Please Do Not Delete Your Posts

This is a public forum and we DO NOT DELETE THE ORIGINAL QUESTION. The forum allows members to edit their post to correct errors, format code, etc. but it is not intended that members destroy the context of the discussion, making it useless to others.

Members give their time and expertise freely to help anyone interested in the topic, not just the original poster. Deleting the original question after members have responded is disrespectful.

If you delete your posts, you risk being banned from the forum.

[Edited by REAS, 1 March 2018]

Comments

  • Good of you to create this discussion. I was wondering if mods have the ability to restore the content of a post after it has been edited.

  • I think it needs an administrator and it has to be done quickly because deletes can be permanent in a matters of hours.

    To be honest I don't know of any admin that regularly visits the form since @PhiLho moved onto other things.

  • edited March 2017

    Then we really need some sort of "Processing forum administrator", or at least they should appoint one of the mods to the post of an admin.

    As much as I'd like to believe that this post will prevent all people from deleting their posts, I am sure that there will be some who won't read or won't bother about it. And I'm afraid nothing can change some people. Nonetheless, it should prevent the better people from deleting posts.

  • edited March 2017

    I was wondering if mods have the ability to restore the content of a post after it has been edited.

    I think it needs an administrator...

    ... and it has to be done quickly because deletes can be permanent in a matters of hours.

    Any mod can restore deleted content. \m/
    I did that a lotta times. And I'm surprised other mods didn't notice it?! 8-}
    However, this forum is bugged. Not all deleted messages are available for recover. X(
    That can happen even for very recent deleted or edited posts! :-<

  • @GoToLoop Then that's good. Though we should still ban those who won't listen even after being told by others.

  • That's good. I agreed with you.

  • Ain't it possible that set that users can't delete posts but only flag for a deletion request?

  • They don't delete, they edit and remove all the content. And you can't really stop them from editing.

    (I tried the moderator's restore option on the one this morning. It didn't get restored but did get deleted from the list of changes. Pah)

  • Oh great. @GoToLoop Any idea why you can't restore any longer?

  • edited March 2017

    It didn't get restored, but did get deleted from the list of changes. Pah!

    • We can't automatically restore the starting post. It permanently fizzles if we dare to try! ~X(
    • But it works OK for the rest of the replies though. :P
    • My strategy to recover starting posts is to manually copy & paste them back. *-:)
    • However, many edited posts randomly fail to show up. So they get away from our powers! X(
  • Very strange. Things happening "randomly" is indicative of a not very well organised system, so that's what the forum is. That's why I said we could really be better off with a "Processing Forum Administrator", someone who could actually help repair all this.

  • Do they delete cause it are school assignments?

  • I am newbie here. I haven't tried to post my own question. My suggestion and question is, why the owner of this site didn't remove the DELETE button? There's a lot of programmer here, maybe we can help.

  • The DELETE button is only available to Moderators and Administrators and is needed to remove spam and inappropriate posts.

    Forum Members have the ability to edit their posts, it allows them to correct typos etc. I am not sure whether the Administrators can change this or even if it is desirable.

  • No, that would prevent sensible people from correcting typos, etc. Rather, it would be nice if every edit saved the older version for mods to review and revert if nescessary, perhaps for a period of 3 days before automatically deleting old version.

  • But why delete old versions in any case? Only reason I can see would be to save space, but is that really an issue in hour days?

  • Shouldn't waste space anytime, even if you have enough of it

  • I strongly disagree with saved edit history. It's also a data rights/privacy issue and people should have a right to control their online information and identity. Even google lets you hide your public information. I can understand a lot of students try to cheat on their homework, but that's their problem. I think archiving questions for the public record and benefit is a grey area. On one hand if the data is anonymized I think it's fine, the problem is who decides what is anonymous enough - although I haven't ran into the issue yet, I can imagine finding empty posts can be a nuisance for search and context. I think that's a small price to pay for freedom. Fight the urge to own everyone's information. People are more willing to share their information if they don't lose control over it.

    On a related tangent I don't think asking already answered basic questions is a bad thing. This shouldn't be another stack exchange. If you want an active forum you need to keep beginners engaged. The less opportunity beginners have to help others, the less engagement you will get from new users. Also, people learn from answering questions.

  • edited March 8

    It's also a data rights/privacy issue and people should have a right to control their online information and identity

    That's true but since no personal information is shared on the forum, how does it apply here?

    Even google lets you hide your public information

    I suspect you mean private information e.g. identity

    I can understand a lot of students try to cheat on their homework, but that's their problem.

    That's not true. In many areas advancement is based on academic achievement, cheating puts honest students at a disadvantage.

    I can imagine finding empty posts can be a nuisance for search and context. I think that's a small price to pay for freedom.

    People have the freedom NOT to use this forum if they are unhappy for their questions to be on public view. This forum particularly asks users not to delete their posts, if they are unhappy about that then they should go elsewhere.

    Personally I can't see why anyone asking a Processing / computing / programming question on this forum should have concerns over privacy.

  • I can imagine finding empty posts can be a nuisance for search and context. I think that's a small price to pay for freedom.

    I completely disagree with that statement. One of the many reasons I help in the forum is bc the forum has helped me in the past. AND I hope my help gets propagated down the chain so other people benefit, SPECIALLY new comers. If I helped somebody and then they erase their post, then that post goes to the void and at the end, it will benefit one person. New comers needs to be educated in many ways, and accepting that their post won't be deleted is one of them. This is the price you pay in the forum so they should take it or leave it.

    That's not true. In many areas advancement is based on academic achievement, cheating puts honest students at a disadvantage.

    I second @quark on that.

    Kf

  • edited March 8

    That's true but since no personal information is shared on the forum, how does it apply here?

    That depends how you define personal information. I'd argue anything creative or written is personal, it's also possible to tie online accounts together since people often write or share information that can be personally identifiable or use the same usernames. For example, someone looking for a job as a developer might not want an embarrassing question they made 3 years ago available for search online.

    That's not true. In many areas advancement is based on academic achievement, cheating puts honest students at a disadvantage.`

    Not in the long run, and I think that's up to the institutions to enforce. It's not true that searching code online is the only way to tell whether someone cheated. There are also more reasons someone might want to control their information or redact posts than cheating on homework. Besides which, in the cheating scenario, someone would ask a question and if another posted a completed solution, if the OP redacts his question the answer is still indexed by google. So I'd argue the ability to edit posts isn't primarily about cheating anyway.

    People have the freedom NOT to use this forum if they are unhappy for their questions to be on public view. This forum particularly asks users not to delete their posts, if they are unhappy about that then they should go elsewhere.

    That's true, but this is the same argument most websites make with draconian terms of use contracts. The core of the issue is "if you make a post on this forum, you give up the right to your data/intellectual property". That's a common thing for social websites to put in their terms of service, but I philosophically disagree.

    I suspect you mean private information e.g. identity

    You can remove comments and shared data on google as well. And in countries with right to be forgotten laws you can remove everything.

    Another example is, I could mention my history/qualifications regarding this topic, but then I would have to worry about any future post adding to PII potentially identifying me with comments I make. Sometimes it's good practice to redact potentially PII so things don't sit around forever. All you need to do is say one too many things that ties you to a real identity and suddenly everything you've said on x platform becomes a matter of your public record.

    Like I said, I completely sympathize with what you're trying to do, and respecting those that answer questions. I would just implore you to find a solution which satisfies both concerns over people's personal data and the need to provide context to QA threads.

  • edited March 8

    Given this forum doesn't have any "terms of use" contracts (much less "draconian"), just 1 nickname, 1 e-mail, and only stores joined & last IPs AFAIK, it's up to us to hide even those few identifiable data. :-\"

    1. Nickname: just make up 1 which doesn't have anything to do w/ you or your surroundings.
    2. E-mail: You can create a temporary 1 just to register to this forum.
    3. IPs: You may try out TOR, http://AnonyMouse.org/anonwww.html, proxies, VPNs, etc.; in order to hide them.

    Only problem is when you register to this forum, you're gonna need to overcome its anti-SPAM algorithm. :ar!

  • edited March 8

    @BGADII -- To me this seems like an abstract philosophical statement in search of a this-forum-specific problem. This forum just don't have any significant number of European-style "right to be forgotten" needs, and if there was a legitimate privacy / identity-based concern there, that person (for example, you) could always reach out to a moderator for assistance.

    What the forum does get is a lot of people who post once -- just once -- from a throwaway account, cutting and pasting a homework assignment text, collecting answers for a brief period of time, then deleting the original question to prevent the question (not their private information, but their teacher's assignment text) from being detectable on the internet and tied to the advice received during grading. This renders the answers illegible, which then defeats the purpose of the thread -- not just to help that one person, but to help anyone with a similar problem. So: if 99 people remove non-private information in order to hide cheating in a way that damages the public good, and 1 person needs to protect their identity, then a reasonable policy is to advise 99 people that they may not delete and must act accordingly, and let the 1 person out of 100 contact a moderator.

    This isn't even an unusual paradigm for a question and answer site. For example, Stackoverflow does not allow users to delete questions that have answers and positive rank. Once your question becomes part of a productive community conversation, your question doesn't belong to you -- and if you vandalize it, it can be reverted.

    https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/63983/can-i-delete-my-own-question

    Notice that this doesn't prevent a Stackoverflow user from deleting their account! But notice, also, that account removal is emphatically not the goal for most aspiring cheaters on the Processing forum. Instead their goal is not to hide their throwaway account name, or identifying information. Their goal is to conceal from a teacher during evaluation time that the class assignment prompt is somewhere on the internet, and prevent the teacher from pairing work product up with public advice. The forum says: you can't do that. Solicit advice about your homework and then do it yourself in a way that you wouldn't be ashamed if the teacher saw the conversation.

  • that person (for example, you) could always reach out to a moderator for assistance.

    On the two occasions I have been asked to delete discussions (that have answers) I have done so because the original poster had a good reason for asking.

  • I feel this forum is for educational purposes and not really for social networking, so I really don't understand privacy concerns. If you truly desire privacy, then just read the forum and take it for what it is. I, personally, like to see the unfolding thought process that exists in a thread and if portions are deleted then it is a sad waste. It is for sharing information and it has greatly advanced my skills and enthusiasm for programming.

  • That said about deleting posts, I will agree that there is definitely room for improvement on control over personal information. There is no reason I can see for users to be unable to change their own user names -- quite a surprise, and not a reasoned forum policy as far as I know, just bad config.

  • So as someone who is very new to the Program and recently joined the Forum because I was unable to start processing after using it for a full year, I searched the forum high and low for an answer. I was unable to find someone with my specific problem for a couple of weeks (probably because I am new to all this). At one point, I thought I had found the correct thread and responded. Upon posting it, I immediately realized that it was not the same problem and felt like an idiot for doing it, so I deleted the comment. BUT I still caught flack from Ben because I had posted incorrectly – received several emails about it (none of which actually helped me fix my issue, just reminding me I had not asked for help in the correct way.) My point being, if you don't want people to delete posts, try to have a bit more compassion? If it is obvious they have a different problem, maybe try to direct them to the answer instead of just shutting them down. If we actually want more and more people using P3 so that the system is sustainable and mods can be compensated for their time, understand that assumed knowledge makes people just learning programming feel like outsiders and that they don't even deserve to ask questions in the first place. Turns out, I had to delete the Preferences word file and repaste, but my P3 was down for weeks and ultimately I found my answer elsewhere ..

  • @BitLola -- you make an important point! I would also like to clarify that this FAQ (Please Do Not Delete Your Posts) and @quark's intro ("DO NOT DELETE THE ORIGINAL QUESTION") are about the first post to start a new thread -- not an individual response to somebody else's question.

    There are other things that people in the forum sometimes get grumpy about -- like responding to somebody's post years later with a follow-up question, after the original poster has moved on. But that is really (in my personal opinion) a more minor issue about politeness and where to ask for best results. You are right to point out that how the forum responds to that might make it feel less welcoming.

    On the other hand: Deleting your own post after you ask a question and others respond to it counts as vandalism in this community. It sounds like in your story above you did not do that....

  • BitLola : I agree with the more compassion, especially with newbies....

    Often we don’t say hello or Welcome to them.

    It’s just as voluubteers there often is not enough time.

    And the programming language is hard and on top we require how to post code or how to behave in the forum, which makes a bad impression on newbies. And you’re are right, ultimately we want to grow and make newbies feel welcome and comfortable, so they spread the word.

    Best, Chrisir ;-)

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