The Crossposting Penumbra
So, when I am dealing with contentious comment threads, I will occasionally have to deem a particular conversation on the thread as something derail-y or not germane to the actual topic of the thread, and tell people to move on from it, or (more bluntly) that if I see any more comments on the subject, I’ll Mallet them. This is inevitably followed by a couple more posts where someone comments further, immediately followed by “oh, crap, didn’t see the warning, I must have cross-posted.” This happens often often that I sometimes (not always, but sometimes) wonder if people write up a post on a subject I don’t want, and then use the “oh, crap, cross-posted” follow-up as a talisman against being Malleted.
So I’ve decided to make a more-or-less official policy on the subject. It is as follows:
1. If I declare a subject off-limits in a discussion thread, the five minutes immediately following the posting of the warning will constitute the official “crosspost penumbra.”
2. During the “crosspost penumbra,” I may or may not decide to Mallet a comment on the subject I just declared off-limits, on an entirely subjective basis (i.e., whether or not I think a good point is raised, whether or not I’m irritated, whether or not I have gas and it’s making me cranky, etc). I’ll likely err on the side of “genuine crosspost,” but I reserve the right not to.
3. After the “crosspost penumbra” anything on the subject I declared off limits will get Malleted regardless; immediately if I’m around, later if not (as will all the followups to the now-deleted comment that might get posted).
In either case, if I Mallet a comment for being late on a topic I closed, that doesn’t mean the person who left the comment can’t otherwise post on the thread; they can feel free to post something more on topic (exception, of course: If I also say that the commenter is off the thread).
I think this is a reasonable and easy-to-understand policy that will make my life simpler. Consider it in effect as of this very second. Also, as a general guideline, if you’re commenting in a contentious thread, it’s not a bad idea before responding to do a quick refresh to see if I’ve labeled something off-topic. Thanks.