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Poll: Would having moderators point members (especially new ones) to a Thread Hijacking policy be helpful?
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Would having moderators point members (especially new ones) to a Thread Hijacking policy be helpful?

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Old 05-28-2011, 12:52 AM   #16
tg3793
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie View Post
A written policy doesn't affect what people actually do, especially when no one has read it.
A written policy certainly doesn't help everybody and it doesn't help every situation. But there isn't a single method that either of us could come up with that would do that.

Mods such as yourself I'm sure are looking for the easiest way to handle as much as possible as effectively as possible. Hence my suggestion of a copy/past template. I can see that some of the mods already do that to link to the LQ Guidelines. I'm not suggesting 'more' work, just a more effective way to do the 'same' work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBack View Post
Comeon guys, the mods have a lot to work on and I am sure we can spare them the pain of going through checking the hijacked threads.
I'm not suggesting the mods do anything more than they are already doing now. 'And' if the mods set a consistent example of linking back to the LQ policies that outline this and other important matters then maybe it will catch on among the more senior members of LQ.

Any business management graduates in this thread? I only mention that to bring to mind that what I am suggesting is a common principle in management to help efficiency and consistency. ... And once again there isn't anything that I or anyone else could suggest that is going to be effective in every situation. Sometimes it will help, sometimes it won't. But (outside of writing the initial policy) it wouldn't require any additional work from the mods.

And heck, I'd help write a policy draft or two if the mods would like. I used to do it as a part of my regular job.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nylex View Post
I don't think having such a thing would be helpful, as people don't bother reading things they're supposed to. I usually report instances of hijacking when I see them.
'Most' people are not going to read it, that's true. But a consistent approach from the mods using no additional effort would help get the number at a reasonable 5% or 10% of the people that are familiar with the LQ guidelines if they hang out here long enough. ... And with no 'additional' effort on the part of the mods, I think that 5% or 10% increase would be beneficial.


Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP View Post
I'm with Chris on this - the people who would read and apply the policy are the exact people who wouldn't cause an issue in the first place.
<he he> In the last ten years I've probably been accused of hijacking a thread about twice a year on average (some years not at all). And I'm the guy that will read the policy and will adhere to it once I understand it. Yes I'm a marginal case. But as I mentioned above, I would only expect this would help with 5% or 10% of the cases. The key here is with 'no' additional effort (other than the writing of the policy).


Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
I think it could be useful to the mods to have a guidelines page to point to when they have to moderate someone for thread hijacking, just as it's useful to mods and members to point persons to the "How To Ask a Question" page.

Persons of good will, will learn from it; the others will never learn anyway.
Exactly my point :-)

Last edited by tg3793; 05-28-2011 at 12:54 AM.
 
Old 05-28-2011, 05:09 AM   #17
sycamorex
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Sigh... so much ado about nothing.

I agree with some previous posts:

1. It's a marginal issue and LQ members have effectively and reasonably been dealing with it by either reporting or pointing it out.
2. People who hijack threads are USUALLY the ones who don't bother reading any policies.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-28-2011, 10:44 AM   #18
Telengard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
2. People who hijack threads are USUALLY the ones who don't bother reading any policies.
Not necessarily.

Don't assume all thread hijacking is deliberate or malicious. Innocent threads dragged far afield by members in good standing with the best of intentions. They may believe they are expanding the discussion. Still fits the definition of TH as I understand it.
 
Old 05-28-2011, 11:20 AM   #19
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telengard View Post
Don't assume all thread hijacking is deliberate or malicious. Innocent threads dragged far afield by members in good standing with the best of intentions. They may believe they are expanding the discussion.
Nowhere have I written that thread hijacking is deliberate or malicious. It "usually" stems from the lack of familiarity with established netiquette.

Thread hijacking is a much more common phenomenon in the general (non-technical) section of the forum and, in my opinion, is much more acceptable there. The threads
in general remind more of normal conversations, which IRL rarely stay on topic for too long.

The threads in the technical sections should, in turn, be governed by more strict rules. For clarity/readibility reasons, it makes much more sense to start your
own thread even if there exist similar ones. The first step, obviously, is to read related threads, see if the solutions there solve my problem. If they don't, it means
that my problem is slightly different (rarely are two systems completely identical). For that reason, I'd start my own thread creating a good title, mentioning that I have
tried the solutions given in the related threads (+ urls to the threads I am referring to).

I don't know, it may be just me, but when I go to see a doctor, I don't just run into a room where the doctor is seeing another patient with a cold saying "I've got a cold, too"

Obviously, I'm not saying that creating a separate thread is ALWAYS recommended. There may be a lot of cases where highjacking a thread makes more sense, eg. when
someone else's problem has been solved and I'd like someone to elaborate on / explain the solution in more detail. That's why I believe it'd be extremely difficult
to formulate rules that would cover all possible scenarios. IMO, it's more reasonable to just use your own judgement.

Last edited by sycamorex; 05-28-2011 at 11:21 AM.
 
5 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #20
jeremy
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Thanks for the feedback. At this time we don't have any plans to formulate an official policy on thread hijacking. As it's a topic that has a huge number of variables and grey area, we'd prefer to let the mods use their judgment on a case by case basis. There's simply no way to account for all possible scenarios, so I think this is one of those issues where a strict policy would actually do more harm than good. Using the general guideline of "does this post interfere with the current discussion" probably makes sense in most cases, but what constitutes interference will likely vary based on forum, topic, etc. This being said, I notice the LQ Rules do not broach the topic at all. If the consensus is that it would be beneficial to add some kind of note about this topic to the rules, we'll certainly look into doing so.

--jeremy
 
5 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-29-2011, 10:55 AM   #21
onebuck
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Hi,

I'm with other mods & what jeremy has stated. Individual cases will dictate as to what should be done. Some new members just do not understand, not familiar with LQ Rules or Netiquette.

Some new LQ users are not affluent with the language which can cause this issue since interpretation of LQ Rules or Netiquette then posting within a relative thread topic thus hijacking the thread. Reaching out to get help. That's why the mod will/should take each situation when considering actions.

KISS! Sometimes the hijack post can aid in diagnosis of the OP thus helping to solve issue(s). It all depends on content within the hijack post. At other times the hijack post will just break the continuity of the thread thus requiring actions on the part of a mod.

To all: As a mod there are responsibilities to all members to be considerate when weighing each thread and content within. Obvious rule violations can be moderated, When someone does make a post that does hijack and no real relation to the thread content then most mods will break that post off into a new thread. Responding to the new thread for the reasoning and sometimes include a link to the thread that the post was removed from.

Incidental hijacks are handled different than intentional posts. If the members is new then that will be considered for type of action. Most long term or senior members do not hijack but do add enhanced information that can sometimes look like a hijack. Members of this type will usually note the reason behind the post.

I really like this;

Quote:
excerpt from Netiquette;

"When someone makes a mistake – whether it's a spelling error or a spelling flame, a stupid question or an unnecessarily long answer – be kind about it. If it's a minor error, you may not need to say anything. Even if you feel strongly about it, think twice before reacting. Having good manners yourself doesn't give you license to correct everyone else. If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely, and preferably by private email rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt; assume they just don't know any better. And never be arrogant or self-righteous about it. Just as it's a law of nature that spelling flames always contain spelling errors, notes pointing out Netiquette violations are often examples of poor Netiquette."
Past six months have been enlightening to me as to the responsibilities that weigh on a mod.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-29-2011, 09:43 PM   #22
titanium_geek
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or (me case in point, heh) the asker says: "this isn't working. I'm sure it's a problem with X. here's some code." and the response will be: "ah, I see your problem! the problem is actually Y and here is how to fix it."

Tangents are useful in this case!

TG
 
Old 05-30-2011, 12:36 AM   #23
tg3793
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
This being said, I notice the LQ Rules do not broach the topic at all. If the consensus is that it would be beneficial to add some kind of note about this topic to the rules, we'll certainly look into doing so.

--jeremy
I have to roll my eyes at myself for not mentioning that before. I think I had started to write something like that in a draft I was going to send but then deleted it in favor of making a different point.

But 'yes', no need to make a whole special area 'just' for Thread Hijacking. A few words added to a another point in the LQ Rules would all that would be needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
I'm with other mods & what jeremy has stated. Individual cases will dictate as to what should be done. Some new members just do not understand, not familiar with LQ Rules or Netiquette.

Some new LQ users are not affluent with the language which can cause this issue since interpretation of LQ Rules or Netiquette then posting within a relative thread topic thus hijacking the thread. Reaching out to get help. That's why the mod will/should take each situation when considering actions.

KISS! Sometimes the hijack post can aid in diagnosis of the OP thus helping to solve issue(s). It all depends on content within the hijack post. At other times the hijack post will just break the continuity of the thread thus requiring actions on the part of a mod.

To all: As a mod there are responsibilities to all members to be considerate when weighing each thread and content within. Obvious rule violations can be moderated, When someone does make a post that does hijack and no real relation to the thread content then most mods will break that post off into a new thread. Responding to the new thread for the reasoning and sometimes include a link to the thread that the post was removed from.

Incidental hijacks are handled different than intentional posts. If the members is new then that will be considered for type of action. Most long term or senior members do not hijack but do add enhanced information that can sometimes look like a hijack. Members of this type will usually note the reason behind the post.

I really like this;

Past six months have been enlightening to me as to the responsibilities that weigh on a mod.
And I vote that onebuck be given the title of mod of the year :-)
Great post guy.

And I'm going to bring minds back to my specific situation. In my case it wasn't even a mod that was 'correcting' me. It was a couple of senior members. And since it was echo'd by yet another member, I was led to the conclusion that their opinions was the consensus forum culture.

However, I can see from my interaction with the actual mods of the forum that it is unlikely that the mods would have dubbed my post as interrupting the continuity of the thread.

Having the LQ Rules tweaked a little so that a better understanding can trickle down to the other members (especially the senior ones), will be helpful I think. ... Again no not in every situation. But every little bit that helps (with little to no additional effort) should get big thumbs up.
 
Old 05-30-2011, 10:49 AM   #24
onebuck
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Hi,

@tg3793: Mods do lean to the members side except for obvious violations. Then the corrections or note of what that member may have done thus correcting things. We as members should provide good positive interaction whenever possible.

One thing that some members overlook is that mods are members here at LQ with added responsibilities and are committed to good interactions with other members. We are helpers with added moderation responsibilities.

Other members do provide good interaction at most times. Each of us have our own style of interaction along with our abilities to aid others. Thankfully!

I really would not want a template reply or fixed format. To stringent! Overall LQ has the best forum with good member interactions that help others solve their issues.

Policing of the forum helps other members who forget the reasoning behind our mission here at LQ. Of course there are exceptions: spammers, out right rude posters or even some members that happen to be having a bad day. Freedom to post our opinions is one thing but when that opinion happens to do harm then that is when the mod will intervene.

My earlier mod interactions were treated as mentoring. I soon learned that face to face mentoring was different than online interactions with individuals textually. So identifying hijacks can be difficult at times. Members do associate their problem with the thread in some way in their mind. We(mods) need to judge or interpret as to the proper action. Sometimes interact textually within the thread or via PM. Since the action by the mod will be dictated by the weight of the hijacker's post.

HTH!
 
Old 05-30-2011, 09:11 PM   #25
Hevithan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
Thanks for the feedback. At this time we don't have any plans to formulate an official policy on thread hijacking. As it's a topic that has a huge number of variables and grey area, we'd prefer to let the mods use their judgment on a case by case basis. There's simply no way to account for all possible scenarios, so I think this is one of those issues where a strict policy would actually do more harm than good. Using the general guideline of "does this post interfere with the current discussion" probably makes sense in most cases, but what constitutes interference will likely vary based on forum, topic, etc. This being said, I notice the LQ Rules do not broach the topic at all. If the consensus is that it would be beneficial to add some kind of note about this topic to the rules, we'll certainly look into doing so.

--jeremy
This I agree with 100% ... Each post is individual even if the problem is closely related, the OP and Poster-B will have too many different variables to account for (experience with their system,understanding of replys,ability in preforming the tasks recommended to them.) and mods will have to look at each instance as a separate case not to be lumped in with all the others. We should all have an understanding as to what threadjacking is, But as this thread shows ... we all are pretty much in consensus, if it pulls away from it's original intent there is a problem. But the current system seems to be viable and I think it needs no messing with. As now someone just states Please start a new thread, thank you ... and 99.9% of the time that seems to work. I do not think it would be beneficial to include a note about this, because like I said 99.9% of the time it works too politely point them in the right direction.

All that being said:
I myself am guilty of threadjacking a time or 2 (as I am sure most are), but it was un-intentional and when asked, I did start a new thread. Overall people come here for help, and showing them hints on how to effectively get the help will usually be welcomed.
 
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:29 AM   #26
paulsm4
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So how about those Mets ?
 
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:58 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
... Using the general guideline of "does this post interfere with the current discussion" ... it would be beneficial to add some kind of note about this topic to the rules, we'll certainly look into doing so.
--jeremy
I like the guideline, & I'd like to see hijacking mentioned in the rules.

Could we discuss here the wording of such a rule if one were to be added?
 
Old 06-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #28
jeremy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archtoad6 View Post
I like the guideline, & I'd like to see hijacking mentioned in the rules.

Could we discuss here the wording of such a rule if one were to be added?
I would anticipate it being something very broad, along the lines of:
Quote:
When posting in an existing thread, ensure that what you're posting is on-topic and relevant to the thread. If the content of your post will interfere with the current discussion, you should start a new thread.
--jeremy
 
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:20 AM   #29
archtoad6
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  1. I like the wording.
  2. Where in the line-up were you thinking of putting it?
  3. Is it time to consider "numbering" the Rules to make it easier to refer to them? Or is quoting more effective anyway?
 
Old 06-02-2011, 10:29 AM   #30
jeremy
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a) good - additional feedback is welcome. If there are no objections I'll add the final version to the rules in 24 hours or so.
b) I'm not sure, but I can't see that where is falls in the rules matters.
c) No, that insinuates rules have priorities or a specific order, which they do not.

--jeremy
 
  


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