How to fix a doomed situation. Observe, note and then give examples.

From joyent/nodejs-advisory-board:


I noticed that in the discussion around #11 comments were removed.

Details of the statement

After a while the discussion is locked and closed, but after a couple of days a participant with moderation abilities uses his power to make another comment which is part of the discussion, but to which no reply is possible.


Summarize your opinion

My opinion on whether these comments needed to be deleted is beside the point, but I don't like the effects it had, nor do I agree with the way it was handled:

Bullet point of what's up
  • Moderation was done by people with a strong opinion on the issue itself. This kills the credibility of the moderators and exposes the advisory board to (valid) concerns about censorship.
  • There is no safety net to ensure that moderators don't overstep their limits. Even for advisory board members there is no way to tell what comments were removed, for what reason and by whom.
  • What remains public are replies to comments that were removed, often containing an interpretation (or caricature) of the removed comment.


What I would like to suggest:

  • Discussion participants don't moderate discussions, neither do people who are known to have a strong opinion about the topic of the debate.
  • When comments are removed or edited, or people are banned, this is logged somewhere, including (where applicable) the name of the moderator, the offensive comment and reasons for moderation. It could be as simple as an e-mail to a group of people. (needs further detail)
  • The moderator leaves a note in the thread clearly stating that moderation has happened and the motivation.
  • Replies to deleted comments are also deleted.
  • When a discussion is closed and locked, nobody is allowed to continue the discussion, not even the people that technically can. Only authoritative statements are allowed (e.g. "the discussion continues there" or "In the December 1st meeting the advisory has decided to do x").

See also

bug reports

bug reports should have sections and a repro

  • title of bug report is a descriptor of the bug
  • start off with vendor info
  • heading: steps to reproduce
  • heading: actual results
  • heading: expected results

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