Moderation of new editors: creating a monitoring list/greylist

(Sphinx Knight) #1

This post is a scenario/use case for a new feature. Please add your feeback :slight_smile:

Currently, the spam moderators receive an email each time someone makes a first edit on an MDN article. I’ve noticed some of those first edits are almost empty edits and there is no way to check if the following edits are “ham”.

By being able to have a “greylist” class of users and receiving an email each time one of these users edit a page, one could possibly detect some spammers later on.

Is this a good/bad/meh idea?

(Chris Mills) #2

I quite like the idea of having something like this - I’ve often thought that just checking the first edit is probably not enough and too easy to get round.

(Eric Shepherd) #3

Agreed. Coming up with the right design for how it would work might take some effort though.

(Kadir Topal) #4

I agree it would make it easier to check up on people. On the other hand: most issues with spammers are actually caught with the first edit as far as I can tell. The rest looks more like vandalism or people not knowing what they are doing. My guess is that what we need is probably a way to send the latter a quick message. What do you think?

(Eric Shepherd) #5

This isn’t just about spam though. It’s also about adhering to our content structure and style guidelines. If we can use a moderation system of some sort to identify new contributors who are trying to do the right thing but doing it wrong, we can nip it in the bud and help steer them toward doing great work.

(Jmedley) #6

I completely agree, Eric. I’ve been encouraging Chromium contributors to monitor pages for the APIs they create and fix them when necessary. Being mindful of structure and style, I’ve asked them to contact me with any issues take them more than five minutes to fix. What would be nice would be a way for me to moderate my Chrome homies (Chromies?).

(Stephanie Hobson) #7

I think this is a great idea!

I see a couple competing use cases here:

  1. Users everyone should monitor and will eventually block or remove from the monitoring list.
  2. Individuals wanting to monitor individual users.

I think the feature looks pretty different depending on which way we want to go.

Spam monitoring:

  • spam admins only
  • emails to the entire list
  • adding or removing someone does it to the entire list

=> this would look a lot like the current spam monitoring tools

User mentoring:

  • individuals identify individuals to watch
  • adding or removing someone only effects your list

=>this might look a lot like the “watch” feature for pages edits only for users

The user watching feature could probably be used for spam monitoring but spam monitoring feature would not be much help user mentoring.

As Kadir said, most spammers are caught with a first edit so maybe the user watching feature would be more useful to more people?


(Eric Shepherd) #8

I agree with that. Besides, the spam monitoring thing can be done using that same mechanism if only a few people are doing the monitoring. But I think the ability to use it for mentoring contributors and such has a lot of value.


(Kadir Topal) #9

Just wondering, is monitoring the requirement here, or could the issue be addressed with a private message system too?

(Janet Swisher) #10

6 posts were split to a new topic: MDN feature suggestions

MDN feature suggestions
(Sphinx Knight) #16

I might sound pedantic but this thread is originally about monitoring new editors so please create any thread you need to tackle issues not directly related to this topic.

@atopal In the case of ‘User mentoring’ described by @Stephanie_Hobson, I’d think monitoring is a requirement. According to my experience, except during IRL events (when we can talk directly), mentoring is a pretty asynchronous task. That being written, if there is no way to discuss with the editor (whether by email (which is not available on MDN) or via social networks’ handle), it’s a dead end.

(Janet Swisher) #17

I moved the discussion of other features to a separate topic.

(Olivia) #18

As a new contributor I would personally appreciate having someone look over my contributions and amend them or steer me in the correct direction if possible. I am here with the intent to help out and have paid close attention to the style guide aswell as being mindful of how useful the content that I add will be but nobody starts off perfect.

This kind of feature could definitely be used to help guide new users aswell as detecting spam. Perhaps new users who are not completely confident yet who wish to have their content moderated or even given feedback on could sign up for something like this aswell.

I would personally find it very helpful and appreciated to have a more experienced editor/contributor look over my submissions, approve them to let me know I’m headed in the right direction and possibly give feedback.

(Chris Mills) #19

Thanks for the suggestions Olivia.

We already do this, but not in as direct a way as you might think. We tend to use the “Watch” function to watch for changes on areas of MDN that we are interested in.

I guess what you are asking for is some kind of explicit “please flag up all of my changes” type of option. We don’t have anything like this right now, but we could add it if the idea proved popular enough.

In the meantime, you are welcome to drop me an e-mail if you want me to review any work you do.