Repairing Contextual Damage

From time to time, an author may feel moved to erase some of his past contributions to a wiki. This is only natural, since the technology allows it and people change their minds. In many cases, the author may be able to clean up as he deletes, repairing references to content he is deleting. In other cases, when the author may be acting out of frustration or anger, this repair is not done. References to the removed material can be confusing, especially in ThreadMode context.

This page could hold ideas for specific repair approaches that might be used, both by departing authors and by wiki house-cleaners.

Go to edit the page, then click EditCopy of previous author. The previous version before the changes are there.

A partial solution might be to take the opportunity to split the page up into more logically separate components: MicrosoftWord, for example, was split into MicrosoftWord and MicrosoftWordComplaints, restoring at least a little of the context.

If the original author wants to remove his comments, but those comments nonetheless present a valid position (and not just some personal statement), a DevilsAdvocate or other brave WikiMaster could re-present the core of those ideas, claiming ownership in the process.

An alternative, slightly more difficult to word right, is to restore the original comments refactored into a neutral statement, something along the lines of "It has been said by some, and by more than one, that X is Y." - the point being to separate the messenger from the message. This can be difficult to do, as the original author knows he's the one that wrote that, and could still feel that he's being targeted.

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