These are some valid points you make, @anon76657042, though maybe a bit harshly stated as signs of ‘inhumanity’ (I know, you used quotes ).
First of all I’d like to address @patm, by saying there is an distinction to forum admins and moderators on the one hand, and the CHT core team on the other. In the first group there are mostly community members that are not in the loop of the CHT strategy and plans, and therefore can only address information requests regarding forum settings/improvements and the like.
I myself belong to that group. I am both moderator and admin, but otherwise just a community member volunteering his time to improve the forum, and I have addressed all requests coming my way. I know @patm knows this, but am stating this for others who read this topic.
Now on to @anon76657042’s points:
I wasn’t aware of the first bullet point, but I have looked at the settings, and this is indeed true. Deletion is no longer possible after 60 days (the default setting of the forum software) and editing after 10,000 minutes.
@patm is right on the second bullet point: a user who wants to leave the forum has to place a request to a moderator or admin. This can be done via a private message or in the category you are now posting. This should really be explained better in the FAQ, I fully agree.
When a member leaves the forum and closes the account all his/her posts are anonymized and any personal information (in this case only IP’s and email address) are removed, together with the account, but the posts remain, showing anon + a random number as the user name.
So these are the procedures…
Now I’ll give my opinion on whether these settings are right, or not, and we can discuss improvements.
- This is a public discussion forum that is open to anyone to read. It is not members-only
- If you are posting here you are effectively ‘speaking in public’ and contributing to the public domain
Now consider how ethical and humane it would be if you edited or deleted your prior public contributions:
- If you delete your posts everyone that reacted to you will be left in the cold. It looks like they responded to the member ‘above’ you, and their response might no longer make sense
- The same would be true if you edited and subsequently ‘improved’ or entirely modified your posts. It would be like falsifying history
So I think there is some merit in having these settings, and it is the reason why the Discourse developers added them.
Also the CHT forum is not really a general-purpose ‘social media platform’, but a dedicated discussion platform on humane tech. In such a social media platform it is easier to delete posts, and usually also delete all responses by others as well. Even on platforms that offer this feature you see that users take care not to do that. For instance on Hacker News you can downvote a comment until it disappears, and responses disappear as well in that case. But the HN users are very considerate not to give the last downvote if the responses by others are significant and thorough. It would be very frustrating to these users otherwise.
I am open to suggestions for improvements, but I can’t make changes on my own without conferring with the other staff.
Also I’d like to mention another time that a big forum reorganization is still underway, but it is going slowly due to the continued overload on the core CHT team. This last part is a sign of success, rather than failure, IMHO.