How to Moderate bbPress (aka bbPress Basics)

On Sept 1, 2016, the forums were upgraded to bbPress 2.x

This changed everything. Since bbPress 2 runs on WordPress, moderator powers are more closely managed as they give users powers to more aspects of the WordPress.org site.

Alert: This page is a work in progress! Links and directions are likely to change.

Forum roles Forum roles

There are two elevated roles within the forums, Moderator and Keymaster.

Note: If your moderator bit was removed as of September 1, 2016, this is because the Moderator role now is the equivalent to the Administrator role on bbPress 1. Subsequently, the Support Team voted to change the requirements. Please make sure you meet the current qualifications.

Moderators are tasked with keeping the forums tidy, they have the ability to archive and spam posts, as well as manage the spam and pending queues. They are expected to escalate any issues to the Keymasters if it is required.

Keymasters generally perform the same tasks as a Moderator. In addition to moderator powers, they can block users from posting, elevate new users, and delete posts. The Keymaster role is strictly regulated.

Both Moderators and Keymasters have access to the wp-admin Dashboard of the support forums, and will need it to manage the forums.

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Users Users

Warning: User accounts cannot be deleted or renamed. Don’t even try.

User profiles are located at

https://wordpress.org/support/users/USERNAME

Within that page are links to topics created, replies, favorites, subscriptions, and of course… the edit window.

The majority of users are well behaved, however some people handle being upset better than others. If a user posts foul/colourful language once or twice, it’s worth editing their post and leaving a mod-note as to why.

If a user needs to be banned then a Keymaster will need to address this. Otherwise, Users should be Flagged. This will require all posts to be approved.

Flagging Users Flagging Users

Tip: Flagging an Author will result in ALL their posts requiring approval. Do not use this flagrantly!

To flag a user, go to a post and click Flag Author:

Flagging George as a Bad Author

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Spamming Users Spamming Users

If a user is spamming, then they should be marked as a spammer.

Alert: Directions TBD – We have to finish this tool first.

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Banning Users Banning Users

Only Keymasters can ban users. From the admin dashboard, go to the Users list and search for the user:

Search for User screen

Check the box by their name and change the forum role to Blocked

Change forum role:

Click on Change and the user will be changed.

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Posts (Topics and Replies) Posts (Topics and Replies)

Most of the work done will be on the front end of the forums (that is the same view as all users see)

Helpful Views:

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Post Statuses Post Statuses

We have new statuses for posts:

  • Spam – Spam
  • Pending – Needs to be approved by a moderator
  • Archived – Hidden from view but saved for posterity

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The Post Sidebar The Post Sidebar

When you look at a topic, there will be options on the sidebar to help you moderate.

Topic Info

The +1 hidden link will refresh the page and show all ‘hidden’ posts like spam or archived. Moderators can also change the status to resolved if needed.

Further down is a section called Topic Admin:

Mod Tool Quick Links

This will let you have quick access to manage the topic. Yes, you can merge topics now.

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Editing Posts and Topics Editing Posts and Topics

Moderators can edit post content. Generally this should be used for fixing formatting of code, removing links and foul language, and so on.

The edit screen looks like this:

Editing Posts

When you edit, if it’s not obvious why, leave a note. If you edit the first post in a topic, you will be given an option to uncheck the box to “Keep a log of this edit:”

Optional - Log Edit

It’s recommended you not do this. Ninja Edits are bad. Don’t do it.

A post that has been edited will show a public log:

Example of a Post with Edits

Keep it PG folks.

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Deleting (Archiving) Posts and Topics Deleting (Archiving) Posts and Topics

Only Keymasters can delete. And in general we do not currently delete posts. The reason for this is so we can keep a history of behavior. In the case of escalating abuse, having a history of the user’s behavior is paramount. Instead, posts should be archived or spammed.

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Archiving Posts Archiving Posts

See Also: Archived Posts View

Any post that isn’t spam or approved should be archived. We keep these posts in order to record a history of behavior. In the case of escalating abuse, having a history of the user’s behavior is paramount.

To archive an entire topic, click ARCHIVE from the Topic Admin sidebar. To archive just one post, hover over the post and click ARCHIVE from the menu.

How to Archive

If a post has to be un-archived, it returns to it’s previous status. Spam goes to spam, and so on.

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Spammed Posts Spammed Posts

See Also: Posts Tagged Spam

Tutorial: This section is likely to change.

The spam queue lists all the posts that are spam. Akismet will automatically delete posts marked as spam after 15 days, so there is no need to delete them. Yes, it means the list gets long. Just go through it and look for posts that should be unspammed. If there’s a post you can’t edit, that’s because it’s been trashed (see #1962). Just leave it alone.

If you see a post that is spam, press the ‘Spam’ button and walk away.

Spam Post

If you see a post that isn’t spam, you can press Unspam:

UnSpam

Obviously that one was spam, so leave it alone.

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Pending Posts Queue Pending Posts Queue

The pending queue is for posts that were caught and need moderator approval. These are not posts caught as spam, but ones that trigger moderation in other ways, such as too many links, or the poster has been flagged due to prior behavior.

There are two ways to view pending posts:

  1. Via the front end Pending Posts View – this shows replies and topics
  2. Via the wp-admin
    1. Pending Topics View
    2. Pending Replies View

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Pending Posts View Pending Posts View

This is a front-end display that will show both Spam and Pending posts. To approve a post, click the Approve Button:

Approve a Pending Post

This view is best for quick overviews.

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WP-Admin Pending Topics and Replies WP-Admin Pending Topics and Replies

The front-end queue is fine, but sometimes you need the more granular control of the wp-admin dashboard. The dashboard is bbPress on WordPress, so it looks like WordPress. The two views you will mostly use are these:

When you go to that view, you should set your posts to display excerpts:

View Excerpts

Then when you look at the replies they’ll be much easier to parse quickly. Posts can be approved or sent to spam from pending.

Sample view of Pending Posts

In the above example, you’ll notice the first username is luxuryrealtygroup which could be a company or a spammer. In the second reply, the post content includes “Eurovision” — a common phrase used by spammers. Since both are possibly spam, you’ll want to click view and see them in context. There you would see the second post is perfectly fine, while the first is a reply to a month-old topic.

If you click on EDIT, you can see the akismet history:

Example of Akismet history where Ipstenu and Clorith disagree

Clearly Ipstenu and Clorith should chat.

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ModLook Queue ModLook Queue

Tutorial: This section is likely to change.

See: Posts Tagged Modlook

When a user finds a post that should be deleted, or needs moderator attention, they apply the forum tag ‘modlook.’ This view should be regularly monitored and cleared out.

That list is normally empty if we’re doing our jobs right.