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Corran
28-Feb-2015, 23:04
Recently, I see a large thread was deleted at the "request of the OP."

This begs the question, at least in my mind, about the ownership of information posted on this site, and the rights of the users who both post and read such.

I believe the current policy is to delete a thread whenever a poster requests their thread to be deleted, for whatever reason. I personally take umbrage with this, but it is secondary to my next point. When a thread is deleted, not only is the original poster's content deleted, so is all other posts by other members of the forum in that thread. I think this is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. There may be a lot of valuable information deleted along with everything else. Why does the OP of said thread have the power to request the deletion of this valuable information when they did not create it?

I believe this kind of deletion is an intrusion on the rights of the users who posted in the thread but did not wish for their posts to be deleted.

Often, a user is asked when posting a question, if they've searched the archives. That's a valid question, but if some thread gets deleted, the information is lost. This obviously isn't an everyday occurrence but I think it should be considered. For instance, what if one of our forum members dies, and their family asks for their posts to be deleted - first, what would the forum do, and second, would whole threads be pruned that may have 100's of pages of info? For instance, the x-ray film threads, or maybe the DIY enlarger light source thread.

I am merely pointing this out. The thread in question doesn't concern me at all but I was thinking about the broader implications. This was a major source of debate over at the RFF, since an OP can delete their posts at any time, whenever they wish, and it will take out a thread completely if it's the first post. This happened in a large thread and a lot of people had contributed to it and were upset.

Furthermore, regarding postings on this forum, I also wonder if a user should have the power to request deletion of their content to start with. Who owns the information once posted? Is there a policy? I did not see one on the FAQ. This also is an issue with the limited time given to edit posts. Every other forum I participate in has an unlimited time for editing posts. It can sometimes be helpful to edit posts for posterity, even years later, as I have done on occasion elsewhere to clarify or include information, especially if it happens to be bumped and brought back on top.

Just some things to consider.

StoneNYC
28-Feb-2015, 23:33
I debated responding to this, but thought it would be ok to do so in a thoughtful way.

It's often important to consider the REASONS these kinds of things happen.

People don't just decide to throw out threads they have put actual blood, sweat, and months of work to try and share knowledge with others. It takes a lot to make a person want to throw all that away.

Perhaps we should consider our own actions that lead to such an occurrence and try and correct our own behavior.

Respect other forum members. Not push them to the point that they have to make such a drastic request as a thread deletion.

This forum is becoming more and more like APUG, and perhaps if we can simply be reminded that it's important to respect our fellow members, and not belittle them or put them down for their efforts, these kinds of things will become non-issues.

Food for thought.

As far as family members requesting deletion, to my understanding, moderators will take down individual threads, but they won't delete every thread created by an OP, it's too much work, so I don't think that part will be much of an issue.

Lachlan 717
28-Feb-2015, 23:54
Actual blood? I think hyperbole has once again got the better of you, Stone.

Corran
1-Mar-2015, 00:09
Stone, I have to say again that it's throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I'm sure there was valuable information in there. Maybe from you, maybe from other contributors. Locking the thread would have been fine, if you/the mods thought it was getting out of control. But wholesale deletion?

My point is that should you, as the thread creator, have the power to request deletion of not only your posts in that thread but everyone else's as well? I think it's an important question. And it doesn't have anything to do with the misbehavior or disrespect (from both sides). I'm ignoring all that and focusing on the value of the information and how such an occurrence should be handled.

StoneNYC
1-Mar-2015, 00:35
There are always consequences for our actions, sometimes "throwing the baby out with the bath water" is a consequence.

People tend to forget that on forums because they have a false sense of anonymity or something like that, and feel they can behave differently on a forum than they would in real life. In the real world for example, if you mock someone, you might get punched in the face for being a dick. On a forum, that natural fear of retaliation that would normally keep us "in check" is absent, and so people tend to "act out" more.

So there have to be some consequences. In this case I asked respectfully that people stay on topic and please stop bullying and to not "make fun" and be helpful instead of hurtful.

Instead the antics only escalated further. So the only one to blame for the loss of the information are those who couldn't be bothered to be nice and respectful.

Consequences.

It's not hard to simply respect someone, to leave them be if you don't like what they are saying or to debate in a respectful way. But to just blatantly mock, well that just shows that you have no respect for the person, nor the information contained in the thread, and therefore you don't deserve to have access to that information. Truly.

Call it "tough love" or perhaps a "wake up call" or whatever you want, but the fact is without the threat of consequences, people will not keep their own manners in check, so now and then when things get to be like "the lord of the flies" with no order, some drastic occurrences need to happen to wake people up and remind them that there are consequences and that they need to behave themselves and conduct themselves in a manner worthy of gentleman and not those of a bunch of children abandoned alone on an island, because that leads to chaos, disorder, and death (or in this case death of a thread).

And yes I cut myself a few times on the sharp metal parts of the iron base before I re-painted it.

Corran
1-Mar-2015, 00:44
In the real world, you then go to jail for assault.

Let's focus. It seems you want to make this thread about you and your feelings. It's not - and that thread was merely a catalyst for the question. Let's also not forget that at the end of the day, you aren't a moderator, so what constitutes "consequences" for other members is not up to you.

More importantly, there are other possibilities where a request for deletion may come up that has nothing to do with why that thread derailed (as I said, what about the death of a forum member?).

StoneNYC
1-Mar-2015, 00:58
In the real world, you then go to jail for assault.

Let's focus. It seems you want to make this thread about you and your feelings. It's not - and that thread was merely a catalyst for the question. Let's also not forget that at the end of the day, you aren't a moderator, so what constitutes "consequences" for other members is not up to you.

More importantly, there are other possibilities where a request for deletion may come up that has nothing to do with why that thread derailed (as I said, what about the death of a forum member?).

True, sorry, you're right, you did mention the deleted thread, but also mentioned other reasons.

For my last point, ill mention just that we often have the idea of "entitlement" that we are somehow entitled to the information.

That may not always be true even though we feel we are entitled to it, perhaps the respect of the person who's requesting deletion (be it the OP or the OP's family after death etc) takes precedence over the information itself. Information is important, but respect is also important, moral choices to respect a grieving spouse may take precedence over the thread itself. (Even if losing it sucks).

Just something to consider.

I've said my peace, I'll let you guide the thread or pursue other thoughts about this, sorry for making the previous posts about me.

TXFZ1
1-Mar-2015, 07:44
Some people will post to ask questions that they only want the answers that confirm their thoughts. When someone post a opposing view, this seems to frustrate them and they react. I think my only entitlement is to decide to share something or not. Once I share it; it there for people to comment, prove it stupid or what ever. I try to only post what I know about and learn from those that know more than me.

Disinformation is one of the worst and scariest things about the internet. A few bbsers seem to perpetuate the disinformation. To be honest, I think killing that thread was a good thing as hopefully some kid will not mount a fire hazard in a room full of chemicals. I used the x-ray threads but had to pick-out the best information for myself. The final cut only had about three different bbsers post and was less than 10 posts total.

Let's face it, we are all not cut from the same cookie cutter. There are control freaks, attention or post whores, and rude people out in the real world. I try to ignore most of it but every once in awhile, feel the need to post my opinion. I have this privilege just as everyone else that follows the bbs rules and are not banned.

The constant belittling of APUG is getting old. I don't know the full history but it should be left at APUG and not brought over here to start a forum war. This speaks volumes of the person posting the comments.

Just my opinion,
David

vinny
1-Mar-2015, 08:21
If I had made 12,000 posts between here and apug since joining the forums in 2012 and wasn't happy about the environment, I'd be wondering if part of the problem was not thinking before I typed.

ic-racer
1-Mar-2015, 08:22
Does the first poster really own the thread anyway, I think not. I can lay the first brick of a building but if others come along and build a skyscraper, the building is not mine. A first post is like seeding a crystal, that is how a forum works. A first post should not be treated like a completed document. Complete documents should go in the "files" section.

Ralph Barker
1-Mar-2015, 08:59
Intellectual property rights are covered by the following section of the Usage Guidelines:


What about Intellectual Property Rights?
By submitting materials to this site, you you are representing that are you are the owner, or are authorized by the owner to do so. As a consequence, all the material posted in this site is assumed copyrighted by their respective authors, and shouldn't be reproduced without permission and proper credit by any means, including framing. The site doesn't claim copyright to any material submitted by readers. However, by submitting materials to this site, you grant an irrevocable royalty-free license to the maintainers of this site to publish that material on the largeformatphotography.info site. The maintainers of the site are not obligated to remove posted material, should you request it, but may do so if it does not conform to forum guidelines. No other rights are granted. The site will not use your materials without proper attribution to you, nor will it edit them in a way that would misrepresent your intent.

Usually, we will delete a thread at the request of the person who started the thread if the nature of the discussion has "gone south" - that is, the discussion has become contentious to a degree that it violates other "be nice" provisions in the guidelines. Such decisions are not made lightly, however. And, in most cases, we use the "soft delete" feature, meaning that moderators still have access to the content, should questions arise.

Responses within a thread are, by their nature, subordinate to the post starting the thread. As such, posters may want to consider whether an information-rich response should be posted in the thread, or perhaps used to start a new thread discussing the more-detailed point of the response. This is particularly true if the nature of the original thread has already become contentious. If one spends a lot of time composing a response, it may be a good idea to keep a copy of the response for later posting in a separate thread, should you desire to do so.

So, while the content of posts remain the property of the respective authors, and they grant an irrevocable royalty-free license to the maintainers of this site to publish that material on the largeformatphotography.info site, there is no obligation for the forum to continue to publish it, as mentioned in the following section of the FAQ:

Is there a contractual relationship between the forum and myself?
In a word, no. By accessing the site, you agree not to hold responsible the site maintainers for anything that happens as a consequence of your use of the site. In particular, the site maintainers do not endorse or make any statement about the content posted by readers. They might not be even be aware of some material posted by readers. They reserve the right to edit or remove entirely your submitted materials from the site without notice.

Louis Pacilla
1-Mar-2015, 09:03
If I had made 12,000 posts between here and apug since joining the forums in 2012 and wasn't happy about the environment, I'd be wondering if part of the problem was not thinking before I typed.

Amen Vinny.

D-tach
1-Mar-2015, 09:30
If I had made 12,000 posts between here and apug since joining the forums in 2012 and wasn't happy about the environment, I'd be wondering if part of the problem was not thinking before I typed.

12000!? That's roughly 13,8 posts per day in 29 months... a Large Format Poster :eek:

Fred L
1-Mar-2015, 09:36
Does the first poster really own the thread anyway, I think not. I can lay the first brick of a building but if others come along and build a skyscraper, the building is not mine. A first post is like seeding a crystal, that is how a forum works. A first post should not be treated like a completed document. Complete documents should go in the "files" section.

^^^ THis !

Kirk Gittings
1-Mar-2015, 11:17
Sometimes the only time effective tools available to the volunteer moderators are large hammers for small problems. I would not expect a volunteer moderator to take a scalpel to a thread (like the one in this instance) and try and figure out what should stay and what should go any more than they should delete just the bad part of an offensive single post. Who has time for this?

We have some 109,076 threads and 1,166,824 posts archived here-that's right nearly 1.2 million posts!. Given that most people do not do a search before asking a question here there is tons of duplication of information in these threads. How often are full threads deleted?-very rarely frankly. I don't see much harm from this practice from the "bigger picture" POV.

If you said something important in a thread that got the axe, start a new thread and say it again-you probably have more free time than the moderators.

Corran
1-Mar-2015, 11:50
I agree Kirk.
A simple lock of the thread though seems more prudent to me. In this instance anyway.
I know the mods are busy people (we all are).

I just wonder about the implications over time. What is the point of this community? Dissemination of information and experience by people like you with decades of practical and hands-on experience I would hope. Personal grievances or other situations shouldn't interfere with that charge.

But yes, it's uncommon. This thread is just something that I thought the mods/community should consider. To be honest I was just thinking about it while developing a couple of batches of E-6 in the dark :o.

Corran
1-Mar-2015, 11:53
Also thanks Ralph for the FAQ excerpts. I honestly glossed over the Intellectual Property bit because I thought it mostly pertained to images, but I can see how it applies to the written portion too. Either way, I personally think the policy of deleting a thread by request should be reserved for extreme cases. Personal threats or something of that nature for example. Besides which, that second excerpt pretty much nulls any consequences anyway (as all good legal contracts do!).

cowanw
1-Mar-2015, 12:54
Also thanks Ralph for the FAQ excerpts. I honestly glossed over the Intellectual Property bit because I thought it mostly pertained to images, but I can see how it applies to the written portion too. Either way, I personally think the policy of deleting a thread by request should be reserved for extreme cases. Personal threats or something of that nature for example. Besides which, that second excerpt pretty much nulls any consequences anyway (as all good legal contracts do!).

I am not thinking that, the putative OP's dislike for the posts that are coming in, falls into the extreme category; more like that Op does not like what posters are saying, so that Op gets to choose to censor the respondents by having the thread deleted.
Not a good precedent, in my opinion, particularly if that OP has a differing perception, from the norm, how people interact .

Kirk Gittings
1-Mar-2015, 13:02
To be honest I was just thinking about it while developing a couple of batches of E-6 in the dark :o.

Thats like a sensory deprivation chamber :) careful Grasshopper.....

Corran
1-Mar-2015, 13:08
Yeah and I learned real quick that being slightly tipsy and then developing in the dark for 30 minutes was a bad combination...lol!

Randy Moe
1-Mar-2015, 14:02
As one of the instigators or antagonists that the OP most likely disliked, I apologize for my actions.

That said, I think we ALL have exceeded some boundary none of us really did not want to cross. OP, Mods, myself and many others.

Let's reconsider and move on.

Racer X 69
1-Mar-2015, 14:06
Sometimes the only time effective tools available to the volunteer moderators are large hammers for small problems. I would not expect a volunteer moderator to take a scalpel to a thread (like the one in this instance) and try and figure out what should stay and what should go any more than they should delete just the bad part of an offensive single post. Who has time for this?

We have some 109,076 threads and 1,166,824 posts archived here-that's right nearly 1.2 million posts!. Given that most people do not do a search before asking a question here there is tons of duplication of information in these threads. How often are full threads deleted?-very rarely frankly. I don't see much harm from this practice from the "bigger picture" POV.

If you said something important in a thread that got the axe, start a new thread and say it again-you probably have more free time than the moderators.

Great response Kirk.

Having moderated on internet forums I can attest to the difficulties of dealing with the minutia or simply dumping an entire thread. It can be tedious and cumbersome, quickly eroding time that one does not always have excess of. So often those who see something of theirs disappear fail to realize just how time consuming it can be.

They only see things from their side.

And all too often they also either fail to recognize the moderating staff are doing what they do without any compensation, or simply ignore that fact completely and act as if things should be run the way that they want.

For those who fell into the latter description I always invited them to start their own forum, and see if they could do a better job.

Corran
1-Mar-2015, 15:05
I knew this argument was going to come up. Personally I believe the moderators volunteered to make this forum the best it could be. This is addressing that idea.

If a moderator was, for instance, banning anyone who disagreed with them, would you question their work? Or would you say, well, they don't have a lot of time so I guess it's okay?

Anyway, the original thoughts I had on this have little to do with the moderation happening. I think in this case the difference in time between simply locking a thread or deleting it wholesale is nil. I don't have a real bone to pick in this instance because I didn't even post in the thread that was deleted.

However, I'm looking at the bigger picture and for the future, whether there is a policy where a poster who makes a thread can request its complete deletion. I think that is wrong and should not be allowed. And yes it might be rare. Myself, that kind of policy makes it less likely to contribute helpful information, especially in certain situations.

cowanw
1-Mar-2015, 15:16
Yes, the " support of the moderators" and " moderators are busy" arguments are, frankly, straw man arguments. I hope they are not successful in diverting the meaning of the original question.

Kirk Gittings
1-Mar-2015, 15:30
I think in this case the difference in time between simply locking a thread or deleting it wholesale is nil.

agreed

jnanian
1-Mar-2015, 17:06
....

rdenney
7-Mar-2015, 23:24
Locking a thread doesn't remove it from view, and sometimes a thread includes some scorched earth.

Occasionally, an OP will ask a question that attracts a noisy (and often noisome) response, and just wants it to go away. I have never deleted a thread like that that contained writing for the ages, but often it's just a dumb first post on which many piled, with no result that gives value to the archives. If you said something you are committed to in a thread that got deleted, and you feel as though the deletion of your post was collateral damage, just say it again in its own thread.

We will not delete a thread if the OP is asking for deletion to avoid being responsible for something we feel he should be responsible for. That is why the guidelines are worded as they are.

Before becoming a moderator, I wrote many posts of considerable length. Probably too much length for most people, but still representing a significant investment of time. Occasionally, I thought the posts rather well-written. But let's be real: It is exceedingly rare to find a post that represents significant effort that would be difficult to repeat. When such posts do get deleted, I have, at request, gone back and made a copy to send to the poster to so that he can repost it in its own thread if he so chooses. That takes more time than either locking or deleting a thread, and the content really does need to be worth preserving. How often does that happen? I've been asked to do it once, and I'm not sure any of the other mods have ever been asked to do it. But I will do it for anybody, unless the post violates the guidelines.

Truth is, most posts fall into the category of ephemera, and we all know it.

Rick "who has never used moderator powers to further his own opinion on the matter being discussed" Denney

Kodachrome25
9-Mar-2015, 23:30
This happened to me on another forum some years ago and it was incredibly frustrating because I *really* put a lot of effort into the reply to help folks out, charts, photos with overlays, etc. No matter what is right or wrong, when you put more time than usual into something and then it gets deleted, it just plain sucks.

So this is one of many reasons I *really* do better in life when I just avoid posting on forums and read-only ( if that )....I don't like wasting my time.

analoguey
10-Mar-2015, 01:13
Does the first poster really own the thread anyway, I think not. I can lay the first brick of a building but if others come along and build a skyscraper, the building is not mine. A first post is like seeding a crystal, that is how a forum works. A first post should not be treated like a completed document. Complete documents should go in the "files" section.
Indeed.
Although I haven't seen threads deleted here(missed them maybe?), I wonder how often do mods actually get a request that asks to delete a thread.
Maybe the mods could tell us?
Imho, we should start with that existing data before we prescribe solutions.

If I had made 12,000 posts between here and apug since joining the forums in 2012 and wasn't happy about the environment, I'd be wondering if part of the problem was not thinking before I typed.
+1

rdenney
10-Mar-2015, 06:24
It happens from time to time--maybe two or three times a year and not often enough to really keep track. It used to be more common in the for-sale forum, where sellers whose sale had turned sour wanted to delete a thread where the buyer complained, but that issue was largely resolved by adding the Advisories forum.

More often, but still only a handful of times a year, we delete a bunch of posts in a thread that has turned into a food fight. In those situations, there will be posts that included a couple of sentences devoted to throwing food, and maybe a few more that are relevant to the topic at hand. We have a strict policy of not editing posts, so even when only a part of it is the problem, all of it gets deleted.

And for Kodachrome25: If a post of yours that reflects considerable effort gets deleted in a way you think is unwarranted, please let us know. We might agree! We can almost always, at the very least, send you the text of the post so that you can repost it without having to rewrite it.

Rick "suspecting that very few serious and relevant posts have ever been deleted" Denney

Ralph Barker
10-Mar-2015, 06:31
I'll repeat - in most cases, we use the "soft delete" feature, meaning that moderators still have access to the content. That is definitely true if you see the thread title with the comment, "deleted at OP's request". Thus, if you have made an information-rich post in a thread that got deleted due to the bad behavior of others, you can ask the moderators (via the "Contact Us" link) to retrieve your post for you so you can start your own thread with that info.

Edit: Looks like Rick and I were composing at the same time.

Kodachrome25
10-Mar-2015, 22:51
And for Kodachrome25: If a post of yours that reflects considerable effort gets deleted in a way you think is unwarranted, please let us know. We might agree! We can almost always, at the very least, send you the text of the post so that you can repost it without having to rewrite it.

Thanks but it was years ago on another forum.