Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

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Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:38 pm
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Master_Cylinder
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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by Master_Cylinder » Fri May 09, 2014 5:41 am

Noxwizard wrote:
Master_Cylinder wrote:I can vote/not vote and/or reply as I see fit.
Just because you can does not mean you must. You have cast your vote and stated your beliefs on the matter. You seem to have nothing useful left to add to the conversation, so I recommend that you do not continue posting in this topic unless you have constructive criticism to add that you haven't already posted.
I don't always vote or reply so must isn't even close. Who decides what's useful (or not) when it comes to ideas? As long as I don't break the rules, I don't see the problem.

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by AmigoJack » Fri May 09, 2014 5:58 am

antonjw2 wrote:sometimes people go so off-topic as to be completely outside the subject matter
In a phpBB world the board owner either
  1. doesn't care, or
  2. splits off the post to a new topic, or
  3. splits off the post to a collective dump topic, or
  4. moves the whole topic elsewhere, or
  5. edits the post, or
  6. deletes the post, or
  7. warns the post author, or
  8. bans the post author.
The last four options are excellent for educating the author.
antonjw2 wrote:Other times low-level personal comments that can be time-consuming to split out
For that phpBB has the approve feature. Once users are known and proved to behave according to the rules their posts can be approved automatically, so moderators are only left with rookies.
antonjw2 wrote:A quick 'Nudge' or two
Your posts basically created a synonym for threads. This is now only giving a post another attribute. Attributes have advantages: you could implement them in the board search and (in your case) by default exclude "nudged" posts from the results. But in the end it's like a post rating and such solutions could be extended to the board search aswell. Look at the existing ideas and reply to the ones you found. If there is really no such idea already, start an own.
antonjw2 wrote:moderating at a low-level without having to have a word with your users
From my experience this is wasted effort.
antonjw2 wrote:if your posts are often being 'Nudged', then you are obviously posting off-topic and against guidelines, and that may make users think without needing to be spoken to
This requires the users to actually being able to or accept logic or the concept of causality. From my experience there are still users that are hints/warnings resistant.
antonjw2 wrote:imagine if you could just quickly tuck them away
I'd just add him/you to my foe list.
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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by Master_Cylinder » Fri May 09, 2014 6:46 am

AmigoJack wrote:
antonjw2 wrote:imagine if you could just quickly tuck them away
I'd just add him/you to my foe list.
Since this topic is about dealing with off-topic conversations, I don't think using the foe list is appropriate for moderators or admins since the ignored user may need to contact them later if there's a problem. Foes are for users not staff, imho. A user that would be ignored should be warned/banned (*IF* they broke a rule) not put in the foe list.

Maybe that's just me but it's logical. ;)

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by antonjw2 » Fri May 09, 2014 1:16 pm

AmigoJack wrote:
antonjw2 wrote:sometimes people go so off-topic as to be completely outside the subject matter
In a phpBB world the board owner either
  1. doesn't care, or
  2. splits off the post to a new topic, or
  3. splits off the post to a collective dump topic, or
  4. moves the whole topic elsewhere, or
  5. edits the post, or
  6. deletes the post, or
  7. warns the post author, or
  8. bans the post author.
The last four options are excellent for educating the author.
Thanks for your reply, Amigo.

Yes, those are all options, too. a) is fine.. but users get annoyed if threads are going off-topic regularly. b) to f) are all forms of censorship - which is rather heavy-handed for simple off-topic discussion.

So we are not optionless at present, but we don't have a good option which does not entail post-removal. This suggestion adds a type of moderation which doesn't currently exist - and doesn't involve deleting, editing, or splitting, or warning - all very non-subtle actions.

Use Case
It would be useful to have as a moderator tool in phpBB to:

- de-emphasise posts without censoring
- quickly relegate low-level off-topic postings that do not break rules, but are unhelpful to the topic and the flow of that discussion
- not being seen to overly edit and be heavy-handed in moderating your board; keeping moderation subtle and reasonable
- adds a quick inline moderation tool to the system, which can be used as a moderator is reading threads; no page-reloads means no additional time is required to moderate this scenario


Now if you could just quickly shrink ('Nudge' function) a post, and tuck it away into a single line... you've not really hurt anyone's feelings by removing a post and are less likely to get PMs about it etc..

I appreciate that it is subtle, but I actually think the usefulness of this feature lies precisely in its subtlety. As moderators, sometimes we need to be as subtle as we can possibly be... and we should censor as a very last resort.


Splitting in any case is time-consuming - have you tried that lately on a multi-page thread? :) Besides which it creates disharmony if you 'over-prune' your threads.

As moderators we do not actually have an adequate and subtle enough tool to deal with this without ripping threads apart on a regular basis - which is not good moderating practice in any case.

Summary
'Nudge' feature + a little JQuery would offer inline moderating - it would be quicker, easier, more subtle and less drastic than removing posts - we would end up with tidier, easier to follow, more helpful discussions on our forums. Worth having imo if someone has the time to code it up.

p.s. your point about the possible effect on search is another added bonus of this idea which I hadn't thought of. removing these 'nudged' posts from search listings would indeed improve search too.
Last edited by antonjw2 on Fri May 09, 2014 2:24 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by Volksdevil » Fri May 09, 2014 1:40 pm

antonjw2 wrote:but as a forum admin and moderator I can see that it could be handy on our forum
I think this says it all really. Some may indeed like the idea, but I'm guessing that most won't be too bothered about it. In this case I think having it as an extension is probably the best route if you wanted to implement it. :)
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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by antonjw2 » Fri May 09, 2014 2:02 pm

I may create a new Idea for my re-imagined version of the OPs idea, as it does differ from his threading implementation; but I will first see if the OP wishes to jointly draft one.

Thanks to those who have debated the actual detail and the merits of what I put forward.

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by Master_Cylinder » Fri May 09, 2014 6:41 pm

Volksdevil wrote: In this case I think having it as an extension is probably the best route if you wanted to implement it. :)
Agreed... ;)

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by antonjw2 » Fri May 09, 2014 8:07 pm

Volksdevil wrote:
antonjw2 wrote:but as a forum admin and moderator I can see that it could be handy on our forum
I think this says it all really. Some may indeed like the idea, but I'm guessing that most won't be too bothered about it. In this case I think having it as an extension is probably the best route if you wanted to implement it. :)
Likewise you probably weren't too bothered about going on the internet until somebody invented it. You probably weren't too bothered about having a web forum until someone created one. You probably weren't too bothered about being able to split topics until somebody created the function.

"I don't see the need" is a valid individual response; but it isn't a strong or impassioned argument and as such adds little insight into the value of an idea. Unimpassioned opinions have never been a reason to hold back progress.
Master_Cylinder, ad infinitum, wrote:the devs have said
Master_Cylinder wrote:
Volksdevil wrote: In this case I think having it as an extension is probably the best route if you wanted to implement it. :)
Agreed... ;)
Surely the whole point of this forum is we're suggesting stuff for core... and we don't get to decide which are in and which are extensions, etc.?

I'm all for software being easier; others it appears are for winning arguments on the internet, and pretending to speak for the developers when they run out of constructive points of their own.

It's pretty much fine to leave it at "I can't see the need for this", without having to start channeling other people that you haven't spoken to on the matter and giving us the benefit of the opinion of the other voices in your head :lol:
Last edited by antonjw2 on Fri May 09, 2014 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by Master_Cylinder » Fri May 09, 2014 8:32 pm

You might try searching instead of insulting me for telling you what I read. Don't blame the messenger just because you don't like the message. :roll:

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by antonjw2 » Fri May 09, 2014 8:37 pm

Master_Cylinder wrote:You might try searching instead of insulting me for telling you what I read. Don't blame the messenger just because you don't like the message. :roll:
If it had applied to my suggestion Cylinder, I would have certainly taken it on board; but it clearly didn't, yet you kept repeating it as a stock response.

For this, I feel it is ok to poke a little fun at you ;) :D
Last edited by antonjw2 on Fri May 09, 2014 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by Master_Cylinder » Fri May 09, 2014 8:39 pm

antonjw2 wrote:
Master_Cylinder wrote:You might try searching instead of insulting me for telling you what I read. Don't blame the messenger just because you don't like the message. :roll:
If it had applied to my suggestion Cylinder, I would have certainly taken it on board; but it clearly didn't, yet you kept repeating it as a stock response.
AmigoJack wrote:Your posts basically created a synonym for threads.
I'm not the only one that sees that you're suggesting threads, you're the only one that's in denial here.
antonjw2 wrote: For this, I feel it is ok to poke a little fun at you ;) :D
I'll let the moderators take care of that... :roll:

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by antonjw2 » Fri May 09, 2014 8:48 pm

Master_Cylinder wrote:
antonjw2 wrote:
Master_Cylinder wrote:You might try searching instead of insulting me for telling you what I read. Don't blame the messenger just because you don't like the message. :roll:
If it had applied to my suggestion Cylinder, I would have certainly taken it on board; but it clearly didn't, yet you kept repeating it as a stock response.
AmigoJack wrote:Your posts basically created a synonym for threads.
I'm not the only one that sees that you're suggesting threads, you're the only one that's in denial here.
I've suggested a flag, and flattening a thread that is flagged.

There is no 'threading' in my suggestion, but that is not important to you because you have an irrepressible 'need' to be a winner on the internet, to detract from ideas that you do not like by taking them well off topic and making them all about you, and to kill those ideas, rather than be grown up and simply say "not for me, I wouldn't use it."

You are going to single-handedly kill this Ideas Centre in the process; what forum admins or power users would wish to come here to contribute constructively to phpBB, when you have people who try to kill ideas that they do not like, instead of just saying "not for me" and using the red down arrow?

It would be better for you to back off and simply contribute constructively to the ideas that you like... and simply let them compete. Trying to destroy ideas which you do not like is - without any mod backup here admittedly - against the spirit of idea creation and brainstorming, and frankly Cylinder it is a childish need.
Last edited by antonjw2 on Fri May 09, 2014 8:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by Master_Cylinder » Fri May 09, 2014 8:51 pm

You're the only one that thinks that your suggestion isn't about threads. That it's slightly different or using a different synonym is beside the point.

Quit pretending that I owe you an explanation and it's not for you to tell me what is "better" for me to do.

I'm an adult. There's nothing to "win" I'm just posting my opinion and passing along relevant information. Ignore it if you want. :roll:

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by antonjw2 » Fri May 09, 2014 9:03 pm

You have passed on zero information that has been relevant to anything I have proposed.

You have a fertile imagination and you believe you speak for the developers.

The developers, however, are also sick of you taking threads off track and trying to kill ideas which you don't like. You have previous form for the exact same behaviour on Area 51.

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Re: Allow sub threads for off topic conversation

Post by Master_Cylinder » Fri May 09, 2014 9:06 pm

There you go again and still in denial... :roll:
antonjw2 wrote: I could envisage a simpler 'sub thread' model, whereby you have one level below the main discussion and no more. In viewtopic, these posts would each be contracted into single, semi-transparent indented lines, so that they do not interfere with the main discussion flow, but are expandable if the user desires to read them.
AmigoJack wrote:Your posts basically created a synonym for threads.
Threads...

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