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When are locked threads necessary and when are they an abuse of power?

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When is it necessary and when is it not?

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Judicious use of the closing function is of utmost importance in my opinion, as important as considerations for suspension and banning.

 

To close off hatefilled rants and abusive bullying it's a grand tool.

 

But to stifle conversation because, one, or a few persons feel the conversation has lost its worth, or it seems to have run its course, or for personal reasons is tantamount to sin in my world. (and I don't believe in sin).

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Posted (edited)

I've had threads locked by staff here over the years. I can relate to some frustration felt from the idea that a voice is being silenced.

If I understand the philosophy of my moderating team mates, the current idea behind locking threads is;

To be used as a cooling off mechanism for a particularly heated topic when insults are starting to escalate.

Over the years we've lost members to bans and suspensions due to actions of a couple or three heated threads.

This is what we're trying to avoid. Moderators take no joy in handing out bans or suspensions. However, once certain lines have been crossed, there is little choice to avoid handing out bans or suspensions.

Does this make sense?

 

If mod warnings are being ignored on a thread it could result in the thread being locked, at least temporarily.

 

Edited by zerostao
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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, zerostao said:

I've had threads locked by staff here over the years. I can relate to some frustration felt from the idea that a voice is being silenced.

If I understand the philosophy of my moderating team mates, the current idea behind locking threads is;

To be used as a cooling off mechanism for a particularly heated topic when insults are starting to escalate.

Over the years we've lost members to bans and suspensions due to actions of a couple or three heated threads.

This is what we're trying to avoid. Moderators take no joy in handing out bans or suspensions. However, once certain lines have been crossed, there is little choice to avoid handing out bans or suspensions.

Does this make sense?

 

If mod warnings are being ignored on a thread it could result in the thread being locked, at least temporarily.

 

 

Admittedly, this is seven weeks old.  I somehow failed to realise this when I first posted about it.

We got a Boatload of new Members

By Welcomer, May 18 in Welcome

 

Welcomer

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Posted May 18 (edited)

Hey Everyone,

 

I hope you'll find some time to welcome all our new members.  The forum is a community, the site our shared house.  Let's read what they have to say and strike up some friendly conversation.

 

To all the new members, sorry for the delay in approval.  I think we've squashed the last bug and things should be moving smoothly now.  So, read, search, join the conversations and start some yourself.  Don't forget to keep some tolerance in your pocket. 

 

I've welcomed 60 or 70 people here today and have more to go.  Be nice, have fun, learn about each other and new things.   Make friends.  If or when you've written something that can be interpreted as nasty.. think twice.. see if you can rephrase it to make your point without getting personal or insulting. 

 

And if or when you read something you interpret as nasty, don't over engage.  State your truth without getting personal then consider walking away.  No one wins an internet battle and no one should come here to fight.  Trolls are bores, and this is not the site to create a crusade.  Find a positive thread or create one. 

 

We're an eclectic philosophy site.  Let's aim to set a good example for the internet.  Some maturity, some play, a bit of learning, teaching and making good connections, where we talk with and not at each other. 

 

theWelcomer.

 

Even so, I hope blanket statements without the ability to comment is a thing of the past. As for locking threads, because it is becoming heated, is a premise I disagree with.  Why lock out the rule-abiding people when a few are losing control.  Warn the people who are breaking the rules and if they continue--- punish them.  That strikes me as imminently more fair than locking the thread.

 

Again, I will add, there is not a single thing that Welcomer said, that I disagree with.  That is not the point being made here.

Edited by moment

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Sometimes a lock is temporary. 

 

Othertimes, its a not a bad idea to restart a thread, letting members know you want to keep it on track and flame free.   (assuming the re-starter is not the 'flamer/antagonist')  Sometimes rephrasing the topic in a more neutral or universal way helps. 

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9 minutes ago, thelerner said:

Sometimes a lock is temporary. 

 

Othertimes, its a not a bad idea to restart a thread, letting members know you want to keep it on track and flame free.   (assuming the re-starter is not the 'flamer/antagonist')  Sometimes rephrasing the topic in a more neutral or universal way helps. 

 

I believe that much of creativity comes from heat.  As long as it is done within the rules.  If the rules are being broken, then other avenues open up automatically.

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1 hour ago, silent thunder said:

Judicious use of the closing function is of utmost importance in my opinion, as important as considerations for suspension and banning.

 

To close off hatefilled rants and abusive bullying it's a grand tool.

 

But to stifle conversation because, one, or a few persons feel the conversation has lost its worth, or it seems to have run its course, or for personal reasons is tantamount to sin in my world. (and I don't believe in sin).

 

"Judicious use of the closing function is of utmost importance in my opinion, as important as considerations for suspension and banning."---- exactly!

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Posted (edited)

Some threads are not meant to be continuing threads but rather as announcements. These type of locked threads are usually found in Forum Terms and Use or Rules section.

The thread you use as illustration authored by the welcomer is the welcomer's own guide on his vision welcoming new members to the forum. He even mentions he had approved 60 or so new members that day, quite of bit of effort and work on his part. And he even took the time to share his progress with the board.he did it all cheerfully.

I dont see a problem with him choosing to lock the thread. One of his jobs is welcoming, approving new members. He also has other responsibilities here on the forum. He took the time to relay to membership about his progress welcoming new members.

At the time, he was nominated by other members to serve as welcomer. The gates were unguarded and he accepted the role,  giving his time and energy towards that effort. 

There were no staff in place at the time. Expediency alone was good reason to lock the thread at the time. I applaud the welcomer for sacrificing his time and energy towards serving The Dao Bums.

Some things will fall into the category of "staff discretion"

 

Edited by zerostao
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2 hours ago, silent thunder said:

Judicious use of the closing function is of utmost importance in my opinion, as important as considerations for suspension and banning.

 

To close off hatefilled rants and abusive bullying it's a grand tool.

 

But to stifle conversation because, one, or a few persons feel the conversation has lost its worth, or it seems to have run its course, or for personal reasons is tantamount to sin in my world. (and I don't believe in sin).

 

This

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, zerostao said:

Some threads are not meant to be continuing threads but rather as announcements. These type of locked threads are usually found in Forum Terms and Use or Rules section.

The thread you use as illustration authored by the welcomer is the welcomer's own guide on his vision welcoming new members to the forum. He even mentions he had approved 60 or so new members that day, quite of bit of effort and work on his part. And he even took the time to share his progress with the board.he did it all cheerfully.

I dont see a problem with him choosing to lock the thread. One of his jobs is welcoming, approving new members. He also has other responsibilities here on the forum. He took the time to relay to membership about his progress welcoming new members.

At the time, he was nominated by other members to serve as welcomer. The gates were unguarded and he accepted the role,  giving his time and energy towards that effort. 

There were no staff in place at the time. Expediency alone was good reason to lock the thread at the time. I applaud the welcomer for sacrificing his time and energy towards serving The Dao Bums.

Some things will fall into the category of "staff discretion"

 

 

Once more, I get to say in the same day-- There is nothing you have said that I disagree with!  But, TDB has a history of abusing "staff discretion" and even though I personally like @thelerner , I feel the need to make people a little more aware and concerned about locking threads.

Edited by moment

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I am not a fan of locking threads myself. I agree that heat and pressure produce gems. At the same time, I miss some members that are now banned due to something they said in the heat of the moment, while otherwise, they were mostly great contributors here.

I wont lock a thread to shutdown dissent or arguement, i never have.

Do i see value in using the lock as a mechanism to avoid banning someone who is usually a respectful, thoughtful, poster, yes, I do.

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18 minutes ago, moment said:

 

Once more, I get to say in the same day-- There is nothing you have said that I disagree with!  But, TDB has a history of abusing "staff discretion" and even though I personally like @thelerner , I feel the need to make people a little more aware and concerned about locking threads.

It's a worthy topic for debate. I mentioned earlier, I've had threads of mine locked and hidden away. I feel the current mod team is addressing these tough issues with due diligence. I am biased, right.

I think it comes down to actions taken in "good faith"

I will always strive for that and I'm confident my fellow mods are acting in good faith.

You are always free to voice concerns, objections, I think it's my duty to consider those as well. That's what I've tried to address here.

 

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Posted (edited)

Moderating this forum is a tricky business for me.

I've done it before but never feel like I know what I'm doing.

It's a lot of trial and error to be honest.

We can have all the rules and guidelines in the world but members here are intelligent and wily when so motivated, so we will always need to be flexible and resourceful, not cookie cutter.

 

I have no intention of locking threads to silence positions or skew arguments.

I find that when I'm a moderator, I don't get as involved as before in threads and I'm more careful with my comments.

My objective is simply to use it as a tool to head off escalation and avoid personal attacks, expressions of hate towards groups of people, publication of copyrighted or offensive material, and that sort of thing. 

 

I ask the members to be patient and supportive of us. 

From my perspective, everyone on the team is doing this in good faith to help the site run as smoothly and openly as possible.

There are enough of us, with differing perspectives and backgrounds, that I think we'll do a good job of balancing each others' strengths, weaknesses, and biases. I'm already seeing some of this in our discussions.

Edited by steve
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For the longest time, the was a Pit so that some topics could remain open but not in public view...  Why not create one?   That is a kind of compromise to lock vs open. 

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