Park & Oxford Cafe & Delicatessen/Talk

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Deletion of Comments

I think perhaps the issue regarding edit/removal by EastsideStephen of the comment attacking WindyPig's should be pursued further either in the Google Group or on this talk page.

There seems tp have been extensive past discussions where folks opined that partial edits of comments to remove inappropriate content are in order. The current Wiki Community/Etiquette and/or Wiki Community/Offenses page pretty much says we don't delete comments, but if they are somehow in violation of other standards, then move the comment to the Talk page and discuss it. However, there might be somewhat differently interpretations from reading the two standards.

THE ISSUE: a comment contains clearly inappropriate, inflammatory, personal attack, or such things discussed elsewhere, but the comment otherwise has reasonable content. RocWiki ADMIN's, WatchDogs, and other seasoned, active editors want to keep RocWiki up to standard and prevent problems, but must conform to stated philosophy, procedures, etc.




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2009-08-01 20:58:40   Following a similar situation, [WWW]the folks at the December 2008 meeting decided that comments intended to be hateful (among other things) could be deleted in their entirety, subject to common sense. The general feeling was that editing of comments wasn't a line we wanted to cross, and I would probably consider this sort of redaction to be editing. Changing someone's words in a way that they did not intend is not cool (even if the intention itself isn't good), and throwing out the whole comment is the only way to avoid this.

Given that the attacked person clearly requested removal of the attack in edit 34, and it's clear many parts of the comment were unprovoked personal attacks, I'd say the right thing was probably done here. If the commenter wishes to try this again, preferably after a good night's sleep, that would be OK. :-)

On the indexing question: yes, search engines should only be getting the most recent revision when they crawl. When they don't, I get cranky from a server operation standpoint... —RyanTucker

2009-08-01 21:18:18   Thanks for the info Ryan, but this reinforces my concerns about documentation/policies. There seems to be a lot of stuff buried in meeting minutes, talk pages, and Google Groups that does not appear to folks traveling through the Wiki Community drill downs. Some items are fully in conflict with what is in the "current guidelines". There are also pages that might appear via search terms that are old proposals and discussions that have been closed. I got caught on the Wiki Community/Acceptable Use Policy/Talk page, for example. Anyway, that is a separate discussion. Again thanks for the info and double-check on the crawler case. —BradMandell

2009-08-01 21:22:54   When we get a comment or edit that's inappropriate, I usually just remove it all. My selective edit was rather uncharacteristic of how I usually operate. I'm fairly intolerant of jackassery, and don't think it's worth the time to try to extract useful content from an inappropriate comment.

I think you'll find that most of the time the "useful content" that accompanies attacks like these is rarely worth keeping. It seems to be characteristic of the type of person who will post that stuff.

I don't buy most of these "slippery slope" arguments. I think one of the strengths of a wiki is that we can successfully navigate a slippery slope through the proper application of the "hive mind".

In summary: This comment deserved to be zapped. Most similar situations can just be zapped for the sake of expediency. If, in the future, you feel you can extract some useful content from an otherwise moronic post, then go ahead. We can let the community decide if it's appropriate in that case. —EastSideStephen

2009-08-01 21:29:34   I should also mention that we should be mindful not to delete comments that are merely snarky. They need to cross the line into jerkitude (I just invented that word). We know the line when we see it. —EastSideStephen

2009-08-02 04:57:44   Thanks Stephen, I guess I try to be more tolerant - sometimes non-jacka's fall prey to jack-a—ery in a moment of stupidity (most of us are still subject to this human condition). The REDACT allows the user to contribute, clearly identifies what was objected to, and identifies the commenting party as someone in need of REDACTION. In this way the original commenting party can edit their comment (allowed under the RULES) and replace the REDACT with more appropriate text. —BradMandell

2009-08-02 06:31:08   I integrated some comments into the text above and added action of putting a comment message in the Users Page. This combination punishes only the actual transgression, identifies it to viewers, and gives them the opportunity to replace the REDACTs with appropriate text. By giving the benefit of doubt to the offender and clearly identifying the offensive portion, this combination could substantially reduce tempers, drawn out discussions, edit wars, etc. Further it gives the viewer some relevant info about the offender (A bit of Scarlet Letter (:>) —BradMandell