14 Comments

  1. Weston Ruter
    · Reply

    Personally I love the idea of being able to edit my support forum replies indefinitely, rather than just an hour after posting. Often an old support forum post may be providing obsolete advice, and it is not possible to edit it to alert users of that fact. Adding a new reply to the topic may not be helpful since there may be multiple pages of replies. I want to be able to edit my old replies and make use of that DEL button to mark up advice that should no longer be followed.

    Another example is an FAQ topic that gets stuck to the forum. We may add a bunch of FAQs to that topic and then in a month another question gets frequently asked. Currently we have to unstick the first topic and then create a new one that copies all the old questions and adds the new ones in a brand new support topic that then gets stuck to the forum. Having the ability to edit old topics will solve this problem.

    Maybe there also should be a way for users to level-up to obtain the privileges of editing their topics at any time. If a user has a long history of being a responsible forum participant, they would be more trustworthy of that power. Brand new users should perhaps have a trial period where they have only have an hour window to make edits, and after that, allow them to edit

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    • Justin Tadlock
      · Reply

      I thought about the FAQ example about five minutes after posting this. As a plugin developer, I have created sticky topics several times in the past to inform users of stuff. I’d have to create a new reply instead of editing the topic each time. And, eventually (I think one year), the topic gets closed.

      I like the idea of getting more control/responsibility as you level up.

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    • Marius Jensen
      · Reply

      Wow, the support team sure is in the wind of late 😆

      I totally agree there’s more we could do for authors here, unrelated to the current topic (the current topic is primarily about all users), but I have been brainstorming some thoughts around authors, and mentioned them in slack discussions, they’ve just not been given their own post like this as of yet.

      But I would like to open up to allow authors a bit more control of their own day to day, the ability to close their own topics (not other users topics, because unfortunately that would be abused), reply to old reviews (users can update their review at any time, but nobody can reply to them if they were originally written more than a year ago, I view this as a bug my self), and I’m very open to hearing other thoughts and ideas around this.

      Authors already have the ability to pin their own topics at least, so the underlying system is in place to allow for these things.\

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  2. steve
    · Reply

    Switching posts to anonymous is a brilliant solution to the problem IMO. kudos.

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    • Marius Jensen
      · Reply

      This is already a thing, if you choose to send in a data erasure request, your forum account will be anonymized (granted, your post content will remain), this has been in place for a while now, although I don’t know how widely known it is.

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  3. Suman Dhar
    · Reply

    Or there could simply be a set number of chances allowed to edit the Topics.

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  4. An European Citizen
    · Reply

    I think Americans should un-learn what data is. Here in the European Union we have certain data laws that protect the data that we have created. No company can place itself above the law. Upon GDPR I have the right to protect any personal identifiable data by requesting erasure or request full download. None of that is present on WordPress.org, you have a form that is not working most of the times. You don’t even list a legally compliant entity there responsible for handling that, nor a proper Privacy Policy or GDPR disclosure. In terms of the law WP.org is not legally compliant in the European Union.

    Everyone should be able to request to see what data is managed there, to download it or to erase it [erase doesn’t mean archive]. Anyone should be able to delete his account as well [not disable/deactivate it]. On the other side – everyone who sees his personal identifiable information there exposed – email address, postal address, IP, name, other personal identifiable data, should be able to request deletion of it.

    None of that is present on the current WP.org. You have a weird legal entity connection where Automattic people are responsible for WP.org moderation, but the Automattic.com support team says they won’t handle anything related to .org. Then you have a WordCamp email to address GDPR and privacy issues.

    In accordance with the European laws you have to have a clear legal entity listed there with all details – legal name, legal entity postal address, email etc. This entity should be responsible for handling the legal requests from people that are protected under the GDPR law. None of that is there, not even a GDPR privacy policy form.

    These things were all setup in a way that purposely confuse and diluted responsibility. A global product should upheld the laws of the countries where it is distributed, not just the US law. Here in EU we place the law above corporations, companies and foundations. No privacy policy ot terms of use could breach the law.

    The WP.org site doesn’t even have a cookie consent which is mandatory from many years in the European Union, the UK [their own laws] and other countries.

    Americans should wake up, we don’t all live in their country, we have laws and regulations here and if they want to distribute their software and services in other countries and unions, they should follow the laws of these places where they conduct business.

    It seems like the team behind WP.org is completely filled with only US lawyers who have no idea of the EU laws or the international law and principles.

    Don’t worry, the European Commission would come after them as well.

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    • Justin Tadlock
      · Reply

      Just noting that neither Automattic nor its employees are responsible for the WordPress.org website.

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    • Nick
      · Reply

      For the record, I was born and raised in Europe (Cyprus to be precise), and now live in California.

      My servers are in the US (Arizona to be exact). So when anybody from overseas arrives at my website which includes Europeans, they “digitally” have to cross the Atlantic ocean and enter the US and purchase my products and services. Therefore the transactions are happening in the US and not Europe, thus any laws that should apply are US laws and that’s it. Therefore, it’s up to EU then to impose import taxes on their citizens, and not impose export taxes on the US based businesses.

      Besides all that, what makes the EU think that it has any jurisdiction over any US based businesses that has no physical presence in Europe? Is the EU that naive or stupid to think that they can force me to pay any taxes to them under any circumstance? I don’t leave in Europe, my business and servers are not in Europe, and yet these socialist/semi-communist clowns think they can “colonize” me and digitally make me their “digital slave”… what a joke !

      But I do agree with you on one point… we (at least I) simply don’t care about your laughable, unrealistic, over reaching laws. So, what are you going to do about it? Before you get “tribal” again, remember, I am from Europe myself !

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  5. zonebattler
    · Reply

    My observation (made in German language WordPress forums) is that there are many not-quite-so-competent “webmasters” around looking for help in topics that they do not really master.

    Right after having gotten competent help and/or a working solution for their problem, they want to have the whole thread (including the solution) deleted in order to hide the fact that they were looking for help in the first place. They obviously do not want to see their “limited competence” displayed in public.

    I’m afraid that allowing forum users to edit (or even delete) their postings over a longer period of time would probably result in more obscurity than in more accessible knowledge…

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  6. Dumitru Brinzan
    · Reply

    According to my own research of WordPress.org activity, just in the last 2 months there have been 53,000 new support threads just for plugins. So that’s ~880 new support threads per day. The number of comments is probably 5-10x.

    That’s about the volume of content that forum moderators have to… moderate :)

    My research that also contains data about the support forums activity:
    https://www.ilovewp.com/blog/state-of-themes-and-plugins-wordpress-2020/

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  7. Andy
    · Reply

    Remember that time that the entire Woocommerce user support forum was removed? I think it was when Automatic acquired Woo. There was so much good info there! I was literally in the middle of a project and using a question thread one day and then the next it was gone.
    I know it’s not likely to happen but I think some sort of rating system of quality of questions would be nice. I used to go to the forums and try to help with my limited knowledge but it got old answering the same questions because people were too lazy to do a 10 second search for their question.

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  8. Levi Rombouts
    · Reply

    Pushing for more edit options would be a fair start, but on the long run views are bound to tilt towards giving more power to WP-forum users. The reasons have been brilliantly delineated in your article, and culling information for public consumption sure needs expert handling. I’m open to different views though.

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