We had recently solicited ideas for introducing moderation on Praja for Posts and Comments. We thought it was essential to have a moderation system to retain the no-nonsense flavour of Praja as we grow. We are thankful to all those who responded and are happy to announce the launch of moderation system on Praja.
There are four facets to moderation on Praja.
- To remove content that is deemed to be unfit for publishing on Praja by its members. This include posts that contain spam, hate speech, rumours etc.
- To 'review' posts for their links, tagging, formatting and other cosmetic/functional aspects.
- To make top quality content more easily accessible to users
- To provide a way for all users to bring objectionably content to admins' notice
Principles of moderation on Praja
Keeping with the democratic principle of Praja, the moderation is also democratic
and as transparent and objective as it could be. In summary, to meet the above objectives we have worked with following principles
- Most active Praja members become 'moderators' who can 'flag' content for unpublishing. If enough moderators flag a post or comment for unpublishing, it will be automatically unpublished.
- All posts published will be reviewed by one of the administrators 'only' for their technical consistency (formatting, tagging, links etc). Admins will NOT unpublish the posts during this review.
- All users can vote posts up or down and the posts with highest votes will be predominantly displayed on the front page.
- All users should have a facility to bring objectionable content to admins' notice
Of these, we are launching all but the third feature today. We hope to launch the third feature soon.
Details of unpublishing posts and comments
- Users who earn a certain number of Praja points (currently 300) get the right to become a moderator. The eligibility criteria will be continuously adjusted in future as to have approximately top 10% of active users as moderators.
- Once a users earn moderator role, they see a link below each post/comment which says 'Vote to unpublish this post/comment'. If the moderators think that a post/comment is inappropriate for posting on Praja, they click the link.
- If more than a pre-set number of moderators vote to unpublish the post (currently set to 25% of moderators ), the post is automatically unpublished.
- An email is sent to the author and site admins indicating that the post/comment has been unpublished.
- If a post in unpublished, the author loses 15 Praja points as a penalty. (This is not currently turned on)
- Administrators have the right to 'veto' this decision. This power is given more for correcting accidental errors rather than to provide for an appeal process. No appeal process is available for unpublished nodes. All unpublished nodes will also be reviewed by admins to ensure that the removal was not accidental.
Details of review by admins for technical aspects
- Once a post is published by a user, it is added to a special queue 'needs review'. The post remains published when it is on the queue
- All admins can see the queue and they can review each node.
- During the review admins make sure all the links in the post are working, the formatting is appropriate and files and images uploaded are relevant. The tags on the post will also be edited suitably. [This review exists to help our technically challenged members and should not be taken as an excuse to post ill-formatted posts].
- Once a node is reviewed by one of the admins, it is removed from the queue.
Details of highlighing good posts
- All users can vote a post or comment up
- Once a certain number of users (a percentage of all users) vote a post up, it will appear on the front page
- Author will receive an email and gain 5 bonus praja points.
[Note: This feature is yet to be implemented]
Details of reporting abuse by a user
- All the registered users will see a link below each post/comment which says "Report Abuse". If any user thinks that the post/comment is inappropriate for posting on Praja,they click the link.
- After a pre-set number of users report this (currently 2), an email is sent to the admins to further look into it.
- However, the post/comment is NOT unpublished automatically.
As you would expect, all the numbers (Praja points, number of moderators, number of votes to unpublish a post etc.) are tentative and will be fine tuned in future.
We would be eager to know your views on the moderation approach. Criticisms, praise, suggestions and request for clarification are all welcome. We will be happy to include any suggestions conditional upon the technical feasibility of those suggestions.
Can we ask all moderators to confirm that they are seeing the appropriate links please?