Disappearing posts?

Discussions about the forum and contents
Locked
User avatar
GerryL
Posts: 1462
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Disappearing posts?

Post by GerryL » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:59 pm

Earlier today I commented on and was following a post titled: Olderer - what older people want.

I got an email indicating there was a new comment, but when I click to view the newest comment, I am sent to a mostly blank page that says "You are not authorized to read this forum." And when I try to get to it by going through my own posts, this one is missing from list of topics. I waited several hours and tried again just in case it was a server issue.

In 2 years on the BH site, I've never experienced this before. Any insight as to what might have happened to the topic?

livesoft
Posts: 57254
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by livesoft » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:02 pm

Sure, a moderator decided the thread was not suitable for the forum, did not follow the acceptable guidelines for what is suitable, and then removed it.
This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

User avatar
Toons
Posts: 12104
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by Toons » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:03 pm

I believe there was one removed today.
I can't find my post. :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

GoldenFinch
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:34 pm

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by GoldenFinch » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:10 pm

I have experienced the disappearing thread phenomenon many times. Usually, the topic was inappropriate for the forum in one way or another.

User avatar
GerryL
Posts: 1462
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:40 pm

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by GerryL » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:20 pm

GoldenFinch wrote:I have experienced the disappearing thread phenomenon many times. Usually, the topic was inappropriate for the forum in one way or another.


Interesting. I've seen threads locked because of being inappropriate, but I've never seen one just disappear. It didn't SEEM outlandishly OT. Oh, well.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 41611
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:27 pm

We don't delete threads, but instead move them to a private forum. You can check if the thread was pulled if you get this message, which is in the FAQ (top left forum menu).

What does "You are not authorised to read this forum." mean?

It means the post or thread has been moved to (or was created on) one of the site's private administrative forums. Threads or posts are usually moved for review of possible violations of forum policy. Note that not every post on a removed thread is necessarily in violation.

We only notify the OP of the move.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

nordsteve
Posts: 566
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:23 am

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by nordsteve » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:29 pm

The main reason this board continues to be valuable, with content focused narrowly on its topic, is the fact that it's heavily moderated to maintain focus. If we had a smaller community, I think a board like this could be more flexible on subject. We're nowhere near small, though, with nearly 50000 registered members, over 170000 topics and coming up on 2.75 million posts.

traveltoomuch
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by traveltoomuch » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:11 am

LadyGeek wrote:We don't delete threads, but instead move them to a private forum. You can check if the thread was pulled if you get this message, which is in the FAQ (top left forum menu).
...
We only notify the OP of the move. (emphasis added)
I urge that you change this practice to include notifying every poster in the thread. When I've put significant energy into a reply, I find it disheartening to have the content summarily removed. As the FAQ says "not every post on a removed thread is necessarily in violation". In fact there may be helpful posts in the thread, even gems. When I wrote something I considered gem-worthy, finding that someone has chosen to delete it brings a strong emotional response. That response is even stronger when I've just spent time fruitlessly searching for my own post (e.g. because I now want to reuse some of the words elsewhere).

Perhaps this could be avoided by locking threads rather than deleting them.

Having just (re-)discovered this behavior by the moderators leaves me wondering if I should be keeping my own copies of everything I post, lest it get swept up in your judgements about someone else's posts in the thread. That's not a happy place for my mind to be. It discourages further contributions. And while I would prefer to see a change in the moderation practice, changing the notification practice is worthy first step.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 41611
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:21 pm

You can always PM a moderator for a copy of the post.

As for removal vs. locking threads, moderators do so on a case-by-case basis. Anyone who disagrees with this decision has recourse by PM'ing a moderator with an explanation. See: Member Rights in a Dispute, 2nd paragraph.

If there are any further questions, feel free to PM me.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

traveltoomuch
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by traveltoomuch » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:30 pm

LadyGeek wrote:You can always PM a moderator for a copy of the post.
Thank you very much for offering that. It is a very generous offer.

Unfortunately, it doesn't address the problem in most cases. I usually just remember "hey, I wrote a great post about this on Bogleheads four months ago", but I usually won't remember the name of the thread. I'm willing to go through the effort of normal searches, re-reading perhaps quite a number of my posts to find the right one. But if the thread has been deleted, it won't show up in that process. It can take quite a bit of search time before I realize that the reason I can't find my post is that it might have been deleted. That time is what drives most of the frustration. And that's why I think the proactive notification of deletion will help. Would you be willing to notify everyone who's contributions are deleted?

TravelGeek
Posts: 1241
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:38 pm

LadyGeek wrote:We don't delete threads, but instead move them to a private forum. You can check if the thread was pulled if you get this message, which is in the FAQ (top left forum menu).
What does "You are not authorised to read this forum." mean?

It means the post or thread has been moved to (or was created on) one of the site's private administrative forums. Threads or posts are usually moved for review of possible violations of forum policy. Note that not every post on a removed thread is necessarily in violation.
We only notify the OP of the move.
I recently ran into this. I saw (still see) the notification that someone responded to a post of mine, but the thread has vanished. I suspected that it had been moved to a secret hiding place based in the error message... but the curiosity about the content of the reply has been keeping me from sleeping for days now. :shock:

Fortunately i still sleep well at night :)

traveltoomuch
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by traveltoomuch » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:12 am

traveltoomuch wrote:... that's why I think the proactive notification of deletion will help. Would you be willing to notify everyone who's contributions are deleted?
Bumping this thread in hopes of getting a direct answer to my request/suggestion.

gkaplan
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by gkaplan » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:12 pm

traveltoomuch wrote:
traveltoomuch wrote:... that's why I think the proactive notification of deletion will help. Would you be willing to notify everyone who's contributions are deleted?
Bumping this thread in hopes of getting a direct answer to my request/suggestion.
Again, why don't you PM a moderator?
Gordon

User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 3216
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by dodecahedron » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:25 pm

gkaplan wrote:
Again, why don't you PM a moderator?
I think traveltoomuch already explained why in noting that s/he didn't always remember the name of the thread that had been deleted. It's kind of unreasonable to ask a moderator for a copy of a post on a deleted thread that you can't remember the name of.
traveltoomuch wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:You can always PM a moderator for a copy of the post.
Thank you very much for offering that. It is a very generous offer.

Unfortunately, it doesn't address the problem in most cases. I usually just remember "hey, I wrote a great post about this on Bogleheads four months ago", but I usually won't remember the name of the thread. I'm willing to go through the effort of normal searches, re-reading perhaps quite a number of my posts to find the right one. But if the thread has been deleted, it won't show up in that process. It can take quite a bit of search time before I realize that the reason I can't find my post is that it might have been deleted. That time is what drives most of the frustration. And that's why I think the proactive notification of deletion will help. Would you be willing to notify everyone who's contributions are deleted?

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 41611
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:03 pm

^^^ Don't give up too soon. Remember that those posts are visible to the moderators. If a member can remember when the post was made (give an approximate time) or what the subject was about, we can search for it.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 11886
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by abuss368 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:11 pm

This is an interesting thread and I have learned a few things about the forum.

Thank you.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

traveltoomuch
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by traveltoomuch » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:49 am

gkaplan wrote: Again, why don't you PM a moderator?
Because I'm asking for a change in moderation behavior, not for someone to dig up one post. I think those discussions should happen in the light of day provided by the public forum, not in a PM with a single moderator.

Mudpuppy
Posts: 5474
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:26 am
Location: Sunny California

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:32 am

traveltoomuch wrote:
gkaplan wrote: Again, why don't you PM a moderator?
Because I'm asking for a change in moderation behavior, not for someone to dig up one post. I think those discussions should happen in the light of day provided by the public forum, not in a PM with a single moderator.
There's an economics of scale factor in your requested policy modification though. Notifying all participants when there are a handful of participants is far less work than notifying all participants when there are dozens of participants. That's a linear scale, O(n). On the other hand, just notifying the OP takes the same amount of time regardless of the number of participants, e.g. a constant scale, O(1).

Chip
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:57 am

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by Chip » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:19 am

traveltoomuch wrote:
gkaplan wrote: Again, why don't you PM a moderator?
Because I'm asking for a change in moderation behavior, not for someone to dig up one post. I think those discussions should happen in the light of day provided by the public forum, not in a PM with a single moderator.
I think you're asking for too much. The moderators do a thankless, time-consuming job on a volunteer basis. I think they do it very well and with a lot of transparency. What you're asking for would significantly increase their workload.

I participated for years on an investment forum that was moderated, but not as heavily as it is here. Some political discussions were allowed. Trolls moved in and flame wars erupted. It poisoned the environment and quality contributors left. Bad does drive out good. Be very thankful with what has been created here and is so vigilantly maintained.

traveltoomuch
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by traveltoomuch » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:30 am

Mudpuppy wrote:That's a linear scale, O(n). On the other hand, just notifying the OP takes the same amount of time regardless of the number of participants, e.g. a constant scale, O(1).
Your point is well taken. It's also work that could (presumably) be automated.

In any case, I'd like to hear the moderators' answer. They're the ones who know how often they're moving threads to the private forum (v. merely locking them), and they're in the best position to estimate the impact on themselves.

cherijoh
Posts: 4067
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by cherijoh » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:04 am

Chip wrote:
traveltoomuch wrote:
gkaplan wrote: Again, why don't you PM a moderator?
Because I'm asking for a change in moderation behavior, not for someone to dig up one post. I think those discussions should happen in the light of day provided by the public forum, not in a PM with a single moderator.
I think you're asking for too much. The moderators do a thankless, time-consuming job on a volunteer basis. I think they do it very well and with a lot of transparency. What you're asking for would significantly increase their workload.

I participated for years on an investment forum that was moderated, but not as heavily as it is here. Some political discussions were allowed. Trolls moved in and flame wars erupted. It poisoned the environment and quality contributors left. Bad does drive out good. Be very thankful with what has been created here and is so vigilantly maintained.
+1

Another reason you may get this error is when the moderators merge threads. That doesn't help traveltoomuch retrieve his brilliant post :wink:. But for the general google search turning up a missing thread, keep in mind that you may not actually be missing that much.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 41611
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Disappearing posts?

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:50 am

traveltoomuch wrote:
gkaplan wrote: Again, why don't you PM a moderator?
Because I'm asking for a change in moderation behavior, not for someone to dig up one post. I think those discussions should happen in the light of day provided by the public forum, not in a PM with a single moderator.
Our decision to only notify the OP of a removed thread is based on level of effort. That won't change.

For many reasons, moderator discussions are never public - in any forum. Further discussion on this topic will not be productive, the question has been answered.

If there are additional questions, feel free to PM any moderator (not just me). See: Member Rights in a Dispute

(Thread locked to end discussion.)
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

Locked