Proposed New Posting Standards

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,451
Proposed New Posting Standards

Askaboutmoney is primarily for asking and answering factual questions. It is heavily edited and has a much lower threshold for deleting posts than other forums. In general, argumentative, quarrelsome, offensive, pointless, off topic or mean-spirited posts will be deleted at the discretion of the moderators even if they do not otherwise violate forum policies. We will not enter into discussion with the poster about the decision. You will get a simple message "Your post does not meet the Posting Standards of Askaboutmoney."

If we have to repeatedly delete a user's posts for being in breach of these standards, they will be banned.

This is mainly aimed at factual topics and should not have much if any impact on "opinion" type topics such as economic issues or whether or not Bitcoin is a bubble. If you engage in a discussion of Bitcoin or Tesla, you have to expect that there will be a lot of hot air and not much light.

But when it comes to issues of law, tax or banking practice, it should be primarily about light and not hot air.

Background

Some people enjoy argumentative, quarrelsome, offensive, pointless, off topic or mean-spirited posts. But, for most people, they are an annoyance and reduce the usefulness and enjoyment of askaboutmoney.

Over the years Askaboutmoney has attracted some experts in their field whose contribution has been huge. In their professional lives, they are asked questions and they give advice. They tease out issues and they arrive at the right answer. Their professional life is not like a debating society where the objective is to win the argument and beat the opponent rather than to be correct.

Many of these experts have drifted away from Askaboutmoney because they were fed up engaging in pointless debates with people who clearly had no qualifications or professional background in the area.


People should not be embarrassed about being corrected

I have a good general knowledge of a lot of financial topics. But I get factual stuff wrong. I don't like being wrong. But I prefer to be corrected than to be giving out wrong information. I learn from my mistakes. I don't get argumentative about it and attack the expert who corrected me.
 
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Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,451
I take it with 24 likes and no disagreements that the majority of Askaboutmoney users do appreciate the proposed new standard and the tough moderation in general.

We might need to clarify how it's implemented in practice.

This was the first mention of it.


NRC felt it necessary to stress that he was not being argumentative in disagreeing with me. Clearly the new guideline is not aimed at people who disagree with a post. Nor is it aimed at people who get stuff wrong. NRC's disagreement with me gives me an opportunity to clarify my explanation and if NRC thinks like that, others are probably thinking like that as well.

Brendan
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,451
That is well catered for already in the Posting Guidelines

10 Do not abuse other posters
Controversy and argument are welcome. But please keep your comments civil. Attack an opinion by all means, but please don't attack the person expressing the opinion.Posts or threads which use language designed to be deliberately offensive or just to stir up trouble will be deleted.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,451
We have had our first deletion of a post and I think it illustrates the need for the Posting Standards quite well.

You would not be expecting it on this thread which simply seeks to create a table of the highest rates home owners are paying on their mortgages.


1) Iamaspinner replies with a very useful addition to the opening posts suggesting including Avant in the table.

2) Then bizarrely, demoivre accuses me of being ignorant. I bristle. I can't figure out if he is being funny or being abusive. He is a long term poster who I don't associate with being abusive. But it's not funny either.

His first point makes no sense at all to me, and seems to be completely off topic.

On his second point, I have said up front that I can't find the information I am looking for on KBC's website. All the other lenders make the information easy to find. I know that I could not find it before and when I looked for this thread, I couldn't find it. But Demoivre says it's "freely available.". So I look again and still can't find it.

It is there but it's multiple clicks away.

Anyway, not sure why he is accusing me of being ignorant and as he provided the information I was looking for, I don't react.

I ignore his first point. And politely ask for a link to the second point which he then explains how to find. It would have been nice if he had apologised for saying it was freely available, when it was actually very hard to find, but most people don't bother with such apologies.

3) Although this thread is clearly about home loans, moneymakeover decides to post some BTL mortgage rates, so his post is deleted as being off topic and he gets a message to that effect.

Not content with that, he comes back to say "You don't mention if you are including investor rates"

The title of the thread is very clear:
What are the highest rates Irish home owners are paying on their mortgages?

The table is clearly about home loans and not buy to lets.

I tell him that, to which moneymakeover responds

"Is a rental property not a home?"


Here is a useful factual thread which is in danger of being dragged off topic by a failure by moneymakeover to simply say "sorry , I missed that."

So he met 4 of the 6 criteria

argumentative, quarrelsome, offensive, pointless, off topic or mean-spirited posts

So his was the first post deleted under the new Standards.
 

MrEarl

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,952
Hello Mr. Burgess,

I get what you are trying to achieve here, and there are real benefits to having a clear, reliable source of information, or future point of reference.

How've, its also natural for Irish people to chit-chat a bit, have a bit of banter etc.

While intending to do good here, please try not to make the mistake of allowing AAM to appear like a dictatorship, as it will just drive people away, and many of those people are the ones that we all rely on, to provide specialist knowledge, when it's needed.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,451
Hi Mr Earl

Thanks for that reminder.

It's not really about chit chat. It's about "argumentative, quarrelsome, offensive, pointless, off topic or mean-spirited posts"

It's difficult to strike a balance between freedom of expression and keeping the forum useful.

The moderators do not like deleting posts. We would much prefer if people self-moderated.

We have definitely been too tolerant in the past and have lost some very good contributors who just got tired of pointless arguments with people who had no idea what they were talking about but just enjoyed arguing and having the last word.

And just to be clear, there are very few posters who engage in the "argumentative, quarrelsome, offensive, pointless, off topic or mean-spirited posts" to any serious extent.

And we are much more relaxed about chit chat and argument in Letting Off Steam and Shooting the Breeze.

Brendan
 
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