Welcome to a friendly PSA because we've noticed people either don't know how to use the "report" function, think it is a joke, or just ignore it.Also, even if you're a regular that believes he knows how these things work, at least jump to point 5 (the one I labeled in red) because chances are you need to read it.
So what is the "Report button" anyway?
That's a good question. This button is the little exclamation mark (!) under each user's avatar/profile info in each of their posts or private messages (please see fig. 1). If you check a user's profile, in the comment section you'll notice a big blue link labeled "Report". If you hadn't figured it out, this is also a report button (see fig. 2).
FIG. 2 (The "IP" button shouldn't appear to regular users. Don't worry about it)
Thanks for patronizing me without actually giving me useful info, like what the button actually does.
When you click the button, it'll take you to a little text field where you can write the actual report. Once this is sent, a thread is auto-generated in a special subforum only staff can see, which basically shows us who wrote the report, what it says, what it's reporting (quoting the post itself) and who wrote the reported post/comment.
That seems redundant, why not write a mod a PM? Or hilariously summon them in the thread itself with posts such as "omg this gunna b locked lolz"?
Well, for the first, there's the problem that a) Maybe the mod you're PMing is offline and won't be online for quite a while (and, even if you check the "active users" thing at the bottom of the forums, maybe the mods are idling and AFK or set themselves to be invisible there) or b) Maybe some other mod is more qualified to handle the infraction. With the REPORT function, every staff member can see the report as soon as it's written, ensuring a quicker response (and giving staff a space to discuss the reported offense, making our sorry lives easier). As for the second suggestion, that's dumb, won't magically make the mods appear, it's poorly written, considered spam/going off topic, and I will infract you if I see you doing it. So please don't.
Hey you lazy bastards I wrote a very thoughtful report and I still haven't seen the staff raining anger and fiery death on my enemies. How come? Is the system flawed? Should I write another report?
No, you shouldn't. There's many things that could be happening here, for example: a) The staff is still discussing what to do about the reported infraction to the rules, b) no staff member has read the report yet, c) maybe we deemed it not important enough to do something about, and the most plausible d) most of the staff actions happen behind the scenes, we don't publicly scorn users (ok, other staff members don't). Maybe we sent the user a PM, or gave him a warning/infraction (which other users can't see), maybe we're talking about a ban, etc. But unless we give an open warning or delete the post itself, there's a very low chance you'll see our response, so don't assume we didn't do jack.
Ok so I'll go ahead and report everything then.
God no. This is the reason I'm writing this poorly thought guide. Here's something to keep in mind while reporting stuff:
-The report button is there for blatant breaking of the rules. Don't report stuff just because it annoys you, it goes against your beliefs (whatever they may be), it's written by someone you dislike, etc. ABUSING THE REPORT BUTTON IS AN INFRACTABLE OFFENSE. Think before reporting, is what I mean.
-On the other hand, if you are sure this is against the rules, don't shy away from reporting. If you think someone probably reported it already because of how blatant a violation it is, well, then make sure and report anyways (reports coming from the same post will pile up as replies, so they don't bother us staff or the system at all. It's no problem for us). Replying to threads you are so sure are terrible with stuff like "in b4 lock" or "can't wait till the mods get here lol" without actually reporting is considered spam and also an infractable offense. Please keep this in mind and save us both a headache.
-Also, if you want minor "maintenance" done to your own posts/threads (such as a title change, closing it, etc) just report it. It's much quicker than PMing us.
Well you're no fun. Any last suggestions?
When writing the report, try to make it short. Just a quick text explaining to us why this post deserved to be reported, and what rule it's breaking according to you. Remember that the last word on whether the post is breaking the rules or not fall to us, the forum staff. Also, while all help is certainly welcome, we don't really appreciate people "backseat modding" and doing stuff like telling us how we should infract the user or what exact action to take. Trust us, we'll know what to do. Also, this should be obvious, don't break any rules while writing a report. It technically counts as a post and is subject to the same rules. Well, that should be all.
Man, I sent this trouble ticket like a month ago and no cheese. Maybe I'll report the issue here to speed things up?
No, don't do this. While affiliated, run by (generally) the same people, and sharing their names and domain, Furaffinity (the site) and Furaffinity Forums are relatively independent, and the staff of both seldom overlaps. While, yes, this forum is also used to discuss mainsite issues, and mainsite admins do check here, the report system is exclusively for forum related trouble/issues. If you have an issue over at mainsite, go through the usual channels (trouble tickets, email), but don't use the report system to "cheat" around response times. Forum staff can't do anything about mainsite issues, and the responsability of choosing which Trouble Tickets should receive priority does not belong to either us (forum staff) or forum users. Most, if not all, of the time, reporting the issue here won't help at all, and will only serve to distract us from the forum-related reports we can actually do something about. In short, the report button is not "trouble ticket express".
TL;DR (because the attention span here would make a goldfish blush):
DO REPORT: If there's a blatant violation of the rules, if you want maintenance done to your own thread
DON'T REPORT: When it's for dumb reasons unrelated to those above, or mainsite issues.
If there's any questions left, just ask them here.