Closing "sensitive" threads


I'm curious: since when is "having all angles of a discussion covered" a reason to close a thread? To me, this closing comes across as something like "We don't want too much attention to this topic, so let's close it." A form of censorship.

In my opinion, censorship shouldn't be allowed on a Community of an authority which claims to be open and transparant.


There is a bit of concern when topics don't closed on their own (after 30 days of silence).
[imposed silence]


I suspect the (unstated) concern is that things could get rather heated, as is not uncommon when (as in the thread you're referring to) an OP keeps repeating himself without apparent regard for what anyone else is saying. It's therefore being closed preemptively to avoid that circumstance. But if that's the case, it seems someone's trigger finger is a little itchy.


That's IMHO a good reason to close a thread: if that's the case, there is no real discussion possible. But that's not the argument stated in the closing post. Now it looks like censorship to me.

Also, the closing comes right after a new member posts his/hers opinion. Not the OP.


Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'll keep this in mind for future moderation.

That factored into my thought process in another way:

A thread about a fairly controversial issue, which already had discussions from several different angles that ran their course, was attracting multiple posts from new users reopening the same angles. Even though those posts were fine, that’s the sure sign of a thread that’s going to be a flashpoint for more controversy, and isn’t going to resolve anything or change anyone’s mind.


@JamesLE Sounds reasonable. I've thought about if posting that argument in the closing post would perhaps lessen the idea of censorship. Probably not how it's written literally now, but I think using that argument too would have made the closing post more reasonable to me personally.


Being frequently the instigator of such topics, often standing nearly alone on a side of some of them, and witnessing the mechanics of the door, I would be remiss if I didn't speak my mind here...


I feel obligated to apply my standard litmus test when it comes to evaluating a nay decision:

What's the actual harm (in letting a discussion continue)?

Are more donations needed for storage space or memory? Is the server overloaded? Was the value of the thread negatively impacted? Why do only early arrivers to the party get their say? Sometimes new arrivals want to voice their position on the matter before expanding as a means of identification, perhaps?

IMO controversial topics are often the most worth discussing because their resolutions usually have a profound impact (relative to non-controversial topics). How else are they ever going to reach fruition? If the congresses and courtrooms of the world avoided controversial topics, where would we be? Appropriate venue is, of course, important, but I don't believe that applies in many of the closings.

Let me give you an example of where I've seen the door slammed:

IMO this topic had nowhere near "run its course", so much so in fact that it was running parallel to a topic that I created for the express purpose of a resolution:

One might argue there's redundancy that could be avoided (though the two features being suggested were different while addressing the same issue).

I know, "heavy is the head that wears the crown". So I'll close with a scientific statement of something I believe:

The height of aspiration of a community's influence is positively correlated with its tolerance of controversy. This is a peak with the other side being the negative impact of personalization of standpoint.

I can say firsthand that you guys/gals at Let's Encrypt tend to be pretty fantastic when it comes to tolerance of what could understandably be considered criticism from many a direction. It's one of the bedrocks of this community and what I believe keeps a great organization on its toes, so long as there's an eye for improvement.


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