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Which is most appropriate for minor fixes to posts by moderators?
Poll ended at Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:52 am
Editing in a public notice that the post has been edited 37%  37%  [ 10 ]
Sending a private message to the author every time a post is edited 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Neither; let it be 59%  59%  [ 16 ]
Total votes : 27
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 3:34 am 
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I guess the confusion comes from Stack Overflow influence. On SO, users are actually expected and encouraged to edit other people's questions and answer to make them more comprehensible, fixe formatting, spelling and grammar. This system works great there, only once I think I had one of my questions edited to something I clearly didn't want and I had to revert.

Here it is a completely different thing, since anyone is responsible of their own posts. I am not fundamentally against spelling/grammar fixes as long as the content itself is not touched at all. However there is also probably 25 posts per day at least, do you imagine the work it'll take to check all those posts for spelling and grammar? That's an insane amount of work to do, and certainly isn't a moderator's job.

I never was a mod so I have no idea how it is like, but in my opinion a moderator's job (on the forums) would be to lock threads when people starts to insult themselves, to split threads when they derail too much, and to ban people who are here just to spam publicity insult other people (such as Psychopatetian's infamous enemy which has annoyed us here). So the hard part of the job is to come here as regularly in order to do those tasks as quickly as possible. In this regards, tepples you are a great moderator, as you have always done what has to be done daily without delay.

Checking the spelling/grammar of every single post would be a job which is too long, complex and annoying. However, on particular posts which have some major importance, such as stickys, or posts used as reference from the Wiki, I can see how this make sense but then the OP should be aware of it and have a way to accept/reject the changes.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 9:54 am 
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Well, editing people post without telling them is a big no-no ;) But since I'm been here for a while and knows how Tepples do things, I'm not surprised that it happened:

That's Tepples way to make things perfect, to the point in as must details as possible but maybe without realizing that sometime you have to be careful to how far you go and how much impact emotionally this may have on people ;) But once you know Tepples and why this happens then you won't mind why and not be offended (I will let Tepples explain the why but he already done a long time ago in another thread). You just have to tell him that it's was a bad idea and explain why and it will be ok. But from an outsider point of view I can understand why people would be surprised!

As for putting everything in the wiki.. It's not the job of the moderator but the job of the community as a whole! If you take everything on your shoulder then it's become a job, not a hobby. Just put in the wiki what interest you and you will enjoy it. For the rest, it may be there someday, no rush!

As for grammar.. I suck in French, English and Japanese so I won't be good anytime soon! So I guess you should let it go about grammar, continue the good work as a moderator and if you need help, just ask! And when you fail, nobody is perfect you know, people of the forum will be there to correct you.

So don't worry Tepples, you don't need a break. You just didn't know that it was not the right thing to do. Now you know so you will be fine. Continue the good work!


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 10:43 am 
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tepples wrote:
I have sometimes silently made corrections to spelling, grammar, or mechanics in other users' posts for the benefit of others reading the posts.


I'd just like to add ... fixing people's grammar and spelling mistakes is never going to end well.

Half the people will be offended you've done it, and the other half will take it as encouragement that they don't have to bother with grammar at all, because someone else will fix it for them.

In my own case, I stopped bothering to post on forums.freebsd.org because the moderators made this system with around 20 custom phpBB tags that only exist on their board for things like "this text is the name of a command-line utility", "this text is the name of a man page entry (and it must have the # that's associated with them present)", etc. Which certainly does make things easier for people who spend a lot of time on said forum and understand the tags.

But, the mods would correct your posts if you neglected to do it, and would leave snarky comments in the "reason for editing" field. It made me feel I was causing too much work for them, but I didn't want to learn 20 new custom phpBB tags, so eventually I just stopped posting there instead.

Going back to my own forum, I've had to deal with this three or four times (my forum has 1/6th the members yours does, but close to the same number of active ones, so this isn't too common an issue), but I'll get these people who just have zero regard for grammar and spelling.

I'm fully tolerant of English as a second language types. Being someone who has spent years studying a second language, I know how hard it is. And I know what a clusterfuck English is.

But I'll get these people that post utter shit like, "lol idk y r u mad?", and I will ask them to please refrain from teenage cellphone text slang. That alone would be fine, but these types always seem to be the ones to completely ignore me. After asking them politely several times (three or more), and having them ignore me immediately after, I've gotten fed up and banned two of them.

And now there are a few people on my forums that like to point out that I ban people just for spelling mistakes. But that was never my intention. It was more for being completely ignored repeatedly. When you're a moderator/admin and you ask someone not to do something, everyone else sees that. And when someone blows you off completely time and time again, it gives the impression that you have no authority or backbone. Ironically, if you don't then ban someone, then everyone assumes they can ignore the staff with no consequences.

So, I really don't know what to do about spelling and grammar mistakes.
* editing is clearly harmful
** either the user gets outraged, or
** the user is encouraged to keep making mistakes and causing you loads of extra work
* warning is clearly harmful
** it escalates into bans, which
** leads people to think you are a tyrant
* ignoring is clearly harmful
** it's painful to read text-speak, and tends to be corrosive to the intellectual level of the entire forum

Given the above, I go with warning. I'll take the badge of tyrant if that's what it takes. But I really hate all three options =(

There's also evidence that introvertedness is directly linked to how painful it is to deal with spelling and grammar issues:

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/articl ... ne.0149885

Or for a more readable version:

http://www.today.com/health/do-you-poin ... you-t84206

Speaking for myself at least, I am on the extreme end of being an introvert, so that likely explains a lot in my case. (I won't presume to place you on that scale, of course.)


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 12:24 pm 
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I was going to write a huge wall of text but I'll just reply to the poll question:

Q: Which is most appropriate for minor fixes to posts by moderators?
A: None of the above, minor fixes to posts by moderators are inappropriate.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 12:38 pm 
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I'm finding a little strange that the "Neither; let it be" option is getting so many votes, which I interpret as most people not minding having their posts silently edited.

Since there's no "don't edit people's posts" option, I wonder whether the "let it be" option is ambiguous enough to be interpreted as both "edit and don't say anything" and "don't edit at all"...

EDIT: Yes, I put the link to the "I wonder whether" thread, tepples didn't silently edit my post. :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 1:47 pm 
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I thought the "let it be" option meant don't edit the post.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 2:46 pm 
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See, I thought it meant "don't send a notice, but edit anyway". It's ambiguous, since these 2 options aren't available.

If I'm wrong, then I'd like to change my vote.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 3:06 pm 
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I feel like edits may be made to titles so that readers have a better understanding of the thread they are going into and only support edits to posts that are blatantly rude or very poor, destructive advice.

Otherwise, I don't like to see posts edited for reasons like grammar or spelling. Let the fools sound like fools.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 4:11 pm 
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I find unsolicited "fixes" to posts extremely offensive.

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 4:34 pm 
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I've noticed once or twice that the title of my post had changed.

It didn't bother me at all. I assumed that it was for clarity of others visiting the forum. That seems a reasonable use.

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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 7:38 am 
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@Tokumaru

I interpreted the last choice as "don't do anything". After reading it again, yep, it could be a little bit ambiguous.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 10:24 am 
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I had a thread split for a conversation on Freedom Fries and I felt like the split changed the context of what I was saying.

I would have started the split when I mentioned that I felt the abbreviation of Compo was strange. As it stands, the thread starts midway in a conversation, which seems a bit out of place, and also narrows the scope of the conversation. If you read it now, it seems like the thread was started to talk about what a person in the USA should call themselves. Really, the talk was first about how Compo is a strange abbreviation, then the suggestion of "Compe" (jokingly) opposes the anti-french sentiment of the US, then someone is unfamiliar with anti-french sentiment in the US, then someone thinks Freedom Fries are funny, then someone says, don't worry, we hate the US in our country, etc, then there's a split.

It's a small thing but I just wanted to give an example on the topic of thread splits changing context. The talk was off-topic and if someone would have told me to hush or it would be split, I would have just dropped it, but it seemed like other people were enjoying the conversation at that point.

The thread looks now like I posted to ask a specific question about national identity, but really it was more of a freeform topic, and the question posed to start it was about the abbreviation of Compo.

tepples wrote:
At this point, despite my positive intentions, I'm not sure that my moderation does more good than harm. I'm an acceptable poster, but I've proven myself a terrible moderator for so long that I'm not sure it's forgivable anymore.
I highly doubt that anybody else here really thinks that. Like rainwarrior said, you only see the complaints. The amount of work you do here is nothing small. I'd say good luck finding someone to fill your shoes, honestly. (as in, sarcastically, as in, you're gonna be damn hard pressed to find someone to do so)

These matters, with spelling and grammar corrections, are really minimal compared to serious problems we could consider having with corrupt or lazy mods. Or worst of all, no NESdev forum at all. That's right, we are in no way entitled to even have this forum if people aren't willing to put the work into maintaining it. And these minor problems with corrections, you're posting about them to ask what people think and that adjusting accordingly. I'd hate to see anybody leave, but I think the number one lesson we learned here is, "never edit rainwarrior's posts" :D

(also, I know it's not considered grammatically correct but I will occasionally begin a sentence with and. It is intentional and I do it for a specific emphasis. I would appreciate this not to be changed.)


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 10:42 am 
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I have gathered from previous posts that I have handled at least one derailment incorrectly in the past. Fortunately, in phpBB 3 (unlike phpBB 2), I can modify a previously performed split if it becomes apparent that the original split point was incorrect. So let me confirm that I have your order correct: Move your post through Bregalad's, except for INL's, into the topic Freedom fries, and revise your first moved post to reflect the split by linking to the previous topic, including a rename to "Etymology of 'compo'". Am I right?

I guess this means we're going to have to take time to discuss policy for how we will handle a topic whose author-provided title does not help readers find the topic and posts that derail a topic. Should each unuseful title or each split of a derailed topic be discussed publicly before action, such as a rename or a split, is taken? And if so, where?


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 10:53 am 
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tepples wrote:
So let me confirm that I have your order correct: Move your post through Bregalad's, except for INL's, into the topic Freedom fries, and revise your first moved post to reflect the split by linking to the previous topic,

This would seem fitting to me.
Quote:
including a rename to "Etymology of 'compo'". Am I right?

Personally, I like the topic Freedom Fries. It wouldn't have been applicable to the first post about the word Compo, however I think it's perfect really for the overall direction of the conversation and the non-serious nature of it. I'd wanna leave the topic.

All of this stuff is totally subjective and unless the person who started the split topic (if it can be narrowed to one person) says specifically how they'd want to handle it, there's almost no way of knowing what someone will consider the correct context for their words.

If there are going to be thread splits (to avoid really weighing on that topic in this post) then I would personally think that doing them the way you're doing is almost the only option that allows for you to effectively make a timely thread split. If it's not timely, then I don't think a thread split does its job as a thread split. I'd think really, what we're doing right now is the only way to handle it. Do what you think is best, as a mod, and your discretion should usually be close to right. Then if somebody wants a correction, they'd have to say what they want or you're just taking shots in the dark.

Also, I just want to add that this wasn't a big enough deal for me to say anything about it until thread splits became a topic of discussion, so I don't want anybody to think this is like a sore point or a serious issue from my end.


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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2016 11:28 am 
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tepples wrote:
I have gathered from previous posts that I have handled at least one derailment incorrectly in the past. Fortunately, in phpBB 3 (unlike phpBB 2), I can modify a previously performed split if it becomes apparent that the original split point was incorrect. So let me confirm that I have your order correct: Move your post through Bregalad's, except for INL's, into the topic Freedom fries, and revise your first moved post to reflect the split by linking to the previous topic, including a rename to "Etymology of 'compo'". Am I right?

Undoing an old split has all the same problems as splitting. Everything said after the split happened was in a different context, and you're mangling that again if you make a second change. (There's a saying about "two wrongs"...)

Again, just like the original split, also confuses history for anybody with memory of the conversation who wants to go searching for it. Three parallel timelines of memory for the same thread. :P

tepples wrote:
I guess this means we're going to have to take time to discuss policy for how we will handle a topic whose author-provided title does not help readers find the topic and posts that derail a topic. Should each unuseful title or each split of a derailed topic be discussed publicly before action, such as a rename or a split, is taken? And if so, where?

I don't really understand how this needs to be an administrative issue. Anybody can post "would you consider revising your subject to ..." in a thread. Same as anyone can post "your code has a bug" or "you've made a mistake" or "I don't agree with you", or about any number of things that the author might consider revising. (Authors shouldn't edit their old posts in a way that destroys the historical record, either, but this can also be resolved through discussion in most cases.)

Same deal with "splits". Anybody can start a new thread, and post in the old thread "hey, why don't we talk about this over here". This is already a very viable solution, and it causes no disruption or revision of history/context. Using the split feature is the nuclear option.

Every moderator intervention is an act of force, taking free will away from others to impose the will of the moderator. This difference between forcing someone to do as you say, rather than asking them is what makes it "rude". And yes, sometimes it is much better to do this than allowing these freedom, which is why we need moderators.

I just think the problem should be more significant than "the thread looks a little ugly" before you start using force.


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