be a request for a move or an typo that needs correcting or a e-mail than needs masking, it is there as supportive evidence.

    Obviously it is is one of the spam-monster robots that just post a URL to; 'buying cheap, cheap handbags' or whatever then the report might be brief, e.g. "I think this is a Spambot."

    Whereas in other cases it's not always clearly defined or may need a in-depth report. Usually that latter occurs when some of the members start getting too personal with their comments. Perhaps even making sarcastic comments of a personal nature targeted towards another specific member purely for the sake of vendetta and vindictive engagement, etc.

  19. #19
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    Yup, sometimes an explanation is necessary. Feel free to just put in a . or something if it's self explanatory.

  20. #20
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    Okeydokey.

    How a button for reporting whole threads as fluff? That would come in handy in the SEO forum. I'm only half kidding.
    It's 530 people, but do you really get it?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    How a button for reporting whole threads as fluff? That would come in handy in the SEO forum. I'm only half kidding.
    Just report the OP, with a comment like 'whole thread is fluffy'.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScallioXTX View Post
    Just report the OP, with a comment like 'whole thread is fluffy'.


    Off Topic:


    Slightly off-topic, but unless I am being blind, the section at the front page of the forum which presented you with threads you had recently been participating in has disappeared. I know you can go to your profile to find this info, but that extra step I am certain cuts down engagement in discussions, and would be easy to get rid of again.

    There is ample room for such a feature to the right of the forum listings, below the current recent posts bit.
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