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Limit the ability to edit forum posts after "Agrees"
Thread poster: Katalin Horváth McClure

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:14
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Jul 21

So now, that we have an Agree button for the Forums (even though it is still not working quite right, see other thread about that), I think the policy for editing posts should be re-evaluated. As far as I know, the current limitation is that a post can be edited for 24 hours, but after 24 hours, it is locked. Now, that we have the Agree button, I think posts should be locked as soon as there is at least one Agree on the post.
The reason is that if we leave the post open to editing after some people clicked the "Agree" button, the OP can change the text of the post or add to it in a way that changes the meaning to something that those who agreed may not agree with anymore.
Example (totally non-ProZ topic, just for illustration):
OP: "I think safety in schools should be a priority for everyone."
Click-click-click... 12 people agree in the next hour.
Then OP edits the post, adding "Therefore I think all teachers should carry a gun."
Suddenly it looks like those 12 people agree to arming teachers.
This is obviously an extreme example, but I think it shows why this might be a problem.

That's why I think the editing policy should be revised, and a forum post should be locked (made non-editable) when someone Agrees to it, or when 24 hours passed, whichever happens first.

It is the same in KudoZ: neither questions nor answers can be edited after posted.
The same should be applied here. There is a Preview button, so typos and such could be eliminated before posting, no need to use the edit button for that.

Katalin
[Edited - before any agrees - to clarify the last part of the last sentence.]

[Edited at 2018-07-21 03:45 GMT]


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Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:14
Member (2015)
English to French
+ ...
Editing is already limited to 24h Jul 21

Hello Katalin,

I understand your point, but wouldn’t like to see the Edit function disappear entirely or be removed after one “Agrees” in order to tackle this new “Agree button” situation. I consider the ability to Edit one’s post one of the redeeming features of these forums and miss it in other forums where this is not allowed.

After all, Agrees can still be “edited”, since you can Unagree at any time.

Also, editing a post is already limited to a 24h period. Past that, you cannot make any changes. Just try editing one of your older posts, you get the message “Editing is disabled 24 hours after posting.”

This period could be shortened, to help avoid or limit situations like the ones you describe, and the forums rules could include one stating that a post can be reported and taken down if it has been edited in an inappropriate manner (that would be defined in the rule).

I think the example you describe would be universally frowned upon. While the possibility of such occurrences exists, I honestly don’t think many will try to abuse it. After all, there is some auto-policing going on in any (online and offline) “community”.

While any typos should generally be eliminated before posting, they can still creep in, even after Previewing the post, and a language-minded forum should allow for some corrections after the fact. The Editing feature has other functions as well. Add some missing information or address one more point (the need to edit the content, not the form, not for misleading purposes), delete some or all the content of the post (there can be very good reasons for that), or amend the post to conform to site rules.

I generally perform several edits just after posting, but certainly not to mislead any potential “Agreers”.

If the editing feature is removed entirely, I’d like to at least suggest that posters have the opportunity to delete their posts.

Jean

PS: Your own editing of the post is an example of why editing is useful and removing it strips some part of the spontaneous communication, as it would if "Agrees" were limited and allowed only after the hour of post editing ability had passed.

[Edited at 2018-07-21 04:32 GMT]


Katalin Szilárd
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:14
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It is not because of abuse or intention to mislead Jul 21

Jean, I intentionally edited my post to show that people usually don't agree right away, and there is still time to fix such minor issues.
icon_wink.gif
(But I definitely need to get better at using the Preview function before posting. I don't like leaving typos in, but sometimes they happen and I would not think it is the end of the world if I wasn't able to fix one typo because someone agreed to my post.)

I am fully aware of the 24 hour limit, as I wrote in my post, but that is not enough, IMHO.
There is the "Unagree" option, of course, the problem with that is people do not get notified when a post they agreed to is modified. So, unless they repeatedly return to the post they agreed to, they would not know about the change.

I am not assuming abuse by the posters or intentions to mislead anybody. Even the extreme example I created could happen without any ill intentions. (Forgot the second sentence, hit enter too early, slow typist to correct, etc.)
But it is possible that during the course of the discussion, after several replies, still within 24 hours, the author of the post would add/modify things, perhaps clarify things in the OP, and that could make a difference to whether one agrees or not. Such edits also affect the posted replies, as sometimes things in the original post are being referred by those who reply. If things are removed, modified, added to the original post, those references became meaningless or incomprehensible. That is another reason to limit editing the post.
Forums are public, and indexed by search engines, so posts remain in "global digital memory", now with the names of those who agreed.
If the OP needs to add something or clarify something, I think that could be done in a new post. This is the case after 24 hours anyway.
If the post must be edited because site rules are violated, that is happening because a moderator noticed that, in which case editing is force-enabled by the mod/site staff. If the OP wants to edit the post because he/she realized it is violating a rule, just contact the mod/site staff and they will help. (This is the case after 24 hours anyway.)


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:14
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
I just agreed with you Jul 21

So don't you dare go and edit your post any more!!

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Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:14
Member (2015)
English to French
+ ...
The torture of the "Agreer" Jul 21

Hello Katalin,

Thank you for the clarifications.

Before the “Agree” button, posters could still agree below the poster in writing, so what you say in your second post would apply even before that, which makes me wonder if this is just about the “Agree” button or about limiting the editing altogether.

Can you confirm this? If nobody hits the agree button, are you OK to still run the 24h editing limit? (I think this is what you said in the first post, but you second post adds some doubt in that regard).

What I’ve seen more than once is instances where posters quote previous replies, stating that they agree, only to say something completely different afterwards, something that the original poster did not imply at all, and probably doesn't endorse either. Does that mean that every slight (possibility of) overstepping, be it intentional or not, should be addressed with some restriction?

If what you suggest is considered for application, I would like to ask that instead of a conditional limit (either one “Agree” or 24h), a specific time limit is set for editing, which will also match the time limit before one can “Agree”. As you say, people don't usually agree right away. My take is that this would get in the way of spontaneity, but anyway.

Failing that, to avoid falling under the “torture of the Agreer”, I will consider adding a signature: “Please don’t agree to my post before 24h have passed, just in case I wish to edit something, which I reserve the right to do”.

Jean

[Edited at 2018-07-21 07:01 GMT]


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:14
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
More agreements Jul 21

Jean Dimitriadis wrote:

Before the “Agree” button, posters could still agree below the poster in writing, so what you say in your second post would apply even before that, which makes me wonder if this is just about the “Agree” button or about limiting the editing altogether.



People certainly did post occasionally simply to say they agreed with a post. Very often they would quote the post or part of the post (as I did above) so that it was clear exactly what they were agreeing to.

The agree button makes it a whole lot easier to agree with someone, and you can't show exactly what you're agreeing with, which is what makes it more important for people to not be able to edit their posts once they have been agreed with.

And we'll have to be even more careful not to make mistakes!


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:14
French to English
Harmonisation Jul 21

Might the simplest way around this not be to make "Agree" possible only once the 24-hour edit period has elapsed?


[Edited at 2018-07-21 09:21 GMT]


Yolanda Broad
 

Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 15:14
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Overlimiting Jul 21

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

I think posts should be locked as soon as there is at least one Agree on the post.

It is the same in KudoZ: neither questions nor answers can be edited after posted.

Katalin
[Edited - before any agrees - to clarify the last part of the last sentence.]

[Edited at 2018-07-21 03:45 GMT]



I do not agree with this "overlimiting" recommendation.
An option to prevent such misuse of editing posts could be: if there is a change in the post the people who sent agrees should get a notification about the amendment of the original post and before the editing is done the person who made the change needs to write in an empty field (just as when you need to explain why you delete a Kudoz answer of yours) whether the change is done due to typos and this information should be within the email you get. So you don't have to click on the link if you see: typo.

On the other hand notifications should be sent to the poster when somebody's post gets (an) agree/agrees.
Just as in Kudoz.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:14
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Alternative solution Jul 21

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:
Now, that we have the Agree button, I think posts should be locked as soon as there is at least one Agree on the post.


I would not be happy if my ability to edit my posts were in the hands of people who were fast enough to click the "agree" button before I realised that I needed to edit my post.

I would propose a different solution: whenever you edit your post, the post's agrees get reset (i.e. they're deleted).

...

It is the same in KudoZ: neither questions nor answers can be edited after posted.


Yes, very annoying, and in the case of KudoZ even less fair, since KudoZ posting is a race, whereas forum posting is less so.

The same should be applied here. There is a Preview button, so typos and such could be eliminated before posting, no need to use the edit button for that.


I don't use the preview function because the preview uses tiny text, and I'm actually less likely to spot typos etc in the "preview" than in the edit pane. Besides, most of my own edits are not fixing of typos but rephrasing to make a post clearer. I have edited this post 5 times already, and none of the edits would have been prevented if I had used the preview function.

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:
Might the simplest way around this not be to make "Agree" possible only once the 24-hour edit period has elapsed?


No, because then people will revert to what they did previously, namely post actual replies saying "I agree" without adding anything to the conversation.

...

One part of the problem is that the "agree" function isn't about agreeing so much as it is about being seen. Clicking "I agree" simply means "I would like people to see that I was here too, I have seen this, and I felt part of their conversation".

(A few people no doubt also use it to attempt to show their agreement with some of what was said, but that would make sense only if one could show which part of a post one agrees with instead of claiming to agree with whole posts.)



[Edited at 2018-07-21 09:37 GMT]


Yolanda Broad
 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:14
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Another idea - Enable agrees beginning 2 hours after initial post Jul 21

Samuel's suggestion for erasing "Agrees" after a post is modified seems like a good idea.

The problem with Nikki's idea of locking agrees for 24 hours is that it seems like many forum discussions largely peter out after 24 hours. So this would eliminate an easy way of weighing in on a subject while it is actually still a "hot topic."

What strikes me as a prudent course of action here would be to enable "Agrees" beginning 2 hours after the initial post - and also to disable editing 2 hours after the initial post.

While I very much appreciate the editing function, I generally only use it within an hour of the original post (i.e., I typically notice right after posting that there is a mistake, clumsy wording, something that I could have said better, or something important that I left out that strengthens the point that I was trying to make).

Only rarely have I made any edits more than 2 hours after the original post. My guess is that others use editing in the same way, and that they could live with a 2-hour limit. I think that I could.

[Edited at 2018-07-21 14:09 GMT]


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Better to ditch the edit option altogether Jul 21

It's ironic that we should need an edit option at all given that writing clearly and accurately is our raison d'etre.

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writeaway  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
There is an un-agree option Jul 21

So that should cover any issues if the forum poster does edit within the current 24 hour period allowed. Too many rulezzz spoil the broth. Imo.

icon_rolleyes.gif


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Katalin Szilárd  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 15:14
Member (2006)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Native language and other languages Jul 21

Chris S wrote:

It's ironic that we should need an edit option at all given that writing clearly and accurately is our raison d'etre.


Chris, not everybody's native language is English.icon_wink.gif
Furthermore even native English (or other native language) speaking translators make mistakes.
And there are forums in other languages as well....
It's very easy to make typos when you are tired or when you have a stuck key etc.
Actually even in translation it is much easier to detect typos when you do the review after more hrs: you do or translate something else and then you go back to the text. Your brain detects mistakes more efficiently when the proofreading/review is done more hrs or a day later.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:14
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reset is a good one, too Jul 21

Samuel Murray wrote:

I would propose a different solution: whenever you edit your post, the post's agrees get reset


This idea is a good one, I think.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:14
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Agree just to be seen? Jul 21

Samuel Murray wrote:

One part of the problem is that the "agree" function isn't about agreeing so much as it is about being seen. Clicking "I agree" simply means "I would like people to see that I was here too, I have seen this, and I felt part of their conversation".


Wow, really? I never thought of it that way. I actually thought people click "Agree" when they agreed to what was written there.


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