Why was the edit function changed to not allow any edits more than 30 minutes after the initial post?


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  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 03-15-04 AT 10:56AM (CST)[/font][br][br]No response so far from staff. Ray, you ask the tough questions.

    I believe this began a couple of months ago, connected timing wise around Don D being chastised for remarks. I don't know if the timing was related to that or coincidental. Perhaps the Forum wants to be able to preserve some sort of document trail in the event a disciplinary action and it's consequences develop legs and begin to travel into other venues, such as litigation.

    I know, I know...my cynical mind is alive and well and thinking of liability exposures where none probably exists.
  • I just noticed the change a little over a week ago - about the time the censorship charge came up again on the Oregon thread. It could have happened earlier, I don't edit very often. I belong to a couple other forums that you can edit all you want and there isn't even an edit notice, such as in your post above "LAST EDITED ON 03-15-04 AT 10:56 AM (CST)".

  • We've kind of gone back and forth on this one.

    In our view, the primary reason for the "edit your post" feature was to enable participants to catch their typos and maybe to include a little bit of additional information that they didn't think to include in the original post. We didn't intend for it to be used to delete a post entirely, or even to rewrite it entirely and leave it in its original place in the conversation. We think that has a lot of potential to create confusion, especially after someone else has responded to the post. So some time back, we imposed the 30-minute rule.

    More recently, as participation on the Forum has gotten a little more frisky, we've had a greater number of occasions where someone has hit the alert button to notify the Forum monitors about questionable or offensive posts. Sometimes when that happens, we like to give the original poster the opportunity to revise the post to bring it within the guidelines. The 30-minute rule is too short to allow that to occur, so we've extended it. It's currently at 24 hours.

    But we'd still prefer that you not use the feature to delete the contents of a post entirely, leaving only a blank message that says "last edited on..." If you want us to delete one of your own posts, let us know. We're usually happy to do so. If someone else has responded to the post, we may have to consider some other factors, such as whether the remaining messages will still make sense.

    And as always, we'd prefer that you not say anything that you later feel the need to retract.

    Brad Forrister
    Director of Publishing
    M. Lee Smith Publishers

  • Thanks Brad. So if I write something that someone finds offensive, but that person doesn't want to deal with me directly, that person pushes the alert button. You then contact me, the poster, advise me of the complaint and give me the opportunity to edit it or explain it, if it has been a misunderstanding PRIOR to you deleting it?

    Just as aside, I do wish people would send private emails to the "offending" poster prior to hitting the alert button.
  • Sonny, I don't think we've followed a hard and fast rule on it. If something's just plain offensive, we often delete it immediately and inform the poster that we've done so. If something's sort of offensive but has some good HR content in it, we sometimes offer the poster a chance to edit it.

    We're certainly fine with private communications in such situations, as you suggest. We're also fine with playing the "kindergarten cop" role.

    Brad Forrister
    Director of Publishing
    M. Lee Smith Publishers

  • I'm jumping in at this point because of the use of "sort of offensive". That is to say the least a very vague term. I recognize that you have the right to control content. I, also, recognize that one person's definition of offensive may vary from another's. I, also, probably, have no objection to censoring something that is clearly offensive. However, I am always concerned about censorship. The beauty of this site is the ability to exchange ideas. Therefore, I am concerned that censoring something that is "sort of offensive" could result in a less informative site.
    Have I opened up a can worms?
  • No Whatever, you didn't open the can. It was already open.
  • Sonny,

    My use of "sort of offensive" was merely meant to convey that offensiveness isn't black and white; it's a continuum. On one end of the spectrum, we've gotta whack it. On the other, we leave it in. If it's mostly on the whackable end, but there's some redeeming HR content mixed in with it, we'd rather see if it's salvageable.

    Brad Forrister
    Director of Publishing
    M. Lee Smith Publishers

  • Thanx for the response. I appreciate it.
  • Thanks for the answer, Brad. As I said, I rarely edit. Usually when I do it's to clarify what I had posted. And that is exactly what happened to me end of last week, I tried to clarify a post that could have been construed that I agreed with another post that I found offensive. I wanted to make sure my position was clear. I could have written a new post, but that just clutters up things.
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 03-18-04 AT 10:51AM (CST)[/font][br][br]If you don't mind me adding in my 2 cents, I would vote to change the edit back to the old days but that is just me. Its not a big deal. You should think about what you say before you say it.

    As for censoring posts, I would propose that you do not censor controversial posts or statements that are GENERAL in nature and not directed towards a particular individual such as:

    Men are dumb or Oregon is full of wackos.

    I say, let the forum participants respond and illuminate the ignorance or offensiveness of such posts.

    On the other hand, offensive statements directed at an INDIVIDUAL should be immediately deleted and the offending party should receive a warning.

    Ex. Paul has stinky feet and doesn't know the difference between HR and Preparation H.

    That kind of personal attack is unprofessional and out of place - even in a free flowing forum where heated exchange is encouraged. Personal attacks NEVER further debate. In fact they often sidetrack an otherwise interesting discussion.

    Thanks for listening.
  • Thanks, Paul. Personal attacks are certainly our big concern.

    Brad Forrister
    Director of Publishing
    M. Lee Smith Publishers

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