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Thread Locking Etiquette?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Thread Locking Etiquette?

Hi There
This isn’t meant to be an inflammatory post but a genuine question.
Is there a thread locking etiquette that the Moderators should follow?
I have noticed in the past that when a Mod has felt a thread was getting a little ‘tetchy’ they have either warned the individual or all involved to play nicely or the thread will be locked. This usually seemed to sort things out.
To me this seems a far better M.O. than just locking a thread in case it might get ‘tetchy’. Shouldn’t there be some moderation in moderating the threads rather than summary action?
Again, I am not taking the mickey here but I would have posted this to Techguys thread but it was unable to because it was locked immediately after his initial post.
Cheers
12 REPLIES
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

Its generally a case of each to their own, and to a large extent it may depend on how much time the mods have at a given point in time.
The preferred option is of course to split out offending posts and move them to storage, followed by PMing individuals concerned to explain why their post has been removed.
If the posts are not too inflammatory, it may be appropriate to simply comment in the thread, reminding contributors to respect one another.
Other times, locking achieves a similar thing, and is generally the outcome if a discussion is becoming repetitive.
It would be very difficult for me to criticise the mods for being short on time at the minute, perhaps things will return to a more palatable state following the election of additional resource.

FYI - In the dim and distant past we did have a few periods of 'zero tolerance' where every transgression would be met with the fullest punishment permissible by the Forum Rules, however this was only during periods of heated discontent, for example if PN had accidentally misplaced 700GB of emails, or somesuch. The aim being to quell rapidly escalating statements of discontent to prevent them becoming flame wars. (Whilst allowing people to voice their opinions freely in line with the Forum Rules)

I can't think of anything at the minute that would justify this course of action - so one can only presume its a lack of time to take a considered approach on every moderating action. (And as I say, its not really their fault they are so low on numbers ATM  Embarrassed )
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

Thanks for the response James and I take your point on not having much time at the moment. You did manage to raise a chuckle at this end with your 'Misplacing 700GB' comment!  Grin
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

Hi God
Was my point, the comment I made was purely humour and I'm sure it would have been taken in that way but I would have obeyed a mod's note, locking the thread was a complete overreaction IMO, I mean we are all adults here and I would not do anything knowingly to hurt anyone's feelings or make them look stupid.
I would have liked the opportunity to clarify or retract my comments but if humour is banned, then I shall simply stop posting as it rather ridiculous.
I restate again, my intention is never to cause offence but unless it is a major breach of the rules then the person should be given right of reply in relation to the matter which has not happened in this case.

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,379
Thanks: 634
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

I've reached the conclusion that there are certain people on here who are spoiling for a fight. Sad
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

I'm not overly convinced that the thread should have been closed for derogatory comments - note I'm not commenting on whether or not I thought they were.  It's a totally subjective thing.
However, I do think that the thread had gone horribly off topic and was serving no purpose.
IMHO, the best option would have been to close and to reopen a new one that does actually stay on topic.
God - FWIW, it was discussed at length by the moderators and was also discussed outside this site for guidance etc.  It wasn't something that was merely dismissed and I'm sure that noone would have any issues if you were to bring up the issue again.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

Cheers
Thanks for the extra info.
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

I'm def not one, I promise you that.
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

@Jelv:
I haven't been around here enough recently to be able to say with certainty that I agree and think I know who you mean, however your comment can be used to highlight another problem facing our moderators.
@All who care to read on:
Managing a disruptive contributor takes an inordinate amount of time and effort, not least because those who tend to be disruptive are also those who are likely to be most vocal if there is even a glimmer of perceived unfairness in their treatment.
[As is hinted at by Jameseh above]
This means that many times, each decision for a particular contributor will be discussed beforehand, and documented for the viewing of fellow moderators so that the larger picture of an individuals conduct can be seen.
Such overhead is unpalatable at the best of times, but particularly so when collectively or individually short on time.
This might be another factor taken into account for some moderating decisions.
Its hard to guess, and impossible to know for sure for each incident.
I suppose the biggest factor has to be whether we as a group of participants in a forum have faith in those charged with running things for us.
This isn't something that I ever felt was really in question during my time helping out, and I don't think its a serious question ATM either - but sure, often individuals are upset at moderating decisions, and even with individual moderators.
So long as we are generally happy, and have faith that our friends are doing their best for us [for free] in difficult circumstances - we just have to accept that not every decision will appear to be the best one. Sometimes it will be the best one, but for reasons we will never know, and sometimes it will be wrong. Its not fair to get too upset at the occasional wrong decision though, especially when we can't easily assess whether its a bad choice, or a good choice borne out by evidence undisclosed.

[Apologies for EDITS - kept modifying it as I caught up with the stuff posted in between]
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

My simple thought is this... If you are going to start a new thread then their is no point in locking the original. If posts are breaking the rules they should be removed / edited, that is what moderation is about. Am I spoiling for a fight... maybe. Those who know me know that I believe in changing the rules not breaking the rules. The discussion is valid because each person as a different tolerance of swear words or even what is a swear word. With this a middle ground needs to be reached and this can only done by discussing the subject.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

I agree it still needs discussion, but after the comments about lack of moderator resources for my part I am happy to leave it until after the elections and then hopefuly there will be more opportunity to discuss it with greater feedback from the moderator team.
Cheers
N/A

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

I don't think that threads should be locked until all parties have been contacted and allowed to put things right if they so wish. Mostly this is what happens.
In general, we need to remember that it is very easy to post on what is a public forum, particularly as we are 'faceless' so to speak.
A little more thought before hitting the 'Submit' button would not come amiss (and I certainly don't exclude myself from this advice).
Heloman
Grafter
Posts: 519
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Thread Locking Etiquette?

As the guy who inadvertently re-invigorated this discussion ( I posted in Rants and Raves about the female dog word, and it was moved here by chilly),
may I make a couple of comments.
I never could or would volunteer to be a Moderator! I disagree about the decision on that B word, but I think they have an impossible job to satisfy everyone and I accept the decision.
I don't think it was unreasonable to lock the thread.
I agree it is no place for personalities, and I don't believe "techguy" has done himself any favours if he wants to be a Mod.
Smiley