deleting messages (how this forum works)

Nikined

Senior Member
Russian
In a thread I saw a post from a member which later disappeared without a "post deleted" sign. What does this mean and how is it possible?
 
  • Maybe a comment posted by a spammer?
    A message that was removed from the thread upon the poster's request?
    A message that was posted in the wrong thread and later moved to the another thread?
    A post that was merged with another post by the same user?

    If you remember in which thread that message was posted, send me a private message and I'll see if I can figure it out.
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    In a thread I saw a post from a member which later disappeared without a "post deleted" sign. What does this mean and how is it possible?
    It recently happened in a thread that a mod entered and made disappear (without any post deleted sing whatsoever) all the messages that didn't comply with the rules.
    But why to request a removal, when you can simply delete it? :confused:
    I think you just have 24 hours to delete it.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I don't know what that would look like. I don't think I've ever seen it. A screenshot would be helpful.
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    I don't think I've ever seen it. A screenshot would be helpful.
    I don't think you can see it; you only happen to know it by coincidence (e.g. you posted a post in some thread and later you go back to that thread and your post has disappeared withount any visible trace). I think that is what is meant here.

    PS. I haven't experienced that myself so I'm only guessing.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Oh! That's very common, yes. Sometimes, for various reasons, moderators prefer to do that than to leave a trace.

    What does this mean
    It can mean many different things. As an example, sometimes if I'm "cleaning up" an old thread with a lot of chat and I have to remove, say, 16 out of 32 posts, I prefer to remove them without a trace, than to clutter the thread with 16 deletion messages.

    how is it possible?
    Mod magic. :p
     

    Sowka

    Forera und Moderatorin
    German, Northern Germany
    The above is the blue message with the reason that Nikined probably meant.

    After some time, I sometimes remove posts that have been deleted in this visible way in order to tidy up the threads (to increase their clarity for dictionary users who read them). The other occasions when posts will just disappear without such a note are spammers or clones.

    (Cross-posted -- I'm sloooow :D. Yes, #12)
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    There are (at least) four different scenarios:

    1.) Post deleted with blue notification box and a reason given
    2.) Post deleted with blue notification box and no reason given
    3.) Post deleted with blue notification box, with or without a reason given, and trace (everything you see post-deletion) later removed
    4.) Post removed right away with no trace (no blue notification box or anything else, as though the post had never been written)

    I don't think I ever do 3.) I may have done it a few times when I came across a thread with a lot of deleted posts. I do 2.) or 4.) with spammers. In all other cases, I do 1.) or 4.)
     

    Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't think you can see it; you only happen to know it by coincidence (e.g. you posted a post in some thread and later you go back to that thread and your post has disappeared withount any visible trace).
    Not only that, but the remaining posts in the thread get renumbered, so there isn't even a missing number in the sequence where a vanished post was before.

    This happened to some posts of mine in one particular thread, and I've never known why. We were talking about a scientific subject, somebody claimed that there are no examples of a particular scientific phenomenon, I responded with a list of examples of it, and I can't point to exactly where because it's gone without a trace. That doesn't fit any of the reasons that have been given here, and I never got a notification that it was done or that I had supposedly broken a rule to cause it to be done. There's just no way to make sense out of it (and no difference it would make if I could). But I had already given up making sense out of the moderation here before that, when I was accused of something like "giving directions to a YouTube video" when of course I hadn't, and had another perfectly on-topic post deleted as supposedly off-topic. The bottom line with all online forums is that forum moderation is like lightning: when & where it strikes is random & unpredictable, but at least it's usually uncommon enough that you can just carry on ignoring it and being unaffected by it most of the time. :D
     

    Michelvar

    Quasimodo
    French / France
    Not only that, but the remaining posts in the thread get renumbered, so there isn't even a missing number in the sequence where a vanished post was before.
    Yes, that's a problem.

    From moderators point of view, threads have two purposes :
    1. answering OP's question,
    2. creating an interactive dictionary, with each thread as an entry, indexed under the keywords in the title. Some threads have had more than a million readers, through the years, it's not just about helping the OP.
    The first purpose may require a lot of messages, some digression, even sometimes to be a little out-of-scope.
    The second one, ideally, would call for simple, efficient and focussed threads, easy to read by language learners.

    That's why when a thread is too messy, we may keep it like this so the OP has the time to read and understand, and, a few weeks / months later, try and clean it so that it fits the second purpose. In this process, the renumbering is a problem when posters refer to a message we delete. I usually try to correct it, but I'm just a man...
     
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