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Jul 15, 2012 07:04 AM

Editing a post

I'm aware that the hound team can move and delete threads for different reasons. Who can edit a post other than those who post them?

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  1. We can edit them, but as a general policy, we don't, other than to add very obvious moderator notes, or with user permission. We do edit titles a little more freely, to add locations or correct spelling errors that might prevent a thread from showing up in appropriate searches, for example.

    13 Replies
    1. re: The Chowhound Team

      By the way, how long can I edit a post before the Edit feature disappears? Days, hours, minutes? I'd like to be able to edit my posts forever, not just for a little while.

      1. re: John Francis

        You can edit posts for 2 hours, which should be long enough for people to work out typos and the like. We don't allow forever editing, because Chowhound is a conversation, and the things you say affect the things other people say.

        Imagine a situation where you said, "Restaurant X is amazing, I love it!" and someone replied "I totally agree!" Then, a few months later, you have a terrible experience at Restaurant X, and come back and change your post to read "Restaurant X used to be great, but now it sucks!" The person who replied to you now appears to agree that Restaurant X sucks, when they might not think that at all.

        The other aspect of that is that if Restaurant X truly has gone downhill and now sucks, if you just edit your previous post, not many people will know that, since it won't appear as 'new' to them, or send email notifications to people who've been active on the thread. So in order to get the information out about Restaurant X's tumble downhill, it's better to add a new post.

        1. re: Jacquilynne

          I don't make edits of that kind, but if I post some information and later learn more, or that I was wrong, I'd like to be able to correct what I said - and it would be helpful to readers of the thread if I did.

          But thanks for letting me know about the 2 hour limit. I thought it was shorter.

          How about being able to delete one of my own posts? Every other discussion board I've belonged to has enabled this, but if I can do it here, I don't see how.

          1. re: John Francis

            We don't allow self-deletions for much the same reason as we don't allow long term editing -- it has the potential to mess up the conversation.

            In both cases, if you really need something fixed or removed, you can flag it with 'report' and ask the moderators to do it, or send an email to if your edit request is complicated (in which case, please just send an edited version of the full post text that we can swap in, rather than describing multiple changes). If it can be done without messing up the conversation around it, we'll take care of it. If not, we'll work with you to find the best way to make the information accurate while leaving the conversation making sense.

            1. re: Jacquilynne

              Thanks, I'll do that if I need to.

              By the way, one possibility would be to allow users to edit and delete their own posts indefinitely if no replies have been posted to them. This would avoid the effect you're concerned with, but allow posters to make their second thoughts public - not just for their own reputations but for readers' benefit. How about that?

              1. re: John Francis

                If people really need to remove something, we can work with them to get it done, but it isn't just open season on the site's history if someone gets mad about something someone else says and wants to take their posts and go home. Even indirect replies often refer to things said above, so that still has the potential to mess up conversations. We don't get such a huge number of requests that we can't deal with them, so we're fine with the way that gets done now.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  One last word, because clearly you folks have made up your mind and that's that. But in all the moderated boards I've ever joined, since signing up with CompuServe in 1985, never ever has anybody purged all their posts for any reason. Individual posts get deleted because the writer thinks better of them, for whatever reason - they're wrong or uncivil or make him/her look stupid or whatever. Deleting these is a Good Thing and I think it should be made easy, not hard.

                  If you don't get a "huge" number of requests to delete, I'd take this to show that given the option, members wouldn't delete a "huge" number of posts on their own. It may also show that they aren't aware they have the option to do it with your permission; I wasn't. It does not show that your permission is what keeps members from running amok and deleting their posts all over the place. All it does is impose your quasi-parental control and make the process more cumbersome - needlessly so, as I believe I have shown.

                  OK, I'm done.

                  1. re: John Francis

                    We do actually get requests to delete someone's entire history a few times a year. We won't actually do that, so those requests are also generally pretty easy to handle -- we just say no.

      2. re: The Chowhound Team

        Will OP be notified when an edit is made? Same question for deleting/moving a thread.

        1. re: eatntell

          If we edit something in a post, we usually ask for permission first. Occasionally, we do edits and then notify, for example, if we've received an email indicating that the phone number in a post no longer belongs to a restaurant and is now a private number and they are getting a lot of calls, but if the edit will change the content of the post in any significant way, we ask first.

          If we edit a title, we generally won't do a notification, since those are fairly straightforward.

          If we move a post, we try to notify someone if they've never had a post moved before, and let them know about their profile page, so they can always track any posts in the future. After that, we don't generally notify users about moves as we assume they will know how to find the posts themselves.

          Deletions are very variable -- we send notifications if there's something we think the user should know about the deletion, or think they might not realize why it was deleted. We also often delete off-topic sub-threads with multiple posters in them, and while we'll leave a Chowhound Team post in the thread if it's appropriate to the situation, we don't have time to send individual notices to a bunch of users at a time.

          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            This is completely unfair. Users have the right to remove their comments if they think better of them, regret them, or if they get several negative responses to a question. Sometimes you just want to remove yourself from a conversation and leave like it never happened. We have that right. I won't be posting anymore.

            1. re: JolokiaJen

              When one is using an anonymous screen name can it really matter if one regrets a post that they've made?

              1. re: Servorg

                Yes, if you mention your town or the name of a restaurant you want to delete and can't.