30-some years ago I managed an online forum. When I deleted stuff I would tell the author. Half of my life was consumed with people telling me what a horrible person I was.
A guy that had been managing online forums for years told me the answer is simple: delete silently. 95% of the people don't know their stuff was deleted and when the last 5% figure it out and complain, just delete their complaints. It took some getting used to, but it sure does work great.
So when we have new staff, they try to be helpful, and then they get the hate. And then they learn the lessons that I learned all those decades ago.
Experienced staff tend to delete more. New staff tend to use the probation feature "hey, most of your post was great, but there was this one tiny part ...." --- and here comes the shit storm.
I have to confess: a few people get it. And when they get a probation thing, they are GRATEFUL! They know that it is a kindness and they are super glad to get a second chance. Wow! Things have changed!
About seven months ago we had a staff meeting ....
(did you know that this big bunch of volunteers has staff meetings every week? This staff really loves this community!)
... and we came up with a bunch of ideas to dramatically enhance the probation post stuff to have a new feature called "almost-a-post". It will have ten times more knobs and dials than the current probation toolset. I think some of the most senior staff might even choose it over deleting. It might make this whole process a lot smoother.
We just gotta get to the point that we can get the dev stuff done.
I hate the idea that something I put time into on this site could get deleted because of a questionable word choice, or perhaps a moment of pique. I really appreciate the probation feature. It has saved hours of my writing time from oblivion (you and the staff would know).
I love that you value the information and opinions people post to this site. That is shown when you take the time to not only come up with the probation feature in the first place, but to revamp the idea with the almost-a-post. This isn't just a throw-away measure, and it shows.
I know I have learned far more here than on any online experience, ever, and many classroom experiences besides.
Thanks for your constant effort with this site and in the promotion of permaculture as a whole. Let me know if there's anything I can do, besides keeping certain topics to where they belong.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
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