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View Poll Results: Are you in favor of putting a time limit on the ability to edit posts?
OP only 1 5.00%
Yes 2 10.00%
No 17 85.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-19-2010, 07:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
Hektore's Avatar
Location: Greater Harrisburg Area
Time Limits on Editing Posts

Should we at TFP have a time limit after which a person can no longer edit a post?

I'm going to say yes for 3 reasons:

1 - It prevents the destruction of a thread after it's been started by preventing either the removal of the OP, or any important posts after the fact.

2 - Artificial inflation of a post count - I could see this being argued as both a good and bad thing. If a person can't edit a post - to fix a correction or add a quick comment to something they said before they will have to add it in a new post. Posts beget posts, as has been said elsewhere. Boring OP's can become interesting when lots of people start participating, or at least look less boring because of all the posts. I'm thinking this could potentially boost participation (using artificial participation to inspire more 'real' participation)

3 - The utilitarian argument: Much less harm can be done by not being able to edit a post after a certain time period, than by being able to edit as you please. OP destruction is bad, having to amend a post, with another post, because you said something stupid or that you didn't mean to say is not so bad.

As for the mechanic - I'm thinking either a flat time based on when the post was originally made (say 8 hours) or at a certain time each day all the posts lose the feature (whatever time has the least number of users on on average would be the best time).

Now it would still be possible for a mod to remove the posts - and this would add to their workload. I'm not trying to make your lives harder (honest) but I think this is a good idea. I will admit it doesn't seem like it would be needed an awful lot though so depending on how much work would have to go into the change it may not be worth it.
The advantage law is the best law in rugby, because it lets you ignore all the others for the good of the game.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago
Well, I'm against it. But I'm against it without having spoken to any other staff members about it, so it's possible that my mind can be changed. And I'm certainly not the decider.

1 - sometimes OP's have very good reasons for destroying their posts and not waiting around for a mod to get to it or even be available. I don't like it when they do that, but if someone feels the need to take down their posts, I think they should have that ability.

2 - I'm 100% against artificial inflation of post count. No exceptions. The membership rank scripts are driven by post count (with certain areas excluded). The staff reviews posts constantly and, honestly, if I see someone trying to drive theirs up, I have a VERY negative reaction. You probably know me well enough to guess what that generally means. There's no good reason to allow that, and when I find folks gaming the system as it currently exists, bad things happen. Besides, I think that we owe it to ourselves to keep it difficult to access the more sensitive areas of the board.

3 - The staff has the ability to restore edited posts. We only rarely use that tool, but it exists. I think I've used it twice in 3 years. Once to restore an OP that someone altered to be unreadable that wasn't directly quoted elsewhere and once because I thought that someone other than the original user had gained access to the account and was altering posts maliciously.

I also think that there's going to be a vocal minority of members that will be against this idea. We'll see if I'm right or not.

But if this is what the majority wants and there aren't any other objections, I'm not going to stand in the way. These, however, are reasons that I think are pretty valid for NOT doing it.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: New England
I can think of two types of threads that would be negatively impacted by a time limit.

1. Exhibition. People need the ability to control what they have posted to an exhibition thread, and to remove the pictures at their desire.

2. Game threads. This is mostly in Nonsense, but the first post of the thread is where the rules are summarized, and the rules are sometimes changed to reflect the needs of the game.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Greater Harrisburg Area
I hadn't considered exhibition and that is a very good point. A rule like this would be wholly inappropriate there. If implemented would it have to be applied equally across all the forums?
The advantage law is the best law in rugby, because it lets you ignore all the others for the good of the game.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
for the most part, the community here is very responsible with the power they are given to edit posts etc. We have from time to time had some individuals acid board their posts, changing them to ... all 4,000 of them. I can't tell you how bad that is because it really can ruin some very good threads rendering them incoherent.

So from that perspective, I understand where you are coming from. In those cases I have specially removed that ability from them, it may be temporary or permanent depending on the individual and their reasonableness. I have had to use that tool only a couple of times and none permanent.

Back in earlier versions of our software once it was edited, you had no idea what was edited. A couple years ago I added a mod that would track changes as you edited the posts, and now it is an available feature to the software. It is an important tool so that there isn't "No I did not say that..." or "He said something inappropriate and just edited it"

Because of that tool, we've had some edit their posts, and we've been able to restore them to their original state.

Personally, I'd rather treat people like mature adults rather than little kids. If someone is acting like a little kid, well they won't last very long here. Not by staff standards, but more by community standards.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Plan9's Avatar
Yeah, don't mess with this. I edit my posts all the time for errors and to add content.

I should be able to post, go to bed, wake up, and have the ability to edit my drivel.

Screwing around with this will cause a lot of problems. And make me want to leave.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Jetée's Avatar
Location: Rarely, if ever, here or there, but always in transition
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Yeah, don't mess with this. I edit my posts all the time for errors and to add content.

I should be able to post, go to bed, wake up, and have the ability to edit my drivel.

Screwing around with this will cause a lot of problems. And make me want to leave.
This. plus, all that I share in terms of visual content, (which is mountain-loads), while I hope will weather safely for years to come, I still have to monitor closely in several dozen different forums, and topics within so as to quickly note if ever one should break. If I don't have the ability to rectify those posts if they should ever become redundant and no longer link to where it originally was meant to, then all is lost, and content I took countless hours to provide for the community at large then is rendered meaningless. I don't want that.

Also, Cynthetiq put it best stating we have enough responsible members here to stay true to their words as they originally phrased them, and if there should be a need for clarification or apologies, then proper dictum is usually followed afterwards, not through backtrack looping and strike-throughs of original intent.

In discussion threads this may seem a good basis to use and to, in essence, "force" others to think their arguments through as to not be left stranded once their post is submitted, but I can't see it as a feasible addendum to the rules if only to prevent those immature enough to take back the words they originally felt were important enough to warrant mention.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Cake Town
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Yeah, don't mess with this. I edit my posts all the time for errors and to add content.

I should be able to post, go to bed, wake up, and have the ability to edit my drivel.

Screwing around with this will cause a lot of problems. And make me want to leave.
This. On a few occasions I have edited some of my posts from a few years back for personal reasons. Mostly so that they would not show up as part of a Google search.
Maturity is knowing you were an idiot in the past. Wisdom is knowing that you'll be an idiot in the future. Common sense is knowing that you should try not to be an idiot now. - J. Jacques
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
Confused Adult
Shauk's Avatar
Location: Spokane, WA
I edit my posts all the time. Don't fuss with this. This board doesn't display post count, and if it did, I still wouldn't give a rats ass about inflating it.

I do feel that what I write is MINE, and if I want to change it, or remove it, I should be able to do so without having to pester a mod to do it for me. I'm sure they have enough to do without me being a pain in their ass.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
loving the curves
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Location: my Lady's manor
What Plan 9, LoganSnake and Shauk said. When I want my words scribed on the Face of Eternity I'll look for a different venue, thank you very much. I've had my own reasons to go back into my posts from bygone days. It is both very human and very reasonable to want to adjust and rethink our posts as we will.

If a thread becomes unintelligible because of an editorial enema by the OP we need to accept it and move on. Perhaps the thread title could contain a moderator disclaimer to reflect that new state if there has been a major change in the entire thread due to an edit by the OP.
And now to disengage the clutch of the forebrain ...
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
Found my way back
healer's Avatar
Location: South Africa
+1 for the vocal minority, though I don't think minority is quite the case. TFP is too much about freedom to support a set-in-stone idea like this.
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
Ok - can I edit my posts to read "what healer said"?
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
GreyWolf's Avatar
Location: Eastern Canada
I'm against it on general principle... sometimes what you post doesn't quite say what you thought it did, and when you realise that a bit later, it's nice to be able to go back and reword it. The reader may just dismiss your opinion/argument out of hand because of a typo or a later, correcting post can get overlooked.

On the pro side... you may react to a statement with a counterpoint or argument, and have member you're rebutting not see your post and go back and adjust his/her original post so that you are apparently arguing the same thing, as if you have no idea what their point really is. Not a very strong argument for it, I admit.

On the whole, I think the status quo is the best until someone can show a real on-going problem with it.
The secret to great marksmanship is deciding what the target was AFTER you've shot.
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