11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 17, 2009 1:03 AM by Mike Pokraka RSS

Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?

Mylene Euridice Dorias
Currently Being Moderated

Dear all,

 

i have been back to SDN for the 3rd day in a row now and i recognize a very annoying kind of 'rules-of-engagement'-enforcing, which can only be described as the subject title states.

 

if a thread violates the rules, or the question is 'too simple' and should have been solved using the search, why not state it and make an appropriate comment in the thread, then lock it and be done ... why maim it?

 

examples:

Re: how to limit the use of SE16 ?

Re: How to find table names for a particular transaction?

 

with each of those, the original question is missing, answers are hanging uselessly in thin air and the threads can be answered further still.

 

is all of this wise?

 

seems, i am not the only one to find that strange: thread missing

 

why can the moderators not move uniformly and preferably like Rob Burbank and Julius Bussche are doing. What positive effect has SDN gained by sampling mutilated threads?

 

Edited by: Mylene Euridice Dorias on Aug 14, 2009 11:12 AM

  • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
    J. Heeck
    Currently Being Moderated

    Normally I'm not the "me too" kind of guy but this thread looks like one that can use some votes.

    Very well pointed out. I couldn't agree more.

    • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
      Julius von dem Bussche
      Currently Being Moderated

      >

      Jurjen Heeck wrote:

       

      > Normally I'm not the "me too" kind of guy but this thread looks like one that can use some votes.

      > Very well pointed out. I couldn't agree more.

      As you know, I normally provide feedback to you on your Abuse Reports because you requested this some time ago. Some are however self-evident when it is, for example, adverts for fake Nike shoes etc.

       

      There is no way I am aware of to send mails to all people who posted in a thread or used the Abuse Reports button, when action is taken on one of them. Only the author gets this.

       

      FYI: In the Abuse Reports system there are 4 actions which can be chosen:

       

      Defer = Keep it in the log for the moment.

       

      Reject = Hides the post from the thread or if the question is reported then the thread is hidden from the forum as well. In both cases a nasty mail is sent.

       

      Approve = Remove with entry from the log without touching the post.

       

      Edit and approve = Opens the post once in the edit mode to remove something offensive etc and then does the same as approve. It also bounces the thread to the top of the forum again and sends a mail watch as if posted, so no "stealth mode" editing can be done.

       

      In all cases we can also see the "comment" made by the person who reported it.

       

      Cheers,

      Julius

  • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
    Matthew Billingham
    Currently Being Moderated

    We receive an abuse report about a post violating the rules, and so reject it.  The poster gets an email telling them that their post has been rejected.  They may also get an explanation of why the post has been rejected.

     

    An unfortunate side-effect of this is "headless" threads.  Posts that have been rejected are no longer searchable, though they still exist on the database, and can be resurrected if necessary.  Replies to the rejected threads can still be found via searches, which isn't very good either.

     

    Locking a thread can be useful, but locked threads remain searchable.  No automatic notification is given to the offender.

     

    Deleting a thread removes any points allocated to responders, and the thread cannot be brought back to life.  No notification is given to users when their threads are deleted.

     

    I guess the best approach would be to, rather than rejecting threads, to provide a response detailing reason for locking, perhaps editing the original post to remove e.g. email addresses, and then locking the post.  The response would ensure that the poster gets an email - and they may even read it.  ( A rejected post generates an email with a subject indicating that the post has been rejected, so is a little more obvious ).  This will take several minutes.

     

    The reason why we don't do this so often is simply that in the course of a day we may get maybe a hundred abuse reports.  Rejecting the post has its side-effects, but is otherwise quick and effective - and takes a few seconds.

     

    I'll link to this thread from the moderators forum, to see if anyone else has an input.

     

    matt

    • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
      Mylene Euridice Dorias
      Currently Being Moderated
      Matt wrote:

       

      They may also get an explanation of why the post has been rejected.

       

      how very sad. i'd say, that's why it comes to threads like the 3rd one i posted, where the OP has no idea what went wrong. how's the OP supposed to avaid another misstep?

       

      Matt wrote:

       

      I guess the best approach would be to, rather than rejecting threads, to provide a response detailing reason for locking, perhaps editing the original post to remove e.g. email addresses, and then locking the post.  The response would ensure that the poster gets an email - and they may even read it.  ( A rejected post generates an email with a subject indicating that the post has been rejected, so is a little more obvious ).  This will take several minutes.

       

      i understand now - i was not aware of this. but anyway: 'the rejection - tool' is some kind of code, i suppose. so why not adapt it to make a comment (could be the explanation given by the mod) and lock the thread. let it be searchable ... what's wrong with that? everbody seeing it would also see, it was not approved of by the site owner.

       

      another approach: why not let the tool move the complete thread to a 'hidden' forum. surely you have such ...

       

      Matt wrote:

       

      The reason why we don't do this so often is simply that in the course of a day we may get maybe a hundred abuse reports.  Rejecting the post has its side-effects, but is otherwise quick and effective - and takes a few seconds.

       

      please calculate: the way it is running now, you will accumulate quite a lot of "headless", searchable threads over the time, which are of no use to any of the customers, and on top of it all annoy the regulars (i am not talking about myself, i do not consider myself to be a 'regular' here).

       

      Matt wrote:

         

      I'll link to this thread from the moderators forum, to see if anyone else has an input.

      matt

       

      thank you.

      • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
        Matthew Billingham
        Currently Being Moderated

        >

        Mylene Euridice Dorias wrote:

         

        > please calculate: the way it is running now, you will accumulate quite a lot of "headless", searchable threads over the time, which are of no use to any of the customers, and on top of it all annoy the regulars (i am not talking about myself, i do not consider myself to be a 'regular' here).

         

        I understand where you are coming from on this, but if we adopt the "investigate every post, lock, leave comments", we will soon be inundated. 

         

        As well as a moderator, I'm a regular user of the forums.  I've not noticed a severe problem with headless posts when searching.  What would probably be a very useful tool, and may even exist, would be a deletion of all rejected threads older than 3 months, say.  But as Julius points out - the software is provided by a 3rd party.  We can't change the code.  We can only ask them to.

         

        matt

        • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
          Julius von dem Bussche
          Currently Being Moderated

          > ... and may even exist, would be a deletion of all rejected threads older than 3 months, say. 

          Some of them have been handed over to SAP legal though, so they need to be kept.

           

          I think the main benefit is that posts which are reported for what ever reasons which are sufficient to reject the question, are removed from the forum view. And this is what we do.

           

          In a handfull of cases there have been requests to bring back a thread  - about 5 which I am aware of, excluding the SE16 one above. This, compared to the 27267 posts which have been rejected to date and no one is missing the sight of, is a fair error rate IMO.

           

          However if others also feel that beheading threads is not a sufficient strategy, then this practice can be changed - with some effort.

           

          Any others who have a problem with this?

           

          Cheers,

          Julius

    • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
      Thomas Zloch
      Currently Being Moderated

      Moderators, is it still true that five abuse reports from different users will automatically behead the thread even without moderator action?

      This could explain some of the cases.

      Thomas

      • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
        Julius von dem Bussche
        Currently Being Moderated

        @ Thomas:

        > Moderators, is it still true that five abuse reports from different users will automatically behead the thread even without moderator action?

        To my knowledge, yes. But it does not happen very often.

         

        @ Mylene:

        The main cause of this is people using bogus mail ID's, so they never get the reject mail to tell them why they were reported, which adds a usefull link to the forums rules for them as well. But I guess such folks don't read any documentation...

         

        When a thread is beheaded, it becomes invisible to the list of forum threads sorted by date of last post, so this is actually just a visibility flag which we can also restore again as well.

         

        Those who answer AND do watch their resulting mail watches and click on the link directly from the mail can still locate the headless thread, but all others would have little chance of finding it again.

         

        Unfortunately the Abuse Reports system does not offer the possibility to lock the thread from a single reported post in it. Would be nice to have!

         

        => However the OP is informed that their post was rejected for violating a forum rule - that they do not or cannot read these mails is their problem IMO.

         

        The best advise I can offer is to be pick-and-choosey which threads you answer in the "expert forums".

         

        Another idea is being discussed in Michael Nicolls's blog here => /people/michael.nicholls/blog/2009/08/11/a-modest-proposal-for-the-portal-related-forums

         

        I have a lot of hope in this feature: An RTFM forum which a group beyond just the moderators can move such "What is SE16 and how does it work?" type threads into with one click. This also (already now) sends a mail informing them that their question has been moved to the "Did not read the documentation" forum - a move which in itself should answer 99% of those questions...

         

        Cheers,

        Julius

        • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
          Mylene Euridice Dorias
          Currently Being Moderated

          >

          Julius Bussche wrote:

           

          Unfortunately the Abuse Reports system does not offer the possibility to lock the thread from a single reported post in it. Would be nice to have!

           

          again: we are talking some kind of code here, are we not? and surely these are the forums of The SAP AG. i fail to see where some bits of adapting code should present a problem.

           

          >

          Julius Bussche wrote:

           

          The best advise I can offer is to be pick-and-choosey which threads you answer in the "expert forums".

           

          i am trying to do exactly that - in the case of the SE16 authorization thread i had the feeling, that the OP exspected more an answer to 'should i do it' than to 'how to', so i added the 'general' part. and i was right, as her answer shows.

           

          >

          Julius Bussche wrote:

             

          I have a lot of hope in this feature: An RTFM forum which a group beyond just the moderators can move such "What is SE16 and how does it work?" type threads into with one click. This also (already now) sends a mail informing them that their question has been moved to the "Did not read the documentation" forum - a move which in itself should answer 99% of those questions...

           

           

          if it comes to that, i shall not see forward to contributing here - one of the phenomena i came to notice in the last few days is: besides the 'easily by documentation reading' solved questions, there are tons of bullshit answers to reasonable questions, answers that are in some cases even dangerous to the OP.

           

          but i didn't come here to complain. can i please come back to the second part of my question: why are the moderators not moving uniformly, why not comment, lock, move ... whatever? just state openly and for everybody visible what was done and why.

          • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
            Julius von dem Bussche
            Currently Being Moderated

            I have restored this question again for you:

             

            Hello,

             

            Only for the end-users, we would like to prevent the use of SE16 for a list of tables.

            (most of the tables of this list are HR but not only).

            For all the others tables, they have to be able to launch the SE16 normally.

             

            Thank you for your answer,

            P.Robillard

            Looks like RTFM to me. Sorry.

             

            Your observation about &NC& is not correct. It substitutes space with this symbolic value. NC = Not Classified.

             

            again: we are talking some kind of code here, are we not? and surely these are the forums of The SAP AG. i fail to see where some bits of adapting code should present a problem.

            This is because if you look at the bottom of the main forum page it says: Powered by JIVE Software.

             

            Cheers,

            Julius

          • Re: Best Practises = Beheading Of Threads ?
            Mike Pokraka
            Currently Being Moderated

            >

            Mylene Euridice Dorias wrote:

             

            > again: we are talking some kind of code here, are we not? and surely these are the forums of The SAP AG. i fail to see where some bits of adapting code should present a problem.

             

             

            Nope, SAP uses Jive Forums.

             

            We also want to keep a balance between letting people know what isn't tolerated (by locking a thread with a comment), and not littering the forum with too many of them. Rejection is usually my first choice unless a particular type of incident becomes too frequent - then I lock and warn a few and usually the problem dies down.

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