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Thursday, May 22, 2008
THREAD: When Should Forum Threads be Locked?
Posted by Jennifer at 5:10 PM
Labels: censorship, forums, locking forum threads, polls
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I voted for "never". A forum thread should remain open or else be deleted. If it's there - it should be open for discussion.ReplyDelete
If you're concerned about administrivia you can cover that with a separate FAQ. And open threads to discuss any operational subjects then close (and delete) them when the discussion is over.
If a thread is deleted a label should be left permanently in place with the name of the thread, it's sponsor, it's dates, the number of posts, the number of visits, and the name of the last poster.ReplyDelete
A simple explanation should also be given as to why the thread was deleted, e.g. outdated, no longer relevant, legally compromised, libelous, etc.
Finally. all deleted threads should be kept in a special archive. That archive should be available for anyone to see upon proper application and or rights of information.
An undertaking should be made that anyone who has contributed to a thread has the legal right to examine that thread in the archive, whether that poster is a member in good standing or not.
RELATED TOPIC #1: the Personal Message Box of a member is his or her private property, and even if a member is banned from the forum for any reason he or she must be allowed access to all his or her PMs.
RELATED TOPIC #2: PMs are private messages, and in no circumstances may those PMs be circulated, copied, or posted by others without the specific permission of the writer of the message. This applies to everybody without exception, including Site Administrators and Moderators.
LOCKED is obviously a special category, and should be defined carefully.ReplyDelete
The only reason for LOCKING a thread is to stop a discussion from proceeding any farther.
At the moment of the LOCKING, a clear explanation must be posted at the end of the thread by the Site Administrator, and each and every contributor to the thread must be informed about the action.
If the LOCKING of a thread involved the banning of a member this information should also be included in the final explanation.
LOCKED threads should never automatically be deleted as they may be of great importance to the whole community, and aid historians researching the development of ideas etc.
I should have added another reason for LOCKING a thread, which honestly hadn't occurred to me until a correspondent pointed it out to me.ReplyDelete
The main reason for locking a thread, and indeed virtually the only reason, is if a thread is too hot to handle, too hot to delete, and yet has got to be got rid of ASAP. What you do is lock the thread, introduce as many new little threads as you can in the ensuing weeks, and watch the detested little piece of two-bit trash disappear down the pecking order until it quietly gurgles out of sight.
That's the best you can do when you've tried everything else and you're still wrong--and time is always on your side, of course, even if Chronos isn't!