After a petition is created, an email is sent to the users who have opted to receive notifications. You can also check the petition moderation queue for new petitions by going to Moderation (under Tasks) from the admin homepage. This queue lists all items in need of moderation, including petitions, events, and group moderation. To view only petitions, you can add a Petition Type filter.
In this article, we'll look at moderating new petitions. These petitions have a default status of Unreviewed. (?) 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. However, these petitions are only visible to site visitors with the full URL for the petition – unreviewed petitions are not searchable or 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, 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 includes a dropdown of moderation statuses which will allow you to choose the appropriate status for this petition.
Immediately below this header is the Claim bar. Clicking to Claim this task will let other admins at your organization know that you're reviewing the petition. Your organization and fellow admins can decide whether all moderation tasks should be claimed 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.
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 user'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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Image: this is the image chosen by the petition creator. Petitions with images are often more visually pleasing, so you may wish to include adding an image to your organization's default moderation workflow. Please also keep in mind any local copyright or other relevant laws.
- 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.
- 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.
Admin granted moderation statuses are:
- Unreviewed: These petitions have not yet been moderated by admins. These petitions are visible, but will not show up in public search results or in the site directory. Users will need a direct link to the petition in order to view it.
- Inappropriate: These petitions are only visible to admins and the petition creator. Even with a direct link to the petition, site visitors are not able to see it. Inappropriate petitions are not included in the site directory nor do they appear in search results.
When you click to mark a petition as inappropriate, a text box will appear asking you why the petition is inappropriate. You will not be able to moderate the petition as inappropriate until you've entered a reason in that box. 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.
For more information about inappropriate petition moderation, including how to set a default reason and how to update the notification email, please see: https://controlshiftlabs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/209203227
- Spam: Like inappropriate petitions, spam petitions are not visible to site visitors, even with a direct link.
However, we ask that org admins only use the spam moderation status for petitions that are actually spam — for example, if they are aimed at selling cheap prescription drugs. Because we use an automatic spam filter, misuse of the spam button will make this automatic filter less reliable. Unlike inappropriate petitions, after a user has three petitions marked as spam, their account will be disabled. (For those following the New ControlShift Admin tutorial, we'll cover Spam petitions shortly. For all others, see the article Spam for more information.)
- Suppressed: These petitions are visible with a direct link to the petition, but are not shown in the site directory nor are they included in search results. While the petition is visible to those with the full link, the petition creator is not able to send blast emails to signers. Additionally, the sharing tools included on the petition's signature page are disabled for petition signers and the petition creator. This setting is often used when the petition does not technically violate community guidelines, but does advocate for a position that the organization does not want to actively support.
- Approved: These petitions are visible with a direct link, but are not included in the site directory and do not show up as a search result. These petitions have sharing and contact signers tools enabled.
- Good: These petitions are visible with the full link and are also included in search results and the site directory.
- Awesome: These petitions are visible, appear in search results and the site directory. Previously, awesome petitions were also included on the homepage. However, homepage petitions are now controlled by the promoted petitions page: https://controlshiftlabs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002819528.
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.]