Akismet has temporarily hidden your post, but which one?

akismet

(Matt Jones) #1

I wasn’t sure where this should go, so apologies if it’s in the wrong category.

I recently made a post and received a message saying that Akismet has hidden my post. The problem is there is nothing in the message to tell me which post it has hidden. It’s not essential to know this, but it would be useful.

I didn’t know if you guys were aware of this problem, so I thought I’d create a topic.

For reference, here is the full extent of the information I’ve been given.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can give me.

The links in the message go to

  1. https://akismet.com/
  2. Forum spam - Wikipedia
  3. Discourse Meta

(Jeff Atwood) #2

Yes, that is as designed. Presumably you know what you just posted, since you just typed it in with your human being fingers, yes? :hand:


(Matt Jones) #3

Thanks for your reply. :slight_smile: I had posted more than one thing, so I wasn’t sure which post it was referring to.

Do I still see my own post when this happens? Or is it hidden for me too?


(Jeff Atwood) #4

No, I think it’s like anti-virus – stuff that is thought to be spam is pre-emptively deleted so it would not be visible to you. Then it is undeleted if deemed not-spam.


(Matt Jones) #5

Thanks, if this happens again, I’ll just look through my post history and see what’s missing.


(cpradio) #6

Unfortunately, seems not. We’ve had a few members now ask “Which post?” and “What was wrong with it?”, presumably because they were interacting with multiple topics, replies etc, and Akismet can take a few moments before it reports back (IIRC).

Having a link to the post in question would be ideal, especially when the person then forwards the response to the Admin for clarification.

Also, is there any way to see a record of the actions taken to posts/topics picked up by Akismet? (like you can with Old Flags), as since we have a fairly good size staff, the admin may get asked a question, but one of the mods already cleared it from the Akismet queue as “Not Spam”, but the admin really has no way to verify that (which we’re still trying to uncover internally on our instance with the example I mentioned above).


(cpradio) #7

FYI, I just found the confirmed as not spam option in the Staff Logs, can we get the Username in those details too? Right now it has the following:

  1. Who confirmed it as not spam
  2. Topic ID
  3. Post ID
  4. Created At
  5. Topic Title
  6. Post Number
  7. Raw

If it had who the post belongs to, that would help out immensely.


(Ralph Mason) #8

Members do get confused about this message. Rather than saying that “Akismet has …” which means nothing to members, it would be better to say something like “Our automated spam algorithm flagged your post as possible spam” or something similar. Many members assume a moderator has deleted their post, and I don’t blame them for not clicking the Akismet link to find out who/what it is.

It would also be worth quoting some or all of the post for the member. Otherwise, it’s like saying—“You said something unacceptable recently, and if you say it again, you’ll be banned …” There’s a high chance they won’t know what post has been flagged, if they’ve made more than one post, and/or perhaps come back after a break.


(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #9

I’ve been caught by the Akismet net a couple times as well when I’m making my first post to a forum. It’s quite unpleasant as a newcomer.

Another mitigating factor might be to not entirely hide your post after it’s been flagged by Akismet. Instead, use Discourse’s existing styling for trunkated…

or flagged posts:

And reuse the Akismet copy along with a linkified “View your hidden post”. That way you won’t have that uncomfortable “but where did it go!?”-feeling.


End user pre-approval queue experience can be much improved
(Jeff Atwood) #10

Will not work, as Akismet’s method is to delete and undelete the post. @eviltrout could it switch to hiding the post as above?


(Robin Ward) #11

That’s a good idea. We should slot in some time to adjust it to work like flagged does. I’m not sure it’s simple for a plugin to do that but we should figure it out.


(Ralph Mason) #12

I’d love the option to stop the member getting a PM. Explaining the PM to members has become my biggest job. It would be easier if the post just disappeared for a while while in moderation, though not ideal, of course.


(Jeff Atwood) #13

How would you rewrite the PM so it needs less explaining? We can improve the copy. Input welcome.


(Ralph Mason) #14

Thanks @codinghorror. Here’s something off the top of my head. I’m not sure if the system can include the topic title, but I’ve included it just in case:

Hello. Your post in the [insert topic title here] topic was hidden temporarily so that our moderators can review it. Don’t be concerned, as this is an automated process. All being well, your post will reappear shortly.


(Tobias Eigen) #15

I just came across this problem in my community as well which is just starting to pick up lots of new users. The mention of akismet makes no sense and is confusing. The new copy provided by @ralphm is great! Can this be implemented ASAP?


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #16

I too like @ralphm’ idea of listing topic title in the PM, but I am concerned that his proposed message is too short. The current message explains that it was hidden by Akismet (though it doesn’t say what that is), and I think that is important. Here is my proposal (basing of of current message and @ralphm’s proposal):

Hello,

Thanks for your recent post contribution!

Akismet, our automated spam filter, has temporarily hidden your post in [insert topic title here] as potential spam.

Please be patient while a staff member reviews your post; don’t be concerned as this is an automated process, and please note that submitting your post again will not expedite this process.

If no issues are found, your post will reappear shortly.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and thanks for being a part of [insert discourse name here]!

My biggest point would be to mention is some way, shape, or form what Akismet is without making someone (many times a new member) click on an unknown link. I can speak from personal experience that when I first joined the discourse where I now moderate, I was very confused by this message, especially not know which post it was referring to. This may not be the case on other’s sites, but personally we have found very few posts which are actually spam flagged by Akismet. If memory serves me right, there have been ~90 posts flagged, of which 3 were spam.


(Tobias Eigen) #17

Thanks, but I still prefer the shorter version. Sometimes less is more. :slight_smile:


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #18

No argument there…however in this case I think that @ralphm’s is too short, especially if the goal here is to lessen the PMs and questions mods get from users. At least in my experience, new users tend to be very inquisitive, so I would prefer to be more descriptive than less.

Those are my thoughts at least. Regardless of length, getting the topic title in any message would be a great start!


(Jeff Atwood) #19

Here’s what I decided to go with

Our automated spam filter, Akismet, has temporarily hidden your post for review.

A staff member will review your post soon, and it should appear shortly.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

I do agree we should put the name of the topic in there, @eviltrout, is that possible?


(Robin Ward) #20

Yup, I’ve added the topic title here:

https://github.com/discourse/discourse-akismet/commit/acf6d8d57944fe0d5a79dcfe1b20ccf268d7e253

Feel free to edit the email template to make it prettier :smile: