Members Behaving Badly: Warnings & Reporting

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Aug 13, 2014 4:29:31 PM
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3 minute read

When members are behaving badly, a moderator needs tools. Two recently released add-ons to the Vanilla toolbox can help in the moderation of your community: Warnings & Notes, and Reporting.

Introducing Warnings & Notes

This is a new version of our Warnings add-on, now available in all plans, which makes the moderation of an active community even easier. This is especially true if you have a moderation team and want mods to be able to share information. Like in the previous Warnings plugin,  it works like demerit points on a driver's license. If a member accumulates too many warning points, within a certain time period, they will be suspended or banned. Also, with the addition of notes, moderators can make comments on any member that are only viewable by the moderation team. Here's some more information on both:


Warnings can be used  in a number of ways, including notifying a community member of an infraction, suspending a user for a limited time or, if needed, banning them. This is how it works:

1. Select ‘Warn’ from the ‘Edit Profile’ drop down on the offending member’s profile page.


2. Set the "Severity" and enter your message to the user.


3. If the warning level is at 3, the member is ‘jailed’ for the duration of the warning. Being jailed reduces a member’s abilities. A jailed member cannot start discussions, cannot display a signature and can only comment once every 2.5 minutes. Warnings can be "reversed" by clicking next to the avatar of the mod who gave the warning. This is also found on the moderation page of a specific member profile.


5. A user who reaches 5 points will be banned.



Notes are a way for the Moderation team to add information to a specific user, for their own use only. The member will not be notified. This is how it works:

1. Notes can be added by Moderators, by selecting "Add Note" from the "Edit Profile".



2. Notes can only be seen by Moderators, and can be viewed by selecting on a menu item called "Moderation" on a member profile.


Reporting Plugin

The reporting plugin allows members of the community to provide a comment when they are reporting abusive behaviour. This cuts down on gratuitous flagging and helps moderators get more context when they are reviewing the incident.

Here is how it works:

1. A new reaction called ‘Report’ is displayed under the Flag options. When clicked, a window pops up where members can enter information about the abuse being reported. Make sure your members have the "add" reporting permission selected in roles and permissions.

2. A new forum category is created that is visible only to mods and admins. Each reported comment creates a discussion that includes the reported comment, a link to the comment and the report made by the complainant.

3. The appropriate action can now be taken by the moderation team.


Vanilla Forums offers tools to moderators to make their job easier. Not only do these new plugins allow users to help keep a forum clean, but the members of the moderation team are better able to communicate amongst themselves, while deciding upon how to use our tools to escalate punishment, if needed. If you are a hosted Vanilla Forums customer and you require any help or support, please use our support forum.

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