The Purpose of the + in Thread Titles

jgsugden

Legend
I am not getting this binary oppositional thing you are trotting out. First off, do you think there is a way to declare a winner on a topic by the number of people that take X side vs. Y side?
That is a fairly standard practice. People talk about the number of followers they get on Tik Tok, for example. They look at supporting numbers. ....
As for the rest of it, do you really believe the mod staff is not going to come down hard on a thread that is supporting illegal and unethical behavior? Why don't you try this (Actually don't, but this is an example), start a + Thread on NuTSR and the impending litigation with WotC and see what happens. I don't think the topic will last very long or be very popular.
I used examples that were intentionally not 100% black and white. It is the topics that are shades of grey and require counterpoints to create clear perceptions.

So you are asking for a comprehensive hard line from the mod staff on what is acceptable?
I answered this multiple times. I do not have a clear answer - just concerns.
Has anything like this happened yet? I haven't seen one these type of threads.
As I said, I have concerns and these threads make me nervous because they can be manipulated. I provided examples where we would be concerned. Do you suggest that we should not worry about a problem until harm is clearly caused?
... A + thread is asking you to respect the OP and those interested in the topic. If you cannot, move along.
I have concerns that harm could be created through misuse of a tool with a noble cause that is capable of creating misperceptions. I don't think telling people to just step aside and let potential harms be allowed to unfold is a good path.

To me, my concern aligns with behaviors we see in the industry. As an example, there is a company called Blacklist Games. They had a series of Kickstarters that were well intentioned (I believe) but during which they lied to their backers. In the end, they asked for / extorted more money from their backers. If you go to their social media accounts you see no reference to these problems - because they delete anything contrary to a positive image for them and leave only the few posts where people appreciate the quality of the materials in the end (which are, in fact, nice looking minis). People that look up this company on social media get no clue that the company has a major history of problematic behavior because all that is allowed is positive statements about them on those sites.

Just to spell it out: I am pretty sure I could put together threads (+) that would make the mods uncomfortable and unsure whether they should step in. I WILL NOT, but I could. Others that have more manipulative goals may, and that concerns me. It isn't the easily identifable bad faith threads that bother me - it would be the ones that straddle the line and hav both a valid reason, and the potential to create significant misrepresentations of public opinion.

One suggestion I made was to allow a 'down vote' mechanic to be applies to the thread to express discomfort with the idea without trolling the discussion. That seems reasonable, if feasible, and provides some ways to address concerns I raised (although not a perfect answer for several reasons).

I'd also love to see a FAQ with the official rules for + threads to provide clarity on the rules for them - potentially including limitations on the use. That may not be something the mods are interested in providing - which is perfectly fine - but I would think it could be useful and helpful to the community.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Just to spell it out: I am pretty sure I could put together threads (+) that would make the mods uncomfortable and unsure whether they should step in.

Just so you know, if we feel uncomfortable, we are apt to step in first, and maybe apologize later.

There was one time I did not do that, and I have regretted it for years.
 

This may have already been covered earlier in the thread, but...

I think it's generally distasteful for a news or announcement post to be labeled as a + thread. IMNSHO, if the purpose of a post is primarily to get attention for something, it should be understood that not all attention is positive attention. The purpose of a + thread is to aid in discussion and conversation; it should not be used to control the delivery of information. Make the news thread first and a + thread later if needed.

As an additional point, this is specifically about when the + is about the news item itself. Threads like "New series from So-and-so available now (Apple TV +)" wouldn't bother me because the news is about the series, so discussion doesn't get bogged down taking about Apple TV. The fact that Apple TV exists is not news. It should be understood that people will still critique the series and creator. But I would find a thread called "Stranger Things moving from Netflix to Apple TV (Apple TV +)" to be distasteful, as discussion of Apple TV is central to the (hypothetical) news.
 

I didn’t read the bazillion posts on this, but I wonder: are “+ thread” and “a thread” EnWorld concepts, or from some other part of the internet.

Urban Dictionary has no definition for “+ thread”, but does have “A thread“ snarkily defined with one definition and like 8 thumbs, so I dunno.

Sure seems like “everyone knows that” in this site.
 

Maggan

Writer for CY_BORG, Forbidden Lands and Dragonbane
I didn’t read the bazillion posts on this, but I wonder: are “+ thread” and “a thread” EnWorld concepts, or from some other part of the internet.

Urban Dictionary has no definition for “+ thread”, but does have “A thread“ snarkily defined with one definition and like 8 thumbs, so I dunno.

Sure seems like “everyone knows that” in this site.
Dunno where it comes from originally but RPGnet was the first time I encountered the concepts. They've had them for years.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Dunno where it comes from originally but RPGnet was the first time I encountered the concepts. They've had them for years.

Its certainly well known enough that when Discord added a limited ability they called it a "threaded option" and expected people to know what it meant. I seem to recall seeing it used all the way back in the days of participating in mailing lists.
 

Cordwainer Fish

Imp. Int. Scout Svc. (Dishon. Ret.)
As an additional point, this is specifically about when the + is about the news item itself. Threads like "New series from So-and-so available now (Apple TV +)" wouldn't bother me because the news is about the series, so discussion doesn't get bogged down taking about Apple TV. The fact that Apple TV exists is not news. It should be understood that people will still critique the series and creator. But I would find a thread called "Stranger Things moving from Netflix to Apple TV (Apple TV +)" to be distasteful, as discussion of Apple TV is central to the (hypothetical) news.
Just to confuse matters, the correct name for Apple's service is Apple TV+. ('Apple TV' is just a piece of hardware.) So you could have Apple TV++ threads, which would increase the value of TV by one every time someone posted in one.
 

Imagine someone is having a bad day. "I am awesome +". Maybe they just want to hear good things about themselves that day. No constructive criticism, no jibes, no "well, this one time you___, so maybe grow from that".

Or imagine someone is feeling upset about Star Wars because of the sequels. "Tell me all the awesome things about Star Wars+". They don't want to hear about the bad things at this moment.

Or imagine they need to figure out reasons why Star Trek is better than Star Wars. Maybe they're compiling them. Maybe they need to compile both sides of such a debate without it getting derailed...so they post BOTH a "Tell me the ways Star Trek is better than Star Wars+" "Tell me the ways Star Wars is better than Star Trek+"

****
I think what people who are unhappy with + threads, especially when they are "not in good faith" is that there is an assumption in the tone.

One might feel an urge to respond to "Star wars is better than Star Trek+" in a way that they might not to "Tell me the ways Star Wars is better than Star Trek. I am compiling a list of these ways+"

The former is saying that you are WRONG if you don't think that. The latter is just asking for one point of view.

But the thing is, either way, you don't have to participate.
And if you want to correct the "you are WRONG" element, then you CAN DO IT!!! Just in another thread.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Just so you know, if we feel uncomfortable, we are apt to step in first, and maybe apologize later.

There was one time I did not do that, and I have regretted it for years.
I'm glad to hear that you're on the conservative side.

You folks have a tough job, and part of my concern is that a (+) thread can unfairly put you between a rock and a hard place. The shades of grey where taking action makes you look authoritarian and critical of the positive elements of a thread and not taking action makes it look like you support the negative aspects of a thread are more my concern - the danged if you do, and danged if you don't. There can be those concerns in any thread, but when you add an addtional content based restriction on contribution to the thread, it seems to add to the risks to me.
 


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