A Quick Community Health Update 💡

Hey all, I just wanted to share a few small updates about things we’ve been doing recently to help keep our community a helpful, inclusive place :star:

Some of you might have noticed that our lovely forum has been the target of some co-ordinated reputational attacks in the last few weeks. We won’t stand for this, and it’s all of our duties as active forum posters to ensure that this doesn’t happen, so we’ve taken a few steps :muscle:

First of all, we’ve applied a large-scale block of temporary email addresses. What’s a temporary email address? Quite simply, there are websites on which you can go on that autogenerate random email addresses that you can use to sign up for things. In the case of forums, it is a huge indicator of someone being a “Bad Actor”, so from now on, temporary email addresses will not be allowed to register accounts.

Secondly, we’ve put together an internal document known as the “Bad Actor Framework”. This is a list of known behaviours or attributes of someone that has signed up here with bad intentions. This might include a previously banned member utilising different methods to mask who they are. The beauty of this list is that no individual behaviour might raise flags, but the more attributes a user has, the more likely it is that they are a Bad Actor. We won’t be publishing this list with you, because it would make it easy for people to attempt to circumvent what is on it, but we are confident in the way that it works.

Finally, for the moment we’ve placed a few extra limits on newly signed up users, which means that their first few posts will require manual verification, and it’ll take a little longer for them to get to Trust Level 1. The visible difference here will mean that a new user won’t have their first few posts published right away until we can approve them. We can both relax and strengthen these numbers as appropriate if needs be. For the most part, there will usually be admins/moderators around to do these approvals on a regular basis, but we’re looking into a system to get a few more staff members who want to be more involved trained up on handling this too.

I want to thank all of you for being incredible members of our community. But when major media organisations are running sponsored (paid) social media posts directly referencing things said on our forum, it’s important for us to be able to monitor these things. This is not any form of censorship. Valid criticism, after all, still comes from real users - and comes from a place of good intention that generally doesn’t fall into the above framework. What we are looking to stamp out is the people that come here with bad intentions - whether that’s a co-ordinated reputational attack, or simply trolling. One less toxic, but still annoying and unnecessary example of this might well be people signing up simply to spam referral links all over the place - you might remember we saw this a while back with things like “Initiative Q”.

We’ve lost some good posters in the past who simply get frustrated with bad actors and toxicity, and this isn’t the place for that, and we want to prevent that from happening.

Ultimately - this community exists for Monzo users, supporters, and valid critics to enjoy discussing our product, but in a healthy way, and with good intentions. I believe that this community is a shining star in the fintech space, and even the modern internet space at large, as a proof point of how involving as many of our customers as possible helps us to continue building something amazing. And allowing bad actors on our platform actively damages that - it makes both staff and customers less willing to engage, and that’s not acceptable.

Happy to take any questions :slight_smile:

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Good stuff.

I still think the flag system needs an overhaul though.

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Any plans to expand the Coral Crew? hint hint

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I think it would be really helpful if there was a tally of flags against someone on their profile. Or flags upheld by the community manager.

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Could you elaborate? Depending on what you mean by that, it may not be something that is in our control (as we don’t build the forum software ourselves).

There may be tweaks we can make though, so I’m all ears!

Am I on the bad actor list? :wink:

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Watch this space :eyes:

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Did you appear on Eldorado?

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I call it the nic cage framework

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I’d be happy to help.

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Yes, but I was so bad it never aired.

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We do have access to that data. Also each user has a “score” which indicates how many of their flags have been either agreed with, or disagreed with. Are you asking that we make that data public? I’m not sure that’s a great idea!

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I think if you’re on the list you probably are highly aware that you are one :joy:

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I see posts flagged in threads as an attempt to block legitimate comments by the same groups of individuals that feel their opinion is more important than others.

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Why don’t you think it would work? It would, hopefully, stop the flagging of posts that appear to call out these bad actors. I would hope it exposed those who have tried to weaponise flags.

As long as staff can see this and take action I think that’s enough.

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That’s an issue we’re definitely aware of - but flagging in and of itself doesn’t necessarily do anything - it’s the flag review that’s important. If a lot of people flag a post it can get hidden, but we can adjust the threshold for that if we deemed it necessary.

We have said before that we will take action if people are abusing the flag system, so if you have concerns about individuals then please DM.

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Joking aside, this is a good action from my view. The forum was turning a little sinister at one stage, and it was tempting to back off a little. More harmless humour, intelligent discussion and genuine help needed all round :raised_hands:

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I think my issue is I have never seen a comment be unflagged, or individuals lose their right to flag

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