Moderators changing thread titles

I recently started a thread call “Attempted murder” and it was changed to “Attempted murder of Justice Brett Kavanaugh”. The thing is that I had deliberately called it “Attempted murder” and not “Attempted murder of Justice Brett Kavanaugh” because while it was obviously based on the recent Kavanaugh incident, my hope was to have discussion the broader issue of what counts as “attempted murder” without limiting it to the Kavanaugh incident specifically.

This is not the first time something like this has happened.

I feel like the moderators have been more inclined to change thread titles of late to make them more specific, but have also been cracking down on so-called thread hijacks, and that these two efforts are in tension with each other.

Bottom line is that I would suggest that moderators be more judicious about changing the titles of threads.

In that specific instance, I think there’s a strong case to have it revert back to the original name.

But an even stronger case for a different, more informative name, like “What counts as attempted murder” rather than an information-light “Attempted murder”

Sorry, but it was a non-descriptive title. You mentioned Kavanaugh 4 times including the quotes. I have to agree with MrDibble, the original title was not informative.

I wouldn’t revert title, but I would be willing to change it to a more informative one. We really do frown on non-descriptive titles. Not that I noticed yours, it was part of a flag or 2.

I interpreted that OP as asking what about this specific case constituted attempted murder, and for that, the specific case is absolutely relevant.

Here’s the thread in question (unless I missed it, you didn’t include the link):

The question in the OP of that thread is “I’m curious as to why that counts as attempted murder”; so it sounds like the question was about that specific incident.

And I agree that the original thread title was too vague.

How about Mods attempting to contact the OP before changing the title? Explain what seems wrong with it and ask for suggestions. If the OP doesn’t respond quickly enough change it but try to continue the communication with the OP and be willing to change it again to something better. @MrDibble’s suggestion of “What counts as attempted murder?” might be suitable in this case.

I think the OP’s broader discussion desire would be more appropriate for an IMHO category than a Factual Questions category.

I’d also suggest going back to either putting the edited text in brackets or at least appending [title edited] in brackets to the new title.

This is in the Rules for All Forums section of the FAQ:

We have been fixing vague titles for as long as I have been a mod (and longer). This is nothing new.

I usually add a mod note to the thread indicating that the title was changed, and reminding users to use more descriptive titles.

If there is an issue with the edited title, please flag the OP and indicate what the error is and we will fix it.

I usually do, I did the split and merge from my phone and missed that step.

I added the staff note for the merge, but didn’t mention the title change. I should have.

I just did both now.

And yet, as I’ve complained before (and been told to suck it), it is selectively not enforced for MSPIMS. Even though many of us do not browse by forum, and muting MSPIMS in its entirety is undesirable when it contains breaking news stories. It pisses me off that clickbait titles are allowed here in a place that’s supposed to be for grownups.

That’s news to me. I’m one of the MPSIMS moderators and I enforce the rule there just as in any other forum I moderate.

Look at every one of Beckdawreck’s thread titles. Apparently she is exempt from the rule.

It wasn’t vague, it was broad. The question was about the nature of “attempted murder”.

It was only vague if you decide that the thread was really about the specific Kavanaugh attempt, in which case the title was vague in failing to specify that. But in reality the Kavanaugh case was (possibly) a hook. (Mr. Dibble’s suggested title would have been fine too, though I don’t think it’s necessary. A reader seeing a title “attempted murder” would have to think it just might be about what counts as attempted murder.)

The OP was all about Kavanaugh because I’m not some sort of expert in attempted murder and didn’t have anything else to offer. The Kavanaugh case is in the news, and enough detail was provided in the reporting on that case to indicate that the guy was being charged with attempted murder despite not having actually done anything that might have killed Kavanaugh. So that brought home the issue. But if anyone else had anything else to offer as to other cases, then that would have been fine too.

If the discussion got diverted to a discussion of some other case which had ramifications as to the above question, that would be on-target for the question I was asking, but would be a hijack under the revised title. So the change in title had the effect of potentially narrowing the discussion, not clarifying what the thread was about.

It was a very vague title. A few more words could have made a big difference.

I don’t agree.

Some of her topics are definitely more towards the mundane and pointless side of the forum, which is fine. For example, her post on “winning” has a vague title, but it’s a very vague post (which is fine for MPSIMS).

If her thread titles bother you that much, you know where the Pit is.

I think that part of the problem is that you just don’t like MPSIMS the way it is now. But then, one thing I think we can all agree on is that we can’t agree on what to do with MPSIMS. Some people want to keep it the way that it is. Others want it split into a mundane and pointless forum and another not so mundane forum. Some want to split off news threads. You want it only to be “for grownups” which would exclude a lot of the more mundane/pointless threads.

Again, if the current nature of MPSIMS bothers you that much, you know where the Pit is. Or you can wait until another thread discussing how it should be changed makes its way around ATMB again.

“Attempted murder” is definitely way to vague.

“A question about the nature of attempted murder” would have been fine, IMHO.

And this was your inappropriate response before, as I recall. My complaint is about the lack of enforcement of an SDMB rule, so I am in the right forum. I would challenge anyone to decipher the likely content of her threads from the titles. I’m not objecting to fun idiosyncratic threads. But the way it’s supposed to work is that thread titles should indicate their contents so that we can figure out what threads we want to read.

If you want to enforce the rule selectively, that’s your prerogative. But don’t pretend that you’re doing anything other than that.

Great- thanks. There have a been a handful I noticed recently only because the first few posts made mention of it. Not a huge deal, but glad to know it’s still the expected norm.

The MMP title doesn’t always make sense either except as it is an MMP most of us know what it is going to be. I feel the say way with Beck’s titles at this point. You see her title, you know to not open them. It is pretty simple. I do the same. Also in MPSIMS a lot of stuff is looser.