Reported post statistics Jul 1 to Dec 31 2010

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by HexMonkey, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. HexMonkey Administrator

    HexMonkey

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #1
    As many of you know, you can alert moderators to a post by clicking the report post icon ([​IMG]) next to the post. For the past four and a half years, I've been calculating statistics based on these reports, which we've used internally in the moderator team. Now, for the first time, we are sharing some of these statistics publicly.

    To start with, here's an overview of the post reports from the last 6 month period (Jul 1 to Dec 31 2010):

    • Number of post reports for period: 15542
    • Mean per day: 84.9
    • Max per day: 203
    • Min per day: 23
    • Percentage of reports that reported the first post in a thread: 44.6%
    • Number of post reporters: 2346
    • Number of reported members: 7178
    • Number of posts reported: 12354
    • Number of threads reported: 9345

    Overview

    There were 15542 reported posts in the second half of 2010, however the bulk of these were in the first half of this period. The day with the most reports was July 26 (203), although the all time record is 251. The graph below shows the trend over the last four and a half years.

    [​IMG]

    The following graph shows these figures as a percentage of all posts posted in each 6 month period. As can be seen, the percentage of posts reported has risen in the last three years. This could be caused by any number of reasons, for example the site being a bigger target for spammers as it grows, user demographics changing over time or members just being more educated about the post reporting feature.

    Currently, about 1% of posts are reported, while about 8% of threads have at least one post reported.

    [​IMG]

    Day of week

    Thursdays had the most reports (total 2467), although the other weekdays were not far behind. Weekdays had 36% more reports than weekend days. This is similar to the pattern of forum activity in general. For example, in the last two months there were an average of 5579 posts per weekday and 3951 posts per weekend day.

    [​IMG]

    Time of day

    Reports were common at all times of day, although it was busiest from about 7 AM to 5 PM Pacific time. The quietest hours were roughly 10 PM to 5 AM. The quietest hour had 55% of the reports of the busiest, which is a less pronounced difference than in previous time periods. Again, these numbers are likely to reflect forum activity in general.

    [​IMG]

    Post reporters

    There were about 2350 post reporters over the second half of 2010. Of these people, 51.5% reported just one post, while 91% of reporters made fewer than 10 reports each. The top 10% of reporters made 71% of all reports. In fact, the top ten reporters made 23% of all reports.

    [​IMG]

    Reported forums

    By far, more posts were reported in the iPhone forum that in any other forum. The top 20 forums by number of post reports were as follows:

    Code:
    Rank	Forum					Reports
    ----	---------------------------------------	-------
    1	iPhone					3009
    2	MacRumors.com News Discussion		1433
    3	Community Discussion			784
    4	MacBook Pro				758
    5	iPad					678
    6	iPhone Hacks				633
    7	iPhone Accessories			569
    8	iPod touch				408
    9	Mac Applications			377
    10	Politics, Religion, Social Issues	329
    11	Buying Tips and Advice			313
    12	Picture Gallery				278
    13	MacBook Air				276
    14	Mac Basics and Help			272
    15	iMac					240
    16	iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting	235
    17	Mac Pro					228
    18	iPhone and iPod touch Apps		225
    19	iPhone/iPad Programming			214
    20	Mac OS X				213
    Report reasons

    Moderators deal with a wide range of issues when handling post reports, although there are some common issues. Spam or advertising was the biggest category of post reports, accounting for 30% of all reports. Other common reasons were double/consecutive posts (8%), insults or personal attacks (7%), threads posted in the wrong forums (5%), bumps (3%), piracy (2%), profanity (1%) and large pictures (1%).

    Reported threads

    Some threads are particularly problematic and have a large number of posts reported. 72% of threads containing a reported post received just one report, while 61 threads received more than 10 reports. The highest number of reports for a thread was 84 (the all time record is 110).
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    A few comments from an administrator:

    Why we need stats

    If everyone observed the rules then we wouldn't need the post reporting system or our volunteer moderators, but until that happens your direct involvement is what maintains the quality of discussions. We use statistics like those above (thanks HexMonkey!) to gauge when and where problems most often occur and what we have to do to serve the MacRumors membership most effectively. We hope you'll see how important post reports are to the operation of the forums, and how important your help is.

    Your role

    The quality of forum discussions depends on post reports. We encourage you to set a good example in your own posts, of course, but also to let us know of any posts that you think may be violating forum rules. Don't worry that you might be overreporting. It's rare and if we ever have a concern about misreporting or overreporting we'll politely let you know.

    You will not receive a reply to a post report but still we are grateful that you alerted us to a problem. Reporting a post always results in an evaluation of the post report and the reported post. It doesn't necessary cause action that you can see because we may find that the reported post is acceptable under the rules. In other cases a user may receive a private warning, which you won't see, for making an improper post.

    About moderation in general

    Moderation requires a balance between fair enforcement of the rules and our goal of letting people express almost any opinion in the forums. It's not an easy job, which is why we're very picky in choosing moderators (see summary of the process), why they work as a team, and why we review every tough call or disputed moderation action.

    If you have questions aboout our system of moderation or general questions about forum policies, we're always ready to answer. If you have questions or complaints about specific cases of moderation of your own posts, use our Contact form so we can give you a detailed answer. Under our Privacy Policy we don't discuss moderation of your posts with anyone else.
     
  3. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #3
    By far, I report mostly new thread advertising/spam posts. I wonder if there is anything we can do to curve that. It's seriously getting annoying because when one pops up then you know 4-5 or more will show up; about one every minute. It's like clockwork. No, I don't want to buy a freakin' purse or shoes.
     
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #4
    Thanks for the reports you submit.

    When we see spammer threads like those you've reported we look for ways to catch them more quickly the next time. Each week there are quite a few spam threads and spam posts that we catch so quickly that nobody else gets a chance to report them. Spammers often try to make their spam posts look like real discussion posts but, like you, we know it when we see it.
     
  5. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Doctor Q, if looks like you might have some competition from the likes of HexMonkey in the number crunching stakes :p

    Thanks for making these public, I would say its more useful than having them kept private.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #6
    Nice charts HexMonkey! Always good to see more of these :) Anyway we could see top reporters or something like that?

    About the spamming, would it be possible to make it so that people could not make more than e.g. 1 thread per 15 minutes? That would reduce spamming by fairly a lot and also stop newbies from making duplicate threads. Nobody needs to make more than one thread for his/her questions. I'm sure this has been discussed before but at least I can't remember.
     
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #7
    No it wouldn't. Probably 4/5s of the spam I've seen in the past few months have been in-thread replies with a spammish link in the signature.
     
  8. HexMonkey thread starter Administrator

    HexMonkey

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    New Zealand
    #8
    For privacy reasons, we're not releasing any statistics that identify individual members.

    It's come up in discussion, although it's always a balancing act of restricting spam vs causing inconvenience for legitimate users. The other question is whether such a restriction would actually reduce spam, or just cause spammers to reply to existing threads instead (which is already quite common, and often harder to spot).
     
  9. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #9
    That's too bad, that's something I'd be interested in seeing as well.
     
  10. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #10
    I must say I am not at all surprised that the iPhone Forum tops the list, but I am surprised at just how many reports it has. Woof.

    It's also interesting to note that that always-edgy PRSI forum only just squeaks into the top ten.
     
  11. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    Jul 11, 2003
    #11
    All I know Doctor Q is that HexMonkey has upped the ante in stats threads. Your next bi-annual update needs graphs. :D

    And it proves what I've been saying all along, those damn iPhone people are nothing but trouble. ;)
     
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    It's a rather rough crowd in that iPhone forum. Reminds me more of a pop-culture forum like Oh No They Didn't!
     
  13. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #13

    Although it would be fascinating, I'm sure for many, I'm not sure how helpful it would be for the larger forum membership to know who is doing the bulk of the reporting, especially as it might discourage many from reporting posts. If you stop and think about it, there could be considerable downsides. MacRumors protects its sources.

    HexMonkey has just shown everyone around his secret product development workshop, but kept some projects hidden beneath black cloths. Hope he doesn't accidentally leave the rest of his stats on a stool in a bar in Redwood, California.
     
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #14
    Indeed, let's leave MacRumors' dirty laundry hanging in the moderators' discussion chambers, where it belongs. I'm sure it stinks anyhow. ;)
     
  15. appleguy123 macrumors 603

    appleguy123

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    #15
    If always thought that there would be more reports than 84 per day :D

    About spam OP's: Can't we just have all newbie threads be force to be approved by someone 6502 or higher? It would not require mods, and it wouldn't take to long for these threads to show up.
    If you're caught abusing your approval privilege, you are punished or rebuked the privilege.
     
  16. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #16
    Yes, that's a choice in theory.

    But we prefer not to interfere when new members post. Many of them come to MacRumors to ask for help with a problem. Introducing a delay, not to mention a process that would probably confuse them, wouldn't make for a very pleasant first forum experience. We've made a conscious choice to weed out spam after the fact (as quickly as possible) rather than assume that threads by new members are guilty until proven innocent.

    It also prevents the inconsistencies that would result if we deputized 100s of forum members to make decisions about new members' threads.
     
  17. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #17
    Fantastic data, and nice graphs. Q has a worthy challenger.

    I would love to know which two threads got 84 and 110 reports. Any chance of telling us? Since the offending posts are presumably gone, this wouldn't identify anyone in particular.
     
  18. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #18
    The 84-report thread was Steve Jobs Suggests Blu-ray Not Coming to Mac Anytime Soon, a news thread from last June that has remained remarkably active over time and is now nearing 4500 posts.

    The all-time record of 110 reports belongs to The unofficial "I'm Waiting for Arrandale" thread... part i5, which, as the title implies, was one of a series of chatty-type threads for people to discuss their decision to hold off on buying a MacBook Pro until Intel's Arrandale processors became available. The thread, like the others in the series, was closed and Wastelanded when its usefulness has run its course, but this one managed to get up to nearly 6000 posts before that happened, meaning lots of post reports along the way.
     
  19. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #19
    I was about to ask what it is you do for MacRumors. ;)
     
  20. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #20
    I suspected there would be more reported posts from PRSI, as well.

    I guess the lower-than-expected number of reported posts is because (1) brand-new members are excluded from that forum, and (2) most users kinda know what to expect from PRSI, so perhaps they report less. Just a guess on my part.
     
  21. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #21
    Thanks WildCowboy.

    I'm slightly disappointed that these two threads were rather mundane - generating lots of reports just by being very long. I had hoped to discover a short contentious, dynamite thread, perhaps one questioning whether the Pope was indeed a catholic or merely a heretic Jewish sect leader.

    Blu-Ray on the Mac is indeed a debatable topic, but but it's not, y'know *gritty*.
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #22
    I would also suspect that people that agree with a poster won't report it even though it might be against the rules.
     

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