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Forums » Suggestions & Development Discussion » Possible change to editing in private messages

I encountered a unique situation while RPing recently. Normally my potential RP partners and I will discuss the plot, as well as what things we are comfortable with. This was in fact the case. However, during one of my recent posts, my partner messaged me saying they were uncomfortable with a few things that were happening. I offered to edit or delete the post and redo it.

Unfortunately, by the time I got the message and responded, it had been longer than the 15 minutes you get to edit messages. I tried requesting a mod to edit or delete the message for me, but I was informed that mods can't do those things for private messages. Which makes sense, seeing as it is to prevent any kind of shady stuff from happening.

So I've been thinking of some possible solutions for this.

The first idea I had was to implement some sort of button on the private messages where if you click it, that specific message gets a strikethrough on it, and is collapsed to prevent the person who clicked it from seeing it, while still keeping the message there for later reviewing or recordkeeping. But if they expand the message again, having it all struck out will let them know at a glance that it is a message they didn't want to see originally.

The second idea I had was to implement edit and delete buttons, but in order for the person who posted the message to actually edit or delete it, the other person(s) in the conversation would have to agree to let it happen.
(e.g. I make an RP post that contains content that my partner and I didn't realize they were uncomfortable with, but due to work, they weren't able to see the message until several hours later. I could ask them if they wanted me to edit or delete the post and redo it without the content they were uncomfortable with. They say they want me to just delete it and start over. So I hit the delete button, and they get a prompt on their end saying I am requesting to delete my message and if they agree to let me do so. They say yes, and the message is deleted. I can then make a new post.

Alternatively, they liked the majority of the post, but just want me to edit out the uncomfortable stuff. So I click the edit button, and like before, they get a prompt on their end saying I am requesting to edit my message and if they agree to let me do that or not.)

The way I am imagining it working is similar to when you get a friend request, except it appears in the specific conversation with the person who the edit or delete request was sent from.

I'm not sure if that's too complicated, or how difficult it would be to implement something like that. But the purpose would be to still give users control over their messages, while also trying to keep some level of security to prevent people from harassing others and then simply getting rid of the evidence.

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I think private messages having a constant edit button, but maybe an accessible edit history, could be useful? that way it avoids concerns that come with a constant edit (i.e dishonesty in editing), while still being a useful tool in a space that has room & reason to be much more flexible than a public form. Though, preserving edit history might be complicated, I'm not sure how that all works.
tbh i feel like the benefit of having edits permanently available in DMs far outweighs the potential abuse - it's not like people use its availability in the forums to wreak havoc or anything. could even have it be available only when posting as a character vs player account or whatever. other sites utilize a "edited last at: (time)" to signify that it's been edited, too. if permanent editing is too wild, then even just increasing the time window to 24 or 48 hours would be a huge improvement.

because honestlyyy, having the only way to fix a post after the very short window is over be through just reposting the whole thing is a bit of a pain. i usually don't notice mistakes until several hours afterwards (because let's be real, most of us post right before bed) and by then it's too late to do anything. then i have to go find my partner, notify them of the mistake, then tell them what the mistake is supposed to be, then they have to keep that in their brain while they read the post and-

yeah. it's convoluted. i don't see any reason why editing shouldn't be made permanent for messages sent via characters, if it's offset by either an indicator that the message has been edited and/or permission to edit similar to permission to invite someone. i can speak from experience on another site that allows permanent message edits that i've never experienced abuse firsthand with it. i know i know, "but ur anecdote doesn't apply to everyone!", though my view on that is if someone's gonna be nasty, they gonna be nasty with or without an edit.
Arekkusu Topic Starter

Yeah, I definitely understand why there is a time limit, but there's got to be a better medium that allows users to still edit private messages for RP purposes (like correcting spelling mistakes, or redoing a post) without having to just post an entirely new message and keep the old one which would take up space, while also addressing any abuse concerns.

There are a few ways of doing that, such as those I mentioned above, and probably even other ways that I haven't thought of yet. But I think the main issue with it would be coding something like that. Although I have a background in IT, I've never had to do any actual programming or coding (although I have dabbled in it in my free time). I do know that coding can take quite a while depending on what you're trying to accomplish, and if it's something even a little complex, that can make the coding take several times longer.

But it seems that it would be more of a benefit to users to be able to at least edit messages without there being a very limited time in order to do so.
I don't recall offhand what the specific reasoning for the limited editing being deemed the best option for accountability and such in PMs specifically, but working with the assumption that it does need to stay that way...

I personally kinda like the idea of making the old version of a redone message visually different and collapsed by default. Actually, the only real issue I see with just using the system for marking posts as IC or OOC to handle that is how much of a pain it is to mark the IC posts if you turned it on well after the RP already started; otherwise, just marking the post being replaced as OOC should effectively make it apparent that that post is not to be counted as part of the RP.

Alternatively, if those posts getting replaced were to get their own separate way of getting marked, maybe a lasting "redo" button could function similarly to the reply button, starting the new replacement off with the same text and formatting as before (but without the quote tags added) to help with just partial changes, and using that button would also mark the old post as basically cancelled out.

'Course, anything that involves adding a whole extra post is going to seem annoying if there's just some bothersome minor typo that you didn't notice until too late. ^^; I've missed typos plenty of times even when rereading before I submit.

I know that the way the PM system works is a bit weird, so I have no idea how reasonable it would be to have something like a saved "snapshot" of edits, possibly starting after the first 15 minutes. I think it could even be a temporary storage thing if clogging up the database could be a problem, since I think there is a point where it would become kinda pointless to edit. I mean, sure, reading back through a years-old RP and seeing glaring typos can be pretty annoying, but correcting those would serve almost no practical purpose at that point. I think something that would count as a pretty lenient timeframe that should typically work in cases like this where the change is due to feedback, even for a lot of us slow-responders, would be maybe 90 days of being able to edit without having to resort to a whole repost, with the edit record being held for a precautionary period after that before it's eventually dropped from the database. (Heh, yeah, just describing that sounds like it could be a pain to program.)

But at the end up the day, other than when possibly-complex formatting also has to be redone (since it can't just be copy/pasted like the text itself) and the little pinprick annoyance of lingering typos, I don't personally see just reposting as any major issue, especially if a significant amount has to be rewritten anyway. ^^; More bothersome that the redo has to be done than that the old version has to linger.
Perhaps pms could be edited, but only if everyone in the pm list votes to allow it? I believe that was the case for some pm feature relating to changing the number of people in a pm, but I don't remember the specifics. By this I mean voting to change one single pm at a time, not just a permeant permission to change all of them.

That should help prevent a lot of potential abuse I should think.
ngl though being able to vote on having permanent edit access for the whole dm thread would be neat
Arekkusu Topic Starter

Katia wrote:
Perhaps pms could be edited, but only if everyone in the pm list votes to allow it? I believe that was the case for some pm feature relating to changing the number of people in a pm, but I don't remember the specifics. By this I mean voting to change one single pm at a time, not just a permeant permission to change all of them.

That should help prevent a lot of potential abuse I should think.

This was basically what one of my suggestions was. If someone wanted to edit or delete one of their own messages, then everyone else in the conversation would have to agree to let it happen. That way no one can just change things on a whim, but users can still edit or delete their own PMs in a conversation because of typos, corrections, or like in my case, contained content that the RP partner didn't realize they were uncomfortable with until it came up. It would give everyone else in the conversation a chance to review the post, or copy it for their own records before any changes or deletions happened.

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