I’ve received a couple of PMs from members who are curious as to why their post or topic may have been deleted. I wanted to clarify the various reasons behind the removal of certain posts and topics in an attempt to help everyone better understand. I will also cover "disappearing" topics which are in fact an event where a topic has been moved or merged but the author is unaware. The below information also applies to posts that have been edited.
When we view a reported post or topic we have to take various things into consideration when deciding what action to take – but this does not mean we will only take action on reported posts; we may find inappropriate, off-topic or offensive posts or topics before a member reports them.
After reading the following please do not feel you have to remove every potentially off-topic or nonsensical post you have made (especially if it is in the Chit Chat section). If we find a post we believe should be deleted and it has not been reported then we will still act, these are simply guidelines for those who may wonder why a post or topic has been removed and it is also a good way to get a general idea of the kind of community we wish to uphold.
Also keep the following in mind when deciding whether or not a post or topic should be reported.
Why was my topic or post deleted?
It was off-topic
A little bit of banter does us good; I’m pretty sure at least half of topics on this forum have one or two posts that go a little off-topic, these posts are simply questions or comments that don’t necessarily fit into the “subject” of the topic but relate to matters being discussed. I often find those who go off-topic take their conversation elsewhere though there are occasionally posts that are completely irrelevant to the topic (and put bluntly: pointless, offensive or inappropriate) and so it is simply best to remove them.
It made no sense
This ties into the “it was off-topic” section.
It can be very difficult to understand some people's writing styles; this could be due to a dodgy online translating device or simply because it is their preferred way of typing. If a post is reported because it makes no sense we will review it and see if it is relevant to the topic; if it isn’t we remove it, if it is I will contact the one who posted the confusing message and ask them to clarify what they mean.
It was posted twice
Sometimes your computer or internet may lag and cause you to submit your topic or post twice; it’s happened to me, too! If this is the case you can always remove your own post or topic by pressing the little “X” above it or going into edit and choosing from there. If you can’t find either of these options feel free to report your post or topic and say it was posted twice, we’ll remove the extra one for you.
Sometimes members make a typing error or forget to add information and so re-submit their topic or post with the new information or correct spelling: you don't have to do this, instead you can press the “Edit” button (which is at the top right hand side of your post) and then edit away as needed.
It was merged
Occasionally a member will continue to post extra information that relates to a post they just made. In order to keep the forums tidy these two posts may be merged. Merging means that the information from two (or more) posts or topics will be combined into one to make it easier to read in one sitting. If a member posts two things in a row this is known as double posting: it's perfectly fine but sometimes it just makes sense to combine the two posts into one; it's more convenient.
Two (or more) topics may be merged if they are relating to the same subject and are both actively responded to; this keeps the forums tidy and makes it easier for us to moderate.
It was offensive, inappropriate, sexually explicit, flaming or trolling
What is flaming? If you “flame” someone you purposefully create a post or topic that abuses them with words or in some cases images.
What is trolling? Trolling is a form of spam. A person will join a forum and post or create topics simply to cause trouble and upset people. The best thing you can do is report the topic or post and not respond. If you respond this is known as “feeding the troll” and you may find they continue attention seeking.
An offensive or inappropriate post/topic is a post or topic that attacks or belittles a person’s race, religion, gender, political views and/or overall beliefs. We have a wonderful community here on FlyTrapCare forums and we do not stand for this type of behaviour. There is a difference between debating a subject and simply attacking someone's opinion.
Sexually explicit posts or topics (such as advertising for porn sites, posting pornographic text or images) are usually created by spammers (who are promptly deleted and banned) but I have witnessed members of other communities stoop to this level. Any and all sexually explicit posts or topics will be removed as soon as they are found. Period.
It had potential to start personal attacks
This ties into the above section. A topic or post may be removed (or simply edited) if some of the data could incite flaming, trolling or personal attacks. This is a pre-emptive measure used to keep the peace.
Your topic was moved
This is what I like to call "disappearing topics"; a member creates a topic, goes offline for a while and returns unable to find it. This is due to one of three reasons: it was deleted, moved or merged. If you can't find a topic you created and feel you have done nothing wrong for it to be removed you can do the following to see if you can locate it:
If your topic is fairly new go to the “View new posts” page and look for it there
You can also click the “View your posts” link to the top of the forums next to the “View new posts” link
If you are still unable to find your topic and can't find a reason as to why it may have been deleted feel free to contact us.
It was considered spam
The majority of people on the forums are aware of the spam troubles we’ve had of late. Spam messages are usually advertising, sexual images/videos and/or linking to websites that could potentially harm your computer. These messages are a nuisance and will be deleted. There is a wonderful topic on what to do when you see spam right here.
It was solicitous
This majorly ties into the "it was considered spam" section.
Matt created a thread on soliciting here and I feel the need to highlight this. If someone joins the forums with the sole intent of selling or advertising for their company then their account will be removed alongside the offending topic/post.
A large amount of the spam we face on the forums is advertising for drugs companies, exercise companies and even clothing. If you are an active member of the forums (active meaning regularly contributing to the community) then feel free to advertise plants, seed, growing sundries or (as Matt kindly stated) even products un-relating to growing. We will support you:
Matt wrote:However, this forum is not intended to be, nor will it be, a place for retailers to come for free advertising.Summary
Here is a brief summary of all the information above:
A topic or post will be deleted if:
It is completely off-topic (is not a question or comment relating to matters being discussed)
It is offensive or abusive in any way
It contains links to sexually explicit websites, images or videos or leads to a potentially harmful website
It is advertising drugs or anti-virus programs
It is complete gibberish (a random combination of letters and numbers like “s8dfgu7yw84” for example)
It has been posted twice
It has been requested by the author
It is solicitous
A topic will be moved if:
It is not in the correct category (example: a venus fly trap question in the butterwort forum)
It is requested to be moved by the author
A topic or post will be merged if:
They are relating to the same subject and are actively used
They contain similar information that would be easier to read in one place
Always keep in mind:
We will remove a nonsensical post if it is off-topic but I will contact the author if it is not
99% of posts/topics that advertise porn, free anti-virus or drugs are created by spammers
Spammers are always banned and their posts/topics deleted
Don’t be afraid to ask about a topic/post if you are unsure whether or not it should be removed/reported
Posts may be edited if part of the data is relevant to the topic but other parts are deemed inappropriate
If the creator of a topic feels one or more of the responses to their topic are inappropriate, off-topic or offensive they have the right to request for them to be removed. This can be achieved by reporting the offending post(s). We will comply as appropriate but if a post does not fall under any of our “remove” criteria we will leave it alone and not change it.
If someone joins the forums and their sole purpose is to advertise for a company or to sell products whether related or unrelated to carnivorous plants and growing in general their account may be banned and their posts/topics deleted. If someone joins the forums and actively contributes by answering questions, posting information or a variety of other ways then they may post information relating to their company and/or products they are selling. This includes selling or trading carnivorous plants through the "Sales, Trades & Wants" sub-forums. We are not an advertising company: we are a community of avid carnivorous plant enthusiasts.
Moderators and Administrators have the right to delete any and all posts deemed inappropriate.
List of online carnivorous plant suppliers