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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: Sat May 28, 2016 8:21 pm 
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darryl.revok wrote:
I think the number one lesson we learned here is, "never edit rainwarrior's posts" :D

On the flip side, feel free to BBcode-fairy me...when it's BBcode you're fixing.


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 3:00 pm 
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Just to make it clear, my vote for the last option "neither let it be" meant "don't edit user's posts", it does not mean "edit them but no not show any notice".

Editing thread titles is fine, if it makes them clearer, I'm fine with that.


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I'm fully tolerant of English as a second language types.

English is actually technically my 3rd language, German being my 2nd. We have to learn first the other national languge before learning the international one. However, I speak English much much more fluently than German, despite having spent much more time and energy learning German.


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 3:24 pm 
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For the record, I intended "Neither; let it be" to mean "let the errors remain in the post". But it has become apparent that this was not entirely clear.

I have also gathered that different users may want to opt-in or opt-out to subject corrections, mark-up corrections, grammar corrections, dead link corrections, etc. What would be a good method of keeping track of this?

The report button is a tool for alerting the moderator team to posts that noticeably reduce the quality of discussion. In fact, some other boards ban "back seat moderation", that is, publicly suggesting that the moderator team respond rather than privately reporting it. (We currently have no such rule on the books.) But derailment is a touchy subject encompassing posts by more than a single user, and I imagine that in most cases, not everybody whose posts could be affected by loss of context can be reached promptly through private message. So other than PMing each derailing user "How does this post relate to this topic?", how should I handle it?


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 6:27 pm 
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tepples wrote:
For the record, I intended "Neither; let it be" to mean "let the errors remain in the post".

Thanks for clarifying this. I guess I was the only one to interpret it wrong, then! :lol: Since the question starts with "which is most appropriate for minor fixes..." I just assumed that the fixes would happen no matter what, and the only question was what should happen next... But yeah, I agree that "let it be" does sound like "don't do absolutely anything".


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PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:42 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I have also gathered that different users may want to opt-in or opt-out to subject corrections, mark-up corrections, grammar corrections, dead link corrections, etc. What would be a good method of keeping track of this?

I don't think you should try to keep track of this. These kinds of things shouldn't normally require moderator privilege to correct; just use the same methods that everybody else has at their disposal. (i.e. ask)

Certain kinds of cleanup are good to perform, and sure, sometimes the author is not active, but you shouldn't be making significant modifications to historical posts either. If links have gone dead because a website has moved and the author is inactive, it seems sensible enough to provide revised links in an edit-- though personally I think you should leave the dead links in the post and provide the revisions in a clearly marked addendum. The dead link URLs might be important information. (e.g. a record of what the wrong link looked like can help identify similar dead links elsewhere)

And I think that's basically the way I'd suggest doing any moderator edits to old threads; don't mess with the record. Only make clearly marked additions, not changes. Don't delete or replace things. This applies to spelling and grammar too; leave that stuff alone- it's relevant to the history of the conversation.

If someone posts bad bbcode by accident, that would normally be spotted while the thread is still active; i don't see this being a siginificant issue with historical threads. If someone makes a mistake in an active thread and they've posted a 5000 pixel wide image, or caused it to spew HTML garbage by accident, etc. I don' think anyone would object to you making an edit to correct this, but it should be as small as possible to correct the mistake.

Deleting or replacing should be reserved for intervention with bad behaviour / abuse, not for copy-editing. (Forum threads are not copy!!!)

tepples wrote:
But derailment is a touchy subject encompassing posts by more than a single user, and I imagine that in most cases, not everybody whose posts could be affected by loss of context can be reached promptly through private message. So other than PMing each derailing user "How does this post relate to this topic?", how should I handle it?

Derailment happens naturally in all types of discussions, this is not special about internet forums. I would go so far as to say that it's necessary that it happens sometimes; a lot of digressions result in worthwhile exchanges. It's important that we be allowed to pursue this. It's not such an awful thing to have a plurality of topic in a thread.

Yeah, people don't like it when they aren't interested in the digression, but that's okay. They can say so, too! Again I really want to encourage starting a new thread because of a digression instead of forcing it with a moderator action; anybody can do it, not just mods. I've seen you do it lots of times and I think it works well, without any of the context-destroying problems of a split.

If you think someone is consistently or deliberately derailing things, or acting as a troll, tell them about it. Warn them. Ban them maybe if it's bad. I don't think anyone here is causing digressions that are worth a ban, but if you think they're being a problem you can tell them about it publicly or by PM. Splitting the thread instead of talking to them is only enabling/encouraging the bad behaviour.

Same deal with editing someone's spelling. If you think it's important that someone spell things correctly, tell them about it. If you edit on their behalf, you're not helping them, you're just speaking for them. Telling them about it will correct future posts, same as how telling someone they're being too irrelevant will encourage them to behave better, if they care about your opinion.

If they don't care about your opinion, moderating them is a hostile act anyway, so it's a losing situation from the start. I think most people here respond to others, though. We're a functioning community.


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 12:01 am 
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tepples wrote:
I have also gathered that different users may want to opt-in or opt-out to...

I may have muddied this point because of my categorical objection to using mod powers to copy-edit, but be careful of the difference between someone saying "I think the edits you made are OK", and "I want you to do this in the future".

I'd say that most of your "fairy" edits did not cause a problem. When I state that you should not be doing this, I am not trying to demand correction of these things, or punishment for them. I know that they were done with thoughtful intention, and that you always try to be careful.

You shouldn't have to be thinking this hard about whether or not to edit someone's post.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:14 pm 
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My opinion. I believe it's the most correct thing.

Editing in a public notice that the post has been edited.

Period. Why?

a) a moderator/admin has authority for such corrections;
b) if the mod/admin is not violating the user's rights, there's no problem of doing it so;
c) the user must accept the rules - as editing is something that must be done in a few cases.

If the user disagrees, it's easy - go away. 8-)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:48 am 
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The software ought to automatically add a notice if a moderator edits someone else's message. Editing someone else's message without saying who edits it should be against the rules. However in most cases the moderator should not need to edit other user's messages, and should leave the messages as they are instead of editing them.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:22 pm 
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zzo38 wrote:
The software ought to automatically add a notice if a moderator edits someone else's message. Editing someone else's message without saying who edits it should be against the rules. However in most cases the moderator should not need to edit other user's messages, and should leave the messages as they are instead of editing them.

Supposedly that's already the case -- sort of. To be more clear:

For a moderator/admin: there's supposed to be a GUI field shown when editing a post that allows them to provide a reason for the edit. However, as I understand it, the field can be left empty and no indication of the edit is shown. This is by design, from what I can determine from the above linked thread. You're welcome to file that feature request with the phpBB folks -- because that is where it'd need to be done. Hacking up nesdev's phpBB code just means that upgrades will require manually fixing/tweaking the code, which is a very painstaking process (they tend to change a LOT of code between minor versions, so simply keeping a patch around isn't sufficient -- you get to reimplement the patch every time). phpBB is a security nightmare, so upgrades have to happen.

Other threads talking about the same thing (either in support of it, or problems with it):

https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtop ... &t=2225461
https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtop ... &t=2350491

If you file a feature request for this, please provide a link to the bug/ticket number so it can be known here.

(Footnote education: for a regular user: the user can edit their own post without any sign of edits, up until the point where there's been one or more replies after that person's post -- after which, you'll see a line at the bottom reading "Last edited by Author on YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM, edited N times in total.")


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:23 am 
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koitsu wrote:
(Footnote education: for a regular user: the user can edit their own post without any sign of edits, up until the point where there's been one or more replies after that person's post -- after which, you'll see a line at the bottom reading "Last edited by Author on YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM, edited N times in total.")
Yes, and my opinion is that if a moderator edits another user's message, then it should also add such a line regardless of if there are replies or not. For moderators editing their own messages it should apply the same way as a regular user.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:32 pm 
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zzo38 wrote:
Yes, and my opinion is that if a moderator edits another user's message, then it should also add such a line regardless of if there are replies or not. For moderators editing their own messages it should apply the same way as a regular user.

I completely understand your request. As I said previously: "You're welcome to file that feature request with the phpBB folks -- because that is where it'd need to be done. ... If you file a feature request for this, please provide a link to the bug/ticket number so it can be known here."


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:24 pm 
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Better yet, file a request for full Stack Exchange-style revision history on each post :P


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:37 pm 
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In my view the primary purpose for mods being able to edit posts is so that they can delete things that should not be seen. (e.g. if *dragon were to post psychopathicteen's telephone number, or if someone posted an illegal ROM, etc.). Complete history wouldn't be desired in that case (which should be the only case, IMO, but I already went off at length on that in this thread).

You can roll your own version of "history" where needed, though. In forums where I am a mod, I always leave a note in the edit explaining what I did and why, so that everybody knows why moderator action was taken, not just the poster.


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