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Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Lisa Shea] #388422 11/06/09 09:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 22,790
PDM Offline
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Since my name has been brought into the conversation, I wish to add / ask some things.

I know that wounds are still raw over the recent fracas. As Lisa said, my immediate response was to ban those causing a nuisance, and, as I said elsewhere, I believe that I have banned most of them.

However, before I had even opened up my computer, and found the moderator alerts, I had already received a private message asking me if the forum even mattered to me and suggesting that we tolerated garbage, etc, etc. What am I supposed to do? I am just an ordinary person, who enjoys discussions and likes to conduct them on a clean and friendly forum. I cannot be on the board 24/7. I cannot read every single post. I cannot guess who will be offended by what. I cannot second-guess who will be a site-stirrer, so I cannot prevent people coming on here to cause uproar.

As I said, wounds are raw over the latest debacle, so, for now, I wish to leave that discussion alone, because the accusations seem to go further back.

Since I spend a huge amount of time sorting things out on here, I am just bewildered by this. I cannot please everyone all of the time. And, with my moderator hat on, I cannot have favourites. Just because I have had a dispute with one person, but have got on famously well with another, does not mean that I can never agree with the one, or disagree with the other; nor does it mean that I can accept rule-breaks more happily from one than from the other. This sort of goes with the assumption that some members deserve more respect than others. I agree that those who come on here simply to cause trouble do not deserve respect for their behaviour, but I think that some members may sometimes be too quick to assume that someone else is 'a troll'. In some cases, it is obvious; in other cases less so.

Like everyone else on here, I conduct many conversations in PMs.
Again, this can cause problems.
If I 'reprimand' someone for their behaviour on the public forum, then I am told that this is rude and inappropriate, because everyone can see it.
If I 'reprimand' someone for their behaviour in a PM, then I am told that I am doing nothing about it, because it has been done without 'public' knowledge.
Catch 22.

I receive lots of alerts and PMs from members, complaining about bad behaviour, and I can guess that PMs fly around saying that I have / have not dealt with those complaints. What many members do not realise is that I often receive an equal numbers of messages complaining about the complainers, as I do about the people who are supposedly 'trolls'. Sometimes one person's 'troll' is simply someone unused to the way the forum works, and, I agree with Lisa on this, that it is better to work with that person than to ban him or her. Of course, I am not talking about people who deliberately swear, post porn, etc, etc, I am just talking about those who need time to adjust to rules, etc.

I have said a number of times ~ and I mean it quite seriously ~ that if I were to ban everyone whom others had complained about, then there would be very few people left. You might say that, because I haven't banned everyone whom others have felt unhappy with, then people are leaving anyway, but I simply cannot ban someone because a few members find him / her irritating.

We have very heated conversations & debates, on very controversial subjects, in the 'Religion' & 'Politics' sections. That is often the nature of those subject areas. Lisa has put up a notice advising members of this and stating that they should not post personal insults and neither should they take things personally.
But people do. I don't think that it is possible not to, when things are close to one's heart. So people can get hurt & angry.
I notice, though, that there are flare-ups in the budgie section too, so maybe it's just life.
This is an international forum.
People come on here when they are lonely, happy, sad, talkative, angry, bored, etc,.
We cannot always tell peoples' moods and we do not always know how they will react.
I go on other forums; some are great ~ really friendly ~ but many I simply will not join, because, on those, argumentative and rude behaviour and bad language, etc, etc, are ignored or even encouraged. Alternatively some will censor and ban, with no logic or explanation. It is not like that here, but we cannot expect complete perfection, on an Internet forum, all the time. You cannot please everyone always, you can only aim to do so.

People stay; people leave; people return.
I have often thought of leaving ~ I do my best, but receive a lot of criticism for it.
On the other hand, I love interesting discussions and I feel that I have made friends here. I also receive some lovely messages of support and thanks, which make everything worthwhile.

So that's it.
I try to do my best. I am not perfect. I am not an automaton. I cannot please everyone always. I am very grateful for all the friendly messages & support I get on here. I enjoy most of the debates & conversations and the friendships.
I investigate all complaints at such length that it sometimes interferes with my family life.
I go with my conscience ~ which is clear.
I am often bewildered by what I am supposed to have done wrong, but, this is a public forum and I cannot expect everyone everywhere to agree with me always.

What more can I do?

But back to the recent uproar for a moment.
Some young people came on here for a bit of sport.
They caused me to waste a fair amount of my time; they upset some people; they had their fun.
It was a prank, as far as I can tell.
But, if members are going to spread alarmist rumours, about it being more than a prank, then isn't this causing every bit as much unnecessary fuss as that caused by these young people???

Yes, some people have left over all this, but some people who have asked to be deleted, have done so because they think that their personal details are at risk. One, who I didn't immediately delete, but, first, asked about the decision, has decided that she will stay, as long as she is sure that her account is secure here. Lisa has made a thread on Internet security, which should help to alleviate worries.

EDIT:
And I don't think that I have ever attacked anyone ~ even if provoked.

Last edited by PDM; 11/06/09 02:56 PM.

"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: PDM] #388433 11/06/09 10:49 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
S
SleepDeprived Offline
New Member
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S
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1
You need to learn some internetting skills.
Trolls are absolutely everywhere!
If you ignore them, they get bored and eventually stop posting.
You bite, the more they are going to post.

Ps: I think your mods have done a brilliant job, Kudos to them smile
The members who have left have MAJORLY overeacted.
The end.

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Coco's Mama] #388438 11/06/09 03:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 149
Sprite97 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Coco's Mama
Ditto Carl, this all started on my birthday and I have cried every time I come on here, because the people who made me feel the most welcome and gave the best advice to me when I needed it are all leaving, sad, disappointed and hurting.

I miss them too.


Yes I agree the people on here that gave the best advice and made everyone feel so welcome are gone.


Sprite the man
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: SleepDeprived] #388439 11/06/09 03:07 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 5,176
Carl Offline
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The problem with this is that while one may indeed ignore the provocative remarks started and escalated by trolls, others on a board do not. And this is the source of much amusement to the trolls. So, it's easy to say, "ignore." And might as well also say, "why not play the trolls' games?" After all, it keeps member numbers and discussion posts up, right?

I don't promise to ignore or accept, but already the trolls have influenced me: I don't peruse this board as often as I once did.


Marge is the love of my life.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Carl] #388447 11/06/09 05:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 16
Chelle Offline
New Member
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Posts: 16
Wow! I'll just make one comment here;

I joined yesterday and made a comment on this thread and a few others then logged off.

I come back on this morning and there are 3 pages of argument between my last post and this one, and from what I can tell not a single post is from one of the "trolls".

Just something to think on.

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Chelle] #388450 11/06/09 05:16 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,842
Coco's Mama Offline
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Chelle, where are the arguments?

Carl is discussing his feelings, as are a few others , other than the the posts are PDM and Lisa also talking...

confused

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Coco's Mama] #388454 11/06/09 05:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 16
Chelle Offline
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Posts: 16
Sorry, I guess it just looked that way to me.

Heated discussion?

Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Chelle] #388456 11/06/09 08:20 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 5,176
Carl Offline
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Thanks, CM. Welcome, Chelle. I was born in GA & finished HS in Atlanta & went 3 years to UGA. Believe it or not, Chelle, even when I don't post often, I can see several pages of posts in a topic from one day to the next. But I'm sorry you are offended by some of us. I promise to take up much less room here.

As for whether trolls may have posted on this topic, or others, I won't presume to judge.

Whether there have been trolls - or troll behavior, or what action is taken, is not really what has bothered me. It has been more that members have been "spanked" for speaking against the troll behavior. As I've said before, it's like the penalty flag thrown at a sporting event, when the retaliation happens.


Marge is the love of my life.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Carl] #388457 11/06/09 08:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,949
Lisa Shea Offline OP
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I want to make clear that PDM has always been a cornerstone of this forum system and I support her completely. She shows incredible patience and strength in a variety of contentious situations. As she has said, there are many times when she is being actively lobbied from *both* sides about an issue. A particular member will be saying they speak for "the forum" - but at the same time PDM will get 5 messages from other members saying that person is wrong.

It is human nature for each person to feel their way is the right way and the way everyone believes in. PDM is often in a situation where she "can't win" and everyone is unhappy. She deserves great kudos and praise for walking that line as carefully as she can. She does an awesome job every day and I do not think she receives enough recognition for that.


Lisa Shea, Owner
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Lisa Shea] #388460 11/06/09 09:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,949
Lisa Shea Offline OP
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Carl -

That is a good topic to discuss. Thank you, Carl, for bringing that up.

First, and I realize this is semantics, but I am strongly against spanking. Spanking is, I feel, violence which is counterproductive. I would not look on any of my statements as spanking, but as discussion. It is not that I spanked a toddler, which the language you used draws an image of. Rather, I brought a volunteer employee into my office and had a discussion with them about their behavior. Most of the discussion went on in private, so you did not see that.

The discussion involved me talking, and the volunteer yelling. I stayed seated and attempted to treat my volunteer with respect, and the volunteer used a raised voice and language which many would count as abusive. In the end, the volunteer turned and stalked out, making sure everyone in the office was very aware of their leaving and why. As Carl said, it was very much a "loud protest leaving".

The person could of course simply stopped coming to the forum. One individual hadn't been on the forum in a month anyway. The fact that they left in the way they did clearly has meaning.

So I wanted to clarify the context of the situation. I did not "spank" anyone. What I did was have mature conversations with people who were not always respectful and even-toned in response. The conversations were about some of the language they had chosen to post in the forums.

If we want to use the sporting metaphor, the 'trolls' were banned. They were ejected from the game and kicked out of the league. You cannot get any more "final" than that. But you are implying that the people who stomped their boots on the trolls' heads after a hip-check should not have gotten yellow flags. I would reiterate that as a fair-minded referee I cannot allow "special members" to get away with being extremely nasty because they have somehow "earned that right" to do it to "people they felt deserved it".


Lisa Shea, Owner
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