Moderation Queue

Ellington’s upgraded moderation feature makes it possible to evaluate user-generated content prior to it being viewed by the public. If a user has been marked as “moderated”, their content goes into a queue for approval before reaching the site. Likewise, if you wish to keep an eye on new users, you can send their first few comments into the queue for moderation.

The staff moderator can review moderated content on the Moderation Queue page. On this page, the staff can keep an eye on what users are doing on the site. All content created by “moderated” users will go into the queue before reaching the site. Depending on the level of involvement you wish to have, you can start out with all your users being “moderated” and trust them on an individual basis, or you can have everyone start out as “trusted” and then moderate them. A trusted user’s content goes live immediately and does not go into the queue for moderation. If you want to start users out as trusted but keep an eye on their first few activities, you can send their first 5 or 10 pieces of content into the queue – this is similar to the rookie commenter feature.

A site can be configured to moderate all users for the first “X” number of approved actions or trust all users and hand select those you wish to moderate. To review the Moderation Options available see: Review Moderation Options

Please contact Ellington Support with any questions or let them know if you would like to upgrade to the upgraded moderation queue.

Moderation tools are configured for:

  • Comments
  • Weblog entries
  • UGC photos

Through the upgraded moderation process, staff moderators will be able to review moderated users comments, weblog entries or UGC photos, prior to having them appear live on the site.

How Moderation works

Each time a moderated user comments on an object, uploads user photo or post a blog entry, the content will go into moderation until it is explicitly approved.

  • The user will see a message indicating their content has been submitted for moderator approval.
  • The item shows up in the moderation queue, which is managed by staff moderators.
  • Moderator can receive optional email notification.

The default message is “Your content has been submitted for moderator approval” but is configurable. Once the content has been ‘approved’ or ‘dismissed’ the user will be notified via the User Activity Stream in their user profile.

The Moderator message is customizable. Please contact Ellington support to make any changes to the default message.

Email notification example:

Moderation Management

Moderation Permissions: Super users have access by default. Staff users can be given permission via Users Permissions or assigned via Group on their User Profile in the admin panel.

Create a group or assign single permission by choosing: moderation | moderation profiles | can moderate users

Staff members can now manage content through the “moderation queue.”

Moderation Queue Page

When posted content is designated as “moderated” by either a user status, flagging, or post by a “rookie user,” then post will appear in posted order on the Moderation Queue page. Only staff members can access this page. The most current moderation activity will always be at the top of the list.

Object Actions:

  • Approve: This single comment is marked to appear Live on the site. Once user has approved “X” number of actions, user will be promoted to “Trusted” user.
  • Dismiss: Select to hide this action on the site.

User Actions:

  • Trust User: Give permission to user to post without moderation. This user no longer needs to be moderated and their content can go live immediately. Any pending content will be approved.
  • Ban User: This button changes the user status to banned.
    • The user is unable to post any future content, AND newly posted content is prevented from appearing in the moderation queue.
    • Furthermore all pending content will be marked as “dismissed.” Useful for spammers or bots.
    • The comments they posted disappear from moderation. They can still be found at: admin/threadedcomments/threadedcomment/.

Review how to reverse status changes Moderation Profiles

  • Moderate User: The button is equivalent of saying, “this user needs to always be moderated – they are sketchy.” You will not see this button if user is already in “moderate” status.

User links: There are also links to the detail pages for a users content, so you can see what items have been approved for a user, what items have been dismissed, or what items are pending a decision.

  • User name link: Select user name to access the admin moderation profile.
  • Approved item: During moderation this is running number of how many comments have been approved.

  • Pending Item: During moderation list of non-approved comments.
    • Click on link to go to Pending Items list to approve multiple pending items. Select “Approve all.”

  • Dismissed: This view is a list of content that has been dismissed.

Staff Moderator has the option of approving dismissed content here.

Moderation Admin

Moderation profiles

Moderation profiles are created as soon as the user takes action to comment, create a blog or upload a photo. The purpose of the moderation profile is to track how many actions a user has performed and whether their content should go live immediately or whether they need to be watched by moderators. Site moderators can also change the status of a user here.

If a user is “trusted,” their content goes live immediately. Likewise, if they are “moderated”, their content goes in the moderation queue. You can manage this from the public facing side, or here in moderation profiles.

Ellington Best Practice dictates it is always moderate on the moderation queue page.

Admin actions for moderation profiles: There are a couple admin actions for bulk approving users or bulk holding-back users. If you are using this process, please continue reading about approving activities.


User content will not be seen in moderation queue or on live site. Status will set to “banned.”


Content will be sent to moderation queue. Status will be set to “moderated.”


Content will go live immediately when posted. Status will be set to “trusted.”

If user status is changed via the admin to “trusted,” user content is NOT “automatically” approved. When you trust user on the public side, the activities are automatically approved.

Modify User settings

Hold Back: If you wish to moderate all comments by a user and not auto-approve them when they have reached the approved activity threshold. Check the “hold back” box.

Activity count: This is the number of approved activities performed by the user. If you revert the number then the user must continue the moderation process till they have reached the threshold of approved activities needed to become a “trusted” user.

Changing Status in Admin: If you change the status of a moderated or banned user to “trusted” via the admin, the next step is using “moderation activities”

Moderation Activities: Each time a user comments, blogs or uploads a photo on the site, it generates “Moderation activity” – this is a record that pertains to an individual piece of content, like a comment for example. All moderated, trusted and banned users activities will be listed in this model. Note: Staff members can revert actions on the items in this list by dismissing or publishing one or more selected activities.

From this list, moderator can review:

  • Object link: The object on the public facing side.
  • Admin link: The model in the admin panel; Weblogs, Threaded Comments or User Photos.

The moderator can bulk approve content via the admin using the admin actions.

  • Dismiss Selected Content: Content will not be published.
  • Publish Selected Content: Content will now be viewable on public site.

As part of the moderation work, it is also possible for users to “flag” content for removal. If you are logged in as a regular user (not staff), you will see a “Suggest removal” link on comments. Selecting that will ‘flag’ the comment.

In the moderation queue, the moderator will view the # of times the content was flagged. Multiple users may have flagged the content. If a staff moderator previously approved this content, it will not appear in the moderation queue.

The flagged item will also be found in the Moderation Flags model in the Admin.

When a user flags a piece of content, it sends an email to site managers that, for a comment, look like this:

After a piece of content is flagged by a certain number of users (default is 1), the piece of content gets put in the moderation queue (if it wasn’t there already). Currently the “Suggest removal” links to comments, but it could also go on weblogs, ugc photos, or topics posted to groups. It is a single templatetag:

When the link is clicked or if the user has already flagged something, all they will see is an html <span> element that says “Flagged for removal”.

Moderation Scenarios

Ellington Business partners have 3 moderation options. Review the documentation to decide what scenario works best with your community. Please contact Ellington support if you wish to upgrade to the new Moderation Queue tools.

  1. DEFAULT: Client stays with existing functionality, only change is current comment flagging is replaced by newer newer tools and staff will see the moderation application in admin. Email notification is still sent. This option is for clients who wish to stay with the legacy behavior.

Review Comments Moderation

  1. Hand select Users to Moderate: Client opts for new functionality, however they want to allow their users to have their content go live immediately and hand-select those users that they wish to “moderate”. They can configure whether or not they wish to receive emails when a moderated user creates content (in addition to it going into the queue). If they wish, they can also have the first “X” number of pieces of content go into the queue for a user. This content will go live if the user is “trusted”, but will also go into the queue. After “X” number of pieces is approved their stuff will no longer go into the queue. This scenario uses a “rookie” setting that can be applied to both trusted and moderated users. See Rookie User for further information.
  2. Hand select Users to Trust: Client opts for new functionality, users start out as “moderated” meaning content goes into the queue and they will hand-select users they wish to “trust” (whose content goes live). They can configure whether or not they wish to receive emails when a moderated user creates content (in addition to it going into the queue). If they want, it can be configured so that after “X” number of pieces are approved a user will move to “trusted” and stuff will no longer go into the queue.
Moderation Options

A user is, by default, is “trusted.” A site can be configured to moderate all users for their first “X” number of approved actions. Notification can be sent to the comment moderator through an optional notification setting.

It is the default behavior, when using the upgraded moderation tools, that users will be considered “trusted.” This means that their content will be posted live to the site. When a user creates a profile on your site, their information will be stored in the “Users” model of the Auth application. This is the standard user profile.

Once the user takes action on your site by commenting, blogging or loading a photo, a “Moderation Profile” will be created in the Moderation application.

  • By default their user Status will be set to “Trusted.” If their content is flagged then it will appear in the moderation queue for review. Read Flagging for more information.
  • Hand select users to Trust: Have all user profiles added to the moderated profiles with a status of “Moderated.” With this setting, all content will need to be reviewed prior to it going live on the site.
    • Client can choose:
    • The “X” number of “approved” actions it will take to change the user status from “Moderated” to “Trusted.”
    • If they wish to receive email notifications.
  • Hand select users to Moderate: If your site is currently using the old moderation process and wish to upgrade.
    • Sketchy User Group: Will be added to the Moderated Profiles with “Moderated” status.
      • Client can chose the “X” number of “approved” actions it will take to change the user status from “Moderated” to “Trusted.”
    • Banned User Group: Will be added to the Moderated Profiles with “Banned” status.
    • Existing users: May be moderated using the “Rookie” setting.
    • New Users: May be moderated using the “Rookie” setting.

If your site is going to use the following moderation option: “Hand select users to moderate,” you can use the Rookie settings.

Rookie User

In addition to the above functionality Ellington provides a “rookie” settings that could be applied to Existing and New Users. It would allow staff members to review content of Moderated or Trusted Users but still have the content post live to the site.

A rookie setting can be applied to both Trusted and Moderated users. A rookie user can post comments/blog entries & photos. In the Moderation Queue, the first “X” number of actions will appear.

New User: This user has not yet been moderated or “Trusted.” Their Content will not go live until staff moderator approves them or they meet the threshold “X” number of Rookie posts.

Trust User: Any future content will now post directly to the live site. However until they meet the threshold “X” number of Rookie posts, the remaining number of posts will appear in the Moderation Queue. Once user meets the threshold “X” number of Rookie posts they will no longer be moderated.

Moderate User: The user will now be in Moderation and all content will not go live to the site until it is approved and the user meets the “X” number of approved posts to become a trusted user.

Ban User: All of the content disappears from the Moderation Queue. User will be unable to post any future content to the site.

Applying Rookie Setting to your site If you wish to use the “rookie” setting, please notify Ellington support. They will need to know:

  • Your site wishes to active the rookie setting for users.
  • Default “X” number of user actions to be considered a Rookie.
  • Do you wish to receive email notification for Rookie posts?

Rookie User Scenario on a Site:

Rookie threshold for this scenario is five approved posts. A user makes their first comment/blog post/photo upload to the site.

The post does not appear live on the site but goes into the moderation queue.

  1. The Staff Moderator reviews the content and “Trusts” the user.
  • The user can now post directly to the live site.
  • Their content will continue to be sent to moderation queue until they have four more approved posts.
  1. The Staff Moderator reviews the content and does not trust or moderate the user but approves the content.
  • Any future posts will not appear live in the site until approved in moderation queue. Once five of their posts are approved they can post live and will not longer appear in moderation queue.
  1. Staff “Moderates” the user. Are they still a Rookie user? Do they need to meet the rookie threshold and moderated user threshold?


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