"Thread crapping" - what is it, and should the JC allow it?

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Vertical, Mar 1, 2006.

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  1. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    In my time away from these forums, I've been a fairly regular member on several other random message boards on the internet. And in my 'travels' away from this forum, I've been exposed to how other forums are run, and some interesting takes on moderating.

    One of the more interesting concepts I was exposed to was the idea of "thread crapping". What is thread crapping? Well, it's essentially coming into a thread that you really have no interest in, and you take the time to post something which does nothing to add to the thread, and in fact derails it and often turns it into an argument. Here's a definition I found on another forum:

    I've seen it happen a couple times here just tonight, in a few threads I've been posting in... some members just come in and dump on something other members are discussing and enjoying discussing. I'm not talking about a debate thread which is clearly inviting opposing viewpoints, or offering something up for discussion on both sides of the spectrum.

    Let's take a hypothetical example:

    If there were a thread titled "Soccer: Like it or hate it, and why?", this thread is clearly inviting a discussion, looking for a 'debate', and looking for differing viewpoints. Posts like "soccer is fantastic because x,y, and z" and "soccer is terrible because x,y, and z". However, if there were a thread called "What do you love about soccer?", it could be considered 'thread crapping' to go into that thread and dump on soccer. It's argumentative, and goes against the spirit/intent of the thread, unlike the first example.

    And as I said, I've seen it happen here. It's rude, it's obnoxious, it adds zero to the threads, and it often in fact derails them into an argument.

    I started this thread because I'm curious to know what the thoughts of other members are on this subject, and the administration as well. Is 'thread crapping' technically already against the rules just under a different name (like 'trolling' or 'baiting' or something)? Is it moderated? Should it be? If it should be, would giving it a name make it easier to identify? Would it benefit from such a distinction?

    I'm curious to know what everyone's feelings are on this matter. Please give me/us your thoughts.
  2. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    This does occur on occasion.

    As you know Vert, I frequent most The Senate Floor, and members will utilize a particular topic to bring up some other general view to basically crap on a thread as you've inferred with some other view. This often occurs in topics involving religion. It happens in all the Forums to one extent or the other.

    There are already rules about such things here which basically fall under 'trolling' or 'spamming' a thread. The moderation generally tries to refocus discussion with 'thread crapping' as I've seen it, but somethimes things slide.

    It isn't nice to poo poo on someone's thread though and derail it down the toilet, I'll give you that.

  3. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    When I moderated ROTS, and in PT it was/is technically considered trolling. In a forum like JCC, and I think I know what thread you're talking about, it's a little harder to moderate given the forum's structure, IMO. You can certainly mod at the post level, though, especially if it's baiting.
  4. MariahJSkywalker Poopoo Head

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2005
    star 6
    I think it's more of a case by case issue, but for the nost it's disruptive and not needed.
  5. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    Do you think most users are even aware they're doing it? Now that I've heard the term "thread crapping" on other boards, and seen examples of it, it seems so obvious to me now when I see it... it's just weird how naming that phenomenon has made it so easy to recognize for me.
  6. Katya Jade Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2002
    star 7
    I hate it, personally. I liken it to trolling. Especially when the discussion is going along fine and someone chimes in with "Such-and-such sucks." with no reason, no explanation, nothing.

    As an example, there are threads where people post about something that happens in their live (shocking, I know). Inevitably, someone will post "Who cares?" To me, that's just trolling. There's no need for anyone to post that in a thread.

    I'd love to see a rule on it, but, like any new "rule", it takes moderation to make it work and sometimes we tend to "rule" ourselves to death around here.
  7. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    Exactly. These "who cares?" posts are perfect examples of thread-crapping, and I personally would love to see a rule on this one. It derails the threads, it's argumentative, and it's not conducive to productive discussion. It's posturing of the worst kind.
  8. MariahJSkywalker Poopoo Head

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2005
    star 6
    Ah, yes. The "who cares?" posts. If they really didn't care, they wouldn't have bothered replying to that thread.
  9. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I'd love to see a rule on it, but, like any new "rule", it takes moderation to make it work and sometimes we tend to "rule" ourselves to death around here.

    Good point. I've told plenty of users in ROTS, you can always, always look over a post, also.
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I'd love to see a rule on it, but, like any new "rule", it takes moderation to make it work and sometimes we tend to "rule" ourselves to death around here.

    It's also extremely difficult to moderate. Well, the actual moderation part is easy, hit a button, add some text, and voila.. What I mean is that you have to be prepared to accept what such a rule would bring.

    The closest thing that is being described would be the Zero Tolerance Policy that was put into play in the Senate for a specific time to combat this exact practice. We didn't call it "thread crapping," but it covered the same concept.

    At the time, the ZTP was needed, and it most definately cut down on the practice, but it also made quite a few people walk around the forum on eggshells. I'm sure some Senate regulars can post about their perception of such a policy.

    It's the equivalent of dropping Napalm on your house to get rid of cockroaches. If the roaches are enough of a problem, it could be worth it, but everything ends up a little burned.

    A concrete policy lacks flexibility by design. In most cases, if a person is posting excessive amounts of "who cares" type posts and/or derailing threads, then that person should be warned about the impropriety of their posts. A concrete rule means that every instance of this should be actionable.



  11. DarthAttorney Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2000
    star 6
    I don't think this style of posting requires a pithy title, let alone a policy dedicated to combatting it.

    If people are derailing threads, moderate for derailing.
    If they're making hostile posts at other users, moderate for baiting/flaming/trolling.

    Whatever this idea is supposed to cover, it's already covered.
  12. PrincessKenobi New Films Manager of DOOM

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2000
    star 6
    I just want to understand what you mean. So anyone chime in and explain to me which is right.

    Example:

    I start a thread about How I like Shiny Things. It gets going a good few pages.

    And then someone comes in with a out of nowhere comment of, "They Let you people have a thread"


    So is "Thread Craping" a fancy way to refer to Troll like posts that people don't actually get banned for, or another way of saying Spam?


    Just trying to understand, to form a better opinion.

    ~PK~
  13. TheBoogieMan Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2001
    star 6

    As far as a rule goes in the JCC, I'd say we could emphasise the already existing line in the JCC rules ("Just because you don't like a certain type of thread doesn't mean others don't") and agree between ourselves to PM any user we see doing it, to remind them that they don't have to post in a thread if they don't like it. That way we aren't over-ruling the forum (so to speak, heh) but rather informally pushing users in a more pleasant direction.
  14. Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    Fair enough!
  15. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    A policy on 'Thread Crapping' would be a bear to come up with and worse to try to moderate.

    Especially in JCC. While the examples of 'Who cares' as posts can be more easily distinguished one way, how does one gauge the numerous 'Your mom' posts which are suppose to be amusing?

    I agree with DarthAttorney & Boogie.
  16. gabe Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Boogie is spot on.
  17. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    Yup. Nudging, suggesting, and then acting against defiance of that nudging and suggesting is the way forward, not another rule.
  18. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    If someone posts that their boyfriend just broke up with them in JCC and they're heartbroken I'm gonna tell them to "put out more."

    Is that "thread crapping?" They were clearly looking for sympathy and I'm not gonna give it.

    Take a look at malkie's posts in the "Attention All Fatties" thread. Those *could* be considered "thread crapping" (as could my obligatory post, I might add) but have all been considered fine in the JCC over time.

    My feelings on the matter are that discussion forums are for discussion and "thread crapping" is far less acceptible in there (Movies, EU, etc.) but that "fluff" forums have a relaxed set of standards and we don't need a rule on this.
  19. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I agree with DA and Boogie, we have rules on this, we don't need more policy or rules as we have pretty much everything covered and can fit gray areas or new offenses in these categories. This could be moderated within the offenses of Trolling/Baiting/Spamming and/or Flaming depending on the post, easily. A moderator can determine by the other posts in the thread which of these offenses would be used to warn/edit/ban.
  20. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    It is a cool name though... next time I might tell someone I ban "Stop Thread Crapping!!!"
  21. Zebra3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2004
    star 5
    Thread Crapping? Perhaps that needs an icon.... [face_thinking]
  22. DarthSapient Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 10
    I appreciate what's being said in the initial post. Different messageboards use different terminology to describe the same thing. Essentially they're synonyms. The way I read it, it's what I liken to drive-by posting or spam, derailing, and if it continues despite warnings it would be trolling. And as much as I'd like to warn a user not to thread crap, in a way as a moderator I feel like that's not as professional of a term as I could come up with. In essence, they're derailing, being disruptive, and spamming. These would be the keywords I'd offer up to the user as an explanation and what I'd follow up with in their admin notes.
  23. YodaJeff Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2001
    star 7
    Let me give an example of what is wrong with this (based off how the JCC has operated in the recent past). A thread like the "George W Bush Appreciation Thread" is posted, and the author only wants positive appreciation-type posts. The first reply is a creative "Bush is dumb" statement. This undoubtedly annoys the user who originally posted the thread, since he/she only wanted positive discussion from people who appreciate Bush. A couple minutes later, someone else tries to create a "George W Bush Hate Thread", and it is locked for being a parody, and the mod edit says that everyone should discuss Bush in the Appreciation Thread.

    So, if you truly want to avoid "thread crapping", both threads have to be allowed, which, to my knowledge, is not how things have typically worked around here.
  24. Handmaiden Yané Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 6
    I agree with DA, Boogie, and Sapient and anyone else who has the same ideas they have (only I'm too lazy to list them all). To me, it's basically another word for trolling and spamming. Moderating by a case-by-case basis seems to so far be the best way to try to combat it. You will always have trolls and spammers online who think they're funny by ruining someone's thread. I think that if you try to hammer out and implement a concrete policy, it won't really work...people will just get angsty and not understand the new "policy" and there will be another blow-up in Comms. Yay. :p
  25. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    The Senate can end up being an ideal venue for this, unfortunately. If it's done once, we (Mr44 and I) try engagement with the poster, to try and get them to contribute.


    Edit: Even though you might not have meant it that way, that analogy is a bit inappropriate, .
    E_S
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