The Report Function

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Bells, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    As every poster here is aware, this site's software allows posters to report a person's post if that person is breaking this site's rules. For example, people often report spam (thank you!), personal abuse, threats, posting off topic or in incorrect threads, trolling, flaming, posting pseudoscience in the science forums, and a variety of other reasons that amount to a breach of the rules of this site. That is perfectly okay and why the feature exists. If someone is breaking this site's rules, please report them.

    Moderators are unable to check every single post posted across this site every hour of the every day, and the report function allows people to self moderate and to give us a heads up if someone is breaking this site's rules. When used properly, the report function is an invaluable tool to staff and members alike. And we really like it for that reason.

    To the people who use the report function correctly, what I am about to say is not aimed at you or about you.

    We have come to notice that a few posters are abusing the report function, by reporting posts because they believe that that particular poster is wrong or incorrect in some way, shape or form. We have had days where a person will report up to half a dozen posts in an hour, not because that person is breaking the rules. But because they believe the poster is incorrect and they expect and want staff to intervene and, to put it bluntly, fight their fights for them.

    That is not what the report function is for.

    Obviously, not everyone does this. But the small minority who do this, are causing a massive drain on moderator time and effort. We do not want to have to issue infractions to members for being a drain on staff time. But if it continues, that is the step we will be forced to take.

    If you think someone is wrong or their opinion or view about the thread's topic or discussion is incorrect, that is what the reply function is for.

    If you think someone is breaching this site's rules, then that is what the report function is for

    So before you hit report, ask yourself..

    1. Am I reporting that person because they are breaking this site's rules? Or;
    2. Or am I reporting them because they are wrong in some way, shape or form?
    • If they are breaking this site's rules, then please hit report.
    • If they are simply wrong in some way, shape or form, please hit the reply button and explain to them why they are wrong or incorrect.

    Let me reiterate, the vast majority of members use the report function correctly and we really appreciate it. This is not aimed at them. If you are in doubt, then please hit report. But if you just believe that someone is wrong or their opinion or views are factually incorrect, that is not a reason to hit report.

    We understand it can be nuanced and as I said, if in doubt, then by all means report. But if you are hitting report just to tell us so and so happens to be incorrect and then give us the correct answer or opinion in the report in the hope that we then pass on this correct information to the individual in question, then that is not what the report function is for. In other words, please do not use the report function to tell us, for example, that 2+2=4 and that the poster in question thinks that 2+2=5. This is a general example, but you all get my drift..

    Thank you kindly


    Yazata and expletives deleted like this.
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Are you saying we can report posters who violate the following rules?
    • Abide by basic standards of good manners and courtesy. Remember the human who is reading your post.
    • Do not insult or harass other members.
    • Avoid engaging with members with whom you have a personality clash.
    • Beware of the potential for discussions to become heated - particularly religious and political discussions.
    • Do not flame other members.
    • Do not engage in ad hominem attacks (i.e. attack the argument, not the person).
    • Avoid straw-man arguments.
    Behaviour that may get you banned
    • Personal attacks on another member, including name-calling.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
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  5. Bells Staff Member


    As you well know, MR.

    You have used it for that in the past, so I do not quite understand why you feel the need to come out and state the obvious.

    Just a side note... You should pay particular attention to words like "may".
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    This has always been the case, right? It's not new. Infractions may be issued for breaking the rules of respectful treatment.

    I have no idea how many times I've been reported but, in my 11 years on SciFo, I don't think I can recall a single time I've been given an infraction for being disrespectful (certainly not in the last several years).

    So, either SciFo is very lenient in handing out infractions, or I am a veritable model of respectful treatment, or both.

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016

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