Notes about the moderation process

Every bGeigie data file that is uploaded goes through Safecast’s moderation process before it is approved and included in our maps. The technical process of moderation is pretty simple, but judgement and alertness are required.

  • Every moderator will receive an automated email when a new Safecast import is awaiting approval.
  • The email contains basic information about the import, as well as a direct link to the file.
  • Alternatively, moderators can go to api.safecast.org, and use moderator only tools to interact with pending imports.
  • The list of unapproved files in the API can also easily be accessed by moderators from api.safecast.org, by selecting “bGeigie Imports” from the left-hand column.
  • On upload pages, moderators will have additional controls allowing them to “approve” and “reject”, as well as a “send email to uploader.” These controls are not visible to non-moderator accounts.
  • Moderators examine the data closely. If any data points well over background are visible, we discuss it among ourselves, and if necessary, email the Safecaster for clarification. Other cases require judgement as well, and are discussed.
  • We rarely reject an upload outright. If it’s questionable, we send an email to the Safecaster, and from time to time it’s clear that there was an operator error, or device malfunction, or other problem which means the file should not be approved. If you think the file should not be immediately approved because of outstanding questions, please add a note to that effect in the metadata, such as “Moderator comment: Hold for approval pending verification of hotspot.”

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Sometimes Safecasters have not correctly indicated the “type of measurement.”
    • If it’s taken in an airplane or helicopter, it should be set to “cosmic.”
    • “Drive” files should be at about 1m height.
    • Ground-level measurements should be “surface” type. Safecasters sometimes measure at ground level without switching out of log mode, and include those measurements in a “drive” upload. This tends to happen when they find “interesting” radiation levels and forget.
  • Sometimes Safecasters submit readings that were taken on the upper floors of buildings. Generally these are not useable.
  • We approve data taken from boats.
  • We accept a certain amount of GPS drift, but sometimes it’s clear that the GPS is way off and those files are rejected.
  • Mistakes happen. Sometimes an experienced and trusted Safecasters will mistakenly upload data they later realize is bad (because they had sources in the car next to the bGeigie, for instance), or a moderator will approve something that had errors in it. As data can not be removed once it’s published, the solution to this is to remeasure the area correctly and update the dataset. Safecast visualizations show the most recent data, and we sometimes add links to posts or explanations of anomalies.
  • Safecasters sometime submit but neglect to click “submit” on their uploads. These files can not be approved. We periodically send them inquiries but will eventually delete unsubmitted data.

This is a work in progress, with constant incremental improvements for both users and moderators.  feel free to suggest improvements!

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