In Chat rooms, users are able to edit and delete their own messages within 2 minutes.
Here, this feature is misused by some users. They often self delete messages which provide context to the conversation. I have seen many moderators and Room Owners saying some users not to delete their own messages which provide context to the conversation had. Deleting also confuses the future readers. The confusion is whether there was something wrong happened in the chat (Generally, conversations of a single user are deleted when rude flags were raised on their messages). But in this case the flags and mods are not involved.

From my experience with moderators (not warned by them), this is not a good practice to follow. Is it a good practice to do so?

What can we do about users who often self delete their own messages unnecessarily and misuse the privilege of self deletion?

  • 5
    Warn and kick are your options. Some RO's might switch the order of those but that is about it. – rene Mar 9 '18 at 18:59
  • It is interesting that some people want the exact opposite of this: editing/deleting messages with unlimited time span, and I have felt the need too (you go to edit a message, but you take too long typing your edits and get blocked... arg). But humans are flawed as all-get-out and so whenever you let them do stuff, expect them to do it poorly. – NH. Mar 9 '18 at 21:39
  • @NH. This is why we can't have nice things like the feature you linked... – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Mar 9 '18 at 21:46
  • same idea can apply to comment. – yagmoth555 Mar 10 '18 at 2:21
  • There's no reason you can't add a second comment mentioning the errors, and linking to the comment itself to indicate where the correction applies. Barring edits and deletion after a short time is ideal. If the comment should go, it shouldn't have been posted in the first place, so deletion is reserved for RA/S. – Nij Mar 10 '18 at 4:47
  • tbh, unlimited editing is something I miss on MSE chat - Its kinda annoying to find that spelling mistake you made just after the editing grace period. – Journeyman Geek Mar 11 '18 at 13:42
  • @Nij — the problem with your suggestion is that such amendments aren't placed in proximity to the erroneous or problematic comment or message. You can link to the previous from the new, but not vice versa – can-ned_food Mar 11 '18 at 21:30
  • I presume that a reasonable reader will read the whole conversation, and find the correction. An unreasonable reader will not, but that's okay, unreasonable readers can be ignored. – Nij Mar 12 '18 at 2:32
  • @Nij If only that were so … – can-ned_food Mar 12 '18 at 3:16
  • There are also many other factors to consider than those who are simply unwilling to be patient or observant. – can-ned_food Mar 12 '18 at 19:46

This is a moderation issue really - There's really no simple answer.

If it's a one off thing - ignore it. People.. sometimes make mistakes and post stuff they really shouldn't.

If there's a pattern, I prefer to start with the soft approach. The nice thing is you don't need a big stick or rolled up newspaper to ask someone "Hey, there's a bunch of context we'll miss if it's deleted. Could you kindly not delete messages like that? It also leaves a bunch of (deleted) - and that's annoying.

If a user doesn't comply with polite requests, then we'll need an RO to ... suggest quite seriously it's unacceptable. Not a warning. Not a threat. A statement of fact. Then we start with the kicking.

If kicks don't work, then I'd suggest getting a mod in, and see about suspensions and proper warnings .

This does rely on a few things. We basically need the mechanisms of moderation in place - RO teams that are ready to step in, mods familiar with the room (and since we cannot be everywhere at once ,keeping track of the issue so you can fill in a mod when they pop in). In a well run room, these things can and should be sorted out - folks speaking up, ROs taking charge and Mods handling things if these things fail.

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