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BrazenChase

Let's Talk Description Approval

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Hi there! Forgive me if there's another active thread about this, I did not see one in my search.

 

I love describing my dragons, and I know a lot of other users do as well. But the queue can be very daunting and discouraging. I found out that the "Review User Descriptions" function does not actually do anything towards getting a description approved at all. Does not contribute to a counter, or move it through a queue etc.

 

There are a lot of users on DC, and I appreciate the mods taking their time to approve these descriptions when they can but I'm sure there must be a way that is better for both moderators, and users to see results.

 

A few suggestions, please feel free to discuss:

 

1. Let users describe and edit their descriptions freely.

-For example, Flight Rising allows this despite their policies often restricting content on their site to adhere to a general loose "T" rating. 

-Users would see their descriptions instantly, and moderators would not have to sift through massive queues. Saves them work, and gives people what they want.

-People can report objectionable content and the mods can remove it if needed.

 

2. Make the User Based Reviews matter.

-10 Approves gets it through, 10 rejects and you have to try again type thing.

-Or at least have lots of approvals move descriptions up further into the queue.

 

To be clear, I appreciate the mods doing the work they do now. This isn't a critique of our mods, but the system that both them and the users are constrained to, and the strain that it causes on both ends. I can only speak for myself but I find big queues of things to do/write extremely daunting and demotivating (@ all the unnamed on my scroll I am so sorry) and I think some streamlining of this system can benefit everybody.

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Supporting option 2 more, but option 1 is good as well. 2 just gives a better feel of moderation to me.

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Just now, Keileon said:

Supporting option 2 more, but option 1 is good as well. 2 just gives a better feel of moderation to me.

I agree. My support goes to option 2.

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Pesonally I prefer 1, let people write out their descriptions and have them automatically appear, and users can just report them if they break the rules. Then again, it could be really easy for someone who keeps their scroll hidden to also hide inappropriate descriptions. In which case, I could get behind option 2. Either way, I agree there definitely needs to be a quicker way to get descriptions approved or rejected.

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I prefer Option one, but if not, Option 2 could be modified with automatic spell and grammar check, as well as automatic censoring (scanning for prohibited words). When the user hits Submit if they have any misspelled words, poor grammar, or prohibited words it would notify them and highlight what they have to fix. This would lighten the duties of the mods and reviewers who would no longer have to check for basic issues.

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There has been talk in the past of "description moderators" who would only have responsibility for approving or disapproving descriptions. I think I would rather see that than either of the above options, but I think there were some technical difficulties with limiting a moderator's powers. I'm not sure. Maybe someone else remembers that discussion better than I do.

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I'm with purple. It's too easy to get friends together to "approve" the inappropriate.

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Even with adding more mods, people will still get burnt out/have other obligations and that doesn't really fix the current bottleneck we have.

 

I don't understand why we're so invested in gatekeeping how people describe their dragons on this site. If something inappropriate gets posted, it can be reported and dealt with--just like it is when people give their dragons racist/offensive/etc names now. 

 

The filter for links/inappropriate words is a decent suggestion as well.

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But is it any better to have to bug a mod to get a description approved within a reasonable amount of time?  I know some descriptions have been left on Pending for months. If an inappropriate description is approved it can still be reported later.

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As one who has in her time reported truly APPALLING names which got through the net, at least one of which had been up for a while - how much harder for regular players to notice and report appalling descriptions. Don't forget that TJ is legally responsible for what might show up; some creep posting obscenities could get the whole game shut down.

 

Thanks but I'd rather it stay as it is There's no need to "bug a mod" - you can just wait. I've had many descriptions pending for a long while now. So ? Patience doesn't kill the game.

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But "patience" does kill the urge to describe your dragons. I would have far more described than I do because it's just very disheartening to supposedly have this function on the site that takes literal months to get approved. It's not a case of waiting a few hours or a day or two, or even a week. Frequently it's a case of waiting MONTHS. I know people who described dragons back in NOVEMBER that are still waiting for approval. Also, TJ is actually protected by law when someone posts something offensive, as he long has a process that allows it to be taken down, which he does. Plus a robust automatic filtering system would reduce the amount of abusive stuff getting through in the first place.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, BrazenChase said:

I found out that the "Review User Descriptions" function does not actually do anything towards getting a description approved at all. Does not contribute to a counter, or move it through a queue etc.

 

This isn't really true at all?

 

User reviews help immensely, I see any user comments that are made and definitely use the feedback, and I can view descriptions based on how high they were user voted. It is an immense help when I have so many to sort through. (I'm pretty sure this was said somewhere before? Maybe?)

 

As for solutions, honestly the main problem right now is... so few mods are working on descriptions. (edit: not that I'm blaming anybody I realize that might come off that way - I'm barely doing any because it really just is so time consuming) I would say just me but I know at least one other mod took a large chunk a while back, but it's been a while. It's very time consuming is the main problem, and I just don't have the mental capital to read and critique 200 descriptions a night. Lately I've been knocking off the obviously spammy ones (there are a LOT... that are just. straight up spam, so I'm very much against users being able to freely post descriptions with no moderation) but I don't have the time to knock out a lot a lot.

 

 

It IS a problem - it's very overwhelming to have almost two thousand descriptions waiting on me.

 

My chosen solution would be description moderators - like RP mods, whose sole duty is to do descriptions :D

Edited by Kaini

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As someone who has been waiting since November with some descriptions having over 14 approval votes, I think I have a reasonable claim to say something is wrong with the system. Again, I am not witch-hunting the mods. I merely recognize that having a very small handful of people who are responsible for hundreds--potentially thousands of descriptions at a time is not a reasonable practice for anybody involved.

 

Pretty much every other petsite I have played on allows for custom descriptions including Flight Rising, FelisFire, and just about any other petsite I've come across. None of those have ever been taken down in years of operating for a user description, so I think that is a very hasty jump to the worst possible scenario, and a hyperbole.

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I've had some waiting ages too, with plenty of approvals. So ? I don't feel I have a "reasonable claim to say something is wrong". The waits now are far FAR shorter than they used to be. I can remember when it took up to two YEARS to get approved.

 

I shall carry on writing them and they will get done in the end. People can view pending descriptions, after all.

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Posted (edited)

11 minutes ago, Kaini said:

 

This isn't really true at all?

 

User reviews help immensely, I see any user comments that are made and definitely use the feedback, and I can view descriptions based on how high they were user voted. It is an immense help when I have so many to sort through. (I'm pretty sure this was said somewhere before? Maybe?)

 

As for solutions, honestly the main problem right now is... so few mods are working on descriptions. I would say just me but I know at least one other mod took a large chunk a while back, but it's been a while. It's very time consuming is the main problem, and I just don't have the mental capital to read and critique 200 descriptions a night. Lately I've been knocking off the obviously spammy ones (there are a LOT... that are just. straight up spam, so I'm very much against users being able to freely post descriptions with no moderation) but I don't have the time to knock out a lot a lot.

 

 

It IS a problem - it's very overwhelming to have almost two thousand descriptions waiting on me.

 

My chosen solution would be description moderators - like RP mods, whose sole duty is to do descriptions :D

Right, and I'm agreeing that expecting you and less than a handful of other people to sift through 2000+ descriptions isn't working for anybody involved. Some form of automation would help immensely with this, as proposed.

 

6 minutes ago, Fuzzbucket said:

I've had some waiting ages too, with plenty of approvals. So ? I don't feel I have a "reasonable claim to say something is wrong". The waits now are far FAR shorter than they used to be. I can remember when it took up to two YEARS to get approved.

 

I shall carry on writing them and they will get done in the end. People can view pending descriptions, after all.

Even the moderators agree that the current system places undue strain on them. I have no idea what you mean when you say people can view pending descriptions, unless I click on the "Describe" function on one of my waiting dragons, even I do not see my pending descriptions on my own dragons.

 

"It's been worse!" is not a valid coutnerargument to "Let's make something better!" That will never negate there being room for improvement.

Edited by BrazenChase

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2 minutes ago, BrazenChase said:

Even the moderators agree that the current system places undue strain on them. I have no idea what you mean when you say people can view pending descriptions, unless I click on the "Describe" function on one of my waiting dragons, even I do not see my pending descriptions on my own dragons.

There is a check-box in your account settings to allow you to see pending descriptions -- on your own scroll and others'.

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3 minutes ago, purplehaze said:

There is a check-box in your account settings to allow you to see pending descriptions -- on your own scroll and others'.

I see. If that's the case, then the argument about inappropriate content and DC being completely taken down as a result is... Kind of moot.

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Why not a combination of #1 and #2? Let users write their descriptions and auto-approve them when X users have approved it without any rejections. (Or, from twice that number onward, if no more than 5% have rejected it.) Now, also add a report button to descriptions that only goes away once a mod has cleared it. This way, mods only need to work through those descriptions that get reported. Or a lot of downvotes. Once a description has been cleared by a mod, remove the report button so you don't get countless reports on a description that did get mod approval.

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I'm sorry, but I must say it really bugs me when people post suggestions and go 'well this other petsite does it so DC should too!!!' .... This is *not* Flight Rising, or any other petsite. This is DragonCave, and things might be done differently here but that doesn't automatically mean the other way is better. Sorry, it's just a pet peeve of mine because a lot of people come into Suggestions with an intention of making DC more like other sites, when a lot of us like DC *because* it isn't like other sites. 

 

After reading Kaini's post I'd really prefer *dedicated description mods* rather then anything automatic. Honestly I don't really see how an automatic system would be much better for mods if there are already tons of spam descriptions... They'll just constantly be checking reports on descriptions instead of approving descriptions. And really, I don't trust users-in-general to handle automatic descriptions well, whether it be trusting that users *will* report inappropriate things or trusting that users *won't* gather tons of friends to 'approve' their inappropriate things. 

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1 hour ago, HeatherMarie said:

I'm sorry, but I must say it really bugs me when people post suggestions and go 'well this other petsite does it so DC should too!!!' .... This is *not* Flight Rising, or any other petsite. This is DragonCave, and things might be done differently here but that doesn't automatically mean the other way is better. Sorry, it's just a pet peeve of mine because a lot of people come into Suggestions with an intention of making DC more like other sites, when a lot of us like DC *because* it isn't like other sites.

Personally, I didn't read it like that so much as "this is an example of what I mean and proof that it works".

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9 hours ago, BrazenChase said:

Review User Descriptions" function does not actually do anything towards getting a description approved at all. Does not contribute to a counter, or move it through a queue etc.

 

As was already said, it helps the mods know what is fine and what needs work.

 

Second, turn on show pending descriptions under account settings and all descriptions, your's or otherwise that have enough user accepts will show.

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An automatic filter would also catch links and random spam, as well as bad words, bad spelling and poor grammar. Spam filters are a thing, and it's not something we need to waste mod resources on when a program will do just as well. So I don't really accept "spam" as an argument when spam is something that can be easily filtered automatically, and many other sites with a lot more traffic do it easily.

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7 hours ago, HeatherMarie said:

I'm sorry, but I must say it really bugs me when people post suggestions and go 'well this other petsite does it so DC should too!!!' .... This is *not* Flight Rising, or any other petsite. This is DragonCave, and things might be done differently here but that doesn't automatically mean the other way is better. Sorry, it's just a pet peeve of mine because a lot of people come into Suggestions with an intention of making DC more like other sites, when a lot of us like DC *because* it isn't like other sites.  

Personally, I didn't read it as, "Make it more like Flight Rising!" and more as, "This concept works, Flight Rising uses it successfully."

Also, this suggestion is not adding a feature or drastically changing it, it merely changes how things are handled. DC uses a very hesitant approach that needs a lot of resources (=moderator time) to work - and the backlog proves that it doesn't really work well. Pointing out alternatives that work for other sites is not the same as wanting to make DC more like the site in question.

 

Quote

After reading Kaini's post I'd really prefer *dedicated description mods* rather then anything automatic. Honestly I don't really see how an automatic system would be much better for mods if there are already tons of spam descriptions... They'll just constantly be checking reports on descriptions instead of approving descriptions. And really, I don't trust users-in-general to handle automatic descriptions well, whether it be trusting that users *will* report inappropriate things or trusting that users *won't* gather tons of friends to 'approve' their inappropriate things.

A user-approved system can be made to work if there are several checks in place.

  • Picking up the idea from platedlizard, I think a filter would be a good idea in general, and should take care of the most obvious problems.
  • A report button for user-approved descriptions. If a description gets tagged, it's probably a good idea to have a mod investigate.
    • If a mod investigates a description and approves it, the report button should go away to avoid multiple reports on the same description. Some of them might just toe the line too closely for some people's taste.
  • Sanctions for abuse of the feature. Just block repeat offenders from describing their dragons. Especially if all they do is post spam or way too inappropriate content. (Or, if you want to be petty, turn the report action into a link to the ToS for those people...)

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Someone recently mentioned they wrote a description and had it unexpectedly approved in half a day without contacting a mod or any other workaround, while others have been and are still waiting months to get theirs answered, which suggests that maybe the order of descriptions appearing  to mods needs to be reworked as well.

 

Also, I think an overly strict emphasis on Dragon Cave lore is a rather detrimental thing to both writers and modders, and that perhaps mods should have a guideline between themselves on what to say regarding rejects bc I've heard of quite a few mod rejects that were either completely blank or vague to the point of being useless (i.e. one mod reject literally being "not adhering to description rules" which is entirely unconstructive). I imagine it'd be a lot less stressful to decide to approve or not if you didn't have to go back and re-read the encyclopedia every time a description went in-depth into their headcanons of DC.

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I gave up describing dragons ages ago for this reason. For me it just sucks the fun right out of it. I sincerely doubt that many people would gather ten friends, have them review descriptions until all ten of them have come across theirs, count on no one else seeing and rejecting it - just to have a spammy description approved.

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