Remove ability for curators to delete other users' comments

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bouteloua

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Sep 15, 2018, 7:48:17 PM9/15/18
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The ability for a curator to delete another user's comments should be strongly reconsidered. Perhaps the feature can be replaced with "Hide." Curators (and site admin, iNat staff) should still be able to see hidden comments, similar to how we can see spam-flagged comments.

thank you,
cassi

Charlie Hohn

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Sep 15, 2018, 8:34:12 PM9/15/18
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what? i didn't even realize we could delete comments. Yeah, with so many curators, that sounds like it could only be bad

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Charlie Hohn
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Chris Vynbos

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Sep 16, 2018, 11:44:56 AM9/16/18
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What would the justification be for deleting a user's comment other than if it violates the T&Cs of iNat, in which case a curator (or anyone for that matter) can flag it. 

Chris Cheatle

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Sep 16, 2018, 12:20:37 PM9/16/18
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That's the only justification. The challenge is there are 4,000 pages of flags. Unless you directly message the admins to remove something, there is a strong chance the flag won't get seen.

cassi saari

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Sep 16, 2018, 12:31:04 PM9/16/18
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I agree, there isn't really another reason. Unfortunately it is happening anyways lacking sufficient justification. I only happened to notice because it was my own comments that were recently removed. But how many others' have been deleted without cause?

The lack of oversight is why I am recommending the option be removed completely.

cassi

Charlie Hohn

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Sep 16, 2018, 3:59:46 PM9/16/18
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I think part of the problem is there are two main curatorial duties. One is taxonomy, the other is mediating conflicts, banning spammers, etc.  For the former, it makes sense to have 100s of curators, for the latter, there should be much fewer and there needs to be a code of conduct for them. Comments should only be deleted if they violate the terms of service. Deleting comments because the curator doesn't like or agree with them is inappropriate and should be grounds of being de-curated. In the long term, maybe we need different curator classes and to limit the number of people who can delete comments and make sure it is very clear what it is they are allowed to delete. And i'm gonna go ahead and throw out there that i'm pretty sure cassi wasn't spamming or making inappropriate comments on here.

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Bryant Evans

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Sep 18, 2018, 8:20:56 AM9/18/18
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Having served as a Wikipedia administrator for some time I must say that the ability to keep the site cleaned and free of TOS violations is important. However, that ability must be given only to trusted members of the community who work within tightly defined roles. It should not be easily handed to just anyone willing or desirous of helping. But it is an important task.

Thanks

Chris Cheatle

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Jan 8, 2019, 1:00:47 PM1/8/19
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I tend to prefer Charlie's view that the ability to delete comments be restricted to a subset of curators, be it those who have demonstrated a willingness to deal with the non taxonomic issues on the flags or other criteria as determined by the iNat team.

There are simply cases, unfortunately where there is content that should be removed, yet the iNat admins are already too taxed with other issues to add this to their plate.

For example, I've been subject to several 'revenge' flurries after curating or flagging content. I could delete the comments, but don't believe it is appropriate to tackle things myself 'done' to me. I would have no issue with another curator removing them.


There should be a way for users to be able to request trash content like this be removed.

Paul

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Jan 8, 2019, 1:31:19 PM1/8/19
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Cris 
This is obviously our right harassment 
And is uncalled for why are people 
Against removing comments with this 
Is beyond me. I’d be willing to volunteer 
My time if INat want to appoint 
A group on here to help clean up 
This issue, I’ve dealt with this before 
Blogging and moderation on a few web sites 
What I’m seeing at your links is completely 
Unacceptable 

Sincerely 
Paul Kelly 
ck2az 

Sent from my iPhone
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bouteloua

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Jan 8, 2019, 1:32:01 PM1/8/19
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(This isn't a direct reply to you Chris, just more thoughts:)

I think spam comments—iNat's definition of spam—could be outright deleted, e.g. in a batch edit after the comments have been checked to ensure they are not actually spam, since there are a lot of false positive comments flagged as spam.

But when the comment is from a real person, I don't know that it should be expunged completely from the website however inflammatory it is. Doing so in the current system removes the ability to track a pattern of poor behavior. One is otherwise relegated to taking screenshots, trying to guess when/where past deleted comments occurred, and piecing together an incomplete history for the staff to examine further if necessary. "Obscene, hate speech, insulting, threatening" comments should be hidden from most users, but not from curators volunteering to help ensure folks are following the Community Guidelines, or the site staff. (though I assume site staff can still retrieve them, at least for a certain time period?)

cassi
hide-or-delete-certain-comments.png

kiwif...@gmail.com

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Jan 8, 2019, 1:54:18 PM1/8/19
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I like the idea of hiding questionable comments, and only other curators being able to see them. Being able to unhide them again means that curators can discuss the pros and cons of having hidden the comment, and can re-evaluate and reinstate a comment if the situation warrants it. There is still the indelibility to encourage good behaviour, while bad behaviour is not visible and encouraging similar behaviour in others.

tony rebelo

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Jan 8, 2019, 3:04:47 PM1/8/19
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As curator I stay as far as possible away from any conflicts.  I stick to the taxonomy.

However, I do feel strongly that nothing should ever be deleted.  Flagged and hidden, yes!  But deleted should be impossible. Not by anybody.   Ever.
But then I also feel the comments replied to should be locked, and editing even by the author should not be possible. (but the author can flag their own comment and get it hidden - if they are ashamed or embarrassed)

On iSpot, one could not delete one own's comment, but one could edit it, but only until it was replied to after which it was locked.  The number of comments edited to a single full stop (the minimum allowable comment) was quite incredible. Even though almost everyone knew the rules.  Clearly many people often write things they later (immediately?)  regret.  For many reasons.  

I fully support cassi's suggestion/request/demand!

On Sunday, 16 September 2018 01:48:17 UTC+2, bouteloua wrote:

Chris Cheatle

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Jan 8, 2019, 3:59:30 PM1/8/19
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What purpose is served by retaining content, hidden or otherwise that is a violation of the terms of use of the site ?

If the concern is that curators are making wrong decisions about suspending users etc, then change the rules about how users are suspended, make it require 2 curators to agree or something.

If I accidentally upload the same observations twice, or realize i've accidentally clicked on the wrong item in doing an ID, what purpose is there in continuing to keep that, and not permitting it to be deleted ?

The examples I gave in the links on my records were some of the more polite ones that were posted on my observations, why should I have to continue having accusations of me breaking the law, lying about my records etc on the site ?

If content is flagged and the flag 'accepted' - get rid of it. I've flagged and curated porn images, even of children posted to the site, are you suggesting that should be retained on the server but hidden (yes that is the most extreme example, but equally valid).

Charlie Hohn

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Jan 8, 2019, 4:53:03 PM1/8/19
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the issue is with content being deleted that may not be violation, or that is deleted without coordination with other curators to detect a pattern. Things like spam, bigotry or whatever, are different. 

This is an issue of curators being overzealous or mistaking how the rules work, and deleting things that should not be deleted. We have a LOT of curators, abuse of power hasn't been bad so far from what I've seen but it seems inevitable if you keep expanding curators and giving them that sort of power.

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Chris Cheatle

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Jan 8, 2019, 7:52:35 PM1/8/19
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I guess the issue I am trying to highlight is that if Problem B (having to leave offensive, inappropriate, ToS violation comments visible) exists because of Problem A (worry about inappropriate individual curator action), then find fixes for problem A.

Paul

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Jan 8, 2019, 11:05:19 PM1/8/19
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I do believe what Chris has put forward 
Makes sense. The examples he has given 
Merits the user being banned and the comments being Deleted. Stalking a user 
With derogatory comments and harassment 
Should never be acceptable 
Why would anyone just want to hide the comments and not delete them is beyond me. Curators do a lot on INat why would 
It be that hard to have 4-8 people 
That could be moderators who 
Could police this type of behavior 
We are growing and with more people 
Using INat it’s a issue that need to be
Address sooner then later 

Sincerely 
Paul Kelly 
ck2az


Sent from my iPhone

Ian Toal

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Jan 13, 2019, 12:30:44 PM1/13/19
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Difficult subject. In principle, I don't like the idea that curators can delete comments. It opens the possibility for a person to delete legitimate complaints that they do not agree with. However, I have not been harassed (though there were times I thought I might be), and note that the comments referred to above were limited in scope, and were basically stopped by a 'Provide proof' message. I also see that user has been suspended. Using a 'hide' option would remove offensive comments from public view, but I think they need to be linked somehow to the offending users account so long term behaviour can be followed. And the comments reviewed by others. 

And I repeat, I am astonished by what some people do on this site. I must be naive!

Ian


On Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 6:48:17 PM UTC-5, bouteloua wrote:

Tony Iwane

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Jan 14, 2019, 6:30:27 PM1/14/19
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I'm personally for hiding comments. Takes it out of public view but it doesn't give anyone the total power to delete. We (staff) will delete obscene, pornographic, and threatening content if you email he...@inaturalist.org. Unfortunately that's had to happen a few times.

Tony Iwane

Chris Thawley

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Jan 15, 2019, 10:35:45 AM1/15/19
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I like the hiding but not permanently deleting idea. In really extreme cases of harassment or stalking, having a record of the offending activity might be useful for establishing the poor behavior, getting a restraining order, protecting a user, etc.

Chris
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