How would you deal with member with bad attitude?

Discussion in 'Community Organization' started by Ram8349, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Ram8349

    Ram8349 Enthusiast

    So I have this member on my new forum.

    After I put up a contest to reward $50 to the "Most dedicated member", he was clearly interested. Because he asked questions in that thread about how the reward would be received.

    The minimal requirements was 150 posts, with an average post count of 5.
    And I said if there are multiple people meeting this requirement, it will be decided on other factors such as who can write more articles for the forum.

    He started to reply to older threads (which was not a problem because they aren't that old, since the forum is less than 2 months old).
    And he started to post new threads with "articles" because I said the articles can be posted as threads and the good ones will be picked out to be republished as official articles after the writer being contacted.

    After I saw a few interesting topics from him (some others are not so good...clearly trying to start some kind of movement which might offend quite a lot of people who hold opposite opinions), I contacted him to ask him if he is interested in rewrite those (interesting) posts into something longer, more article like. Since those "articles" of his are only 200~300 words long despite the fact he was writing them as articles (he pmed me to ask if I liked his articles before I contacted him). So I told him very nicely I would be publishing a few of his articles after he can make them longer, and I stated it pretty clear that "minimal 500 words" is required. He said he would be working on them as soon as he get the time.

    Then two and half weeks later, nothing happened. I contacted him to ask his progress. He said he had changed mind on writing the articles. After I replied to him to tell him very nicely that he was almost already done, those posts only need to be slightly longer. He quickly emailed me 5 "articles", some were from his posts, some were newly written. I thanked him for the articles and replied with how he would like to be credited, with real name or his user name, email address or if he has his own web site want to be linked. He said name.

    I used Microsoft Word Count tool to check. All his "articles" are ranged from 290 to less than 400 words. I hesitated on how to react to this, because I don't want to disappoint him, yet I can't publish these 200~300 posts as "articles". The very next day, he emailed me and asked if I have read his articles at all (yeah... he made me waited 2 and half a week, then can't wait for even one day). I told him nicely that if he could rewrite these articles to minimal 500 words.

    He replied with three words "Just Delete them" with big size.

    I replied again very nicely and asked him if he would like me to write them instead if he doesn't have the time.

    He replied "Just Delete them".
    Obviously he was offended somehow...for his own failure to meet the minimal requirements which was stated to him multiple times.

    Because from one of his earlier posts, he claimed he has cancer and it is spreading, and he is in his 60s.
    So I replied nicely again (like always) about I can see he is under a lot of pressure, and I would go along with his wishes, and I will find someone else to write since he is busy, and I also wished him the best luck on his health.

    He replied with two words "Good idea".

    Afterward, I noticed he stopped posting on the forum. That was on 4/12. Which was 6 days ago.

    Today, I took a good look at some older threads started by him. And I noticed that he had edited all the threads started by him. All those "articles" had disappeared into one line sentence. Not only that, but also he had used one line sentence to replace many other posts of his. Which made those threads now useless because all the replies in those threads were based on his short "articles", and many other replies were directly replied to his posts. Basically he had gone to great length to destroy the threads started by him...and some others are not started by him but had his elements in there...because he failed to meet the "minimal 500 words" simple requirement which he knew all along.

    I had changed the post edit time limit from "unlimited" to "60 minutes"...just now. So this won't happen again for sure. However, he has logged in today and I am not sure what he has done, obviously he hasn't posted...

    So if you were me, how would you handle this?
    I just want some opinions. Myself think the best is do nothing for now. I was able to "repair" two of his "articles" by copied and pasted what he sent to me in the email. I am a nice guy, and I try my best not to offend anyone, even @holes. And I truly feel sorry for him if he indeed has cancer or simply is in his 60s.
    But I'd like to hear what others have to say about this. There might be better ideas to handle it.
  2. Many admins have post deletion blocks and limits on editing for exactly this type of situation. As to the rest - I wouldn't have been as patient as you appear to have been.

    The requirements were stated and what he submitted didn't meet the stated requirements. Offering to rewrite his articles implied that you were desperate for material which may have given him reason to believe you weren't serious about the 500 word minimum.

    And some people are of the opinion that their opinions and verbiage are so important that if they aren't kowtowed to they should have the right to ruin the experience for everyone.

    You've already taken precautions for next time. I also recommend a statement in your TOS and/or user's guide that once something has been posted it won't be removed except at the discretion of the admin and the forum has publication rights unto perpetuity - this will help thwart those who claim 'freedom of speech means freedom to trash' and 'copyright means I can burn it and you' as well.

    BTW, I'm close to 60. Age is not a reason to feel sorry for someone. Ill health, dead cat, crazy neighbors, unemployment - those are reasons to feel sorry for someone, not being a cranky middle-aged @hole.
  3. AshWM

    AshWM Aspirant

    Give them a first warning, second and then a automatic ban.
  4. Ram8349

    Ram8349 Enthusiast

    This guy is probably never going to post again anyway. He had 6 referral after I had a contest for selecting moderator with one of the requirements is to get 5 referral. None of the people who he brought in is active beyond the first week.

    He also had problem in the past by posting a search engine link as reply with "I don't know the answer, but you can find lots of information here" on multiple threads to jack up his post counts for the contest.

    He is a problem, but I saw no real harm done until he started to destroy his own threads and posts because he can't meet a simple requirement he knew all along - minimal 500 words...and he gets pissed at his own fault even though I've been incredibly patient with him with nice words from the start to the end.

    Being nice doesn't get treated nicely in return.
    I just don't get what is going through some people's heads...
  5. lil_crazy

    lil_crazy Aspirant

    He probably thought you were desperate and wouldn't care about the minimum length anymore. When I read your response to him, you did sound somewhat desperate as if you were begging him to length his articles.
  6. Kamahl

    Kamahl Developer

    I feel just like that! Almost every day I am in a situation when I am pretty sure that the guy has to be joking. However in few seconds I can see how I was wrong.

    The first thing I do on boards is that I disable editing or at least allow edditing for 5-10 minutes. 99% of people are not worth of trust
  7. dojo

    dojo Passionate admin

    Ban him. It's clear to me he tried to mess up the forum and I don't accept this. I had someone do this 8 years ago and now I have a max. 30 minutes edit time for members. not even mods can edit/delete threads for the same reason. His illness is not an excuse to be a jerk. Good riddance. on a personal level, all the best to him and his health, but not on your forums.
  8. Ram8349

    Ram8349 Enthusiast

    If I ban him, should I just ban quietly.
    Or should I send him a message to explain why he deserved it? If so, how should I put it?

    If mods aren't allowed to edit/delete threads, how do they do their job on your forum?
  9. The simplest way to ban him is to have your TOS in front of you to copy and paste from (You do have a good TOS/User Guide, don't you?) and say: "
    Hello <USERNAME>,

    Thank you for your interest in

    Unfortunately, removing posts (including editing them into nonsense) is in violation of our User Guidelines as <DESCRIPTION OF VIOLATION> and is a violation grievous enough to warrant banning.


    Your name & position Moderator"

    Most forum software automatically sends a banning notice email anyway unless you get tricky about it.
  10. zoldos

    zoldos Lord Malleus

    I have no problem with banning users who cannot follow the rules or get an attitude with me. I run my sites for free and out of my own spare time. I don't have patience for people who want to act stupid....
  11. engineer1964

    engineer1964 hoc foro magna est

    Ban him full stop, Ban his user name, Ip and email address, DO NOT Keep getting in contact with him and flaming up the situation.

    Mods are usally as the title says Moderators, They Moderate the forum with powers stopping short to being an admin, This is usally fine in 99.9% of the cases and to refer any more serious cases to the Admin for deletion or punishment. In normal cases it is permissable for Mods to Edit and perhaps Remove, ideally to a private forum any posts which they deem to be rude or offensive, again for the admin to have the final say.
  12. Frankly, almost anything you do has the potential of flaming the situation - however, there are methods of banning or blocking a bad actor in such a way as he doesn't realize he's been banned. To him it will look like the site has issues or (with an IP ban) you can blame StopForumSpam or whatever other anti-spam measures you have in place for blocking his IP.
  13. Ram8349

    Ram8349 Enthusiast

    I probably need to modify the Terms and Agreement.

    Does anyone have a good raw material for me to construct a new TOS on?
  14. GalPal

    GalPal Participant

    When I was reading all that you did to accommodate your member, I could only think of one word and that was integrity. I know you tried really hard and despite the end result you did your best to be more then fair. My management style is the same. Because of this management style, it can get you hurt. As admin and owner of my first forum, I can honestly say that how you handle and interact with real life friends doesn't necessarily apply to forum friends, especially if you are the leader and host/hostess. I learned this all the hard way. Had encountered Dojo's grit and style years ago, I don't think I would have reflected on my early years as a forum creator/owner with some grief.

    Thank you Dojo for putting it out there what needs to be said. Member's will try to manipulate you and drive you nuts. Since I've read your post I went back and changed my editing time for member's to edit their posts, as I have had similar experiences with mean spirited members.

    Member's don't really understand the time, energy, creativeness and expenses that go into having forums. I for one, will no longer feel bad when members dismiss the rules........they dismiss the rules, I dismiss them ...with no more regrets.

    Thanks to all the other member's that shared their thoughts. All very valid and helpful to me personally!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  15. Namorat

    Namorat Duder

    I would ban him. No PM.
    He knows what he did to deserve to be banned and if he doesn't, he won't understand it if you explain it to him, hence you can regard a PM in this case as a waste of your time.
  16. Ram8349

    Ram8349 Enthusiast

    If he truly understand it, then he wouldn't get mad over it in the first place. Some people are just extremely weird. Out of their mind is what we normal people would call them.
  17. Shawn Gossman

    Shawn Gossman The Rural Responder

    I make rules against having a bad attitude or being constantly negative. I don't want to associate with people like that because they just get you down. Get rid of them and focus on people who actually make a difference on the forum :)
  18. Judge Dredd

    Judge Dredd Old Guy

    I'd say a month ban would suffice. Get him to calm down.
  19. Cerrdor

    Cerrdor Neophyte

    Maybe I am not fully understanding the situation but it appears his posts were proving the desired result (ie getting others to respond and be more active [good for SEO]) and obviously the length was ok...ish because now your worried about his posts being shortened and not lengthened? Im just wondering maybe someone else fit it better but that should have been the answer to his questions and not the length is not good enough (thats what she said :D) since obviously he WAS producing the desired result SEO and your responses to him were somewhat ambiguous his response was childish to say the least but you were not forthright with him either. So both parties are at fault maybe a month ban on him and yourself? :p
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