So I originally posted this topic over on Meta (link), but it didn’t get any traction so @erlend_sh suggested I try asking here. I’ve modified the original post a bit, as Meta is filled with all Discourse users, and there are a variety of platforms used here. My apologies in advance if I use any Discourse specific terminology.
So I’ve seen some questions come up over the last few weeks about moderating a Discourse instance. There was this discussion about dealing with overly emotional users, this topic about TL3 (“Trust Level 3” - users who have gained a large amount of “trust” on the site) users with too many flags, and more that I am not finding right now. I guess what I am curious about is what other communities see in terms of their users and content. Over at Stonehearth, in my time as a moderator over the last 4 months, we have seen very few issues. Since our Discourse started just before May of 2013, we have had a grand total of 544 flags (community reports of issues, like spam, inappropriateness, etc.). The average number of flags per month is just 16, and we are seeing a negative trend (linear trend) in flags.
We have only 3 long term (indefinite) suspensions (users blocked from logging in and participating on the site), and very few (less than 10 to the best of my knowledge) total suspensions in our history. In the past 3 years, only 5 posts have been auto hidden by 3 or more flags, though 2 other posts did receive 3+ flags but of different types. All but one of the auto-hidden posts happened in February of 2015, and the flags were all for one of our now long-term suspended users (who received 34 of the 60 flags for the month). I have wondered if the small quantity of auto-hidden posts is due to the low number of spam/inappropriate posts we receive, if users don’t tend to flag posts, or if our mods are particularly active. Of the 544 total flags, ~130 of them (more than a fifth) were from the mods themselves, which were then dealt with immediately.
I guess what I am wondering is what other communities see. Our community is around a indie game, and the majority of the discussion is focused on bug reporting and game suggestions. We have just over 6000 total users, with an average of 170 user visits per day. We have 5 mods in 4 different time zones (3 US, 2 Europe) 4 active admins, and 9 total admins (if I skip the Discourse team since we are hosted). What do you experience on your site? How big are you, what is your focus, how active is your mod team, etc. Do you get a lot of spam/inappropriate posts? How do you decide when to block or suspend an user, and how frequently does that occur?
tl;dr edit per @Jeff_Atwood’s request on Meta:
Question 1: Please provide your general community details. (like what your community is for, how busy it is, how large your moderation team is, etc.)
Question 2: How frequent do you run into “issues”, and what do they tend to entail? (like frequency of spam and flags)
Question 3: How do you deal with “big deal issues”, like suspensions, and how often do you encounter the need to do so?
Bonus Question: If your site has more than one moderator/manager, how do you decide when something needs to be discussed as a team, versus staff going ahead with something on their own?