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Vindictive Post reporting YOU RISK BEING BANNED

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Persephone Report 15 Jun 2011 08:22

I was told to do breakfast tomorrow my Thursday night your Thursday morning... I have made culinary arrangements Ginny.


Gai Report 15 Jun 2011 13:45

Two more threads tonight have been Requested for Review for no good reason.

This is getting beyond a joke and what makes it worse is GR are probably too busy chasing errors to find the culprits.



philmoir Advisor Report 15 Jun 2011 14:25


My apologies for being quiet on the boards recently. As you must all be aware we have (and sadly are) experiencing technical difficulties in the last few weeks. We have identified some problems areas and these are being worked on and tested.

But in relation to this thread, thanks for the multitude of comments, and my understanding of the "reporting" issue is becoming clearer. To add my personal opinion, there are some changes that we need to consider. These are taken from the opinion I seem to have gathered from reading the 7 pages of postings in this thread.

1. EDIT Only subscribed (Standard/Gold/Platinum) members can "report" issues with postings. Currently Free members can report but they cannot post. This seems a little unfair as stated by Jonesey, people can abuse this by registering multiple times with temporary emails addresses. If you are unregistered or free and click on report, you should be taken to the login screen/payment page.

2. The link says "Report as Abuse" - it should really be "Report" as most of the subsequent options are NOT abuse related. EDIT: copied from later post - I am suggesting the link is actually changed to just say "Report" - and some indication is given as to what Report is for when you hover over, as well as when it is clicked and a confirm dialog box is presented on screen. And finally the report screen that follows should also make it clear as to its purpose and misuse.

3. Once a post has been reported, we show that it is reported for review. I think it would be helpful to state that it has been reported for review for the selected "reason".

4. When a post that has been reviewed is reinstated, we should indicate that the post has been reviewed and accepted or we should show the post container, and display a message to indicate what was not acceptable or why it was removed.

5. If a thread is a duplicate, then the thread should be locked and a message stating where the duplicate is AND have the link work!

6. If the thread is in the wrong board, it should be moved to the correct board, but the original thread locked and a message stating where the thread has moved to along with a link.

7. If a thread is moved, then all members watching the thread should get ONE email to tell them it has moved. Not sure about this - as you probably hate too many emails coming from Genes if you're very active on the boards.

8. We currently don't have a feature to monitor who is reporting posts, and how many are accepted after they are reported. We need to take much more notice of this, and build into our admin system the ability to highlight repeated "wrongful use" of the reporting feature.

EDIT Added 9. If you click on the Report option, you should get a message asking you to confirm if you meant to do this. AND/OR there should be a cancel Report on the Report page that follows.

EDIT Added 10. Review the 'new posts' icon and consider reverting back to how it displayed before as it is now less useful. See lancashireAnn comment below

EDIT Added 11. Consider that posts are only removed when 3 or more reports are received.

Have I missed anything. I am quite willing to listen to any further ideas on the reporting topic.

These are my "personal" thoughts on the subject.

- Phil


jax Report 15 Jun 2011 14:54

Hi Phil

Re the moving to the correct board

Is this going to happen straight away or will this take place hours if not days later?

Most of the look up threads on genealogy chat are replied to within minutes and the people helping never mention that it is on the incorrect board. so the poster is going to continue posting there if not told.

I for one am not going to make that mistake again as I do not think we should be subjected to being called "The Board Police" just because we mention the sticky at the top of the board



Jonesey Report 15 Jun 2011 15:04


No arguments with what you say/propose. The only comment that I would make relates to your point number one.

Although accepting that "Free" members are still members, to me it seems wrong that such members should have the ability to report for possible censure posts on boards which they themselves are not permitted to post on. I accept that some posts may in some way offend, breach GR's rules or indeed breach the privacy of "Free" members but as has been suggested elsewhere in this thread an alternative way already exists for "Free" members to report what they see as breaches of GR rules or their own privacy. This they can already do by emailing GR.

By allowing "Free" members the right to effectively instantly remove a post, even for a short time (If the review ultimately finds that the reported post innocent and reinstates it) grants the "Free" member rights which others have to pay for. It is I believe akin to allowing someone who is not on an electoral register the right to vote in an election.

It also means that anyone who has an email address and is capable of completing GR's registration procedure whilst not making any financial commitment is then at liberty to maliciously report innocent posts with impunity should that be their wish.


philmoir Advisor Report 15 Jun 2011 16:06

Fair point Jonesey. I would agree that this does make sense. Will edit my earlier post.


jax Report 15 Jun 2011 16:25


Did you overlook my question?



lancashireAnn Report 15 Jun 2011 16:27


the other problem which I think several members would like re-instating back to how it used to be is the 'new posts' icon which currently has no useful function. It just changes to 'no new posts' regardless after 24 hours.

without reading through the 7 pages again I am not sure if this was the right place to comment on this - apologies if in the wrong place


philmoir Advisor Report 15 Jun 2011 16:52

Sorry Jax. No, this won't happen straight away. I would like to see what feedback specially comes along on this for the net few days - in the meantime we're doing performance/stability work or some otehr things that were in the pipeline. I will keep you posted.

lancashireAnn - I will edit the list to take this into account. It seems a fair comment also.


jax Report 15 Jun 2011 17:10

Well then I cannot see any point in moving something that has been completed...only for the purpose that it will not clutter up a board that is meant to be used for questions and tips ect.

So are the members meant to report these posts on the wrong boards or are the Genes staff going to find them?



philmoir Advisor Report 15 Jun 2011 17:18

Hi Jax - my complete confusion in understanding your comment. I thought you were meaning are the changes I refer to going to be done in the next few hours - re-reading your post I now understand. I was referring to where an active and ongoing thread is in the wrong board, then these should be reported - and full indication be given at all times about the state and future state of the thread. If it is closed and it helps de-clutter, then possibly it could still be used - but if there isn't a demand then probably not. I would hope that reporting gets dealt with fairly quickly - but this is something I will have to discuss with the support team.


jax Report 15 Jun 2011 18:44

Sorry you misunderstood me Phil

So members are to report these posts as abuse? reason being incorrect board?



philmoir Advisor Report 15 Jun 2011 18:48

Personally I dislike the term Abuse - and in many cases it is not abuse. Thus I am suggesting the link is actually changed to just say "Report" - and some indication is given as to what Report is for when you hover over, as well as when it is clicked and a confirm dialog box is presented on screen. And finally the report screen that follows should also make it clear as to its purpose and misuse.


SylviaInCanada Report 15 Jun 2011 19:27


what about people who get banned by GR because multiple "abuse" reports have been sent in maliciously?

I know of several occasions where someone has been banned or suspended, and most of us had seen nothing wrong in posts that were reported for review.

I'm not kidding when I say there was a period of time when posts saying "hello" were reported for review!

It sometimes seems as though the banning is an automatic response, based on x number of "abuse" reports received, with no judicious review of what was reported and WHO was doing it.

Is there any way of conducting a review of those bannings, and reinstating the people without any penalty?

Many of the malicious reports seem to happen at weekends, especially late at night UK time. Maybe alcohol involved, or bored people at a loose end. I am under the belief that GR staff do not work at such hours.

Any suggestions as to how to deal with that

Secondly, if people who have been banned because they have been posting maliciously or making multiple reports, are later allowed back, is there going to be a "one strike and out" deal with them?



SylviaInCanada Report 15 Jun 2011 21:06


while you are considering all these viewpoints, what about discrimination?

We all know about racial, sexual etc discrimination

But I and one or two others have at times been told that we have no right to post or contribute to threads, especially on Chat, because we are Canadian and not English. I have been told to "go back to Canada and stop posting on here".

I have been told when providing information on when certain records became available how I could have the nerve to post or know about xxxxx because "you are Canadian"

That's discrimination on the basis of nationality.

and very upsetting

So far as I know, all overseas members have the same rights as UK members.

If I complain to abuse@ about such posts, will it be taken seriously?

even though it is the same 2 or 3 people who repeatedly do this type of thing.

Or will I be the one who ends up being banned?

I never have complained about this in the past ................. partly because I got the feeling that nothing would be done.

I'm afraid that I won't be able to reply to you about your response to this until next week as I am going away for a few days.

But I do hope you will give it consideration.



Gins Report 15 Jun 2011 21:12

Hi Phil

Another idea is rather than just have a sticky about the 'procedures' to posting, you could make it a 'sign' to say you have read it and agree to it and if they dont agree....they cant be a member


TootyFruity Report 15 Jun 2011 22:04

Discrimination should never be tolerated in any way shape or form. Everyone who pays their subs has a right to an opinion which some will agree with and some won't but is not an excuse for making another member unwelcome or to personally attack anyone.


SylviaInCanada Report 15 Jun 2011 22:10


that's what I think, but it seems some people have other thoughts


Researcher Report 15 Jun 2011 22:43

"while you are considering all these viewpoints, what about discrimination?"
- in my opinion, there should be no discrimination of any kind. This site is universal, across the world.


AmazingGrace08 Report 16 Jun 2011 00:45

Thanks for your feedback Phil, that's that first thing I would like to say. It is great that you have taken the time to read the opinions expressed and are looking at taking some action.

I agree with the suggestion re the discrimination etc. You could build this into the new membership/renewal screen where you either agree to meet the conditions of membership or you cannot proceed.

That way both your back is covered in a legal sense, it empowers you at the very least to remove the people who behave in an offensive manner (which can be supported obviously by looking at their posts and personal messages to other members), and the members aren't (hopefully) exposed to these people.

You are correct in that the term Abuse does not really fit the review action - some people would interpret abuse as a physical action rather than someone not acting in alignment with the rules of membership.

I'm looking forwrad to the changes being made (especially if you can advise the poster why a thread was removed, and not just that it has been)