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Board Observations...


Guest Pierced Musie

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Thank you for posting this Musie, and thanks everybody else for putting in your opinion. I discussed this with some of the other staff members today (including Sky and Jem) and I have previously discussed this with Jem as well. I think the main problem in the situation with Jem is that we, like Sky mentioned are torn between people saying we're over-moderating, and people saying we're not doing enough. In addition to this, Jem was a staff member for a long time, and many of us still have a lot of contact with her, and because we know she often can look after herself, I think it's a little too easy for us to forget that she shouldn't have to put up with crap. That's something we have to be more careful about, and I hope people understand the difficult situation we're in here, when it comes to what to do and not.

Anyway, just like other have said, I agree that there is a problem here. I posted a reminder about member abuse in Australian discussion, and that seemed to help for a while, but lately it's getting really bad, and I don't think a day goes by without posts being deleted either there or in Character discussion. The whole revamp of that last section did help on the spamming, and we're pleased with the results we've had in there, but without the spamming, it seems a new, and possibly even worse trend is up and coming. We have several members who seem to be making it a habit to attack others. And there are the regular people who are being attacked. And trust me, we see this, it's pretty damn obvious who's doing a lot of the bullying. The problem is that, like other have said, except encouraging people to use the ignore button and banning members altogether, there's not a lot we can do.

This is something we really need to find a good solution to, because this problem is not going away just like that. So far, the best option we have in my opinion, is to just be even more strict, meaning we'll have to post public warnings in threads and start deleting anything that's even remotely close to the line. This obviously isn't a desirable situation; we're already working a lot as it is (and many of us have jobs and school and lives off the board as well) and this is going to mean a lot of extra work for everyone, since we'll basically be running after people and baby-sitting them. And of course this won't exactly create a very good atmosphere. I know many members are talking crap about many staff members here (and yes, I know I am one of those staff members. Surprise surprise, I know I'm hated by certain people) already, and we're accused of over-moderating the board. But like I said, right now I don't really see what else we could do to improve the situation. It's getting to the point where we have long term members who consider leaving the board altogether because they feel bullied out of the board. At time I myself have felt bullied, and I'm not even as active as many others are!

So I think we all appreciate people posting their opinions about this, because we're in a difficult position here. We're not supposed to be like bad cops running after everyone and ruining the fun. The staff is regular members who happen to be in charge of running the board, and to be honest I don't think anyone of us are members of the board for any other reason than the members. We're here because we like to discuss H&A and talk to people with the same interests, not because we want to put people on Mod preview and send angry PMs all day long (which sometimes seems to be all we're doing). So again, thank you for posting your opinions. We are not trying to ruin any fun, but it gets problematic when some people's "fun" seems to be bullying others. Any help is appreciated here.

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Firstly, because it is probably not done enough, I want to thank the staff for doing their jobs so well because most people don't realise that the situation would probably be 150% worse. To be honest, I do not come here to fight with people aboput fictional characters and I don't understand why people do. Also, I think it is great to see that the mods/admins are taking notice of this topic, it just shows how much you guys are actually trying to solve the situation.

I'm not going to close this thread because contrary to popular belief I'm not a complete bitch

I don't honestly know why you think this, I find you very pleasent and easy to work with and I experienced this with working on the forum help guide.

I think this is one of these situations where it is going to be hard to solve, in the end you can't really control what people post unless you impose a moderation queue which would nbe a disaster with so many members and posts.

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Thanks, Amy, that's really appreciated :)

(BTW, I don't understand how anyone could think that about Sky either, but maybe it's because I'm an evil bitch too :P)

Now, on a more serious note. The moderation queue is a good suggestion in theory. The problem is though, as you mention, that's a whole lot of members. We tried this temporarily when we revamped CAD (Character and actor discussion) and it worked, but it was a lot of work for us, and obviously it's very annoying for people who make good posts to maybe have to wait an hour because there's no staff members available. In addition to this, there was some problems with the queue when we did it with CAD (and there still seems to be) so the invisible posts didn't show up on the front page. This meant we constantly had to patrol the CAD section and look through all the pages to make sure there were no posts waiting to be approved. And in the case of CAD, that was just one section... With one section on mod preview and various members on individual mod preview as well, it was A LOT of work to be done... So if we decided to do that, I think we'd have to appoint like ten or fifteen new mods with no lives and no need for sleep, but otherwise it would be a good idea :wink:

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Some very valid points raised here, and Musie, I applaud you for raising a topic that many would be afraid to touch upon.

I think what people seem to forget online is that even though you're just writing to a 'user-name', the person behind that user name is living, and breathing - and still has feelings.

They say that bullies, at heart, are cowards, and I can't help but wonder how many of those on here who take their enjoyments from bullying others, deliberating needling people in posts, b*tching about people behind their backs, etc - how many of them would do that face to face in real life. And I suspect, very few of them would, because from my years on the internet, what I've found is that these "cyber bullies" can be just as yellow as "real" bullies - and when you confront them, they'll fold ....

Although obviously it's harder to get evidence online seeing as you can't "overheard" things being said or what not.

In relation to the Staff point - to be perfectly honest, it seems that members only b*tch about staff when they have nothing better to do. Since I became active on BTTB back in November or whenever, I've had dealings with a handful of the staff members, and have found them all to be perfectly nice, seemingly genuine - and easy to talk to.

Indeed, there will always be rules that people won't like, or changes that will seem odd for a while, but from what I've seen, no staff member here is on a power trip, and they're not out to "ruin your day" either - if they were, you'd know about it!

As Amy said, it's going to be hard to solve, because you can't control what people post. Perhaps if people thought to report to a moderator when they read something that they deem unnecessarily said. I'm aware that many of us do that anyway - but perhaps open up the idea to more.

Aside from banning, I don't know what could be done to the "bullies" - but, I would like to take a moment now to say a heartfelt thank you to Dan, and all the staff here for running Bttb, keeping it updated and controlled - and giving us all a place to talk about H&A.

After all... isn't that what we're here for? :)

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So many opinions! Oh, Sky, you're not a bitch. You're a newborn kitten. ^_^

I am also getting annoyed with this whole Jack Holden situation. I am one of those people that believe that at a later date if they wanted to bring the character of Jack back, whether it be Paul or another actor that plays him, they could potentially do so. Fair enough it has been confirmed his gone, and yes, on screen he is dead. I am sick and tired of people saying things like 'get over it' etc. Again, they do not have to agree or think the same, but I as a member like to speculate about what could possibly happen which I did so with cryptic clues and there were a few that I commented on that were about Jack. Cryptic clues, to me is about speculating and thinking of what the clues could actually mean, and its annoying when people knock down what you say and say no its not correct, how the hell do they know.

I think it's great that you can speculate about it. That's what the forum is for. But there is a line between speculation and being irrational. Some members were actually outright denying it and calling Dan a liar. I think that's basically why people got so rattled about it. I have no problem with Jack speculation, just as long as it's not posted in my face every thread I go into. There was a case last week where the "year long mystery" thread was being taken over by "Jack is alive!" discussion, I got a bit annoyed because the thread was being clogged with irrelevant speculation. There is a Jack discussion thread in the Character Discussion forum. Now that he is dead, discussion will die down over the next few months, but I would have thought that would have been the best place to post logical speculation rather than plastering it across a few dozen irrelevant threads...? :(

I think this is one of these situations where it is going to be hard to solve, in the end you can't really control what people post unless you impose a moderation queue which would nbe a disaster with so many members and posts.

If only :( There are a number of reasons the Admins and Mods can't do that, most of which Eli just posted. But one of the reasons why we Mod Previewed the CAD forum in the first place was to stop the attacking of opinions, and when the system was instigated, people weren't happy about it. And now that the system is gone, it's getting heated in that forum again, and then people are reporting abuse. It really is a lose-lose situation.

Having been a moderator for a while, and from experience, those greenies really do try and sort everything out. It's not always easy, because they always try and do what's best for everybody. I hope everything works out, as I think Jem is one of the main reasons I bother posting about the episodes because her posts are always insightful and interesting. Sometimes I don't agree with her, but I don't jump down her throat and start having a tantrum. I either move on or discuss it with her peacefully. It works, and I think some people need to try taking a relaxed approach rather than going in all guns blazing.

I don't know if that made sense. And I don't have an excuse if it didn't. :(

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Cal - yes you did make sense, don't worry about that!

Pierced Musie, am glad you started this thread. I have noticed alot of bullying on the Forum of late, especially of Emmasi & it really is not fair on her at all. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions expressed on here, without having certain other members "jumping down their throat" at every opportunity. Its a real shame when this happens because it then means that people like myself think twice about posting anything just in case it is attacked in the same manner.

Like I have said before, on more than 1 occasion, it would be a very boring world if we all liked/disliked the same things!

I don't know what can be done though, bar maybe banning members that make x amount of personal attacks on someone who doesn't have the same opinion. Although that does seem a bit extreme.

Just to end, I have nothing but admiration for all the staff on here, with their very difficult job of running this site with so many members!

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So many opinions! Oh, Sky, you're not a bitch. You're a newborn kitten. ^_^

I am also getting annoyed with this whole Jack Holden situation. I am one of those people that believe that at a later date if they wanted to bring the character of Jack back, whether it be Paul or another actor that plays him, they could potentially do so. Fair enough it has been confirmed his gone, and yes, on screen he is dead. I am sick and tired of people saying things like 'get over it' etc. Again, they do not have to agree or think the same, but I as a member like to speculate about what could possibly happen which I did so with cryptic clues and there were a few that I commented on that were about Jack. Cryptic clues, to me is about speculating and thinking of what the clues could actually mean, and its annoying when people knock down what you say and say no its not correct, how the hell do they know.

I think it's great that you can speculate about it. That's what the forum is for. But there is a line between speculation and being irrational. Some members were actually outright denying it and calling Dan a liar. I think that's basically why people got so rattled about it. I have no problem with Jack speculation, just as long as it's not posted in my face every thread I go into. There was a case last week where the "year long mystery" thread was being taken over by "Jack is alive!" discussion, I got a bit annoyed because the thread was being clogged with irrelevant speculation. There is a Jack discussion thread in the Character Discussion forum. Now that he is dead, discussion will die down over the next few months, but I would have thought that would have been the best place to post logical speculation rather than plastering it across a few dozen irrelevant threads...? :(

I totally agree with your reply to my comment. It works both ways, and I guess people need to think about where the line must be drawn and not overstepped. In regards to when I was posting my speculating theories, I would like to think that I did not overstep that mark, and got my point across and did not become irrational in which I did witness some people doing. I like to hear peoples speculation and it's a good way to get into a discussion, but yes it needs to be done in the correct place, and I guess people need to limit how much they constantly say the same thing in their speculation which is something I have also witnessed. I think once you have said you piece, be done with it and I think that is where a lot of people are becoming annoyed because the speculation is becoming repetitive, and boring. And that is where I think some of the nastyness is coming in because people are replying because they are annoyed with members constantly repeating what they have said the page before, so it all becomes bitchy.

It just seems that any posts these days that are made, whether it is speculation, confirmation, opinions or whatever are being knocked because it is not another members thoughts. I think people need to learn to possibly not directly reply to a post where it is not necessary, and state their own opinions. Obviously from time-to-time people like to use other peoples quotes which I think is good, as long as people respect that post, and think of constructive ways to air your views instead of being negative about other posts. I mean I remember when I was in school and we had discussion sessions, it was constructive, polite and yes it would become a bit heated because there were so many personalities and opinions but not for one second did anyone become nasty/bitchy. If primary school aged children can have a proper discussion then why can we not do it here. It is possible.

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I don’t often post in the Australian Discussion Forum but I go there now and again to read posts in there and I have noticed some members bullying others, especially emmasi. Like Symphony said, we all have feelings (unless there are some robots on here :P). It’s not because we’re not talking face to face that you can be disrespectful to people. Cyberbullying is just as bad as bullying somebody in real life.

Why can’t some people accept other people’s opinions? <_< Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions. I have my favourite characters and then there are some characters I don’t like but I respect the fact some people don’t like my favourites and love the ones I don't like. How boring would it be if we all liked the same characters or pairings! :wink: There's is no need to attack members. You can just say you don't agree and explain why you disagree (without being nasty) or move on and visit another thread.

There are over 13,000 members on this board. Rules are necessary to maintain some order. I think the mods and admins are doing a great job. It must be really hard to make sure all the members are following the rules.

I don’t get why some members would talk crap about mods and/or admins. If you're angry with them because they gave you a warning or something, it means you did soemthing wrong and it probably wasn't the first time you did so. If you don't follow the rules, then you have to get a warning or be punished. It's like that in real life too.

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I want to add something I should have added in my original post, and also add something else I remembered.

1. This thread isn't to have a go at the mods and admins. I love you guys to bits and I know that you are doing whatever it takes to handle the situation. I actually created this thread in hope that the members would see it and actually realize what some of them are doing. I will be sad and upset if those members just ignore this and keep being bullies.

2. I have an example from a few days ago that was in the rape thread, which has now been deleted (and rightfully so!). Someone posted that men don't mind being raped by women. Though this disgusted me I did not attack the poster but a few others did. Is this view wrong? To us yes, but to someone who is not educated in that side of rape then no it isn't. You say the view is disgusting but under no circumstance do you ever say that the poster is disgusting. A lot of members tend to forget that we have members on here that are just teenagers.

What we should be doing is educating them on the facts, in hope that they learn something. If they still stick by their opinion then you take that and leave it be.

The last few days I have been reading the Emily Perry thread for fun and the first lot of pages were speculation about the return of Zoe. We had mild speculation, strong theories and even whacky theories (although mostsome of those were mine ^_^). I know that she did return but my point is that speculation and theories are good, but attacking others who don't share your ideas? Bad. And calling an Admin who has been so good to you lot by giving you tidbits and spoilers, a liar? Harsh!

I hate seeing the mods and admins of this board thinking we don't appreciate them. I do! It has been hard for me to come here for the last couple of months because I lost a friend without realizing I was. And the longtime members of this board also lost a good friend in Frankie. I would rather come here and remember the good times of this board and see it come back to that stage than think of this place as ruined because of petty flame wars.

(Perhaps I shouldn't voice that last part, but I have to because it has been eating me alive!)

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1. This thread isn't to have a go at the mods and admins. I love you guys to bits and I know that you are doing whatever it takes to handle the situation. I actually created this thread in hope that the members would see it and actually realize what some of them are doing. I will be sad and upset if those members just ignore this and keep being bullies.

I don't think anyone thought it was, so don't worry about that. I think that making this thread has achieved a few things, it has definitely brought the issue to the attention of other members, which means that they can report such posts and help the moderators. And I do hope that it will also serve it's original purpose of alerting those who are doing it and maybe they will stop. I had noticed people being protective of their characters/ships but hadn't realised it was such an issure until I saw this topic and began looking through some topics.

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