Watching / Tracking / Notifications for post edits for Moderators

There doesn’t appear to be a way to get notified for post edits…
(both traditional post edits and Wiki post edits).

For post traditional post edits and Wiki post edits.

As a user

For users this topic seems to be tracking this:

As an admin / moderator…

Whilst moderation / approval prior to posts initially being displayed is not required, knowing something has changed so it can be reviewed is important.

It’s important to be able to know when every content change occurs for moderation purposes.

Some organisations require a “content review” for every piece of content on their site, even if occurs sometime later.


Is there any way of handling this currently?

Or list of posts recently “edited” outside of the initial ninja edit period…
… and perhaps receiving notifications for these?

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The only way I know of to “catch” post edits is on Latest from the “… updated topics, click to show”
i.e. if there is no new or unread indicator, it’s an edit.

At SitePoint, we decided to compromise between having the convenience of member’s being able to edit their posts and the inconvenience of Moderators keeping track of post edits.

IMHO it is unrealistic to expect Moderators to “ride” Latest on the chance that a previously seen OK post has been edited into a Not OK post.

And I guess it is also unrealistic to expect Moderators to read every post. Though if for only for certain Categories, it could be a more acceptable approach.

This only works for edits to the last post in a thread.

Any edits to posts above the last one I believe are un-trackable currently unless you are the author of the post that has been edited.

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Yes, and with our shortened post edit time limit this is usually good enough.
Community Flagging helps some.
But I think the fact that the post edit time limit is shorter than a typical visit cycle helps the most.

That is, if a Not OK edit happened, the chance of one of the many Moderators reading the post for their first time is almost certain.

We did try a post edit time limit more in line of what it was in vBulletin, but many wanted to be able to add “oh, I forgots”, fix typos, rephrase more clearly etc. so it was lengthened a bit.
Personally, I have no problem with a later “oh I forgot” post, and I make so many typos myself I hardly give them second thought when others make them. But folks are different after all.

In any case, I strongly feel the default setting is way too generous. i.e.

Admin -> Settings [Posting]

post edit time limit 86400
The author can edit or delete their post for (n) minutes after posting. Set to 0 for forever.

That’s 60 days

If not already, maybe edited posts could be passed through Akismet?

Maybe the post_revisions table could be used for a Moderator page?

Such a page would likely be mostly typo fixes, bu it would be easier than relying on Moderators to read / reread posts looking for the “# edit pencil”

One workaround for wiki posts is to do the following:

  1. Make the OP a wiki post
  2. Link to another topic within the OP as the official ‘discussion’ topic for this post
  3. Close the topic
  4. Delete the “Moderator closed this topic” post.

Now the OP is the last post, and edits will make it bump to the top of the topic list.

Also, people entering the topic will always enter at the first post.

Discussion can happen in the separate topic if necessary.

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We have a plugin for this which we built for @Bill_S at Western Digital:

Its designed for sites that need 1 moderator to read every single post or edit to a post.

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And it’s working great for my team. I have had issues in the past with users coming back later and editing posts to add unsavory content. The moderation flags help us catch those things many times before others even see them. I’m sure that it’s what you’re looking for.

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In the same vain - “moderating all content” - is there anything for profile content edits?

Lately we often get posts that look fishy, but don’t contain spam (yet). Us moderators are just waiting for the edit to include the spam-link. Bookmarks help, but it can be tedious work.
And spammers are not dumb. They are waiting for someone to reply and then edit their first post so it won’t bump the topic.
Maybe an adaption of the function to change ownership of a post could be the solution here. If a moderator could make themselves co-owner of a post (without OP noticing) then they’d get edit-notifications.

Why not set your allowed edit interval to something much smaller like 7 days? That seems like a far simpler solution.

I haven’t noticed many late edit link additions on the forum where I’m a moderator.

What we have noticed at times is changing post content after it has received replies that make a mess of the discussion and aggravates participants. eg.

“I need help with ABC”
“Try doing XYZ”

but after the edit, the topic reads as

“I need help with DEF”
“Try doing XYZ”

making the reply incorrect.

* it should be noted that this type of behavior has been limited to a handful of members and not a wide spread problem. moderator messages helped somewhat.

We have our edit time window low, hours not days.

I think some type of “if replies disable edits to previous posts” might work. But the problem of allowing cosmetic edits (eg. to -> too) while preventing substance edits can’t be solved by simple code.

TBH I don’t know what it’s set to, but I believe this is true for our forum too:

For now I’m using user topic timers, to check up on shady posts and I guess that’s a good enough solution. If I don’t catch a spam link right away, but a few hours later what harm can it really do?

Do you really have users coming back more than 1 day later to edit spam into their posts? That seems… unlikely. I’d need to see data on that.

In the meantime, we are adding a feature that prevents TL0 users from enjoying edit grace periods, as in every edit to their posts are tracked. This is because we have seen bamwar spammers abuse this, multiple times, across multiple sites.

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Well it doesn’t happen often and it would be hard to find old deleted post where it did, but coincidentially it just happened again. A post from 4 days ago got edited to add a spam link:

Actually it was more than 4 days between writing and editing the post as it spent about 1 day in the approval queue. It was a bit shady from the beginning, so we didn’t know if we should approve it, but then we decided to “see how it plays out” since we didn’t have enough evidence to kick them right away.

Anyway I guess your suggestion of abandoning the grace period for TL0 users is probably a great solution.

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Per @sam the solution that was implemented is mandatory tracking of all revisions in the grace period greater than {x} characters. There are two site settings for this, one for low trust users and one for high trust. Check your site settings.

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Do I understand correctly, this plugin should raise a moderation flag every time a user edits their post outside a ninja edit window (at least for tl0 and tl1 users)?

If so, did this change with the introduction of the new review queue? I’m on latest, and if a tl0 user creates a post and later completely changes the content (well above the 100 characters) there is no flag and there is also no asterix in front of the topic title.

I haven’t used this plugin before, so I have no idea if my expectations are valid.

At most it would add an asterisk, from a quick review of the code, it is not re-asterisking stuff if users necro edit it.

I think you would need a different pattern or some plugin changes to account for necro edits in the plugin.

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Is this something that others would find useful too? A flag for at least tl0 (and maybe tl1) necro edits would alert moderators to possible spam editing.

I have no idea how difficult this would be from a technical standpoint?

A flag for every necro edit on tl0/1 would be super noisy, unlikely many communities would use such a customisation

Usually communities dealing with this pain would simply disable necro editing for tl1 (already disabled for tl0 afaik)

Technically a plugin that flags on every necro is very simple to build

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Not to get off topic, but to suggest.

I tried this plugin on my localhost quite a long time ago. It didn’t work exactly how I was hoping it would (Notification for every edit regardless of position in a topic). I looked to see what might be involved in banging it into shape but abandoned the effort.

I’m now thinking a more realistic approach might be to have a special conditional read state / sort bump for Moderators. It would mean needing to scan topic lists to look for indicators, but it wouldn’t be as noisy. And without a sort bump the looking could take a while depending on how far back the edits went.