Saturday, 5 December 2009

Redbridge-i Forum Topic Moderation

Whilst I agree in principle to "moderated" forums, I would like to express my opinion that forum content moderation times should not be restricted to weekday hours of 8am til 6pm. My reasoning behind this view is that evening and weekend time is when many forum and internet users are likely to be on line and want to express views. By restricting the times to office hours only the act of "community engagement" is stifled during these times. In my opinion during the stifled hours there could be many citizens replying, commenting and even expressing opinions, but who are totally oblivious of what others are saying because their comments have to be approved. In effect the expressed views and comments of the citizens of Redbridge cannot be shared between the hours of 6 pm Friday until they come home from work on Monday evening! Surely this is not in the spirit of "community engagement" in this age of the internet is it?

Take for example the recet NHS North East London Health proposals and consultation. OK we have a number of weeks, but the debate is not really open at weekends or evenings is it? To put up a forum topic on a friday at 1.30 pm or there abouts, and then close comments until Monday morning is proposterous in my opinion! The moderation policiy needs to be reviewed in my opinion, and I cite the NHS forum topic as a reason to do so.

I propose, instead, a self-moderation culture, where citizens can report comments as offensive by clicking a button. Then the moderation team can look at it and make a decision.


  1. New bloke, old song, Mark!
    (And, may I say, you do know how to express an opinion!)
    They won't hear you.
    They might try to be smart and say that they will only understand the sound of silence. (It has been tried before!) They they probably will remain silent and pretend they think we have the 'gift' too!

  2. I thought that was a reasonable comment and perfectly polite. However, I received an email in my redi inbox at 15:56:51 today. I couldn't really understand it, but I think it said a reply I made in response to an Ask my Neighbour post by Weggis has been deleted. I just checked and I cannot see the original post in Ask my Neighbour by Weggis, which was about quality control. I thought moderation was only on between 8 am and 6 pm weekdays!

  3. Just received:
    [Hello Anne
    Unable to send to you a deletion message re: your recent answer to 'Quality Control' question posed by weggis, you are being advised of the deletion in this way instead.

    However, I cannot remember what I posted (should have known better, of course!) but I did not intend to be deleted, I thought I knew better by now!
    And, yes Mark, it seems that moderation (censure) has been recognized to be a necessity at week-end too.
    What a state of affairs!

  4. Let us see how long this offering lasts!

    [What happens to deleted questions/ answers?
    Is it a one man/woman decision? Are the offending words simply erased at the click of a mouse without any recourse?
    What happened to freedom of speech?
    A valid question, I feel.

  5. Yes, that's the one I got.
    There should be a deletions policy, which includes keeping backups.

  6. Anyone wishing to contact me by email please feel free to email me:

  7. I had already started the procedure to clarify if the redimanager is acting correctly when she deletes or edits. (up to now, for me, I was not even notified.)
    I did contact the relevant Cabinet member and although I have received an acknowledgment, it was not a proper explanation. So, I am waiting for the ten days, and then I will have to consider Cabinet and even Full Council. Interesting,...!

  8. We all know what the real truth is, that, currently more posts are being deleted than actually put up,the whole purpose of what is left in which to comment, is to tick a box for inspection rating purposes, irrelevent of whether it is being used or not,the council can say it is there. The perception is that they have no intention of allowing us to use it as a forum to discuss anything. The lack of any posted "Hot Topics" for 5 weeks proves this theory, because there is certainly not a lack of Hot Topics.It is criminal that they have discarded the 7.5 million views of the previous forums,for absolutely nothing.

  9. You have a good point there dopeyf. There haven't been many hot topics, and there doesn't appear to be a transparent process by which Hot topics are put up on the forum.

  10. Mark,
    It was not your reply that was deemed "inapproprite" it was my question.
    But if you remove the question you also have to remove any answers.

    As to the absence of "Hot Topics" Redbridge Council plainly does not have any of these, at least none that they wish us to discuss in public.

  11. Let see how long that comment I just made will last on the 'ask my neighbour' column!
    [Perhaps the team will look at this one aspect of the website. One understands it is hard to think of all aspects of a venture but if a polite question is aired (Quality Control, what's wrong with that?) and gets answers and then the lot is wiped out, a simple explanation to all would not cost the earth and be a bit more civil.
    By the way, 'terms and conditions' is too much of a generalisation, too much of an easy way out.
    Now, I expect this point of 'clarification' to be unacceptable because all truth is not palatable. We shall see!]

  12. My offerings to the new redbridgei website are flying off the shelf as soon as I put them on!
    Off with your post says the Manager in her PMs to me, and I reply, polite as ever: why?
    Good job I don't care!
    I wonder if we could have a list of people bothering to contribute these days.

  13. did you see my request for Measuring website quality and the response from Redimanager? Here's the link.

  14. I have followed the link and read the comments.
    Mark is doing a good job.
    Let us see if things improve. (They could not get much worse!)

  15. Latest offering from the moderation brigade![You, or someone from this email address, recently submitted an Ask My Neighbour Answer titled Shame we are not allowed to 'debate' with one another! to the Redbridge web site. We have reviewed this item and believe that it is inappropriate for our web site. For full details of what we will and will not publish please review our terms and conditions. Thank you. Redbridge i Admin]
    How many of these notices are we allowed before final execution?
    Life would be boring if they saw the light and let the chatterers chatter!