General Etiquette > Techno-quette

When a thread goes wrong

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TurtleDove:

--- Quote from: Bexx27 on December 10, 2012, 12:44:43 PM ---I think the best way to handle it as another poster is to post in the thread yourself, giving advice that's relevant to the OP's actual situation and/or pointing out where others seem to have misunderstood. The OP can respond to clear up misconceptions and ask again for advice concerning the actual situation, although I don't think the OP gets to dictate the direction of the thread.

--- End quote ---

I agree with this.  My main issue tends to be posters with an ax to grind who paraphrase or hyperbolize what a poster said to make it sound outrageous and then other posters pile on to how outrageous the first poster was for saying something she never said. 

Mikayla:
My thoughts are similar to O'Dell's.  There are times when it's not wrong to do a friendly auto-correct, and it's  not an issue of trying to control the thread.  It's an outright hijack, and I've seen this many times, including here. I did it myself, once. 

Not all hijacks are that clearcut, of course, and they're more like offshoots of the OP.  These are the judgment calls.

An example of a clearcut one (this is theoretical!) is someone asking if it was rude for them to say "blah blah blah" after they got rear-ended.  The first few posts provide input on what else could have been said, and then 10 posts later, you're getting comments about the car model each was driving, links to the National Transportation Safety Board, complaints about other driving pet peeves, and questions as to whether the other driver was cute.  This is a hijack :)

Lynn2000:

--- Quote from: Bexx27 on December 10, 2012, 12:44:43 PM ---I think the best way to handle it as another poster is to post in the thread yourself, giving advice that's relevant to the OP's actual situation and/or pointing out where others seem to have misunderstood. The OP can respond to clear up misconceptions and ask again for advice concerning the actual situation, although I don't think the OP gets to dictate the direction of the thread.

--- End quote ---

I agree with this. If it's a matter of outright misinformation being propagated, or people getting fixated on a small detail, I think the OP or another poster can try to politely steer things back on track. Personally, I would just try to make my post relevant, and not actually say, "Hey guys, we're getting off-track here." But, others are better at saying something without sounding scolding.

I think sometimes a thread wanders off because all the good, relevant advice has been given, and now we're just going on to tangents that at least a couple of people find interesting. I don't think the OP can say, "Wah! This is my thread, quit mucking it up!" But, if the OP still has questions or feels they haven't gotten relevant answers, they can certainly post something polite to that effect.

I generally only report a thread if it seems to be getting heated, not if it's just wandering away from the original point. But I think when in doubt, it's fine to report, and let the mods be the judge of it.

Allyson:
There's a huge amount of variation, and the 'thread gone wrong' can be anything from an OP complaining because everyone didn't agree with her, to absolutely everyone focussing on one minor point (I see this a lot where lots of people will suddenly focus on something about the OP's relationship even when that wasn't the main thrust of the question), to people just straight-up going off topic. And it's not really easy to get a consensus on which thread is which.

So, with that said, I agree that 'deal with it as another poster' rather than have the OP get jumpy and offended or post multiple times to try to get his/her thread back on track seems best. Or contact a mod. 

This happened to a friend of mine recently on Facebook. She was asking for thoughts on how to talk to a friend with an eating disorder, what things were best to say and so on. She got a whole bunch of unnecessary lecturing about how 'it's a mental illness!' which she pretty clearly already knows. I answered as though this hadn't happened and gave her advice, and a few other people followed suit.

lkdrymom:
I agree with Allyson. Often I have asked how to deal with a situation and suddenly I am getting  a bunch of comments on the state of my marriage.  I didn't ask for marriage counselign, I asked for the best way to deal with the one incident I posted about.  Next thing you know 'interesting assumptions' are flying everywhere.

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