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Is someone wiping out threads without saying they are being removed?

madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,172
edited May 2011 in Forum Operation
Just wondering if I am going crazy or if threads are just being removed without notice...

Comments

  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Threads may indeed be "recycled" should the moderators deem them duplicative, out of scope, or simply rubbish. When "recycled", they will disappear to you but will still be visible to moderators for further review and possible return.

    This occurs infrequently, though, as the sink function here is usually the most effective tool to discourage the more borderline of topics.

    Additionally, topics may simply be closed though these would then remain visible to you. Usually a moderator will leave a comment first as explanation prior to closing. This is probably the least common action as any topic so bad that it needs to be closed might as well just be recycled. Otherwise, it can be sunk and will fade away slowly but surely.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    ^^ Do you have any specific examples where you think this has happened? If so, then we can investigate & find out what's happened. We had an issue early on where conversations occasionally dropped off the first page prematurely, but we think that's been resolved ...
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    I think common courtesy should be that if a mod erases a post they should send you a message.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,172
    Well there was a thread about sets found to make you laugh (I think that is what it was called) and there was another thread about what sets will be discontinued. as I was trying to add a comment it gave me an error saying I did not have permission, then I backed out of it, refreshed my screen to see all of the recently commented on threads and it was gone.. I mean I figured it was due to it being like the other 3-4 threads expressing the same question, and that what my comment was going to be about, but it had disappeared...
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    I've checked & they are both in the 'recycle bin'; I can understand why they were taken out of circulation, but I absolutely agree that moving them without comment was bad form.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,172
    edited May 2011
    ^-- thanks for the update. I'm not trying to be a pain here; I just was wondering though...
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    out of interest, why was the 'sets due to be discontinued' removed?
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    edited May 2011
    You can definitely see that there are differing opinions on what qualifies as duplicative or rubbish even amongst the moderators. That's why most times, we try to discuss borderline topics "offline" to get a group consensus between mods before taking action.

    In these two cases, I'm confident it was me and I very likely and incorrectly skipped the consensus step. That being said, I'm not sure I'd consider it bad form per se, but that's neither here nor there. :o)

    As for the discontinued topic, there were already a plethora of ongoing threads actively discussing this. Thus, a comment and then closure might have been a better solution but I dropped the ball there.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    Is there no way to merge redundant or duplicate topics, rather than lock or delete? I know it can be done with phpBB.
  • EnbricEnbric Member Posts: 64
    @tk79, you mean merging like Eurobricks does often? I don't particularly like that, especially when I'm reading a long thread from the beginning and the flow of the topic is often interrupted when a thread is merged and there is no mention of it. I don't have specific examples, but I remember it happening most often on pinned Star Wars threads.

    There are a few threads about it over at Vanilla Forums own forum, from these it is clear that it is not a feature of the forum framework, though there is mention of it being developed. I don't know how to operate a forum using Vanilla, so I have no idea if this is outdated.

    http://vanillaforums.org/discussion/16040/merge-and-split-discussions-possible/p1
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Yeah, my understanding is you can't merge threads. That said, I don't mind pruning without notice. I've had it happen when I was in a thread about to comment and it disappeared. Didn't bother me too much. Why would I want off-topic marginalized threads to populate my list of topics? The on-topic solid threads already take up plenty of time. If someone really wants to know what happened/why it happened then there should be a way to ask, but I don't see the need for notice.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Merging threads or simply moving comments could definitely help, but it's my understanding that this functionality is not currently available in vanilla.
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    I find it funny that you arbitrarily remove posts because they have nothing to do with lego or "do not encourage good comments" but as we speak there is a worthless post about the potc movie franchise sucking. I come to the lego forum for lego chat, if I want a movie discussion I will go elsewhere.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    There is indeed some subjectivity involved but that is probably to be expected. Additionally, we have seen good discussion at times develop from otherwise borderline topics. That being said, please feel free to ignore any topics that don't interest you. I certainly don't follow them all.
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    my point wasn't that I could ignore them or not, my point is that we should have the right to either ignore or comment on all posts. I absolutely agree any post that is negative should be thrown out quickly, but I really think you should let the users determine what is a valid point. If its not good it will disappear into the abyss of page 10 and beyond. I have never thought it a good thing when people are censored simply because one person doesnt think its a good discussion point. I only used the movie thread as an example.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Censored is one way of looking at it. Edited is another. I see it as editorial control rather than censorship, but to each his own.
  • NicksBricksNicksBricks United StatesMember Posts: 193
    It's their forum and they are going to moderate how they see fit.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    As a general approach, I'd suggest that if someone is straying off topic you need to remind them what the rules/ guidelines are rather than just removing stuff. The goal should be to change behaviours and the best way to do that is by using an approach which is more about teaching than policing. (Im not personally hugely bothered, but I advise on stuff like this as part of my job .. more peripheral people in particular can be very put off by things like this unless theyre handled carefully)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    I find it funny that you arbitrarily remove posts because they have nothing to do with lego or "do not encourage good comments" but as we speak there is a worthless post about the potc movie franchise sucking. I come to the lego forum for lego chat, if I want a movie discussion I will go elsewhere.
    So because a particular borderline discussion escapes the chop it invalidates the whole approach ? I don't see that, I'm afraid.

    I think the staff have been unashamedly quite ruthless at times in trying to engineer a particular content focus and I guess a certain 'feel' to the forum due to a dissatisfaction with alternative LEGO forums (fora ?) out there, and that will inevitably not be to everyone's tastes. Consequently, while I can understand why you'd like "the right to either ignore or comment on all posts", it's not likely to happen any time soon unless there's a pretty significant change in direction and the boss (@Huw) tells the mods to let anything go regardless of perceived relevance.

  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    I'm sure Huw has a lot of personal time and money invested in making this site what it is. While I may not agree with every little action or decision made by him or the Mods, Its his house and his rules.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,172
    Wow.. I have to apologize to the admins.. My simple question apparently has turned into a major debate..
    I was not looking for this, I just wanted a simple answer to just make sure that threads were not just dropping or that I was not losing my mind thinking threads are there that are not...
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    No worries, mad... This qualifies as a good discussion in my book. And it's this kind of dialogue that helps keep both mods and members on the same page. We're definitely trying to do something different here and thus may crack an egg or two along the way. :o)
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    Going forward, you should expect to see disallowed topics closed with an explanation before they are removed from public view. It's important to understand that the main intent of moderating these discussions is to prevent clutter and detraction from the other discussions, so the length of time that these closed discussions remain visible before being removed will vary.

    Topics that are without a doubt unacceptable may still be removed without warning.
  • thewerewithalthewerewithal Member Posts: 28
    I agree with Dr. Dav... several discussions that I have seen closed were unwarranted... and the reasons why were simply rude and elitest. Others that were closed seemed reasonable - something about a young person coming on and asking questions about moc'ing certain things... which is quite understandable. The rudeness however seems out of line and I agree with DD that the content seems engineered to a far greater extent than on other forums I frequent. I think it is in the best interest of this forum to adopt a slightly more laissez faire approach in terms of monitoring content, lest it starts to turn people away.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited June 2011
    @thewerewithal: Nearly all decisions to close threads have come after committee review by the staff, so I feel we have a reasonable system of checks and balances in place to ensure judiciousness. What we might not have always done was explain our decision, and, as my previous post states, we will do this going forward.

    I would like to specifically address your belief that some of our previous closures were rude and elitist though. Can you please link to specific examples?

    Btw, I think you might have misinterpreted DrDave's post. He was explaining the intent of our moderating actions not condemning them.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    edited June 2011
    ^ Sorry, @thewerewithal but @rocao is right - I support what's being done to "engineer" content, although I agree that more needs to be done to explain why unsuitable discussions are closed.
  • thewerewithalthewerewithal Member Posts: 28

    Sorry about that guys. I didn't read closely enough. I do support engineering to an extent - eliminating comments made by young lego fans - specifically juvenile posts is fine... but other I would say let them go an grow organically.

    If they are closed, I think there should be a minimal explanation that is straight and too the point. Rocao - I found your comments senselessly harsh concerning the 7889 (?) thread yesterday... something relatively benign about comparing two sets and wanting help deciding which to buy. While slightly obsure, I fail to see how the post was irrelevant.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited June 2011
    ^ I accept your criticism about that post. I acknowledge that the length of my comment gave it the effect of piling on but that particular member happened to score a hat trick of transgressions with that single discussion: questionable topic, improper categorization, and duplicated content.

    More to the point, the reason I came across as stern as I did was because the member had been advised about similar posting tendencies in at least six other discussions, and the gentler approaches did not appear to be working.

    I agree with you that the default treatment of discussions should be to allow the community to decide their worth, and that's why, in spite of my criticism, the discussion remained open. The decision to close the thread came later after a follow up retort by the member that was unacceptable causing the discussion to devolve rather than evolve.

    Regarding the validity of the topic, it is a matter of subjectivity and in this case, it failed to meet our acceptance. To expand on the reasons:

    1) The two sets in question had no relevance to one another that would likely sustain a debate about the merits of one over the other: the themes are about as disparate as it gets and one set is retired while the other is not. By contrast, previous discussions comparing the modulars against other modulars and comparing trains against other trains have done well.

    2) The discussion was not inquiring about nor seeking to compare the characteristics of the set. To paraphrase, it was "I love city trucks. But the mill is cool too. Which should I buy?" As you mention, this is benign, and perhaps were it his first or even second such thread we would have let it slide. But it wasn't; it followed a pattern of plucking two otherwise random sets out of his wishlist. Imagine how cluttered this forum would be if we set the precedent for and confirmed through inaction the welcomeness of every purchase decision to be posted as a discussion.

    I hope that you and others can understand and accept this rationale and our intent to maintain a high signal to noise ratio. If you still do not agree, I welcome your comments and criticism publicly or privately.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Ironically enough, this has become one of the better threads :o)
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ I fail to see the irony.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    edited June 2011
    That an initially immaterial thread devoted solely to the removal of rubbish uninteresting threads would itself turn out to be an interesting thread seemed ironic to me. Are you simply challenging my assertion that this is an interesting thread or that I fail to grasp the concept of irony?
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ Neither. I wasn't making a comment about you or your assertions, but rather of my own failure of perception. This can be either because there is no irony or because I don't see the irony that is in fact present. I think it actually comes down to you and I having a different sense of expectations for this thread.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Fair enough :o)
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 940
    It would be funny to close this thread without comment. Please do so.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ LOL
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 475
    ^ LOL x 2
  • thewerewithalthewerewithal Member Posts: 28
    edited June 2011
    agreed.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Hi everyone ... I have £10 to spend on Lego, and I was wondering what you'd recommend?
  • thesinisterpenguinthesinisterpenguin Member Posts: 96
    Spend it on Lego for me.
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