Hey friends. I am not speaking in ANY official capacity here, but I thought you might like some tips on how to get the best and fastest result when you report something on AO3!
Following these guidelines helps the Abuse team handle your report promptly. (We will of course handle your report even if you don’t follow these guidelines, but this will help us help you!)
Report from the page where the TOS violation actually happened. The URL of the page you reported from shows up in the report, so it makes it easy for the Abuse team to get up to speed.
Provide as much info about the issue as you can, especially if you’re reporting anonymously. If the Abuse team doesn’t have enough information, and we can’t contact the reporter, we have to discard the report. If you’re reporting plagiarism, for example, provide the link to what is being plagiarized. If you’re reporting harassment in comments, specify who is making the comments and where. (Or, as above, report directly from the page where the comments are being made).
Please don’t encourage everyone you know to report the same issue! AO3 is not like FF.net, wherein more reports=more likely to be dealt with. AO3 Abuse is staffed by a small team, and we handle every report we receive. Getting flooded with reports about the same issue means we have to stop and handle the reports, taking time away from actually investigating and handling the issue! We only need one report per issue, as long as it has all the information we need to investigate (see #2).
Before you report things, it’s a good idea to review the TOS! We’re happy to clarify things if you have a question, too. We get a fair number of anon reports about things that don’t violate the TOS, and since they’re anon, we can’t respond to tell you why action wasn’t taken.
Please be kind and patient with us. We are all volunteers who believe in the mission of the OTW. We try to apply the rules fairly and consistently, and sometimes that means that you will not be happy with our ruling. You can appeal, especially if you have additional information! But please understand, we are human beings too, trying to do our jobs to the best of our abilities. Sometimes we have to uphold rulings that make us uncomfortable, because the policy of maximum inclusiveness is VERY important to making the AO3 what it is. Being nasty to us because of a ruling you don’t like doesn’t change the ruling, it just makes us sad.
This has been a little PSA :)