ArtFire Help Center

Forums: Community Moderation FAQ Posted On: 04/06/2011 Last Updated: 04/06/2011

The new moderation system closely parallels the dynamics we find in real world communities.   However like any new feature, there are a lot of questions as well.  Here is a detailed explanation of the new system, and some answers to your most frequently asked questions.

General Overview

The moderation system allows members of ArtFire who have a history of consistent forum behavior to vote on other members of the community.   A member can vote another member positive or negative.  Members who receive significantly more negative than positive votes will have their posts hidden from public view and will lose their ability post and to create new topics until enough time has passed to allow their reputation to return to neutral.  


The heart of the community moderation system is the reputation bar.  This bar is only visible to logged in users.  If you are logged in, you should see a bar that ranges from red to green, with red and green circles on both ends.


Clicking on the red circle will open a window for you to cast a negative vote for a user. Clicking the green circle will open a window for you to cast a positive vote.   All voting is kept strictly private. Users will have no idea who voted on their reputation, how many votes have been cast,  or whether the votes were positive or negative.  The only indication you have is the reputation slider which serves as a rough estimate of your current blended reputation.



The ultimate goal of the community moderation system is to give the forum a way to self-moderate. If a user's reputation has fallen below a certain level, their posts (past, present, and potentially future) will be invisible to all members who have not specifically enabled the global view in their settings. This means sellers and buyers who browse the forums without logging in will not see posts from these members. Their posts will remain hidden until enough time has passed to allow their reputation to return to neutral. 

The new system is as simple as that.  People can still post, discuss, and talk as they like.  However people who post hurtful, combative, non-constructive, or offensive material may very well find their audience shrink.  This protects the site's image, while still giving a voice to everyone in the community. 

How Many Times Can I Vote?

Members can only cast one vote for one user at one time. An individual vote carries a time stamp on it. Over time, that vote is worth less and less until it effectively becomes zero and has no effect on their reputation. You may reset this time stamp as much as you’d like, however the maximum influence you can have on another user’s reputation is one which then degrades over time.

Can I vote for myself?

No, you cannot vote on your own reputation.  If you attempt to do so you will see an error message stating that you cannot vote on your own reputation.

What happens to a member's posts if they fall below the moderation threshold?

When a member's reputation falls below a certain level they will have their posts (past, present and potentially future) hidden.  Only logged in users who have specifically chosen in their forum settings to view all posts regardless of moderation will see these hidden posts.  Members who have fallen below the moderation level will still be able to make new posts that will be hidden, however they will be prevented from starting new topics.  After enough time has passed to move one's reputation back to neutral, they will be able to start new topics and have their posts seen by all users once again.

What happens if I vote the same person negative and positive?

Members can only cast one vote for one user at one time. The most recent vote, whether it is positive or negative, overrides all other votes and becomes your one vote for that user.

So I can vote for someone again later?

Yes, you can vote for someone an hour later, a week later, or a month later; whenever you want! Because your maximum vote is one, you'll simply be resetting the time stamp on your vote.  Think of it like a battery:  You put a battery in a device and it immediately starts to lose some juice. By voting on the same user at a later time, you're just “re-charging” this battery rather than adding a new one.

Who is allowed to vote on another member's reputation?

There are some limitations on who is allowed to vote for another member's reputation.  These limitations are to protect against fraudulent activity, personal attacks, or other actions that would attempt to manipulate the moderation system.  These limitations are subject to change at any time to ensure fair and democratic use of the community moderation system.  To prevent abuse, users will always see their votes going though, however they must have a history of consistent forum behavior before they are actually included in the reputation calculation.

Will another member be able to see if I voted on their reputation?

No.  Votes and exact reputation scores are kept completely private. You won't receive any notification that you have voted, and another member won't know they have been voted on.

How can a member who has fallen below the moderation ever recover?

Because of the time component to scores, all users will slowly trend towards neutral.  Even positive users who go inactive or who aren't being voted on will trend back to neutral.  This means that a user who has been voted down and had their posts hidden can comeback into public light by simply giving their reputation time to trend up to neutral.

Can I see my own reputation score?

You can not directly see your own reputation score as these scores are kept private.  The small white circle serves as a general estimate of your current reputation status.

What happens if one person votes me negative?  I'd be at a 100% negative reputation and be hidden, right?

We have built safe guards into the system that prevent a small number of votes from triggering the moderation.  The minimum number of votes required to trigger moderation is subject to change but a single, or even several, initial negative votes won't trigger immediate moderation.  These votes will also expire over time and bring your reputation back up to neutral.

So if I don't post very often I'm going to be negative?

Not at all.  If you post very little, you might find people have less of an opportunity to vote on your reputation and therefore you remain in the neutral zone, but this won't skew your reputation down. 


Why can't I vote on an admin's reputation?

Because of the critical nature of staff posts reaching all members, users cannot vote on or block admin.

What if I quote someone who later gets hidden by moderation?

If you quote someone who is later hidden by moderation, your quote will be hidden as well.

Who is allowed to vote?  Can't I just register a bunch of accounts and tank someone's reputation?

We have built safe guards in that will prevent abuse of the system.  These are subject to change as we adjust to meet the demands of the community and any issues that arise. Multiple sock puppet accounts for voting won't work. 

Thanks for reading the Community Moderation Help Guide and FAQ!  Check out our other help guides to find out how to customize your settings, share links, post pictures and more!