Message board moderation
January 25, 2005 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Let's say you moderate a commercial message board. It doesn't get a whole lot of participation, but that's fine. Hopefully in time, usage will grow. Now one day, somebody comes along and posts a couple of messages that seem to verge on talking-to-yourself-on-the-side-of-the-road mentally disturbed. They're nominally on topic, but still sort of off. Do you delete them or leave them up?
posted by willnot to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
i'd leave them up, unless they were threatening or dangerous, or would make the commercial venture fail.
posted by amberglow at 10:52 AM on January 25, 2005

Back when I was moderating a Filipino politics board, I had a member like that, a conspiracy-obsessed woowoo with clear mental instability issues. I let him go on for a bit, but when I found out that he was crossposting the same material to thousands of message boards all over the world, I banned him, for two reasons: (1) in a way, he was spamming, and (2) I didn't want my board to to be yet another venue for him to deepen his paranoid schizophrenia.

Google "kathaksung" and you'll see what I mean.
posted by brownpau at 11:32 AM on January 25, 2005

I'd delete them. The early messages tend to set the level and tone for the whole community.
posted by nicwolff at 11:41 AM on January 25, 2005

If the vaguely on-topic weirdness isn't as strange as kathaksung, I'd say get a few other users and friends together and drown those messages out by posting nice on-topic lively discussions on top.
posted by dabitch at 12:23 PM on January 25, 2005

Trainwrecks are sometimes good for online communities. People come back to see whats new. People need drama in their lives, sometimes. Rethink it if your long time users start to feel alienated.
posted by crunchland at 12:34 PM on January 25, 2005

In the case of kathaksung, or if you're "editing" the message board, remove them. However if you're merely moderating and the messages are neither mass-posted nor offensive, it's unhelpful to censor.
posted by tommyc at 1:39 PM on January 25, 2005

Leave them unless they are offensive or reach into the spamming realm.

Users will see them for what they are - they are quite bright like that. They shouldn't "taint" your community.
posted by jopreacher at 4:16 PM on January 25, 2005

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