Giving the community more trust


(Zainab Khan) #1

We’ve been considering the possibility of granting some members of the community level 4 moderator rights to support with the day to day housekeeping on the forum. We feel this could add some great value and benefit to everyone who uses these pages, but we wanted to be conscious of the way we approach this so it is fair and transparent. It super important to us that the forum remains as inclusive and accessible to all.

Discourse has trust levels that gives you more rights over time and experience in the forum, automatically. To get to the Regular/Level 3 status, you will have done this in the last 100 days:

  • must have visited at least 50% of days
  • must have replied to at least 10 different topics
  • of topics created in the last 100 days, must have viewed 25% (capped at 500)
  • of posts created in the last 100 days, must have read 25% (capped at 20k)
  • must have received 20 likes, and given 30 likes.*
  • must not have received more than 5 spam or offensive flags (with unique posts and unique users for each, ( confirmed by a moderator)
  • must not have been suspended

Becoming a Leader/Level 4 has to be a manual decision by admins of the forum (aka Monzo Team members) and this is what someone at level 4 can do:

  • edit all posts
  • pin/unpin topic
  • close topic
  • archive topic
  • make topic unlisted
  • Split and merge topics
  • Daily like limit increased by 3×

We want to see how you feel about giving more access to the users who can be trusted to help with some of the day to day ‘forum admin’ responsibilities. I know some of you are keen to help merge topics that are getting excessive for example (notably Custom Categories :wink:).

We would love your thoughts on:

  • If there’s anything on the list above, they should not have access to.
  • Ideas for the most sensible and democratic way to grant level 4 moderator rights?
  • Examples of cooperative structures like this that have worked on other online communities your a part of.

Wether you feel strongly for or against – it would be great to hear your thoughts.

Read more about the trust levels on Discourse’s forum


#2

certainly the ability to close topics, e.g. when users start a new country thread instead of posting in the existing one!


(Alex Sherwood) #3

I think it’s probably best if we don’t try & work out exactly how certain scenarios should be managed, at this point - unless everyone else wants to.

But since you’ve mentioned this - duplicate topics could be merged with the existing topics so that the user can still get their question answered.


(Ben) #4

I have a lot of time for this. Happy to put myself down as a nominee for this but also won’t take it bitterly if I don’t get it.

The forum team is growing :grin:


(Josh Bray) #5

I love this idea. It really helps to make this place a more productive and useful space.
One of the things that I’ve seen a few times is where users are posting sensitive personal information openly and I’ve had to flag it to get it removed. Sometimes this can take a few hours which can be quite bad.
Having just a team of community leaders can really help it.
It leaves you guys to focus on the bank and pizza parties :joy:

But in terms of selecting people I know there’s a few people who have been trying their best for the community so just approach them and ask. Can’t hurt.


(Ethan) #6

First post after lurking for a while here… :eyes:

I’m a moderator on a very large (2m users+) forum and this seems like a really sensible idea to make sure the community runs smoothly! Woo for volunteer moderation!

On the site I moderate, which I cannot name… they have a private category for moderators to chat and relax, inspire a sense of community, if you will… this could be a good idea if you invite people to moderate the site. In terms of appointment, I’d say either allow people to apply once they’ve satisfied the conditions above or appointment via invitation from the admins of the forum, based on who you think would be good for the job.

The team of moderators I work with are incredibly effective and there are about 40 of us. There’s a big community feel and it’s really rewarding work. Best of luck with this. :slight_smile:


(Marta) #7

I don’t mind giving people rights to moderate/watch over forums.

I think I would mind if trusted people would hmm, intervene too much? People get excited, people make 19th thread about same thing, it happens. Does it mean that all needs to be neat and pretty, merged and user always redirected to answer made 6 months and 3 days ago? That’s what I wouldn’t like, it’s an indirect way of saying “search before you post” and “noob, we thought about it before” and that’s not the vibe Monzo should give to people posting shortly after joining the community.

Also, even when user is given ton of links because question/idea is not a new thing, it kills discussion a bit. I’d be a bit vary if I was redirected to 100-post thread where last reply was a year ago. I’d be conscious that I can’t really write without reading full thread first, and since it would be very time consuming, I’d need to go for “sorry, didn’t read it all, but maybe …” which I find also lame. Therefore, is my addition valuable or am I going to receive “yes, it was mentioned by X in post 56, but yeah, great idea!” and that can be taken as sarcastic remark by paranoid people (clueless how nice Monzo community is).

I can definitely recognise that we have a problem with same topics appearing over and over again. Giving out admins, sure, but what’s the solution to the problem of same topics appearing over and over again, because I don’t feel like more admins is a solution.

More admins is great solution for point that @Jkb114 mentioned - sensitive info posted publicly. I’d add to this list: flame wars, insults and any sort of misconduct outlined in Zainab’s community rules.


(Alex Sherwood) #8

I’d like to know whether other users share this concern too? Perhaps I’m misjudging this but those who apologise when an existing post has been pointed out don’t seem to mind the ‘embarrassment’ & my assumption is that the most of the remaining users aren’t worried.

Having said that, I completely agree that this is something that needs to be handled with care. And when I do it, I generally add positive comments or worst case, my comments are neutral.

I don’t really want sharing links to existing posts to be the solution though… :arrow_down:

We agree that we need some way to respond to these posts, right? And to me it seems like the alternative is to let users have a conversation which will generally raise the same points as the previous threads, about an issue that may have already been addressed or a feature that’s been commented on by the Monzo team - in other words, it’s a waste of time.

Again, links aren’t ideal… :arrow_down:

Do you have any suggestions?


Here’s the benefits of merging duplicate posts into existing topics -

  • Users are joining a conversation, where they can pick up on a lot more ideas that have been suggested before, while also understanding why some ideas may not work
  • By moving the users question / request to an existing thread, they’re free to carry on the conversation. IMHO I think that’s less likely to shut them down vs telling the user “your answer’s over” here which unfortunately, does often have the effect of killing the new post
  • Replies from the Monzo team (which are often key to the discussion) are easier to find - they’re in the thread
  • If a feature’s evolved, users can see what’s changed, based on the updates that are shared in the thread & get a better sense of where it’s going
  • When users are searching for ideas that have been posted before, it’s much easier to find the relevant topic, rather than seeing 20 custom categories posts. This is particularly important for the Travelling with Monzo, Bug Reports & Feature Requests posts.

If I’m missing something here, please do let me know! :slight_smile:


#9

people should search before they post…that is why we end up with a dozen threads all on the same theme with people all commenting in different threads and not just the first thread or the latest one


(Alex Sherwood) #10

Ideally, yes they would. But we do also need to remember that quite a few of the Monzo users have probably never posted in a forum before & as Marta says, have probably come here excited to share their new idea. So we can’t expect everyone to search either.


#11

Agree but while not making it compulsory it is a shame a banner can’t display at the top of the page advising of the search function as it often is not noticed or overlooked


(Marta) #12

I don’t think we reached this threshold where it would be noticeable (read: I think that current practices are ok or even plain good). But with Monzo’s popularity rising, we might start getting 20 ‘custom targets’ topics a week. The more ‘custom targets’ topics we have, more times admin will link same thing over and over again… Or merge over and over again, making original thread even more cluttered and actually negatively impacting transparency. If we get 20 custom targets topics a week and we merge them, how would reading master one after all this time feel?
Overall, depends on approach and practices, if we go for merging threads or provide links+close duplicate.

Yes, we agree - I wasn’t battling the whole idea, but the extent of it and general approach (and potential overzealous mods, it’s NOT my point to offend any potential candidates!).
I don’t agree with second sentence though - users might rise completely different points as in previous threads. Granted, I’m not denying that some, if not most, discussions will have similar logical outcome. But it’s much more likely to find something fresh in new thread, then addition to thread older than 1 year with 100 posts. :slight_smile:
Redirecting user to old thread (merging or not) is like starting big discussion 5 times and each time repeating same set of arguments and hoping for a different outcome.

Not quite, that’s why I made my post without offering anything upfront.
I briefly thought about creating new section (Hot Monzo Stuff?) with ‘master functionality’ topics, where all well-established and much wished functionalities are kept. This would allow users to find it quicker, linking to Hot Stuffs would be easier, while chit-chat, duplicated or not, wouldn’t be eee, corrected in any significant way. If post in chit-chat thread is well liked, all of it or sensible portion of it, could be transferred to master topic.
I’m not 100% standing behind this solution, but it had one good outcome - freedom allowing new people to engage in some friendly community spam.

I agree with this one, I feel that it’s better than bombarding with links and sending to different thread.


Regarding search function, yes it is probably not used to it’s fullest. Not only because of laziness (and you can find me guilty on this one probably too), but due to different names/phrases used.


(Alex Sherwood) #13

I’m keen to let the user carry on the discussion so merging is my preference because it’ll bump the old topic & hopefully provoke some more discussion, whereas my guess is that users will be less likely to click through to the linked old thread from the closed topic to start the conversation there…

When it comes to merging lots of duplicates in the same thread, I guess we’d have to see how that goes. If there was a new round of discussion each time - no problem - if there wasn’t, we might need to figure out an alternative…

This definitely would happen too but I’m more keen to save people wasting any time repeating the same points. I guess we’re both looking for a way to stop that happening, while also encouraging the conversation here.

Hot Monzo Stuff is an interesting idea, I’m sure there’s a way to develop that!

But anyway, to sum your posts up, it sounds like you are in favour of getting the ‘Leaders’ set up… :tada: The question is how they should manage the posts? That’s probably going to take quite a bit more discussion but there will be plenty of time to figure that out…

Oh and you don’t need to worry about offending anyone with your comments :wink:


(Marcus Nailor) #14

I think it sounds like a good idea @Zainab ! :slight_smile: Editing all posts has the only potential for issue IMO? The rest seems good - They’ve gotta be approved by Monzo anyway so it’s not a major risk really :stuck_out_tongue:

Hopefully it’ll take the weight off the Monzo team for some of the lower-level forum admin tasks, in theory freeing them up to do even more exciting things :smiley:


(Marta) #15

Yes, I’m definitely in favour - even just for the reasons I mentioned earlier (sensitive stuff, breaking rules). But managing duplicates seems like most common problem with two aspects: how do we avoid them and how we can sensibly react to them if they do happen. First one seems more important because it would have direct, positive impact on second.


(Josh Bray) #16

I think the way that the oneplus handles this sort of situation is very good. They have a team of volunteer moderators that help the community. I’d probably speak to the head of their community Adam krisko who could probably help out.


(Tony Hoyle) #17

I’m all for it but I’ve seen the results of bad moderation too - everything vaguely related to a topic gets merged into a single mega thread which ends up about 50 pages with a dozen overlapping conversations. Hopefully the selection system can avoid it… moderators need to be, well, moderate.

My rule when moderating has always been touch nothing unless it’s illegal or directly offensive (ie. to the community, not just to me). A bit of mess is expected and normal… OTOH I’m unlikely ever to even meet level 3 as I only tend to visit every few days (to see if there’s an ETA for a bank, mainly).


(Alex Sherwood) #18

I agree that a light touch is important here :thumbsup: Assuming that we can avoid the issue you’ve described there though, are there any other reasons you can think of for not merging posts or providing links & closing posts, in addition to what Marta’s mentioned?


(Tony Hoyle) #19

It’s a useful tool. Just need to be smart about when to use it - which could probably fill a forum itself with some of the edge cases :stuck_out_tongue:

Splitting conversations, too, that have gone off into the weeds (or single posts that are off topic but still important).


#20

could more subsections help, ie allow multiple threads about 1 feature/aspect, but keep them all in an appropriate section of the forum.