Moderating Comments and Revisions


Moderating Comments

Any site visitor can leave a comment on any page.  Drupal has a powerful mechanism for preventing comment spam but this cannot prevent inappropriate comments being posted. 

That's why Category Editors have the power to remove users comments from their reviews.

This would normally only be done if the comment is offensive, misleading, blatantly commercial or does not otherwise conform to the site policy.

Don't however delete well argued comments that you simply disagree with as this would be unfair to the person who made the comments.

Old comments that are no longer relevant should also be deleted.

To delete a comment simply log in to to the site using your Category Editor credentials.  You will then see at the end of each comment the option to delete, edit or reply. Select as appropriate.

An alternative to deletion is to unpublish the comment. This has the advantage of not permanently removing the comment but rather rendering it invisible to normal users. This might be a useful option if you want to temporarily remove a comment pending further research.

To unpublish a comment select the Edit option from below the comment then click the Administration heading to pull down the administration options. The first of these is a set of two radio buttons "Published" and "Not published" 

Click the button next to "Not published" to unpublish the comment.  Skip to the bottom of the page and press Post Comment to save.

Note that unpublished comments are still visible to logged-in Category Editors but are not visible to other users.

To publish a comment that been unpublished you simply reverse the procedure above.

Moderating Revisions

Registered site visitors have the ability to edit reviews. However any revisions they make are not visible to website users until approved by a Category Editor.

If several (unmoderated) revisions are made by users, the changes are not cumulative. That is, the most recent revision does not includes changes in previous revisions.

This means that if there are several revisions the Category Editor would normally need to look at each revision one at a time.  This can end up being a little complicated so it's best not to allow too many unmoderated revisions accummulate.

To review a revision login with your Category Editor credentials and navigate to your review. Alongside the review heading you will see the options View, Edit, Revisions.  Click on Revisions.

In the example below you can see there have been two revisions since the current version.  You can see what changes have been made by reading the comments made by the user and, more powerfully, by using the "Show diff" (ie show differences) button.

Clicking the Show diff button will compare whatever two revisions are selected by the radio buttons.  In this example we would probably want to compare the current revision to the first revision after the current version rather than what is shown above. This can be done by clicking the radio button next to each revision.

Once you have selected which versions you want compared, click the Show diff button. You will now see a screen showing the changes marked up "inline" in much the same  manner as changes are diplayed in Microsoft Word.

Alternatively you can elect to have a two panel side by side display using HTML rather than the displayed text.

Most editors will prefer the inline display.  If you do want the two panel display go to the top of the page and you will find the instructions as shown below:

If you are happy with the revision go to the top of the page displaying the diff pane and select "Publish Revision."  That revision now becomes the current revision and is displayed on the website to all users.

This procedure is fine for approving the first of several revisions (or if you only have one revision to approve) but if you have several revisions you need to use a different technique as the changes made in each revision are not cumulative between revisions. So, changes made in revision 1 are not shown in revision 2.

What I suggest is to use two browser tabs:

In the first tab have the current version open for editing. This will be your master version. This is the version that will incorporate all the (acceptable) changes from all other revisions. When saved this will become the current published version and will be fully up-to-date.

In the other browser tab open the diff pane display that compares the current version to whatever revision version you are examining.  Note the differences, decide which you want to accept and make the changes directly into the current version that's open for editing in the first tab.  You should be able to cut and paste the text directly from the diff pane into the HTML editor. Don't, though, copy any HTML tags; much better to do any markup changes using the WYSIWYG editor.

Repeat this process of updating the master copy in the first tab by going through each of your revisions one at a time.

When completed, save the master copy in the first tab. This will become the latest revision. You must then approve this revision to make it the current version.

To approve your changes, click on the Revisions button and then select "revert" next to your revision version.  It may seem strange "reverting" to the most recent version but that's the way it is.

As I said, a lot of complication can be saved by logging into the site regularly and never letting more than one revision accumulate for your reviews.  Approving a single revision is a 30 second job. Approving multiple revisions takes time.

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