Regarding the topic of board polices and moderation –
I agree with Peter: I saw nothing racist in the post. Emilian, that’s not the first time you’ve brought up racism where none is evident. In regards to that, and in regards to what you see as threats against CYOA, you seem intent on setting yourself up as a victim, even going out of your way to put yourself under the proverbial cart.
As for re-posting the very post I deleted, that’s something that on some boards is expressly against policy and can even get you banned (eBay comes to mind). I was inclined to let the original stand until there were complaints, and so I’m inclined to let the re-post stand (as Peter points out, it can serve as a cautionary tale). Here, it’s not expressly against policy since there have been no defined policies – yet. I will say, though, that common sense should suggest that if a post was actually deleted, re-posting it so that you can demonstrate that you were victimized seems unwise. As we move toward defining whatever polices are needed here, this may be something to consider.
Also, on reflection, I can see that implying “Aina Grey” was a troll must be what dragged me into the same outburst. The outburst itself, however, only serves to prove it.
As for deleting such posts, and as for policies and moderation, let’s discuss. I don’t see any one answer as fitting every scenario. Letting a post stand and locking the topic might be okay, depending on the topic and the post. But suppose one post intentionally spoils an otherwise productive thread? Locking the topic prevents further on-topic discussion, and letting the single post stand means it’s there in view of many who don’t want an anything-goes board.
One idea might be to move the post to a “rants and trolls” board, which would be excluded from the board-wide RSS feed but could be subscribed to individually, or viewed in the board list. Maybe the original post could be changed to link to that off-topic topic, so that a placeholder is still there in the flow of posts (i.e., a header saying “this post was against board policy, and has been moved. Click here to view it anyway.”)
Amazon.com’s message boards put this in the hands of the users, although phpBB doesn’t (to my knowledge) have functionality like that. the post remains – it just collapses as “x number of members don’t consider this post as contributing to the discussion.” It can be expanded, but otherwise does not show up in the flow of reading the topic. Something like that, if the board could be extended, might do the trick.
And that brings up another point – moderators. If this is going to become an ongoing problem, as I suspect it may, I certainly don’t want to be the only one making these decisions. Ideally, I wouldn’t make them at all. It’s been nice that so far that spam has been about the extent of the problem. But I think some users are out to prove a point, or push to test the boundaries, and as that continues, a board with no policies at all isn’t going to work if the idea is to promote safe and productive discussions.
One size won’t fit all, unfortunately, but I think it needs discussed. I do not want the policies to restrict heated discussions, disagreements, or in any way make posters feel that it’s a stifling environment. At the same time, posts like the one in question are not legitimate discussions, and are an aggressive way of trying to twist things into a stifling environment. And I do not want the board to degenerate into a mess of radical outbursts like the one I deleted, where the forum couldn’t even be recommended to friends, family, kids, or others without a taste for that kind of nonsense.
So let’s discuss!