Disappeared threads

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Disappeared threads

Postby bradtem » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:13 pm

In the last couple of days, I have noticed some threads appear to have been deleted. Following a link gets the error message "You are not authorized to view this forum" which suggests they were deleted by making them accessible only by people with permissions.

I know that sometimes there may be a reason to delete a thread. However, it should not be done in silence. It should be done with "We have deleted thread X because it violates policy rule Y." If a whole thread can do so. One thread that was deleted was a thread about scalpers which started with a discussion of a scalper tracker. Perhaps some posts there or the tracker itself were seen to violate some rule, but all the other posts that were perfectly valid were also deleted.

More transparency is advised.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby EspressoDude » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:41 pm

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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby trilobyte » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:00 pm

If a thread is removed for any reason, the original poster of that thread is contacted privately to explain the action.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby trilobyte » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:02 pm

I've also given this a nudge over to the Policy Discussion forum.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby bradtem » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:11 pm

It is good that the original poster is informed, but for those who were participating in a thread, and indeed for all, it is good to learn what it is that is that one should not be doing (examples are always better understood than terms of service) and in addition, for those whose posts were not in violation of any policy, it is bad to delete them.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby trilobyte » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:34 pm

We're not starting replacement threads to discuss the decision behind every thread that gets pulled, nor are we going to PM all the participants in a thread to let them know when a thread gets pulled. If you're looking for something and can't find it, send a PM to a mod.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby Lassen Forge » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:37 pm

Sometimes you can't do that because of specific issues of the thread. I know, it sucks... but there are also threads where we have tried a surgical removal and it turns into gibberish, or is so convoluted it loses its meaning. It's part of the bad part of being a mod - you have to keep the integrity of the entire board, and still be responsive to individual posters needs, wants, and desires.

There are other times, because of TOS, Legal, or Liability issues we have to pull a thread. It's never done lightly (after all, we're all psycho freedom of speech promoters) but we may not have a choice in whether we pull or kill a post or an entire thread. And sometimes (rare, but it happens) we have to, like I said, for legal or liability issues. I know that part sucks, but I ain't gonna lie to you or sugar coat it. You deserve no less.

If it helps (I know it doesn't) I've had threads that I'm active in quashed or outright killed - pisses me off, but I understand why. (And others get yanked and even others of us mods don't know why until the pulling mod catches up with us!)

Anyway, it's not a fun balancing act we do, but we have to do it anyway... and all I can say is Im sorry. Honestly and seriously.

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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby bradtem » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:18 pm

Look, I have some experience with this. I was the subject of the first famous banning on the internet. I am at the EFF. There is rarely a need to totally disappear a thread without any mention of it. With respect, the normal procedure among psycho freedom of speech promoters when forced to remove stuff for legal reasons is to leave a stub, or to post a note about the reason for the takedown, so the community understands and learns from the reason, and more to the point they don't make the conclusion that the takedown was for some secret reason of the site host. Yes, a thread with a post that was replaced with "Post deleted because if violated the follow law" is a bit confusing, but it's much, much better than a completely vanished thread.

The two threads taken down, namely "Bumscrape the scalper tracker" and "Strategies for discouraging ticket sites" had lots of entirely permitted discussion in them. The former thread had been around for a long time too, so if the OP was in violation of the law it took a fair bit of time to have that be realized. I am trying to puzzle just what was illegal in those threads. There were some posts that proposed anti-scalper strategies which might be fraudulent, but those could have been easily excised if that was the issue, and there were not many of them.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby trilobyte » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:27 pm

I can appreciate that you'd like for things to work differently, thank you for your concern.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby ygmir » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:31 pm

bradtem wrote:Look, I have some experience with this. I was the subject of the first famous banning on the internet. I am at the EFF. There is rarely a need to totally disappear a thread without any mention of it. With respect, the normal procedure among psycho freedom of speech promoters when forced to remove stuff for legal reasons is to leave a stub, or to post a note about the reason for the takedown, so the community understands and learns from the reason, and more to the point they don't make the conclusion that the takedown was for some secret reason of the site host. Yes, a thread with a post that was replaced with "Post deleted because if violated the follow law" is a bit confusing, but it's much, much better than a completely vanished thread.

The two threads taken down, namely "Bumscrape the scalper tracker" and "Strategies for discouraging ticket sites" had lots of entirely permitted discussion in them. The former thread had been around for a long time too, so if the OP was in violation of the law it took a fair bit of time to have that be realized. I am trying to puzzle just what was illegal in those threads. There were some posts that proposed anti-scalper strategies which might be fraudulent, but those could have been easily excised if that was the issue, and there were not many of them.


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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby jkisha » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 pm

I never once clicked on either of those threads. Makes me wonder what I missed. NOT.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby bradtem » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:04 am

So two threads disappear, including one that had been going for some time. Not a word is given about the particulars of why, just "sometimes we have to delete threads." When somebody asks why, the thread asking why is moved to a section of the forums that is barely read, and even in the appropriate place, the question as to why is not answered, not in public, not in private message.



So I will politely ask again, what was the reason the threads were deleted?
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby Elliot » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:26 am

I think I understand.
Let's say I earn money by building scratching posts for cats and selling them over the interweb. Now here comes a bird lover who hates cats and wants to interfere with the happiness of cats. So he floods my site with irrelevant e-mail, to the extent that I am unable to sell my scratching posts. Since selling scratching posts is perfectly legal, I might very well have a legal/financial claim against the bird lover. And if the bird lover used ePlaya to help him interfere with my legal business, BMORG would be on the hook.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby oneeyeddick » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:28 am

Well, they certainly weren't talking about Buttplugs.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby trilobyte » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:00 am

You need to post in the appropriate forum for the question, not the place you think will get the most traffic. As for sending a private message asking for an explanation, you hadn't actually asked. I did take the liberty of skipping ahead and explaining anyway in my most recent response - check your private messages.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby graidawg » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:15 am

and don't forget sometimes threads get merged, which I for one, wish would happen more often.
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:01 am

bradtem wrote:Look, I have some experience with this. I was the subject of the first famous banning on the internet.



..and I can't imagine why..
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby Wrath » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:11 am

Yesterday a co-worker of my girlfriend's cousin's daughter in law told me she heard that not only are the threads getting disappeared, they're being tortured!
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Re: Disappeared threads

Postby junglesmacks » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:58 am

AHHHHH!!

..and to think that Al Gore and Bradtem invented ALL of this!
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