Unneighborly Button on EveryBlock

Feb142014

The Unneighborly button allows EveryBlock users to flag posts or comments that violate the Community Guidelines, and notifies our content moderation team. The content moderation team looks at the post and decides whether it’s necessary to send a warning, delete the post, or suspend/ban the user. The user’s prior behavior (i.e., multiple unneighborlies) is also considered.

Examples of posts that may warrant an Unneighborly flag are:

  • Unsolicited advertisements or self promotion of for-profit businesses

  • Posts that contain profanity

  • Personal attacks towards other users

  • Sharing others’ private information without their consent

  • Copyright violations and Libel

However, you should not flag a comment or post as unneighborly if you simply disagree with the user’s opinion. Instead, post a comment that says you disagree, or send a private message the user. And you can always “Mute” a user, which will hide their posts and comments from your timeline and email digest.

Unneighborly: [User Name] is awful.

Not-Unneighborly: That pizza place down the street is awful.

Unneighborly: Profanity

Not-Unneighborly: Sarcasm

Please continue to use Unneighborly to help us moderate the content on EveryBlock, but remember that the first course of action, if possible, is to keep the dialogue going.

You may also notice that certain comments on the site turn pink, rather than the normal grey color. This indicates that multiple users have found a post Unneighborly. However, we again encourage you, if you’re thinking of voting a comment Unneighborly, to really think about whether or not the post is violating the community guidelines, or if you just have a grudge or difference of opinion with the user in question. If the latter is true, then either Mute the user or continue the discussion.

We’d like your input – please let us know via our Feedback Form if you think a seperate “disagree” button should be created for posts that don’t necessarily violate the terms of service, but you disagree with.

11 Responses to “Unneighborly Button on EveryBlock”

  1. holmesmmd says:

    A disagree button would be similar to a “thumbs down” on YouTube or many other blog sites. On EB it’s thanks(thumbs up) and could be “disagree” (thumbs down). The function should be included and is rather common. It helps a poster know how popular their sentiment is and allows other readers to gauge as well. Both numbers should appear tallied at the bottom and identified, just as the “thanks” button is now.:)

  2. kastigar says:

    I agree with the separate agree/disagree thumbs up or down with a count to go along with it.

    But the “unneighborly” should be retained as well. There are comments that are out-of-line.

  3. Lydia Corbin says:

    Sometimes I have a hard time restraining myself from hitting the “unneighborly” button b/c I so vehemently disagree with the comment or I feel the comment is so negatively but not quite technically a true insult to another user. And sometimes its just too hard to nicely respond your disagreement on the point or not on point with the OP. So I tend to like the idea of a disagree button. But I understand that that has its pros/cons too.

  4. MomWhoLeansIn says:

    I think that there is more than enough negativity on Everyblock without adding a “downvote” option

    • Rachel Jacobs says:

      I agree heartily that there’s enough negativity, but I disagree that a downvote button would add to it. Perhaps if people could express disagreement without adding a nasty post they would. Also, if someone sees that many community members disagree, they might stop spreading their negativity. (Though yes, some would be encouraged by that, someone always is.)

  5. Dastardly Don says:

    Disagree button would be good and hopefully people would understand the difference between Unneighborly and Disagree. Maybe Unneighborly should be a two step process with a question after the first button explaining what it means before you confirm.

  6. Big Shoulders says:

    Very much related to this is the issue of anonymity vs. identity. There is a physicality to a neighborhood blog in that we all live in close proximity. Some of us use our actual names (on Everyblock I am Betsy Martens) and some of us hide behind nicknames. I daresay that all discussions would become much more respectful if you knew that the person you were about to thrash so harshly with your deftly chosen words lived two doors away and had a big dog. Why not level the playing field with a requirement that neighborhood forums require real names?

    • Mo Cahill says:

      experience on the web shows no relationship between anonymity and civility. the troll will lie anyway, and the honest risk real world consequences when you are talking about people in your hood. never judge by that. it does no good.

  7. Dee says:

    Everyblock is not a polling place, nor a Roman forum where thumbs up and thumbs down lead to any constructive resolution. At its best, its where we share useful information on our community at the micro level, where newspapers and related media seldom reach.

    If views are expressed, as part of a free society its great to discuss the idea, politely, with a view towards discovering more. An impersonal “disagree” just stops the conversation. Its the antidote to sharing.

    Clearly it’s human nature to have the same, visceral response to the written word as a physical or verbal threat delivered in person. Its also human nature that indulging this response with further negativity, while providing temporary satisfaction and a sense of “being heard”, only exacerbates the discomfort long-term.

    Accordingly, on the internet, the term “argument” pertains far less to rational exploration of an idea than it does to sheer emotional venting. Indulging this response with an impersonal Disagree button is the same thing. Nobody benefits and it heightens a sense of conflict without any indication whatsoever why there’s disagreement. Its a finger out the window. Meaningless.

    So yes, I disagree with the Disagree button. But note, I took the time to express why, and support my position, and thereby render something of value. If I’d responded with the proposed button I would in essence only have taken something away, and further diminish our experience here on Everyblock.

    Thank you for listening.

    • Carl says:

      Dee, well stated. I couldn’t agree with you more. We should be encouraging discussion, not simply disagreeing with or ignoring statements with a mere click of a button, without any explanation.

      There are times when a better, rational solution to a problem is supported by the minority opinion. This is why discussion is so important. All opinions should be heard and expressed, instead of suppressed via a thumbs-down vote by a larger majority.

  8. Mo Cahill says:

    i have seen this very experiment on a website as a volunteer moderator. it is a bad, bad idea. it appeals to the worst instinct in the decent, and is the delight of the troll.
    except as a way to get the trolls to come out of the woodwork so you can ban them, it is useless.

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