About deleting moderated posts


@codinghorror Dude, the silent moderation is starting to get out of control. I realize you’re trying to keep this all civil, but deleting anything you don’t agree with and just making it vanish is a bit out of control. Most forums moderate posts to let people know their actions were inappropriate.

Just making them vanish (like you have done multiple times in this thread and many others) leaves the threads looking disjointed and makes people’s reactions to now nonexistent posters non sequitur. This is the exact type of behavior that @unsynchronized was talking about in the opening of this thread.

From many of your comments about discourse as a whole, it was meant to be a partially self moderated community (hense the flagging) not full of heavy handed moderation whenever things stray from what you believe is acceptable.

If stuff like this keeps happening I’m just as inclined as unsync to leave this community.


I second that, Very well put @Daiceman, you said what I was saying, only much clearer.


Ask yourself:

  1. Is what I am posting furthering the cause of Soylent? Does it increase adoption or understanding of Soylent? Does it help Soylent get shipped to everyone who wants it? Does it let everyone who wants to make Soylent themselves, make it? Basically, is it on topic for the forum which is about Soylent?

  2. Is what I am posting an example of civilized, respectful communication with other human beings?

If you read the above, you’ll see

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time

Don’t agree with the two points above? Don’t participate here. And remember:


That xkcd comic applies to yourself too, its not some shield only you are allowed to use.

There are quite a few people in this community who don’t agree with YOUR moderation policies. I’ve been fine with everything the soylent team has done themselves, you just seem to be applying a much, much, heavier hand.

Additionally, this secret police method of vanishing posts leaves no room for others to learn what you might deem acceptable or unacceptable. Hell, it even leaves the poster unknowing that what they posted was incorrect. There is no notification that a post was removed, nothing. It’s just up and gone with nobody the wiser.


You’re right – I wish the Soylent team had more time to moderate themselves. I’m just trying to prevent the most egregious attacks on other human beings, and explain that yes, civility is required if you participate here, and patiently explain that no, when someone moderates your rude remarks directed towards others, that is not a violation of your “free speech rights”, while spending time with my family on the weekend.

I guess the Soylent team is busy trying to ship Soylent.

And isn’t that the goal? Maybe you could work towards helping them achieve that goal by keeping the discussion here 1. civil and 2. on topic.

It really is that easy.


Tbh, I don’t have a problem with overtly destructive posts being cut. But when it happens, I’d prefer the entire body of the post being edited out with some message about moderation - or, if that’s unreasonable because of the edit logs, an admin post accompanying removed entries.

If posts are removed because they were detrimental to the conversation, that’s one thing. But just taking them out with no context is like pushing a code commit with no message. It also makes the thread (and others’ responses) look strange, as has been mentioned.


I’m not sure why you’re so hung up on that “free speech rights” issue that I’ve never brought up. Maybe you’ve been getting a lot of posts or PMs about it and have it on your mind. My issue (as you’ve correctly identified in the topic title) is the ham handed deletion of posts.

I feel like deletion should be saved for spam, and truly nonredeemable posts. Many of the posts I’ve seen go poof contained fine content except for a few inappropriate sentences. Posts like those should be edited to remove the bad sentences and the poster warned that what was posted was not acceptable.

To reiterate, I’m not upset that posts are being moderated, just being deleted. As you quoted “In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time” I feel like you are deleting entire posts versus only the content in posts you don’t like.

Maybe its because you’re feeling overloaded moderating a huge form on your own time, and pressing delete is easier then editing posts. If that’s the case, throw up a red flag and let the Soylent team know you’d appericate help. They’re a multi-million dollar company now, hiring an intern to moderate their forums should easily be in the realm of the possible.


It’s things like this that make me increasingly think that while you can code, you don’t really understand what makes a forum thrive nor what causes the problems they have, thus why you have designed Discourse the way you have.


codinghorror is an accurate name >_>

This guy is pushing me away from soylent.


That all sounds lovely, but the truth is that there isn’t some universal objective standard as to what constitues “respectful communication with other human beings.” The reality as that you are enforcing your particular subjective notion of what is acceptable, and inviting anyone who disagrees with you to leave the forum.

With all due respect, I personally consider “my way or the highway” to be a fairly uncivilized and disrespectful way to communicate with other human beings.

The existence of this thread combined with the lack of any corresponding complaints about incivility, suggests to me that the standard that you’ve currently chosen to enforce is more stringent than the community as a whole finds appropriate, with the result that at least some members find the forums to be less than friendly.

In short, your attempt to create a welcoming environment is heavy-handed enough that it appears to be having the opposite effect.

As you have accurately pointed out, this is your forum and you can delete what you’d like, but you might want to consider whether chasing away folks who are enthusiastic about Soylent but slightly coarser than you would prefer really “furthers the cause of Soylent.” Perhaps we’d all be better served by being a bit less quick to take offense, instead.


I’m seriously about to leave this forum.


AFAIK, codinghorror doesn’t work for Rosa Labs. If you don’t like what he does as an admin on the forums he runs, that’s completely understandable. However, I hope that you do not give up on Soylent solely based on your disagreement with the actions of a third-party forum admin.


Slight correction: there have been several complaints about, and instances of, incivility. Those threads are closed, now, so it would be easy to have missed them.


I haven’t seen those threads, so it’s certainly possible my perception of where the balance lies is off. Are they recent?


This is obviously just my opinion, but I believe that those who are prone to be civil and/or have a problem with the recent incivility also would be more likely to not be overtly loud about these opinions.

Personally, I just stick with flagging and ignoring these people in general. On the other hand, one of the people that have been uncivil recently posted that they do not believe in ever not saying something if they disagreed with someone. (which, I’m not sure how it works out for them in their personal and professional life)


I saw a two post tread earlier today. Both posts were by @rishkoi and were about DIY soylent and one of its effects. Both are clearly relevant topics for the soylent forum. There were no personal or societal statements, i.e. there was nothing that could be considered offense. The only thing ‘off’ was the thread title (something about gender and the forum). codinghorror closed thing thread as off topic because it didn’t have to do with soylent. BS! Total and absolute BS! There were two posts and each had to do with Soylent! On the off chance that he didn’t know peoplechow was a popular DIY Soylent or jaw atropy is a common concern, I sent a flag explaining how each of the posts were 100% related to soylent. Instead of re-opening the thread, it was complety removed! That is clearly horrendous moderation and abuse of moderator power!


? I saw the thread/posts you were talking about and it had nothing to do with " DIY soylent and one of its effects." or remotely related to " that he didn’t know peoplechow was a popular DIY Soylent or jaw atropy is a common concern".

I guess there were others spammed and codinghorrors got sick of reading them and starting moderating on title alone? In which case, I understand his frustration.


@addy - At the pount I read them, the first post was solely about eating People Chow and being on a specific exercise routine (x20 something) and losing weight. And then inquirying about others’ experience with Soylent, exercise, and weight loss. The second post was solely about having been on Soylent 100% for a week, then getting a sore jaw when trying to eat chicken, therefore gum was recommended. I don’t remember seeing any indication that these posts were edited, but there have been posts that explicitily stated they were edited and yet had no edited icon, so there was that possibility. BUT, at the point I read it, it was already locked, so why then delete it?

edited to add explicit @


@biab is 100% spot on, that’s exactly what I saw too.


I agree, the moderation here is a bit heavy-handed with little to no explanation. At least on his other sites, Stack Exchange, bad content gets flagged with a reason. Go look at Stack Overflow (which is also backed by Jeff Atwood), at any given time there will be multiple downvoted questions on the front page. However, they will be marked as “on hold,” “closed,” of “off topic” with an explanation, and are not deleted.

Maybe it is time for someone to open their own forum for Soylent that is not in any way affiliated with Jeff Atwood or Rosa Labs. Make your own rules, pay your own hosting bill.