Is moderation killing Ask LibreOffice?

In many websites, I find moderation a very useful and effective way to keep spam away. The delay it causes usually is negligible in favor of its benefits. But the situation in this site is very different. The voting mechanism is already a moderation system moderated by its users. It should encourage good questions and answers and discourage bad ones. Unfortunately, the additional layer of moderation being used now is wasting the time of everyone, the new user who is looking forward to getting a quick answer, the moderator and the volunteer who would like to help. According to my experience, the waiting time for a post to be moderated and accepted is 4 or 5 days. Therefore, a simple question with a few comments could take as long as one month before getting an answer which is enough to disappoint anyone and cause him to leave. I don’t know how many moderators there are, But certainly they are too few for this community. Please resolve this issue.

I’ve also noticed a lot of editing of posts by moderators, which is off-putting. The Ask format has its problems, AISI, but the best thing would still be to basically just let it do its thing without micromanagement.

The FOSS Office Suites proposal on the Stack Exchange network might be of interest.

The new user may not get a sufficient answer if Alex Kemp has his way! He will call your question answered, even though the answered question he is referring to is asked in a completely different and round about way, therefore really a different question, or if the answer looks right to him, a seasoned LO user, even if it makes no sense to the one asking the question, in fact raising many more questions. Maybe he should stop playing god, and use his time for good and give some answers himself!

This is not a q&A board: it’s a closed dictatorship. I can’t even up/down votes, because I don’t have “points” which I cannot “earn” since so many questions are closed.

I’m sure that the answer is “yes”. The issue dates back to August 2015 (Q58521).

@evgeny and @floeff are 2 paid administrators for this site. They can make changes here; very few others can.

Update 24 February 2016:

The Admin Evgeny (user 5975) was last seen on ask.libO on Jan 16 '16, which neatly answers why new-users are spending so long in Moderation (Florian Effenberger does not spend any time on this site, whereas Evgeny is paid to work on the site). However, you may find it difficult to verify this information yourself…

The information given in the paragraph above is obtained from Evgeny’s Profile ( As I type these words, the links for that Profile page is accurate but, once I press the “Save edit” button, they may change to be for a 2nd user also called ‘evgeny’, but instead is user 6044.

(I checked whether my statement above was correct; the ‘ordinary’ link remains accurate, whereas the ‘special’ link (using ‘@evgeny’ to make a Notification link) has reverted to user 6044.)

It seems, then, that there are multiple corruptions in this site (see also Q63207), as it should not be possible to create 2 users with the same name, and especially when one of them is an Administrator.

Update 2:

After his comment to this reply, I had an email from Alex & also from Sophie. Some of the info that I’ve given is wrong, so I’ll try to restate it correctly.

Evgeny is the originator of the AskBot software, and is also employed by ask.libo to perform technical work on the site. I also recall him performing Admin work on the site at the time of the spam attack in August 2015, which was the source for my statements in that respect. However, Evgeny does NOT work on the Mod Queue.

Sophie pointed out that she works on the Moderation Queue each day. She has been ill this week, which has been one reason for recent delays.

I re-iterated my personal view to each of them that–unless spam levels are too high–that it would be best to remove pre-emptive moderation entirely.

Update 25 February 2016:

As best as I can tell approx 100 pages (thus comprising approx 3,000 questions) have been released from moderation some time this afternoon. The following is extracted from an email that I was copied into:-

there have been some issues regarding moderation of new posts on We found out that the moderation queue contained different items for various moderators. We will try to get this fixed ASAP.

On the other hand, the spamming situation seems to be much less intense at the moment, so it was decided to deactivate full moderation for the moment and go to audit mode, meaning that posts will be made public in an instant.

In other words, the folks at TDF have listened & acted. Hoorah!

Administrator Evgeny remains AWOL. He is also the writer & originator of the ASK software so, AFAIK, that means that all the bugs on this site will remain as they currently are until he awakes from his (Zika-induced?) hibernation.

Neither @evgeny1 nor @floeff are paid to moderate on AskLibO. Evgeny is paid to fix bugs, administer AskLibO (from a purely technical point of view). Florian is Executive Director of The Document Foundation.
So neither of them is to blame for the time that is used in Moderation.
Could you please give me some precise hints: Since when is Full Moderation enabled? AskLibO should be able to rely on a self-maintained user base, so has this method worked well so far?

Hi Alexander. Many thanks for corrections. Here are answers to your Q:-

“Since when is Full Moderation enabled?” : 2015-08-04 (see Q58521).

“method worked well so far?” : the ‘self-maintained user base’ moderation is responsible for the problem. Only ‘official’ Administrators can release Q from moderation. This evening (GMT0), for 1st time in 28 days, 90 Q were released. Not good.

I tried the forums, but it is worse there, as there is almost NOBODY who will answer anything about LibreOffice
If you want answers it seems you HAVE to pay for MS Office, or figure it out on your own. My friend asked a question here back in March 2015, and it is STILL in moderation!!

These symptoms appear to be related to another problem Why does the Notification Javascript no longer Work?. And a further one with to do with the “give feedback” menu option.

As I stated on 63207, I have reported the problems on Redmine and have had some feedback. When I have something to add I will report on both questions. However, if anyone knows other ways to lean, feel free to do so. We all want the symptoms fixed…Peter

25 February

Well I have had some useful feedback to say that they are actively working on the various problems. Alex explained that “Regarding the full-moderation mode: It was necessary as spammers targeted AskLibO very well-directed, so automated spam avoidance tools failed us. We have to re-evaluate the situation.”
I must confess that I myself was unaware of the moderator problem as it has not effected me personally. But is is obviously a balancing act between useful function and malicious interference. In the end we want the best service possible.

I agree. When looking at websites like reddit for example which also relies on voting and moderation. The mods only have to come in if they say something that is against the rules. I was going to say it may have something to do with spam. But they’ve got Google’s reCAPTCHA which I’m pretty stops 99% of all spammers.

If posts automatically got published instead of going trough a mod queue that might indeed faster support. Another advantage over Office. I have asked multiple friends who all have own Office 2003,2007,2010,… and then have NEVER EVER contacted Microsoft for support. Seems weird that you pay for, pretty expensive, office suite and don’t even get support for it. If new users got <24 hours support that would SUPER convenient for many people!

Original date I made this answer: 2016 02 16 08:25

You probably want to include a timezone (e.g., UTC+11) with the date-time stamp. I am from the future :slight_smile:

This delay in posts appearing seems to be a relatively new phenomenon. It may therefore be related to the recent AskBot upgrade which also seems to have adversely affected some other aspects of this site. I am sure the relevant people are aware of the issue (whatever the cause) and are looking into it.

EDIT: The problem appears to date from August 2015. Details in the answer(?) here. Related threads here and here.

When a comment or post is in the moderation queue and I change something, does it get pushed to the bottom of the list again?

There were annoying issues with this askbot site now and then. The specific one discussed her may be a recently introduced problem mainly in the case described above, concerning new user of this forum (and probably of LibO) desperately looking for help. I personally did not observe excessive delays concerning my own posts.

@Thibault, I do not know. It seems those members with enough karma are not moderated. There may be a human resource aspect to the current issue. Your question may be better directed to the AskBot forum as it may be a feature (or not) of the underlying website engine.

I have noticed recently that days go by without any new postings then there is a flood of new postings. They are obviously being held up by moderation as the posting dates are a few days before they appear.

Why too do the Administrators/Moderators not reply to the postings relating to problems on this site -

  1. That notifications can not be deleted.
  2. That the “give feedback” link does not work.

I have also seen on the nabble site that you can no longer login using your email address - you have to use username.

It would be helpful if we could be updated on a resolution of these problems by the Administrators/Moderators.