I noticed on several discourse forums that over time they attract people who love writing very long posts about all sort of details which do relate to the topic, but are not an immidiate reaction to the topic.
These are not posters with any bad intentions, but such posts do disrubt the conversation, because not everyone has the time to filter long posts to see how they relate to the discussion.
There is nothing wrong with long posts. But it becomes an issue when the post only sums up loats of rather irrelevant facts, without bringing anything new to the discussion.
I saw there is another topic on this forum about adding a downvote option. I don’t think that is the right solution for this issue. In fact I think we already have a useful feature, but it requires a modification:
There is already a function to ‘report this post as off-topic’. When a couple people report a post as off-topuc, the post is hidden/collapsed by default, wich hints other users to not bother reading that post unless they want to be thurough.
The issue at hand is that the name of this button doesn’t fit the situation; the post is not exactly off topic, so most users wouldn’t report a post because it seems inapropriate to do so.
I propose either
- rename that button ‘report as off-topic’ to ‘report as not helpful’.
- add a new button ‘not helpful’, which works very similar to ‘report as off-topic’.
I also propose to not place that button in the category ‘report’. Reporting feels like marking a post as something wrongful. It seems like a heavy measure. I would rather see this as a seperate button; a way of voicing an opinion about the post to help other readers.
I hope you recognize the need for such a feature, and I hope succeeded in explaining the importance of the choice of words for such a button. It is important that both the reporters and the one who wrote a ‘not helpful’ post recognize that it is not a punishment, but just a way to keep the discussion on point.