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DeanRx

Decorum in the Forums ?

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Does anyone know of a way to let a moderator know about issues on these forums?

 

Once again, I find we have a few folks that don't seem to know how to disagree politely with others. I have gained a great deal of knowledge from these boards. However, I have also taken self-imposed breaks from them, most often due to the postings of a select few people. These boards should be a place to exchange ideas (even contradictory ones), but not a place to belittle or nit-pick others (especially those who are novices coming to seek guidance). When you do disagree, it can be done in a polite manner.

 

This is not only based on responses directed at me personally, but at a good number of newbies on the pages.

 

I know the issue has been brought up before, but we really need to have a level of decorum here that allows one to have an opposing viewpoint. Some folks just seem to use a condesending tone when addressing other poster's messages, just for the amusement factor. What these posters need to realize is that this type of behavoir (aside from being very unscoutlike) does NOT encourage the free flow of ideas, but rather serves to stiffle and cause people to hesitate to post. Its akin to having a bully in your troop that the adult leaders do nothing about! If we wouldn't tolerate such acts within our units, WHY do we tolerate it on these boards?

 

Harsh postings directed at the person or off-topic does nothing to strengthen this forum and in fact detracts from what I believe the intent of these pages are trying to accomplish. We should try to remember that if you drive everyone away with bad rhetoric, soon you will have no one left to aim the condesending attitude towards.

 

Sorry for the soapbox, but it really bothers me when I see seasoned posters treat newbies with such distain that they are likely to leave the virtual campfire and never return.

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You can PM the Moderators and let us know of the issue. Moderstors have an * at the end of their name, like mine will.

 

I have to say that we let the Politics section go pretty much, the rest not so much. I can't say I look overthing closely so please let me know you issues

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On the other hand some hold the opinion that any moderation at all is "censorship".

 

I would say that when you observe a lack of decorum, make public mention of it.

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Is there a list of members/moderators and didn't the site require profile info a while back?(This message has been edited by dg98adams)

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I spent many years moderating other forums and there are a number of things one can do to "clean up" one's post so as to not appear offensive.

 

1) Stay on topic.

 

2) Use 3rd person as much as possible. First person: "I always do it this way." Second person: "You always do it wrong." and Third person: "If one would want to consider this alternative they might...." It takes the conversation out of the "ME" and "YOU" conflicts that often times interfere with the discussion.

 

3) Arguing only reinforces the fact that one disagrees, it does nothing to change another person's beliefs.

 

4) Apologize when one has offended.

 

5) Give a little leeway in the discussion. Often times the written word is far more misinterpreted than when discussing things verbally. Give the benefit of the doubt and assume nothing. If one is unsure of another's intent or viewpoint, politely ask for further clarification.

 

I don't know if any of this helps and often times I slip up, but maybe it might help some of those on the forum come across a bit more gentle and encourage some of the newbies to join in.

 

Keep it in mind that very little is chiseled in stone and most troops and packs are given a bit of leeway to adapt their program to meet the needs of their boys. Also just because someone does something different in their program doesn't mean it's wrong, nor does it mean that it's going to work in one's own program.

 

Whenever I comment about how I do something, maybe I should put a disclaimer on it saying that what works for me may not work for you. But in the long run, someone who's up against a wall might find a wee bit of wisdom in the post and nudge their troop along a bit or get them over the hump.

 

I seriously doubt anyone I've met on this forum has a serious desire to cause harm or problems for others regardless of how harsh they may appear in the printed posting. I have had a lot of people who's opinions I have garnered up and used in my troop that although was harsh in it's presentation still benefited my boys along the way.

 

I hope some of this helps.

 

Stosh

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I would say that when you observe a lack of decorum, make public mention of it.

 

Yah, I'd encourage da opposite.

 

When your brother errs, first approach your brother in private.

 

Same as we would do for the scouts... praise in public, reprimand in private wherever possible.

 

Just MHO. Keeps from winding the argument up on the forums.

 

Beavah

 

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fscouter,

 

You are indeed correct that some think any form of moderation is censorship. IMHO, occasionally someone acts unscoutlike enough that they deserve to be censored. We all need to keep in mind that this is NOT the public square where our freedom of speech is protected. It is a public internet forum owned and operated by someone kind enough to provide it free of charge who has entrusted certain individuals with moderator powers to "moderate" the forum. If one wishes to not be moderated/censored, one should not act in such a way that would require said action. You know....that whole oath and law concept thingamajig we like to talk about from time to time.

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This is not a public forum. When one registers they register to participate in a private forum. The owner of the forum sets the decorum for their forum. If one is invited to another's home, the host has the right to set standards of behavior, i.e. don't swear in front of their kids and keep your clothes on. If one cannot abide by these expectations the host can and does have the right to ask the offenders to leave.

 

If one wishes to have a "freedom of speech" forum where anything goes, they have the right and opportunity to do it on their own and invite whomever they wish.

 

Until that happens, I appreciate the moderators doing their job as expressed by the forum owner.

 

Stosh

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Issue 1- when is it necessary and how censorship is applied is open to a myriad of interpretations by the different moderators not on a standard set of rules set down in print and applied equally to everyone including the moderators.

 

Many of you remember a while back certain members were indeed censored or threatened and the result was for the next six months the active users went from over 1500 like it is now to 300 the discussions became mundane to say the least,and the issues and politics threads were virtually non exsistant. The website Stosh is talking about currently only has 5 active contributors and the site is all but dead because these 5 go on the attack if anyone new comes in and disagrees with them. Is that the kind of site you want this one to become?

 

Issue2- Personalities will always conflict on just about any topic or issue, it is basic human nature and if a person wants to present their viewpoint as "the only correct Viewpoint" they better be prepared to expect some flack from the other posters, and at the same time not take it so personally since few if any here knows anyone outside of this forum.

 

For the most part we are all adults here and treat each other as such, when this on occassion does not happen the moderators can and should first pm the offender and offer some sage advice, next he can edit the posts, and failing all else censor, however a few moderators do have a hair trigger and leap before looking and analysing the situation so there again needs to be a standard set of procedures applied in the exact same manner by all moderators.

 

Look IMHO this is one of the best scouting forums there is and it can continue to be so, or you can over regulate it to the point that people get fed up or bored by having to always watch their p's and q's and go elsewhere. It is very easy for any forum to diminish into a private social club of a handful of individuals and I would hate to see this forum turn into that. It is hard to keep that delicate balance between in depth discussion and complete anarchy but it can be done and has been done here pretty well as of late. Certainly some here are much more sensitive than others when a point they bring up is challenged, sometimes vigorously by others, but we all have to learn that is the nature of the FORUM beast and not take it so personally.

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BP,

 

As far as Issue 1 goes, Terry owns the forum and "hires" the mods. It is his choice whether to come up with a standard and uniform set of rules for them to moderate by or to trust the judgement of the people he carelfully selected.

 

As to the hair trigger thing, I've been here since 2002 and I've just never seen it. I for one appreciate their hands off approach....even when I think they have let some folks go to far and should have taken some form of action.

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SR540

I never said anything different, Terry should make up the rules and the moderators enforce them equally. As far has heavy handed, in a couple of cases it did occur due to the fact IMHO that the moderators are free to use their own interpretation of what is inappropriate because there are no written rules for them to follow.

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The only advantage that I can see to having written rules for the moderators, is that some of us could then argue about how a certain rule was or was not applied.

 

As a relatively new member, I like it just fine the way it is. The moderator's presence is usually in the back of my mind if ever I compose a fiery message. I appreciate the time they invest.

 

Gentlemen Moderators, Thank you!

 

Brown-nosing completed.

 

;^)

JoeBob

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I miss Bob White!

 

But other than that I think this forum is among the best I have ever participated in. Mods keep up the good work!

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The problem with threads like this is that everyone thinks they MUST mean someone else. Time for me to take a break. Not sure if I'll be back. Happy (insert politically ccorect greeting of your choice here). And good Scouting to all.

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