Freegle Tech Report 18-04-30

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Freegle Tech Report April 2018
Posts 24948-25103
Members 116


Much of the discussion this month has been on the new regulations concerning General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), More on this below. There was a delay in emails going out mid-month for a few days, when both our active Geeks were away and the servers were struggling a bit.


Q. Hello, When I reply by E-mail (using Outlook) to a WANTED advert and insert a smiley face :) Freegle translates this as four question marks on the online system?
A It is on my list but I am not likely to look at it soon.
Chat Spam
Again it was brought up about seemingly blank messages between members. Something has been added suggesting mods pop something in before marking not spam if they appear part of an ongoing transaction. For instance, “Photos are stripped out so please request a direct email address if you want one sending.”

Freegle Direct

Fixes made

*Report function in chat stopped working 
  • Add direct link to Privacy page from sign in popup, and clarify that name and approx location are visible
  • Add comment to show that when you mark something as taken/received the name of who took it isn't public
  • Show tick on Settings page when you change your location
  • Community Event text sometimes overflowed the display
  • Hide button to link a group to a Facebook group as not working just now.

Here are ones which have been made so we can conform to the requirements for member requests to have copies of any of their data.
GDPR: Add button to download in machine-readable format
GDPR: Show own messages in MyData
GDPR: Show whitelisted domains in MyData
GDPR: Show excluded location in MyData
GDPR: Show mod notes in MyData
GDPR: Show volunteering opportunities in MyData
GDPR: Show community events in MyData
GDPR: Show postal addresses in MyData
GDPR: Show notifications in MyData, fixes, add "show more" buttons
GDPR: Show profile pictures in MyData
GDPR: Show users you have reported as spammers in MyData
GDPR: Show users you have banned in MyData
GDPR: Show donations in MyData
GDPR: Show alert tracking in MyData
GDPR: Show search history in MyData
GDPR: Show group memberships history in MyData
GDPR: Show invitations in MyData
GDPR: Remove reference to payment for access request
GDPR: Speed up data export
GDPR: Show user logs in MyData
GDPR: Show user logins and exports in MyData
GDPR: Show stories and story likes in MyData
GDPR: Show newsfeed loves and reports in MyData
GDPR: Show newsfeed in MyData
GDPR: Show chat messages in MyData
GDPR: Explicitly exclude logging info
GDPR: Rework export of data to be a background process, as it takes a while.

There was an Events Display Issue - Text wrapping which was fixed.
It was reported that the map page for the Eastern region, while showing the correct map, showed an incorrect list this was fixed.
When I click rotate right using the app the picture vanishes and a little box appears in its place, when I close the picture edit box, the photo hasn't moved. Click rotate left, nothing happens at all, it's like the button isn't there. Running on Android phone.
I have done a fix, but not through to the app yet, will be updated soon.

Q & A
Q Lots of old messages came through in the digest today, Why?
A.If you change your groups settings to repost sooner than you were, you will get a lot through which were waiting for the other setting.
Q. When all local groups are on FD, there will be a loss of the polling facility that Yahoo currently offers. Should we recommend a way to poll members (free external software) or just not have that option for groups. A.There is some basic polling code in Direct, but it's not exposed at the moment. I'm expecting that we will add support for group polls, linked somehow to the newsfeed. Not sure when though. Q. A member is not happy with their name showing on mails which go out, should be doing something about this? A.My preference is not to share info without making it very clear that we will do it. However our use is fair as we explain it in our terms and privacy. It may be better to add a few more words when people sign up. The sign up box says at the top:
‘We will join you up to Freegle. You will get emails from us, which you can control or turn off from Settings. We could change this to ‘We will join you up to Freegle. You will get emails from us, which you can control or turn off from Settings. Your name is shared with other Freeglers.
We have had a few complaints about using names, but only a few, and we have a perfectly good answer, they can change it in their settings!


I have wondered what happened if someone wants to comment on our Facebook posts. Today, I discovered that my facebook page has an inbox with many messages within. Also you need to view the message and mark the message as "Done" before it appears on the page as a comment. It's not intuitive for me anyway! We have some brilliant performing posts so thanks to the team who are creating these.!
Occasionally, I also find other related posts from around the UK and post them on the group and they too sometimes get a lot of likes, so overall I am pleased with the performance of the Facebook page as it helps to generate interest for members. But I am sharing this in case anyone else was equally in the dark about their Facebook posts.

Q. I had to recently relink most of my FB pages again and they didn’t all take first time. It is definitely linked now but when I click it when there are new publicity things to share to pages it goes off, then later on it reappears again and I have to click it for a second time. Then it doesn’t appear again. I have relinked the page again but still get the button reappearing.
A.I'm seeing errors when doing this, and I got a mail from Facebook yesterday suggesting that they were suspending some functions as part of the reaction to the recent privacy publicity. So it's possible that they've disabled that function until your app has been re-reviewed. I will investigate this but I would be interested in whether anyone is able to share via that route. There's no need to reply if you're not.
The last update from Facebook said this:
"As we begin enhancing our new app review process and make changes to our platform, the Events, Groups, Pages and Instagram APIs will no longer be available to new developers. Testing of our more robust process starts today and the new process should resume in a few weeks, but apps currently accessing Events and Groups APIs will lose access today. Going forward, access to these APIs will require a formal app review and for apps using the Pages API, submission is required within 90 days once app review resumes or access will be removed."
Translating this, it means that they've turned off what we need while they put a more complicated review process in place. We may or may not be able to get it back, but I'll remove it from ModTools for the time being to prevent people being confused by it.

Part of the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the right, under some circumstances, to see data which you have provided to websites in a way that you can understand, and access it in a machine-readable format. "Provided" here both means things you've typed, and things you've done.
Legally speaking Freegle does not need to provide this, because it only applies where your legal basis for keeping data is consent (we use "legitimate interest"). But it's something there is a lot of publicity about, and so we are doing it because some people will expect to see it, and we want to avoid having long arguments. You can access this from the Help section, or directly at
Some thought we should add a tickbox but I'm not going to add one. For consent, GDPR requires a positive action Clicking on a button is a positive action, and forcing people to both check a box and click on a button is just an extra obstacle for people.
Having a checkbox makes sense when you genuinely have an option, so that you can proceed with the checkbox selected or not. But for us, you'd either have to tick the checkbox and click the button, or do neither - there is no middle ground.
Someone was concerned about using names in emails but this is covered by our present terms and members do have a choice to use a pseudonym.
GDPR introduces a right to erasure aka right to be forgotten. There are some circumstances under which we can refuse to do this.
If there is an overriding legitimate interest - which applies to us in the case of people we have flagged as spammers. We don't want people to be able to use this right to work around our spammer prevention mechanisms.
For archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research historical research or statistical purposes where erasure is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the achievement of that processing. That doesn't apply to us because we can't argue that we need the personal data for that.
Currently, members can leave all their groups, but we will still keep their data on the system. This can be useful if they later rejoin. However now we need to do better than that. We have a "Purge" button which Support can use to remove all data for people who aren't moderators, and which Admin (me/Chris) can use to remove all data for anyone. However removing all the data is not what we want - for example, if we delete their messages, then they won't count towards our statistics, which we need.
What I propose is to extend to add a button for freeglers to request removal of all data. If they're on the spammer list, we will refuse. Otherwise:- This will make their user anonymous, e.g.
Remove email addresses which aren't ours.
Delete any Facebook/Google/Yahoo login details, and passwords.
Delete the content (but not subject) of any messages, and any email header information such as their name and email address.
Remove all the content of all chat messages which they have sent (but not received).
Delete completely any community events, volunteering opportunities, newsfeed posts and stories they have created (their personal details might be in there).
Remove them from all groups.
Delete their search history.
Delete any postal addresses and profile images they have supplied.
In due course this is the approach we will take to users who have been inactive for an extended period .

Mobile App

A new version of the Freegle app is been released gradually for Android and iPhone/iPad, bringing it up to date with the latest code. And the ModTools app as well.
Q. When I click rotate right using the app the picture vanishes and a little box appears in its place, when I close the picture edit box, the photo hasn't moved. Click rotate left, nothing happens at all, it's like the button isn't there. Running on Android . A.That's a bit out of date, the update will work through soon.
Q. I found that press the chevron to send does not close the keyboard (so as to reveal the conversation again). It would be good if this happened.
A This is a bit difficult on mobile. I've put something in which might expand the box you type a bit in when you're typing in it, and shrink it when you're not. I would be grateful if people could test this on .


We now have 218 groups off Yahoo plus the Norfolk groups. There are 201 groups yet to be moved although some are in the process. We have just started to send out notifications to all the other groups with information about moving.


Q. Something odd seems to be happening with Trashnothing posts. Two come through this morning, both with the item description truncated to just the first letter (B for "Brass padlock", K for "kettle lead") Both posts were sent from TN web site.
A.Andrew TN. It's showing up as being only one letter on TN as well. I've checked all the posts submitted to TN in the last day and no other posts have 1 letter titles so it's probably specific to the member or their device.

Tech Chat

Just a quick one. I sent a message to a member but it also automatically rejects the post I was talking about which is not what I'd intended I was asking a question before allowing this lady's post. I haven't checked but how many other contact links auto reject? I don't think rejecting posts automatically is appropriate in all cases unless you actually want to reject them.
Doesn't it depend on the setting of the message? That's part of your config.
You can set individual messages to do nothing (Ie leave) or delete message from settings And as a general tip I would label any messages that reject and delete as that so something like pets reject or subject info leave. Which one I use will not be the same as you and I am changing mine to a Native one. You need to check what is available in your drop down on settings .
With the Facebook publicity posts would it be possible to implement a system where these can be shared on a scheduled basis? I am aware that Facebook has this option. I'd prefer to be able to share the posts at different times rather than having to come back to modtools to manually post them.
There's usually only one a day . so you can pretty much choose when to share them to your group by when you log on. They'll then be shown, or not to people who like your page when they're next on facebook That doesn't answer my question. I'm keen to see Freegle's social media activity be the most effective it can be. We need to be listening to what the research is saying. Have a read: I believe the reason we have to manually approve them is something to do with Facebooks T&Cs Edward will correct me if that is wrong, but I have a vague recollection of asking before if posts could go on automatically and that was the reason given. Hi I have a member whose logs show mail accepted 4 hours ago But member claims they are not getting emails ...This is a Btinternet account and I wondered if they were dropping emails from us still Yup think they are, lots of reports from BTinternet people not getting mail. I seem to be getting an awful lot of chat messages marked as spam which include personal contact details and sometimes business info. I'm not sure how to deal with it because these are private messages. I add mod messages but there's nothing to tell members (That I can find) so do I just mark as not spam regardless of the private business/website info? That will be the case now because a lot of people are putting personal contact info in messages so emails that were not getting delivered can be sent directly instead of thru FD, but it's also how the scammers get people off list so to stop that we needed to have all messages checked where info has been added, for the sake of a few minutes marking as non spam it means we have more chance of catching the scammers too.. When a post comes in the 'Subject' line is shown twice the upper one often has the correct area info but what I assume is the actual posts subject line in these cases are highlighted in red with some part of the area info missing which I can edit. I'm just confused - If the upper one is correct why it isn't repeated on the second? In ModTools pending, the top subject line is the one the member wrote or FD or trashnothing compiled from information supplied by the member. Usually it is green. Generally, if it is red a different part of Mod Tools thinks it could be improved and has recommended a different subject line in the box, second row. If you are happy with the top line, ignore the suggested edit If you prefer the second line, or want to edit, do so in the box and click Save. It's more often that the top line is fine but the second needs to be amended. If the same information was given in both it could be edited if needed. The way it is means I spend time editing subject lines because the system thinks it might be improved. Thanks for explaining folks appreciated The second line is not the actual subject line. It is a suggestion based on your own group settings. If you are happy with the top line, no matter what colour it is, ignore the second one.. changing or saving that changes the top line.. Does anyone have any idea what this member is talking about? I have no idea what radius she is referring to? “ How do I reduce my radius, please? It’s set too high. The drop down menu on the radius option was permanently set to 50 miles Today it responded and allowed me to reduce the radius to 10 miles Probably means on the News feed! You set how far you are interested in hearing from. I have seen the radius option on Trashnothing as well. Somewhere in TNs settings. I'm trying to drag myself into the 21st Century and use my mobile for moderating the groups. Is there an app I can use? I'm on android! Yes. Look for modtools in the playstore. Help with moving a group over to Freegle. The option "Hosted on Yahoo?" - options disabled in modtools for my group. I notice it is not for other groups I am involved with Have a look at the email address you are signed into modtools with. It needs to be an owner , sometimes modtools does not show right and you need to send Edwards a screenshot of the modlist on Yahoo. Hi I am getting an error message in firefox when I try to install the modplugin that it is a corrupt file. Is that because I have possibly already have it installed?

There is something wrong with the Bangor mods chat. I can find it by searching but when I click on the results it brings me to Tech. Very odd. I need to chat with fellow mods. Clicking on any of these chats out the arrows on the right brings me to Tech chat not into those chats.

That looks like it's the app, try uninstalling and reinstalling to see if that fixes it, and check to see if there is an update. Non member spam chat - when I receive spam chat as a member then I get several options including block or report the person and to remove the chat but when a non member comes through on modtools to the moderator there is only the option to remove the chat. Is that all that can be done to stop non members getting through with their spam to moderators? Thanks, Lorraine

Jean Freegle Tech Report April 2018

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