SmokeDetector operates a privilege system. That is, before you are able to use a number of commands (most notably the feedback commands), you must be added to a list of privileged users in SmokeDetector's code.
Please review this page before getting in touch with someone with a request; once you know what you need, see whom to ping.
For broader background, please also review the training section.
For guidance on reviewing possible spam posts, please review Feedback Guidance.
Getting reviewer privileges with SmokeDetector
In theory, anyone can be added to the privilege list. In practice, this doesn't always work out, so as a general guideline, we look for a few things to indicate how qualified you are.
A higher reputation score indicates a higher level of participation on the sites, which is strongly correlated with moderation ability. We're looking for enough rep to indicate that you've been around a little while: generally, 300 on one site will suffice.
We can also simply look through your various accounts on the network. SmokeDetector scans posts for spam network-wide, so the more sites you have accounts on, the better it is for everyone — more accounts means you can flag spam on more sites. We may also look at how active you've been on various sites (and on their meta sites) to determine how able you are to moderate content effectively. Again, we're not looking for a massive or exceptional record, just enough to show that you know what you're doing.
If your request for privileges is supported by a regular of one of the chat rooms that SmokeDetector posts reports to, we'll look more favourably upon it — we tend to trust people who are already part of the system to make sound judgements. Additionally, if you've been around in one of the rooms for a while and have made yourself known, you've got a good chance. However, notice that some rooms have policies of their own for whom to grant SmokeDetector privileges to (in particular, SOCVR and SOBotics require approval from a room owner) -- check your chat room's policies as well.
These are all general guidelines, rather than hard limits. Really, we're just checking to make sure that you're a sane person who won't abuse the system. We understand that there are cases of users who have little apparent activity who can be excellent at moderation; we're also aware that the converse is true. Take note of what's mentioned here, but also remember that requests are judged on a case-by-case basis.
If you're a Stack Exchange network moderator, you're automatically privileged with SmokeDetector in Charcoal HQ by default (and in SOCVR if you are a Stack Overflow moderator). You don't need to be added to the explicit privilege lists, as your diamond also gives you privileges with SmokeDetector. We assume that moderators are, on the whole, pretty good at moderation.
Moderators can also see additional information on their site dashboard in relation to spammers and autoflagging participants.
Diamond-based privileges apply to any room you have a diamond in. This means, in effect, they extend across one entire chat server (two if you're an SO or MSE mod; three if you're an SO and MSE mod - looking at you, ChrisF). Diamond privileges do not inherit like normal privileges do - if your privileges in CHQ are based on your diamond, they will not inherit to Tavern on the Meta.
There are multiple privilege levels on SmokeDetector and metasmoke, each giving you access to different commands, tools, etc. There isn't any exact threshold that you have to meet in order to be eligible for many of these privileges; rather the admins will grant them to you at their own discretion. If you think that you should have some of these privileges but you don't, please contact an admin.
This is not a strict hierarchy; if you have special needs, you might need a specific privilege. This exposition roughly outlines a typical progression from newcomer to trusted project admin. (Obviously, most users never want or need to become project administrators.)
(SD) refers to privileges set in the code of SmokeDetector in
rooms.yml, (MS) refers to privileges set from within metasmoke (the admin would then add you using the form on this page), and (GH) refers to privileges set on GitHub.
SmokeDetector privileges (SD)
The process for acquiring these privileges is listed above. Depending on where you get privileges, your privileges may apply to one or to multiple rooms: if you acquire them in SOCVR, your privileges will apply only to SOCVR; if you acquire them in Charcoal HQ, you will also be automatically privileged in Charcoal Test and Tavern on the Meta.
This privilege level allows you to:
- Give feedback via chat
- Use the privileged commands listed here.
- Add comments to posts from chat (simply reply to any SD report)
- Stop autoflagging in the event of an emergency using
!!/stopflagging. After this, autoflagging can only be re-enabled by an admin.
Technically, this privilege is granted in the Smoke Detector source code by adding the user's numeric account ID to the
privileged_users list for the room in question. When this is in place, the
!!/amiprivileged chat command will cause Smoke Detector to reply "✓ You are a privileged user".
Everyone who signs up to metasmoke gets this by default (unless that's turned off, which it usually isn't).
- Allows you to set up your account so that it will be used for autoflagging
Everyone who has SmokeDetector privileges is eligible to get the reviewer role. However, this process is not automatic, so you will need to sign up for a metasmoke account so that an admin can grant it to you.
This allows you to:
- Review posts from the metasmoke review queue
- Use applications which require the write API (e.g. userscripts such as FIRE and FDSC)
- Associate your chat feedback with your metasmoke account when you connect your SE account (this should be done when you sign up, older users may need to do this manually)
- Overwrite and invalidate your own feedback
- Use the autoflagging conditions sandbox
- Add comments to posts from metasmoke
- Access to signing up to the "Charcoal Team" on Stack Overflow for Teams. The "Charcoal Team" is a private question & answer area for Charcoal. With the Reviewer role on metasmoke, actually any role in addition to Flagger, to join the Team, you can follow the directions on this page, which starts with copying the email address supplied on that page and pasting it into this page, then clicking on the "Okay, done it" button on the above metasmoke page, and following the rest of the prompts.
Blacklist manager a.k.a. code admin or blacklister (MS)
!!/blacklistwithout approval. Please make sure that you read the blacklisting guidelines before using these commands.
- Can approve other users' watches and blacklists on GitHub. Simply use the
!!/approve <PR number>command from chat and Smokey will handle the rest. You should also be able to approve such watch and blacklist PRs, but not other PRs, by adding a comment on the auto-generated PR containing the text
!!/approve, and metasmoke will handle the rest. However, merging PRs with such comments is not working at this time. In order for the GitHub-commenting method of approving other user's
!!/blacklist-*PRs to work, you will need a GitHub account that is known to us. Ping an admin and they will set you up.
- Can failover standby instances from the status page. Normally metasmoke handles this automatically if an instance goes down for more than 3 minutes, but you can use this if Smokey isn't working properly. Make sure that you follow the troubleshooting guidelines first.
[Note to admins adding a Blacklister: In addition to adding the Blacklist Manager role to the user's MS account, the user's GitHub account must be added to the Other Awesome People (OAPs) team on GitHub (only visible to Charcoal-SE members). If the user is not already a member of the Charcoal-SE GitHub organization, they will need to be invited to join Charcoal-SE and accept the invitation; hint: you can invite them to Charcoal-SE and add them to OAPs at the same time. Only after they are a member of Charcoal-SE, they need to be added to the .pullapprove.yml file. Once they've been added to the .pullapprove.yml file, you need to press the 'sync everything' button on this PullApprove page (near the bottom of the page). After clicking on PullApprove's 'sync everything' button, the error that shows at the top of the PullApprove page should go away. After all that is done, or at least the after the Blacklist Manager role is granted on MS, the user (or someone) will need to run
!!/amicodeprivileged to have SD update its cached list of Blacklisters.]
Given to people who have contributed to Charcoal in a significant way. This signals that you are a core member of our team.
- Increased autoflagging frequency (see this page for details)
- Access to the SQL data explorer
- Can create new announcements (please don't use this if you don't know what you're doing)
- Can edit domain records, and add/edit domain tags
- Can create abuse reports & contacts and change their statuses
GitHub push privileges a.k.a. proper code admin (GH)
These people have collaborator access on GitHub.
- Can push code directly to GitHub, manage PRs and issues, and add people to the SmokeDetector privilege list.
- ALWAYS PUSH TO MASTER, NEVER DEPLOY!
- Generally it's fine to directly push minor changes (e.g. privilege, blacklist, watchlist, regex, and spam check changes, bug fixes) to master without any reviews; it is recommended that you make a PR and ask for reviews on any major changes (e.g. refactoring, changed functionality, new commands, new rules)
One of the project's owners on GitHub will add you as a collaborator to the correct repository by assigning you to the appropriate team on our GH organisation. Note: if you're already part of the GH organisation, the team maintainer can also add you.
SmokeDetector Runner (MS)
Note that you can still run a SmokeDetector instance without this privilege; however its functionality will be limited without it.
- Has a copy of the credentials for the SmokeDetector account on SE and GH
- Has the ability to generate metasmoke integration tokens, required in order for Smokey to integrate with MS (e.g. feedbacks, privilege checks, autoflagging, etc)
These people get access to lots of administrative tools. They are able to see most data that is usually only visible to its owner, and perform system-level administration and maintenance tasks. All admins are also subscribed to the
firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list - any email sent to that address will reach the admins.
- Manage privileges for all users
- See posts which have been flagged for admin attention
- Create API keys, edit them, and revoke write tokens, on the behalf of the application author
- Invalidate other people's feedback
- Manually expire announcements
- View, edit, enable/disable and delete other users' autoflagging conditions
- Invalidate autoflagging API tokens in the event of an emergency
- Edit global autoflagging settings (e.g. enabled/disabled, min accuracy and post count, dry run, and max flags - note that the latter is also hard-coded for extra security)
- Re-enable autoflagging if it's been stopped with the
- Edit metasmoke site settings
- Edit and delete abuse reports & contacts
- Edit and delete comments
- Destroy domain records and domain tags
- De-authorize a rogue SmokeDetector instance
- Kill all SmokeDetector instances
- Remove 'skip' reviews
- Manage Spam Wave settings
MS Developer (MS)
Only available to our benevolent dictators Art, thesecretmaster, Undo, and Thomas Ward (who runs the MS infrastructure on behalf of the benevolent dictators). Only Undo can grant this privilege level, by editing the database directly from the console.
- Can see production logs
- Can deploy metasmoke
- Can refresh the site list cache
- Can refresh the per-post feedback cache
- Can destroy metasmoke post records
- Can destroy metasmoke users
- Can send messages down metasmoke's websockets for testing and development purposes
- Has access to a user details page and associated tooling (including refreshing chat IDs and mod sites, and sending password reset emails manually)