User:Aron Manning/Design/Reporting tool

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Response to the User reporting system consultation 2019 .

I think the community acceptance of a Code of Conduct, and user reporting strongly depend on the transparency and accountability of that system. Well structured reports that focus on the evidence will provide the transparency and make evaluation easier. This is the draft of a tool that helps users create consistent, well structured reports easier, than currently possible.

Collecting edits

  1. The tool helps users collect the edits for evidence by selecting the relevant text on pages (queries the server for the edit(s) that added that text), or selecting the edits in the history as explained in Thank-like_flagging.
  2. The user has an option to select the relevant (violated) rule from (in order of importance): the CoC/ToU, or a policy/guideline page, or other pages. CoC, ToU and a few, last used policies should be offered directly, others searched by title. The user selects the text of the rule, similarly to the previous step, only this time there's no need to look up the edit, the report can refer to the permalink of the page.
  3. The visibility of the evidence is selected: public / non-public (visible to evaluators and accused) / private (not visible to accused). Implementation detail: such evidence is presented with a distinctive background color.
  4. Additionally evidence can be added in the form of a URL and a citation copied by hand. The tool makes an archive of the linked webpage.

Finalizing the report

  1. The collected edits are listed on a special page. The cited (selected) text and the relevant rule is visible in the list. Implementation detail: the citations should be truncated at ca. 100 characters, and expanded/collapsed when clicked.
  2. The citations can be modified, which returns to step 1, and the relevant rule (step 2).
  3. The owners of the collected edits are listed. The order of the list can be edited, and there's user's role can be selected as accused / involved / etc. (custom). Additional users can be added and removed.
  4. There is a textbox for a short summary on top and for each edit for optional details. There's a bigger wiki textbox (Visual Editor) for a longer explanation at the bottom.


  1. Either all reports go to the <user report handling group>, or the user can select where to send the report: to said group (WMF, I assume) / a local noticeboard / ArbCom / T&S / ...
  2. The visibility of the full report is selected: public / private (only the reporter and the recipient group can access it) / specific individuals or groups can access it (for marginal cases only). There is a short textbox for the reason of non-public reporting.
  3. The report is constantly saved as the user works on it (in the browser or server-side). The report is only accessible to the reporter, until submitted.
  4. Once submitted, it's accessible with a wiki link to the authorized users.
  5. The wiki link is generated by a per-project setting, similar to WP:User reports/<username>/<date>-<index> for the first accused (index optional). A redirect is generated for additional accused users.
  6. Involved parties are notified, if the report is visible to them.


  1. Evaluation takes place on partially or fully visible page. Visibility can be changed with the agreement of the reporter and evaluators. The accused can request such change.
  2. The reporter, the accused and other involved users have their own thread to comment, similar to the arbitration process. This can be implemented with structured talk (if the copy-paste issue is fixed). Only the last comments should be shown below the report, limited to a fixed amount of words, and 10 or so comments. The full, unlimited thread can be viewed by clicking a button.
  3. Evaluators add their findings in their own wikitext sections.
  4. Private evidence should be discussed in a dedicated thread, that's not visible publicly, unless all evidence is private.
  5. The report can be extended / amended by the reporter. Modifications must be marked clearly in the report by the tool, and the previous text be reachable with a click. The workflow of this is to be drafted.
  6. In a private case the accused is notified and invited to defend themself on a subpage of the report at a time chosen by the evaluators. Questions are presented on this page, the accused can reply in their own talk thread(s).

Evaluation on classic noticeboards

  1. The report page is transcluded on the noticeboard. If this raises technical issues, then simply posted.
  2. There are no structured talk threads. The tool should generate a section for the reporter, one section for each accused, a section for findings by administrators, and a section for unstructured comments. In very simple cases these sections might be removed.
  3. On noticeboards only standard editing procedures are available.

This tool can be used for administrative actions as well. The administrator can prepare a report as described above, also selecting the actions to be taken. Upon submitting the report the user(s) are notified with the report transcluded to their talk page. This will properly inform the user of the exact problems, and the justification of the action taken. The user(s) should retain access to their own talk thread in the report for appeals, regardless of the admin actions taken.
— Aron M (talk) 21:41, 15 August 2019 (UTC)