Sam Hull wrote:
bob wrote: (1) if you delete profanity, you change the meaning of the statement. "that is bullshit" becomes "that is <blank>" What is missing? "A great f***ing idea" or "a piece of sh**"?
(a) "A great f***ing idea" would not be edited (except perhaps to add the stars). Only abusive or offensive statements are being deleted--those which are forbidden by the charter.
(b) I suppose if you think knowing the specific content of peurile insults and abuse is important you have a point; personally I don't see the value of such knowledge to the forum.
(c) If an author puts invective in one post and valid content in another, you would (I assume) delete the abusive post and leave the other intact. But if he combines the identical statements in a single post, everything must go and deleting the abuse alone is suddenly a bad idea. Sorry, I don't get it.
bob wrote: So delete the post, or leave it alone. Nobody has the right to change someone's words, whether by insertion, deletion, or raw modification.
News reports chop up and abbreviate the content of speeches, statements, and interviews every day. Networks bleep bad language out of R-rated movies and live talk shows. Publishers edit authors; newspapers edit letters to the op-ed page. Words in public discourse get edited every day of the week.
I agree. And that is a problem. Take a comment out of context, and juxtapose it with another comment out of context, and the news media make news rather than just report on it. If they had to supply the _entire_ statement, it often means something completely different.
Again, we're not "changing someone's words"--we are not inserting any words, and we are not doing any raw modifications. We are deleting--exactly the same thing you advocate, different only in degree. Which is a more drastic offense against an author's meaning--removing four of his words or removing all of them?
IMHO, removing part of them is far worse. Because the "part" that is removed is a subjective decision. Tell me my post is unacceptable and I can either rewrite it myself to make it more acceptable, or just move on and leave it MIA.
bob wrote: (2) the potential is there for great abuse. A moderator gets into a spat with a member, and then says "you have done this several times already..." and edits old posts to make his point. The potential is simply unacceptable and unnecessary.
It is even easier to argue that there is potential for mods to abuse the power to delete posts in their entirety--using some small pretext to erase everything someone says. Remember the debate on the old board about using the word "clone"? A mod (especially one with an agenda) could fully delete every post containing such a term and completely eviscerate one side of a debate.
But if you delete all my posts, you are at least not putting words into my mouth. You can't make me say what you wish I had said, which leaves my words under my control.
But as far as that goes, if your moderators are not trustworthy it doesn't really matter what policies are in place, does it? One more reason to vote with care in the upcoming elections ...
Thanks for expressing your thoughts on the topic; I have offered mine, and we can agree to disagree.
I don't know how one would know _before_ the fact, that a moderator will suddenly run amok. Hindsight is 100% accurate, foresight is much less accurate. It is just a power we didn't have for the first 6-7 years, and _NOBODY_ thought it was a problem that we could only delete posts. So why is it necessary now?