Author Topic: Locked threads?  (Read 1914 times)

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Offline PIR85

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Locked threads?
« on: February 14, 2016, 12:22:27 AM »
Why was the Obit thread for Justice Scalia locked? And on a more general note, I have seen a slew of locked threads lately that did not pose an apparent violation of the site's rules? Just looking to see where the line between censorship and moderation currently lies.

Offline Torgo

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2016, 12:31:50 AM »
I cannot speak for most of the other threads, but based on the general online reaction to Scalia's death, I felt that any open commentary may lead toward some defamatory remarks that have no place on this site.
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Online PatrickRox80

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2016, 12:36:51 AM »
It also could have spiraled into a nasty political debate. While it wasn't my intention, we still have been mainly civil when it comes to obituaries here (except for Harold Camping but I won't get into that for obvious reasons).

Offline PayingTheRent

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2016, 03:56:33 AM »
Part of being a moderator is using your best judgement to decide if a thread is warranted or not and/or past the point of relevant discussion. How one determines what should and shouldn't be permissible is entirely subjective. Case in point: I locked the Bob Barker 'what if he dies?' thread. I came close to locking it as soon as the topic was created, but I elected to punt on the decision and see where it would go. I even participated. But I felt the discussion was getting to a point where there really wasn't much more to add, and it was kind of taking on a morbid tone, at least in my opinion. Even though no rules were technically broken, I locked it anyway, just on the grounds that it was going beyond the boundaries of "The Talk is Right" and really just the forum in general and what it exists for. Bob Barker will die one day, and there will surely be lengthy discussion about it, but having an extended discussion about it now while he's still living doesn't seem fair to him. Again, that's entirely subjective on my part, and I even said I was okay with another mod or an admin reopening the thread if they felt differently, because I realized others may not feel the same as me. Should I have locked the thread? I stand by my decision to do so. Others may disagree, and that's fine. My judgement isn't perfect, nor is that of any other mod here. We try our best, though. All of us who have been appointed to this position are committed to maintaining a high standard of conversation and community here, and at least in my view, I think we're doing a pretty darn good job of it as of late (can't really speak for the recent drama in some of our forum games, but that's a totally different discussion).

If anyone ever has an issue with a thread that's been locked or any decision in general that's been made by a mod or an admin, then don't hesitate to send us a private message to express your concerns. Part of maintaining that high standard I mentioned is communication. As long as your approach is calm and not meant as an attack, then at least on my end, I'm totally open to any and all feedback, and I will be very courteous in my response and am willing to work out any issues you have with decisions I or anyone else have made. I'm pretty laid back and don't want to be involved with drama when it can be avoided. That's the approach I try to use in my position as moderator.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 04:19:13 AM by PayingTheRent »
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Offline Alfonzo

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2016, 09:29:23 AM »
Before anyone talks about censorship, this is a private message board paid for by a private person. First Amendment and Freedom of Speech rules don't apply here.

There has been a precedent for monitoring and locking obits. Johnny Cochran, Hugo Chavez, Oral Roberts and Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church have each inspired obits that led to very heated discussion. Justice Scalia was a very polarizing figure, and even some prasing posts about him this weekend have caused heated discussion. Basically Torgo took a preventive measure, and a very prudent one looking at posts from the Internet.

I also do not disagree with PayingTheRent locking the "What if Bob Dies" discussion. I too felt uncomfortable about talking about what should be done after a person's death while said person is still living. I feel that instead of worrying about someone dying appreciate them while they're still living.
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Offline PIR85

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2016, 01:16:43 PM »
Everyone makes reasonable points and I'm glad we have a message board that maintains some form of order in this day and age  where internet fights get started over simple disagreements in opinion. So, thank you for that.

Offline mechamind

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2016, 06:40:42 PM »
As long as the rules aren't actually broken, the only thing I'm concerned about is whether this results in any quality user being acknowledged as a possible troublemaker right after the post. It's still just one post.

Fortunately not the case for the Scalia thread as I see.

Offline Briguy

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 09:29:40 PM »
I'll also go on record by saying the person who posted the Antonin Scalia obituary thread is no troublemaker. Not in the least. I think he was, in the very least, wanting to acknowledge to us -- not that such hasn't been done in any one of thousands of news websites and we could easily get it there -- that a well-known and respected justice of the Supreme Court had unexpectedly passed.

I honestly think he was hoping the responses to be of the line of "RIP," "sympathies to the family," etc.

Yet, I can see why some of the moderators were concerned and took quick action. Scalia's beliefs and opinions, regardless of whether his were of the majority opinion or as a dissenter, were seen by many as very divisive. Including, I'm sure, by many of the members of G-R.net. Which is sad, in many ways, but the way our society has become. The last thing G-R.net needs is drama. I'll leave it at that.

So yes, I think Torgo was correct in locking the thread. There are many other blog boards out there where you can argue about the merits of Scalia's opinions ... some are unmoderated, many are moderated.

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Offline mechamind

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 09:37:37 PM »
...I had a feeling someone was going to post a thought on Scalia in this thread.

Offline PayingTheRent

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2016, 09:42:47 PM »
...I had a feeling someone was going to post a thought on Scalia in this thread.

...and there will be no further discussion of Scalia in this thread, either. Let's move on.
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Offline brettley

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Re: Locked threads?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 08:22:48 PM »
I am also glad the thread about what the show will do after Bob dies.  I actually skipped over it initially.  It's not something I am ready to think about.  The day will come, and it will hopefully open up a thread for us to celebrate his life and legacy.  I don't want to worry about what the show will do...  I will leave that up to the powers that be.