Five years of BBS 📅


I’m kind of curious why the levels degrade the way they do anyway. I don’t think people should be penalized for going on vacation or having to go into the hospital for a bit or something.

Sure if they abandon the site for many months or years, then they’re not really a regular anymore, but when I looked it appeared to require a lot more activity than that. Once someone’s been active enough to reach a level, they should probably keep it as an honorary thing unless something bad happened to remove it or enough time passes to make it ancient history.

I’m considering for example the case where someone needs to be away due to personal reasons and posts that in the higher-level only area (because it’s personal), but when they return they can’t see/reply to it.

That’s an edge case though and probably not a big deal.


When they come back, they can re-earn it. It’d take 100 days to degrade anyway, not like you instantly lose regular status.


… In one day. Every day.


Must make all the blue dots go away… no I don’t have a problem.


If that’s a problem, perhaps you don’t need to be trust level 3 :wink:

It’s really up to @orenwolf if he wants to relax the setting.


There really should be 8 bit sound effects for every notification dot you make go away.

And a WUB, Wub, wub sound effect for when you loose TL3 for not reading fast enough. :thinking:


It sounds like you’re talking about the old “Lounge” category? It is no more. (In other words, all of the bbs is viewable by the public now; there’s no “private” area for higher trust levels.) Or is that not what you meant?


Also to clarify, per one topic…

There are 56 replies with an estimated read time of 4 minutes

So a bit less than 4 x 4 = 16 minutes per day. Let’s call it 15 minutes of reading per day? Does that really seem onerous to you?


Yeah that is gone. TL3 is still around as you get a little heavier weight to flagging mostly spam flags (which I only use on spam posts) go hidden right away. It still take multiple flags for other stuff just less from TL3 members but I have no clue what those numbers are.


Also the keyboard shortcuts are your friend for skimming through a long thread quickly.


You’re right. I was conflating the discussion about Discourse itself with that of BBS specifically.


I’d credit that to the mods, who do strongly encourage flagging but who also chasten or banish offenders quickly enough that follow-up flagging is rarely required. In that regard the underuse might be a casualty of the system’s and mods’ own success.

The Ignore analytic and threshold/alert system will definitely catch some sneakier offenders who know how to avoid the more obvious flags, though. This is one of the reasons I really appreciate your implementing it as a “shadow” flagging system. I’ve always thought this would be a particularly effective tool for BBS moderators and look forward to finally seeing it in action.

I can’t speak for others, but I’m parsimonious with flags in general because the site is remarkably low on trolls caught with the basic flags. Spam, Inappropriate, and (in most cases) Off-Topic posts are easy to catch and the mods are all over them immediately. I suspect “Something Else” is probably underutilised in comparison to the others but you have those metrics to validate it for yourselves.

I will say that I would be following the mods’ encouragement to flag far more often if a “Bad Faith” flag of the sort I described was available because there is a lot of that behaviour going on around here and it isn’t getting caught by the current flags.

Perhaps (with the mods’ agreement and a public announcement of policy) you could simply re-label “Something Else” as “Bad Faith” for a month or two on BB BBS as an experiment. I believe that flag requires some input in the text field, which would cut down the potential for abuse. I am sure the results would be useful and interesting for both you and the mods.

From what I saw, the guidelines were enforced fairly loosely in the Lounges. To be fair there were a lot of them, they were user-created, and it was also a reasonable assumption that the users whose consistently trollish behaviour was being discussed in a couple of them would never reach TL3.

I don’t entirely blame the system for what happened but the single “actual read time” metric that allowed the “problem” users to get TL3 and access to the Lounges probably needed additional existing factors taken into account (the other good stats your system tracks like number of Likes received by the community). Alternately, the member-created lounges should have had an additional invitation-only feature as I mentioned above.

As it is most of this discussion about the TL3 Lounges seems moot as the mods and publisher seem averse to turning on that functionality again.

Absolutely. I do understand that integrating payments and membership validation based on them would be an entirely new feature set and far from trivial to implement. I also understand that there are issues of moderating/openness philosophy and business-model fit related to it that might make it a non-starter. I thought I’d throw it out there as a more long-term suggestion for the devs, mods and publisher to consider as I’ve definitely seen it work elsewhere.

I appreciate your engaging with us at this level of detail as a developer. It’s a refreshing change from most other sites I’ve been on.


I suppose it could be worth trying and might work here, but in any moderately tendentious forum I think a “bad faith” flag might be used as an “I don’t like you and I want the forum to punish you” flag. There are some people who I think might wield that as a weapon.


I’m personally fine with the current settings and functionality, but one thing that might help allay users’ concerns about losing TL3 is giving users the ability to put their accounts “On Hold” when they’re not going to be participating on BBS for an extended period due to to things like vacations, crunch time at work, travel, etc. During that period no new posts would be allowed and the account metrics would effectively be frozen until the user returns (an optional “Away from BB” notice in the user profile might also be a nice touch).


I agree there’s potential for abuse, but the broader and less defined “Something Else” can also be abused in the same way. The required accompanying text field cuts down on it, though, and part of the policy could specify that too many frivolous or fraudulent uses (e.g. gobbleydeegook or personal attacks in the text field) could result in the flagging user being suspended.

Ideally, as noted above, only a limited number of these flags would be allocated to a user each week or month based on TL to further forestall abuse, but that’s a bit much to ask for an initial experiment.


That’s a very interesting idea!


I’m a little bit fascinated now by the idea of a user ignore function.

I’m picturing a Marx-Brothers-movie-like scene where person A ignores person X, person B ignores person Y, and person C ignores person Z, and they’re all participating in the same topic…hilarity might ensue—or not, all depends :slight_smile:

Also I now want to do an experiment where I would ignore all 87 (current number) of the other Regulars, just to see what the bbs looks like then. Because, I wonder if I might currently tend to notice the other Regulars more, especially those I feel like are old friends from the Lounge days, and maybe I inadvertently overlook some newer folks or less-frequent posters. I hope it’s the case that I value everyone’s input here, but I wonder if I’d start noticing and appreciating users that I had kind of overlooked before? But that would mess with the function of the user ignore being a shadow-flag that helps the mods root out trouble.

I’d also like to try an experiment of ignoring some users who post a high number of animated gifs, because they stall downloading of the pages for me. Currently I use GifJam so that the site will even load for me, and then if I find that I do want to see one animated I have to turn off GifJam and reload the page. It would be interesting to see if ignoring certain users would be enough to allow me to use the site without GifJam on in most cases. But again, playing around like that could mess with the shaodw-flag aspect of the user ignore.

It might be useful, though, to have a way to (succinctly) indicate to the mods why we’re ignoring someone—because I bet there’d be others like me who might think of using it in personalized ways that don’t necessarily mean that there’s an as-yet-unrecognized troublemaker about.

I may be thinking ahead too much, and should just wait to see what Discourse has in store for us :slight_smile:

[edited for clarity]


To get a rough preview of the experience just download and install the Tampermonkey or Greasemonkey userscript. As a client-side function it won’t mess with any of the site analytics and if you’re comfortable with browser extensions it should be easy for you to set up. Here are the instructions:

  1. Download and install the Greasemonkey (for Firefox) or Tampermonkey (for Chrome) browser extension.

  2. Go to and download or copy the Javascript userscript

  3. Using a text editor on the @include line of the script, change* to* . Don’t forget the asterisk.

  4. Add the user script to Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey via the extension’s dashboard and activate it. Restart the browser and go back to BB BBS.

(I’m not sure if blocks the loading of gifs posted by Muted users)

Now when you go to BB BBS you’ll see a small microphone icon next to every comment’s timestamp at the top right. Click on the icon and all comments on the site by that user will become invisible to you (you’ll still be able to peek at individual comments using the eye icon). For added effectiveness, go into your BoingBoing account preferences, go to Notifications and mute notifications of posts by the users you Muted.

Since I’m on that Regulars list I’ll say so long now. Let us know the results of your experiment.

Since it’s going to be used as a shadow flagging system that’s a good idea.


Me and my big mouth!

THANK YOU for the instructions, I appreciate it. Don’t say so long just yet, though, it’s going to have to wait until I’ve had more sleep than I got last night. I don’t know if I really will block all the Regulars—just talking about it here has made me more aware of some of the less-frequent posters already. I will check out your instructions and see what it’s like, though, hopefully in the near future—thanks again.


I’m really surprised browsers don’t offer a native forced click-to-play mode for GIFs by now. This seems like an extremely valid thing to want for some users. Consider this topic