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Banning Member posts as opposed to closing threads

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posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 07:46 PM
I realize the task of a moderator can be both monotonous and daunting, please do not take this as criticism, but an inquiry only.

I have read countless threads over the past months, before becoming a registered member, and after.

I noticed that when an informative, steady paced thread becomes large, it is flagged as such and new rules rearding replies being more than one line and on topic, comes into play. This is certainly understandable.

But when a member or two join the discussion with off-topic, T & C violating, and other inappropriate responses; the moderator will typically warn them, or remove the post. But then, a warning is sent to the entire thread warning that it will be closed if certain posters continue.

Is this a case of "one person ruining it for the rest of us?" Or is there ever a consideration to remove the offenders ability to post to a specific thread? I imagine that would be difficult to manager, but I do feel discouraged knowing that a factor out of my control, like someone else's post, could shut down a discussion that was otherwise informative, enlightening, or eye opening.

Thanks for all your hard work, it appreciated.

[edit on 11-1-2009 by helpmefindtheway]

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 10:32 PM
I think it is like a snowball affect when the off topics start. You tend to inadvertently start answering questions that have nothing to do with the OP and it runs totally away from the OP. They have probably seen it happen this way so many times that they realize that it is only a matter of time that the OP is forgotten the thread becomes an entirely different animal.

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 10:48 PM
reply to post by Ant4AU

I think that's fairly accurate.

The goal is to encourage on-topic discussion. Sometimes we reach a point on a thread where it starts getting repetitive as well as off-topic. I don't know that I've ever seen a thread closed due to one or two disroptive members, unless they're the only ones posting in the thread. It's usually because no one has anything new to add and the only conversation on the thread is either T&C inappropriate or way off-topic.

I would encourage anyone to send a Complaint/Suggestion if they feel a thread was closed prematurely or if you think a previously closed thread should be repoened. Sometimes closed threads do get reopened.

I'm sure hoping we're not letting a disruptive member or two get active on-topic threads closed due to their boorish behavior. We have ways to address that situation without closing a thread.

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 11:00 PM
I completely understand, and no sooner had I posted this, I witnessed that exact thing you mentioned happening on a thread I had been following.

Important note, I have not seen the actual closure of a thread, just the mention of the possibility. All moderations that I have witnessed have been handled in the most appropriate way, with fairness.


posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 05:34 AM

Originally posted by yeahright
I don't know that I've ever seen a thread closed due to one or two disroptive members

Heh.....I've seen it happen.....thank you very much.

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 05:38 AM
Many members of ATS might disagree on what the moderator considers "disruptive" behaviour. The John Lear and Nomadrush case are good examples of what can happen.

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 06:49 AM
My question is that once you have the power to remove threads where does it end and who gives you the right ?

I've been on a dating site where there is a bunch of female bullies who act like thought police and simply gang up to vote out anybody they dislike.

You're opening up a can of worms with simplistic and quite facist thinking.

Mercifully ATS is founded on liberal philosophy and respect for different opinions. If you don't like someone else's opinion either suck it up or don't bother reading it. Even better, turn the damn computer off and go talk to your kids.

[edit on 12-1-2009 by sy.gunson]

[edit on 12-1-2009 by sy.gunson]

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 07:03 AM
Sometimes it is not about their opinions, it is about the fact that the topic at hand has been derailed, severely.

Add to that the flame wars thrown in.

The point was not free speech, the point was the right board and the right thread.

You want to post a picture of a giant zit? Go for it! Why do it in the middle of a thread disucssing the Gaza incident?

Fascism, no. Common sense, yes.

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 08:59 AM
reply to post by MrPenny

Well, I did throw a couple of caveats in there. If the thread has become nothing more than an extended off-topic dialogue between a couple of people bent on flaming, the thread can get closed.

One of the things I've seen more than once is once a fast moving thread goes off-topic it can degenerate very quickly. A mod isn't always available to view a thread in real time unless someone sends an alert, and if you wait for a mod to find it, it's so far afield it's virtually unsalvageable. One person takes a swipe, someone reacts to it, there's a back and forth that has nothing to do with the topic and most people with a serious interest have been chased away.

It becomes even more difficult when the "swipes" are intermingled with what would be salient points. Then someone has to go back through pages of posts and either delete the off-topic ones or painstakingly edit out the off-topic parts. It's not an exact science.

And of course, this is all a subjective thing and invariably results in complaints which then need to be discussed and addressed. You should know that virtually all mod action is discussed in advance. So "disruptive behavior" isn't one mod's opinion, but arrived at by a consensus after discussion.

So what I'm asking is for members to either alert or ignore the off-topic or flame filled posts. Everything else only adds to the problem.

I certainly hope it's apparent that we genuinely want to provide a platform for courteous, on-topic discussion. That's the agenda. Sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes errors of omission, sometimes errors of comission. But the intent is to have a free flow exchange of ideas and opinions that are on topic and polite.

[edit on 1/12/2009 by yeahright]

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 10:23 AM
reply to post by yeahright

Actually I wasn't trying to point out any failures of the moderators. I was, inappropriately, bragging. In the cases of my failures to moderate myself....the actions taken were completely understandable.

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 10:28 AM
reply to post by MrPenny

It's all good. Gave me an opportunity to point out some things so
even if I misread your point.

Which happens occasionally.

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