Letting thread starters close their own threads - good idea or not?

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by Shin Ryoku, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Shin Ryoku

    Shin Ryoku Fan

    I recently became more active in some Facebook groups - one is a watch group, and the other is for people with sleep apnea. One thing I noticed there is that people who post a new topic/thread can turn off commenting at any point, thus closing the thread.

    On my sites, the rule has always been that the topic starter doesn't own a thread and cannot close it. On the other hand, I'm sure Facebook put some thought into why they do things this way, and I can see how it would cut down on the work for our moderators if people can close their own threads when they go south.

    Does anyone here have their forum set up for topic starters to close their own threads? Or would anyone consider it?
  2. doubt

    doubt Tazmanian

    I would not consider it.
  3. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

    I leave the closing of threads to the moderating/administrative staff.
  4. Solidus

    Solidus Stupid machines!

    I allow upgraded members to open and close their threads without restriction. Never an issue.
  5. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

    No. Just no.

    Firstly, I never close threads. Someone may have something relevant to add in a few months. Why would I want to prevent that? Why make them start another thread on the same topic and add more confusion to Search?

    Secondly, there's just too much opportunity for abuse. I've made my point, I disagree with opposing arguments, so I close the thread. Right there, you stop having a discussion forum.
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  6. ToyBoxOrphan

    ToyBoxOrphan Aspirant

    Exactly this! In fact, I hate this so much I just don't even engage with people who do it on Facebook. I've also gotten to the point where I don't reply to other people's comments because they get mad and delete it and everything I added gets deleted too. I just post comments directly to the original post even if what I have to say is a direct response to someone else.
  7. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

    I very rarely close threads for any reason so I wouldn't allow a member to do it.

    I can think of multiple occasions where I've typed out a fairly lengthy reply as a user, sometimes in the form of a technical 'how to' only to find the thread closed when I've hit the post button. That has caused me to stop posting on some forums.
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  8. KimmiKat

    KimmiKat Adherent

    On some mboards, if a thread started asked a thread to be closed when the question was answered, they simply IM one of the mods.
  9. radu81

    radu81 Fan

    I allow that only in the Buy / Sell board
  10. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

    Definite no here.
    Only allow staff to close threads, where there is a good reason to do so.

    Again, we will refuse such a request unless there is some good reason to do so.
  11. R0binHood

    R0binHood Fan

    I think one of the reasons why it's an option on facebook is because some groups are so incredibly busy.

    When you have every single aspect of a platform optimised to within an inch of its life for engagement, then threads have the opportunity of blowing up much more so than a normal forum. Especially when you have select members of the group getting algorithmically generated alerts pinged to their phones or alerts menu as soon as the content is posted, and then again to each participant with every single reply.

    Once the thread starter is sick of updates, it it gets out of control, or if they think the time has come to end it then they have the opportunity to do so.

    The other consideration is that no content on facebook is meant to stick around and be resurrected anyway, or even archived. By it's very nature of a continuous stream and wall of content, facebook would rather that the same question get asked multiple times by multiple people so that there's a new opportunity to re-engage, revisit the site and create new posts for each new thread.

    For normal forums, rule of thumb I say would be no, unless your activity is off the charts and the threads get out of hand easily, or unless it's a specialist node, like BST or something similar. Q&A perhaps.
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  12. Bigguy

    Bigguy W.U.B Owner

    I feel the only time to close a thread is if it gets out of hand. Other than that leave it be.
  13. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    No. Users can initiate discussions about topics, but it's not up to them to stop an ongoing discussion if it was not explicitly about them asking for personal feedback on something personal (where all replies are contributed in response to the original post, rather than generally discussing the subject mentioned).
  14. KimmiKat

    KimmiKat Adherent

    Forgot to add, when I had my mboard, only staff could secure the threads.
  15. Splinter2

    Splinter2 Aspirant

    I've yet to close a thread started by any member (would that it would get that exciting) and won't give them that option either.
    The only closed threads on my forum are where I announce new forum features and the like, as I like to keep it as a record of when, why and how the forum has been updated.
    If they want to comment on any feature, they can but in a different thread.
    Besides, the business of closing threads, not only in Facebook (mainly groups) but also in many forums smacks of dictatorship. I believe it should only be used as a last resort.
  16. Philpug

    Philpug Aspirant

    I remind the community often, when replying to a thread, you are not replying to the OP, but the hundreds (and thousands) that are reading the thread that might have the same question but are afraid to ask.
  17. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

    I have it set up what way for my Classified ad threads.
  18. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

    That's a case where to me it makes sense to allow it.
  19. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

    Yeah, I had a few addons custom coded for it.
    One allows the thread starter to close the thread, or as we call it, MARK IT SOLD. A second one automatically closes the thread after XX days of inactivity.
  20. MarkFL

    MarkFL La Villa Strangiato

    Yes...I've coded similar add-ons for people who have a classifieds forum. :)
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