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Replacing Thread Deletions with simply highlighting the post.

(61 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 20:41:06

So often deleting an offensive comment does nothing to aid the person being attacked, and leaves great holes in the narrative of the thread.

I am suggesting leaving all posts that MNHQ would normally have deleted, but highlighting them in a special colour.

This would signal that MNHQ do not consider the post within the guidelines, with making some threads like confetti.

I do think people should stand by their posts, and deleting them allows people to be quite vile, without any real consequences.

I say this as someone who has been deleted many many times. I think if I knew what I was saying couldn't be pulled at all, it might well serve as break, or at least prompt an apology once I had cooled down and realised I was a twit.

Its not quite naming and shaming, but is showing an MNHQ decision most people will understand on reading those posts.

It might well prompt more self regulation.

As it stands, anything vile gets deleted, and the poster can continue being horrible without anyone really knowing why they were deleted (if they come to a thread after a deletion.

So, what do people think of this as an idea?

mipmop Fri 01-Aug-14 20:50:55

The idea of identifying people who have their comments deleted is interesting. I think some stuff should be deleted. On Property and Good Housekeeping it's not unusual for old threads to be reanimated by people plugging a company or product- sometimes it seems they reanimated every old thread they could find that has a tenuous link to whatever they want to plug. Those comments about how great company X is need to go!

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 20:54:12

hm. good point there. I can see there will always be exceptions, but on the whole...

I do think people should stand or fall on their posts.

Ethelswith Fri 01-Aug-14 21:04:47

I don't think this is a good idea.

It could leave hateful bile there for all to read.

You see to be assuming that people who post it would care what is thought of the username under which they did so. I don't think they will. And leaving it would turn MN into BigotsRUs as anyone could then post anything.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 21:13:28

I suppose I am thinking that if posters knew that their hateful bile would stick around for people to see, they might think twice about posting it. MNHQ would always have the option to ban the poster who repeatedly offended like this.

Maybe in the case of PAs, giving the person attacked the right of veto on whether the post is deleted or not would be good? still highlighted, but allowed cos the attacked person beleives it is better to leave it?

NotAnotherPackedLunchBox Fri 01-Aug-14 21:15:40

Leaving racist and disablist comments up is unacceptable, but perhaps the offending post could be deleted and the deletion message with the posters name on it could state why it was deleted.

To improve things further the worst offenders could have their ability to namechange suspended so they can't escape their nasty posting history.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 21:17:37

Those are great ideas Lunchbox.

And still allowing the attacked person veto on the deletion of a personal attack with highlighted post? then people would know it had been deemed unacceptable by mnhq but allowed to stand at the request of the attacked person.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 21:18:06

Suspending ability to namechange for repeat offenders is a terrific idea.

NotAnotherPackedLunchBox Fri 01-Aug-14 21:22:20

I like the idea of leaving personal attacks where the target is happy for it to stay - as well as showing up the offender for what they are it also gives context for the responses.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 21:25:03

Exactly Lunchbox. So often we spend a lot of time trying to work out what the offending post was, was the attack 'justified', was the attackee being unfairly targeted etc etc.

If the attackee feels robust enough to let the post stand, but highlighted, it would be really helpful for all round. Attacker is penalised, context is maintained.

Coconutty Fri 01-Aug-14 22:16:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mintyy Fri 01-Aug-14 22:41:18

Completely agree Mme. There is too much sweeping under the carpet.

Although I do think there should be swift deletions for the out and out disgusting posts which occasionally crop up on here ... they obviously generate hundreds of reports all at once, and hq are quite good at zapping those to be fair.

But, yes, if there are personal attacks then only let them be deleted if the person who has been attacked wants it deleted. That's what I say.

slightlyglitterstained Fri 01-Aug-14 22:50:27

I don't agree. There may be more people harmed by a vile post than the person directly attacked.

Plus there's a massive loophole - someone who wanted to fill MN with vile and upsetting material could create a few sockpuppets, post whatever they fancied as their sockpuppet, then as the "attacked" person say "no, let it stand", and enjoy the effect on bystanders.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 22:52:00

I do agree.

I also think , as mintyy and others have said, that most people would prefer a personal attack to stand as testament to the posters twattiness, and make sense of the the spluttered rebuttals.

slightlyglitterstained Fri 01-Aug-14 22:52:15

Think the basic problem here is that "shaming" tactics only work on fundamentally reasonable people who are capable of feeling shame or embarrassment.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 23:00:17

but MNHQ could spot the sock puppeting.

I don't think tis a question of shaming, merely highlighting no one thinks the post is reasonable, but allowing it to stand, because deleting it causes more trouble than letting it stand.

Not for out and out racist/disablist/sexist shit, which should be deleted with specific deletion options, not just a random breaking talk guidelines post.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 23:01:33

But the basic principle should stand. Only delete if the person attacked wants it deleted. Mostly I just want the poster to be sanctioned in an obvious way, ie the highlighting, not deletion.

Maryz Fri 01-Aug-14 23:35:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 23:36:54

So maybe restict it to personal attacks?

Up to attackee if they stay or go, but highlighted all the same as considered to be breaking talk guidlines.

So if the attackee reports, they can opt for delete if MNHQ agrees, or let stand but highlighted otherwise.

slightlyglitterstained Fri 01-Aug-14 23:37:23

I can think of 3 ways to do hard to detect sock puppeting off the top of my head, so I wouldn't rely on that.

I can sort of see for milder stuff that it's possibly helpful in that it reinforces MN rules for onlookers about acceptable behaviour. Still think it's trickier to enforce though.

Actually, one solution that I've seen used very effectively is disemvowelling. Moderator just removes all the vowels from the offensive post (with a script, not by hand!). Means you can still figure out what was said if you really want to but you can't come across it and read it before your brain catches up, IYSWIM?

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 23:38:29

that is very interesting slightly.

MadameDefarge Fri 01-Aug-14 23:39:07

so you could disemvowall as easily as deleting.

Which would remove any extra burden on MNHQ

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 02-Aug-14 16:47:54

Hullo everyone,

Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions flowers

We can understand that people feel that posters should be held accountable for any nasty posts they make, and therefore that posts shouldn't be deleted. However, we can't help but think that leaving/highlighting aggressive or unpleasant posts would engender more anger on a thread that might otherwise simmer down, if the offending posts were removed.

Plus on a purely aesthetic level, if we were going to be giving anyone pretty highlighted posts, surely it would make sense to bestow this honour upon the many hilarious/lovely/supportive/moving posts, rather than bringing attention to the shitty ones?

It'd be interesting if we could get a general consensus on what folks think of this idea, so please do keep your posts coming.

MadameDefarge Sat 02-Aug-14 16:54:06

hi Kate, how about the disemvowelling idea?

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 02-Aug-14 17:11:31


hi Kate, how about the disemvowelling idea?


Hmm - it's a v interesting idea, and an excellent name grin Bt rn't rlly hrrbl psts stll frly undrstndbl wtht vwls? Does anyone have an example of where it's been used? It'd be really interesting to see it in action, as it were.

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