What, exactly, is the moderation policy on these forums?

I just posted a question to the “Website Design” forum and it tells me that it’s being held for moderation.

A real question about a project I’m doing, not a stupid SPAM or stupid back link, that I could not find covered in existing questions. I think it would help someone else if discussed, too.

As for moderation, fine and dandy, it’s “your” turf, I suppose, but it’s quite discouraging to be a registered member and to have to wait in line for a little visibility on a forum that doesn’t even seem to be that busy. I know that newbies are a poisonous cancer and are to be distrusted at all costs but it seems quite anal.

I have searched this section for a permalinked explanation of what it takes to be anointed to post in real time and I’m getting nowhere. I know, RTFM, but forums like this have competition, you know.

How, exactly, does this work? And, assuming my post is approved, do I also have to be moderated just to respond to questions in that thread I started?

There are several things in place that put posts into moderation.

I’m guessing the thread you’re reffering to is the one you made Yesterday, 22:50
a full 23 minutes before you posted this.
It was approved 3 minutes before you posted this thread.

I guess 20 minutes seems like a long time to you, but please keep in mind that the 21 forum moderators are volunteers, are not assigned “working hours”, and are here when they can be.

So how long it takes depends on how many moderators are here at any given time and how busy they are.
And although you may only see the “face” of the forums, there is a lot going on behind the scenes that most members are unaware of.

In the future if you have something urgent, you can check to see what moderators are here (found at the bottom of the “Home” and “Forum” pages with their names colored green or blue) and PM one of them.

Ok, thanks. And I do see that fast approval. Just to clarify: I was NOT complaining about any time that approval takes. I was actually expecting that overnight was reasonable.

My question was, what is the policy that causes my posts to be held for moderation? Do I need more posting history or some blessing or something? Or are certain forums always held for moderation?

In a perfect world there would be no need to send any posts into moderation and all would be posted instantly.
Unfortunately there are a lot of poor misguided individuals that think SPAM is a good thing that will actually do them some good.

To combat SPAM and in an effort to maintain a level of quality in the SitePoint forums, a lot of things have been put in place, and they change as need arises.

For example, all new threads in the Review forum go into moderation regardless so several criteria can be checked, there are filters that check for post length, post content, blacklists, etc.

So it’s impossible for me to say exactly why your thread went into moderation.

It’s not an easy thing using scripts that will hopefully have a good balance between stopping all the bad and allowing all the good. Unfortunately some that should be stopped get through and some that should go through get stopped. It is the moderators task to assess and deal with appropriately.

In addition to what Mittineague said, there are occasions when the backend system chooses to moderate a post for no obvious reason, so apologies if that’s the case for you. It has been looked into, but without much of an answer as to why it happens. Anyhow, as you saw, we do jump on it pretty quickly, so you won’t have to wait long for the thread to be unmodded if it happens again.

In the end, it’s better to have a trigger happy system that errs on the side of caution, as the vast majority of threads/posts that go into moderation are infernal spam that you really wouldn’t want to have to trawl through to find legitimate posts. :slight_smile:

Ok, thanks, guys. I guess it’s better than a forum that fills up with crap.

The human attention to post approval will make this work. I’m just burned out on some (other) communities with equally strict moderation practices that never get around to post approval. That’s why I overreacted.

No worries, I can understand your frustration. We were looking at making the moderation message a bit more user-friendly, but I don’t know if it actually made it onto the work plan - @HAWK, is anything happening with that at the moment?

I’ll get onto it next week. Sorry for the frustration @donw9876 ; :slight_smile: