Question about breaking news threads

This concerns this post in the thread about the murders in the synagogue in Pittsburgh:

I reported the post because I feel it violates the prohibition on bringing hot button issues into breaking news threads. Obviously the issue isn’t talking about the president. Quoting a statement that says he believes placing armed guards in houses of worships is.

If such posts are permitted, I anticipate arguments made by proxy in such threads (and am not convinced that the post at issue isn’t an example of such).

I know moderation isn’t instantaneous. I’m mainly posting this as I have the time to do it now and would appreciate an explanation if aceplace57’s post is deemed appropriate for that thread.

There is not going to be a bright line as to what is allowed and what isn’t. There is context and nuance involved. Any time Trump is mentioned there is the potential of the thread being derailed to be about him. In this case I would say that reporting his statement about the attack should be allowed. That’s part of the events of the aftermath. A discussion about how he is wrong would be better suited in a different thread.

We would prefer to keep the conversation on track. If that can be accomplished with no mod notes that’s great. Hopefully it will continue without the need for further moderation. As it stands now I counted at least 8 posts that could have also received mod notes. I think the point was made without a need for micromanaging.

Is mentioning a politician or other notable figure responding to Trump’s promotion of armed guards in synagogues permitted? Could one quote a politician that is demanding more restrictive gun laws acceptable? Is bringing up the response of leading gun control advocacy groups?

I’m not looking for a bright line but I’m confused because the above seem to be obviously out of bounds and I’m having difficulty squaring that with aceplace57’s post going unmoderated.

There absolutely are other posts that could have been noted. I believe those all occurred before the last moderator intervention in that thread. The post I’m discussing was the one that immediately followed that intervention. Hours later.

This is how breaking news threads are supposed to go…

Poster 1: That happened.
Poster 2: Yes, that did happen.
Poster 3: Hey guys, you’re right, that happened.

Until everyone is bored to death.

If cheerleading for Trump is allowed (He’s deeply wounded personally because his daughter marred a Jew!!!) then criticism of Trump should also be okay. Or common sense might one day prevail and breaking news will be in it’s own forum, with it’s own rules and moderation.

Quoting the statement about armed guards might be an issue. And I echo Mityras’s query about whether it would be appropriate to quote some other political figure with a different perspective.

But it seems to me that there’s another issue with the post in question, which is that it tries to convince people that Trump really, really meant it. That’s political in a way that simply repeating a quote sn’t.

If the post had been: “for those who missed it, here’s what trump had to say [followed by the quote and no editorializing]” that seems reasonable.

When you start editorializing, whether it’s to say “and I know he feels this deeply because” or “and I think he’s full of it because”, then it seems to me you have crossed a line. We actually have no way of knowing how trump feels about the shooting, and I think that comments trying to attribute specific motives to the man don’t belong if political discussion is barred from threads about breaking news.

That’s why I’d moderate the comment.

(Oops, just read the post above mine; sorry for some duplication)

But the post is not merely reporting on what he said. It is a post cheering on Trump for making said response. That would seem to me to cross the line into a political post, rather than just an informative post.

Given that a political post from one side was rather harshly moderated (“bad things will happen”, a rather ominous threat), it would seem only fair that the other side be treated the same.

The post was completely gratuitous.

Of course Trump was going to say something like that. He always reads something off of a script, but very soon thereafter can’t stop himself from twisting it into some self-serving propaganda.

On the other hand,Blank Slate is right. Breaking news threads are kind of pointless, anyway. (Just turn on the news, instead.)

No, I’d disagree. Breaking news threads serve the community here pretty well.

They allow for the sharing of information about a subject - check our classic 9/11 thread for an example of a breaking news thread in which events were moving very quickly - and allow for people to behave like a community. To share information and reaction to that information. Such is very useful for the SDMB as a whole.

Where we’ve elected to draw the line is in political reaction and partisan bickering about the events. What we don’t want is someone taking cheap potshots to advance their political partisan agenda while there might be someone else in the thread personally impacted by the ongoing events.

Plus, come on, people. MPSIMS isn’t the place for that sort of behavior in the first place. You all know where the BBQ Pit and GD are? It’s not like it’s a long trip to get there and odds are there’ll already be a thread ongoing about an event like this anyway.

Am I right to understand that the first sentence of my moderated post is acceptable, but not the second?

So we can say, “this guy did this because he was a Nazi,” but we cannot say, “don’t be a Nazi.” Right?

OK, please understand that I wasn’t singling you out in particular with that note. You just drew the short straw. Sorry about that.

But in general - and realize I was just pinch hitting in MPSIMS so those mods may have a different take - I’d agree. Providing it’s a verifiable fact, posting that someone is a nazi would be acceptable. Going from that to ‘All Nazi’s and those who agree with them are XXX’ would be crossing a line.

Breaking News threads should be about information, not opinion, and using such events to advance a partisan agenda would be poorly received.

Also, I realize you were indeed ‘moderated’ there. But it was just a note. A soft redirection for all, nothing permanent. No warning, no nothing. I had to look up that it was even me who did it in case I’d forgotten something.

No, no worries. I think my comment was out of line as I now understand the rule. Thanks for clarifying.

It’s easy, in these tiringly partisan times, to allow our feelings to intrude everywhere and into everything. But we’re gifted with brains and can overcome that if we choose.

And hell, we’re the SDMB. We should be able to overanalyze anything if we try hard enough.

I don’t think fact vs opinion is the defining line though. For example:

People got shot. That is terrible.

First sentence is fact, second is opinion, but both are fine for breaking news. The main thrust of the guidance is that politicization of breaking news threads tends to hijack them. Therefore those types of discussions are best left out of breaking news threads.

So for example:
People got shot. Trump is going to xyz with this.

I’d say the second is not appropriate. Of course, not a MPSIMS mod so I’d defer to them for the most part.

Hey posters!

Did you ever want to watch mods defer to each other? Now you CAN!


I definitely see the value in discussing the issues around events, but I don’t believe there is any particularly pressing need to do so immediately while an event–which is on the other side of the country and doesn’t directly affect me personally in the moment–is ongoing and still unfolding, other than for the purely entertainment value of the immediate thrill. We can’t really discuss an event at a meaningful level until all the facts are in, and just about all of what gets posted on breaking news threads is people simply repeating bits and piece of information they found out by clicking on another browser tab and looking at a cable news live feed–which all of us are capable of doing. If that’s what we need to behave like a community, okay, fine, but I would assert that where that really happens is in the follow-up threads people start after the bulk of the relevant information is in.

Are we going to give you a chart that states this post is good and this is bad? Nope. There is context and nuance involved.

In a thread about an emotionally charged breaking news story there is going to be posts that go up to the line and even lean over it. If it’s leaning too far over I may note it. If it leads to a hijack I will definitely step in. I will most likely not take a heavy hand with every post that comes close. Maybe I’m reading the room wrong but I don’t think most people would want heavier moderation.

The whole purpose is to facilitate discussion about the facts of the incident. Different posters find different sources. Some posters may be from the area and have special insight. Some may benefit from getting better sources and dispelling bad reports.

Of course there is always hope that everyone will play nice on their own and we won’t have to moderate anything.