Members Interfering With Lotteries

I am not sure if this was discussed elsewhere on PostCrossing, so I will ask the question here. For several months now, I’ve been running Lotteries on PostCrossing. Normally after the winner is announced, the Lottery is closed within two months by PostCrossing.

Today, I observed that a member closed my lottery that ended this morning. When I wrote to them complaining they had NO right to do that, they countered that as a Normal Badge holder they had the right. I edited my Lottery header and they changed it back later. This does not sit well with me. I noticed another member did the same thing. This is terrible. These people are not moderators or administrators. What is really outrageous is that this member is a member of PostCrossing all of 2 1/2 months and I’ve been a member for 13 years

I will wait to hear from someone in PostCrossing administration about this. Perhaps these people need reminders about what they can and CANNOT do.My viewpoint.


The Postcrossing Forum is run through Discourse, an open source system for Internet forums. Users are devided into trust levels from TL0 to TL4 (admins, moderators) and are granted certain rights depending on the time they spend in the forum, the number of posts they create etc.

You can find more information on this here:

Regulars (TL3 users) are able to recategorise and rename topics, however they’re unable to actually close topics in terms of blocking all users from posting – this right is reserved to TL4 users only. Lotteries are normally closed completely by the system two months after the last post was created or at a moderator’s discretion. I think the users you mentioned edited the subject line simply to alert other users not to enter your lottery anymore.

I do understand your point of not wanting others to meddle with your lotteries, but I think in this case, the users editing the header only wanted to help with keeping the Forum more tidy.


@duck2006 First let me thank you for your detailed response. Quite informative. But as you pointed out "Lotteries are normally closed completely by the system two months after the last post or at a moderator’s discretion… [boldface mine] That has always been the case. I just have a different viewpoint about a newbie ( not a moderator) who after getting a badge, thinks this entitles them to adjust things. If I name the winner of my lottery in the thread, it is unnecessary in my opinion for them to edit the header. I don’t see how that makes it “tidy.” Things were working fine before this.

What irked me is that they did this without any notice to me. When I protested, they pushed back. PostCrossing may think this badge stuff makes people “a reliable contributor” and “our Community Great.” At least now I know that being a 13 year member of this community counts for so little.


My first thought was, when I read this: so I’ll NEVER host a lottery anymore. :astonished:

After I reached trust level ‘regular’ (which is not really permanent, depending on how much you surf the forum), I found out about the things one was enabled to do while on that trust level.

However, moderating should be left to moderators/administrators.

In my opinion!


So if I understand correctly, the header of a lottery that had just ended was adjusted by someone else to include the word “closed”?


I have the trust level required to change and close topics and I would NEVER even consider closing a lottery or editing the header. In my book, that’s seriously overstepping.


Have you contacted the Postcrossing team about this?

That behaviour is very odd :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


@kissthebeehive yes…that is exactly what happened.

@doryfera that is why I posted it here, but no response from anyone at PostCrossing. Maybe I should direct it to someone in particular at PostCrossing?

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This shows where the “man / machine” interface is faulty:

On the one hand, there is the software (programmed in a specific way) that is supposed to take over parts of the human and manual forum administration work and make it more effective - and in many cases does this very well.

The software “decides” on trust levels according to its specific programming.

On the other hand, there are people with their (various) feelings about this and their specific “human logic” (as opposed to programmed “machine logic”) who may classify trust levels (very) differently and more individually per person than the software does (and can do).


Yes, I would if I were you. They’re busy folks and we’re now into the weekend—no guarantee they’ll spot this on their own. Then maybe they can have a friendly word with the offender.

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Please be patient.
This topic has been read by some of us and we will take care of it as soon as we have time.
Thank you :slightly_smiling_face:


Hey Ron!

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you on this, and also for the distress I can see this issue has caused you.

To tell the truth, I don’t feel the attachment you describe to the title of a topic, so it’s hard for me to empathize with your sentiment. To me, an organized list of lotteries where someone can quickly tell at a glance which ones are still ongoing (and which ones have already had their winners drawn) seems ideal for the participants.

That said, I don’t organize or play in a lot of lotteries, so I don’t trust my judgement on this. I’ve asked other moderators’ opinions as they are more experienced with lotteries, and they understand and share your feelings — and I can see others in this topic also feel the same.

So, to try to improve this situation, I’ve added a note about editing people’s titles on the introduction to the Regular’s subforum, asking that TL3s check with the author of the topic to see if they need help changing it. This way, people who are new to the TL3 role should be given this information when they first come into the role.

I think perhaps we’ll still need to poke some TL3 and ask them to be more more mindful of this, but in the future, I trust that this issue will stop happening.



Hello Ana,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I can understand what you said about the nuts and bolts of this Lotteries thing. For that reason I tried to make it as detailed as possible what happened.

I went and checked my records; to date I’ve run 30+ Lotteries on Postcrossing. Most involved postcards, but some involved stamps (First Day Covers). Nearly all have been very well-received. The parameters that PostCrossing set for Lotteries - that they would automatically be closed two months later. That system worked perfectly. That being so, I really don’t understand why a 2 month member decided to fix something that wasn’t broken. As you noted in your reply, most of the comments in this thread, the majority of members had a negative view of what this member did. Others were inconclusive.

I must be candid, Ana, that the proposed solution you offered is disappointing. There are a number of reasons why I say this, but one example should be useful. As it stands now, after I announce the Lottery winner, I contact them by PM. Now the 2 - month member, upon seeing this, decides to close my lottery. What happens if the announced winner does not contact me within a reasonable time? Now I have to select another winner. But wait, my lottery was “Closed” by the other person. They’ve created a confusing mess, I am sorry to say. As a member of 13 years, I don’t need the help of a two month member “helping me” with my lottery. If the Lottery was left alone, it was technically “open” until Postcrossing automatically closed it two months later.

So in conclusion, I appreciate the fact your team and veteran members here understand my concerns. But under the circumstances, I can’t really see doing any more Lotteries here going forward. Thank you again for your feedback.


@cliffside I don’t do lotteries but from the replies I read in this thread I get the impression that an incident like you’ve described it seems to be rather an exception to the “normal” – if I understand you correctly than this was a first for you, too in all the time you’ve been hosting lotteries.

With the changes the Postcrossing team now made…

…it seems even less likely that a similar incident will (very often) happen again.

And if so, couldn’t you just contact the person concerned (who might have done this in order to help) and ask them to change it so it fits with what you need?

I contacted the person involved. I asked them to stop intruding on my lottery. Their reply was pushback, flashing their badge in my face. Their desire wasn’t to help. It really doesn’t matter in my opinion whether it’s one time or 100X. I don’t think newbies should be granted this power.


Yes, I had understood that. With my suggestion/s I was addressing possible future events.

So from what you state here:

… I get the impression that this thread is NOT about a one time event where a new forum member “interfered with one of your lotteries” [<= this is how I initially understood the topic of this thread] (anymore) but about you not agreeing with the way “trust levels” work on “Discourse”.

That is correct. As I stated in my initial post, I believe the only individuals that should be permitted to tinker with Lotteries are (1) The Author or (2) Moderators or Administrators. Just so you know, this member posted similar replies to other members…flashing her badge when they questioned what she did. Unlike the others, I brought this issue up so everyone could see the core problem.


I see / understand.

So since this issue seems to be about one particular person only, I don’t see why / how it should be helpful if we / other random forum members read and further discuss this issue – I get the impression that this incident is something that those impacted + moderators / administrators should handle (in private).


I totally agree with @cliffside.
Newbies should not interfere - or for that matter oldies.
It’s a matter of respect.
It’s Ron’s lottery.
I would not have known about this had Ron not posted, so I’m glad he brought it up and posted as others hadn’t.

I have been following this and hopefully it is now resolved.