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Old 08-19-2006, 06:52 PM
C K Dexter Haven is offline
Right Hand of the Master
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago north suburb
Posts: 16,078

When and how do I report a post?

Q: I see something posted on the message board that I think breaks the rules. What should I do?

A: Use the REPORT BAD POST button -- the little exclamation point in the red triangle in the upper right corner of each post. When you click on that button, you will see a box above a message that says
This form is for reporting anything you believe would benefit from the immediate attention of SDMB staff, such as spam, advertising messages, and potential violations of forum and/or board rules.
Type in the box to let the forum moderators know why you’ve flagged the post.
This doesn’t have to be a long and complicated message: “spam” or “personal insult” could be enough. On the other hand, if you want something specific done, such as a thread title change, or if there's a personal insult hidden in a lonnnng post, then please be specific, to help save the moderator's time.

Since the message board is so active, and the moderators are unpaid volunteers, we appreciate any assistance that our members can give us. We can't be everywhere, we can't see everything, so we rely on you to report infractions of the rules.

Q: What happens next?

A: Using the REPORT function automatically sends emails to all the moderators in the forum where the problem post has been made. The moderators who receive the email will look at the post you’ve reported and decide what action, if any, is needed.

Q: What if I’m not sure if the person is breaking the rules or not?

A: Report the post anyway and let the moderators sort it out. We would much rather get a dozen reports that don’t need acting on than have someone decide not to report a problem because they’re not positive there’s an actual violation of the rules.

Q: What should I do when I see someone "trolling" on the SDMB?

A: Do NOT publicly accuse another poster of trolling. (The only exception to this is in the forum called BBQ Pit where it is permissible to use the term "troll" as an insult.)

Accusations of trolling and similar misconduct are subject to staff discussion and a review of the poster's history. Trolling is an especially contentious issue, as it is inherently open to interpretation; "stupid" or naive beliefs can often be sincerely held. These discussions are private and disclosed only when actionable offenses are found; we do not want posters to feel persecuted.

As for the correct procedure, we prefer that you either report the post in question or PM a moderator with your perspective and cites. This is then forwarded to the mod loop. Please note that a short, coherent and well-cited PM is the best way to get your point across; we usually analyze just the facts and leave the poster's analysis/opinion out of the discussion.

Please note that while the moderators can appear unresponsive to inquiries, that's because moderator discussions can take days of back and forth. Most topics sent to the moderators are discussed, but occasionally yield no consensus or a decision to take no action. But we're always watching you!

Q: Doesn’t that make me a tattletale?

A: The SDMB is a community, and we rely on all of our members to make it a community where people want to be. Since it’s a community that’s active around the clock, and since the moderators are unpaid volunteers, we appreciate any assistance that our members can give us. We can't be everywhere, we can't see everything, so we rely on you to let us know when there’s something that needs attention. If you see someone being mugged on the street, calling the cops is NOT "being a tattletale."

Q: What do I do if there’s something that needs action from a moderator, but it’s not a rules violation?

A: There are other reasons for reporting posts besides rules violations, a lot of them pretty minor. Examples include:

• A thread started in one forum that should be moved to a different forum
• A thread with open discussion of plot points in a book, movie, or TV show that needs a spoiler warning in the thread title
• A thread with a confusing or misleading title, or one that would benefit from a “TMI” (too much information) warning

If you see a thread like this, use the REPORT button exactly as described above -- it’s not just for rules violations! However, please be specific about what you think needs to be done (the mods won't always know automatically what title change is needed or what should be covered by spoiler tags.)

Q: What happens if I want to change or correct something I said -- can I report my own posts?

A: If you want to edit your own post (for example, if you made a coding error), you have five-minutes after posting during which you can do so. If you miss that time limit, you can REPORT your own post and explain to the moderator exactly what you'd like changed. Note that moderators will not accept edits that are total revisions; once you've posted, you've posted. But we will be happy to help with typos, mis-coding, etc.

You can also use the REPORT THIS POST function to ask that a thread be closed. To do this, click REPORT for the OP (original post; the first post in the thread) and give your reasons for wanting the thread closed.

Last edited by Gfactor; 08-24-2010 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Minor rearrangements and updates -- CKDH