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Flood of New Members #387909 11/03/09 07:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,949
Lisa Shea Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,949
Greetings members. Normally I like to be very hands off in the forum - I run this as a charity effort and as you can see I make no money from it. All the ads are charity ads. I offer this forum as a safe, comforting place for people who love parakeets (and other topics).

I personally strongly support gay rights - but I also support free speech. We would never interfere with someone *maturely* discussing their feelings on these issues. The few times we ban someone, it is only after repeated personal discussions where we ask them to abide by our rules of mature discussion including the use of swears. We are an international forum, and we have members from around the world. It is critical to us that our sometimes life-saving (for parakeets) advice be available to people in libraries around the world. It would be heartbreaking to me if a teenager in India wanted to use our forum to help save their parakeet and they couldn't get onto our forum because the swears in our forum caused their library filter to block our site. I *never* want that to happen.

The people we ban are banned for violating our rules, which are clearly stated and are linked to on the right side of every single forum page. Those rules exist for critically important reasons and they are not 'optional'.

I want to add that Pinto, my 11 year old parakeet, was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor this morning and I have been dealing with that as well. So my patience for the one or two malcontents who are "having fun" by filling our forum with swears is perhaps low. There is no call for swearing, ever, and there is no call for jeopardizing the ability of this forum to be used in libraries. I take that extremely seriously. Any new members who want to be healthy, helpful members of our community are welcomed with open arms. The few who were apparently enlisted to come "harass our members" will be asked to leave if their sole purpose of being here is to attempt to damage the forum's ability to be seen in libraries.

I'm not sure how I can make this all even more clear in our guidelines, but I will certainly try.

Finally, just to clarify a point, it does not seem that all the new members are one person. It appears rather that the one person contacted some friends and asked them all to jump on the board.


Lisa Shea, Owner
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Lisa Shea] #387910 11/03/09 08:07 AM
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Thank you for replying Lisa. This person has been troublesome for quite some time now. They seem only to post for the purpose of stirring a pot or causing trouble.

I do not know if they are all the same person, but it appeared to be so from our viewpoint, only you can see the ip addresses so if you say they are not the same person, then that must be the case, that they got their buddies to join.

In my opinion, there is a fine, yet distinct, line between free speech and hate speech. Between stating an opinion in a respectful manner and outright being abusive and disrespectful.

I am so sorry to hear that Pinto has a tumor !!! That is so hard to deal with. I found that my Spartacus had a tiny brain tumor but did not know it until after it killed him.

There is nothing that can be done for him?

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Lisa Shea] #387911 11/03/09 08:19 AM
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P&R Mom
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Originally Posted By: Lisa Shea
The few who were apparently enlisted to come "harass our members" will be asked to leave if their sole purpose of being here is to attempt to damage the forum's ability to be seen in libraries.
Their sole purpose here was clearly to disrupt the forum, in general, in addition to the unfortunate outcome of damaging the forum's ability to be seen in libraries.

Are you saying that these members are not being banned forthright? Frankly, Lisa, I think that you are not on here often enough to fully appreciate the issues when one or two people consistently disrupt, interrupt, harass, and offend thread after thread.

I sent you a PM months ago asking you to consider expanding the number of moderators, an idea for which there was a lot of support from many regular contributors to the forum. PDM does a spectacular job, but she is only one person, and we frequently have a great deal of damage done by trolls and troublemakers before she has a chance to stop them.

This forum is important to many people, people who feel appalled at recent events and feel that a more assertive approach is called for with the few members who make often make this forum a hostile, uncomfortable, unpleasant place.

Lastly, the recently-banned member is a 14 year old boy who was evidently on this forum morning, noon, and night; in all probability, he doesn't have any/many friends to recruit for tonight's "takeover" of the forum.

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: ] #387912 11/03/09 08:23 AM
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P&R Mom
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Let me add also that it's not merely an issue of swearing. I, for one, am horrified to come on here and read posts like, "I left my bird outside to die," "Can keets have abortions?," etc., none of which has anything to do with cursing but everything to do with making the forum a pitiful place!

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: ] #387913 11/03/09 08:27 AM
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I agree P&R mom ...

I want the information given about birds to be good correct information. I know that people come here for good information and to ask real questions, and sometimes very serious questions needing very quick and urgent answers.

I am not suggesting ban anyone who ever gave wrong info, wrong info is out there, but there there is a difference between giving info you thought was correct and purposely given incorrect and sensational information to mislead people.

There seems to be alot of "trolls" on the forum lately.

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: ] #387914 11/03/09 08:30 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
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I told you i wasn't those people Me and go_go_go apparently joined at the wrong time and PB&J Mom makes us feel like xxxx for it even though it wasnt our fault that we joined at the wrong time.

Last edited by PDM; 11/04/09 12:21 PM.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: General Disarray] #387919 11/03/09 09:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,949
Lisa Shea Offline OP
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Posts: 8,949
I appreciate peoples' desire to help. However, for legal reasons, there will only be two moderators to this forum - me and PDM. Being moderator is an extremely serious legal position which has access to personal information. I have met PDM in person and we have a multi-year relationship. For legal reasons, no other person can have access to the personal information this forum has access to. I realize some forums take that responsibility lightly, but I take privacy issues extremely seriously.


Lisa Shea, Owner
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Lisa Shea] #387922 11/03/09 01:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,596
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Thank you Lisa and PDM for doing such a good job with the forum. We realize PDM is just one person; one way to help her especially on the parakeet pages which she may not read as often as other threads is to be sure to notify for any posts that are inappropriate - easy to do just click the notify button and give a description of why

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Lisa Shea] #387925 11/03/09 01:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
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I have just spent some time going through moderator alerts, private messages, troll posts, member profiles, etc, etc.

Yes, a number of trolls have joined recently. I hope that I have banned them all now. This can take time. I have to find the posts, check which are trollish and which are ok, go to each profile, find the IP address, user name, e-mail address, etc.

Then I have to go through the procedure of banning each one in turn.

Thankfully, Lisa had dealt with the obviously obscene usernames, already.

It is possible that I have missed some trolls ~ it isn't always completely obvious which posts are innocent and which aren't, in the middle of such chaos. I have put some members on 'watch'.

If new members spam the site, then they are immediately banned.
However, if long-term members, who have been rule-keepers and sensible posters in the past, suddenly make questionable posts, then they are given a warning and / or a temporary ban, followed by another warning ~then a complete ban, if necessary.

I have to use my own judgement on this, together with consideration of comments received via moderator alerts. It would be as wrong to ban someone, who is innocent, but had simply irritated other members ~ as sometimes happens ~ as it would be to allow trolls to ruin the site. I have a 'watch' facility which I can use to keep an eye on things.

I apologise if I have banned anyone wrongfully, or if I have allowed any to stay, who should have gone. Please use the alert facility to warn us of any future rule violations.

I would like to remind those, who don't already realise this, that I come on here regularly, but not 24 hours per day. It is easy for people to see when I am on line ~ especially ex-members. I am not psychic ~ I cannot ban people before they even consider joining. Neither can I ban people instantaneously ~ I have to spend time going through various parts of the site ~ but I do it as quickly as I can.

Often obscene and unacceptable posts are removed before other members even see them. Obviously, when that happens, members don't even know that I am working behind the scenes to keep the site clean & pleasant.

When members suggest that I don't care about this kind of thing, or do nothing about it, I find that most disappointing.

Similarly, I find the attempted sabotage of the site, that we have just experienced, very disappointing, especially if this really is the work of someone who, for some time, was a pleasant, intelligent and mature site member. This behaviour is immature ~ infantile, indeed.

In conclusion ~ please do not feed the trolls!
~ Do not respond to them.
~ Do not start threads about them.
Simply send a moderator alert ~ ie. click on 'notify'.

And please do not assume that a spate of trolls means that I don't care about the site, or that I want people to leave, or that I am doing nothing about it.

This happens on most forums from time to time ~ and unpleasant behaviour even seems to be actively encouraged on some.
Not so on here! smile






"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: PDM] #387928 11/03/09 01:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,692
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Lisa, I'm so so sorry to hear about Pinto. Wow, 12 years old..you must be heartbroken over the news frown

I understand the legal issues of having only you and PDM have access to personal information, but can you not appoint a few others to monitor things a bit more? Obviously it's a HUGE job for just 2 people.
I hate seeing this forum go down the tubes.




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