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A reminder to all - no one here is really that anonymous. 

Take a minute to imagine your post history becomes a morning read for your boss / prof / the admissions committee. 

In the last two weeks we have dealt with a number of posters opening themselves up to potential offline consequences. Since this whole forum is built on a belief that people can easily self moderate and that they deserve the reputations they earn, we don’t allow anyone to delete their post history. 

This is not meant to scare anyone. But if it scares you, maybe think over any future posts here very carefully... your future self (and the mods) will thank you for it. 

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Posted (edited)

I mostly support the self moderation principle, but I do wish there was a 1 time reset option where you could keep your profile but delete all existing posts. I only say this because a lot of people join this forum relatively young (0Ls), not really understanding the forum/their history with it, and then stay for years and years. I don't have anything on here that I am ashamed of, but I certainly  have considered permanently leaving just because it is so easy to identify me now. I joined very young and didn't quite understand that all moderators could see who I was and things like that. I guess what I'm saying is once you're a lawyer and you're not on here to ask about your stats and stuff it would be nice to start fresh with an "adult" profile. Anyways, just a thought for future possible reform but happy to be completely shot down. 

Edit to add: I do know people who left the site for this reason - they couldn't start a new account (no 2 account rule) and couldn't get rid of embarrassing 0L/1L posts so they just became guests and don't post. I think this is kind of a loss for the community, but again, I recognize most people probably disagree. 

Edited by CoffeeandLaw
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If a post is a 2013 Chances post, we will probably delete it if asked politely. For long-standing members we absolutely consider reasonable requests.

But most of the time it’s people who have a six page LSAT question post from 2019, and they send us an aggressive message about how private and personal their (repeatedly posted) GPA is, and demand an immediate deletion, and then follow up the next day to demand an explanation for why it hasn’t been done. 

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5 hours ago, CoffeeandLaw said:

I only say this because a lot of people join this forum relatively young (0Ls)

By the time you’re looking to go the law school route, you’re what, 21, 22? 20 if you start posting here in second year? 

In my opinion, you’re an adult at that point. Certainly old enough to understand what you say has consequences. And at this stage, 0Ls have likely grown up with the internet and social media, so it’s not like this is a totally new thing for them. 

We do occasionally have people who start posting much younger. I’m inclined to give a bit more leeway in those circumstances. That said, the majority of the deletion requests we get are of chances posts containing GPA and LSAT on accounts that aren’t regular posters and so really have no identifying features whatsoever.

Anyway, as Hegdis said, we do make occasional exceptions when appropriate and fair. But I’m just not one to buy the “I was so young, though” excuse. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ryn said:

By the time you’re looking to go the law school route, you’re what, 21, 22? 20 if you start posting here in second year? 

In my opinion, you’re an adult at that point. Certainly old enough to understand what you say has consequences. And at this stage, 0Ls have likely grown up with the internet and social media, so it’s not like this is a totally new thing for them. 

We do occasionally have people who start posting much younger. I’m inclined to give a bit more leeway in those circumstances. That said, the majority of the deletion requests we get are of chances posts containing GPA and LSAT on accounts that aren’t regular posters and so really have no identifying features whatsoever.

Anyway, as Hegdis said, we do make occasional exceptions when appropriate and fair. But I’m just not one to buy the “I was so young, though” excuse. 

Eh, I don't think this is super charitable to what Coffee was saying. Yea, if someone's going to come in here, and head to all the debate threads and be needlessly incendiary, I think you should let their words stand. But speaking for myself, I made posts here asking super dumb questions about OCIs, being scared about not finding a job, and kinda openly assessing and reassessing my job prospects/career wants in ways that were naive/insecure, etc. I'm not ashamed of those points in my life, or even making those posts, given that I'm the first lawyer in my family ever and needed help and guidance. But now that I'm called I'm not in love with the idea of giving someone advice here, or having a disagreement on something, and them being able to pour through 4.5 years of posts about those insecurities, on top of being able to pretty readily identify me. I don't deny that 21 year olds should know they have a certain amount of reputation to uphold, but there's some pretty significant personal and career growth that goes on in those 4 years or so that should be acknowledged, and I do think it stinks that people lose out on poster's who want to give back but leave. 

Edited by whoknows
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I don't recall ever seeing, or hearing about, a member here having any consequences to early posts, regardless of how stupid or uninformed they may be. There are many longtime members who likely posted something foolish early on in their time here, and, of course, there are some who continue to do so! ;)  If asking a question that you now look at as stupid, I don't think that you have much to worry about, as we were all likely in the same boat at one time.

Having the ability to erase everything you've posted after years of participating here and hundreds, if not thousands of posts, is just not going to happen. How would we even set parameters on how it could happen? Time here? Point in career? Perceived value as a member here? Typically, the individuals who would benefit from such a reset would be those who turn discussions into a shitshow, those who create multiple accounts and reply to themselves to bolster their arguments, and those who, generally, contribute very little that is positive to the forums.

Another issue is that the deletion of hundreds of posts would disrupt the flow of discussions, information that may actually be useful to members. And doing it piecemeal would be impossible. I get that many of you have little to no idea of the time that the mods spend handling issues that present on the forums. If you think we have the time to arrange a reset, or a partial reset, to the hundreds of members here, on request, you are mistaken.

 

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I've posted dumb things, several times, but I just assume no one is all that interested in me and that no one really reads my posts more than once, if at all. 

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I feel most people overestimate the potential impact of asking dumb questions. So long as you're not saying something sexist/racist/homophobic, no one cares that you, as a 0L, asked about whether you can write the LSAT for a 4th time or that you felt self conscious having a dance degree before entering law school. Self doubt, naive understanding about a career, etc are all normal. In the completely unlikely scenario that someone reads a 5 year old post and connects it to your real life self, for the most part, the impact is not that far reaching.

Getting "outed" is not the end of the world. An IRL FB friend sent me a PM once asking if I was Artsydork based on a post I shared. I acknowledged it, we laughed about it, and we both moved on. My boss walked in my office and saw me posting. They laughed, commented how they used the site when they were applying, and scheduled a new client meeting for me to take over. Few people actually care.

There is also the whole "stand by what you say". Anonymity can make people be extra. That veil is pierced a tiny bit by forcing users to acknowledge that their actions and words are not just performative.

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23 hours ago, Ryn said:

By the time you’re looking to go the law school route, you’re what, 21, 22? 20 if you start posting here in second year? 

In my opinion, you’re an adult at that point. Certainly old enough to understand what you say has consequences. And at this stage, 0Ls have likely grown up with the internet and social media, so it’s not like this is a totally new thing for them. 

We do occasionally have people who start posting much younger. I’m inclined to give a bit more leeway in those circumstances. That said, the majority of the deletion requests we get are of chances posts containing GPA and LSAT on accounts that aren’t regular posters and so really have no identifying features whatsoever.

Anyway, as Hegdis said, we do make occasional exceptions when appropriate and fair. But I’m just not one to buy the “I was so young, though” excuse. 

I completely agree. I would assume someone with the capacity to apply to law school in Canada is also capable of engaging in the self-moderation that this website demands of the user.

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Posted (edited)

I appreciate everyone's posts and I knew the mods probably wouldn't like this suggestion, and that's ok, you are all in charge here, not me. One final note I'll mention is that maybe there should be some transparency as to the mods being able to see who people are. Like others have said, when I joined, I was old enough to know that what I posted was forever (and again, I have nothing I am ashamed of on here), but would I have been so open knowing that a group of (presumably) lawyers could see who I was as I posted? Probably not. There's no pseudo anonymity at all when it comes to the mods and I guess I just don't like that. Maybe it is the lack of reciprocity that gets to me? I'm not sure. Anyways, I'm still here and will probably stay because I'm in so deep now, but I wish I had known that from the beginning and I don't recall every seeing that explained anywhere (though I could have missed it). 

Edited by CoffeeandLaw
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The mods don’t know who everyone is. And frankly, we are not all that anonymous either. 

The “Posts Are Forever” Topic has been present and pinned to the top of the first page since 2012.

It is absolutely true that people post without bothering to read the posting rules. People like to assume every forum is reddit. But we have never hidden our rules from anyone and in fact, we have fairly aggressively warned people hundred of times, usually in response to threads with a lot of personal info in them.

It would take considerable effort to not be informed of the “no delete” rule at this point so our sympathies are limited. 

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47 minutes ago, CoffeeandLaw said:

I appreciate everyone's posts and I knew the mods probably wouldn't like this suggestion, and that's ok, you are all in charge here, not me. One final note I'll mention is that maybe there should be some transparency as to the mods being able to see who people are. Like others have said, when I joined, I was old enough to know that what I posted was forever (and again, I have nothing I am ashamed of on here), but would I have been so open knowing that a group of (presumably) lawyers could see who I was as I posted? Probably not. There's no pseudo anonymity at all when it comes to the mods and I guess I just don't like that. Maybe it is the lack of reciprocity that gets to me? I'm not sure. Anyways, I'm still here and will probably stay because I'm in so deep now, but I wish I had known that from the beginning and I don't recall every seeing that explained anywhere (though I could have missed it). 

Your real-life identity is profoundly uninteresting to me. That's a good thing. Most of your posts fall into what administrative lawyers might call a range of acceptable outcomes. In other words, you seem pretty reasonable here. Based on that, I'm willing to bet that you're probably pretty reasonable in real life too.

So if I somehow managed to link up the two, all I'd know is that a pretty reasonable poster is a reasonable lawyer/person in real life. Which, like I said, is pretty uninteresting. I'd be interested in a few posters' identities. But those are a very small handful of posters who I actively dislike or truly admire, so that I'd know to avoid them or seek them out in the real world. 

The pseudoanonymity is nice. It's freeing to post without constantly worrying about how each thought might affect my public reputation. But, unless I've pissed off more people than I think, I suspect that I'm also not that interesting in aggregate. So even if the mods know who realpseudonym is and want to unveil him to the world, I doubt that they or anyone else would care.  

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

So even if the mods know who realpseudonym is and want to unveil him to the world, I doubt that they or anyone else would care.  

I agree, I don't think I'm terribly interesting or that the mods care who I am. I just think it should be an informed choice when joining. 

Edited by CoffeeandLaw

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Hegdis said:

The mods don’t know who everyone is.

Fair enough, I guess anyone with an identifying email is a better way to describe it. And just to be clear, I never said the no delete rule was hidden. It is made very obvious. Just making a suggestion to possibly boost retention :)

Edited by CoffeeandLaw

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4 minutes ago, CoffeeandLaw said:

Fair enough, I guess anyone with an identifying email is a better way to describe it. And just to be clear, I never said the no delete rule was hidden. It is made very obvious.

Mods have a fiduciary duty to us

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14 minutes ago, Trew said:

Mods have a fiduciary duty to us

Lol #badlegaltakes

But seriously, we do our very best to be fair and even handed when dealing with discipline situations and receive lots of information from posters that we keep in confidence. Certainly doesn’t extend to a fiduciary role, but we do try to nurture this lil corner of the internet. 

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But like, how can anyone join a site and not recognize that someone has access to their email address? Y'all need to take some responsibility too. Especially when there are rules that you need to review when creating an account.

Many posters don't use First Name.Last Name email addresses. Heck, I don't even know the irl identities of the other mods! 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, artsydork said:

But like, how can anyone join a site and not recognize that someone has access to their email address? Y'all need to take some responsibility too. Especially when there are rules that you need to review when creating an account.

Many posters don't use First Name.Last Name email addresses. Heck, I don't even know the irl identities of the other mods! 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, almostnot said:

Lol #badlegaltakes

But seriously, we do our very best to be fair and even handed when dealing with discipline situations and receive lots of information from posters that we keep in confidence. Certainly doesn’t extend to a fiduciary role, but we do try to nurture this lil corner of the internet. 

Hey, you're the one who accepted all of our confidential info! Now you work for us

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