January 2013 Newsletter

2013-02-01 by . 0 comments

Brand New About Page — a Quick Start to the Network

We’re rolling out a massively revamped ‘about’ page for each site, designed to help introduce new users to Stack Exchange. It replaced the original about page on all non-Meta sites. Your feedback is appreciated. We also have some guidelines to keep in mind when making changes to /about.

    Learn more → “Quick Start” guide to help new users learn the basics

    See the /about guidelines → What should we put in our about page?

User Merge Guideline Changes

We are changing our guidelines with respect to how users are merged. From now on, users who request to have accounts merged (accidental duplicate accounts, unregistered user replicants, people who lose access to their original account) should all be directed to the appropriate user merge Help section on your site.

    From any page footer → ‘contact us’ » ‘Merge user profiles’

On the topic of sockpuppetry for voting or other unacceptable behavior, please do not merge these accounts on your own. Please review such cases with the community team by sending us word at community@stackexchange.com.

New Moderator Message for Targeted Voting

A new ‘contact user privately’ template has been added.

    From the user profile → ‘mod’ » ‘contact user privately’ » ‘select message template’ » “targeted votes”

This is designed for handling users who may not have sockpuppets, per se, but are engaged in sketchy voting practices with friends or associates.

Analyzing Review Tasks on Posts

Moderators have a new tool to list the review tasks performed on a post. Similar to observing flag history, posts now have a review history that can be studied. It’s available from any post that has had /review actions.

    From any post → ‘mod’ » ‘show review history’

    Learn more → Add moderator-visible review task links to posts that are enqueued

Votes Analysis Tool Update

We have improved the voting analysis tool used to examine voting trends from one user against others, especially on the end of invalidated votes.

    From the user profile → ‘mod’ » ‘info’ tab » ‘votes’

Separate instances of vote invalidation is shown as separate events. The date of each incident is also displayed. Additionally, we now display invalidations both incoming and outgoing on the user.

System messages are now unavailable

System messages (a bit of text displayed near the top of every page on the site) have always been intended for system-critical notifications – the site going into read-only mode for maintenance, zombie hordes attacking, etc. However, they were often used for rather more mundane events.

Some time ago, we added a Community Bulletin Board tool for non-critical announcements of general interest to the community. Now that it’s been out in the wild for a bit, we’ve removed moderator access to the system message tool.

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