From that last thread, that got closed before I could respond…
…Um… Yes?! Oh my god yes. This is absolutely something moderators should do, and not just to threads in ATMB that seem to have outlived their usefulness.
Take this thread, for example. Best-case scenario, Silver Lining didn’t read the graphs he cited. Best-case. This thread was a shitshow from post one; by the time someone pointed out that the data in question was a decade old, the thread had already degraded to the point where any reasonable discussion is impossible. When the OP is polling data from a decade ago masquerading as modern polling data, where, exactly, can the thread go from there?
(Oh, by the by, I feel it’d be remiss of me to point out that silver lining does this a lot - low-effort OPs that are quickly and easily revealed to be, at best, completely misleading. Here’s another example - the OP is literally a link to a fake news site and one line of text, which is debunked by Snopes by post #4. Here he is poisoning the well in one of the two lines of text in his OP. Here’s another one that would be right at home on FakeNewsForRealPatriots.com. I could probably keep going. Just pointing out a pattern I noticed. And I’m not the only one.)
And this isn’t some meaningless nonsense, either. Source amnesia is a thing. You’re likely to retain an emotionally-charged claim like “Democrats want to allow non-citizens to vote” long after you forget where you heard it, let alone the link to Snopes carefully debunking it on page 4. If this forum is serious about “fighting ignorance”, the moderators should take steps to fight active misinformation. Things like correcting obviously bogus thread titles at the very least, or shutting down threads that are based on lies, fake news, or conspiracy theories.
I’m reminded of PhysicsForums, which, admittedly, is more specialized, but has a nice take on such things. If you show up there with a crackpot theory, your thread immediately gets put in a special “alternative theories” forum, where you are given the chance to rigorously defend your theory, and failure to do so will usually end with you either admitting you were wrong or you getting banned. Extreme? Sure, but it beats having a forum mostly for serious discussions of physics being polluted by every crackpot nutjob who wants to defend young earth creationism.
(Yes, I realize the odd 9/11 truther conspiracy thread can be fun, but can we at least restrict it to those who try to make it interesting, rather than threads like the one that was recently cornfielded?)
Some threads are shit from the get-go. Some threads simply aren’t going to go well. The ones where this is clearly the case generally aren’t that hard to spot in advance. And the moderators really should, IMHO, keep an eye on that.