So there is currently a huge blowup going on over a warning given to a member. Apparently the whole thing got so out-of-hand that someone contacted the Chicago Sun-Times about it.
Now, I understand getting upset over a suspension or banning, but a warning? Seems like a silly thing to be blowing up over. However, although I’ve been coming here and reading for two decades now, give or take, I don’t post much at all, and don’t always follow board politics (sometimes, but not always), so maybe I’m just not clear on what a warning entails. Can somebody fill me in? Please note: I am NOT interested in rehashing if the warning was merited, merely wondering why it was such a huge deal.
When you get a warning, you will get a PM from the mod who issued it. Go to your profile and look in Messages. I have a warning from 2017 that carried over from the old boards. There was also an Infractions tab on the old forums, too, but I haven’t found it on Discourse.
To expand a little, a large majority of users here never receive a single warning. Warnings are intended to get a poster to change behavior that we regard as a problem. When a poster makes it clear that he is not changing his behavior due to repeated warnings, suspension or a banning may result.
That’s not actually an official Warning. We actually would prefer that posts not be hidden. Under the old system, we would not hide or delete posts unless they were spam, trolling, or socking. As I said, we are still working out how to make the new system come closer to what we had before.
Ok, that’s an official Warning. However, merely having a post flagged as inappropriate doesn’t constitute an official Warning. There may be other reasons for that. Under the old system, you would have received a PM, and if you had notifications turned on, an, email saying “you have received an official warning at the Straight Dope.”
Apologies if this is confusing. As I said, we are trying to work out how to get Discourse to work more like the old system.
I’ve always thought the word Warning made them sound less important than they are. That word, to me, means something closer to what we call a Mod Note instructing people not to do something. They would not add up in any way.
But the ones here do add up. And that is why they are treated more importantly here than the word “warning” might imply.
(Incidentally, I believe the history is of this terminology is due to a quirk in vBulletin. It contains two ways to mark a post as a violation: Warnings, and Infractions. Problem is, Infractions give scores that would automatically suspend if you got enough of them. But the SDMB mods didn’t want that to happen–they wanted each to only be enacted after discussion. So they chose to use the Warning option.
I kinda always wished there was another option that could be used for a Mod Note, if only so that you would be sure the user saw the Note. If you don’t go back to the thread, you could miss them.)
BTW, can you actually edit posts that have been hidden? Or does the edit timeout remove that ability–or at least only give you five minutes to fix it?
I still don’t know why the owners of Discourse could have possibly thought that this was a good idea. It’s obviously going to be used by people against the poster to hide what they have to say.
If nothing else would work, I could see having a bot moderator whose only job was to automatically unhide all posts hidden via reports/Warnings. And also maybe new guidelines that to be more careful when reporting.
Ok, I guess that’s consistent with Colibri’s post meaning that the mods hid Ike_Witt’s post (though inadvertently) and BigT is possibly confused about default capability in Discourse versus how it is configured for SDMB.