Handling Annoying Users

Our forum has a LOT of options for dealing with annoying users. Here's the rundown:

PUBLIC PROFILE: You can review all public activity by a user in their public profile. Click the user’s avatar or username in a topic, their avatar in the topic list, or search for them, then click the Activity tab under their name.

BLOCK USER: In your preferences, you can mute a user to suppress all notifications from them. You can also ignore a user to suppress all notifications AND posts from them. That page is at https://forum.atlas-games.com/u/USERNAME/preferences/users where USERNAME is your own username.

FLAGS: You can also flag posts to bring them to the attention of the moderators, by clicking on the "..." next to "Reply", then the little flag icon. Posts with 3 flags, or a flag from a trust level 4 user (or a level 3 user on a level 0 offender), will be automatically hidden without waiting for moderator action.

The flag dialog has 5 options: Message User, Off-topic, Inappropriate, Spam, and Something Else.

  • Message User does not cause a flag, it simply opens up the PM dialog.
  • Off-topic, Inappropriate, and Spam cast a flag notifying the moderators, and the user is done.
  • Something Else allows for a custom message and then casts the flag.

There are 4 options for moderators handling flags: Agree, Disagree, Ignore, and Delete. All of them generate an automatic PM to the user who flagged the post.

  • Agreeing with a flag confirms the post is problematic, and opens a dropdown with options to handle it with moderator powers (see below).
  • Disagreeing removes the flag from the post, and unhides the post if it has been hidden.
  • Ignoring the post means the flag will stay in place, but the flag will be removed from the Pending flags list for moderators. If a flag that has been ignored has caused a post to be hidden, the post will remain hidden. Posts that are hidden for more than 30 days are automatically deleted.
  • Delete lets a moderator either ‘Delete Post and Ignore’ to remove the post but not penalize its creator with the flag, OR ‘Delete Post and Agree’ to delete the post and penalize its creator with the flag.

MODERATOR POWERS: Moderators can do the following:

  • Put up a warning post or send a warning PM.
  • Put up a staff notice, which is a call-out that appears by a post, which can be used to remind users of forum rules.
  • Move/merge/edit/hide/delete posts.
  • Close a topic permanently or just for a few days.
  • Silence users for a certain amount of time, so they're prevented from creating new topics, posts, flags, or PMs on the site. They are still able to complete other actions, like “liking” posts, reading topics, replying to PMs, etc. Additionally, they can communicate with moderators via PM.
  • Lock the user to trust level 0. This will limit the number (and frequency) of topics and posts the user can create, as well as prevent them from including too many images/links and prevent the user from casting flags.
  • Suspend users for a certain amount of time, to prevent them from logging in and thus from completing any actions on the forums.
  • Delete a user if they have no posts, or if the posts are less than 60 days old.

Want to know more? The full Discourse Moderation Guide is here: https://meta.discourse.org/t/discourse-moderation-guide/63116

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