Dealing with debate

Hi everyone! Kinda been a lot going on lately:

  • US Supreme Court decisions
  • War in the Ukraine
  • Especially contentious politics
  • Inflation and other economic stressors

If you add to those larger trends more personal events such as students and parents considering long-term investments in education, it can be overwhelming. It’s been overwhelming for years. For many regular visitors, College Confidential has been something of a refuge.

I like to say that “The true value of a community is relationships.” CC is a wonderful source of information about the college search process and many other topics beyond. That’s not really why regular members of the site log in every day, however. No, people spend their valuable time here because they have developed relationships with each other. There’s no easy way to measure that value, but it undeniably exists. The world is a better place because of the connections y’all have formed right here on this very site.

Some of the most important conversations we can have involve how we individually respond to the various sources of stress happening in our lives. But those same conversations also run the risk of breaking friendships if other people don’t treat us with respect and care. We’re in a Catch-22: Can’t talk about the most important topics because they risk destroying connections between people.

I’m afraid the only solution is trust. I don’t mean we should just trust each other. Trust is the result of seeing others handle small responsibilities well enough we can give larger responsibilities. It takes time and most people don’t trust very many people with the most important things in their lives. So there will always be some limit on where our conversations can go on a forum this large. I wish it were otherwise, but it is so.

I’m always open to feedback about how we handle the balance between letting people talk while not allowing behavior that harms the community. It’s not an easy balance and I know I’ve personally made the wrong judgements from time to time. Please send me a private message, if you have any specific feedback.

At the moment:

  • I’m putting some threads on slow mode, which limits how often people can post.
  • We’re deleting posts that stray too far into debate or might stir up debate.
  • I’m warning and silencing users who aren’t following the rules.
  • I’m leaving reminders in threads that they need to stay focused on the topic and not stray into debate.
  • We are closing threads in extreme situations when it seems the topic is not one we can discuss without debate.

Some people will see these as too extreme and others will see them as insufficient. That’s just how it goes with a large community. My goal is to maintain College Confidential as a refuge for people seeking practical advice and information about higher education. I hope we can find some agreement on that. :slight_smile:



If you want folks to see this…this is not the area in which to post it. Even though you pinned it so it comes up on latest threads, there are many who don’t read things that are not in forums you frequent.

Is there any way you can do a banner with a link to them on every forum asking folks to please read?


Slow mode doesn’t allow for editing of any posts. While there may be reasons for that, it seems unnecessarily restrictive.


Huh. That’s interesting. I’ll look into that and see if we can change that behavior. I’d really prefer to have people edit their posts when they notice something wrong.


Guessing that the reason it does not allow editing is that editing can be a way to get around the slow mode restriction.

But can it be set so that while in slow mode, edits are allowed, but an edit counts as a post for the purpose of the time between posts?

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That would be helpful. As it currently is, there seemed to be no way to edit a post in a slow mode thread… at all.

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How long now is the time period after which post edits are no longer allowed?

15 minutes I think.

30 minutes for new users. 30 days for members and senior members.

I am a senior member, and am not able to edit my posts up to 30 days later. I just checked a few of my posts, and there is no Edit button available.

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Same here.

And honestly, 30 days feels kind of excessive, if that were the case. One day (which I think is longer than the current window I have anyway)? Sure. But 30 days opens things up to shenanigans.

I apparently gave outdated info; it looks like Mike tightened the window for members and senior members, so I’ll let Jon address.

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Looks like editing is disabled after a few days (or at the most after a week)?

@CC_Jon please address this and other changes the membership isn’t aware of. An enlightened membership is the best kind of membership, correct?


I removed the restriction for editing posts in slow mode. It wasn’t a blanket restriction, but the time limits made it much harder to edit than normal in slow mode. If we see any problems with the new setting, I might need to revert the change.

I summarized the current editing restrictions in a new thread: When can I edit my posts?


And I saw a message that said it was too late to edit the post that was posted 3 days ago.

Well, thanks for lifting the edit restriction, but its 3 days later and it now says too bad, so sad… too late to edit! :exploding_head: Why not drop from 30 days editing window (I agree thats long) to maybe a week for senior members?? Not just a day.

Slow mode is the best thing that has been brought to this forum, and very underutilized. Every time it is invoked, it shuts the debate down. I would argue that it should be the default mode for threads, with default timing of 24 hours, not 10 minutes or 30 minutes. There is no reason for a person to post more frequently than once per day on a topic. This would incentivize more thoughtful and reflective posts. (A word limit may also need to be implemented so people don’t post a novel.)

I agree Slow Mode is good when things get contentious but I see no need to have it for every topic. There is plenty of valuable back and forth and sharing of ideas that happens on the college specific threads.