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The effectiveness of reporting bad content and abuse

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The effectiveness of reporting bad content and abuse

Unread postby Mystery » July 10th, 2009, 9:56 am

I'm disappointed of the low effectiveness of reporting bad content and abusive behavior on the internet.
Most social platforms (communities, forums, blogs etc.) offer the possibility to report or flag bad content and behavior that violates the terms of use. This is certainly a good thing.
However, I notice that in a vast majority of cases nothing happens.

I am aware of the fact that there are small hobbyist forums and blogs that are not administrated well due to lack of knowledge, time, or ignorance. However, there are also social platforms of big and known companies that are not reacting to reported content. And I'm not talking about usage of bad/inappropriate language which should be moderated, but about clearly abusive behavior of certain users or group of users; or malicious content posted with bad intentions or out of ignorance. I've seen for example encouraging downloading illegal software from dubious websites, or even links provided to clearly identified malware.
What do you think happens if you report such cases with a clear explanation why you did report it, and even offer links to trusted security websites that provide information/proof that the reported contents are illegal or even malicious? Unfortunately in my experience in 90-95% of the cases nothing happens. Even if you report it a second time after 2-3 days have elapsed and nothing happened.

I am frustrated about such ignorance, and to be honest it is very discouraging and demotivating. But at least for the small rest of the cases where reports are processed, it's worth to continue to report clearly abusive and malicious content in my opinion.

Now I have also two questions/requests:

    I'm wondering what experience other users have concerning this problem? Do you have better experience?

    If any of you have ideas what can be further done if such reports are ignored, please share :)
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Re: The effectiveness of reporting bad content and abuse

Unread postby faith_michele » July 19th, 2009, 4:27 pm

I have noticed that with the growth of social media (Live Spaces, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that these platforms are being targeted with spam, phishing, or malware more frequently then in the past. It is similar to the way that e-mail or instant messaging was targeted when it became popular. One recommendation that I would make to the owners, managers, or security group is to allow mass abuse reporting. I have found that many only allow you to singularly report abuse to them.
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Re: The effectiveness of reporting bad content and abuse

Unread postby Mystery » July 19th, 2009, 6:31 pm

Yes, that's a good idea :)
But then they'd really also need to take care of the reports, and this is not often happening right now :(
I just have the feeling that they are not prepared to really maintain such big social platforms, and don't have enough devoted people to constantly check what's going on, and to deal with reports.
In the past months and weeks they've been in the media because all those abuses, and hopefully they'll wake up on day...
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