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Insult to Intelligence- A Plea for More Freedom

  1. May 24, 2014 #1
    Greetings
    I subscribe to several forums some of which are rigidly controlled and others that are more open. While I recognize the need for rules and especially the moving of threads to appropriate areas (and this is not a plea for anarchy) by far the most vital forums I visit are more open.

    Example - There is a long running poll thread in the general non-linux section in the LinuxQuestions forums entitled "The Religion MegaThread Poll" ostensibly to determine the relative number of various religion devotees and agnostics/atheists etc. This should maybe be a virtual powder keg but it is not largely because the members are thinking adults who seem quite capable of behaving in a civilized manner. It is just text on a page after all and it seems the worst that can happen is usually a stalemate.

    It is one thing to move a thread but quite another to close one. It becomes even more arbitrary when many have the power to close a thread (I currently don't know how many here have that power). This can become conflict of interest when those with that power can and do also contribute to a thread. I have seen threads in many forums where one or a few moderators will be contributors, apparently finding nothing inappropriate, and then one new moderator in some offended "hissy fit" will close or even delete the thread. I find this sometimes inconsistent, silly, dangerous, disturbing or actually unconscionable and generally an insult to all members.

    Is it at least possible that moderators can be a little more open and concerned for healthy, adult discussion, a little more trusting of it's members, and a little less concerned about imposing law and order? or subject moderators to moderator peer review? Too much "order" is stifling and sterile, IMHO, and often corrupts the powerful, ruining Forums, ultimately driving away all but those powerful few.

    I'm really not complaining as much as promoting a bit more respect and trust in the interest of maintaining a lively, healthy atmosphere.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2014 #2

    micromass

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    When a mentor closes a thread, he always has the backing off all the other mentors. We really discuss such things in our private mentor forum. Whenever there's a disagreement (which doesn't happen very much), we try to resolve it and if we can't (which almost never happens), Greg has the final call.

    Yes, this forum is very strictly moderated. Yes, there is very much censorship on this forum. All of this is to ensure that we deliver quality information to people who are trying to learn science.

    There are many knowledgeable members here in all areas of science. They are here because we close threads in the way we do. Whenever I close a thread, I get many thanks of members that I closed it down. I rarely get complaints.
     
  4. May 24, 2014 #3

    George Jones

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    The Mentors and Administrators (but not Homework Helpers or Science Advisors) listed at (click at top on Site, then Forum Staff & Advisors)

    https://www.physicsforums.com/help/mentorforums/

    can close threads.
     
  5. May 24, 2014 #4

    adjacent

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    I must say that I really like the title of this thread.
     
  6. May 24, 2014 #5

    micromass

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    At least it meets the descriptive thread title requirement.
     
  7. May 24, 2014 #6

    dlgoff

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    It make me want to say, and I will, "NOT AGAIN".
     
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