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Thread Hijacking - Two Threads Are Better Than One
Old 02-08-2020, 08:07 AM   #1
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Thread Hijacking - Two Threads Are Better Than One

I don’t think there are ER.org guidelines, but some threads here are derailed when one or more individuals commenting on the original posting, go off topic, creating a separate conversation. It’s generally considered bad etiquette, as it lessens the impact of the original and the tangent discussions.
  • The intended topic of the thread is defined by the title (choose thoughtfully).
  • If members start a tangent discussion, many other members will never see it to add to or learn from because the title may not attract otherwise interested contributors.
  • And if the tangent discussion takes over, the original title discussion often dies out. That leaves genuinely interested readers who jump in at the later posts wanting. It’s easier no matter where you start reading if the entire thread is on topic.
  • The community is better served with two threads, one for each topic.
  • If people want to discuss a different topic, they should start their own thread - it’s easy.
Most thread hijacks are probably unintentional - making a tangent point isn’t a bad thing. It’s when others start actively commenting that a hijack occurs. If you want to make a tangent point, maybe state the other topic and note you’re starting a separate thread, ideally with a link to the new thread, and encourage others to comment on the new thread (vs hijacking).

FWIW.

[This isn’t directed at a single example, it’s happened many times over the years. Occasionally it kills a good thread altogether and I’ve seen Admins and Mod Emeritus do it ]
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:17 AM   #2
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Yes VERY annoying, especially in financial related threads, but others too. I do not think it is so much the "off Topic" comment that causes the problem, as they are usually related in some form, but all the unrelated follow ups that are at fault.

Especially in the Interest rates and bank deals threads. When there are umpteen posts regarding how someone had problems with the institutions that were posted because of some trivial item that was for the most part only related to their application.

BTW, I am sure I am guilty too, but not in the CD Rates financial threads.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:20 AM   #3
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This thread will be hijacked before you can say, "Oh look, something shiny!".
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:24 AM   #4
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Anybody thinking of buying a Model S in the near future?
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:40 AM   #5
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More rules and regulations, that's what we need here. And a mission statement, too.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
More rules and regulations, that's what we need here. And a mission statement, too.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Is that a naked link? There actually is a rule about that on that page under "posting standards"

ETA: I see you have edited your post to include all the community rules.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:50 AM   #8
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There are also internal hijacks.

Hypothetical example...

Someone asks: "So I have this Roth which I converted from a Traditional IRA. Now, I want to do <something>. Can you help me?"

Answer: "Roths are terrible. I never had one. Why would you convert in the first place?"

And then the thread goes off on the pluses and minuses of Roths, instead of helping the OP's original question. The OP can't unconvert, why rub salt in the wound?

It is a hijack, but is so closely related to the OP question that it doesn't appear that way.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:55 AM   #9
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Is someone having a slow day at the office that thread hijacks are annoying them?

It is so far down the list of things that annoy me that I can barely see it.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:56 AM   #10
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Holy Cow! I swear I was going to start a thread on this very topic. One solution may be a Good Samaritan (or Moderator if they notice it) periodically redirects the thread back to the original question.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:01 AM   #11
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I'm probably guiltier of this than most, but isn't that how (normal) conversations go? Or is it simply that those with an 'I' prefacing their MBTI feel compelled not to deviate from the 'established' line?

Asking for the proverbial friend.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:02 AM   #12
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+1 ... normal conversations often have all sorts of tangents and offshoots.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:12 AM   #13
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Natural tangents and offshoots are fine, but I would draw the line at cases where the respondent intentionally pushes the discussion in a different direction for the purpose of bone-picking or promoting an agenda or ranting about how such and such tax law should be changed.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:20 AM   #14
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Squirrel!!!

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Old 02-08-2020, 09:21 AM   #15
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Being serious for a moment, I have absolutely no wish to see the moderators on this forum tasked with the job of "topic police". They already have their hands full enforcing the forum's Prime Directive: "Don't Be A Jerk!"

EDIT: It has been my experience that if the topic is of sufficient interest, members will refocus the conversation back on topic.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:30 AM   #16
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I don't think this forum is a professional publication with rigid format. I see a very wide range of open and free discussion on many topics. It probably offends OP when things go off the rails, so to speak, but that is how things have gone at E-R.org, forever.

To walk on glass, and be reluctant to respond on a thread because two topics are better than one, well I disagree. A reader does need to overlook some responses (maybe even ignore), or give them less weight (unrelated youtube links).
.....
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:36 AM   #17
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Besides, some folk do it on purpose. Makes their day I guess. Personally I do not care either way, more things to worry about rather than those one CAN control. Personally I agree with the OP. Do I care? Not really.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:45 AM   #18
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I’m with those who see no need for additional regulation. If we go that route then you can also set up rules for how many times a person posts in a day or how many times they can post in a given thread.

Many including myself have made what we consider “funny” remarks in a serious thread but there certainly are those that go off topic. Is it annoying? Sure. I then either scroll down to catch it when it goes off track or just give up on it.

There are very few social media sites I visit. This is one. I don’t Tweet, Facebook and all the others. So, if more regulations then I’m out.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:49 AM   #19
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If you are driven to distraction I understand. However this place stays on topic better than most. Spend a day on Reddit if you want to see what happens when folks pride themselves on going sideways.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo2 View Post
I'm probably guiltier of this than most, but isn't that how (normal) conversations go? ...
I have been even more guilty. Will try to cut down.

Apology to those I offended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
It has been my experience that if the topic is of sufficient interest, members will refocus the conversation back on topic.
+1000
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