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Another locked thread, no reason

  1. Feb 16, 2016 #1

    phinds

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    This thread is locked

    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/is-this-possible-giant-planet-a-hot-topic-in-astronomy.857258/

    I have no problem w/ it being locked as I'm sure there's some decent reason for it, but I point out that someone browsing the forum would be hard pressed to see why in the world the thread is locked and in particular why it was done with no reason stated. Seems to me this makes the forum look bad. It would be better to state why the thread has been closed.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2016 #2

    Evo

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  4. Feb 17, 2016 #3

    Astronuc

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    We are assessing the situation and will hopefully have a resolution soon.
     
  5. Feb 17, 2016 #4

    davenn

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    I agree with completely

    Some mentors are great and state why a particular thread was locked ... others say nothing :wink:

    if it is woo woo/crackpot ... say so. if dangerous to personal health, electrical, chemical etc say so

    Doing so may even help encourage others that may read the thread not to post their own similar ones
    now knowing the likely outcome of their post :smile:

    Dave
     
  6. Feb 17, 2016 #5

    jedishrfu

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    I remember commenting in a report about the IOP journals being okay but I can't find the report. I think it was attached to this thread.

    As Evo said, alw34 posted two threads around the same with one clearly crackpottery and the other we weren't sure of so I think this one fell through the cracks somehow.

    I will unlock it as no one has shown any objections.
     
  7. Feb 17, 2016 #6

    phinds

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    Thanks for the response, folks. Sorry this rather trivial thing took up time but I think it's solved the issue that I brought up in the OP and that was worth doing.
     
  8. Feb 17, 2016 #7

    jedishrfu

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    No, thank you for pursuing it. We somehow dropped the ball here. My apologies.
     
  9. Feb 19, 2016 #8

    m k

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    How come, after all these years, this is not, mostly, automated.
     
  10. Feb 19, 2016 #9

    Evo

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    This is an example of when something can't be automated. It takes a human to read the post and links, check to see if the sources are in our "ok" list, even then, we have to double check because we've found a number of journals getting listed that shouldn't be. IIRC, the mentor that locked this thread fell ill, and other mentors were assuming he was working on it.

    Never hurts to ask.
     
  11. Feb 19, 2016 #10

    berkeman

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    Nope, none of the Mentors use 'bots. Nope. :wink:
     
  12. Feb 19, 2016 #11

    jedishrfu

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    I'm a bot...
     
  13. Feb 19, 2016 #12

    berkeman

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    That means nothing without a picture. Oh, wait...
     
  14. Feb 19, 2016 #13

    Drakkith

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    You look like more of a toaster to me.
     
  15. Feb 19, 2016 #14

    jedishrfu

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    says the guy with the Halo helmet...
     
  16. Feb 20, 2016 #15

    Ibix

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    I agree that it would be nice to see an explanation of why locked threads are locked, especially if it isn't obvious. Is there room for some automated and non-automated support for mentors in this?

    On the automated front, for example, a two-stage locking mechanism. Stage 1 locks the thread and auto-posts "Thread closed for moderation", and sets periodic reminders that the lock is unresolved. Stage 2 is "closed with an explanation". Jump straight to stage 2 if no discussion needed. You could also have standard lines for standard cases. Where you have someone who's posted a dozen crank threads and you're closing #13 not because the first post is cranky but because you know the OP is going to turn it cranky, have a one-click-to-post-and-lock template saying "Locked because the OP has past form for cranky behaviour". Possibly more tactfully.

    On the non-automated front, since writing an explanation for why a thread is locked is yet another call on mentor time, how about a "deputy mentor" post? Give them access to (some of?) the mentor forums (but not the ban hammer) and encourage them to join the discussions and especially to write summaries of discussions, with a view to a mentor posting their summary as an explanation for the final lock. Maybe consider it a non-permanent position, rotating round members in good standing and see who participates?

    Anyway - I'm drifting into crank territory myself by proposing solutions to problems I don't completely understand, so I'll shut up now.
     
  17. Feb 20, 2016 #16

    Drakkith

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    Regardless of what may or may not happen in the future, remember that you can use the "Report" feature to notify the mentors that a locked thread has no explanation of why it's locked.
     
  18. Feb 20, 2016 #17

    Ibix

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    Ooh! Report a mentor's post for the good of the forum! I like that... :wink:
     
  19. Feb 20, 2016 #18

    Drakkith

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    If a mentor reports a mentor's post, is that like dividing by zero?
     
  20. Feb 20, 2016 #19

    phinds

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    Well, in your case, it could be more like the blind leading the ... uh, wait ... I was going to say blind but the other mentor probably knows what they are doing so now I'm hung up in the middle of a metaphor ... Well, nuts. I guess us dogs aren't good at metaphors.



    :smile:
     
  21. Feb 20, 2016 #20

    Redbelly98

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    Just wanted to correct a misconception that relatively new forum members can get. About 1-1/2 years ago, Greg moved the forum to a completely new system, with very different procedures for moderating and for Mentors to deal with problem threads and problem members. So, it's not a matter of "after all these years"; it's been less than two.

    Plus: (1) there is no automating of human judgment, and (2) Mentors are volunteers, who may be busy with work or other real-life matters and need to close a thread ASAP in order to stop a flood.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
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