Should I start reporting what I consider to be hijacks? (GD)

With the new rules for Great Debates, the staff are clearly calling for more focused threads with less hijacks. There are plenty of posts that I think are hijacks. Should I report them?

I personally could not care less if a thread is hijacked by an interesting tangent. Almost all of the hijacks I see are interesting, because necessarily an uninteresting post does not get followed up on. There are times where I want to hijack threads, but I try to make a conscious effort not to do so beyond “would you like to debate this in a new thread?” (I am not always successful in doing this)

I’m not 100% sure on the scope of the rules and my guess is that they do not align with my own personal vision of an interesting debate. I don’t want to bother the moderators by reporting posts that, to be honest, I like reading. Certainly I don’t want to see anybody punished. Most hijacks are unintentional and natural, methinks.

But I also want to help. We are evidently coming out of some sort of Great Debates existential crisis, and J, J & T say the solution is more focused threads with less hijacks.

Should I start reporting posts?



Report 10 posts that you think are hijacks. Observe the results - which ones does a mod agree with? Which ones have no action taken? Adjust accordingly.

That’s like trying to learn common law just by reading the questions and the vote tally of the judges. I can’t always guess why other people disagree with me, and in my experience trying to do so is not a very effective way of learning. If I feel my hijack-detection is out of touch with official policy, I would send a message or make a public post rather than the one-directional feedback we call the report button.


Bother the mods, that’s what they’re there for. If you think a thread is being hijacked, report it. If it’s your thread, you can request that the thread be put back on track and ignore the hijacker.

Yes, you absolutely should.

I really need to crack down on hijacks and wandering threads. The boards will be better served - and threads more focused - by people starting new threads instead of hijacking existing threads.

Don’t worry about reporting. That’s exactly what we’re here for. It’s no trouble at all.

Thing is, this board is run more in a common law way. They don’t adjudicate hypotheticals, only when a real case is before them–i.e. someone reports someone. They won’t tell you ahead of time.

So it really is the only way to learn. They don’t want to try and craft rules which can be exploited, but rather deal with each situation as it comes. They may even declare something to be or not to be a hijack, observe that this moderation didn’t work, and change how they moderate it in the future.

Point is, this is new for all of us, so the mods don’t necessarily know exactly where the line is yet. We’re all trying to figure things out.

Good! I’ve been so tempted to junior mod and just bit my tongue in elections.

Avoid that temptation; just hit report. The Mods may or may not agree with whatever it is you see – but they will catch JMing almost every time. And its troubling (at least to me) when the second offense draws a time-out while the first offense gets a slight naughty-naughty. What can I say; I was a public school teacher.



In a thread a while ago, the mods said a polite reminder or request, such as “Can we get back to the OP please?” or “Great subject but maybe better for another thread so not to hijack this one”- is Ok and not Junior modding. But apparently you cant do it twice or get strident about it.

Once, politely , then report if it continues.

This advice may have been superseded by new rules.