10/1/07

Deleting Weblists

I've been getting a ton of feedback that when a reviewer leaves, they shouldn't be able to delete their Weblists. Why? Because deleting a list means deleting all of the reviews that were posted under that list.

Folks (so far) have universally felt that this is unfair. That if a Weblist is pushed out to the public domain, it's creator shouldn't have the power to delete it.

I can see the arguments on both sides of this one. Anyone care to comment?

26 comments:

  1. Maybe you could look at a middle ground where people could delete their account, but opt to leave their lists in existance.

    Personally, if I leave, I'll just stop posting and visiting, but I believe people can choose to delete if they wish.

    Some of it gets a little much like "I'm taking my bat and ball and going home" though, and I find that wearying.

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  2. Am not aware of any significant tendency among departees, disgruntled or otherwise, to threaten to or retaliate by removing their filings. As I understand it, items, lists, comments, etc., have been deleted mostly as part of the established process when someone leaves RIA.

    It is reasonable for RIA to retain items, lists, etc., unless the authors, upon their departure, demand that it be otherwise. There is too much history and far too many contributions involved, trivialities included: assets that make up RIA's identity and with which it has evolved, defining who we are in matters of temperament, vocation, expertise, personal interaction and, generally speaking, cultural awareness. To erase such elements, along with all record of the presence of former contributors, would constitute, as stated earlier in this blog, the denial of RIA 'culture' and memory.

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  3. MA, all of the reviewers who chose to leave the site recently, also chose to delete all of their reviews and lists. It was their decisions, not RateItAll's.

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  4. As I understand it, maduronb, the deletion of lists is a function of reviewer deleting their account. In that when they delete their account, the lists automatically go too.

    My comment about "taking my bat and ball and going home" is related to reviewers departing in high dudgeon, making their exit as dramatic as possible, and effectively doing damage to the site and to other reviewers (by deleting their comments) who have nothing to do with whatever issue is at hand.

    Personally, I couldn't give a tinkers damn if someone leaves. And I care even less for the loss of "helpful" votes. But I care a fair bit about someone else being able to delete the comments I wrote, without my even having the option or ability to archive them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for the clarifications. Still, did not intend for today's comment to specifically address recent departures.

    Months ago I found it unreasonable in regards to the interests of the site and unfair to those remaining here for listings, helpfuls and comments that had become part of RIA to be removed simultaneously with membership.

    Before September, as members would reconsider and remove themselves, so would items and comments that constituted their contributions to RIA which, in my opinion, should have been retained, unless, I thought, individuals exercising their right of ownership, denied RIA said contributions.

    I seem to be unpersuasive in my arguments about retaining what constitutes the history and culture of RIA - which is what I understood lawrence's interest to be when requesting opinions here.

    I may be mistaken in advocating the preservation of early contributions in order for RIA to pay tribute to its past (else, no vestige will remain except for what long term members contribute); as mentioned elsewhere, there might otherwise develop a lack of coherence between the early stages of RIA and whatever stages come to pass.

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  6. I dunno, I kind of just go with the flow about this sort of stuff- however, I do like to read old reviews sometimes. It would be nice to see that the reviewer may have left but the review didn't. And sometimes a review of mine gets deleted and I don't mind, cause it was, in fact, dreadful!...Either way, while I'd prefer to read the deleted reviews if they're funny or just truly stellar, I just sort of accept the result, there's no sense in getting too worked up about departures and disappearing remarks- though I realize that it can be a bit aggravating to see something you spent time on just vanish. I can see it both ways...

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  7. My esteemed oscar: reading old comments is not infrequent with me and, occasionally, doing so can be useful for different purposes. However, as deletions can make nonsense of an exchange, I considered it important for new and future members to be allowed the opportunity to become acquainted with comments that earlier members might have contributed in their debates about different matters of interest.

    For the record: it is not a question of getting worked up about the matter of departures and disappearing remarks, either: I do care about the issue but, I did not insist upon it after having stated my point of view about it perhaps twice a week ago, nor did I have any intention of doing so any longer. lawrence, not I, brought back the subject of "Deleting Weblists" recently and, having requested our opinions, I assumed that he expected everyone to contribute to the issue, with no restrictions being made about re-stating earlier opinions.

    Just as irish tells us that he cares "…a fair bit about someone else being able to delete the comments I wrote, without my even having the option or ability to archive them," so would I be uncomfortable with RIA deleting any comment of mine on any grounds, even if I myself believed it to be so. It should remain our prerogative to delete our own comments, dreadful or not - unless said comment violated some established rule, which deletion would be acceptable and proper. (I hope that this opinion is stated clearly enough that no one misinterprets it as an indictment against RIA for ever having deleted anyone's comment, including mine.)

    Irish "couldn't give a tinkers damn if someone leaves. And…care even less for the loss of 'helpful' votes," but certainly those of us who do care are as entitled to our opinion.

    Given this opportunity, will add further to the matter: don't know what objections can arise about RIA rules making it known among all members, new and old, that after their departure, filings of all kinds (lists, comments, items, helpfuls, etc.) hereon in would remain on RIA unless the interested party performs the removal personally or requests it specifically.

    Should the need to clarify arise further, I reserve the right to make additional comments.

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  8. Hi MA, your points are crystal clear. One thing that won't be going away is the ability for a departing reviewer to delete their reviews - I feel very strongly about this, and RateItAll is pretty unique on the Web. Just about every other forum will tell you that once a review is submitted, they own it. Not us. You own your reviews.

    The only issue at play is the ability for a departing reviewer to delete the reviews of others, by removing their weblists.

    If you really own your reviews, is it fair that a disgruntled reviewer be able to delete them?

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  9. Exactly the issue Lawrence, and the conundrum you face.

    If RIA's principle is that the reviewer owns his or her own review, how can another reviewer have the power to delete it. This applies not only to the deletion of accounts, but to the deletion of individual reviews, which I believe listmakers still have the power to do, and was widely and notoriously abused by some reviewers in the distant past.

    If I own my review, why should some disgruntled third party get to remove it to placate their bruised ego.

    I submit that while the creation of a list may well involve a lot of research or work, it is generally less than goes into a well-written review. I'd go so far as to point out that a great many lists on RIA are done with the minimum of research and are borrowed from other sources (my own included)

    RIA can't have it both ways. They can't tell me I own my review, and then give another reviewer the power to delete it when they trash their own account.

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  10. Once a weblist is published and reviewers start posting then I feel that ownership of that weblist is shared amongst the RIA community. Just not cool to find out comments and helpfuls that I put time into and enjoy can be deleted at any time because a reviewer got pissed off at something that probably has nothing to do with me. I know I'm just echoing some of the ideas already shared but I'm just adding my coin to the hat.

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  11. LC -- Irishgit nails the point ("They can't tell me I own my review, and then give another reviewer the power to delete it "). I think it comes down to the content you generate (and even then I am not so sure.) Weblists are the topic but the reviews are the content. Its akin to putting out an RFP for ideas and the reviews are the proposals. The requesting party can not then claim the proposals as their own, or else there would be no submissions.

    A few other things to consider which I believe demonstrates the wholes in the concept that a weblist can be “owned” -- If reviewers own the weblists they create then why do you only limit this conversation to departing reviewers? If that is the standard, shouldn't existing reviewers have the right to delete their weblists and reviews at any point while members? And the issue of stripping content from the site should not be limited to all or nothing. If the weblist is owned, the owner should be able to delete a specific list without deleting all of their list or their account. After all they own it. Would it then be ok for a reviewer to create a weblist and if they don't like or agree with the posted reviews delete that post, in effect censoring those opposing reviews? As I see it it’s a pretty cut and dry issue.

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  12. I would hope that the lists stay. That is more fair to the community.

    I would suppose that those entries that have no comments could be deleted.

    If you put a list out there, you solicit comments, and you must live with it remaining out there even if you have a snit and decide to leave.

    That is equitable and right.

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  13. If I ever leave you all can have my weblists, crappy as they may be...

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