New Tool for Flagging Comments

admin Over the past month, the goal of TheTopTens has been to improve the overall quality of the site. We implemented a new design and moved the site to a more robust server. We also made a ton of behind the scenes improvements designed to make the site easier to use, make moderation move more swiftly, and overall improve the experience for our visitors.

The latest thing we have started to turn our attention toward is the quality of the content on the site starting with item comments. Over the years we have amassed over 100,000 comments and admittedly, many of them were not worth the effort for visitors to read. So to start with, we began removing what we considered to be low quality comments. We went back through our entire archive of comments and removed those that were under 25 characters, were under 50 characters and contained the words "should be higher", were under 35 characters and included "of all time", etc. By taking out these short and formulaic comments, we were able to purge nearly 10% of all approved comments on the site. And judging by the reaction we have received, you haven't missed them.

Along with removing poor quality comments already on the site, we have begun applying the same rules to all new submissions as well as making improvements to the comment quality indicator and integrating it into the comment submission process. As of two days ago, comments with a poor comment quality score are placed into the moderation queue for review while comments with a high quality score (and do not contain forbidden language) are automatically approved.

Another major comment related change we are testing out is allowing logged in members to flag comments for review. This will allow members to flag any comment that has been added to the site including comments that were automatically approved as a result of having a high quality score.

This feature is currently being rolled out to item pages such as this one that can be found by clicking the "More comments about" link on list pages. When logged in, you will see a small red flag next to each item. Clicking the flag will display a list of reasons for why you feel the comment should be reviewed. Click on the reason that you feel is best and the comment will be flagged for review and placed at the top of our moderation queue.

Since the reasons we have provided may seem confusing or unclear, below we have more information about each reason you can use to determine which is best for the comment in question as well as use to gauge what sort of comments we are looking for on TheTopTens.

Duplicate - This one is pretty self explanatory. When a comment is a copy of an existing comment or is so close that might as well be, it should be flagged as duplicate since visitors are not going to want to read the same comment over and over.

Inaccurate - These are comments where the person tries to support their case by using a factually inaccurate statistic statement. An example of this would be someone who states that cheerleading is the most dangerous sport because 50,000 people a year die from it.

Irrelevant - These are comments that my be accurate or positive, but are not relevant to the list in which they appear. An example would be a comment that states "Michael Jackson is the greatest singer of all time and the King of Pop" in the list of Most Unique Singing Voices. The comment says nothing about Jackson having a unique voice and provides no justification for him being included in the list.

Low Quality - This is something of a catch all for comments that basically aren't worth reading. An example of a low quality comment would be "Eminem is the best rapper of all times should be number one" on the list of Best Rappers. The comment in this case is pointless because it doesn't say anything that the vote itself didn't say in the first place.

Offensive - Regardless of whether they contain profane language, there are some comments that you may feel are derogatory, overly sexual, rude, or otherwise offensive. Even if our moderators have approved the comment in the past, flagging it as offensive will give us a chance to take a second look with a more critical eye.

Poor Formatting - Comments containing excessive line breaks, spaces, commas, periods, etc. are a pain to read. Flagging such comments will give us a chance to clean them up.

Poor Spelling - An occasional misspelling is okay. We're all human. But when a comment is spelled so poorly it becomes illegible, it isn't helping anyone. Fell free to flag comments with lines like "dis sng iz d bst n d wrld".

Profanity - Another self explanatory reason. While we try to prevent profane comments from being approved in the first place by automatically disapproving comments with certain words, some still can slip through.

Spam - TheTopTens features a number of product or service oriented lists so the mere fact that a comment praises a company does not make it spam. What does constitute spam is posting irrelevant links or advertisements. Since this is a tricky one, if you are unsure of whether or not a comment is spam, feel free to flag it and will take look.

Unsupportive - These are comment where someone voted for an item on a list even though they don't support that item. For example, if someone votes for Justin Beiber in the list of best singers and adds a comment stating "I only voted to say that Justin Beiber is a girl and a terrible singer", that comment is unsupportive and should be flagged. This also applies to comments such as "I would have voted for Tool but they aren't on the list" and "This whole list sucks. There must be nothing other than 13 year old girls on this site".

As we move forward, we will continue to tweak and improve the site with the ultimate goal of making it the best top ten list site on the internet. If you have any suggestions for how we can do better with the quality of comments on the site or with the site in general, please let us know.


Maybe you should add something where it shows the date the blog post was made. - BlueTopazIceVanilla

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