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[IPS] Moderation Part 2: Approval Queue

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Effective moderation features are essential for online communities. Forums, blog entries and member-to-member messaging are particularly attractive for spam bots and nuisance users alike. IPS Social Suite has always been best in class when it comes to moderation features with features like the free IPS Spam Service that are completely unmatched by other web applications. Over this series of 5 blog entries I'm going to introduce you to some of the new moderation features in the IPS Community Suite 4.0.

Part 1: Setting up moderators

Part 2: Approval Queue

Part 3: Reports

Part 4: Effective Moderation

Part 5: Warnings


Sometimes content needs to be approved before it can be viewed. This can happen when:

  • Approval is enabled for a particular member (perhaps for a particular time after giving a warning)
  • Approval is enabled for a group (perhaps for new members until they have been registered for a certain number of days)
  • Approval is enabled for a forum/category/etc.
Currently, if there is content requiring approval, badges display next to the forum/topic to alert moderators. While this works well it has some drawbacks: it means clicking around the community to find content, and if there's an area of your community you don't visit very often (personally I don't often check the gallery here) sometimes you might not notice something needs to be approved.

For 4.0, we wanted to improve this. There were two main goals we set:

  • Content from across the suite should be pulled into a single area for moderators so moderators can locate content pending approval manually.
  • Moderators should be able to act on content pending approval (usually by approving or deleting) quickly.
What we've created is a new area of the moderator control panel which we call the Approval Queue.

When you visit the approval queue, you see the first topic/post/comment/whatever which is pending approval:

As you can see, the page shows you clearly who posted it, what it is and the content. You can click on the badge on the right (in the screenshot above where it says "File Comment") to be taken directly to it if you want to see it in context.

At the top, you can see 3 really clear actions: approve, skip and delete. Clicking any of these will do that action, and then immediately show you the next thing pending approval. This allows moderators to move through the queue really quickly and effortlessly.

By clicking on the author's name, you can also issue a warning, flag the user as a spammer and send the user a message - all this is done without leaving the page:

And when all content has been approved, you can enjoy the satisfaction of an empty queue:

Here's a video of it in action:

As an incidental feature - previously if a member made a post and it needed to be approved, they would get a confirmation message telling them so but wouldn't be able to see the post. This sometimes led to confusion when members missed the confirmation message and thought their post hadn't been submitted. In 4.0, users can now see their own posts which are pending approval:

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