Stopping the Madness

Author uses Block - it's super effective!

Hi, in today’s update we will be adding a feature some of you have asked us to implement for a long while.

We allow authors to do many things here. They are free to post on their schedule, write about the topics they like, and communicate with the readers on their own accord.

To realise more freedom for our authors we allow them to moderate their own fiction comments, for example deleting them when appropriate or if they contain spoilers.  

While this works, it’s not a sufficient measure for a different kind of spam authors (and readers!) receive.

To remedy some of the remaining issues, we are introducing a feature to block users from contacting you. This should help with the unwanted spam some authors are receiving in both PMs and on their fiction comments.

In order to access the feature, go to the user’s account information page and click the Block button in the top left.

Please don’t block Wing. She’s lovely

There are 3 options that you can choose from when blocking a person, as shown in the confirmation screen below.

The options are fairly straightforward:

  • Blocking Private Messages prevents the user from sending you any messages
  • Hiding Comments makes any comment by that user invisible to you
  • Blocking Comments prevents the user from making a comment on any of your fictions

To unblock a person you’ve previously blocked, repeat the steps above, but make sure that no options are checked when you click Block. We will work on implementing a more intuitive unblock feature in the near future, as well as a list of blocked people that you can check.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

 

Comments(79)

Tomolone
S.Mod
Wing
Admin

I'm innocent, don't block me. 

Will you add a feature where we can block other user's fictions and reviews too?

    kanadaj
    Admin

    Those are not planned as of now, but we will discuss that and see if it is a feature that'd be widely requested. But blocking fictions puts a very heavy strain on the server due to the nature of the database queries, so it is unlikely to be added.

      Please be aware that blocking someone from reviewing a fiction could lead to a lack of honest reviews.

      I agree, although reviews aren't the best option now, this would very much skew the whole thing as the author has full control then on his own score

      kanadaj
      Admin

      No no, you guys misunderstand. By blocking reviews I literally mean "I don't want to see their reviews." They could still write them, you just wouldn't see it :) But again, it'd increase server load by a fair bit I believe.

    About the best you can probaly get is to block viwers and delete thier comments i think

does it remove review said person has left on an author's works too?

could be useful if I had people to comment on my fiction

It's a nice feature, but I think like deleting comments, it can too easily be abused by authors to remove critisism.

Thanks for the update.

    kanadaj
    Admin

    We do not allow blocking reviews, so criticism can still be posted on the fiction's page. It just stops the user from commenting on the chapters of the author if the option is checked.

      what I mean is the reviews were you give a passing grade say 0,5 stars but don't leave any evidence that you did so...
      that thing in the top right corner of the front page

    You have to understand that any tool can be misused, and perhaps reporting an author that's abusing this new tool would be something worth adding as well. As is, bigger authors end up getting dozens and dozens of messages nitpicking details about largely stylistic errors all the time.

    I remember having a guy spam over 50 comments into one of my chapters talking about how I was misusing gravitational magic in my own story. It completely ruined that chapter and a few other chapters comment sections, which quite a few readers get a lot of enjoyment out of.

    Just expressing the other side of the story and why this feature may be warranted.

This is beautiful and you are wonderful people to implement it.

Does this include all their fictions, or just one? Also, what if you just want to ban one person from just like one or two of your stories. What then? Like if they like one of your stories but does hate crimes on the other. I'm also guessing that it doesn't block from reading it.

Where does I report a bug? In the POPULAR THIS WEEK session when I RIGHT CLICK and open the novel in another tab, my mouse's arrow bind with the novels AS IF I was keeping my button down. Resumind, when I open another tab, the site undestand that I'm pressing the left button and bind it. Of course, the binding disappear when I move my mouse's arrow to next, the same way as pressing the left button. 

This is great! Can you make it where we're in control of deleting our own fiction without having to submit a support ticket to?

nice work RR team!

Nice to be able to hide comments from people that just spam comment sections with no worth just as a reader.
 + I guess it's nice to not see the first constant "First/second/third!" x posters anymore in a lot of novels I read.

Really going to help out the community! Way to go!

A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one!

(Time to follow the tutorial and block Wing!)

Well done. Cheers.

 

thank you for your hard work senpais

I appreciate this feature, but I would like it a lot more, if the button was not in such an obvious place. Every time I open someone's profile, it's the first thing I see. I think there is no need to have it right there.

Leave one dead mouse on the bed, and they block me. I was just saving it for later. I promise.

So, you're saying you're giving authors power to ban anyone they want from commenting on their releases?

That's pathetic...

 

You're just transparently allowing authors to remove any criticism they like.

    Read the reply from @kanadaj further up. I don't think authors would block comments from people that admit that a chapter didn't really feel good to them or they would get negative reviews just because of that. And if you really have to criticize the whole work of the author or want to offer your opinion of it, the reviews are unchanged.

    Overall, a welcome change I guess.

    You can still criticize them in reviews if you want to. I agree the chances of this creating an in-fic echo chamber are large, but I've also seen users contacting authors go wrong enough times to understand that this feature does have a use. I hope they don't touch the review system though. Author's deleting reviews they don't like would render reviews even more useless than they often are.

When are you finally going to implement that new template and other things you promised a long time ago?

    kanadaj
    Admin

    The redesign has been delayed due to technical issues and due to us rushing out some features before the design, which in turn needed us to re-adjust the design.

    As far as the mobile apps go, we've had some serious financial setbacks in the last quarter, essentially stripping us from the funds we've indended to use for the app development. We will get back to that issue once we've solved the funding issue.

Is there any chance to input a function where you can group remove books from the bookmarks. It seems really inefficient when I have to scroll down and change page every time I delete just one book.

    This would be great, managing bookmarks is incredibly tedious.

    Just right-click on "Unbookmark" and press "t".

    This will make it so that the unbookmarking(not a real word but you get what I mean)  process is done on the newly opened tab and you can simply continue doing this for every fiction that you want. After you are done if you reload the page the unbookmarked fictions will be gone. Hope it helps, it did me :).

Can I give all you guys working on rrl an internet hug for being awesome?

Acrually, why doesn't RRL limit the power to review to paying members? Authors still have to face drive-by trolls and other stunted creatures, which by itself doesn't help in creating an accurate idea about the quality of the story.

 

    Your suggestions doesn't make things better, it would need the erasure of most reviews and ratings currently on this site to start and it would lower the amount of reviewers to the point of uselessness.

Well, I guess promoting one's story in messages will mostly be limited to the chat?

Cool change. I would like to see those 1/5 star reviews removed from total score counting, they are just vindictive and take away from the authors' efforts. 

    You can report reviews. Been a feature for a while now. If the review is something along the lines of "0,5 stars because I don't like this genre" or "author said something I don't like!" it'll usually get removed by the staff pretty quickly.

    Reporting low score reviews just because one doen't personally agree with them or is trying to mess with the rating of their own fictions is plain abuse though and I'm pretty sure royalroad staff has ways to deal with it.

I want to know more about the cookie tax and the ruthlessness occuring to S.MOD. Is it a violent yet provocative way the cookies are being taken from him, is that why he is speaking in outrage??

Referring to @ Zalpha's comment - I think they're should be a way for authors to submit the 1/5 star reviews to be reviewed by a staff member and subject to removal. I.E. if the 1/5 star contains zero comments as opposed to a 1/5 star that actually has reasoning behind it. There are a small small handful that do deserver a 1 star review. The majority do not though.

I'm okay with blocking private messages and hiding comments from your own view, that's everyone's own decision, but fully blocking a user from leaving a comment is making that decision for all other users following your fictions too, and not the way to go. Guaranteed, 99% of the time it will just be used to remove everything and anything that rubs the author the wrong way.

Honestly, you need to learn to deal with "trolls" and other annoying people the old-fashioned way  (ignore and carry on) if you mean to keep sharing your work in public. Everyone has the equal right to freedom of speech, even if that right is sometimes abused. The consequences of limiting that are often way uglier. 

    kanadaj
    Admin

    At the end of the day moderators still exist, freedom of speech or not. But as we're growing, moderating users becomes more of an issue - we are nearing 2 million comments on the site. This step allows authors to take moderation into their own hands, just like they would on their own website.

    Do keep in mind that authors always had the ability to delete comments of any user on their fiction; giving the authors the tools to moderate is nothing new here.

    Ultimately, as far as criticism go, in the end you can always just leave a review. The authors have no power over those and never will. But the comments are something we believe the author's should have the power to moderate on their own. 

      I never did notice authors could delete comments before, which makes me wonder, what exactly is the point of the block, since it's functionally the same? There is also a report button, I see, which should be sufficient to help moderators with their work. I doubt you get 2 million reports per day, but have the time to look into them and decide if the comment is actually something that should be deleted. Arguably in a more objective manner than an average user! I also believe the more effective way of dealing with harassment is to remove the user instead of only their comment, which the users are still (thankfully) unable to do.

I'm a bit worried about the option to block comments for all of your readers as well; is it plausible to have an option for readers to view the blocked comments in case an author doesn't take criticism well? A lot of stories on this site are very long, so I think readers deserve to have some warning as to whether their time investement will be rewarded or not as a lot of people have busy lives.

this is my first comment, i deserve no blocks

Got my first block today. 

It was kind of annoying to have typed out an entire response only to get error 403. Should either have a notification or just remove the box to type in.

This is called censorship. Allowing authors to put a cap on number of characters in a single comment, or a max number of comments per account per chapter post would be keen. And probably easier to design and cleaner to implement too. Nah, let's just hand mod admin rights to authors. That's even easier!

Is this our fault kanadaj? Did our thousand strong chains of comments across multiple fictions become too much of a threat? We proclaim our innocence!

 

Sincerely- Every single comment chain group I happen to be a part of.

    kanadaj
    Admin

    No, it is a fault of users harassing authors and authors being powerless against it.

      Phew, I was worried our comments were the problem! Glad to know it's just trolls and harassers stirring up trouble again!

      It should work quite well once people get used to it.

      Is there currently a page you are redirected to if you have been blocked or does it just display an error message?

      kanadaj
      Admin

      I just reused our 403 page but with the next patch I'll change that to show "Blocked" instead of "403"

I am unstoppable. 

Does this hide users in the comments of stories that are not your own? I'm not sure whether it would be good or bad.

 Can you add a 'see all' function to the notification button? It can get kind of frustrating to find them when you have more than 10 notifications.

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