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Old December 13, 2021, 12:20 AM   #1
ghbucky
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Why the desire to close active threads?

One thing I've noticed in this forum is mods/admins are zealous to close threads. I honestly think that any possible excuse an admin can find, even if they are not within the rules, will result in thread closure.

Case in point: The 'You can never be too careful' thread about the Alec Baldwin shooting that was closed because

"Agreed that at this point, we're merely speculating. This thread has grown long in its tooth, so we're closing it."

What forum rule was violated that would cause this discussion to be closed?

IMO, this is a pattern. If a discussion in general or law surpasses a handful of pages, or continues over a certain period of time then the door is slammed.

OTOH, discsussions around specific firearms can last for pages or months with no action.
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Old December 13, 2021, 06:18 AM   #2
BarryLee
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As a person who has had my "hand slapped' one or twice I respectfully disagree. I like this Forum just because of the way it is managed. Do I agree 100% of the time? Probably not, but I prefer that to the out-of-control nature of other Forums.
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Old December 13, 2021, 08:34 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
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You've been here long enough to know that when a thread is closed, 95 time out of 100 the mod closing it gives a reason why.

The Alec Baldwin thread was closed for one simple reason -- it had gone completely circular. Multiple pages of people saying the same thing again and again, with no new information about the incident, just endless speculation.

In other words, it became pointless.
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Old December 13, 2021, 10:50 AM   #4
ghbucky
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Quote:
In other words, it became pointless.
In the opinion of a mod/admin. Apparently the people participating in it felt different. This simply points out my original point, that there is a hair trigger itching to close threads that go on too long.

Apparently, THIS is a pointless thread. Might as well close it.
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Old December 13, 2021, 11:09 AM   #5
Mal H
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Let me add a little to what Mike correctly stated.

First of all it's not a "desire to close active threads". It's more of a policy to close threads that have gone beyond their usefulness. As Mike said, when a thread starts being circular with the same ideas and arguments repeated post after post, or when the posts start to be speculative with little to no facts being added to it, it is often closed. That's called moderation.

Perhaps you are more used to forums with little to no moderation (or very few active moderators), and there are a lot of those forums. TFL is not one of them. We take our job of moderation seriously, and we apply the same mode of moderation now as we did over two decades ago when the forum started up.

You asked, "What forum rule was violated that would cause this discussion to be closed?" A rule doesn't have to be violated for a thread to be closed for the reasons stated above.

The specific forums you mentioned, General and Law and Civil Rights, happen to be the two forums where many threads have the tendency to go long in the tooth, so to speak. The Law forum in particular has it's own rules, and is probably the most heavily moderated forum on TFL. That is for a very good reason - we do not want any form of speculation or arm chair legal advice to be posted in a thread that others (not necessarily even TFL members) will assume is good legal advice.

"... discussions around specific firearms can last for pages or months with no action."
TFL is first and foremost a forum for and about firearms. It shouldn't be too surprising that those discussions continue on for a longer time than a general type of topic. Even so, when threads in one of the firearm forums gets a little too heated, or, to use the same term as above, "circular", then they are closed.
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Old December 13, 2021, 11:23 AM   #6
MarkCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryLee View Post
As a person who has had my "hand slapped' one or twice I respectfully disagree. I like this Forum just because of the way it is managed. Do I agree 100% of the time? Probably not, but I prefer that to the out-of-control nature of other Forums.
Agree. In fact, some threads that are currently open could be closed using the logic Mike and Mal stated, but are not. Very rare to see a thread closed that, in my opinion, would have been beneficial to leave open.
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Old December 13, 2021, 11:41 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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"In the opinion of a mod/admin. Apparently the people participating in it felt different. This simply points out my original point, that there is a hair trigger itching to close threads that go on too long.

Apparently, THIS is a pointless thread. Might as well close it."

Actually, it's not our opinion. It's our mandate from the owner of this site, Rich Lucibella, who provides it to everyone free of charge and without advertisements.

He set the marching rules for how this site is to be managed and also for how people are expected to act, and he tasked the moderator staff to ensure that conversations remain relevant, civil, and purposeful.

TFL isn't a democracy, it's not a representative republic -- it's one man's vision for what he expects the firearms community to be.

Your claim that we actively seek out threads to close is disproven simply by looking at the forum lists to see how many threads have been closed. The most closed threads are in Legal and Political, as is to be expected, because discussions of the law and politics can engender heated responses.

But that still doesn't mean that we go out of our way to find threads to close. If that were truly the case, the forums would be absolutely littered with closed thread.

What, another thread about 9mm? Boring cartridge. CLOSED!

A thread about pure trophy hunting? I don't like that. CLOSED!

You have an unfavorable review of a gun I love? CLOSED!

None of that happens, and you know very well that it doesn't.

So, to condense all of this down into a short summary -- you're wrong, and we're not going to change the way we moderate TFL just because you don't agree with it.
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Old December 13, 2021, 12:03 PM   #8
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghbucky
Quote:
In other words, it became pointless.
In the opinion of a mod/admin.
Not in the opinion of "a" mod/admin.

I don't think I'm revealing anything top secret when I mention that -- as on most Internet forums (I'm a moderator on two others as well as here) -- there is a secret back room discussion area for the moderators to discuss moderating. It's rare for a moderator to close a thread without first engaging the rest of the moderating staff in some discussion, usually of the "Has this gone on too long?" variety.

That's exactly what happened with the thread in question. I opened the thread. I will frankly admit that I was not even a little bit happy with the direction it went ... but I wasn't the moderator who closed it. But, before that happened, there was one of those "Has this gone on too long?" discussions in the secret back room.

Every such choice is a balancing act, and we know we won't (and can't) please everyone. That said, what plays out is, in fact, the exact opposite of our looking for "any possible excuse" to close threads. In reality, since (being humans, and members here ourselves) we don't always agree on whether a thread should be closed or, if so, when that should happen. As long as useful new information is being added, we let discussions continue. When a discussion reaches a point where nothing new is being added, and the same participants are just reiterating their positions in post after post, that's typically when threads get locked.

Thread closures are not hair trigger decisions by the staff, and usually are not unilateral decisions by a single moderator.
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Old December 13, 2021, 01:21 PM   #9
ghbucky
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Mike, AB....

Thanks for the education. Fair enough.
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Old December 13, 2021, 02:17 PM   #10
Mal H
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Now that there is a clear understanding of the way things are, I'll close this one.
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Old December 14, 2021, 01:59 PM   #11
Shane Tuttle
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ghbucky,

As those closures were mine, I concur with the said explanations. One item I do admit to not disclosing; I could have added if any new facts of the matter arose, we would reconsider reopening the thread back up at the OP's request.

For that, I do apologize for not providing that avenue.
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