Posted by Dinah on November 29, 2009, at 2:10:36
In reply to Re: editing posts after submission, posted by Dr. Bob on November 29, 2009, at 0:23:38
First of all, are your RSS feeds just links? Or do they contain the body of the post? Once they're sent, is the original post sent?
> I don't see revising as denying. Revise: 1 a : to look over again in order to correct or improve <revise a manuscript>. Deny: 1 : to declare untrue <deny an allegation>.
That's what the confirm this post step is for. You might revise a manuscript before publishing it. After it's published, even if you revise a later edition, the original is available to anyone who cares to look. After you publish, you print corrections or revisions that are additions to the manuscript. Is this not so?
One suggestion I've heard is to hold posts that can be revised in limbo, so that they can be revised before they are posted. Sort of like confirm, but with a longer cooling off period. That would be a good use for having a setting to be able to edit. To send the posts to a waiting period where they can later be edited before posting.
> I think we're both in favor of allowing revisions and only differ on deleting the original.
To be clear, I still have objections to you as administrator proposing revisions as a way to disappear incivility. I'd have been far less offended about this whole matter if you hadn't introduced it as a civility matter.
Moreover, trying to minimize damage and make the best of the inevitable is not actually agreement. It is compromise.
> The advantage of deleting the original is that it might avoid, or at least lessen, hurt feelings.
It might possibly avoid bad feelings if the other poster (and no one who knows the other poster) hasn't seen the original. Although honestly Dr. Bob, if you saw a post from someone who maybe didn't care for you overmuch in general, and that post sounded angry and offended, and you'd seen it had been edited, wouldn't it be just as likely that you would think that what had been edited out was pretty bad? Worse even than what might have actually been there? Well, you might not care, but I'd be incensed and certainly not have the reaction you propose. I'd wonder precisely what had been revised.
If I did see the post, I'd forgive incivility way sooner than I'd forgive disappearing incivility. And I'd think differently about posters who would do that, and I'd hate to feel differently about the posters.
> The example I gave before was changing:
> > You're offensive!
> > I feel offended!
> The latter is an I-statement, so hopefully it would avoid bad feelings if the other poster hasn't seen the original and lessen them if they have.
You gave an example that could be conceivably considered poor wording.
Would it be different if it was changing
"F*ck you, Dr. Bob."
"Bless you, Dr. Bob."
Would you feel a lessening of bad feelings if you saw it changed that way? Or maybe don't use you. Do you think posters would feel a lessening of bad feelings?
On the positive side, I suppose, it would give people a chance to vent towards you without leaving others afraid of getting a faceful of cat.
> My philosophy already is to accept apologies, including retractions. And as you said yourself, revising could be a face saving alternative to an explicit apology and an implicit acknowledgement that what was originally posted oughtn't to have been. But the poster might not necessarily have the full 24 hours (or however long) to revise because (1) their post might be replied to and (2) administrative action might be taken sooner.
If I see a post written to me that is uncivil, I'll reply to it. I hope anyone who cares about my sanity will do the same for posts written about me. Edited posts are blank slates, in a way, to be interpreted in all manner of ways. Believe me, I can imagine much worse than is likely to be true. Perhaps I'm the only one, but I'm guessing I'm not.
> Yes, a post would be "frozen" if someone replied. Repeating something uncivil by quoting it already is considered uncivil. A poster could civilly point out that the original was very different by saying:
> > The original was very different.
> or even:
> > The original was very different, and I felt very offended!
Thank you. I'll remember that.
> If someone revised something, I don't think I'd consider it sensitive to their feelings to post an offer to make the original available.
Well, no real need for it to be on board.
> Yes, deleting the original could change someone's reality: their reality one time might be the original post and their reality a later time might be the corrected or improved post. In effect, they would be asked to accept that change.
I need one reality. The reality is that a post was posted and an edit made. The reality is both posts.
It's not even just incivility, Dr. Bob. I actually pay attention to what people write. If somebody writes something and later it's gone or changed, it would be crazymaking. The internet is a place where it's all too easy to lose your sense of reality. But at least at Babble posts don't go changing. What's there is there.
> Yes, those who did and didn't see the original would have different realities. But people here already have different realities because of private communications.
They may have incomplete realities, but that's not the same as having different realities. If you need me to explain further I can.
> Is it just that a reader might have to deal with a changed reality, or is it also that the poster should be taken to task if their original post was uncivil?
It's a lot of things, Dr. Bob. On some levels I feel very offended, on other levels I find it groundwork for insanity. I don't consider taking posters to task as an issue at all, since I am not opposed to your allowing people to use this feature to avoid administrative action. What is an issue is that posting uncivil things, along the lines of attacks, not poor wording, reveals something about a poster. So does manning up and apologizing, or expressing regret. And so does pretending that it never happened and changing a post. It's not a question of PBC's. It's a question of character, and of understanding what to expect from each other. Yes, I suppose I do think it is better for all Babblers to have a shared reality - to the extent that it is possible given the different perceptions, characteristic ways of viewing the world, and life experiences we all of us bring to any table.
But even more important to me is the issue of reality. And that's not even a question of civility. If I read something, then go back and it says something different, it would be crazymaking for me. Even if it had nothing to do with incivility but was an integral part of the topic at hand. I often read a post then go away and eat breakfast or something while I think about it, then come back to reply. How crazymaking would it be for there to be a different post when I came back to reply? I'd routinely wonder if I was going crazy. Reality would be a moving target. You want people to accept that, but why? Why, when the alternative is so easy? Just take the original post off the main board, but make it linkable.
Also, Dr. Bob, the things that made Babble the very mature and interesting place that it is aren't unrelated to its structure. Babble is a better place, IMO, for encouraging people to think before they post. We sometimes take leaps of faith on, say, Psychology. And sometimes we hit that confirm button and are filled with sudden fear as well as tentative hope. Babble would be a far poorer place without some of the vulnerability that arises from the nature of how Babble has been. At least the annoyance of having people coyly retract their question after it is answered would not be an issue since it would be frozen once someone responded. I'd have to start quoting the post I'm responding to far more than I do now, if I respond in any depth. I'd hate to have the original change while I'm crafting an answer. I'd again feel like I was insane.
People with OCD touch things to make check reality. Right now, the post is there to touch at any time. If the posts start changing...
> I think it's clear that this is open to debate, and limiting revisions to a certain time period and making denials actionable are already changes in course.
My suggestion was actually to allow revisions to be made at any time, so that people who fear they have posted something personal they don't want turning up on google search could amend their post. And that the original not be googleable. Perhaps some limit on older posts might have to be made so that Babble wasn't gutted.
But Dr. Bob, as far as I know, people have been more upset about personal information being googleable than they are about being able to edit posts in a very tiny window of opportunity. My proposal would help more people, not less. And the original posts would still be there, but not be googleable. You could link them right next to the "Edited" notation. Again, why is that a problem?
I've also made suggestions about long blocks, which I also think is a larger issue than being able to edit posts in a short time frame.
So, allowing edits to be made indefinitely and keeping the original post by link would address a number of concerns and maybe help make people feel safe again. How many people does disappearing the original post in that very small time frame help? Why the investment in disappearing the original post from an administrator who made preserving what actually happens a major cornerstone of this site?