Post Delay for troublesome users, ie ban-lite


(Joshua Hogendorn) #1

Just a thought, but we manage troublesome (ie people who derail with long winded posts of crazy, but dont deserve outright ban) members by delaying their posts by an amount of hours, 6 - 12.

This has the effect of breaking up their ability to disrupt and kills the fast back and forth arguments.

Perhaps discourse could employ this technique also?


(Chris Bridgett) #2

I do this manually on one of my own forums, we call it a “cooldown-period”. Would like to see it as a feature here.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

I am curious, why would you want these kinds of members in your community long term? If they are regularly “derailing with long winded posts of crazy”, what value are they adding?


(Sam Saffron) #4

I guess the argument is that everybody has bad days some times, this is less aggressive than “go away come back tomorrow you are not welcome here”


(Jeff Atwood) #5

It’s a silent passive aggressive change, unless you tell them it is happening, and why, you are playing with a form of hellbanning.

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/06/suspension-ban-or-hellban.html

That is dangerous in my experience.

You’re also not directly addressing the negative behavior, just sweeping it under the rug for 12 hours. This will not help that person change their behavior. And then their toxic, argumentative, unpleasant posts appear 12 hours later for anyone else in the community to encounter for the rest of time.


(Joshua Hogendorn) #6

It’s generally not that their arguments are toxic, or that they are being disruptive. It’s more that you sometimes get the people who are just not very effective communicators, and they’re a bit scattered. Most of their posting is fine, but every so often they start derailing a topic with (to use a random example) healing crystal energies. If you just leave them to it, next thing you know theres 30 posts back and forth with them and someone else arguing. Delaying their posts lets them continue to have their say, but really puts a damper on this ability for things to steamroll into pointless back-and-forth.

I’m racking my brain for a good example. The community I have in mind is for a hackerspace, so people are often talking about the specific build of some project. We have some people who like to come in with misguided knowledge on the subject. Say its about electronics, and they mostly understand, but miss some key component of the discussion, lets say an electrical effect. Dunning-kruger comes in full force, and a very pointless back and forth can start.

Post delay helps here. It stops rapid fire back and forth, the conversation usually skips over the disturbance, and their post eventually shows up, and gets its rebuttal in due course. They can still participate but we’ve managed to effectively moderate their unintentional disruptiveness.

The point I’m making is that its not really outright negative behaviour, and it’s not sweeping anything under the rug. These people stick around and eventually learn, or they continue to be a problem and are dealt with more severely. It’s not necessarily silent/passive aggressive, thats really down to the mechanism of the software.


(Jeff Atwood) #7

I suggest moving the big tangent to a new topic, or requiring them to use the reply as new topic link to the right of the post. We have easy point and click ways of slicing tangents out.

And if they can’t do that, after some encouragement, they should be politely asked to leave.


(Joshua Hogendorn) #8

Thats a completely valid response. However, it does mean that we just get that needless argumentative thread elsewhere, even if the existing tools prevent it being a derail.


(Zachary Lewis) #9

Some people enjoy the needless argumentative exercise. Giving them a big, empty area to wrestle and play will let them have their fun without disrupting others. Sounds like a win-win to me.


(Jeff Atwood) #10

Then, as I said earlier, these people should politely be asked to leave the community, and find another that wants their argumentative, angry content.

You have to treat the disease, not just the symptoms.


(doug) #11

Is the offending poster notified in someway that the post is being delayed? If not it would seem to me that the no show would just cause the poster to retype the post and, i guess, again get delayed. If so, is the delay a global infraction in that a completely fine post elsewhere also gets the delay? The biggest problem is that I can see no way that this handling can be automated unless you want to actually ban all posts from the person for a given period of time. If that is the case just ban that person.


(Jeff Atwood) #12

No, to that user the post shows immediately, to everyone else it is delayed. That is why this is another light form of hellbanning.


(doug) #13

OK, thanks. i’m new to discourse so I have a lot to learn. leap motion, the makers of the leap motion controller, recently decided to switch to discourse as their community forum software. hence, I figured it best to spend some time here.


(Joshua Hogendorn) #14

I think my point is that its not necessarily angry content. I’m specifically talking about instances where banning is too far / inappropriate. Ie, kicking people out for the crime of ignorance, which may correct itself over time.

Thats one interpretation. What if the delay was shown to them, with reason?


(Jeff Atwood) #15

Would a suspension for 24 hours have a similar effect? Our suspension support is fairly robust and allows a reason to be shown, e.g. “chill out period”.

There has been discussion of a post approval queue, which is requested a lot – if you could trigger post approval on a per user and per topic (maybe even per category) basis you could achieve this.

On a per topic basis, if you have a flood of new users replying to an existing topic, you might automatically trigger post approval mode, for example. Or new user necromancy of old discussion topics, which might require a bit more attention than the average discussion.