FAQs

Why can’t I edit/delete my post after 2.7 min?

Only forum admins/moderators can delete posts without the 2.7 min limit. However, even they cannot modify the content posted by others. This immutability of content isn’t merely an optional feature, but a universally enforced rule based on our core value of permanence, that in order to truthfully record and preserve the intact progression of a discussion, modification of submitted content must be disallowed, as soon as someone likes or replies to the post, or after a brief period of 2.7 min, whichever happens first. In fact, content immutability is well established in instant messaging, for rather obvious reasons: having the liberty to modify what’s been previously said can easily invalidate the subsequent conversation, for what you refer to would be shifting sand, on which no trustable communication can be built. This strong dependence on the integrity of history for building a good discussion simply demands the rule that what’s been posted cannot be changed.

Traditional forums did not manage to appreciate the criticality of this restriction in building healthy communities; they possibly thought individuals should have total control over their content. However, a forum discussion is not solo publishing, it belongs to the entire group of participants, not any particular individual. Granting individuals the liberty to mutate submitted content will inevitably harm the participants as a whole (imagine someone reactively mutating or even negating original stances or opinions, which the subsequent conversation is based upon, resulting in breaking apart the entire thread of discussion). Ultimately, the only common ground that can ever be established is to make submitted content unmodifiable without exception. This way everyone can rest assured that what they post can never be modified by moderators, and content by fellow users stay as is so that your reply will never be invalidated as a result of mutation/deletion of what you refer to.

Encouraging better content generation. Knowing that what you say is immutable is a very powerful way to make you say better things in the first place.

No doubt there are edits for good causes, like fixing typos, streamlining expressions and so on. However, it is impractical for software to discern with absolute reliability the good edits from the bad without false positives and false negatives. For instance, fixing a typo can effectively serve the purpose of negating the meaning of a word. We must make a choice based on cost evaluation. We believe that the cost of disallowing content editing is significantly lower than that of allowing it, because the alternative solution to editing is much simpler than struggling to guard the well-being of a community while allowing arbitrary content mutation. For example, instead of editing your submitted content, you could proof-read before submission (a great habit to develop), and remind yourself that what you say can stay forever as is, quote the part that needs correction/update and comment on it in a follow-up post.

On the other hand, allowing content editing gives rise to endless tricky scenarios that can be exploited. For example, ill moderators can modify users’ posts to arbitrarily eliminate undesirable content and/or fake desirable content, even completely rewrite the content with their own, effectively impersonating whoever they want within the community.

Therefore, the rule of permanence is and will be firmly held to protect both users and admins of the community.

Can I display images in my post?

Images are displayed as links, inline with the rest textual content. Full images are one click away, shown as overlays in a lightbox-style gallery. We believe that discussion should be centered on text, the flow shouldn’t be interrupted and the focus shouldn’t be shifted due to the presence of eye-catching images.