Closely Looking at Moderation

What we did while researching this. Remember, we suffer so you don't have to!

Well we did some more research, lo and behold we found more about how moderation works, so let's break it down for you all.

So the whole thing apparently uses something called MySafeTXT, which is a facet of KOKO and eModeration. Interestingly enough the key features allow individuals to NOT go on the site to moderate, and to respond only to reported content, with grey lists and black lists (blacklists being the Dolores filter that can apparently be updated as they wish to prevent posts) and greylists that signal for a moderator to review. Furthermore, the reputation list is something that would make sense, given that even if "all reports are reviewed by a moderator," the amount of past history and different moderators could easily be deemed as unpredictable for users.

So here's the thing, why does this even matter? Well it goes back to many of my personal problems with moderation, and the problems espoused by users.

1) We feel disconnected from the people telling us what we can and cannot do. This is COMPLETELY TRUE. One of the espoused benefits of this moderation system is specifically how it separates moderators from the plebeians, the users. Us. We have moderators that don't know the fandom, and more likely than not are just clickitty click chimpanzees and this is NOT what Pottermore was meant for. More saddening is that apparently, this was chosen as being the best budgeted option for Pottermore as well after consultation with Koko and eModeration.

2) The word filters update: They update after reports and reviews. What I'm about to say is not going to be pleasant, but if this is true, then we are faced with something difficult. Users have essentially created this problem. Not just trolls mind you. Honest users. Role players. Everyone. This is the self-created curse of the community. We have managed to fasten ourselves a noose and now complain about it being too tight. We complain about the word wand being banned? We do not just have those that used the word inappropriately to blame, but our own reporting. Our own zealous advocation of children's safety.

But this is only part of the blame. More is thrust upon the creators of this idiotic form of moderation and blacklisting, creating a ban when the correct action is, and I will maintain this, the banning of users by IP, and email. Email is already done, but IP is a form of ban that Pottermore has yet to use. Perhaps a cookie attachment may be warranted, but this is a sincere embarrassment, not just for Pottermore, but for J.K. Rowling, who has allowed her name to be associated with this. As a matter of fact, I believe that right now, this affront is the equivalent to someone walking up to Rowling, and peeing on her leg, drunkenly shouting about the glories of pure-blood ideology.

So to Pottermore.... Get your act together. I have been intoxicated, severely, and had better sense than it appears your team has. And to users... Keep shouting. At the time I'm posting this, some of the more concerning words I had seen have been taken off the white list and moved to black, though the white-list still contains words like love and hugs.

IF you want to learn more and scream your head off as I am doing here... Follow these links below, and post your comments here.



  1. This is why we can't have nice things.

    Whether a comment deserved to be reported or not. Whether the comment was bad or not. I believe when a certain word or phrase shows up in a reported comment (whether approved or not), when it reaches a moderation threshold, that word gets added to the banned list.

    Maybe Pottermore needs to limit the number of comment boards? Right now you can post under Characters, Creatures, Places, Objects, Potions, Spells, Chapters, Great Hall, Common Room, Potion and Dueling boards. Is that too many?

    I really would like to know how many moderators are employed and what is the average daily and week-end number of reports. Are we reaching the point that it is impossible to review every single reported comment?

    Pottermore moderation e-mail responses repeatedly tell us that every single reported comment is reviewed by a real person. Unfortunately, empirical evidence always trumps rhetoric.

  2. Reading this and the articles accompanying it was quite a shock to me. It seems completely backwards to what moderation should be- live moderation that comes from and is familiar with the atmosphere of the community.

    The fact that the site advertises "moderators don't need to enter your website" and "no direct contact with users" is simply ridiculous and goes against the moderation that I've seen on other sites. The moderators never see the context in which something is used and has no idea what the actual website is like.

    The fact that many people use the Report button as a weapon is a clear sign of the problems with this form of moderation. If the Report button was merely to signal a live person's review of a comment within context, none would worry about being reported because they have the knowledge that it would mean nothing. Only because most people realize how easily a person can be banned for innocent comments due to moderators being completely clueless that this even occurs.

    Another thing that struck me when reading their advertisements was this "The focus is on the content with MySafeTXT, and not on actions for the user: at the moment, there are no rules set up for contraventions such as auto-bars or warning emails, but KOKO say they may be incorporating this into the tool in future releases." This is the reason that no one ever knows why they are banned, and why trolls are not banned immediately even after posting inappropriate content repeatedly. MySafeTXT desires ease for the moderators and their customer, and their customer is Pottermore, not us, the users, which is why we get the worst part of the deal in this situation.

    "Automation saves moderator time... Transparent pricing, predictable costs." Obviously this is a huge issue on a site like Pottermore, with tiny staff trying to juggle everything on a huge website, with barely any funds for better moderation. But the use of a system like this either implies that Pottermore staff have never been on another website in their lives or they are truly desperate and haven't a clue what they are doing, the latter which I believe to be the case.


Tell me what you think?