Moderation Notes Functionality?

Something that’s been requested, and that I’m in favor of, is creating some sort of “moderation notes” page for each user. This would only be accessible by curators, and curators would be able to write down any actions they have taken when discussing an issue with a user.

For example, if a user is uploading a lot of copyrighted photos, the first curator who notices the problem can either write some comments on the related observations or send the user a message about it, and then note that on the moderation notes for that user, like “Sent user a message about their posting photos taken from the internet and asked them to remove these observations.” which wold be date and time stamped. Then another curator who notices the problem can check the moderation notes and see that the user has already been contacted about it. That way the second curator doesn’t spend time writing another message, and the user isn’t bombarded with multiple messages.

To be clear, this would not be a page for curators to write personal opinions about the user, just a place to note actions taken and perhaps responses given, concrete things that will be helpful to other curators.

Does this sound like something that would be helpful? If so, how do you imagine it looking? Similar to the current flag page? Should curators be able to comment on another curator’s note as though it was a flag?


I think it sounds like it could be helpful, but given the massive number of curators, I could also see situations where curators complained about each other or other things like that. Hopefully with clear rules and enforcement it wouldn’t be (and that could happen with flags too anyway, and seems rare). And it seems like that aside, commenting on the notes would be useful.

1 Like

I think it’s a good idea. Whenever I see a user misusing the site, I normally leave a comment on their posts telling them what they’re doing wrong because obviously I don’t want to suspend somebody that just didn’t know what they were doing. I think having notes would be helpful because if I could see that the user has already been warned about what they are doing and continue to do it knowingly, then it would make the decision to suspend a malicious account much easier. As far of the design of it, I think something like the flag page would work fine.


I dont think the number of curators is an issue that needs to be worried about here. While iNat’s People page shows a few hundred curators, by the time:

  • you eliminate ones no longer active on the site
  • eliminate ones active on the site but who show they have never done any curating tasks
  • eliminate ones only interested in managing a specific area of taxonomy

You are down to a much smaller list. The number of frequently active curators who are doing ‘people management’ versus taxonomy is really surprisingly small.


This may also help smooth the learning curve for Curators who are new (like me >.>), or interested in starting to do community/moderation. While I’m aware there is a way to see a list of flags per user, and that flags have their own comments, it would help me to see information concentrated in one place. As you mentioned, it also helps to know what actions and interactions have already happened that aren’t recorded in the flags.

yes. please.