After a petition is created, an email is sent to the users who have opted to receive notifications. You can also check for petitions in need of moderation by going the admin homepage > Moderation. This queue lists all items in need of moderation, including petitions, events, emails and group moderation. If needed, you can filter the items in the queue by removing item types from the filter list.
In this article, we'll look at moderating new petitions. These petitions have a default status of Unreviewed. (?)
For most organizations, newly-created unreviewed petitions are immediately live, and petition creators can start sharing their campaign as soon as it is created. This allows your organization's supporters to respond quickly to campaign opportunities, without needing to await approval from admins. However, while Unreviewed, these petitions are only visible to site visitors with the full URL for the petition – unreviewed petitions are not searchable, nor are they included in the site directory or other public listing pages. Admins are therefore asked to review and moderate these newly-created petitions to determine their ongoing visibility.
To start moderating, go to the moderation queue click the Moderate link next to the petition you'd like to review.
This will open a modal that includes all of the information we have about the petition, including information about the petition creator, the text that the creator has entered, and current activity on the petition.
The top of this modal has a reminder of what this content is, in this case a new petition. Next there's a Preview link that will bring you to the petition's signature page. This may be useful if you want to see what the page looks like as a whole instead of broken into separate sections.
Also in the top bar is the dropdown includes a dropdown of moderation statuses which will allow you to choose the appropriate status for this petition.
Reviewers and Mentors
Immediately below this header is the Reviewer and Mentor bar. For larger teams that have multiple admins supporting member-created petitions, these sections can help ensure that content is reviewed appropriately. The Reviewer is the person tasked with decided this petition's moderation status right now. You can claim a petition by clicking Assign to Me or click Edit to assign the moderation task to a different admin. Depending on your organization, you may wish to require that all moderation tasks be claimed before before being reviewed. Often, admins will only claim moderation tasks that require more time than usual. For example, if you're calling the petition creator to discuss their campaign, you may want to claim the task so that other admins know that they shouldn't review the request in the meantime.
The Mentor is the person who is in charge of ensuring that this petition is successful in the longer term. They may offer advice to the petition creator, check in with them throughout the life of the campaign, and serve as a point of contact between the petition creator and your organization. As with the Reviewer option, you can claim a petition by clicking Assign to Me or click Edit to assign a different admin to be the campaign's mentor.
Next is the Notes section. Notes are only visible to other admins and may be useful if you want to jot something down about this campaign, ask a question, or track review/mentoring tasks. Once the petition leave the moderation queue, these notes will also be visible in the admin view of the petition.
Next, you can begin taking a look at the text the petition creator entered. If you need to make any changes to the text, you can click the Edit button.
We generally encourage admins to not just fix any spelling and grammar issues, but also reword the petition if it's not clear or shorten it if it's too long. Remember: you're the expert and your members are looking to you for guidance on how to make their campaign successful. When you're done making changes, click Save Changes and your updates will be reflected on the petition page. If needed, you can also Lock any of these fields.
The information included in this modal will vary depending on the petition that's being moderated, but you will see a combination of the following:
- Title: this is the title of the petition. Please note: updating this field after creation will not change the petition's URL. This field is limited to 100 characters.
- Creator: this section shows the petition creator's contact information including their name, email address, and phone number. If needed, you can click the user's name to visit their member profile. The member profile has more information about the user including other actions that they've taken on the site (for example, events they've RSVPed to, groups they're a member of, and petitions they've signed).
- Who: this is who the petition is targeting. If the petition is already associated with a decision maker, then this field will be hidden. This field has a maximum character limit of 240 characters.
- Decision Maker: this shows the decision maker associated with the petition. You can add or update the associated decision maker by clicking the Edit link and searching for the decision maker's name. If you create a new decision maker from the moderation queue, you may wish to go to the decision maker's admin page (by searching for the decision maker's name from the /org/targets page) to include additional details, like the decision maker's email address or location. If the decision maker was entered by the petition creator, it will often have an Unpublished tag and a Publish button. Publishing the decision maker is especially important for petitions in an effort.
- What: this is the petition's ask. This field has maximum character limit of 5,000 characters.
- Why: this is where the petition creator explains why the issue is important and why others should care. This field has a maximum character limit of 6,000 characters.
- Signatures: this section includes the petition's current signature total and a graph of when signatures were added. It may be useful to know if the petition has been particularly popular between the time of its creation and its moderation.
- Labels: from here you can add labels to the petition. Labels are admin-only by default, and you can use them to track more granular categories, which petitions should be watched more closely, etc. Because labels are an available filter in filterable petition lists, adding filters in the moderation queue can make it easier to find campaigns again later. More information about labels.
- Region: if your organization has regions enabled, this section will show the region that the petition was automatically assigned to based on its location. If needed, this region can be updated by clicking Edit.
- Partner: if the petition is associated with a partnership, then that information will be shown here. You can remove a petition from a partnership (or add a petition to a partnership) from the petition's admin page.
- Effort: if the petition is associated with an effort (or landing page), then that information will be shown here. You can remove a petition from an effort (or add a petition to an effort) from the petition's admin page.
- Image: this is the image chosen by the petition creator. Petitions with images are often more visually pleasing and generally garner more signatures, so you may wish to include setting an image as part your organization's default moderation workflow. Please also keep in mind any local copyright or other relevant laws.
- Location: if your organization is asking petition creators to provide a location for their campaign, it will be shown here. If you choose to edit this field, a Google maps autocomplete field will be shown.
- Categories: if your organization is using categories, this field will be shown. When updating the categories field, you can click the x next to the category name to remove individual categories or click Clear All. You can also click Edit to view the list of all available categories and make the relevant selections.
- Language: if your organization is operating the toolset in more than one language, this field shows which language the user was viewing the site in when the petition was created. The petition's language is used in various places, like when deciding which petitions to show on the homepage.
- Delivery details/Facebook Page URL/External Site URL: these fields are not included on the new campaign page. If the user updates their petition between the time of creation and moderation, these fields may be used.
When you've finished reading and editing the petition, return to the top of the page and choose the appropriate status from the dropdown menu. Then click Moderate to change its status.
There are ten moderation statuses for petitions: unreviewed, edited, revised, reactivated, spam, inappropriate, suppressed, approved, good, awesome, and ended. Petitions cannot be manually set to edited, ended, revised, or reactivated — these statuses are given automatically by the system. The different moderation statuses will affect the petition's visibility, including whether the petition is included in the site directory and public search results.
There are seven moderation statuses that can be assigned to petitions by admins.
Petitions are always visible to their creators and platform administrators. Even if the petition is otherwise hidden from members of the public, the petition creator will still be able to see the campaign if they return to the site while logged in.
If a petition is visible to the public with the full direct URL, it means that someone who has had the URL shared with them will be able to see the campaign, but other site visitors won't necessarily be able to find the campaign by search for it or looking in the site directory.
For most campaigns, we prioritize sharing prompts as a way of growing the campaign. We also allow petition creators to send emails to their supporters with updates about the campaign. If these tools are disabled, the petition creator will be unable to email their supporters and signers won't see obvious prompts to share the campaign on social media or via email.
An overview of the statuses is available below. The majority of petition creators will not know what moderation status their campaign has been assigned.
|Is the petition:
||Are sharing and email supporters tools enabled?|
|Status||Visible to public with direct URL?||Included in search and site directory?|
- Spam: We ask that admins only use the spam status for petitions that are actually spam — for example, if they promoting a pirated movie download, get rich quick scheme, etc. We use an automatic spam filter in the platform and misuse of the spam status will make this automatic filter less reliable. If a user has three petitions marked as spam, their account will be locked. Users will be informed if their petition is moderated as spam.
(For those following the New ControlShift Admin tutorial, we'll cover Spam petitions shortly. For all others, see the article Spam for more information.)
- Inappropriate: When you click to mark a petition as inappropriate, a text box will appear asking you why the petition is inappropriate. By default, that reason will be sent to the petition creator in an email notifying them that their petition has been found inappropriate, providing the reason, and directing them to edit their petition. If the petition creator decides to edit their petition, it will be returned to the moderation queue for admin review.
If you do not want the petition creator to be notified that their petition has been found inappropriate, click the Skip notification email check box. Then continue to moderate the petition as usual. Please note: even if you skip the notification email, the user will still see the admin's reason for moderating the petition as inappropriate if they return to their petition page.
You can update the email that's sent when a petition is moderated to inappropriate by going to Settings > Content > Emails > Inappropriate Content Message. You can also set a default inappropriate reason by going to Settings > Content > Petitions > Default reason for inappropriate petitions.
While a petition is moderated to inappropriate, the creator will only be able to edit their petition's content. All other petition creator tools are inaccessible.
- Suppressed: This setting is often used when the petition does not technically violate community guidelines, but advocates for a position that the organization does not want to actively support or that is outside of the organization's main focus.
- Good and Awesome: These are often the default moderation statuses that organizations use if they want supporters to find petitions. These statuses used to do different things in the platform, but there's no longer any difference between them. Your organization can decide if you want to use good vs. awesome to track different types of petitions.
If, after initial moderation, you need to update the moderation status of a petition, you can do so by going to the petition's signature page and updating its status from the admin bar. If a previously moderated petition is edited by the petition creator, it will be sent back to the moderation queue with an edited status. As with a newly-created petition, admins who have enabled notifications will be notified that the petition needs additional moderation. (To see more detail about the workflow for edited petitions, please see Moderation Workflow for Edited Petitions in the help center.)
[For those following the tutorial for new CSL admins, we'll look at moderation of edited petitions next.]