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What reasons do you use for locking a topic on your forums?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Mouth, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    Following on from my question about what admins are doing with their warnings and bans, I am also seeing an increasing tendency in the forum-sphere for mods and admins to lock a topic when it contains opposing opinions or negativity/problems towards the site itself, citing such reasons as nasty or abusive (example). Often it's only robust discussion that I would expect to see around a friends dinner table, or brain storming meeting in a business environment, and thus the reason given looks more self serving than legitimate. Do you actively use thread locks as a proactive or reactive measure, where a warning or ban cannot be justified?

    Do you allow your mods (or yourself) to lock topics and stifle discussion/opinions because it opposes their own or that of a vocal minority/majority? Do you require them to give specific reasons (ie. posts) as examples of why it was closed. Or is a generic reason, with little justification, enough? Do users accept that these days?
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    I rarely lock topics. For me it's the last resort and sometimes I do get told that I leave it too long before closing something down.. but I'm pretty easygoing and like people to argue their issues out. I'll only lock something when it gets to the point of no return and things devolve into "your mother's fat" .. "no your mother's fat" childishness. ;)
    Jason, rootsxrocks and 0xym0r0n like this.
  3. 0xym0r0n

    0xym0r0n Well-Known Member

    Useless arguments that are repetitious.
    Questioning of staff actions.
    Extreme vulgarity? such as racial slurs etc

    once had a user practically argur with themself for 20 pages. i have to close arguments once they start repeating themselves.
  4. vVv

    vVv Guest

    I usually only "lock" something that pertains to rules listed in various thread posts, and doesn't need nor require a reply to it. I'd rather the users be able to read the rules posted, and that's it -not cluttered with random BS posts/question posts. Other then that, I don't really lock topics at all. However, regarding drama, threatening, drama related stuff, I usually just delete it lol. I don't like paper trails for stuff, and stuff like that just sits around, sits around, and people re-read it, and rehashes on it later in a new topic.. pointless and not needed. lol.
  5. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    Well on a political board it's only when trolling starts, or when an unresolvable flame war begins. Believe it or not once one starts flaming the whole board can be sucked in. A political board is like a ticking time bomb. Besides once too many things get closed people cry censorship and it hurts your rep. It's usually only when my mods cannot even get a thread back in control.
  6. Mnikolic

    Mnikolic Member

    Me too.

    Also, I lock topics in case a member pulls a fast one on me. I've had that experience recently and didn't like it at all.
  7. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    I lock threads once they are way beyond the topic.
    Or may lock after a complaint allowing me time to read through all the posts.
    Sometimes when people just get nasty with each other.
  8. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    We only really lock threads when there is nothing further to add to them, such as for sale threads. We have a very specific site, and don't really get much off topic stuff, it's 90% specific questions and answer threads.
  9. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    When the general demeanor / atmosphere has degraded, by multiple participants.
  10. AdamD

    AdamD Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on a lot of factors, such as the main theme of the forum and the rules in place in general

    I ran a gaming forum for some 8 years and I tried not to lock threads, unless the thread starter was creating topics to stir up trouble (Such as calling people out, posting libellious comments about other sites/people etc)

    I don't believe that threads should be locked because of a select few who have derailed it, if the topic of discussion is legitimate and of interest to a community, it should remain open.

    If a forum gets the same type of people constantly derailing topics, then those people should be warned and then banned, the select few shouldn't ruin it for the majority.

    I notice on VB.com they constantly lock threads when the same trollers derail a topic and it's really poor form of the staff there to keep locking legit topics of concern or opinion, because of the same idiots who can't NOT act like internet trolls.
  11. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    vb.com is not the only forum company that do that you know. Just sayin'.
  12. karll

    karll Well-Known Member

    My members have told me they don't like it, and so far I haven't had to lock anything as far as I can remember. We have a tradition from the old forums for allowing the OP of a thread to ask for it to be locked, a wish that is usually honored. I can't remember if I've had to do that on the new forums.
  13. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    Interesting. On my forum members are the opposite. They ask for threads to be locked. I rarely delete them but like to keep the public as a reminder of how not to behave.
  14. AdamD

    AdamD Well-Known Member

    Was just using them as an example, as VB.com is really the only other (company) forum I post on
  15. steven s

    steven s Well-Known Member

    Guess you never noticed threads getting locked here also. As I said earlier, just sayin'. :)
    Mods/Admins do what they feel the need to do.
    Not saying it's right or wrong. Their forum. Their rules
  16. SilverCircle

    SilverCircle Well-Known Member

    I think that locking a topic, just because a few members entered enraged mode, abusing the otherwise neat topic for a personal battle or for attacking those with a different opinion, is only a sub-optimal solution. It might have been a good topic with the majority of users enjoying it and locking would ruin it for everyone.

    In the forum software I'm running (which is a heavily modified and modernized SMF), I've implemented "per user and per topic bans" - simply allowing to post-ban a single user from a single given topic.

    These bans can either be permanent or expire automatically after a couple of days/weeks/whatever unit you want, so a moderator could easily use them as a fire-and-forget solution. Often, a few days are enough to calm down emotions and everything would return to normal when the bans expire.

    Of course, locking a topic might still be necessary when a topic gets totally out of control. It also makes sense for topics that are officially "finished" or superseded by another topic (one example would be release topics in a software-support forum - one topic for each beta/rc/final release).
  17. Mr_Bob

    Mr_Bob Well-Known Member

    Two circumstances for me:
    • If it's an announcement thread / rules
    • If the conversation gets WAY out of control. I like to think of it as, "OK, you've had enough".

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