I’m posting my view on this here after seeing comments from some people about threads not being locked vs. being locked.
In real life, what you say cannot be unsaid: you say it, and it’s out there forever. You can apologize for it and make amends, but what you said will always be out there. My view is that the Internet is much the same. When you make a post, that post is forever. You should not be allowed to go back and remove it or edit it (barring adding information, slight clarifications, and fixing language errors). Nor should moderators go and delete a post simply because it is too “flamy” or too “off topic”.
In the COBBS days, there were flamewars that would continue on for 15 pages of highly personal attacks before the administrator would even offer a warning to the people involved. Yet now, people are sending angry messages to moderators because of a single inflammatory post?
Arguments happen, both in real-life and online. Often it is by looking back at those arguments that we are able to make better judgements in the future. By removing those arguments, you are effectively rewriting history. I’m fairly sure we would all agree that is a very bad idea!
I do understand situations such as the MOUL Forums, where Cyan must maintain a policy in order to keep their future ventures open. While I find the moderation there oppressive and inconsistent, I am able to at least understand what rules the moderators were trying to follow.
People have probably noticed that one of my preferred method of presenting argument is with raw chatlogs. This gives people the chance to make their own decisions and make up their own minds about what happened. By keeping the flamewar threads, we allow people to do the same thing, and form their own opinions about the issues.
Opinions? Please discuss…