Community Moderation


Hi Everyone!

Just wanted to thank the team and plugin authors for their time and effort in developing Discourse and making it open source. It is an amazing system that can be moulded to fit the type of community you are setting out to build. We are developing our project using Discourse as well and have found most of our topics already answered or discussed on the meta forum.

I wanted to post a feature that I thought Discourse could benefit from and see what the community thinks of such a feature.

While we have user trust levels and flagging/blocking/reporting systems in place, I feel that users should have more rights just as we do in our day to day lives. For example, if a level 3 user has been blocked or his post deleted, they should have an appeals system where they can register an appeal and moderators can review the appeal. If the moderator doesnt revert or goes ahead with the blocking, the user has a second option where they can get 10 other users with similar rank and overturn the decision.

A level 2 user would have to get, say, 30 users of similar rank to be able to overturn a decision. A new member would not have such an option. This would help bring about a semi-decentralized system of moderation where the community actually controls the direction of the forum. It would follow a quorum sensing model with aspects of holacracy, where once the required quorum is reached (according to the user’s rank) a decision can be taken.

As an example, suppose a level 3 user gets a group of 10 similar members and overturns a banned post that was derogatory - then the moderator can similarly lodge a request and get 2 other moderators to review the decision and overrule this.

This could tie in well when Discourse implements mod elections, where different trust levels have different impacts on the decision. If a moderator is not doing their job well, junior members can join and once they reach the minimum number required for a quorum, the moderator can be removed.

I understand this would be a huge effort, but I wanted to see what everyone thinks of such a feature, especially as Discourse wants to reimagine forums.

(Jeff Atwood) #2

All reasonable ideas, but the truth is this kind of stuff comes up so rarely – across even hundreds of different Discourse instances – that building a large complex sophisticated process around it is massive overkill.


I agree its not a pressing need for forums and would be a huge amount of effort - although I feel a semi-decentralized forum would be a good direction for forums to take in the long term.