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Moderation launched on Praja

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Praja related

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.

  1. 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.
  2. To 'review' posts for their links, tagging, formatting and other cosmetic/functional aspects.
  3. To make top quality content more easily accessible to users
  4. 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

  1. 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 If enough moderators flag a post or comment for unpublishing, it will be automatically unpublished.
  2. 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.
  3. All users can vote posts up or down and the posts with highest votes will be predominantly displayed on the front page.
  4. 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?

-Tech team

Comments

silkboard's picture

Congrats Shastri/Shekhar

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70 users have liked.

Congrats Shastri/Shekhar for the roll out.

Great show in thinking this through, and taking in inputs from all. This will come across as self-pat exrcise to members and readers, but at times, one has to paus and appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes to run and improve this website.

We will watch how this works, and fine tune the numbers etc

cheers,

SB

Naveen's picture

Great Job !

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60 users have liked.

Shastri /Shekhar - I can see the links.

Good Job - I think this has now become necessary, & it's need may increase in the future.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

This is the way forward

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74 users have liked.

With this initiative, postings on Praja will gain more respectability and value.  Trying to use Praja for promoting commercial products can also be bamboozed.

Good Job Boys - Keep it up. One for the road (not supposed to drink and drive).

- Vasanth Mysoremath

nijavaada's picture

Commendable now!

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70 users have liked.

This is one commendable move by Prajaites indeed.

I wish this move adds fuel to the drive of Praja, and makes it even better, in fact!

-Nijavaada
s_yajaman's picture

25% too low

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73 users have liked.

I think 25% of moderators concurring is a bit too low.  It should be at least 60% to make sure that there all views are considered before deleting. 

I also think there should be a slightly more rigourous criterion than 300 points.  It could be time spent + 300 points.  

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

tech's picture

Changed the cut-off

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89 users have liked.

Srivathsa,

Have changed the percentage to 40% of moderators for unpublishing of posts. Hope that this number is small enough to unpublish spam posts and large enough to allow a significant portion of moderators to have a say.

It is very hard to gain 300 points on Praja unless you have been here for a while. So I believe a point based cut off is sufficient for now. Should this feature be misused, we will be happy to include users 'age' on Praja.

-Tech

n's picture

Moderation by points

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81 users have liked.

What if a person gets more points by trolling? A more appropriate criteria is to probably give graded weightage to people doing actual work on ground, people attending meetings, people contributing to gyan/geeky aspects, providing "action" posts (including well-researched ones), regular posts and comments in that order.  If that is how the points are based, please ignore the above.


silkboard's picture

Trolling does happen

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67 users have liked.

There are very few here who have accumulated points by mere trolling. With community driven/democratic moderation, trolling may not happen now as "unfit" posts would get moderated out. Comments may go under the radar a bit, thats the only worry.

We will have to adjust that moderation threshold (as Shastri said above) based on observation - should accomodate multiple viewpoints within the moderator community itself, but not be overdone such that moderation doesn't happen. So, there will be a few posts to learn from over first month or so.

Good point about awarding points for "projects". We will build this in the basic project management system that is coming up.

srkulhalli's picture

Keeping it democratic

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67 users have liked.

Good direction. We need to figure out how to keep tab of quality.

Was thinking of alternatives and trying to keep it democratic.  One laternative is like this -

o As a user, if I find a poor quality  post or comment, I push a button.

o The website keeps track of it per author  per user- if it finds it done a few times it sends me a gentle note if I want to ignore the author completely. I can say yes

o OVer time I develop my own list of ignores - nobody else needs to get involved.

o To add to this, the ignore statistic will be available publically, so others can make decisions based on that

o Alternatively I can also "follow" .. for eg: I can say do whatever Krishna does

o We can also have a positive list ..

o All comments are always available and readers can make their own judgement - otherwise it can become subjective and personality dependent

Suhas

abidpqa's picture

Is the voting option available

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69 users have liked.

Hi,

All users can vote a post or comment up.

I cannot see this option. One suggestion, all users of the site should be able to vote either they are registered or not. I have seen that in many sites and think it is very good.

Praja.in comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!



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