AO3 News

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2015-11-19 22:45:32 UTC

The big news this time around is comment moderation. Many thanks to the users who helped us trial this feature, and to the Abuse team for their input! In addition, we have done some work on our automated testing infrastructure and made some corrections and improvements to our documentation.

A big round of applause and thanks to the Systems team for their hard work debugging and resolving the hardware-related downtime earlier this month!


  • Coders: Ariana, Elz, Naomi (shalott), Nerine, Sarken
  • Code reviewers: Ariana, Elz, Enigel, james, Naomi, Scott, Sarken
  • Testers: Lady Oscar, mumble, Sarken, madelyn, torigates, truffulafruits


  • [AO3-3543] - Comment moderation is here! Please read the details below for updates to our previous post, Comment moderation is coming, including some additions we made after testing and user input.
  • [AO3-4364] - A handful of the tests in our automated test suite fail intermittently due to timing issues. We have disabled caching on these tests to reduce the frequency of failures.
  • [AO3-4320] - Added a link to the more detailed Tags FAQ to the tags help files.
  • [AO3-4141] - Updated the Edit Pseud form to link to the help file with the correct set of available HTML tags.
  • [AO3-4034] - In the Diversity Statement, we were "the archive" instead of "the Archive" when referring specifically to the AO3. Now we have a capital A! \o/
  • [AO3-4373] - A new database column (to track if a work has comment moderation enabled or not) temporarily broke search indexing, whoops! Fixed.

More Detail on Comment Moderation

Turning Comment Moderation On or Off

Comment moderation can be turned on and off at the per-work level. You can set it for a new work or edit an existing work to turn it on or off in the privacy settings.

Privacy options when posting or editing a work: only show to registered users, disable anonymous commenting, enable comment moderation

You can also turn it on or off for multiple works at once using the "Edit Works" tool from your dashboard or works page.

Privacy options when editing multiple works at once: anonymous commenting, comment moderation

Approving Comments

When you have comment moderation turned on, you will have to approve all the comments before they are posted publicly. You can review comments on a work by checking its "Unreviewed Comments" page:

Row of buttons at the top of a work, including the link to access all unreviewed comments on the work

Page showing all unreviewed comments on a work, to be approved, deleted, or marked as commercial spam

You will also be able to approve comments from all your works from your inbox (assuming that you have JavaScript enabled and have not turned off your inbox.)

Unreviewed comment on the user's inbox page

You will not be able to reply to a comment until it is approved.

You cannot "un-approve" a comment, but as before, you can still delete it.

Posting Comments

When you leave a comment on a work with moderated comments, there will be a note about the moderation before and after you post.

If you are a logged-in user, you will be able to edit or delete your comment after you post it, but your comment will not be linked from the work. If you want to be able to find it again, you can either bookmark your comment or turn on the preference to receive email copies of your own comments.

If you edit your comment after it is approved, it will go back into moderation (unless the edit is very small, like fixing a typo).

If you reply to someone else's comment, they will be notified of your reply when your reply is approved.

If You Need To Report a Comment

If you receive a comment that you want to report to the Abuse team, you can use the abuse report form and include a link to your list of unreviewed comments (which can be accessed by Abuse personnel), or to the work or comment in question. Since comments can be edited if they were left by a logged-in user, we recommend taking a screenshot (which you can send as an email attachment once the Abuse team responds to your report) or holding on to the comment notification you received.

Known Issues

See our Known Issues page for current issues.