Q&A on Non-Moderation Matters (Mechanics, How-To, etc.)

It’s also possible that the person who locked the thread shortly after posting had always meant to lock the thread out of preference and simply initially forgot. Other threads on the BBS, locked from the very start on non-controversial topics suggest this possibility.


Well, I for one have very strong opinions about reusing zip ties!



gotta say, that one was a head-sctatcher for me


About Boing Boing has a bunch of contact information on it. Otherwise, there’s help@boingboing.net for any other issues, and Authors may choose to put contact information on their own “about” page (if you click on their name in a BB post).


I just wouldn’t want anyone feeling pressured that way by anything people say I guess into either making themselves needlessly vulnerable or not writing at all because of how people might try to contact them.

I guess what I mean is should the author themselves be responsible for that kind of social interaction? I feel like maybe not somehow but have no real justification for my feelings there. Maybe more of an editorial oversight thing?

I’m not sure what my thought process here is though really…


Folks should consider that nowhere on the “Contact Us” page do we suggest leaving a comment on the BBS and that the general feeling about comments on the internet is ‘do not read the comments.’

If you have something critical to tell us, the Contact Us page provides those paths.


And another today.


A few like that today. I’m not sure why the comments would be closed off, since it’s unlikely anyone will go after Popkin for what was an honest error. If that’s a concern, though, can’t Discourse comments be switched off entirely for that Author’s posts like those for the BB Shop? Seems like Mark is making extra work for himself for no good reason.


Good idea. But what a loss.


In response to the various comments on thread locking/post deletion/etc., I can totally understand why some threads that may attract unwanted noise are worth locking (or purging and locking). Granted that BBS is not a democracy, I think it would be in the interest of the health of the community at large for the threadlocker to leave a comment with a brief explanation as to the reason for the closure – even something as simple as “This thread was attracting too many trolls”.

That said, I understand that moderation and management of BBS already has a high emotional burden, so maybe that’s too much to ask. I will say that all of my most frustrating and confusing experiences with BBS have been when something I’ve contributed or participated in just flat out disappears without explanation. The feeling of wanting to particiapte (or having participated) in a thread to find that it’s been completely obliterated and locked down is definitely closely adjacent to this.

I don’t have a great solution. I’m hesitant to put more onus on moderators. But I also put a high value on community actions not feeling arbitrary, capricious, or mysterious – even if that’s not the intent of this sort of action it’s definitely how it can read, without a word or two of explanation.


Mark just closed the thread on his own “Philly bans” post while I was writing a reply. AArgh.

I have to assume there is some sort of software bug or malware involved because this threadlocking is too widespread to be for legit reasons. Even if Mark wanted to sabotage the site I think he would have better ways to do so.

All of those unwanted comments on controversial threads like [checks notes] violinist snaps a string?

1 Like

I mean… it sounds like comments are … maybe… not wanted


I do think some of the specific threads being locked down are… unpredictable. Regardless, it would certainly be valuable to the community to understand why it’s happening!

Or, if certain authors aren’t interested in having their posts commented on (which I think would be a loss, but I suppose it’s the author’s prerogative) maybe the solution is to treat them similarly to Shop posts, as @gracchus suggests.


It is rather odd that the posts are opened for comments for a few hours and then locked. If an Author wants to turn off comments for posts (which is the Author’s prerogative, of course), they can do so from the get go (right?), and it does not make much sense not to do it that way.

This leads me to believe that perhaps this is being done in error, like a system setting that was modified to deal with the case described above and then not set back. BB Posts are usually set to have comments up for exactly 5 days, but a changed value could turn that into 5 hours, perhaps?

These recent posts by Popkin were closed immediately, and then manually opened by Mark a few hours later. Is it possible that Popkin notified Mark, who opened the posts without realizing that the same thing was happening with his own posts?


As someone who has a Discourse forum, if the threads were closed for some automatic reason, they’d be done under a system user’s name, something that we’d use just for automatic closing. These are, at least in the system we set up, intentionally not done in a user’s name to avoid confusion. I’m sure we can ask @codinghorror if there’s a bug at play here, but honestly, this looks like intentional actions by Mark, which , as he’s an administrator level is in his right to do.


For those that missed it, in this side thread,

Our moderator posted:

Authors are free to choose the posts they do and do not want comments on.

Which might imply that this is a choice by authors.


There is a new site setting for this if @orenwolf wishes to enable it. We were worried people would engage in frenzied edit battles when they can’t post replies…


Yeah, I figured that could be the issue after I posted. I realized that even allowing minimal edits could allow people to completely change the meaning of their posts because they could add or remove a negation and turn “I said [the controversial thing]” into “I didn’t say [the controversial thing]”, or whatnot. :frowning:


I’m not sure if this is the place to ask or what, but is anybody else getting a notification asking permission to download a file called something like third-party-iframe.html when viewing a blog post? I’m on Firefox, on Android, and navigating to the posts via Feedly.