How to "police" User Photos?

What is the most practical way to make sure Users don’t upload photos onto my site that they shouldn’t (e.g. nude photos)?

I was going to write a PHP script that marks the “photo_approved” field as “no” in my “member” table, and then manually review all new photos.

Someone I was talking to suggested just adding a “report” button and let other visitors to my site monitor things for me.

Thoughts?

Debbie

It might get tiresome to approve every avatar. Probably better to let people alert you to something inappropriate—such as with a report button.

Ralph is awake!! (It’s about time you got out of bed. Oversleeping until Thursday morning. The shame!!) :lol:

Might be a good problem to have… :wink:

Probably better to let people alert you to something inappropriate—such as with a report button.

I forgot. What does SitePoint do?

And if I go my route and people end up waiting 24 hours for approval, would that make people hostile towards me?

I honestly don’t know how all of this would unfold.

Considering that I average 1-5 visitors to my current (static) website each day, I can’t see this being an issue. I mean if I had 100 people upload ONE Profile Photo a day, and I built an Admin Page to review each night before bedtime, I could Approve/Reject 100 Photos in like 5 minutes, worst-case scenario, right?

I just see defacing my website via uploadable images to be a higher risk than one would like…

Debbie

People are free to upload an avatar, and people can flag it down if it seems inappropriate. It’s pretty rare, though, even on a big site like this.

And how would I flag someone’s photo or avatar on SitePoint?

Debbie

Around here, you’d just flag one of their posts and write in the report box that you feel their avatar is inappropriate and why. Of course you may not have to if it is blatantly inappropriate.

And what do you think about my leaning towards wanting to have to approve all Photos before they are published?

Debbie

It treats everyone like a criminal, and in our experience here, 99.9% of people don’t upload inappropriate avatars. Given that you’ll likely not have a huge number of registrations, why not just do a quick check of new user profiles now and then to make sure nothing inappropriate has been uploaded. Seems easier, and a better us of time, than approving every registration.

To be honest, I don’t think it works. It’s something like (for lack of a better way to put it) punishing everyone because of the minority that would abuse the system. In my experience personally, it’s a very poor idea.

I don’t think there is an algorithm out there to filter out inappropriate photos. You will most likely either have to do manual reviews of every photo or hire some people to monitor that. The report button is a good suggestion also.

SitePoint provides stock avatars that new members can use. Once a member has reached 25 posts, then they can upload a custom avatar. That seems like a pretty good compromise to me.

There is another [non-technical] issue you need to consider: What is the definition of “inappropriate”? It is often quite subjective.

With that in mind, the general advice given here to let the user community decide what offends them (by flagging a photo after it has appeared) would make a lot of sense.

A lot more programming logic I have to figure out, but from a business standpoint, yes, I like that approach.

Debbie

Wow, I’m surprised by your and Ralph’s reactions to my idea. :eek:

I wouldn’t be offended if I encountered that, and sorta expect it.

As far as 99% of people not being nefarious I think that is generous.

Debbie

What, I, as the business owner think is appropriate/inappropriate…

My goal is to build a community of mature, forward-thinking people that come to my site and build profiles to introduce themselves, so they can make friends and contribute to the community.

I do NOT want people who “show-boat”, come across like they are 16, or advertise strong views (e.g. “Nobama”, “99%”, “Thug Nation”, etc.), and basically use their Profile or Profile Picture to “hi-jack” the conversation.

(For the record, I think there are A LOT of people here on SitePoint that are the types of Members I am looking for, but just go onto any Social media site, and I’d say 50% of those people (and their Profiles) make me cringe. Sorry, but modern American “me-me-me”, ego-centric culture disturbs me…)

With that in mind, the general advice given here to let the user community decide what offends them (by flagging a photo after it has appeared) would make a lot of sense.

Once I have a vibrant community of the kinds of people I’m looking for, that might well work, but what about in the beginning?

Anyone else want to chime in?

Am I really on an island all alone on this topic?! :shifty:

Debbie

Unfortunately, those same “mature, forward-thinking” people might take offense to a heavy handed administrative approach, especially if it’s unilateral without community input. I know I’ve left online communities which had the potential to be fun and engaging due to heavy handed action by the administrators/owners. And it’s one of the reason I came and started here at SP (though it was webmasterresources at the time) - the owners were involved, but they let the community drive how it developed, and let them police themselves.

And if you are reactionary and open about these, it’s fine. When you try to be proactive and put barriers up which prevent users from showing their individuality, that’s when the problems occur. And if you’re limiting that power to yourself, it does become a barrier - you need to sleep, eat, work, etc. You can’t spend 24/365 in your community. To paraphrase a line which is thrown around in movies alot “If you don’t trust your community, how can your community become trustworthy?”

You may not get that at first - it may take time to weed out those that don’t fit in. And you might find that some of those that don’t “fit in” actually add value and color to your community if given a chance.

I don’t think you’re on an island, but you’re definitely in the minority. And I think you’re worrying a little too much over the small finite details. Profiles might not make or break a community, but micromanagement definitely will.

:tup: on the response, Mr Maxwell!

Okay.

And if you are reactionary and open about these, it’s fine. When you try to be proactive and put barriers up which prevent users from showing their individuality, that’s when the problems occur.

I don’t mind individuality, but modern culture make me cringe. And as stated before, I was taking a proactive stance since security is a major concern of mine, and letting people deface my future website falls under that topic.

I’m also trying to fight off the spammers of the world and send a subtle message that “This website is for grown-ups who are serious about the site’s topic…”

And if you’re limiting that power to yourself, it does become a barrier - you need to sleep, eat, work, etc. You can’t spend 24/365 in your community.

Well, for monitoring Profile Pictures I’d have to disagree, because of this…

I could create an Admin Screen and check “Approve/Reject” for 100 new Photos every night before bed in under 5 minutes. And if I have that much traffic on my site - ummm, I average 1-5 visitors a day on my current static site - then I would be ELATED!!!

(Hell, I’d pay everyone here a quarter - up to 100 people - if they’d come join my website?!) :lol:

Now, not to create a major FORK in my thread, I also have it set up so that all COMMENTS to ARTICLES on my website also need to be approved before they appear.

That is a whole other topic and debate, and one for which your above points may be much more valid… (makes me wonder if I should start a new thread on that topic, which one I also need help with?!) :scratch:

To paraphrase a line which is thrown around in movies alot “If you don’t trust your community, how can your community become trustworthy?”

See, but I’ve never had Teens before!! :stuck_out_tongue:

You may not get that at first - it may take time to weed out those that don’t fit in. And you might find that some of those that don’t “fit in” actually add value and color to your community if given a chance.

True.

I don’t think you’re on an island, but you’re definitely in the minority. And I think you’re worrying a little too much over the small finite details.

That’s what I do best!!! :smiley:

Profiles might not make or break a community, but micromanagement definitely will.

Fair enough.

Debbie

P.S. David (and everyone else), I would like to clarify something…

Do you have more of a hang-up with having to wait to have your Photo approved?

Or, is the fear that I will become a Photo-Nazi and deny everything other than Mickey Mouse?

My focus is on knowing what goes up on my website more so than “micro-managing” people’s Photos…

Debbie

For me, it’s definitely the second more than the first.

And there’s the crux of the disagreement. As soon as you invite me to interact and get involved in your website/community, it ceases to be just “your” community - it’s now “our” community. And there needs to be some semblance of self-ownership and freedom, not a sense of being Oliver and saying “Please, maam, can I use this picture” or “Please, maam, can I post this comment”.

You’re at a crossroads here - you either build a community which allows some semblance of freedom of engagement, or you run a personal blog where people can comment if you allow them too. You can’t have both.

Does this mean you can’t have standards or expectations of behavior? Absolutely not! Just spell them out ahead of time and enforce those standards/rules/laws justly, fairly and consistently. But don’t ask for my involvement and then make me wait to see if I meet your quality standards for what’s allowed.

Wow!! :cool:

Debbie