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Moderating moderating.


mandarin
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Following on from comments made in the other Topic here, I've decided to start this one purely for comments regarding Moderation, thus leaving the other thread to continue "on topic" with regards to Reviewing issues.

 

There seems to be no reason why the convention of "closing topics at the OP's request" should continue. I have not found it written anywhere as a guideline set in stone. The origins of this seem to go back some way and it was put in place by previous reviewers as 'a good thing', at that time.

 

After speaking to Deceangi about it, we've decided to drop this practice in future. We will let topics run their full course, as long as all posts follow the forum guidelines.

 

mandarin

 

(edited to make my link link)

Edited by mandarin
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...There seems to be no reason why the convention of "closing topics at the OP's request" should continue. I have not found it written anywhere as a guideline set in stone. The origins of this seem to go back some way and it was put in place by previous reviewers as 'a good thing', at that time. ...

 

Back in "The day" we were able to close our own topics. I suspect mods at taht time got tired of that being abused and went to the current system.

 

If you as a mod want to discontiune the orginal practice and then discontinue the follow up practice...why not go the distance and make it global so all forums are treated the same.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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...There seems to be no reason why the convention of "closing topics at the OP's request" should continue. I have not found it written anywhere as a guideline set in stone. The origins of this seem to go back some way and it was put in place by previous reviewers as 'a good thing', at that time. ...

 

Back in "The day" we were able to close our own topics. I suspect mods at that time got tired of that being abused and went to the current system.

 

If you as a mod want to discontinue the original practice and then discontinue the follow up practice...why not go the distance and make it global so all forums are treated the same.

 

And like the ability to close your own topic I wasn't aware that the request to have the mod do it was mandatory. I would rather allow discretion determine that the thread needs to be closed rather than just violated guidelines.

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In a word: carp :anibad:

It would seem the majority of forum users -at least those who cared enough one way or another to express an opinion- would prefer topics to run their course, when forum rules aren't broken. The ability for a topic-starter to close a topic themselves was taken away because it lead to 'kick and close' situations. Having a mod automatically close a thread on their request is fairly similar. It would seem to me to be better for mods to be allowed to use their discretion; to close when there's no more to be said, or to politely decline the OP's request when it would stifle discussion. If that's not the fairest, most reasonable way forward, I'd like to hear Groundspeak's better idea.

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Posts are closed for many reasons. One of them is when the Original Poster requests that it be closed. We generally honor that request and close the thread, at the discretion of the moderator and of Groundspeak. The most mundane example is when you're selling an item in the Garage Sale forum, and it has now been sold. In other examples, it may make more sense to let the conversation run its natural course.

 

Some background: A long time ago when I was young, all of our forum posters had the power to close their own threads. They would close it whenever they felt like it. As folks have already said above, some then abused this power thusly: they'd re-open if they had something to add, post it, then close it back up. Repeatedly, even. Thus, it was a monologue and no longer a community conversation. That power was taken away. When we took that power away from the OP doing it automatically, people had to ask a Mod to help them do that.

 

None of this information was available to mandarin in written form but had only been passed down as Oral History from some mods to some other mods. It's not so efficient or foolproof, that method, so we wrote it down today for all the mods to read.

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Posts are closed for many reasons. One of them is when the Original Poster requests that it be closed. We generally honor that request and close the thread, at the discretion of the moderator and of Groundspeak. The most mundane example is when you're selling an item in the Garage Sale forum, and it has now been sold. In other examples, it may make more sense to let the conversation run its natural course.

 

So, if I read this right, an OP can request a topic closed and a moderator can use their discretion as to whether it be closed or not.

 

In my opinion that seems sensible.

 

If a topic is getting a little out of hand and the OP requests closure then they can comply and if the discussion is civilised and still debating points the topic can be left open and the OP be given a reason for the decision. I realise that if things are out of hand there are other rules to close it but I can see cases where an OP might not want their topic "hijacked".

 

This seems like a better idea than just making it either/or. As long as people respect a moderators decision then things should be fine. B) Whether people will respect a moderators decision is anothr matter completely. :D

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So, if I read this right, an OP can request a topic closed and a moderator can use their discretion as to whether it be closed or not.

 

In my opinion that seems sensible.

 

If a topic is getting a little out of hand and the OP requests closure then they can comply and if the discussion is civilised and still debating points the topic can be left open and the OP be given a reason for the decision. I realise that if things are out of hand there are other rules to close it but I can see cases where an OP might not want their topic "hijacked".

 

This seems like a better idea than just making it either/or. As long as people respect a moderators decision then things should be fine. B) Whether people will respect a moderators decision is anothr matter completely. :D

 

Surely the best answer would be to remove the roght of the OP to ask for a thread to be closed. A discussion is not only the "property" of the person who started it, everyone who has contributed as a stake in it. It seems bizarre to allow one person to decide that it's their perogative to stop a discussion.

 

Maybe MissJenn could explain why it is felt necessary to allow this strange practice?

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Posts are closed for many reasons. One of them is when the Original Poster requests that it be closed. We generally honor that request and close the thread, at the discretion of the moderator and of Groundspeak. The most mundane example is when you're selling an item in the Garage Sale forum, and it has now been sold. In other examples, it may make more sense to let the conversation run its natural course.

 

Some background: A long time ago when I was young, all of our forum posters had the power to close their own threads. They would close it whenever they felt like it. As folks have already said above, some then abused this power thusly: they'd re-open if they had something to add, post it, then close it back up. Repeatedly, even. Thus, it was a monologue and no longer a community conversation. That power was taken away. When we took that power away from the OP doing it automatically, people had to ask a Mod to help them do that.

 

None of this information was available to mandarin in written form but had only been passed down as Oral History from some mods to some other mods. It's not so efficient or foolproof, that method, so we wrote it down today for all the mods to read.

 

Can you explaim why you won't go the extra mile and end the practice of OP's closing threads altogether. It makes sense in for sale threads but there is no good reason to allow it in any other threads.

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It seems bizarre to allow one person to decide that it's their perogative to stop a discussion.

There are two people involved: the OP can make the request but the mod may refuse if the discussion seems to be still in progress.

 

It seems normal practice in this section for others apart from the OP to require a halt to the discussion as well: rather than force them to add a post to the thread (which is likely to have the opposite to the desired effect), perhaps there should be a convention that the mod fields these requests too.

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Surely the best answer would be to remove the roght of the OP to ask for a thread to be closed. A discussion is not only the "property" of the person who started it, everyone who has contributed as a stake in it. It seems bizarre to allow one person to decide that it's their perogative to stop a discussion.

 

Maybe MissJenn could explain why it is felt necessary to allow this strange practice?

It's not at all a strange practice. The community once had a certain feature available (close my own thread) and many people used it and liked it. Then it was removed. You can't just leave it at that and expect people to be OK with it. We had to provide a way for a thread to be closed when it seemed a good thing to do.

 

Community members can start a new thread and even refer to the older thread if that seems to make sense and is a positive contribution to the community (rather than just continuing negativity).

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It seems normal practice in this section for others apart from the OP to require a halt to the discussion as well: rather than force them to add a post to the thread (which is likely to have the opposite to the desired effect), perhaps there should be a convention that the mod fields these requests too.
Why? Our guidelines say this:

 

In general, we will leave it to you, the community, to manage your own conduct. We ask that you treat other forum participants with respect.
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It seems normal practice in this section for others apart from the OP to require a halt to the discussion as well: rather than force them to add a post to the thread (which is likely to have the opposite to the desired effect), perhaps there should be a convention that the mod fields these requests too.
Why? Our guidelines say this:

 

In general, we will leave it to you, the community, to manage your own conduct. We ask that you treat other forum participants with respect.

 

Does closing an ongoing discussion show respect for the other participants?

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Does closing an ongoing discussion show respect for the other participants?
It absolutely can. Don't try and make generalized comments that will be applicable every time when the policy is designed to take each thread on a case by case basis.

 

It was a question not a generalized comment and I'm afraid I think your answer is wrong.

 

Apart from for sale items that have been sold I'm really struggling to come up with any occasions when it would be good manners for the OP to use the moderators to close down a thread where others were enjoying polite conversation or discussion. Could you provide a few examples please?

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Apart from for sale items that have been sold I'm really struggling to come up with any occasions when it would be good manners for the OP to use the moderators to close down a thread where others were enjoying polite conversation or discussion. Could you provide a few examples please?

 

Topic drift is the first thing to come to mind. Polite, civil, and completely nothing to do with the original topic or sometimes even geocaching.

 

 

Edited for clarification.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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Surely the best answer would be to remove the roght of the OP to ask for a thread to be closed. A discussion is not only the "property" of the person who started it, everyone who has contributed as a stake in it. It seems bizarre to allow one person to decide that it's their perogative to stop a discussion.

 

Maybe MissJenn could explain why it is felt necessary to allow this strange practice?

It's not at all a strange practice. [snip]

 

The first definition of "strange" when I looked it up was pretty much: "out of the ordinary and unexpected"

 

The practice whereby the OP can request the thread to be locked and that request is honoured without question is, in my experience of hundreds of various internet discussion media over the last two decades, unique. I think "out of the ordinary and unexpected" covers that.

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It seems normal practice in this section for others apart from the OP to require a halt to the discussion as well: rather than force them to add a post to the thread (which is likely to have the opposite to the desired effect), perhaps there should be a convention that the mod fields these requests too.
Why? Our guidelines say this:

 

In general, we will leave it to you, the community, to manage your own conduct. We ask that you treat other forum participants with respect.

Hello again Miss Jenn, from the Isle of Man this time!

 

Unfortunately when a thread gets impassioned, or when it seems to be bogged down in the inspection of minute detail, it tends to attract various posts, (strongly) requesting people to stop discussing the topic. This seems to cause friction and often turns an enthusiastic debate into an argument. The definition of 'respect' is likely to become a point of further debate at this stage!

 

All I'm suggesting is that if the mod made it clear that he/she decides whether the thread is OK to continue, then people will learn that the fact the thread is continuing means it hasn't wandered outside the guidelines.

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Apart from for sale items that have been sold I'm really struggling to come up with any occasions when it would be good manners for the OP to use the moderators to close down a thread where others were enjoying polite conversation or discussion. Could you provide a few examples please?

 

Topic drift is the first thing to come to mind. Polite, civil, and completely nothing to do with the original topic or sometimes even geocaching.

 

 

Topic drift is a fact of life and is the way that many good discussions develop. As long as it's not a really wild leap away from the original topic in one jump it shouldn't be an issue IMO.

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Apart from for sale items that have been sold I'm really struggling to come up with any occasions when it would be good manners for the OP to use the moderators to close down a thread where others were enjoying polite conversation or discussion. Could you provide a few examples please?

 

Topic drift is the first thing to come to mind. Polite, civil, and completely nothing to do with the original topic or sometimes even geocaching.

 

 

Topic drift is a fact of life and is the way that many good discussions develop. As long as it's not a really wild leap away from the original topic in one jump it shouldn't be an issue IMO.

 

Some drift is perfectly fine and has even caused some folks to open a new thread so as not to derail the original discussion. of course we all know that it isn't polite conversation itself that gets a thread closed.

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The usual response to that uktim, is it's better to start a fresh thread, on that new, evolved topic, and close the old one as a record of the question/point and the views of those who responded. I tend to agree this make the most sense.

Or better yet, request that a new topic be opened regarding the tangent discussion, but steer the original discussion back to the original topic and keep it going.

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