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Policy on closing forum threads

  1. Marisa Wright profile image93
    Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago

    I just noticed that Matthew replied to a question from a Hubber and immediately closed the thread

    There used to be an unspoken policy on the forums - a thread was only closed if things got too heated and unpleasant.  I hope that policy is not going to change, for several reasons.

    For one thing, even when a HubPages staff member has answered the question, his or her reply is not totally clear - so if nothing else, the staffer should leave the thread open to allow the OP to ask a clarifying question.   

    Secondly, other Hubbers may want to add their experience, or ask further questions sparked by that Hubber's problem. 

    Thirdly, if the answer to the question is "email HubPages", it can take several days to get a reply from the HubPages team, especially if it's a weekend (that's not a complaint, we all know the team is busy).  So even if the OP follows the advice to email the team, they will have to wait to get an answer - and in the meantime, discussing the problem with other Hubbers may help reduce their frustration, even if it doesn't solve their problem.

    In this particular instance, the OP might have replied to Matt "I have emailed the team and got no reply".  Others would likely have chimed in to explain the "overly promotional" rule, which might've helped the OP while she waits for a response.  And that discussion might have helped other Hubbers understand the rule better.

    If there is some reason why it's important to close as many forum threads as possible, that's fine - just explain why.  Otherwise I don't see what harm an open thread does, so why not leave them open?

    1. Simone Smith profile image91
      Simone Smithposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I appreciate your bringing this up, Marissa Wright!

      I may be incorrect, but my understanding as to why we sometimes close threads after leaving an answer is that we do *not* review already-started threads all the time, so we would miss clarifying questions if they came, and would prefer that they show up in a new thread (because we do, at least at the present, monitor each and every new HubPages-related thread).

      For this reason, what I recommend is starting new clarifying threads.

      I apologize that our email responses take time- though I also apologize to those who are responsible for dealing with the incredibly high volume of emails we get everyday, many of them unpleasant or asking a question that has already been answered thousands of times... heheh!! ^_^

      You are right that it is best for the community to work things out, whenever possible, on their own, and that in many cases, it is best if we leave threads open, even if we know we won't be able to revisit them for follow-up (for simple time/logistical reasons).

      I'll bring this issue up in the community meeting and see if we might change our policies more in favor of leaving Forums open. smile

      1. Marisa Wright profile image93
        Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Simone, I only brought this up because I haven't noticed threads like this being closed before.  So I was assuming that you were stepping back and allowing your replacements to take over in the forums, and they were taking a different attitude to what's been the case in the past.   

        I can see why closing the thread makes sense - but if you think about it from the OP's point of view, the reply she got was, "you've got to email the team about this, go away and don't waste my time".  She's likely to feel dismissed and be reluctant to start a new thread, even if she has more questions.   

        The reason I say that is that I've had a thread closed on me a couple of times (before your time!) and that's exactly how I felt, even though the reply wasn't impolite or dismissive in its wording. 

        So I think that if a thread is going to be closed then (a) the answer has to be complete, (e.g. in this instance, Matt could also have provided a link to the "overly promotional" section of the Learning Center) and (b) have a statement on the end saying something like, "if you have further questions, then please either email the team @ hubpages or start a new thread".

        1. Simone Smith profile image91
          Simone Smithposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Those are very good points, Marisa Wright.

          We talked this over in the community meeting, and as I understand it, the conclusion to which we came is that we're going to make, as you suggested, more of an effort to bring threads to a complete conclusion when we close them, or at least make it clear why we're closing them and say that we welcome the thread to be opened in a new thread (where new focus can be brought and the HubPages team is more likely to be notified of the update).

  2. LuisEGonzalez profile image79
    LuisEGonzalezposted 3 years ago

    I totally agree with you. Often staff might be so busy that it takes them time to answer and others may help the OP with their own experiences. Closing the post so quickly does not seem to help.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image93
      Marisa Wrightposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      In this case, staff did answer the question but only to say "email the team".  Which is good advice but the  OP is then going to have to wait for a reply.  Why close down her right to discuss the situation with others in the meantime?

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I saw that, too.  In fact, I went to answer and only then discovered it was closed.

        I wonder if HP is trying to discourage that specific question ("Why was I moderated?") from being asked in the forums.  While there have been a few that were quite educational and with surprising answers that we could all learn from, the large majority have been mostly embarrassment to the OP.

        There have probably been a few that ends up revealing proscribed sites or other information that HP doesn't really want revealed.  Stuff that isn't actually a deep dark secret, but that is not general knowledge for a reason either.

        1. Simone Smith profile image91
          Simone Smithposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          To a certain extent, we are, because it's pretty hard for the community to help, but clearly y'all can in many cases, so perhaps we should reevaluate our perspective on the matter!