05 Nov

The WordPress Forum Moderators Keep Bizarrely Deleting Replies Just Saying Thank You

Where we first saw indications that something was very amiss with the moderation of the WordPress Support Forum was when a reply from someone just thanking us for answering a question they had, was deleted. It didn’t make any sense to delete that and went against what people were being told as to the limited circumstances that things would be deleted from the forum:

When a post is made and people contribute answers to an issue, that then becomes part of the community resource for others to benefit from. Deleting posts removes this added value. Forum topics will only be edited or deleted if they represent a valid legal, security, or safety concern.

In reality the moderators delete things all the time and delete things where there seems to be no good reason to do that.

More recently the person who is in charge of moderators and apparently selecting most of them, Samuel Wood (Otto), claimed this:

We don’t remove words from the forums because people disagree, but we do remove those words that do not belong in a polite and decent community.

That sounds odd coming from him considering he is someone that others in the WordPress community don’t think is able to act in a “polite and decent” way in the Support Forum, take this comment in response to something he said on the forum:

Some people, no matter how long they’ve been in the project or how important stuff they gave to it, should never be allowed to answer reviews in .org. They lack the minimal sensitivity to understand and speak to a human. I’m not saying they aren’t great, I’m just saying they aren’t fit for it. Therefore, they shouldn’t be there, where you have to understand a lot of different people, with different troubles using which, for some, are essential and at the same time complex tools to master.

That he appears to be oblivious that he might be the kind of person that in his own view shouldn’t have their words allowed there, seems like it goes a long way to explain the mess that is the moderation, seeing as he is largely in charge of it.

Getting back to people saying thank you have their replies deleted, we just ran into an instance where multiple replies with people just saying thank you were deleted. Those replies seems like they would be part of a “polite and decent community” (though maybe not in the bizarro world of the moderators).

Last week we mentioned a topic discussing a plugin that had been closed on the Plugin Directory, when we went back to topic to look at something it seemed like there were replies missing. In fact there were, as there is an archived copy of that topic from Wednesday where there were ten replies instead of the three now showing. It is rather obvious looking at what is there now that replies were deleted since there are multiple references to users where there is no reply from that person anymore.

Among the replies deleted is this

Thanks for update @ampforwp

And this:

Thanks. Looking forward to the update

What in the world could be the legitimate (or even illegitimate) purpose of deleting those?