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Osvaldo de Banfield 27th August 2013 01:51 PM

Some clarification needed‼
Hi all. I want to know, when it is said that certain posts are "off topic", which is the limit or the barrier to determine when or which a post is off topic or not. I believe a "off topic" may add to the entire thread while a "on topic" may not.

I remember that I don't want to discuss any rule, only want to be sure how are things here.

Cordially Osvaldo from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Cal Weldon 27th August 2013 02:25 PM

All judgements are by consensus of the Moderation team.

DF96 27th August 2013 04:38 PM

If you look at threads on here you will often see that an OT post is more likely to be left in place if it is amusing, explores a legitimate side-issue from the main topic, and/or steers reasonably clear of forum boundaries (such as religion, politics and rudeness). Certain (long) threads seem to regarded as more open to OT than others. To some extent it may depend on which mods are 'on duty' at the time, and which are taking part in the thread and so not able to take an objective view. Mods are people; people are different; decisions will not be wholly consistent. I would rather live with some uncertainty than have to digest many pages of detailed rules.

I agree that some on-topic posts add nothing to a thread, often when they are merely repeating nonsense. Note that nonsense is not things which are merely untrue, but things which can't be true and are obviously so to any reasonable person who has asked the right questions.

Osvaldo de Banfield 27th August 2013 04:55 PM

OK to both, but I can see here that non-moderators also judge them, I ignore which is the criteria established to make this boundary.

Cal Weldon 30th August 2013 07:20 PM

1. We cannot see all posts. We rely heavily on those who report offending posts.
2. We strive for consistency, which is why all but the most minor offenses are judged by committee.
3. Some threads contain more off topic than others simply due to the nature of the thread, the original poster and the location of the thread.
4. Mods who are active in a thread do not take action. They are permitted to alert other mods as to a possible concern, nothing more.
5. Mods are members first and moderators second. Mods are held to the same standards and rules as any other member.
6. Mods are volunteers.

Osvaldo de Banfield 2nd September 2013 01:30 PM

Well, OK, Cal. Many thanks.

wintermute 2nd September 2013 01:47 PM

Nice summary Cal :)

My personal opinion (and I'm saying this as a member and not a mod) is that a little off topic conversation can lighten up a thread at times.

This quote is from note 1 in the rules:


Threadjacking is the practice of taking over a thread by posting off-topic replies such that the original topic becomes diluted or lost. Off-topic posts, and replies to off-topic posts, can be a positive outcome of discussion, but must either be brief or be moved to another thread. If something interesting does arise that warrants extensive discussion -- then start a new thread and link to it.
If a thread gets poluted with OT posts that add no value and have no redeming features (and we are aware of it) we will generally take a hatchet to it. Sometimes we will split off an interesting OT side track (as per the quote above). However this tends to be a lot of work so it is better if members start their own new thread when they realize they are taking things off topic.

And yes there are a few threads that are almost entirely off topic. If they weren't they would probably have died a long time ago ;) The people who frequent them seem to enjoy it so no real harm. Think of them as "water cooler" threads :)


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