When Reporting Posts Becomes A Joke In Our Forum

Our online forum was hit by a new wave of spam attacks late last month. Irresponsible students are abusing the 'Report Post' function which enables users to effectively hide any irrelevant posts in the thread. Instead of reporting truly irrelevant comments, the immature spammers are reporting posts which genuinely adds to the thread discussion.

The proliferation of such childish habit should not be tolerated as it can be pernicious to our forums in the future. The credibility of our online forums will be lost. Students may not participate in the forums anymore as they know their opinions are buried almost immediately after they posted them. Furthermore, the forums may even be a battleground between the responsible users and spammers. Quality discussions are compromised.

Nevertheless, several forum regulars such as Chua Wei Qing and Chuah Meng Jinn had suggested a solution for this problem. They suggested that the anonymity privilege of users who reported posts should be removed. This could effectively deter potential spammers from irresponsibly reporting meaningful comments which adds to the discussion.

It is a good idea, but I think it may be unfriendly to other more responsible users who prefer their names to be hidden. Some of the reports are justifiable, that is made to bury genuine irrelevant posts. Those who reported the spam posts may prefer to remain anonymous. It is a privacy issue.

Chua Wei Qing went further by explaining that only the forum administrator can view who reported the posts. However, there seem to no rules and regulations regarding irresponsible reporting of posts. Yes, the forum administrator can catch the culprits but are there rules which highlights that such behaviour is not tolerated?

Forum Discussion - Dos & Don'ts
Please Do...

* Take a position on the question/issue.
* Make a relevant comment.
* Present evidence to support your position.
* Draw friends into the discussion.
* Make an analogy, illustrate your point.
* Ask a clarifying question if you spot contradictions or irrelevant comments.
* Accept criticism gracefully, agree to disagree.

Try Not To...

* Make inane or irrelevant comments.
* Express opinions without supporting them.
* Monopolize the discussion.
* Make personal attacks.
* Piggyback on another's response, without contributing your own ideas.
There should be another line under Don'ts which can go something like, 'Try Not To...Report posts irresponsibly.' Aw Jia Hao Willie when starting his Student Forum wrote in his forum guidelines warning users not to abuse the report function. You can view it HERE. I suggest stiffer rules and regulations for our forums. If anyone commits a crime, he or she should be banned for lets say, a week.

And oh, forum moderators may also be useful in the long run.


Anonymous said...

i think that joshua complaining about people reporting his posts is just making a mountain out of a molehill. it's true that his posts are pompous and he sounds like he knows everything, and do we really need to know that he once moderated a 500 member forum? stop being pathetic, i say. if some people report your posts, so be it. some people don't like you, so they report your posts, what else can others do about it? sure, the forum moderators might work, but only in the short run, imo.

wee said...

if the post is truly irrelevent, why would anyone be afraid that their name be shown when they report the post?

azhar said...

@ anonymous: What else can others do about it? Settle it after school. =)

@ wee: Some people prefer to be unknown. It's like how students prefer to rate TPJCian Times articles as anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I would like to share what I think, no matter how absurd or offensive it may be.

Firstly, I find that some of joshua's posts, are spam. Topics like 'fruits' could be argued as to serve as a discussion about the enthics of spamming, but ironically, I find that it's just another post to boost the fruit level.

Having said that, there are other threads that serve the spamming purpose. Posts like 'spammer's corner' definitly encourage spamming, and sometimes I, myself, find guilty of doing. Sometimes one just lose control and try to attain a better 'status' and the expense of the welfare of the community. Perhaps common forum practices like locking/deleting threads be in place, thus allowing bygones be bygones.

Now, this might get rather personal. I find that joshua compares tpjc with his school too much. I mean, we understand that his school might be better, but how he puts it seem to imply the omnipotence of his school, chucking our resentments aside. I find that rather inconsiderate. But he is doing less of that now, so it's a job well done!

Having said that, let's be objective. Treads tend to side track, it's inevitable. Though most would argue that it's a majour taboo, I find that sidetracking, instead, helps us to understand the other party. (see sidetrack xD) An irrelavent report could be something as small as personal biasness, difference in judgement or even be amplified by a social thing (can't remember the term). It's like a form of pressure to follow suite when you see someone doing it (and i think this is the cause of littering =\)

I tihnk a solution would be to, allowing the fruits to remain, but removing the post counter, ranking (definitly promotes immature acts)...
and i've just realised I'm talking about the spamming problem o.O

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