Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by qjackson, Jan 4, 2002.

  1. qjackson

    qjackson New Member

    Do topics sometimes disappear, even when no one has violated the TOS?

    If so, is this revisionism at least hotly debated amongst moderators, and are there specific guidelines that would tend to control this? Could there be a message area, readable by all, but where only moderators could post, that would specifically list the names of threads that have been removed?

    Standard academic publishing frowns upon revisionism. At the very least, notification of posts and topics that have been disappeared would seem appropriate.

    Just a suggestion, take it for what it's worth.

  2. I don't think topics are deleted unless they are REALLY inflammatory or contain blatant lies and misrepresentations ("factwatcher" posts). But the search engine doesn't work. Also, topics will sometimes get moved from the main forum to this one, etc.

    What did you find missing?
  3. qjackson

    qjackson New Member

    Recently, someone announced they would be attending a certain university, and they asked God to Bless John Bear. Bear said "She" already has. The last post was "She?" when I looked.

    The university in question was CA approved but not RA.

    It may simply have been "eaten" by time and space, but I have noticed posts quietly "disappear" -- such as someone who replied to Dr. Levicoff in a certain thread.

    I'm not asking for the moderation policy to change -- but it would be nice if there were an index of topics or posts by subject line, for the record.

  4. qjackson

    qjackson New Member

    I'll be away from keyboard until Sunday, and will get to replies to this query then.

  5. Yes, I remember the post now, though not all the details. The TOS state that the moderators will remove objectionable posts. One forbidden category comprises "posts made for the primary purpose of promoting any particular program for commercial or individual gain." It's possible that the CalCoast post was suspected of running afoul of this rule.

    Personally, I think there should be an "Announcements" forum where people could post announcements of new programs, etc. Something like: "Ursus University announces a new DL program in Astrodynamics. See for details."
  6. qjackson

    qjackson New Member

    I'm out the door in 40 minutes, but I do have a second to reply ...

    The TOS says that moderators can delete anything, for "no reason at all" -- and we accept those terms by registering ... I realize that. My main concern is not with their adherence to their own policy, but with the fact that, without some "indicator" of dissappeared threads or posts (even a placeholder) -- there is no way to know that our brains aren't experiencing "flicker". In some cases, we may even wonder if the BBS system isn't going postal.

    All posts are property of, according to the TOS, and so, they can do as they please. But total disappearance of entire threads, or of entire posts, without placeholders, alters the historical record somewhat.

    Anyway, my time is limited, and I've stated my piece.


  7. Mike Albrecht

    Mike Albrecht New Member

    It is still there under off-topic see PhD study starts on MONDAY
  8. Nope, that's not it. The thread in question was about CCU not Capella.
  9. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I think that Quinn is referring to a thread on the main forum that had a title something like "Just Accepted to Cal Coast!" It does seem to have dissappeared under mysterious circumstances.

    Personally, I think that the thread was fine. It had attempted to saddle Dr. Bear with responsibility for recommending Cal Coast, but Bear had deftly distanced himself. And since the poster had suggested that his/her reason for choosing the program was to get a CA psychologist's license, the thread had potential to delve into the utility of CA-approved psychology degrees in accomplishing that.

    But I didn't see the latest posts on the thread, so perhaps it was unraveling or something.
  10. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    I agree qjackson. If a thread has to be locked or removed I understand but at a minimum there should be some notification of why and what action was taken. Many thanks to the Mods for making this forum possible

    Best Regards,
    Dave Hayden
  11. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    OK, here's the deal.

    First, keep in mind that there's conversion maintenance going on as we get ready to move to the new BBS software (which will almost definitely happen before the end of the month.) It's a big job, especially since we're committed to preserving the archive of over 20,000 posts so that they can be searched and referenced... and we're trying to do it without taking the board down for any period of time, which makes it more difficult.

    Therefore, while maintenance is happening, strange things will sometimes happen temporarily. If you've ever gotten the occasional odd error message, or had a part of the board be "temporarily unavailable" it's probably due to some maintenance process that's running in the background.

    Additionally, the server that the site is on is under a heavier load than it was a few months ago, both because the hosting company now has more clients on the server and because this site is now getting something like 10 times the traffic it was getting 6 months ago... so sometimes the scripts that run the board do strange things. (This is apparently why the search engine broke, and also why we're switching to a more robust software solution.)

    As to the moderation issue, as we've said from the beginning, we moderate lightly, but we do edit or remove posts that are obviously shilling, posts from trolls looking to start a flamefest, or posts that are serious violations of our TOS.

    Generally, no action is final unless all (or at least a majority) of the admins agree with it. So sometimes, if one admin has a concern about a post - particularly if it's deemed likely to start a large flamefest -- the entire thread containing the post will be taken offline temporarily until the rest of the admins have had a chance to look at it and offer an opinion as to what should be done. Once there's a consensus, then action is taken... usually the thread is restored, and a message is sent to the offending poster. Once in a great while, the thread is closed to further posts, and sometimes the offending post (but not the entire thread) is removed.

    About the only time we would remove an entire thread would be when we have determined that a single individual has posted multiple messages to the thread using different login IDs, attempting to create controversy, shore up a viewpoint, or flame somebody. Since having multiple logins is one of our most serious TOS violations (and the most serious detriment to the integrity of the posts and information here), we monitor for that fairly actively and act pretty quickly if we find indications of it. Fortunately, thanks to a bunch of hard working admins that keep a close eye on things, it's extremely rare for us to have to remove an entire thread... we can usually catch a problem early and ask the poster to tone down, or do whatever else is necessary to keep things civil.

    As always, we're looking for ways to do things better, so comments are always appreciated.

    We try to be very evenhanded in the way we do this, moderating for TOS violations, not for posts disagreeing with a particular view.

    Sometimes, if one moderator is concerned that a post or thread i will start
  12. levicoff

    levicoff Guest

    Both the thread and the post are still there, under the subject "Accepted to Cal Coast..."

    Remember that whether you see a thread depends on the number of days' posts you have chosen under your User Profile (at the top of the screen for each forum). You can choose a longer period through the User Profile option.
  13. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Thanks Chip for the reply. I didn't realize the conversion might do that. It is kind of shocking to read a thread and then go back a few minutes later and thread is not there at all. Again many thanks to you and the mods for making this forum possible.

    Best Regards,
    Dave Hayden
  14. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I joined about 6 months ago. I’m not making that many posts, am I?


    How do you account for the sudden growth?
  15. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I think it's just increased activity from new posters, probably as a result of beginning to show up in the search engines and being linked at other sites. Sites that have a lot of users often experience exponential growth that happens in fits and starts.
  16. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I've given a little bit of free advertising too.

    I've posted a link to this site at three other heavily used forums. The first time I did it, I remember seeing some discussion here about the growth of this forum. LOL. Coincidence? Possibly. But I doubt it. [​IMG]
  17. qjackson

    qjackson New Member

    Thank you for your reply. I appreciate that things are in transitition.


  18. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    I am of the opinion that it is a good idea for the Administrators to keep forum members informed of administrative actions. Many times I have wondered if, in the midst of a lively exchange, the sudden departure of a combative poster was due to their embarrassment of having their duplicity exposed or for perhaps some other reason.

    Was it their paucity of logic that forced them to head for the hills with their tail between their legs, or was some kind of violation of the TOS (and the subsequent action of the Administrators) to account for their sudden disappearance? A simple post stating, “Member Bobo Deluxe’s account has been terminated due to…” would suffice.

    And if, perchance, there is a member lurking or posting under the name Bobo Deluxe, please accept my apologies; the above was for illustrative purposes only. [​IMG]

    Gus Sainz
  19. A reasonable idea. I remember that when I was in college we used to periodically see memos posted stating that "Joe Bloggs has been rusticated for a year for violation of ...". At least we knew why old Joe wasn't in the pub the next semester.

    As far as Bobo Deluxe is concerned, I remember seeing an interview with a woman who repeatedly referred to her husband as Bobo the Clown, and after a while the interviewer interjected and said that this was rather a harsh characterization. But it turned out that he really was THE Bobo the Clown.

Share This Page