Author Topic: New policy change.  (Read 7125 times)

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Offline PetrifiedWood

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New policy change.
« on: August 06, 2012, 04:33:39 PM »
I have received several PMs today about a member's posts being deleted. In the past, our forum software was configured to allow members to edit their own posts at any time. It seems we have had a problem with a member's posts being selectively deleted. It is possible that their account password has been discovered by someone else, or that they left their account logged in on a public computer.

Please, be careful about logging out of your user accounts when using a computer that anyone else has access to.

In order to help prevent this from occurring in the future and to protect user accounts from sabotage, I have placed a limit on the amount of time a new post will be available for editing. This will allow members to correct any mistakes, typos, etc. they might notice shortly after posting, while protecting their posts from malicious deletion at a later date.

I have been deleting posts by author request and will continue to do so. If you make a post that want removed, just report that post and it will be removed by an admin or moderator as soon as possible. If it's just for a spelling error or something, please just click the "modify" button and edit the post rather than ask  that it be deleted.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 04:52:00 PM by PetrifiedWood »

Offline greyhound352

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 05:03:41 PM »
Sounds like a safe solution to the problem for all involved. Passwords for the affected accounts should probably be changed also.
"Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world." John Muir

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 05:11:18 PM »
Absolutely. However if an account has been hacked and the hacker has blocked access to the actual user, there is little I can do from an administrative perspective. There is no way to know if the person requesting the password reset is the hacker or the original account registrant.

If you suspect your login information has been compromised, and you still have access, you should immediately change your password in your profile settings while you still have the option.

Offline TwinBlade

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 05:34:10 PM »
Would server backups salvage any of this?
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner.  Liberty is a well-armed lamb.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 05:42:26 PM »
Would server backups salvage any of this?

All the lost data is in my morning backup. ;)

But recovering it is enough of a PITA that I'm inclined to let it go. Ultimately it's up to the individual user to protect their account login information.

Offline Buckskin

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 06:20:15 PM »
Roger WILCO
Why kill them with kindness when you can use and axe? - found on Facebook

Offline Gryphon

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 06:56:01 PM »
Ah.  Things make more sense now.  Sounds like a good move.
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Offline xj35s

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 08:25:10 PM »
Most excellent job PW. Glad to have you at the helm.
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 08:39:01 PM »
Thanks for the notice.
 :)
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2012, 06:16:41 AM »
I have received several PMs today about a member's posts being deleted. In the past, our forum software was configured to allow members to edit their own posts at any time. It seems we have had a problem with a member's posts being selectively deleted. It is possible that their account password has been discovered by someone else, or that they left their account logged in on a public computer.

Please, be careful about logging out of your user accounts when using a computer that anyone else has access to.

In order to help prevent this from occurring in the future and to protect user accounts from sabotage, I have placed a limit on the amount of time a new post will be available for editing. This will allow members to correct any mistakes, typos, etc. they might notice shortly after posting, while protecting their posts from malicious deletion at a later date.

I have been deleting posts by author request and will continue to do so. If you make a post that want removed, just report that post and it will be removed by an admin or moderator as soon as possible. If it's just for a spelling error or something, please just click the "modify" button and edit the post rather than ask  that it be deleted.

   PW,  is this time limit placed on editing one's posts a permanent thing or can we expect to be able to amend our posts from time to time when needed.
   While I understand the problem,  I'm wondering whether it's needed or not for the long term,  as it does make it a bit difficult in some instances.
   One such is when names have to be added or taken away to a participation list,  once one has twenty or so names on the list after a week or so,  adding more names begins to take time, a whole new list has to be typed up,  and the old list can't be erased.
   If there's been no further problems since that one instance could we possibly go back to the way it was before.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2012, 11:08:58 AM »
Moe,

I will give it some thought over the next few days. The trick is finding a way to allow members the ability to edit and manage their content, while also preventing a mass deletion.

Send me a Pm on Monday to remind me. I have been busy moving onto the new house and have only been able to check in briefly.

Offline Moe M.

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2012, 12:00:57 PM »
Moe,

I will give it some thought over the next few days. The trick is finding a way to allow members the ability to edit and manage their content, while also preventing a mass deletion.

Send me a Pm on Monday to remind me. I have been busy moving onto the new house and have only been able to check in briefly.

  Thanks,  congrats on the new house,  this is not a pressing issue, i'm just looking ahead.
  It can wait until you've settled in and take a breather,  while it's exciting to move to a better location,  the move itself is taxing on the whole family.
  Remember to get the family together once a day for some light time,  and to regroup.   :)

  Later Bud.
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2012, 06:09:02 PM »
I've just noticed this is going to create a bit of a headache in the axe info thread I was going to add too. However I do have it saved as a text doc so if I can amend that then just replace the post entirely..we're golden.

Creek
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Offline Saintnick001

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2012, 07:11:09 PM »
I'll also throw my 2 cents in by saying that I liked being able to edit my for sale/trade posts. It makes things a heck of a lot easier to see what's been sold and what is still available.
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Offline zammer

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2012, 11:16:50 PM »
Hmmm, I can't go back and make any edits to my mega Ontario thread either....but!!!!! I do understand the reasoning as to why such decisions must be made. The integrity of threads is a very important consideration when running a Forum, if an individual/s were to decide for whatever reason to just delete their posts it could make for some very messed up threads, case in point is the thread that started this concern.....

Ahh the life of the Forum Admin, its one of the less popular decisions to be made but its you're Forum to protect. I'm fine with whatever you decide.

"big fish like to live in bad places, that's how they get to be big fish"

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Update on post editing
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2012, 12:38:37 AM »
Ok, for lack of a more elegant solution, this is what I've come up with:

 You guys need to be able to edit your posts. I have changed the edit window back to "unlimited" to allow for this. I have also authorized our global moderators to temporarily ban any account who begins systematically wiping out their posts until it can be determined whether they have a legitimate reason, or whether their account has been hacked, etc. I can't be be online 24 hours a day (though as much fun as you guys can be, I wish I could). So this is the best solution I could come up with on short notice.

This isn't a punitive ban, it's just a quick way to put a stop to the deletion of posts until it can be determined "why". The ban is temporary and will be removed if the deletions are not malicious in nature or the result of an account hack.

I apologize for the inconvenience. Your "modify" buttons should be back to normal now.

Please help out and notify me and our global mods if you see a bunch of someone's posts disappearing so we can stop the leak before any more damage is done.

Thanks! :)

Offline Moe M.

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2012, 07:02:07 AM »

  Thanks for the correction PW,  had I known you were in the middle of a move I wouldn't have bothered you,  good luck with the new house my friend.
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Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2012, 07:10:23 AM »
So... This was for people whose accounts were hacked OR those who had decided to quit the forum and delete their threads?

How much of each category has there been?

Certainly, I can see how a thread is messed up when someone takes their comments out. 

On the other hand, I too enjoy the ability to go back and edit my posts - especially recent ones.

Once I posted an extremely emotional and vehement (for me) post that I felt ashamed of later. I just emailed Red and PW asking them what I should do. They replied promptly and constructively. Perhaps major edits should, as a courtesy, be run by an admin or mod.?

My .02's worth...

KK
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Offline Old Philosopher

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2012, 05:56:42 PM »
I recently visited a thread that was new to me. The OP, and every post by the original poster read "deleted". Since we can't actually delete a post, I assumed this was an edit. I have no idea if it was intentional, or if the user's account was hacked. Really looked strange, though.
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: New policy change.
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2012, 06:19:51 PM »
In some cases a member might have a legitimate reason to remove their content from the forum (or the internet as a whole) that isn't the result of an account hack. I understand that and I am ok with it.

On the other hand, if someone with thin skin gets their feelings hurt and wants to delete everything they ever posted out of spite, that presents a problem.

Preferably, if a member wishes to remove their content, they should contact me or one of our global moderators before doing so, and explain why they wish to remove everything.

If posts just start going blank without explanation, our policy is to immediately ban the user (temporarily) until it can be determined why.

In any case, I have been backing up the database on a regular schedule so that information is always accessible, only it would be troublesome to recover it. Each backup does not overwrite the previous one so we have things "as they were" if the need ever arises.

In case anyone is curious, the last database backup was 10.5 megabytes. Small by some standards. But that amounts to a LOT of pages of text.