Moderation etiquette

  • 8 February 2018
  • 12 replies
  • 413 views

We know that moderation here is random as often as the spam filter is ineffective.

Even if it that was not to be the case, is it not a courtesy to notify posters whose posts have been swallowed up by moderation and are not to be seen after a defined number of hours thereafter?

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12 replies

The spam is still rampant, the spam filter still swallows random legitimate posts like a Roomba, and there is no response from Sonos to the question posed.

Nor do binned posts after a reasonable time, as far as I can see.
My expectation for "moderated" posts that are made at this time of day is that they won't show up for around another 14 hours. But that depends on whether Edward is "on the boards" or not. If he is, it might be a little earlier, since he's in the EU, not here on the west coast of the US in the Pacific time zone, where both Keith and Ryan are.
My problem is with those that don't show up more than 7 days after; and perhaps even never. Who is to say unless one keeps track of them after that time as well. This is as random as the filtering that happens in the first place.
Ah, yep, that would be a problem, to be sure.
It appears that Sonos has decided that moderation etiquette isn't a chapter in their book.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Hey Kumar, I'd like to think etiquette ranks highly on our list of priorities. I know it's been very busy getting through the holidays and some traffic from the updates. Simply put, our moderation has been behind. We're doing what we can to improve things and are well on our way to being caught back up, and we'll continue to keep building up the team here.

It's a good suggestion to let people know when a post is pulled out of the spam filter if it's been there for a little while. We'll see about adding that to our workflow. We usually do so for posts that have inappropriate content and will reply to posts that are reported.

In general, posts that get caught in the filter don't stick around long in there. We don't want anyone's post to hang out in limbo for long, and will strive to keep that time as minimal as possible. Ultimately we'd love to see the filter not marking people who are trusted posters, like you guys. Just like we'd prefer to have it not be needed at all.

It's unacceptable for a post sit in moderation for a week, really anything longer than the first couple hours of the next business day after it's posted isn't ok. If you have a post that you think vanished into the filter, please let one of our staff know and we'll make sure to locate it and bring it out. The filter shows us all posts that are caught which is many thousands of posts, so my hope is that you don't have one that disappeared into the noise of the spam.

Thanks for helping out here, we all appreciate your voice in helping others. We know the spam is irritating, we're working on it.
we'd love to see the filter not marking people who are trusted posters, like you guys.

If you have a post that you think vanished into the filter, please let one of our staff know and we'll make sure to locate it and bring it out. The filter shows us all posts that are caught which is many thousands of posts


If plaques and awards can be handed out automatically by just post counts, I can't see that the first part is rocket science except perhaps for InSided. Anyone with more than a carefully considered number of posts that have never been caught is probably all the program logic needed.

As to the second, I have numerous posts that have vanished, never to reappear. How am I to let you know what it looks like 7 days after it has vanished, in a manner that you can find it, with no record of it anywhere? It would be hard to even recall the thread where it was posted.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
We turned on a feature a couple days ago that put all first-time posters through a pending filter. We're testing it out to see how it works vs the spam.

The way the spam filter itself works it checks only the content of a post and has no checking on who the poster is. I've had my own posts put into moderation as it's entirely based on the content of the post itself.

If you suspect a thread hasn't reappeared, or if a post of yours goes in and you don't see it after a short time, feel free to let me know. I'll make sure that it gets pulled out. I've gone through and made sure that you don't have any posts in the filter. I've scrubbed through the last 3 months today and made sure there aren't any missed posts in there. You don't have any posts that are currently in there.
Thank you for restoring 15 day old posts; although having them turn up this late puts a spanner in an existing conversation that the post was supposed to be a part of, that cannot now be resurrected.

Moving on: If the spam filter only sees the contents of the post, with no regard to the credentials of the poster, this is an error that works on two fronts.

First, the filter is clearly not intelligent enough to understand that none of my posts that are now restored in full, were spam in the first place; so clearly, something that establishes poster credibility is also important if the filter intelligence cannot be made good enough to do a better job.

Second, spammers use this "intelligence" to copy/paste posts that have appeared after passing the spam filter, and using just the title for the spamming cause. Since the spam filter only looks at post content, the spam isn't caught - as we have seen here.

None of the preceding is rocket science. And the spammers, as spammers go, are crude. But that seems to be enough to defeat InSided.

Finally, the volunteer managed Forum did a much better job of managing this issue than how the paid combo of Sonos+InSided is doing now. Why is that? And beyond that, are you busy reinventing the wheel? Have you asked the unpaid volunteers what they were doing that allowed the old Forum to be a cleaner place?
Finally, the volunteer managed Forum did a much better job of managing this issue than how the paid combo of Sonos+InSided is doing now. Why is that? And beyond that, are you busy reinventing the wheel? Have you asked the unpaid volunteers what they were doing that allowed the old Forum to be a cleaner place?
The vBulletin board had an 'auto-moderator' function which put suspect posts into a bin for mod attention later. I don't know the detail of how it came to its decision, but a low post count and the presence of links were certainly factors. The net nanny could apparently be fine-tuned, but that was dealt with by the (Sonos) admins. There were four user moderators, split between the EU and US, so one or other of us tended to fish false positives out of moderation within a few hours. At the same time dire retribution could be handed out to spammers, whether or not they'd been caught by the auto-mod.

Behind the scenes I would also preemptively clear out dozens, sometimes hundreds, of 'sleeper' spam accounts which had been registered with a view to their being activated later. Where it was apparent that the source was a contiguous set of IP addresses, often in countries where Sonos didn't operate, these could be blocked by request to the admins.

Traffic on the old forums was obviously a lot less than here, as the user base has expanded and this has become a primary support channel.

Traffic on the old forums was obviously a lot less than here, as the user base has expanded and this has become a primary support channel.

I agree it is more now, but I don't think it is by orders of magnitude from what it was in its last successful year of service. The forum was a busy place then as well.
I am also a member of another Indian automotive forum that has 150.000 members and 20,000 active online ones at any given point in time. In my nine years there, I have never seen any spam; not once. The site is actively moderated to maintain quality, so this must be an important offshoot of that effort. I am pretty sure that one runs on V Bulletin.
It just takes the intent to get something done.
I also have a strong sense that there was a higher level of ownership in the volunteer moderators.