Generally, our users are well behaved, but when we get into certain topics, little flame wars crop up on very sensitive issues that do actually need to be worked out. We can moderate them and flag them and work through the behavior, but by the time that’s happened, we’ve lost the positive momentum that was in the topic to begin with.
The issues at hand are also very complex and hard to tell if someone is giving legitimate critique or is being unfair. What the moderators need is more time to react to the situation. Right now their only option is to close the topic which again can derail the productive portion of the conversation.
Being able to rate limit a conversation so that people who’ve already posted can’t be tempted to jump in and defend themselves, constantly clarify their remarks, demand explanations, etc. would be a great way to slow down the conversation and let new voices in.
We already have about 125 active users a day in this private forum and we expect it to grow to thousands as the rollout continues to this community of people that work together both online and in person. Also if an issue is contentious and newsworthy, we can end up with a flood of thousands of users interested in the topic. To even allow space for people to chime in, limiting the number of posts per person would be useful.
The basic ask is for there to be a setting that’s visible to mods and trust_level_4’s on the topic controls to limit the conversation to X posts per X hours (adjustable in the settings). This would then show up as a banner to the users: Posts in this topic have been limited to x posts per x hours.
This would put everyone on notice that the topic is being watched carefully and they need to choose their words more carefully here, as opposed to the more free areas of the forum.
Once implemented, the feature could be useful in other ways. Like a category where posts are automatically limited for debates or deliberations on policy.
It also has the advantage of not requiring a global setting. Like the posting too often setting. We could set it to 15 minutes but then people wouldn’t be able to have useful conversations in DMs since the software doesn’t distinguish them.
This does seem to be possible on a per user level now by dropping them to trust_level_0.