Masking posts linked to the Pit

A while back, I created this thread:

It didn’t get much traction, but I think this is still an issue, and it has been raised multiple times in the thread about whether we should keep the Pit at all.

Nothing changed, and you can still link to a GD thread in a Pit thread, which can cause the GD post to have an insulting thread title at the bottom. This still seems unacceptable to me – basically, it allows posters to call other posters trolls outside the Pit. However, other posters liked the way that Discourse can link to other topics.

So, how about this, as a compromise (assuming it’s technically feasible): Anytime a post is linked in a Pit thread, rather than showing the name of the Pit thread (I will try and create an example in this post), how about if the link is changed to read “This post was linked in a thread in the Pit”.

That way, those of you who like to be able to follow other linked threads can still do that, but posts won’t have a “RitterSport is a big doofus” tag at the bottom of the content.

As much as I take pleasure from seeing such a link under some posts, I have to agree with you. But I’d be very surprised if this is currently supported by Discourse. And as a product guy, I would never add this kind of functionality for what is a very rare use case, so I think it’s unrealistic to expect it.

One way to somewhat address this would be a rule that Pit threads about other posters must have generic non-insulting titles. Instead of “RitterSport is a big doofus”, titles must be something like “A Pit thread for RitterSport.”

Another thought - as much as I like participating in the omnibus poster Pit threads, I have to admit that they probably aren’t healthy for the board. If someone didn’t piss you off enough to go to the trouble of starting a new thread, then maybe you don’t need to add another complaint to an existing one. Call people out for the egregious offenses, but the omnibus threads often descend into constant nitpicking.

Disallowing omnibus threads or putting a time limit on them doesn’t directly address the linking issue, but it would cut down significantly on the number of links that pepper certain people’s posts.

We used to do that . . . and it resulted in biweekly, alternating, Pittings of Der and Starving.

OK, then we could make it a rule that links in the Pit to non-Pit threads must be broken, just like NSFW links are. Violating that rule can cause mod notes and warnings, and repeated violations can result in suspensions and banning.

Yeah, I’d be shocked if there were any way to implement this.

I kind of like the idea of requiring the title of pit threads about posters to be bland. “I pit PuzzleGal” is a lot less annoying to see in my thread than “PuzzleGal is an evil horrible person”. And it would be incredible easy to moderate, because changing titles is trivial. Anyone could complain about the linked title, and we could let any mod adjust the title to fit whatever the rule is. A mod note or warning would probably ensue, but that’s not even critical. What’s critical is that offensive link names could be quickly made to go away.

I don’t really like breaking links, because honestly, the links are useful and can help the flow of a discussion.

I agree. I think they should be closed after the immediate moment of ire is over.

But then, I don’t like omnibus threads at all.

A preferable state of affairs to my mind. I’ve always disliked this newfangled omnibus trend and have been pretty get-off-my-lawn about it.

Yeah, some posters will still have regular Pit threads. But the volume of links to the Pit from other forums would be greatly reduced. Currently, some posters get Pit-linked for anything marginally stupid or borderline offensive. Save it for the truly stupid and offensive posts.

I’m OK with the rest of the omnibus threads (or at least I don’t care enough to have an opinion). It’s just the ones targeted at posters that I think we could do without.

That would address the issue, but would be a PITA to manage and moderate. The links are generated automatically if you quote anyone, so you’d need to do extra work to change all quotes into generic block quotes. Certainly doable, but everyone would forget, and Miller would spend all day fixing it for people.

I would certainly prefer a technical solution. I wonder if @codinghorror could comment on whether any of this is at all feasible.

As far as breaking the link, I think all you would need to do is put a space somewhere in the middle, right?

The problem is that the links are actually useful. Why IS PuzzleGal a horrible person? Well, look at what e said in this post right here, isn’t that awful?

Now anyone can click on the link and defend me or excoriate me, based on reading that link.

That’s why i would prefer a “bland names” rule. Which, as i point out, would be really easy for posters to follow, and really easy for mods to address if a poster didn’t follow the rule.

It depends on how it’s linked. If I want to show what a doofus someone is, I don’t paste a link to their post in the Pit thread. Instead, I quote them and paste that quote into the Pit thread so I can include only the pertinent part of their post. If I do it that way, then I need to manually delete the post and topic codes (e.g., “post:9, topic:944471” in the quote above).

With either of these methods of breaking the link, it still needs to be done for every post, which means a lot of cleanup when people forget. Changing the thread title is one time only. And as puzzlegal says, the links are useful.

How do you deal with the Omnibus Trolls R Us thread? Seems like every time that thread is referenced, someone is getting called a troll outside of the Pit.

I live with that thread.

And you know what, a lot of the links in that thread are not to people trolling, but to people being annoying. Enough that i don’t think the link, by itself, means “I’m accusing this poster of being a troll.”

Also, the world is an imperfect place. So is this board.

I’d like to make sure there’s not a technical solution first, but I can get behind the “bland titles” idea.

Since @Loach said in your thread last year, this comes with Discourse straight out of the box and was being discussed last year before Jenny died, I’m guessing we are not going to see any change until they get an admin that can try to get stuff done. Right now, with all the stuff going on, they are not going to change anything.

Since this is a sensible decision that we could do right now, with the staff we have, this seems like a no brainer. When we get a tech later on we could make changes then, if needed.

I’m totally onboard with the end of omnibus threads aimed at posters. I participated in one and sometimes think I should have just left it alone. It was just a big gripe session and what had effect on that poster was moderation, not a 1,000 post pit thread.

I would also put the time limit on poster pittings to a week. If you’re holding on to your anger at someone you only know from a message board for longer than that, maybe the problem isn’t the guy you pitted. If they anger you so much again, start another one.

I would prefer that. At least make the pitter put a little effort in.

Considering @codinghorror has an “account removed”, whatever that means, and hasn’t posted all month, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

He speaks! Good, this is easily done now, by @Miller , if a technical solution turns up, we can use it then. I think we all know that a tech fix isn’t going to happen right now.

Is this a decision you can make on your own, as God Emperor of the Pit, or something you would run through the mod loop?

Another vote for bland titles for Pit threads for members. Great idea!

I also like the idea of time-limited Pitting for members. If people had to start a new thread, they might think twice about posting about the same person.

I’ll run it by the other mods first, but I doubt anyone will object.

I just noticed that @filmore made the same suggestion in the “Revisiting the BBQ Pit” thread yesterday, so credit where credit is due. And here I thought I was so original.

Not really. If they defend you, they will be called names also, so people rarely do that.

And I have not yet seen a Pit thread where they called anyone out for being a general sort of horrible person, jerk, asshole or whatever- that was useful or even correct. It it more “He disagrees with me, thus he is a asshole, ipso facto.”

Now if very specific, like being called out for being a racist- I have see some posts that were useful in that regard. But generally not. However, racist posts can & have been moderated.