New feature: Report offensive comments

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During the last week we've had to deal with a large number of unacceptable comments being posted on our news articles. Brickset is generally a fun and friendly place to be, so we were not prepared for them. We were slow to react and delete them, and for that I apologise.

To help prevent similar situations in the future, logged in users will now find a 'Report' link next to every comment. If you come across one that you find offensive in any way, click on the link and tell us why.

Our team of moderators will be alerted to your complaint and prompted to take the necessary action. That could be to ignore it if we disagree, deleting the comment, or deleting it and preventing the user from commenting again. In the most extreme cases we can also disable their Brickset account completely.

We hope that this will help everyone to enjoy being here.

62 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

So an offensive comment = getting temporally banned or permeantly?

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By in United Kingdom,

Either, depending on the severity.

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By in New Zealand,

A good idea. I use it in my Facebook groups if I see things that are outside the group rules. Eurobricks also has it too.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks very much Brickset

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By in France,

Sad we have to come to such solutions, but seems necessary. Sincerely hope we'll never have to use it anyway and that commenting and reading will keep kind, gentle, clever and about Lego has it has almost always been on Brickset.

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By in United Kingdom,

Is there a ban for people who try to ban people with different views/opinions, as I think people who do this will waste the Brickset team’s time?

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By in Australia,

Good idea, its great to see a website taking this sort of thing seriously unlike social media platforms which do nothing.

While I am sure all temporarily banned/permanently banned users would be for a very good reason, would there be any chance of an explanation/defense for the accused perpetrator?

Obviously things like swearing or inappropriate content is quite obvious, although just given the nature of todays world there would sometimes be 'grey areas' and I do think people have the right to be notified as to why they have been banned/had a comment deleted and perhaps respond.

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By in Italy,

Commendable initiative: thank you, Brickset staff.

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By in Latvia,

Hmm, let's try is new function on the comments on this article! Sounds fun (just kidding, don't do that, it's not funny!)

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By in United Kingdom,

This is a good idea. I do agree with @Brickchap though.

With the issues this week there were a number of people who were being very disrespectful and rude in the comments who most certainly deserve to be reprimanded.

However, there were also others who put their opinions across in a much more civil and respectful way. Some people still took umbridge to them, and I can see those commenters being reported, simply because they hold a different opinion.

Obviously, I don't know whats in place already, but I can see it being benifical for the process to be transparent and maybe notify someone when their comment is reported.

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By in United Kingdom,

We will take it on a case=by-case basis. Simply disagreeing with someone's opinion in a constructive and respectful way won't be grounds for reprimand. And, we certainly won't take action if someone disagrees with our review opinions, for example.

However, personal attacks, homophobic, misogynistic, misandrous, racist, swearing and similar comments will most likely result in the comment being deleted initially, and a ban on commenting if the offender repeats. We will comment explaining why we've acted in the way we have so it's clear to everyone.

Basically, we want to stop unpleasantness.

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By in United Kingdom,

Don't worry about reporting comments on the GayFOLs article: we know many are unacceptable but we are leaving them as they are to serve as a record of the intolerance that sadly remains in the community.

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By in United States,

I think many of us saw this coming after what happened previously. Perhaps an additional page or sidebar for rules of conduct would be useful so as to remind people to always remain civil and respectful. Reminder that plenty of children can and do read the comment sections. I do hate to see bans and mutes though, but they’re justified as long as the consequences adhere to a consistent standard.

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By in Latvia,

Great new feature !!

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By in Belgium,

If one reports a comment, does one need to give a reason why?

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By in United Kingdom,

Whilst lamentable that we have people in our community that necessitate this new function I hope it will help to foster a more respectful environment, recently even a disagreement on a sets quality has been rather polarizing and people have been a little combative with each other.
I think it's commendable that you have taken this step to foster a healthy respectful community here. Hopefully the awareness of this will be deterrent enough that we all barely ever if at all need to touch the button.

Once more thanks again Huw and anyone else in the Brickset team for making this space feel inclusive once again!

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By in Canada,

Love this! Brickset should be a safe place for all ages.

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By in Netherlands,

Tip for the permanently offended: If there's an article that is clearly not for you, just scroll past it while thinking 'this is clearly not for me'.

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By in United States,

It'd be a little visually nicer if the 'Report' button was to the left or right of the 'Like' button, but it's a feature that feels a long time coming. Good on Brickset for responding so quickly.

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By in Singapore,

As others have mentioned, this is a good, if overdue, addition. I moderate a site where we frequently have to deal with comments ranging from snarky to extremely offensive, and we're constantly fielding dozens of reports on offensive content a day, thousands a month. And as some have forecast, not all of these reports are valid, which is something we as moderators have to determine with our best judgement based on a number of factors.

Is it intentional that comment likes are no longer visible to readers who are not logged in? Article likes are still visible.

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By in Portugal,

How can you became offensive on a Lego related website/context, I just can't get it...

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Yes, thought I'd remove it for non-logged in users as it was a but untidy.

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By in Portugal,

This a good idea to improve the site.

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By in United Kingdom,

At the end of the day, most of us on here are adults & should be showing a good example to the kids who use the site aswell!! Everyone in this world has a different opinion to everyone else, buts there's no reason for someone to belittle an opposing opinion!!! Its just stupid!! There's worse things going on in this world than arguing over a little plastic brick!!! Xx

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By in Portugal,

If I found some offensive comment I will report the coment immediately.

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By in United States,

While I understand the idea behind this, I still don't like it. What is "offensive" is very much subjective .

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By in Belgium,

The line is incredibly grey and It's better to avoid topics that invoke polarised comments. LGBT rights is one such issue, sadly.

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By in Belgium,

So no more bad things about LEGO or critisism... Got it!

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi Huw, I think this is a good idea and for readers who are concerned that brickset will become a police state let me reassure them. If you look at the forum which is already moderated you will find the mods give a lot of leeway for different views and opinions. I dont know the numbers but very few people have ever been banned from the forum and I dont see that being any different here.

But there is just one thing I wanted to pick up on:
"However, personal attacks, homophobic, misogynistic, misandrous, racist, swearing and similar comments will most likely result in the comment being deleted initially"

Homophobic - should include everyone, we have already seen a comment like this:
"I had enough of white-cis-straight men giving his opinion"

Misogynistic - Again we have seen problems with this being weaponised on the forum, people stopping debate and telling some people they cant have an opinion in the same way as the comment above.

Can we try and use words in any rules which dont focus on one group of people but that work for everyone.

Cheers

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By in United Kingdom,

This is commendable. While I more broadly support freedom of speech, this is the way online platforms should have dealt with the antisocially offensive: You disable and ban them, not put them through the courts! I stopped using the brickset forum years ago because rather than enjoy a discussion of ideas and opinions, people would slam your view for not aligning with their 'facts'.

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By in Netherlands,

@aleydita Take a think about what you would want the standard to be. Avoiding topics of discussion because they might attract hateful posts means the haters get to decide the content.

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By in United States,

Good feature. Sad it is necessary and hope it will help. How many offenses does someone get if they keep on making bad comments?

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By in United Kingdom,

@tomenadi, you can slag the company and its products off as much as you like as long as it doesn't descend into personal attacks on, for example, the designer.

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By in United States,

It is sad to hear that things had to come to this. I'm not active in the Brickset forums, so I don't know what it's like there, but wow were comments getting nuts here on the main site. I was actually really excited about the GayFOL article just to learn what it was about and why it was created, just genuinely trying to learn about the LEGO community, too, in fact I didn't even know about the one architecture set because I didn't have an interest in the set, so I didn't even know about the tile (which barely had any sort of agenda behind it other than enhancing the model by being a printed element), and then I got to the comment section of the article to see how well it was received and there were only 14 comments and it was locked, I guess I got there way late. I'm glad to see all those comments restored. I may not agree with everyone on everything, but the one thing I cannot stand is lost context and every time a comment is deleted, more context is lost. Let's hope that the majority of commenters can have some restraint with their comments from now on and with that report button.

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By in United States,

Whilst I think it is commendable that the Brickset team are taking steps to ensure the site remains an appropriate environment for everyone, I do think it’s sad that topics like sexuality, religion and politics have been brought into what is meant to be a site that appreciates a toy manufacturer and the products it releases. Maybe people should remind themselves of the values the Lego Company has before posting potentially offensive or inappropriate comments.

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By in New Zealand,

Is it okay to report offensive spelling and grammar? :-D

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By in Singapore,

@Delicac: Interestingly, LEGO themselves (technically, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester) hosted their own Pride Parade this year, but that was never covered on Brickset, not even with a passing mention.

@Block-n-Roll: Cue Americans reporting British spelling and vice-versa (and yes, I know I'm talking to a Kiwi)...

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By in Australia,

@Block-n-Roll ... probably not, but it should be.

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By in United Kingdom,

Note that we won't be retrospectively deleting comments. In fact the 'report' link is now only shown on comments made in the last 3 days. I might reduce that to 24 hours.

If a comment is not reported as offensive almost immediately, it probably isn't.

@david1985 you can report anything you like but unless the moderator agrees with your assessment nothing will be done.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thankfuly I've never seen a comment that I've thought to be offensive, but it's a shame people do post inappropriate comments.

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By in United States,

Not sure what was expected. If you're going to post something political or religious or something with religious or political connotations then people are going to reply with their opinions.

Don't want to hear the negativity? Don't stoke the flames, maybe?

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By in United States,

What does it mean "over the past week" has this week brought more controversial comments? Like in the "Gay-fol" Articles?

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By in Portugal,

As long it won't become a "witch hunt" type of deal, it is a good move.

With that said, I wish there were no more identity politics in this platform since that's the cause of all this negativity of late and we focus instead on what makes this great community, the love of Lego bricks.

Since it is a global community is going to have member's of many religious, identity, nationalities and political views.

Let us not divide but unite.

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By in Germany,

@ hiyelo, don't you think that the phrase "white-cis-straight men" is offensive and racist? what is good for one is good for all, that is true equality. How do you expect people to respect you or your position if you are using derogatory language against them?

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By in Netherlands,

white-cis-straight men is denominative, not derogatory.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Charz01 That, and meltdown some were having over a stripy printed tile in the Trafalgar Square set review

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By in Canada,

It's ironic; the Internet was suppose to bring us together...and for a time it did, but thanks to new emerging technologies (texting, smart phones, social media and comment sections) we've reverted back to tribalism. These tribes are not bound by borders and are just virtual communities. With the new technologies, for the most part there is no human interaction just anonymous association so people have lost all sense of civility, respect and compassion for their fellow human being.

I wouldn't be surprised if comment sections/message boards disappear altogether as they (for the most part) no longer serve as a forum for open dialogue and constructive criticism. If comment sections disappear of course people will decry censorship, but its simply become a forum for online attacks....some of us talked about this on the negativity article.

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By in United Kingdom,

SMC said: Homophobic - should include everyone, we have already seen a comment like this:
"I had enough of white-cis-straight men giving his opinion"

I absolutely agree with @SMC on this point above. Shame on @hiyelo for coming out the blocks so quickly with something so needlessly insulting. Imagine how fast a comment would be (rightfully) deleted if someone suggested they were fed up of black or gay people giving their opinion. Not to mention the fact that cis in this instance is obviously being used as an insult.

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By in United States,

The only people that should be concerned or unsure about this are the ones who are likely to have their comments deleted.

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By in Netherlands,

@monkyby87 that's a truth for the ages.

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By in Australia,

Great move. No one should have to read the kinds of comments that were posted during the week. There will be many LGBT+ kids visiting this website and we owe it to them and their families to defend them.

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By in United States,

Its shame we live in an age where it's easy to hide behind a screen and post anything you want whether hateful ignorant or otherwise. Why cant things be just about lego for crying out load this is a lego site let's just worry about that little plastic brick that made us all smile as kid

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By in United Kingdom,

I have to agree with Mechahamster , "white-cis-straight men" I don't think would be considered derogatory or insulting by the majority of readers, and neither would 'black-trans-gay women' for that matter. They merely refer to a group of people.

Had the user of the phrase made some derogatory comment about them then of course it would be a different matter, but he didn't.

Now let's all stop worrying about this and go and play with some LEGO...

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By in United Kingdom,

Great job Brisckset!!!!!!!

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By in United States,

Thank you Brickset i’m glad this is being addressed

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By in Germany,

So you don't think white is wrong, but black is.
And in the context of the comment it is derogatory and offensive, the person was targeting a whole sector of society, most of which did not post negative comments.

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By in United Kingdom,

Not that I think we need a new term to describe 99% of the population, but this is from the urban dictionary:

Cis male
A guy who is not transgender. A man or boy who is comfortable identifying as what they were assigned at birth, and comfortable being in a man's body. In other words this is what about 99% of men are.

Short for "cisgender male".

Unfortunately, "cis male" is sometimes used as an insult by people who want to de-legitimize somebody else's opinion by attacking their identity. SJW's frequently resort to calling somebody a "privileged, white cis male" as a way of countering an argument (even though they are often just assuming the person in question is cis).

The phrase cis male can also be used in a totally neutral way without any judgement, depending on the context.
Neutral use: "Around 99% of men are cis males"

Derogatory use: "I can't believe you disagree with my feminist psychoanalytic criticism of Super Mario Brothers! You're just a cis white male who can't see beyond your privilege!"

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By in United Kingdom,

OK, well let's not worry about it too much but seeing as we are being bombarded by reports I have edited the comment just to stem the flow. I still don't think it offensive.

I didn't even know what the phrase meant until I looked it up...

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By in Germany,

@Brainslugged
Cis male
A guy who is not transgender. A man or boy who is comfortable identifying as what they were assigned at birth, and comfortable being in a man's body. In other words this is what about 99% of men are.
I was not assigned my gender at birth, my gender was determined at conception.
Thank you Huw, this is appreciated.

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By in United States,

Blocked, and reported

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By in United States,

@huw: it isn’t that the original commenter said the term, it is that the person who said it wrote “I’m sick of (any group) doing (any thing)”. Put any group in that sentence structure other than what the original poster wrote and I would be it gets angrily reported multiple times.

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By in United Kingdom,

We are here to talk about LEGO, not what's offensive and what isn't, so let's get back to it shall we?

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