Many games and platforms including Roblox have a built in way to report players (and in the case of Roblox also content) by filling in a report and describing the situation. These ‘mechanics’ however are often poorly implemented which is also the case for Roblox’s main site. The reason why it’s poorly implemented is because the report system lacks feedback.
To illustrate what I mean let’s walk through the reporting process on the main site. Below we have a game which uses Minecraft assets. According to the rules Minecraft assets are forbidden on Roblox and should be taken down when seen.
Because this content is against the rules, let’s click the ‘Report Abuse’ button and send in a report. After clicking the button we are sent to a page where we can explain why said game is breaking the rules, so let’s fill it in:
Now that we are done, let’s click the green ‘Report Abuse’ button. So, what happens after you click the button? You are sent back to the game’s page. That’s all. There’s not even a message saying “thanks for the report!”. As a user you aren’t even told if your report was actually sent. That’s a big problem.
This isn’t the only problem though. There is another problem which is way more significant. We are never told what happened with our report. Did the game I reported get taken down? Did the guy who tried to scam me through PMs get banned? Did the person who uploaded profane content get a warning? We will never know.
Because players are never told what happened with their report they start to doubt the moderation system. You may have heard people say “the report button doesn’t work” or “my report got ignored” or other messages along those lines. This is a direct result of the missing feedback. This is a huge problem because if we don’t get to know if our report was ever received or had any effect why should we bother sending in reports in the first place? I know that the report button isn’t actually broken and does actually work, but this isn’t the case for most other people, especially kids. As a result people start to lose faith in the system and stop reporting inappropriate content & behavior. “It’s just a waste of time. It doesn’t do anything anyways” is what people might start to think. This will lead to more unwanted content and behavior in the long run because nothing is reported and taken down. Nobody wins.
The reporting system shouldn’t keep us in the dark if it wants to be more effective. I therefore propose the following additions to the report system:
- When a report is sent, show a message to the person who sent in the report that is has been received.
- When a person is punished in any kind of way as a direct result of reports being sent in by - various - people, all people who sent in a report receive an automated
- If the report you sent in didn’t have any effect due to the lack of description or good reasoning, the person who sent in the report is still sent an automated
If those additions were to be implemented there would be more reason for people to send in reports. I think this will lead to people being more descriptive when sending in a report and people being more willing to report inappropriate content and behavior in the first place. I don’t know how the report system works within the games themselves but if it also lacks the needed feedback, the same should be applied for them.
Let me know what you think,