My way or the highway

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by zappaDPJ, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Splinter2

    Splinter2 Aspirant

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    At this stage in my forum's development, with only 31 members, I'm happy to let the discourse flow as long as things don't get completely out of hand. There are good reasons for this; a forum to which most of us used to post in was not only reading our PMs but moderating outspoken members' post to the point of censorship.
    Freedom of expression therefore is the cornerstone of our forum, within certain parameters of course - the usual suspects being racism, extreme profanity etc.
    Although I join in the fun as admin, I do like to take a step back and look from above so to speak.
     
  2. billgtr

    billgtr Aspirant

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    I think that unless you're running a forum that's specifically about politics or religion, you'd be well advised to keep these topics out of it.
    Nothing good ever comes out of these discussions. My forum is about music and guitar gear and members come to it to discuss these topics without having to deal with the political/religious fights that permeate social media. We do have an off topic section but politics and religion discussions are not allowed and locked/deleted immediately.
     
  3. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Sal CollazianoSal Collaziano ... If the shoe fits...
    I've met folks who absolutely are anti-LGBT - but refuse to accept the moniker of homophobic or transphobic, when it is their actual beliefs on actual policy which define them as such. And when I use the term - it's not meant as an insult - it is merely a reflection of the truth. So - when the shoe fits - own it.

    Otherwise - those who would automatically label you such and you are not - then that is merely a reflection of their closed-mindedness. Not all liberals are like that - only the bulk of louder ones who often act as automatons, voting straight party-line, as opposed to voting and/or debating on actual issues.

    On the same token though - there are conservatives who would automatically label all liberals as pinko commie faggot snowflakes. Likewise - that is merely a reflection of their closed-mindedness. Not all conservatives are like that...

    Interestingly enough though -- especially being an independently-minded voter who swings extremely socially liberal, yet having voted for conservative candidates and engaged debate on behalf of conservative ideals ... in the past anyway -- I've found that it is often conservatives who more engage in that type of automated, and often offensive stereotyping.

    At the end of the day though - if the shoe fits ==> Own it and wear it proudly.

    Nice info YugensoftYugensoft
    I didn't even know such an add-on as Optional Forums even existed. Nice share and will be useful for a couple of my own projects.
    Thanks!

    zappaDPJzappaDPJ - Well that's just it. Moderators are tasked with the job of being neutral as for actual moderation.
    If they cannot be neutral and fair in their moderation of a forum - then they should be stripped of the honor of moderating.
    I've moderated/admin-ed quite a few forums, and although I have disagreed with many political and religious statements - when it comes to moderating posts/threads - it is all about the forum policy, as opposed to my own political affiliation and thoughts on any particular subject... Taking the middle ground is a must. During my time on TAZ's Moderating Team - I feel as if I was able to take the middle ground when moderating. And although difficult at times - anyone chosen as a moderator should be able to do so - otherwise they are not really qualified. As simply a registered member, though, it's a different thing entirely LOL!

    billgtrbillgtr - I absolutely disagree with your assertion that nothing good ever comes from political & religious discussions. Though discussions of such matters have a penchant for evoking provocative and often-heated discussion - to make the blanket statement that it's all bad is simply false.

    Otherwise - What you've stated is TAZ's stance as for political & religious discussions.
    And to that -- although I would love to see a change in policy -- I say ==> To each their own.

    J.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  4. Lisa

    Lisa The Black Widow

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    It would be a blood bath :ROFLMAO: The biggest problem with those types of discussions is people cannot detach their personal feelings and take every opposite view as a personal attack. I love a good debate, but I can't be doing with the people who can't leave their feelings at the door.

    We've had some heated discussions in our time, PoetJCPoetJC but while those discussions have gone on, we've also been discussing less volatile things elsewhere without any issues, whatsoever.. unfortunately, most people on the internet can't do that and it just becomes an issue across the board.
     
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  5. Sal Collaziano

    Sal Collaziano Womanizer

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    That's the way I see things as well. Why get happy, friendly people all riled up and angry with one another. That's how communities are divided...

    When I was in high school there was this shirt that got banned. It read, "Most People Are Dicks". It's true... I dislike the loud, nasty people on both sides. And I'm a firm believer of "freedom of speech"...
     
  6. Joel R

    Joel R Adherent

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    This is rather twisted of me, but I'll admit to letting political or religious discourse boil up a bit (when they do pop up, which is a rarity on my forum). I never, ever participate. It tends to stoke up the drama, get members coming back to the community, and get some activity going. I always notice higher online users during those couple of days.

    In any case, I always maintain my own neutrality. I think it's important that, at the end of the day, the members don't attack YOU (the admin). You're always neutral, you're always fair, you're always objective, and you always craft a soothing message that appeases everyone. It's not for me to force my judgements or beliefs unto others (unless your forum is something like Jesus4life.com), but it is my responsibility to provide a community where every member feels okay to participate if he so chooses.

    Ultimately though, I don't encourage or seek these kinds of topics. It's like the Sunday dinner table with your grandmammy - keep politics and religions out.
     
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  7. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Ha! I'm a firm believe in the truth of "Most People Are Pussies" .... Disclaimer: No disrespect to those with vaginas and such [​IMG]

    Freedom of speech, however -- when implemented in a no-holds barred type of fashion anyway -- allows for the 'more vocal' of people to express their discontent and/or praise of things as they are in any way they like. "Loud and nasty" is subjective; what might be loud and nasty to you - may be the gospel for others. As relates to the topic of forum moderation, though, it becomes our task to make sure the penchant towards 'loud and nasty' posts stay within the confines of the community posting policies and strays from personal attack. And if ever the line is crossed - immediate punitive action is taken in a fair and non-biased manner. It's a task and a half to be sure... OR there could be the down-swing into the aforementioned blood bath.

    In short: moderating topics and discussions which are of a sensitive and/or volatile nature can be done if the moderating team is willing to challenge themselves to unbiased leadership. It's a task and a half... A friend of mine has introduced a concept called "rules of discourse" - in which she describe as

    Yeah... Perhaps TAZ is not at all the type of forum for such discussions.

    I must say though, especially LisaLisa ... Yes ... There have been some heated discussions. At the end of the day - I feel as if I'm a more enlightened and better person for having engaged the discussions! It's in the exchange of ideas and discussion of each others ideals that has capacity to lead to a greater understanding of each other, and thus a path forward, towards at least a middle-ground type acknowledgement of the great conceptual 'pursuit of happiness' for all who have audacity enough to pursue.

    Eh... I'm rambling LOL ... But yeah... TAZ is not the place for it unfortunately.
    I admit that even as a superfan of the now dissolved Hot Seat forum. Oh the drama though :ROFLMAO:
    BTW .. I tried opening the debatejunction.com url after all these months... Ready to engage debate on whatever and ... crickets. Dang. Where is the place to debate hotseat type issues???

    J.
     
  8. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Love love love this post.
    What you've said -- with the exception of attempting to appease everyone imo anyway -- is the mark of a great forum administrator/moderator. But you have to be willing to do the work of maintaining neutrality whenever possible, being fair & objective. At the same time (especially as regards appeasement) - if neutrality is contrary to your own personal belief system - you must be willing to provide insightful commentary which actually encourages participation and debate. It's a task and a half.

    Just wanted to say :tup: for the thoughts you've expressed in your post Joel RJoel R

    J.
     
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  9. Lisa

    Lisa The Black Widow

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    I closed all my sites down.

    You know me, I love debating stuff - maybe one day I'll get back into it. That day isn't today, though LOL
     
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  10. Alex.

    Alex. The Ancient Dragon

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    AC/DC said it best with their song, 'Highway to Hell.' :p
     
  11. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Yeah - the sentiments often starts off as a classical piece of music .... then BAM! Slight segue to .... [​IMG] .[​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  12. Gnomenclature

    Gnomenclature Aspirant

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    I started out life as a sysop on a bbs that had Politics and Religion as big topics, so maybe I'm just inured to the usual things that happen discussing those topics.

    My guiding philosophy has been from the outset that any forum I have is like the old French salon. You're in my living room, and I can kick you out as I like. But I have rarely given someone the boot from my house, and my forum isn't different. As long as someone is adding to discussion, that is my bottom line. I want to hear differing opinions - it's how I learn things.

    I was offline for many years and then discovered forums, and all the detailed rules trying to prevent a few trollish users from peeing on everyone so badly that good discussion shut down. It was tedious to deal with all that, as a handful of trollish users will suck up all your time trying to keep them in check.

    One of my friends and I from that forum are looking to open up shop again, and to be honest I'm thinking of going back to my original experience. The rules should amount to "don't be a constant ass" and if I think you are, then I will press the F2 button and save time playing with you. It's not fair to the good users to let someone come pee on on the carpet and empty out my entire living room. Trolls are like porn - you know them when you see them.

    Now not everyone is used to heated discussions and a lot of misunderstandings happen. People don't always understand how what they write reads on the other end of the Internet. I'll coach anyone and help a user become comfortable in the place if they're willing. If I try that and they're unwilling, well.

    As for religion and my personal beliefs, I've been an atheist and happen now to belong to a religion that is accepting of pretty much everyone. I don't have much philosophical reason to shut down beliefs just because they differ with my own. That forum I admined earlier was run by a Christian, Luciferian and a Baha'i, so you know, it sort of set a tone of tolerance of differing views. That's a help. And we depended on each other to make sure we were not letting our personal views interfere, as much as that is humanly possible.

    The one topic I'd like to never see, if I had my druthers, is abortion. No one is ever convinced of anything and it just causes rancor all around.

    And I'm not sure what we will do about politics these days either. We're still thinking about how we'll handle people who can't rise above the level of "Obummer" and "Cheeto Jesus" in political conversation. A little of that goes a long way and I'd rather it stick to issues as much as possible.
     
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  13. PoetJC

    PoetJC ♠ Jacquii: Black Kween of Hearts ♠

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    Great first post! And I'm in total agreement = with the wee exception of saying that "Cheeto Jesus" is a welcomed name-drop for most any occasion LOL ... Okay - it's actually the first time I've ever heard the term. It's funny.... The ideal that diversity in thought and opinion is fodder, not folly, for the individual, liberated thinker is great.

    Welcome to TAZ GnomenclatureGnomenclature ... Hope you enjoy your stay!

    J.
     
  14. Elf_Ears

    Elf_Ears Aspirant

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    Eh. For any of my sites only the two golden rules really need apply.
    1. Don't be a s***head
    2. Don't be a whiny baby


    Both cover the two grounds of potential problems but allow enough leeway for legit critisism and hijinks alike.

    Sometimes it's just good to assume that people aren't going to take a dump in the punch bowl.
     
  15. Alex.

    Alex. The Ancient Dragon

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    Throw in that Blondie song for good measure. One Way or Another. It made a revival in the late 90s thanks to the late Chris Farleys comedy, Beverly Hills Ninja.
     
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