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Forum Moderators: rogerd
This is my definition of a trouble makers. The users post had value plus picture a message that was the start suddenly be removed and everyone saying 'whats going on...'
So you can make it so users can edit messages, then the people who normally edit their posts for errors/updates feel the wrath.
One thing I like about this forum software here (BesTBBS) is that it doesnt allow you to do things to topics older than a certain date. that would be cool for my forum but there isnt a mod available to do that.
Whats your take, what route to take?
I no longer allow users to edit their posts, and I really haven't had many problems with it.
My users aren't exactly computer savvy, so i'm not sure that most know that editing posts is common on other forums.
Unlimited editing can be a real disaster, though. Members will change things hours or days later, particularly if a subsequent poster points out an error they made.
Even worse are the bitter members who delete all of their posts when they move on. This can completely destroy the integrity of valuable threads. A year ago I was researching a fairly obscure technical issue and found a spot-on discussion at another forum. It explained exactly how to do what I was trying to do. Unfortunately, the key technical participant in the discussion had resigned from that forum on bad terms, and deleted the content from all of his messages. The resulting thread was useless.
The system here is an example of one that works well - posts are available for editing for a limited time, and an "Edited by" message appears if there are any subsequent posts.
I've seen some custom software that allows various priviledges based on post count (editing being one of them). It's not a fail safe method of protecting use of the feature, but it's a start.
Another issue is does it really look good for the forum if people have to reply to their own post to correct errors?
I've had no problems allowing users to edit their posts to date - did get someone post then remove the entire body of the post a few days later - i just deleted the thread in that case (wasnt much to it).
I've had no problems allowing users to edit their posts to date
99.99% of your members will be great - time-locked editing is one of those things like flood control (minimum time between posts), swear filters, etc., that protect you against the odd nutcase. If your forum is popular enough, you WILL get a problem member sooner or later... ;)
On one popular forum, I get about one request a week that says something like, "I tried to delete my posts. I couldn't. Can you please delete them all?" Some of these members have dozens or hundreds of posts. Our archives in that forum would be full of gaps and non sequiturs if we didn't lock editing after a short time.
I get those too. Everybody will get those requests on a busy forum.
>Our archives in that forum would be full of gaps
Absolutely. And your example is a real world example. I obeserved the same. There are boards that don't limit editing/deletion time. And that's one of the important things how you can stand out in the crowd.
Our standard reason is that deleting a members posts would damage the integrity of our archive and reduce the value of this resource to members and visitors. We always claim ownership of posts in the TOS.
Haven't had to fight a legal battle on this yet. (Knock on wood... ;))
On a slightly different note - if a user asks you to delete their posts, do you have to? Can you just refuse, or could that cause some legal trouble for you?
If, as a journalist, you are interviewing someone on the record and they say something, it's both entirely acceptable and entirely legal to publish it and keep it published.
As far whether something is on the record or not with regard to BBSs, you can't realistically get much more on the record than actually typing something yourself.
So, a BBS member can't turn around later and go; "Oh, I know I said that but it was off the record." The fact that they self-published their comment in a public forum means it was never anything but on the record.
once they are posted, they are posted. If you have more to say, add another post. If you need an edit, message an admin and they can decide.
Just imagine someone going back over their posts and adding aff links, or worse, months after the original post, not a pleasant thing to do.