Moderation and posts removal.

Unanswered Question
Feb 15th, 2009

I'm seeing more and more questions that are not conveying any significance, no matter the effort one puts in reading them.

E.g. writing in very poor English, using text-like abbreviations, and in general a show of pitiful attitude by the poster.

I suggest that for the more extreme cases, post is removed and a canned explanation is emailed to the author. Eg, non-understandable English, insufficient information about the problem, etc.

I have this problem too.
0 votes
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 3 (2 ratings)
marikakis Mon, 02/16/2009 - 04:42

When I was working in a provider I was in a department that would not directly talk with clients. From time to time, the TAC would forward a client complaint to me for a suspected "routing issue" because the client was not able to reach a single website on the internet. The client e-mail in many cases would include threats to choose another provider if we do not solve the problem, comments describing elaborately how incompetent we are, qualitative descriptions of the issue that had to be deciphered or were unrelated and minimal information technically pertaining to the problem. The format would vary, but this was pretty much it. In many cases the TAC would have "forgot" to ask the client if he/she was able to view any website at all on the internet.

The "routing issue" would hardly ever prove as such. It would usually be some problem with the client side or the remote webserver. The only webserver beyond our network that I would care about if it went down would be only that of, but nobody complained about that and still I had to check it out. This type of issue was common enough that colleagues would make fun of me and one of them once opened a fake ticket for me about an imaginary client that cannot see some adult site (I never received complaints from clients about such sites. I guess those are working fine).

People who can identify all the clues related to a problem can in most cases solve the problem on their own. They could also have my job instead of me, which would have been the only way for me to avoid reading peculiar e-mails at the time.

When providing technical support there are cases where the correspondance is far less than perfect, especially when talking with an end customer that is not an experienced technician or a technician at all. In this forum we all have the option to ignore e-mails that we could not ignore at work. We also have the option to try to understand as much as possible from them, which is a procedure that develops detective-engineering skills.

I do not like shortcuts such as "u r" when writing for various reasons, but it seems the young generation has no respect for the elders!

Jon Marshall Mon, 02/16/2009 - 09:49


I think the problem here is that what makes sense to one person might not to the other. There are times when i have read questions that i simply don't understand, (in language rather than technical terms), but then someone else comes along and gives an answer to the posters satisfaction. So they obviously understood something i couldn't.

Relying on a moderator may be difficult unless that moderator happens to be an expert in all the forum areas.

Poor english is another issue altogther. I am a native english speaker but many aren't and if they need help it would be nice to think they could come to the forum and with a modicum of english get answers to their questions. I think this is an area that could do with some work but i'd hate to stop people using these forums because their english was "not up to scratch".

More details is hopefully something that is being addressed with guidelines being posted for what is useful information to aid in getting better answers.

I guess overall there is always some background "noise" on any forums and you just have to kind of filter it out.

I do however agree that there are times when the poster can be quite aggresive in their attitude and i don't think this is appropriate. What can be done about i'm not sure other than remind people this is a voluntary site where help is freely offered.


marikakis Mon, 02/16/2009 - 12:27

I agree with Jon.

If somebody keeps reading hard to understand posts (hard because of the phrasing and not because the reader does not understand the technology), at some point the mind makes a correlation between particular phrases and technical issues. Doctors do this all the time. The patient is not a medicine expert and uses phrases such us "stubbing" or "tearing" to describe the pain. Those phrases have been studied and are considered diagnostically useful!

Daniel Bruhn Mon, 02/16/2009 - 13:02


We all need to keep in mind NetPro is a global community. English isn't everyone's native language, but that doesn't mean those users shouldn't be provided the same opportunity to learn just like everyone else. I'll be the first to admit not all posts on NetPro make sense to me. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't make sense to others. It wouldn't be fair, or for that matter appropriate, for us to delete posts based off criteria I designate.

I know for a fact many users don't post in fear of looking unknowledgeable. We should do our best to encourage those users to post. I'm proud to say NetPro does a very good job of this when compared to other communities. This is the only way to learn and that is what NetPro is chartered to do. Not to mention, I think everyone has something others can learn from.

As Jon mentioned, we are working on a “Tips For Posting” guide that will help alleviate some of your concerns. That said, it won't be perfect, but be assured we continue working on programs to help make NetPro a great community for all Cisco enthusiasts.


Dan Bruhn

NetPro Community Manager

Paolo Bevilacqua Tue, 02/17/2009 - 15:39

Thank you for your answers. Perhaps I did not made myself clear. I'm not referring to the occasional spelling and grammar errors (not rare), neither to bizarre question or questionable attitudes (very rare).

From my point of view, I'm happy to engage discussions with all types of people as long they make a reasonable effort to articulate their issues. I'm instead referring to posts like the following ones, here cited in their integrity:

"can able to get the packets but LCP and PPP errors shows"

"well xplaind i tuk the qstn in wrong way applgze ."


My point is that in our profession, beside a lot of technicalities, we must also learn how to communicate clearly, effectively and respectfully to our peers. I don't think it's fair to encourage who doesn't try to do that.

Since I do not see what value posts like the above bring to our community, I'm asking for moderator attention in form of an email, a bit like the posting tips mentioned. In the meantime, the post should be put in quarantine until edited to an acceptable level.


This Discussion