2018 Post Report Statistics

HexMonkey

Administrator
Original poster
Staff member
Feb 5, 2004
2,135
427
New Zealand
The following statistics summarise the post reports we received from members in 2018.

This is the ninth set of post report statistics that we've disseminated. Previous post report statistics cover 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, the first half of 2011, and the second half of 2010.

About post reports

The forums are maintained by a small group of volunteer moderators and administrators whose aim is to keep them enjoyable and free from problems. There are thousands of posts every day, and the moderators don't have time to review all of them. We instead rely on post reports that bring particular posts or threads to the moderators' attention.

Post reports are submitted by members by clicking the report button (the small exclamation mark in a circle), located at the bottom right of each post to the left of the "Like" button. You can use this any time you want to get the attention of a moderator, not just if you think a particular post violates a rule (for example, if you want a moderator to move or delete your own post, or if you want to bring attention to a thread or member in general). The moderation team will review every report, although in some cases we determine that no action is necessary. We are always grateful when you alert us to a potential problem, even when we take no action, so if in doubt, it's always better to report.

Behinds the scenes, generating statistics on post reports helps us to monitor the forums, for example to highlight problem areas that we need to address, or to tell us when and at what times we're in need of new moderators. We release a subset of these statistics publicly for the interest of our members.

2018 post report summary

  • Number of post reports: 17039
  • Mean per day: 46.7
  • Max per day: 150 on Sep 12
  • Min per day: 7
  • Number of post reporters: 2215
  • Number of reported members: 7974
  • Number of posts reported: 13691
  • Number of threads with a post reported: 9498

About 1 in every 94 forum posts made in 2018 were reported.

The graph below shows the trend in both posts and post reports, by month, since mid-2006.

months.png


Reported forums

There was no change in the top three most reported forums, with the iPhone and MacRumors.com News Discussion forums remaining as clear leaders. The top 10 forums by number of post reports were as follows; deltas are in comparison with figures from 2017.

Code:
Rank	Delta	Forum					Reports
----	-----	---------------------------------------	-------
1	n/c	iPhone					2837
2	n/c	MacRumors.com News Discussion		2698
3	n/c	Politics, Religion, Social Issues	1473
4	+1	MacBook Pro				1173
5	+1	Community Discussion			1170
6	+5	iOS Apps				673
7	new	iOS 12					579
8	-4	iOS 11					577
9	+1	Apple Watch				549
10	-2	iOS Blog Discussion			485
Grouping forums by broad areas, a fifth of reports are from the news discussion forums, with another half from iOS and iOS device related forums (38%) and Mac related forums (15%).

areareason.png


Report reasons

Moderators deal with a wide range of issues when handling post reports. Using keyword analysis we can determine the reasons for about three quarters of them automatically, which are shown above. Spam was by far the most common reason, representing at least a third of reports, with personal attacks, trolling, threads posted in the wrong forum, duplicate post or threads, frivolous posts and off topic posts being other common reasons.

Examining long term trends, there's a clear and substantial increasing trend in the share of spam reported, increasing by about 15% percentage points compared to 2017. Previously, this rate had stabilised at about 10% after the transition to XenForo in 2015, but it seems that spammers are increasingly able to circumvent our spam prevention mechanisms.

reasons.png


Time of day

Traditionally, we've seen a larger share of reports during the North American day, however this trend faded as 2018 progressed and we saw a fairly even share of reports across the day. This was primarily due to the increase in spam reports, since these occur most often when the forums are less active. As usual, activity was highest on Mondays, gradually reducing over the remainder of the week.

HoursOfWeekByReason.png


Post reporters

2215 members reported posts in 2018. Of these members, 53% reported just one post, while 90% made 10 or fewer reports each. The top 10% of reporters made 76% of all reports, with the top ten reporters alone making 34% of all reports - an average of 585 each. Whether you make 1 report or 1000, we always appreciate the help to alert us to potential issues, especially as many issues are likely never reported.

reporters.png


Reported threads

Some threads, particularly long or controversial ones, have a large number of posts reported. 66% of threads containing a reported post received just one report, while 96 threads received more than 10 reports. The thread with the most post reports for the year was iOS 12.x.x Release Speculation Thread (66 reports), continuing something of a trend after The 11.x.x Release Speculation Thread was the most reported thread in 2017 (and was also the fifth most reported thread in 2018, with 47 reports). Overall, 14.9% of all threads had at least one post reported.

Other

We don't publish statistics comparing how many reports each member makes, both for privacy reasons and because we don't want to turn post reporting into a competition. If you want aggregate information about your own post reports, you can contact me privately and I can provide this.

As well as thanking all the members who take the time to report problematic posts to us, now is also a good opportunity to thank all the moderators for volunteering their time to handle the huge number of reports over the year and ensuring that we can maintain an enjoyable forum experience for everyone!
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,712
30,977
Excellent read and very insightful. And yes, thank you to all the moderators for everything they do.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,522
24,636
Great work, really interesting to see this!

If it wasn’t for the spam on the standard forums I wonder if PRSI would take its rightful place at the top of report numbers/a house of evil.

Unless you can filter out spam in your report and prove me wrong — in which case, pretend I didn’t say anything. :oops:
 
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HexMonkey

Administrator
Original poster
Staff member
Feb 5, 2004
2,135
427
New Zealand
As we can see, PRSI is not the most contentious forum again. A lot of complaints in S&FF about PRSI, but not too much about the iPhone forum, Hmmmm.
A relevant factor is the number of reports in these forums relative to total activity. For the 38% of reports grouped into the "iOS & iOS Devices" category, this represents over 20 forums, many of which have extremely high levels of activity. So we'd expect a high number of reports in these areas, since they represent a significant portion of the total traffic for the forums. I don't have statistics on the percentage of posts reported broken down for forum, but I'd guess that this would be disproportionately high in the PRSI forum, and that would be a significant factor in the general sentiment towards that forum.

Another thing the stats don't show is how this translates to moderator work. For example, while trolling and personal attacks make up 16% of reports in the forums as a whole, this rises to almost 50% in the PRSI forum. These types of reports require a lot more effort to process, since they often require understanding the context of the post within the wider thread. Spam, on the other hand, is much quicker to handle as it tends to fairly obvious. So even though PRSI reports were only 9% of total reports, the amount of moderator time devoted to them is likely disproportionately higher.

Great work, really interesting to see this!

If it wasn’t for the spam on the standard forums I wonder if PRSI would take its rightful place at the top of report numbers/a house of evil.

Unless you can filter out spam in your report and prove me wrong
If we exclude spam reports, PRSI increases from 9% to 13%.

— in which case, pretend I didn’t say anything. :oops:
Oops :)
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,172
8,246
Detroit
A relevant factor is the number of reports in these forums relative to total activity. For the 38% of reports grouped into the "iOS & iOS Devices" category, this represents over 20 forums, many of which have extremely high levels of activity. So we'd expect a high number of reports in these areas, since they represent a significant portion of the total traffic for the forums. I don't have statistics on the percentage of posts reported broken down for forum, but I'd guess that this would be disproportionately high in the PRSI forum, and that would be a significant factor in the general sentiment towards that forum.

Another thing the stats don't show is how this translates to moderator work. For example, while trolling and personal attacks make up 16% of reports in the forums as a whole, this rises to almost 50% in the PRSI forum. These types of reports require a lot more effort to process, since they often require understanding the context of the post within the wider thread. Spam, on the other hand, is much quicker to handle as it tends to fairly obvious. So even though PRSI reports were only 9% of total reports, the amount of moderator time devoted to them is likely disproportionately higher.



If we exclude spam reports, PRSI increases from 9% to 13%.



Oops :)
Excellent points and thank you for bringing them up. That paints a new light on the perception.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
46,631
31,304
The Far Horizon
Nice work.

As we can see, PRSI is not the most contentious forum again. A lot of complaints in S&FF about PRSI, but not too much about the iPhone forum, Hmmmm.
I have noticed this, as well.

Actually, the tone of some of the threads in the iPhone forum - on the rare occasions I dip my toes in there - can be quite forceful and curiously intolerant.

On a the topic under discussion, well done to the mods, and I, for one, certainly report spam whenever I come across it.
 

tobefirst

macrumors 601
Jan 24, 2005
4,066
1,166
St. Louis, MO
I wouldn't have been surprised if I was one of the top 10 or top 10% of reporters but I've largely stopped reporting posts. I used to feel that it made a difference, but after interactions with moderators and admins, I've, as the Righteous Brothers would sing," lost that loving feeling."