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It irks me to see threads being closed more than I think they should be. Just giving my 2 cents. Close and lock the thread now. cool.gif
Mrs. Pigpen
I just moved this topic from the Foreign policy thread. Perhaps this is part of the problem. Starting topics in the correct forum helps to keep them open. thumbsup.gif

The Rules spell out pretty clearly what sorts of threads are acceptable. If a topic is too vague, or doesn't have clear questions, it will be closed. Furthermore, topics are closed if they are deemed too inflammatory to be constructively debated. This is not a forum for spam, blog rants, or flaming.

Of course, this policy is subjective in nature, and one person's inflammatory might be another's idea of "reasonable debate", in which case it is up to the staff members to decide and ultimately the administrators. In the interest of avoiding bias, we have a pretty ideologically balanced staff for this reason.
thumbsup.gif gotcha
To add to this:

The best way to ensure that a thread will remain open is to provide a clear question for debate.

The opening post should be as unbiased as is practical to insure that the thread will not be closed for being inflammatory. If you can't see the thread being answered by Members on opposite ends of the political spectrum, it is probably suspect at best.

If you are posting a news item without a real question for debate, it will be closed in all likelihood. If your motive for the opening post is not to see what others think, but is more akin to "here's what I think" then it is a likely candidate for closure.

Just my two cents on the subject.
Cube Jockey
The one thing people should keep in mind is that the moderation team largely acts based on reported posts. Many of us keep up with as many posts as we can, but we simply can't read them all.

So if you see someone starting a topic that won't lead to productive debate or otherwise breaking the Rules then it is your duty as a member to report it to us. The staff may ultimately decide to do nothing about it, but we can't be expected to address issues we don't know about. Not nearly enough people report posts these days, I could actually count off the people that regularly do using only my two hands.

Also, if a topic is closed the member who started it does have the opportunity to work with the staff member that closed it to reword it and get it re-opened. The staff does work with people who are willing to put in the effort to get topics re-opened, they'll make suggestions and tell you exactly where you went off the tracks but won't write the post for you.
Perhaps it's because I don't post here as often as some but it does appear the moderators can be a bit fast on the trigger finger when it comes to closing topics. Politics is inherently contentious and folks are going to get a bit "hot" with each other at times. As long as they are on topic and not engaging in repeated ad hominems I simply don't see why a little straying into incivility is such a problem. As long as the principal line of the discussion is substantive whose going to get upset? I'm not talking about flaming here, just an occassional incivility. I really don't see how it's avoidable given the strong feelings about some political topics.

Here is one that was closed down recently. It was still evoking strong intelligent posts on a good question (Mine flowers.gif ) and I thought still had a good run. I was kind of shocked when it was closed. Can anyone tell me what was so bad about the exchanges?

Frankly I'd like to see it reopened.

Counterinsurgency expert in despair.
Belittling comments are against the Rules. When the rules are repeatedly broken in a thread by a number of members, as was the case in your thread, we post warnings to stop and then eventually close them, issuing strikes to the most egregious offenders. We have been at a point, hopefully turning now, where we had a small group of members more or less ruining it for everyone else (discussion here). Part of that was evidenced in the thread you started, Dingo. Hopefully, cooler heads are prevailing and we won't have to close as many threads as we did last week.

Please also keep in mind that the staff here is all volunteers. We use the moderation note/closure system because we simply don't have the time or interest to hold a few members hands because they can't follow the Rules. The Rules are clear and we do out best to ensure they are even applied.

Finally, closing a thread doesn't mean the debate is dead. Everyone is welcome to open similar threads to those closed after a few days of closure. Sometimes a small cooling off period and a fresh start is all we need.

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