Trolls and Vandalism

Hiding comments or banning users should be used as a last resort. When a user expresses the wrong information, use it as a learning opportunity to correct them and other users.

A user is referred to as a troll when they repeatedly post messages with the sole intention of starting arguments or upsetting people. They do this by posting abusive, rude or inflammatory messages with the deliberate intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or disrupting normal on-topic discussion often for their own amusement. [taken from Wikipedia].

Comments should be hidden when:

  • They are adverts selling products, promoting other links and pages.
  • When it is a repeated comment by the same user on the same post.
  • When the comment contains offensive/abusive language

Users should be banned when:

  • They repeatedly post adverts
  • They are abusive towards another user
  • They repeatedly post incorrect information despite having been corrected [this is part of troll behaviour]

Before a user is banned, comment on their post to advise them as to why their comment is inappropriate and to advise them that should they continue to post inappropriate content they risk being banned.

In general…

As a general note, non-expert moderators should not respond directly to a user on any specific medical question. A general moderator should only clean up offensive comments and drop Help responses. Expert moderators should respond directly to users either via choosing a specific and accurate Canned response, or by answering the user’s question in real time. Along the way you might want to get canned responses created with colleagues from the relevant sections in your office so that you can create a collection of canned responses.