Reports are used to alert Moderators of rule breaking, however their usefulness is fairly limited. The following are proposed improvements to the system as a whole.
- Allow the user ID of the reporter and reportee to be associated with the report itself. Any Moderator should be able to easily view a list of the reports given by a user and reports against a specific users' post.
- Allow all reports to be viewed after being closed. Now, you can't take the original MCP link and expect to view the report, it gives you a useless "This report has already been closed" message. To find an original report (in 3.0) that has been closed, one must dig around in the MCP.
- Have some sort of status on the report, i.e. "New", "In progress", "Waiting further input", "Invalid", and "Closed".
- Have outstanding reports a user has reported appear on a UCP page if they check the box "Notify me when this report has been handled."
- Allow moderators and the original reporter to leave comments on the reports (where Moderators have the ability to assign visibility for the post to either "Moderators" or "Moderators and Reporter"). This allows a Moderator to close an invalid report and explain why it was invalid, or keep a record on what further action was done in the incident for future moderation issues.
- Create a "Report Type" flag in the table to define each type, such as Posts, Users (profiles), PMs, and even custom, plugin defined types.
Moderators are an essential part to every single community - with public discourse comes that need. Reports greatly assist moderators do their job as it is now, however the improvements mentioned above will help lead to better communication between moderators, a more useful MCP, greater consistency among the team, and improved contact with their community. Additionally, it will create more flexibility with the system and allow for things such as Titania reports to be handled with a plugin on the existing system instead of creating it's own.