[Guide] Reporting API FAQ & Guide

[SendBird] Reporting API FAQ

Date: 2020-04-01

Prepared By: Solutions Engineering
Published By: Jason Allshorn


  • The document answers questions regarding describing the reporting feature of SendBird.
  • You can build your own in-app system for reporting and removal of objectionable content and subject when using our SDKs and API.
  • We support APIs to report, moderate, and prohibit offensive and abusive messages, users, or channels.

What is the SendBird Reporting API?

SendBird’s reporting API is a system designed to allow your users to report abusive and or objectionable SendBird message content, SendBird users, or SendBird channels. The image below displays an example of where a user has clicked a message and is able to report the message.

Why would we need to use the SendBird Reporting API?

The Reporting API is for you, if you have concerns about what your users are communicating and how they are communicating it to other users. The reporting API is for you if you would like your users to have the ability to call out, and flag other users for their abusive behavior.

Furthermore, the reporting API was built to accommodate the Apple App store requirement that applications providing chat functionality should also provide abusive behavior reporting tools. If you are building an app for the Apple Store then this API is very useful.

How does the Reporting API work?

As of writing the reporting API is a powerful scalable, but bare metal service. The following flow is currently possible.

  1. SendBird SDK users and SendBird’s Platform API can call to report a user, message or channel.

  2. The reporting call can include both the target of the report, the reporter’s details, and also the type of abuse, and a description.

  3. The reporting call triggers two actions to occur.

  4. A webhook is triggered which can be targeted at your webhook endpoint.
    1. message:report A message is reported by a user.
    2. User:report A user is reported by another user.
    3. Open_channel:report An open channel is reported by a user.
    4. Group_channel:report A group channel is reported by a user.

  5. A database entry is made to store the generated report.

  6. Currently it is possible to retrieve the reports if the channel id, user id, or message id are known. This means that the current optimal method of capturing report data is to build your own database of reports by ingesting the webhook service.

How could my application implement the Reporting API?

Consider providing familiar tools for your users that are used across industries to report abuse.

  • Android, iOS, JavaScript, Platform API
  • Reporting Messages:
    • Consider providing little flags that can be clicked and trigger a modal for filling in report details.
    • For the report details consider providing a set menu of reporting reasons so as to minimize the users effort to make a report.
  • Reporting Users:
    • Perhaps provide the ability for your user to open another users profile and have an interaction in there where the have a choice to “report this user”
    • As with the other reporting methods consider providing a menu of reporting options so as to reduce effort on the part of the reporting user.
  • Reporting Channels:
    • In this case consider providing a flag similar to that seen on messages.
    • Again give the user an easy selection of reporting options.

What actions can be taken based on reporting actions?

SendBird Dashboard

  • Once a report is received and logged through a webhook action on the report can be made by a SendBird Dashboard member with a Dashboard role that gives them access to the following where moderation actions are available:
    • Group Channels and Open channels
      • Send Admin message to whole channel
        • With or without push notifications
      • Delete channel
      • Ban users from channel
      • Mute users in the channel
      • Delete messages
    • Users
      • Deactivate a user with the ability to remove them from all joined group channels
      • Delete a user

Channel Operators: Banning users

  • Single channel channel banning

    • Operators of a group channel can remove any users that behave inappropriately in the channel by using our Ban feature. Banned users are immediately expelled from a channel and allowed to join the channel again after the time period set by the operators.
    • The user can be banned indefinitely by setting the seconds attribute to -1
    • A description outlining the reason for the ban can also be included.
    • Alternatively users can remain in the channel and not be able to send a message via the mute functionality being called by a channel operator.
    • As not all users are channel operators, it might be worth considering to use the reporting functions to allow regular channel members to report bad behavior to the channel operator to centrally to Dream11.
      • SendBird currently provides the availability to generate the report via SDK or platform API which ends with reporting data being made available. But, currently it would be up to Dream11 on how the reporting data gets handled either by channel operators, or Dream11 moderators.
  • Multiple channel banning

    • Consider the case where one user continues to be a bad actor upon another user.
      • Consider in the UI offering the option for UserA to ban UserB from the current channel, but also the option to iterate all of the channels where they are the owner/operator and ban the UserB from them all.
        • Via Platform API call it is possible to Ban a user from a particular channel custom_type
      • There is also the option to globally block UserB from UserA via SDK or via Platform API.
      • The banning option could also be applied automatically when UserA creates a new channel.
      • UserA’s banned list can be fetched via Platform API or SDK.

Channel Operators: Channel freeze

Channel Operators: Channel Hide

  • One more option, if needed, is to hide a channel.

  • Here is the latest description:

    • Hide or archive a channel from a list of channels
    • The following code will allow you to set a channel’s status to be hidden. As a result invoking .createMyGroupChannelListQuery() will omit hidden channels in response. However, an invocation of sb.GroupChannel.getChannel() and calls to SendBird’s Platform API List channels endpoint will return hidden channels.
  • To permanently delete a channel, please refer to the Platform API’s delete endpoint. SendBird dashboard admin can also delete channels.

  • There are two methods associated with the visibility of a channel. All channel objects have the .hide() and .unhide() methods:

  • .hide() can be invoked on any referenced channel object. The method will set the channel’s hidden state value according to the parameters of .hide().

  • .unhide() can be invoked on any referenced channel object.

     groupChannel.hide(IS_HIDE_PREVIOUS_MESSAGES, IS_ALLOW_AUTO_UNHIDE, new GroupChannel.GroupChannelHideHandler() {
    public void onResult(SendBirdException e) {
    if (e != null) { // Error.

    groupChannel.unhide(new GroupChannel.GroupChannelUnhideHandler() {
    public void onResult(SendBirdException e) {
    if (e != null) { // Error.
  • IS_HIDE_PREVIOUS_MESSAGES: a boolean (default false). when set to true, if the channel at any point becomes unhidden - by invoking .unhide() or by automatic unhide, the channel will again appear in the .createMyGroupChannelListQuery() list. However that channel’s lastMessage parameter value will be set to null. Invocations of createPreviousMessageListQuery, and getPreviousMessagesByTimestamp will continue to return all historical messages.
  • IS_ALLOW_AUTO_UNHIDE: a boolean. if set to true, after being hidden any subsequent messages sent on that channel will unhide the channel for all channel members. Messages sent from admin will also cause the channel to be unhidden. If set to false the channel will remain hidden until .unhide() is invoked on it.