Behind the Scenes: The Moderation Queue, Reports, Process

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Jun 24, 2018


In this post, I will cover how site staff handles the moderation queue, reports, and the process staff use. I will also define all of these. This thread is for the public's knowledge on how their reports are appearing, and what sort of process their report is going through. Hope this helps with any questions someone may have about moderation.

I: Moderation Queue
In some sections of the forum, you might post a thread, and then it shows that it is awaiting moderation before being displayed right above the thread, like this:

This means that your thread has gone into a place called the moderation queue, where threads go to await approval. This is what it looks like:

Moderators check this queue as often as possible. If a thread appears questionable, staff will discuss the thread in order to reach a conclusion about which action should be taken. If your thread is not approved, you will be notified through your inbox.

II: Reports
There are two ways to report a user on the site: by using the report button on a post, or the button on a user's profile. If you are trying to report a specific post the user made, you should use this button:

If a user's avatar or signature is inappropriate, then you should use the report button on their profile, shown below:

When you report a post or a user, it goes into a place where all reports on the site can be seen. This is how staff view reports on users and posts:

Below the above, this can be found:

Staff select either "Resolved" or "Rejected". The assigned button means that the report is assigned to be handled by a specific staff member that will take care of it as soon as possible.

When reporting, be sure to include as many details as possible; as you can see above, the problem with the post might not be so obvious.

Also, please take note that the example report above is not serious and was rejected. Spamming needless reports (abusing the feature) and constantly making reports for no reason is not tolerated by staff.

Another way to report users is via messaging a staff member. However, this is usually only done for violations of section 7 in the site's rules and terms of service, but can be done for other cases that require it.

III: Handling Situations: The Process
When a staff member sends in a thread with moderation status to the rest of the staff for questioning, staff usually wait up to a few hours until they take action themselves. This is a rare case, as they are likely to receive a response from another staff member. Of course, if the thread has been in the moderation queue during early morning Eastern Time (UTC-5) hours, the amount of time that the staff member waits could be longer. Staff question threads if they are unsure if the thread follows the subforum guidelines (which are in a stickied thread called "Introduction to X Subforum"), or the site's rules and terms of service.

When a report is sent in, the moment a staff member notices it, the rest of the staff team is notified. Staff discuss action to take on the given report based on subforum guidelines (which are in a stickied thread called "Introduction to X Subforum") or the site's rules and terms of service. The process usually lasts up to a few hours, but can last as long as a day if the decision is not obvious, or can be as short as 5 minutes if the solution to the report is obvious.

When an appeal is sent in, the staff discuss the appeal and vote on the appeal. The moment all moderators and administrators vote on an appeal, staff alert the user of the result of their appeal. This all usually happens within one week.
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