Aquaint yourself with the rules

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rdearman
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Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby rdearman » Thu Jul 13, 2023 4:45 pm

Please take time to make sure you understand the rules of this forum and what is and is not acceptable.
Forum Rules

Recently I banned someone for deletion-editing. It is against the rules and I will get rid of you with no questions asked or answered. The way to correctly remove posts is outlined in this thread:

Clarification on process for post deletion

We don't stop you from having your posts removed, but we want it done in a way that is available using the PhpBB software. I have banned senior members and people who contributed vast amounts to this forum for doing this one thing. Don't do it, I'm not joking.

There are also rules about how we talk and act when interacting with others.

... all the rules are there to keep things running smoothly. They are a bit like the rules at a gym which tell you to wipe down the equipment after you use it, and put the weights back into the correct rack after you're done. These things mean the other gym members can enjoy their time at the gym without laying down on a sweaty bench or searching around trying to find the 15 kilo weights. It also means the gym doesn't need to have staff members walking about cleaning up.
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby Peluche » Sat Jul 15, 2023 5:07 pm

rdearman wrote: Recently I banned someone for deletion-editing. It is against the rules and I will get rid of you with no questions asked or answered.


rdearman wrote:
... all the rules are there to keep things running smoothly. They are a bit like the rules at a gym which tell you to wipe down the equipment after you use it, and put the weights back into the correct rack after you're done. These things mean the other gym members can enjoy their time at the gym without laying down on a sweaty bench or searching around trying to find the 15 kilo weights. It also means the gym doesn't need to have staff members walking about cleaning up.


I'm not disagreeing with the proper procedure for deletion, but I have to say, I have never been to a gym which bans patrons, with no questions asked or answered, for putting weights on the wrong racks. :(

This is the only forum I have seen with deletion-editing being disallowed, so patrons should be excused for not being aware of it here, at least for non-repeat offenders.
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby rdearman » Sat Jul 15, 2023 10:11 pm

That is why I posted this. So people are aware.
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby Peluche » Sat Jul 15, 2023 10:43 pm

rdearman wrote:That is why I posted this. So people are aware.


With all the forums people are on, and all the personal struggles people are often facing, I would expect many people to forget this specialized forum rule, I know I could be one such candidate. I have no intention of knowingly breaking your rule, but life happens. Or someone could have a very poor grasp of English. A ban hammer seems way too extreme a measure to use for something so trivial and for something that may not have any bad intent behind it.

If someone delete-edits their post, you could just say this is non-reversible, rather than banning the person.

If they find a water bottle in your carry on during the security check, they don't confiscate your ticket and put you on a no-fly list.
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby Sae » Mon Jul 17, 2023 12:22 am

I'm with ya, it's a pretty specialised rule and one with a very heavy hand. So, I guess a few thoughts/questions.

I don't think I am still 100% clear on why it has such a harsh punishment. It seems like if somebody goes back to edit out their original post it causes confusion, fair enough, that's not ideal & yeah, I'd prefer the do things differently and it sounds like recovering a edit-deleted post would be so risky that posts are deleted or the site is taken down as it's at database level and that's a technical problem you cannot resolve as it's PHPBB's, so I totally get why you want people to not do that. Is that important that such posts are recoverable? I figure it's ideal to, but things would still go on without it? And slap the wrists of the person to drill in not to do it again, why & what'll happen. Or am I missing something?

The reason I ask is because I think Peluche rightly highlights how somebody could easily make this mistake, because I see people have done it in many forums I've been in and it feels like something that's inevitably going to happen, even with people who try to stick to the rules, because it is such a specialised rule that's easy to forget about or slip your mind (and isn't common sense either), it's not exactly the kind of thing that occurs to you or sits in the front of your mind after being a member of, say, 4 years, posting after a long day and never coming across it as an issue.

And people will naturally use software in whatever it allows them to and though this PSA has gone out, there are the problems Pelucha highlights but also the title of the thread doesn't do justice either IMO. Because if somebody has acquainted with themselves with the rules when they joined, would they think they need to acquaint themselves with the rules again? Because my first impression seeing it was "I am pretty sure I read them so this doesn't involve me, maybe some drama has happened & people broke rules & things got out of hand that I missed."

It was my curiosity about there having been a problem that drew me to read the thread, because I am a curious person.

I find rules on forums are 99% of the time common sense and often pretty much are variations of the same things, so I (and probably like a lot of people) generally skim through to try and pick out anything the stands out differently, especially if it's a huge wall of text (in this case it is). And I kind of feel if it's such an important rule, it probably shouldn't be tucked away towards the bottom with a one liner in the middle of a paragraph showing the consequence to the user but actually stand out with a great deal of visibility & emphasis in the rules if it's that important and if it's not, then it doesn't need an automatic ban IMO.

Though I guess one other concern does come up, is there no way to create a backup of the forum? I feel like that would be imperative if making live edits to the database. And if there aren't backups what happens if the whole site goes?
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby rdearman » Mon Jul 17, 2023 1:05 pm

Sae wrote:Though I guess one other concern does come up, is there no way to create a backup of the forum? I feel like that would be imperative if making live edits to the database. And if there aren't backups what happens if the whole site goes?

The forum is backed up automatically all the time, a lot, which is why it is a hassle. The problem arises when I have to go and find the backup. So if someone deletion edited 3 days ago, I have to do through about 18 backups and see which one has the original post to restore. If they did multiple threads, and started at different days, then I could be going through dozens and dozens of backups trying to find all the threads to restore. Of course someone would have posted something by then, so I have to save away the current version of the thread, so I can repost all the data. And it isn't all stored in some nice simple system where you point and click and merge. No, I have to do a load of SQL statements like:

Code: Select all

INSERT INTO phpbb_forums (parent_id, forum_type, forum_status, forum_parents, forum_name, forum_link, forum_desc, forum_desc_uid, forum_desc_options, forum_desc_bitfield, forum_rules, forum_rules_uid, forum_rules_options, forum_rules_bitfield, forum_rules_link, forum_image, forum_style, display_subforum_list, display_on_index, forum_topics_per_page, enable_indexing, enable_icons, enable_prune, prune_days, prune_viewed, prune_freq, adp_enable, adp_admins, adp_modos, adp_auto_edit, adp_text_edit, adp_always, adp_days, adp_hours, adp_mins, adp_secs, forum_flags, left_id, right_id) VALUES (6, 1, 0, '', 'Jedite kod Joa DeathMatch', '', 'Jedite kod Joa DeathMetch Counter-Strike 1.6 Server', '', 7, '', '', '', 7, '', '', '', 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 7, 7, 1, 1, 0, 0, 1, '-- %D --', 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 32, '24', 25)

And I have to do that for the original deleted post and all the subsequent posts. So you can see that this would make me really annoyed, and suck up a lot of time.

So if I find someone doing it, I immediately ban them to stop any further damage to threads. This means I might only need to salvage 1-2 threads instead of 10. Otherwise, they could be messing it up another part while I'm trying to fix the first one.

I don't intend to spend hours and hours repairing a forum which is provided to people for free, not even advertisements! The one time I allowed someone back in who was doing deletion edits, they immediately logged in and started messing up more threads. I feel therefore a "slap the wrists of the person to drill in not to do it again, why & what'll happen" is pointless, they didn't give a crap. So you can thank that person for these bans being permanent instead of temporary. If you did it once, then I can't trust you. The fact you do it on other forums, means they shouldn't trust you, either.

And we are not talking about people who are editing words, or changing sentences here and there. We're talking about someone who goes into their post and replaces it with nothing.
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby Peluche » Mon Jul 17, 2023 1:39 pm

rdearman wrote: So if someone deletion edited 3 days ago, I have to do through about 18 backups and see which one has the original post to restore..

Why not just say to posters that deletion edits are irreversible?
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby Sae » Mon Jul 17, 2023 2:25 pm

rdearman wrote:And we are not talking about people who are editing words, or changing sentences here and there. We're talking about someone who goes into their post and replaces it with nothing.


I get how much of a ball ache it is, especially on a live system where you don't want to be making all of these edits & of course is time consuming. All that stuff I can totally understand, I wouldn't want to do that either and I work in web development and you're doing this on a voluntary basis, so it would be unfair to expect you to do all that plus the risk of live SQL changes. Don't get me wrong there, I'm not gonna wish that on you, especially on a voluntary basis.



The missing piece for me is, if say, somebody completely deleted everything in their post. Why is it imperative to restore it?



I get why maybe it's ideal to restore it & I would agree it's better for things like flow & conversation and that people should ideally go another way about it. But what's the worst that'll happen if you don't? If somebody wants their post back, tough, they deleted their own post.

Is it a case that it results in a null value in the database that causes errors in the PHPBB software and pretty much breaks the thread as a result of an oversight by PHPBB? If so, then I get why it's such an issue, then my feedback on visibility & emphasis I think are relevant, especially if the idea is about prevention, so you don't end up having to fix anything & wasting time on something you shouldn't have to do. A harsh punishment is only a deterrent if people not only know it, but they remember it. Where it sits in the rules is easy to miss and so unemphasised that it's easy to forget.

But if it's just a blank post? It's not ideal as I get it affects the flow of discussion & can make things confusing but then lots of things people can do on a forum end up not being ideal and don't get an automatic ban and those things could also contribute to confusion & hurt the flow of discussion. People can sometimes also misunderstand or misinterpret rules and at least strikes gives them room to correct that when discovering they're wrong.

And where I've seen people do it, it might by they've got ratio'd, harassed or they're embarrassed by what they've posted & so on, it's not necessarily a malicious thing where somebody cannot be trusted. It's natural to try and delete it in some cases and sometimes people end up editing the post to do that, especially if it's the first post in a thread (because forums don't often let you delete your own threads) and it's not an offense on all forums.
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby rdearman » Mon Jul 17, 2023 5:10 pm

Sae wrote:The missing piece for me is, if say, somebody completely deleted everything in their post. Why is it imperative to restore it?

So if księżycowy deletes all the entries in the Master list of resources for Vietnamese, Mongolian? That is OK for you? You see, it isn't just about the conversation threads or the logs. It is also the resources and other things. And someone deletion editing away 10-15 languages of the Master List in one fell swoop was the reason all this started.

Sae wrote:People can sometimes also misunderstand or misinterpret rules and at least strikes gives them room to correct that when discovering they're wrong.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. You apear to be under the impression I didn't try all that before, but I did. It didn't work, so that ship has sailed, and it ain't coming back.

I'm not changing the rule. You "deletion edit" then you're banned. If anyone feels so strongly about this being wrong, you're free to stop coming here.
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Re: Aquaint yourself with the rules

Postby Deinonysus » Mon Jul 17, 2023 6:29 pm

There is some additional context in this thread I started a few years ago: Deleting your own posts should not be bannable. All critical information should be in the Wiki.

It is onerous for the devs to restore forum posts that have been edit-deleted, but it is trivial to restore wiki pages that have been vandalized. Therefore, I suggested that the proper place to store resource information is the Wiki. By linking to forum posts in the "Master List of Resources" thread rather than Wiki articles, this forum endorses forum posts rather than the Wiki as the official way of maintaining resource information.

My suggestion of advertising the Wiki over forum posts as the proper place for resource information was not considered. Rather, forum posts continue to be advertised as the proper place to put resource information, and therefore the solution for maintaining the integrity of resource info continues to be to ban or threaten to ban users for deleting their own posts.
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