Should threads meant for editors be answered by the editorial team only?The query in the title of this thread was raised in this thread. Natarajan wants to know whether it is Ok for a member to answer in threads related to complaints, requests and the like which are obviously directed to editors/Webmasters only. So as not to take that thread off-track, it is being taken up for discussion separately over here.
In my view, it entirely depends on the context. Let's consider a few scenarios:
1. A member asks about ISC features or guidelines.
- Those really familiar with the features and guidelines can definitely answer. An editor may also additionally answer simply to confirm that the response(s) given were correct or to correct some misinformation.
2. A member asks about a particular post being rejected.
- We would prefer that only an editor answer here. The reason: no member will really know the correct reason for the deletion. As you are aware, it is not always the case that a reason may show up at the top of a post as to why it was rejected. There may only be the text of the automated system that it is of poor quality....etc etc....when, in fact, the reason could be that it is plagiarized content, contains inappropriate words, is having promotional text, etc. Even among us editors, we prefer that the section's Lead editor/editor replies or a forum editor replies after due confirmation from that section's LE.
3. A member asks something about AdSense.
- Is this totally open to being answered by anybody? I would say no. Somebody who has a half-baked knowledge or no knowledge at all should not convey the impression that he/she is an expert on it! I myself will reply to such queries if I genuinely know and also often consult somebody (not necessarily an editor) who could confirm my info.
The forum LE does bring the team's attention to such threads quickly. However, since he and other forum editors are not available online 24x7, we appreciate any ISCian's help in dealing with queries pronto. But should the pronto response misinform & misguide? No, of course not.
The bottom line is this-
1. Do not give useless answers like "I am not sure about this. Surely an editor will reply soon." or pretend to know the reason with "Read the posting guidelines. You must have submitted copied content."
2. Do not give information which totally misguides the member. Don't know with 100% surety, don't answer!
3. Since editors (including myself) are considered to be in authority, our word will be taken as right. So, like any ISCian, we also do need to take care that we give the right answer to a query and - equally important - if we do give wrong information, having consulted somebody in the know, promptly we should post a fresh response and correct it.
What I suggest is this: If at all you see that the thread addressed to an editor has not been responded to by any editor after 24hrs. (a flurry of new threads can push a query thread behind), then please send a message to either LE Saji Ganesh or LE Jagdish Patro via the ISC messaging system. They will check it out.
Feel free to put forth your own views, even if this topic has been discussed earlier since we now have a lot of new members who were not around during previous discussions.