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How do YOU moderate dev.to?

jeikabu profile image jeikabu ・1 min read

Dev.to has "trusted users" that can moderate posts/comments.

If you've got this, how have you used it, or when do you not use it?

Discussion (8)

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egilhuber profile image
erica (she/her)

I've found that the moderation guidelines are a pretty solid breakdown of 'how to moderate'. Luckily, I've only had to use the puke emoji in only a couple very obvious spam situations. I do wish there was a way to use the moderation tools (thumbs up/down/etc) from posts that I've found in my feed. There have been a couple situations where I couldn't quite track it down in the mod center, but they were worthy of some feedback (good or bad).

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jeikabu profile image
jeikabu Author

Do you not get the periwinkle shield button floating in the bottom-right corner?

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egilhuber profile image
erica (she/her)

Sure do! I guess I don't look at that corner too often :)

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jeikabu profile image
jeikabu Author

I mistook it for one of those live customer service widgets (like intercom or whatever) for the longest time! 🤣

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egilhuber profile image
erica (she/her)

Same! That corner is typically where the 'bots' sit on other sites!

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jeikabu profile image
jeikabu Author • Edited

Not sure when/how I became "trusted", but I've basically ignored the moderation bubble/features for months.

Previously, I'd only bother to report posts/users that seemed to be in clear violation of the Code of Conduct. Mostly blatant advertisements/spam or ham-fisted attempts at SEO.

After seeing the Nth post/comment bemoaning the proliferation of certain types of articles, I realised the obvious: I could help. A simple thumbs up or thumbs down; perhaps coarse, but meaningful. I've more or less settled on:

  • For "higher"-quality, well-above-average posts, 👍🏽
  • For "lower"-quality, well-below-average posts, 👎🏽
  • For everything else, do nothing

I try to be as objective as possible and separate it from my personal opinion (instead reserving 💖/🦄/etc. for that). Predictably, the majority of posts end up in the "do nothing" category. This includes the majority of "listicles", similar articles (posted weekly/daily by different users), and so on. Why? I've repeatedly gotten the impression that dev.to strives to be friendly to new people, encourage devs to start technical blogging, etc.; inclusivity is a "core value". If the community chooses to 💖 articles, well... that's fine.

In short, I moderate sparingly. I definitely don't "like"/👍🏽 everything. On platforms where people do that (or give everything 5-stars) it becomes meaningless. Everything is not "awesome".

What's "higher-quality"? Ok, that's pretty subjective. I use my judgement but I have a vague, informal, mental scoring system based on:

  • Time spent: again, subjective but including detailed explanations/diagrams, (working) links to source material/references, length/depth of article (excluding verbose prose, sheer opinion, etc.), being well-organised/coherent, experiment results, and so on all indicate greater investment
  • Formatting/presentation: use of syntax highlighting, sections for longer articles, useful images/diagrams, spelling (controversial if it's not your first language, but most every editor these days gives you a red squiggle- there's not much excuse anymore), etc.
  • Contribution: associated github et al. repos, unique topics, accessibility/value to different skill levels, etc.
  • ???: I had another criteria but now it's slipped my mind...

I haven't started using the "experience level" value. Mostly because I don't actually read the posts I'm not interested in, and the bottom part of that UI is a bit wonky on mobile (where I generally read dev.to).

Oh, and I never moderate my own posts (actually, I haven't tried- it might not even be possible). I assume that goes without saying for obvious reasons.

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mellen profile image
Matt Ellen

I do occasionally pop into the "moderation" queue to skim the post titles and see any obvious noise or spam and flag it up.

Otherwise, if I come across a particularly good post I give it the extra thumbs up, mostly on posts that don't have many obvious interactions.

I try to avoid the thumbs down on anything that's not truly junk, but perhaps my feed would be better curated if I was a bit harsher?

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jeikabu profile image
jeikabu Author

I've wondered that as well. Feed curation is another topic, but I've tried:

With mixed success. There's probably not quite enough content to filter down to just your interests.