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Deleting with author's permission

Started by Ron Edwards, October 06, 2006, 01:03:51 PM

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Ron Edwards

Hi there,

Occasionally, the forum software doesn't let me split threads. It works most of the time and not always. Clinton tells me it's buried way deep in the code somehow and isn't fixable in an ordinary sense.

Structurally, my ability to split threads, and especially to maintain their historical positions, plays an enormous role in the function of the Forge. Some of you may not see why, and others may be nodding. Doesn't matter. This glitch is truly a threat to how the place works. So, I've been facing some difficult decisions over the last year ... sometimes I've locked the thread, other times I've bitten the bullet and deleted the new post.

What I've done so far, and am going to keep doing, is ask the author. In the best cases (most), it's gone something like this.

The author copies content of new post, I delete the old one (restoring the thread to its rightful spot), and the author posts it again as a new thread, with a link to the old one. Basically, it's the same old thread-split, just with extra steps.

When time doesn't permit for some reason, or if the author ignores me, or whatever, then I can do all that myself and make sure to include the author's handle in the new post. This means he or she now has a post which isn't in his post-count or profile, which seems minor to me.

If the author says, "You know, it's no big deal, you can just delete them," or if I suggest that and the author agrees, then I'll do it.

The real problem is that any or all of this is time-consuming, and it also introduces error. I once spent two hours trying to recover the username of someone whose post I'd deleted, thinking "oh, that's easy to remember." And similar. So far there's been only one case in which it really screwed someone over, the only time someone can say "Ron deleted my post!!!" in the classic sense of the complaint in the history of the Forge.

Anyway, since it's happening, I thought I'd let everyone know.

As for this thread, I don't see much point for helpful suggestions about the software; if you absolutely must offer them, please talk to Clinton because it'll all be lost on me anyway. I'm not sure he'll really go for a bunch of "why don't you" messages though. I suppose if anyone has any questions about this sort of moderating, or if there's an issue for discussion that any of this raises for you, feel free.

Best, Ron