This part of my user's guide covers the reporting mechanism and how to use it to maintain good content on the site. It was last updated on 25 December 2009.
As you continue to use Fanpop, you will come across content that is not what it should be in some way. Since Fanpop is largely only as good as the content it contains, it is important to address these issues for the good of the site and the Fanpop community.
Now, most of the content that "is not what it should be" is likely just content that you don't like, and such content should be rated appropriately (see the link
). But, rarely, there is some content on the site more problematic than that, and for such content there exists the reporting function. Reporting allows you, the user, to flag something on Fanpop as being wrong
in some way, so that it will be fixed.
Here's a handy guide to distinguishing between different types of problem content, and whether ratings or reporting should be applied.
* You disagree with a particular user (rate)
* You don't like what the user says (rate)
* You find the user obnoxious and harassing (ignore)
* The user uses obscene language and/or posts obscene content (report)
* The user attempts to sell a product or encourages you to buy a product (report)
* The user consistently attacks and demeans you (report)
* You suspect the user is actually a duplicate account of another user (ignore)
* Content is posted that you think sucks (rate)
* Content is posted without keywords (rate)
* Content is posted with inadequate keywords (rate)
* Content is posted in the wrong spot (report)
* Content link does not work (report)
* Content link is to a web site which hasn't been updated in years (rate)
* Content link is for a contest which has already ended (report)
* Video link doesn't work embedded (rate)
* Video is short, low-quality, video is out of sync with audio (rate)
* Video requires users to install software on their desktops in order to view it (rate/comment)
* Video doesn't work embedded nor on the source site (report)
* Video is offensive/obscene (report)
* Video takes forever
to load (rate)
* Video not what you expected (rate)
* Video is unrelated to the spot topic (report)
* Content exactly duplicates other content already in that spot (rate/comment)
* Spot duplicates an existing spot (report)
* Spot seems silly, unnecessary (comment)
* Spot name contains errors or isn't precise (comment)
* Spot is offensive or obscene (report)
* Image is low quality, has no description, and/or fails to have image credits (rate/comment)
* Image has no image credits and you know
the copyright belongs to someone else (report)
* Soapbox article presents a ridiculous opinion (rate)
* Soapbox article filled with grammatical, spelling and/or logic errors (rate)
* Soapbox article shorter than a full page (rate)
* Soapbox article consists of text from another site/source (report)
* Soapbox article has no pictures (rate)
* Pick has no pictures (comment)
* Pick does not allow users to add answers that are clearly necessary
* Pick is not related to the spot topic (report)
* Pick contains offensive/obscene text/images (report)
* Pick is biased/one-sided (comment)
* The video in a quiz question doesn't work (report)
* You don't like a particular pop quiz question (comment)
* There are spelling errors in a pop quiz question or answer(s) (comment)
* There are factual errors in a pop quiz question/answer (report)
* There is no way to know the answer for a pop quiz question (report)
Reporting and comments
To file a report on something, look for the little "flag" icon. This is located in different places, depending on what you are reporting. Click on the flag, and a sub-menu will appear, along with a text field for "comments". IMPORTANT
: EVERY REPORT SHOULD HAVE A COMMENT! Note, however, that the user interface is poorly designed - you must type the comment BEFORE clicking the type of report, even though the comments box is under the report buttons. Why comment? It is VERY likely that the staff or admins who review the reports on a given day will not immediately understand WHY you reported a piece of content, and if it's not immediately obvious, it may not receive any action. It's that simple.
Types of Reports
Broadly speaking, there are three types of reports you can file as a Fanpop user.
* Spot reporting
: You can file a report on a particular spot. To report a spot, look for and click the red flag and the word "report" just below the spot's banner in the upper right. This will open the reporting sub-menu.
Reporting a spot
* User reporting
: You can file a report on a particular user.
Report abusive user
To report an user, click on the user's name to go to the user's profile page. In the left column, labeled "about me", you'll see a bunch of information: the user's profile pictures, name, country, favorite films, books, et cetera. Under that, there will be several links, including one with the red flag and the words "Report Abuse". Click that link to open up the reporting sub-menu.
* Link reporting
: You can file a report on a particular piece of content on the site. There are eight kinds of content which you can report on Fanpop: links, videos, images, soapbox articles, pop quiz questions, picks, answers and comments (Note: only comments in a forum or answers to an Answer Request can be reported as of 25 December 2009
). With each, you'll be looking for a grey, unlabeled flag, in the locations described here:
Reporting a link
With links, the flag is located just under and to the left of the ratings bar.
Reporting a video
With videos, the flag is located just under the ratings bar.
Reporting an image
The flag for images is located (as with the video flag) just under the ratings bar.
With quiz questions, the reporting flag is located on the right, between the question and the list of answers.
Reporting a pop quiz question
The flag for articles is just under the title of the article, far to the left of the ratings bar:
Reporting an article
The flag for picks is on the right, where the ratings bar would be if you could rate picks:
Reporting a pick
The flag for Answers is below the question and the "answer this question" button:
Reporting an Answer
The flag for comments is below the comment itself:
What the reports mean
Reporting a comment on a forum or answer
When you click the flag, a sub-menu will appear, prompting you to select which kind of report you wish to file. These choices vary slightly, depending on which kind of report you are filing. To file a report, you must click on one of the red boxes, selecting one of the categories of reports.
If you change your mind and don't want to click any of the reports, you can always click the green "don't report" box in the sub-menu instead.
Options for spot reports
When you report a SPOT, there are four possible reports:
The spot inappropriate
report specifically means a violation of the link
. This includes obscene content, spam content, hate speech content, as well as copyrighted content. A spot dedicated to "Robbing Banks" would merit an inappropriate report, as would spots dedicated to "Sex chat", "Downloading mp3s for free" and anything involving a racial slur.
The spot offensive
report means content that you find offensive. It may not be obscene or a clear violation of the Terms of Service, but you find it offensive. "Defeating Atheism" might be a spot to report as offensive.
The spot miscategorized
report means that the spot is catalogued in the wrong channel. For instance, if a spot dedicated to the Lynx web browser were to be listed as part of the "Travel & Places" channel, one would be well-justified in filing a miscategorized spot report.
The spot duplicate
report means that the spot's topic is already covered by another spot that was created beforehand, or that the reported spot's topic is insufficiently different from an existing spot to merit a separate spot. A "Fanpop Kids" spot would likely be reported as a duplicate of the "Parenting" spot, for instance, and a "Great car commercials" spot would be reported as a duplicate to the "Car Commercials" spot.
Options for user reports
When you report USERS, there are three possible reports:
The user spam
report means that the user is clearly on Fanpop for the sole purpose of trying to sell a product or service to the other users. An user whose only contributions are to a spot he created for "Greatest Video Downloads", including a link to the site greatestvideodownloads.com and a soapbox article describing how great the same web site is, is an example of an user who should be reported as a spammer.
The user offensive content
report indicates that you feel that the user in question is regularly posting offensive content to the site, across many spots. An user who posts links to a blog called "Why your beliefs are stupid" to all the faith-oriented spots would be reported with this flag.
The user abusive
report indicates that the user in question is abusive to you and/or other Fanpop users on the site. An user who regularly rates all your content as a 1 might get an abusive report, as well as an user who regularly posts attacking comments in response to your comments, as well as an user who belittles someone's opinions, intelligence, appearance and so forth.
When you report CONTENT, there are five types of reports you can file:
The content broken
report indicates that the content link does not work. This should be filed anytime a link goes to a page that doesn't exist, a link goes to a completely different page than what the link described, or (in the case of videos) the video in question has been removed from the host web site. NOTE: a video link is NOT BROKEN if it doesn't play embedded on Fanpop but does
work on the host web site. Some video hosting web sites - YouTube springs to mind - allow their users to specify whether their videos may play embedded or not. If the video cannot play embedded, it will show up as normal on Fanpop, but you must click the video's title
(or the little arrow link next to it) to go to the hosting web site and see the video. It is only when the video does not work embedded AND it does not work on the source site that you should file a "broken" report for a video.
NOTE: pop quiz questions do not have a broken report option. Instead, they are the only type of content to have a bad question
reporting option. The bad question flag is used to both indicate when a question's video link is broken (it doesn't play embedded OR on the source site) and/or to indicate that the question is incorrect (that is, if the question is wrong). It is also appropriate to use this report if a question requires the user to guess, not because you don't know the answer, but because there is no way for you to know the answer. For example, a question that asks "What is my favorite color?" is a valid question only if that information is available on Fanpop. A question "What is the population of country X?" would be a bad question, but a question "What was the population of country X in 2008?" would be valid, because it can be validated
The content inappropriate
report indicates that the content violates the link
in some way. Among other things, this includes sexually explicit imagery, videos that contain obscene language, images without proper copyright credits that clearly were created by someone other than the user, and soapbox articles that consist in large part (if not their entirety) of text that was copied from some other site (ie, plagiarism).
The content outdated
report indicates that the content (usually a link) points to a site describing an event that has already occurred or a deal that has expired. A link to a site where you can sign up for free e-mail updates on the 5th season of "Big Brother" would be appropriate to flag as outdated.
The content spam
report indicates that the content is trying to sell something to the Fanpop users viewing it. This one is a little tricky, because most
web sites are trying to sell something. But a link to, say, a dating service web site would not be spam if some of the site could be used for free, but would be spam if you had to pay money up front to actually get to any content on the site.
The content miscategorized
report means that the content has nothing to do with the spot in which it is found, or that there's a better spot for it. A video link to Michael Jackson's HIStory in the link
spot would be miscategorized, for instance. That one is obvious, but this report can also be pretty tricky. Would a picture of Carly Simon, who didn't tour or produce any albums in the 1980s (but who was at least alive
in the 80s) be miscategorized if it was placed in the link
, instead of the link
? Would videos of Fanpop users' children
be miscategorized if they were placed in the link
rather than the link
? Would an article describing how to be kind to our fellow users be miscategorized if found in the link
, rather than the link
spots? There is some leeway; when in doubt, you can always try sending a message to the user who posted the content which may be miscategorized to discuss it with him/her.
A note on multiple reports
Just a quick note: Fanpop remembers the reports that you submit. So don't try to swamp content with reports, because the site will only allow you to report a given item once. Any further attempts will be met with the reply "You have already reported this as a <report type> <spot/user/link>".
What happens to reports
So you've found some content that doesn't work in some fashion and have reported it. What happens then?
Reports that users file appear in a list for the site staff and moderators to address. In many cases, the reason that the report was filed will be obvious to them, and the staff and/or moderators will take the appropriate action. However, in many cases it is apparently not obvious why a report was filed, because the moderators will occasionally contact the person who filed the report via a message, asking for clarification. Then, once they've investigated what the reason was for the report, they will take whatever action they deem necessary. Such action includes chastising users, moving miscategorized content, banning users, merging spots, deleting spots, and deleting other content.
In addition, if the report was a "broken" content report, a message is also generated to the user who posted the content originally, with the subject line "One of your links has been flagged by another user." In the case of broken content, the user who posted the content originally usually has two days to edit the link and replace it with a working link before the broken link is completely removed from the site.
Here's links to other parts of the guide for your quick reference:
* 1: link
* 2: link
* 3: link
* 4: Picks: this is the generic name both for the poll questions that you see on the site and for the answers you can pick to that question. Papa has created a link
* 5: link
* 6: link
* 7: link
You may also want to see: