Warn staff when action will override site restriction


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #1

From time to time on Meta there are reports of new site staff being surprised by their ability to override site settings without warning. For example, staff can reply to closed topics, staff can post to #uncategorized even if it is disabled in site settings, staff can more posts to a topic that the user cannot see, etc. (An example, another example).

I’d like to propose a just-in-time warning that appears when staff are about to do this. Something like:

Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of actions where a similar warning would be useful:

  • Replying in a closed/archived topic.
  • Posting in the #uncategorized category when uncategorized is disabled.
  • Moving a user’s post to a topic the user cannot view.
  • (Admin only) Posting in a PM the admin isn’t a participant in.

It's not clear that the "don't allow uncategorized topics" limitation applies only to staff members
(Jeff Atwood) #2

We have no plans to implement this, and it is not on our roadmap for the foreseeable future. So you may want to put community PR tag on this or otherwise subsidize it.

(Jay Pfaffman) #3

That seems like the kind of “are you sure” notice that serves as an annoyance such that responding in the affirmative is automatized.

For posting to uncategorized and moving a post to an unviewable topic, an after the fact message with an “undo” would be preferable. For replying to closed topic, a warning before the message is written seems like the solution and butting into a PM.

(Mittineague) #4

I like to think that making mistakes is part of being human, at least that’s my excuse,
I feel that when an action can be destructive, either irreversible or even only complicated to undo, then some type of “give pause” is good to have. For example, I might become annoyed e.g. “yes I want to delete. l wouldn’t have clicked delete if I hadn’t wanted to! cheesh, stupid software”. But all those repeated confirm dialogs are no where near as annoying as clicking on something only to find out that I shouldn’t have clicked.

Creating a topic in Uncategorized is not destructive. True, it is a “bah, now it needs to be moved” that can be a bit irritating. I have done it before myself, I know. But at least for me, I often learn from my mistakes and after doing it once I now know to give a quick look at the category select to be sure the topic is going where I intend it to go.

Long story short, pick your battles.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #5

The idea is sound, and I really like @pfaffman’s iteration on it with non-intrusive heads-up notification.

(Eli the Bearded) #6

This is possible for TL3 to do, as well, not just staff. Lounge is the typical place that a topic could be moved by TL3, but with more complicated categories (like paid access), there could be others, too.