Clifford Cooley has put a lot of time into the forum and I think it would be useful to know what the problem is? A moderator should at the least take the trouble to discuss the matter with him by private messaging. It's only happened to me once but it is very annoying when a thread is suddenly zapped. In my case though a reason was given. I don't seem to be able to access Clifford Cooley's posts via the Profile page.
I hope this isn't too late, valuable members such as @cliffordcooley don't come and stay every day. This is the second time in the last month that we called out for moderating a post but I can't find the "soft deleted" post in question. Let me explain...
Moderators (or anyone else for that matter) can't "hard" delete stuff from the forum but only hide it from public view. So when I got asked about why post X or Y got deleted, I assumed Xenforo was showing me the full picture. But it didn't.
Xenforo by default removes soft deleted posts from the search index and I didn't have a clue about this obvious omission. Until now that I installed a third party add-on to search deleted content and I can see everything now
I have reviewed dozens of @mailpup 's moderated posts and they come up really clean and justified. But no one is perfect and I think there should be a compromise made, especially by regular TechSpot readers and members to understand that a mistake can be made and you can come to us and ask what's going on. That is what happened here with @RustyTech even though I couldn't see the deleted post by searching for it, once he pointed me in the right direction I checked out the topic and reinstated back the content.
Now, the pattern I'm seeing here is that moderated/deleted posts from long standing members have usually come when they have replied to spammy posts, so mailpup's moderation style has been to remove all of that content from its root. And that's the best solution 95% of the time. Case in point, many posts were deleted from this topic when religious and even racist remarks started to pop up here ("the universe is slowly dying"), many from regulars and even a TS contributor like dividebyzero:
I can give another such example when I have deleted a post without "justification". When we publish a new feature/review and you tell us about a typo. I fix it asap and delete the user's post (or edit out the part about the typo) because it's served its purpose, so I prefer a clean discussion about the topic in hand and honestly I don't always give a thanks.
I think most will understand this is a bit of the nature of the Internet and discussion forums, some stuff might get deleted and we try to give back as much as we can with hard work on content. In the case of moderators, they give a lot of their time with little to no reward, even though they help keep the community clean from spammers and poor quality content.
Finally, about the specific posts from @cliffordcooley that got deleted. I found two. One that fits exactly the scenario described above. And the second that I think mailpup thought that was the case but possibly did not. Both were replies to content that was deleted due to spam suspicions.
One the first one, the initial post that got deleted was justified. It was inflammatory in nature:
Unfortunately clifford's response, that came in reply to it was not and did not contain a full quote so perhaps it shouldn't have been deleted:
On the second one, the poster's content was confused with spam (link to a petition on his first post) however it doesn't seem to be spam after all. Unfortunately the damage is done though I have reinstated both posts, the petition link and clifford's response:
Ultimately, I think we should cut moderators some slack. Mistakes will be made but they can be reverted and I'll be the first to admit to it when it happens (especially now that I have fixed the forum's search for deleted content). And trust me after seeing what I've seen, the amount of subtle and not to subtle spam that still goes through our spam filters (we use Akismet, keyword banning and DNSBL) it's no coincidence this forum remains a clean one, it's thanks to the community and moderators that help us keep it that way.
We do not intend on not shutting down comments or forums like others, but it's an imperfect process and we can only ask for your understanding when something doesn't go right.
I have continued to read TechSpot, but I wasn't logging in to do it. I was actually wondering, if I would see this thread make the rounds again. Or if it was somehow removed because of my blatant anger. On that thought I do apologize for my anger.
For what it's worth, I've had time to cool off. I'm still upset, but I'll get over it.
The thread in question wasn't me responding to a comment. It was a thread of which I created, one of the few threads I have started. It just vanished without explanation. I don't expect an explanation on every moderation, but one would be nice to help me know when what I did was not acceptable. Even if it is only an automated message anything would be better than nothing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking you guys to stop moderating. Not even my content. I just hate not knowing why, and all the questions stack up to frustration. Especially on my own created threads.
"Ultimately, I think we should cut moderators some slack."
ok...slack has been cut!
Thanks for your responses and glad we haven't lost @cliffordcooley. I went around looking for deleted threads and came empty handed, do you recall if the thread had any responses before it disappeared?
The only two possible explanations for the thread not to be in our DB (as a soft deleted/hidden item) is that 1) it was never properly added to the DB due to a Xenforo glitch (very unlikely) and 2) I saw a bunch of soft deleted topics and in a cleaning sweep I hard deleted it at some point. Although I rarely hard delete topics with replies or from recognizable names without looking deeper into it, I admit it could have happened.
Moving on from this, I think the message is clear for both our readers, members and for the people managing the community: please do give us the benefit of the doubt and we will communicate better when something gets removed, especially the motive so you are not left hanging.
All I know for sure was the thread had around 25 views before I noticed it was no longer visible. At the point I saw the thread last, no one had responded.