Thread "ownership"

Anthracite raises an excellent point in a different thread and rather than hijack my own thread, well, you get the idea.

Does anyone “own” a thread? If the thread goes tangentially but relevantly off topic, does anyone have a right to try to “steer” the thread back to the OP?

IMHO, “Truth in advertising” requires us to keep the thread somewhat on topic in deference to those who might come to the thread late, read the thread title and find it has gone in a direction irrelevant to the OP. Beyond that, I think we should be flexible.

Well, if nothing else, the moderators have the right to try to steer the thread back on topic. Whether this is actually done depends on circumstances. For instance, a Cafe Society thread comparing the combat capabilities of the Enterprise and an Imperial Star Destroyer might easily drift off onto other science fiction spacecraft, or even to SF in general, and the mods aren’t likely to do anything to stop it. On the other hand, person might ask in GQ concerning legal precedents relevant to abortion, in which case the moderators would probably be very active, to prevent the thread from turning into a Great Debate on that topic.

The SDMB as a whole owns a thread and the moderators exercise the will of the SDMB. It’s a simple action by proxy arrangment common to all governments, actually.

Incidentally, that is why it’s so annoying when some newbie asks the mods to close a perfectly good thread. What if there’s new info? What if I wanted to make a bad joke? Let the thread die a natural death at the hands of the SDMB as a whole.

Point taken. The originator of a thread, by common consent, has a few extra privileges – more or less moral authority, which the Mods. will respect up to a point, as in when he feels that what’s happened w/r/t a thread has sufficiently dealt with why he opened it (e.g., a GQ thread’s OP question has been answered fully; a Pit thread based on a misunderstanding has been cleared up to his satisfaction; etc.). Note that they aren’t rights, just a bit of increased “say” in the eyes of the Mods., who can disregard his request for closure if in their opinions leaving it open is a valid option, for whatever reasons.