Enabling and Using the Warning System

Note: The following article applies to SMF 2.* and above.

The warning system is a way to let the forum moderators watch a user and at an extreme remove their posting permissions on the whole forum.

First off the feature must be enabled. In the admin panel -> core features click the power button next to Warning System, and save the page. When you do that it should look like the following image.

Once you have enabled it there are a few things to configure. We need to go to the configuration page, admin panel -> security and moderation -> moderation.

On this page we can set several of the options for the warning system.

Warning level for user watch, which will put " Watched" in the mini profile next to each post the user has made. The warning level will also be listed in the users profile along with warning status.

If post moderation is enabled under core features, the warning level for post moderation will put " Moderated" in the mini profile next to each post the user has made. This is the minimum level that needs to be given to a user to put them into post moderation, where all post require approval by moderators before they will be shown to all users.

Warning level for user muting, which will put " Muted" in the mini profile next to each post the user has made.  This is the minimum level that needs to be given to a user to remove their posting permission.

Maximum user warning points per day, this will limit how much of a warning a moderator [or whoever can issue a warning] can issue in one day, I find it useful to remove the limit and put 0 in the box.

Warning points to decrement from users every 24 hours, this will automatically decrease a warning every 24 hours by this set amount, it is up to the admin if they want the warning to decrease automatically or let the moderators decrease it themselves when they see the need.

Users who can see the warning status, this drop down will define who can view the warning that is issued, Moderators Only, Moderators and Warned Users, or All Users. I prefer to use one of the first 2 options, but rather use the first one most of the time.

Once the options have been set don't forget to save the page.

It is also necessary to set the proper permissions so that the moderators can issue warnings, this is the "Issue warnings to members" permission.

Keep in mind that local board moderators may be able to view the warnings that are issued even if they are not in a group that can issue them and be able to view the list of warnings and watched members in the moderation center.

All of the warnings that are issued and users that are being watched can be tracked in the moderation logs and in the moderation center if the permission to access the moderation center is given to the proper user groups.

To enable the moderation logs to go admin panel -> core features click the power button next to Moderation, Administration and User Logs and save the page.

To issue a warning to a user, you can do so either from a post they have made or from their profile.

If you are issuing a warning from the users profile you need to click on the link "Issue a Warning" on this page you will need to set the warning level, this can be done either by clicking a location on the warning level bar or using the - and + buttons on either side of the bar. You also need to put in a reason for the warning in the text box below the warning level.

After you have set the warning level and given a reason for the warning, there is the option of sending the user a notification of the warning. You can given a subject and select a template which can be configured in the moderation center or write your own message and send it to the user by clicking the issue warning button. If you do elect to send a notification it is still required to click the issue warning button.

You will also be able to see the users' history of warnings on this page in their profile.

If you want to issue a warning to a user for a specific post they made, you can do so by clicking on the image which is next to the report to moderator link on each post.

Creating a custom warning message

To create a custom warning message we need to enter the moderation center and go to the warnings page and click on Custom Templates.

On this page it lists any current custom templates that exist, by default there are a few templates but they cannot be edited on this page. To create a new template click on the Add template button as seen in the screenshot below.

On the add template page we can create a title for the template and add the body of the message that the users will receive if the template is used.

There are several "shortcuts" that can be used as show on the left side of the page, keep in mind that these are case sensitive so they need to be in all caps with the curly brackets on each side.

    {MEMBER} - Member Name.
    {MESSAGE} - Link to Offending Post. (If Applicable)
    {FORUMNAME} - Forum Name.
    {SCRIPTURL} - Web address of forum.
    {REGARDS} - Standard email sign-off.

It helps to use these to make the message seem a bit friendlier, they also help make sure there is consistency in the messages that the moderators send.

If you want to use the {MESSAGE} shortcut, it will only be filled in if you issue a warning from a post, so most likely that shortcut will not be used very often.

There is an option to make the template a personal template, this can be useful but not often used so that all moderators can use the templates.

Once you have completed your template don't forget to save it by clicking the add template button.

If you have created a template and wish to edit it, you can do so by clicking on the templates title.

If you have created a template and wish to delete it you can do so by checking the box at the end of the row on the custom templates page and clicking on the delete selected button.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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