Prevent fast and short replies when a flame war is ongoing

I am wondering how I could tweak this plugin to use in our forum…

Every now and then we have hot topics in the negative sense, meaning some topics become very fast-paced, even too fast, and people write there annoyed, i.e. flame wars. I’d want to somehow use the plugin or make a fork of it that would automatically make a topic “hot” and prevent fast and short replies when a flame war is ongoing…

If you happen to make one, I’d be happy to use it :slight_smile: Otherwise I’ll try my hand at plugin coding later this year…


This is a really interesting idea. I suspect users will hate it… but it’s fascinating. “whoa slow down” seems like a natural thing.


I’m just in the middle of trying to water down the latest flame war we had. This happens every now and then, which is why I brought this up earlier as well… Of course I understand that flame wars don’t happen in every forum, but in quite many, I think, and this would be a nice feature for the whole discourse as well :slight_smile:

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I like the idea. I’m not sure how it would work technically. Ex. When is a topic triggered as “hot”? What is the limiting criteria after it’s marked?

And there is this. Not sure how else you’d mitigate it, though.

First option: manual triggers by moderators and/or trust level 4.

Second option: automatic trigger calculated like the hotness score, which is increased with: (a) a lot of short replies following each other in rapid succession by the same writers, (b) a lot of messages in general in rapid succession, © a message was flagged in that topic recently.

For example:

  • Topic has a hotness score, which dilutes 1 point every 10 minutes. Every flag in the thread (for recent messages) adds 20 points to hotness. If the same writer posts short messages (e.g. less then 200 chars) within 20 minutes, add 10 points. Every time a post is sent and there are 2 other posts within the last 10 minutes, add 10 points.
  • When hotness reaches 60, mark the topic as hot topic, efefctively limiting posts to one per 30 minutes per same writer. When hotness decreases to 50, remove limitation.
  • If hotness reaches 100, temporarily close the topic. When hotness decreases to 90, open topic.

Note: I invented the numbers and didn’t do any math on how it would turn out, so just an example of how it might work.


Sounds like a promising formula for a normal topic, but I think it might fail on some enthusiastic but not flaming topics. The feedback topic on a new release of a popular web service for example. Large numbers of people who want to chime in with what they love, hate, or is buggy all at once.

Of course, some of them will be flaming hate-its given the nature of so many people reacting to change, but it needn’t be many for that to get gummed up quickly.

This option seems pretty sound though.


I think “slow mode” which is an excellent addition solves the spirit of the original request.